Dutch Oven Delight

We’ve been craving some comfort food around here and I was itching at the chance to use the new dutch oven Santa dropped off this year.  And by dropped off, I mean, the one I picked up on my way home from the grocery store the other day:)  Since moving into our new house, in lieu of individual gifts at Christmas, we’ve been buying one “house present” that we both can use.  Last year was our camera; this year, the dutch oven.  Since my new year’s resolution is cooking more, I’m planning to use it often and have heard there are so many things you can use it for.  Do you have one?  If so, what do you like to cook in it?

It sure looks pretty sitting on the stove- especially with a white kitchen.  I chose red because the salesman said that the red and orange (flame) colors would never be discontinued, so if I wanted to build a set of same colors for the future, those are the safe colors.  Not that I’ll be buying a set, but I really just thought the red was beautiful and classic.

Chili with cornbread is delicious and I like making meals that we can eat for a few days.  A guilty pleasure of mine is also chili cheese hot dogs with Hebrew National franks- mmmmm!

And by the way, here are the America’s Test Kitchen magazines I mentioned in my resolution post.  They give so much information beyond a basic cookbook, which is why I really like them.


I went ahead and bought the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook too and have started reading it.  It doesn’t have any color photos, but has illustrations and lots of commentary on why the recipes work.


I read all of your comments about how you learned to cook (or not! 🙂 and your suggestions and what works for your family.  I appreciate you sharing them and definitely plan to incorporate the “child responsible for a meal once-a-week” when that time comes.  I also loved the commenter who said she makes one meal per night and if someone doesn’t like it, they can have a PB&J.  Works for me:)


  1. January 10, 2012 / 12:04 pm

    I have a cast iron dutch oven and love it! We are making French Onion soup in ours tonight. Perfect for this rainy, foggy weather!

  2. January 10, 2012 / 12:25 pm

    I love my Dutch oven and use it for braising, sauces, chills, etc.

    As for my favorite cookbooks and magazines, it's Cuisine at Home. I love my Cooking light, Everyday Food, etc….but Cuisine at Hime is grat for teaching you techniques. They have step by step COLOR pictures!!! You can check out their newest cookbooks at some grocery stores, Target, and Lowes. Google it, and you'll get the website. SO worth the hassle of ordering them online. Thier pasta cookbook has fantastic a fantastic roasted tomatoe sauce that is super easy and freezes well. Good luck!!!

  3. January 10, 2012 / 12:27 pm

    I guess you can say I've been a foodie since day 1. Sadly, I did not grow up in a house with a mother who cooked very well (or very often). Same goes for my aunts and grandmother. So I learned to cook by watching every cooking show I stumbled upon when I was a kid. By the time I moved into my first apartment, I could mentally cook just about anything and couldn't wait to get started putting that knowledge to use. I've been filling happy tummies ever since.

    Anyway, it looks like your starting out with all the tools you need to make your venture successful. You'll love those cookbooks/mags – the recipes they offer are nearly foolproof.

    Best of luck, and do stop by – I have lots of great recipes on my blog, some complete with photo tutorials.

    Take care,

  4. January 10, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    I love meals that my husband and I can take to work for lunch or warm up later. So excited to see all the recipe posts with your new resolution. I am a newlywed…need all the help I can get 😉
    Thanks for the cookbook recommendations!


  5. January 10, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    I love my Lecrueset Dutch Oven. We use it all the time. I can't say enough good things about their products. I need to check out America's test kitchen. We subscribe to Food and Wine and BonAppetit which I love!

  6. January 10, 2012 / 12:57 pm

    I don't have a Dutch Oven. My grandmother had some Le Creuset pieces, but I think my aunt took them all. :s Yours does look great in the white kitchen. I'm like you…trying to cook more often this year and plan ahead. The planning is what gets me. :s

  7. January 10, 2012 / 2:13 pm

    I'm dying to know where you got your chevron pattern cutting board! Do you mind sharing? It's beautiful.

  8. Anonymous
    January 10, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    I just got a Dutch oven for Christmas too! I haven't used it yet but plan to use it this weekend to make a whole chicken and some veggies. Please share any recipes that you try and love! Happy New Year!

  9. January 10, 2012 / 2:34 pm

    This made me smile so big!! Thanks for quoting me!! 🙂

    I can promise there is no way I am raising an "adult" who will not eat chicken, white sauces, no seafood, no eggs and NO veggies!!!!!!!!!!!! (not mentioning a certain husband of mine)

  10. January 10, 2012 / 2:48 pm

    I have been with John too long, because when I see 'dutch oven' I think of something completely different! :/ But I know you'll make some yummy dishes in that thing!

    And I have the same one meal rule…except the optional meal is cereal. They have to try one bite of everything first. Sloan had honey nut cheerios just last night! 🙂

  11. January 10, 2012 / 3:05 pm

    I bought a dutch oven last year just to make boeuf bourguignon. It's a little time consuming- but everyone who ate it agreed, totally worth it. Highly recommend making!

  12. January 10, 2012 / 3:12 pm

    I have the same exact one. Also red. I make everything from soups, sauces, stir fry, to roasting beets in the oven. Have fun!

  13. January 10, 2012 / 3:42 pm

    You cannot go wrong with an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Mine is HUGE and RED and makes great no-knead bread and wonderful stews in the oven.
    This is NOTHING this baby cannot do.

  14. January 10, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    Totally jealous of your dutch oven! I have a basic one that I cook a to-die-for pot roast in (and I don't even like pot roast)!
    You're going to love that dutch oven, I just know it!

  15. January 10, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    Yumm chili and cornbread is one of my faves! Congrats on the dutch oven! We actually don't own one…may have to add that to the list.

  16. January 10, 2012 / 7:34 pm

    A couple of different Le Creuset items are on my wedding registry! I can't wait to try some them out, I've been eyeballing them forever. I need thought I would be so excited about cookware, haha.

    I've learned to cook by first following easy recipes, then moving up from there. One thing that always brings me done though is when a recipe tastes awful. Definitely not a happy moment.

    Have fun learning to cook and that chili… looks amazing!

  17. January 10, 2012 / 8:01 pm

    I have that same exact pot and I LOVE it. Perfect for chili, stew, risotto.

    And for years I used to fail miserably at making cookies until I followed a recipe in Cooks Illustrated. I love that magazine. It makes even difficult dishes seem doable.

  18. January 10, 2012 / 9:24 pm

    I have a Le Crueset dutch oven in green and I LOVE it. It cleans up so well and cooks evenly. I use it all the time. We have a Le Crueset outlet not too far from where I live where I've also been able to pick up the tea pot and utensil holder. There stuff is the best!

  19. January 10, 2012 / 10:55 pm

    HI! Off topic but can you tell me about the pendant lights in your kitchen? Are they Ralf Lauren…looking to redo our lights! Thanks!!

  20. January 11, 2012 / 3:28 pm

    I have two of the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and the are awesome! So well-explained, so easy to follow, and the recipes are absolutely the best.

    Chili and cornbread sounds sooo good right now!

  21. January 11, 2012 / 4:31 pm

    I don't own one and I"m not even sure what the best dishes to make in them are but I'm going to be watching to find out. BTW, I would be careful with the PB&J as an option. You might end up with a kid who doesn't eat anything but PB&J:)

  22. January 11, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    I have the same dutch oven and love it! My favorite dish to make in it is the Pioneer Woman's pulled pork recipe from her cookbook. I roast the pork for 3 hours at 300 and it comes out perfect every time. Enjoy!

  23. January 11, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    Such a lovely color you chose!! I am definitely digging the red, especially against your beautiful backsplash 🙂 My hubby and I received a sea green/blueish colored set of Dutch ovens for our wedding in August… however I have still yet to learn how to cook in them. If you come across any good recipes I'd love to check them out on your blog 🙂

  24. January 11, 2012 / 9:23 pm

    Oh, your chili looks scrumptious, Megan! You will love your Dutch oven. I grew up watching my mom prepare soups, stews, meats in her oven. I think my most fond memory of her using her Dutch oven was making homemade turkey soup, a couple days after Thanksgiving. She had the red/flame set as well. I've inherited a few pieces and love it. Enjoy!

  25. January 11, 2012 / 11:05 pm

    My roommate just got one of these and we can't wait to try it!

  26. January 12, 2012 / 5:14 pm

    A Dutch Oven's been on my list forever! My MIL has a dutch oven that she's had for years and I hope to inherit it when she dies. I have so many fond memories of all of the meals she's cooked in it over the years so it has a lot of sentimental value plus years of seasoning. She makes the best pork roast ever. Heck, I never eat pork roast or even buy pork roast nor do I normally like pork products but her roast is the best.

    The Dutch Oven looks great in your kitchen. (Love your kitchen btw.)

    My newest toy is a Blendtec blender that I got for Christmas.

  27. January 12, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    I have that same dutch oven and just LOVE cooking with it! Your chilli looks delicious; what recipe do you use? I always make white chicken chilli and am looking for a good beef and tomato based chilli.


  28. January 12, 2012 / 7:26 pm

    I have the GIANT LeCreuset dutch oven in Caribbean Blue. LOVE it. Makes the best risotto and also use it for Butternut Squash soup, Barefoot Contessa Chicken Stew with biscuits & many other. It's well worth the price. Also, per your suggestion checked out the American Test Kitchen website and have so enjoyed watching the online episodes. One of my new faves for sure. And I also have Cooks Illustrated and love it, have learned a TON from it!

  29. January 14, 2012 / 12:18 am

    You can't go wrong with a dutch oven. By far this was the best wedding present we got. I make everything in it, roast chicken, chili, soup, spare ribs, you name it. It's so nice to be able to brown things on the stove and then just throw the whole thing in the oven. Welcome to the world of one pot wonders 🙂

  30. January 16, 2012 / 6:37 pm

    A. Cooks Illustrated is amazing.
    B. I highly recommend making short ribs in your new dutch oven – give them an awesome sear and let them simmer away slowly for 4 – 5 hours!

  31. johnsmomsarah
    January 18, 2012 / 6:37 pm

    The chili looks amazing! Care to share the recipe? Loving your blog here in Boston!

  32. January 23, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    That chilli looks so yummy! I'm getting hungry.. lol.. I love the white kitchen. You did right with investing in the red. I would've done the same! 🙂 Have a great day

  33. Maria
    January 30, 2012 / 8:51 pm

    Love my Le crueset, mine is yellow. Made some yummy stews, soups and chilis! I was able to get it at a great price at the Houston outlets. Great prices and variety. Good luck

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