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Practical recipes for busy lives

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

Christy Rost knows what it’s like to prepare healthy meals when life is a mess.

As a television chef, hosting her own Fort Worth cooking show, “Just Like Home,” and a celebrity chef cooking at Macy’s, Kaufmann’s and more, she became accustomed to creating meals in lavish kitchens.

But then she and her husband, Randy, bought the 1898 home in Breckenridge built by “gold dredge king” Ben Revett, and she found herself cooking in a “postage-stamp-size kitchen.”

The approximately 5,000-square-foot home required extensive restoration – including replacing rotted-out 100-year-old timbers that barely supported the home.

During the three years of uncovering and refurbishing original flooring, windows and more, Rost insisted on entertaining. The only problem: She lacked running water, and her only power came from extension cords stemming from dusty rooms filled with power tools and reclaimed wood. But, with her belief that “there’s no worker like a well-fed worker” and her desire to get to know her neighbors, she simply made due: She held dinner parties on the front porch, wrapping the railings with white holiday lights (attached to extension cords, of course) and transporting dishes and glassware to and from a tiny condo the couple stayed in during the project. As she writes in her latest cookbook, “Where’s My Spatula? Fast, Healthy Meals for When Your Kitchen or Your Life Is a Mess”:

“And no, we did not use paper plates. We may not have electricity and running water yet, but we always dine with our friends in style.”

Through her experience of cooking while sweeping construction refuse, digging to plant gardens and tearing out walls, she learned to “develop recipes with my readers in mind” and “simplify my cooking without sacrificing quality or taste.”

“I’ve experienced what many experience every day – not enough time or energy to cook at the end of the day,” she writes, “and yet, I still managed to join my husband, Randy, at the table each evening over a tasty, nutritious meal shared in flickering candlelight, created in a matter of minutes, not hours.”

“Where’s my Spatula?” is unique in that it includes delightful photos of her Breckenridge home’s restoration, as well as a thorough list of items to keep in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer, in order to whip up delicious meals.

The cookbook provides simple but elegant cuisine, from meat, seafood, pasta, pizza and sandwiches to salads, side dishes and vegetables – even if you don’t have a stove to cook on.

A well-organized index directs readers to exact recipes under each food theme, such as meats, salads and vegetables.

This afternoon, Rost also will sign her other cookbook, “The Family Table,” at The Next Page Bookstore. Saturday, from 5-6 p.m., she will screen her one-hour special, “A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving,” which features scenes from the renovation of her Breckenridge home, as well as her cooking in the original kitchen. It aired on American Public Television last month. A portion of proceeds from book sales that day will benefit Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.

Don’t miss Rost’s events this weekend; not only is her food fabulous, but also her personality will warm your heart.


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