eRichard recognized that knowing what to cook
for dinner that night and ensuring the gro-
the oven ceries were in the house supplied more
than an answer to the perennial question “What’s for dinner?” It provided a sense of security, a
sense of family and peace
That simple realization
Sandi Richard addresses the triggered Richard’s mission
larger issues of family meals to help others, and her first
cookbook was born.
It was not an overnight
By dee Hobsbawn-Smith success story. First, Richard
and her husband, Ron, spent
SANDI RICHARD, successful cookbook daily life and in celebra- five years testing recipes. “I
author and host of Food Network’s Fixing tions since her childhood in knew any book I did had to be
Dinner, is lit by love and faith, and it shows. Quebec. “I loved food. I couldn’t wait for the different. It had to have a 95 per
Her fourth book, The Dinner Fix (Simon & next meal,” she says. Despite that, she never cent success rate for home cooks,” she says.
Schuster, 2006), hit the streets last December. considered food as a career, and instead opted That meant testing 160 servings of food per
But to Richard, her most important role is for a complicated, hyper-organized life, mar- week, so the couple bought a new home in
family member, and she is matter-of-fact about rying young, then superimposing the raising Edmonton, installed a professional-grade
matters of faith. of her seven children onto her work kitchen in the basement and went to work.
“Synchronicity or a higher power?” she as a commercial designer. Throughout, she In 1999 they self-published Cooking for
asks, regarding her continued good fortune. cooked, and her rapid recipes were com- the Rushed (
“I got a TV show when the Food Network monly requested. Each week she photocopied complete with meal plans, grocery lists, pho-wasn’t doing new shows unless you were a recipes for hungry friends and their families tographs, nutritional data and colour coding
chef.” Then again, she adds, Fixing Dinner, who had not mastered cooking on the fly. to indicate preparation and cooking times.
which entered its fourth season in October One day in 1995, flipping through a mag- It was a hit across the country. Richard
2006, is not so much about cooking or chefs azine as she waited in her doctor’s office, followed the same formula with Getting Ya
as about something more fundamental. Richard read that suppertime is the most stress- Through the Summer and The Healthy Family,
“It is about family,” Richard says. “It is about ful time in a woman’s day. A light went on. All (Mint Publishing) both published in 2003.
relationships. In truth, [cooking together] is a the years of being the go-to mom with the Hiccups were minimal, although it was
gift you give your child.” great 15-minute lasagna and the dynamite not always easy for her children to cope with
Food has been important in Richard’s nine-minute stew suddenly shifted into focus. her increasing fame. While they were still at
Not Fried, Fried Chicken / Fresh Veggies and Dip
250 mL ( 1 cup) flour 12 chicken drumsticks (skin on)
1 small pouch of instant tomato soup 2 egg whites
1 small pouch of dry Italian salad Cooking spray
dressing mix 450 g ( 1 lb.) celery, carrots, tomatoes,
7 mL (11/2 tsp.) baking powder broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber,
10 mL ( 2 tsp.) paprika etc., or 4 cups precut fresh veggies
10 mL ( 2 tsp.) table salt, coarse kosher 125 mL (1/2 cup) fat-free ranch dressing
salt or sea salt Multi-grain bread or bread sticks
10 mL ( 2 tsp.) pepper (optional)
(freshly ground is best)
11. Preheat oven to 204°C (400°F). Pour the following ingredients in a
medium-size bowl to make a coating mix: flour, instant tomato soup,
dry Italian salad dressing mix, baking powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
2. Roll raw drumsticks in egg white, then coating mixture.
3. Spray baking pan with cooking spray, place coated drumsticks in pan
and set pan on lower central rack of preheated oven. Bake for 50 minutes.
4. While the chicken is cooking, rinse veggies you have on hand, cut and
arrange on a plate. Serve with ranch dressing.
5. Some people might want a starch with this. Our family likes it just this
way. If you want a starch, I suggest a nice loaf of multi-grain bread or
bread sticks. Serves 4 to 6.