I don’t need a personal chef — I enjoy cooking too much to hand that task off to someone else. I don’t even want someone to go grocery shopping for me, because strolling through the farmer’s market and trying inspiring samples at the store is half the fun. Want to know what I would love help with? Planning my meals out each week. Because sitting down for 30 minutes every Sunday to map out lunch and dinner for the next seven days is always such a drag for me, especially when I can’t exactly predict things like what will be looking best at the farmer’s market or whether we’ll have friends drop by unexpectedly.
Enter Huckle & Goose — the meal planning service that actually simplifies cooking for your family. Founded by sisters-in-law Christine and Anca, the seasonally-inspired, healthy and affordable meal planning is a life saver, and the first service of its kind that I actually want to sign up for. Since the founding duo are such pros at making dinner feel special every night, we caught up with them at Christine’s home for one of their regular mid-week gatherings… and thanks to their knack for planning meals in a flash, it couldn’t have come together more effortlessly. Keep reading for all the details…
* photography by Buff Strickland
What inspired the creation of your meal planning company?
My sister-in-law and I started Huckle & Goose because kohlrabis and rutabagas kept going bad in the fridge even though our Pinterest boards were overflowing and our bookshelves had no shortage of cookbooks. We figured we probably weren’t the only ones who wanted to cook with market-fresh, heirloom produce but didn’t want to spend the time meal planning. Huckle & Goose does all the planning work and there’s an automated shopping list, so it’s easier to be mindful every day, gather loved ones around our table more often, and support sustainable farmers.
When we know what we’re eating (and it’s really, really good for us!) instead of getting caught in the oh-shoot-it’s-6-oclock-dinner-craze, everything else in life falls into place a little better. We’re happier, more grounded, more patient, less stressed, and less rushed.
I think we could all do without that oh-shoot-it’s-6-oclock-dinner craze! Sound like you’ve found the secret to hosting friends in the middle of the week.
The beauty of meal planning is that you’re prepared for every day of the week — you have all the ingredients you need and don’t have to run to the store for last- minute ingredients. Each week, I try to include one or two dishes that serve a few more people so we can have impromptu dinner parties, like tonight!
The entertaining rule you rarely break:
This isn’t really an entertaining rule and it started happening quite by accident (because I’m habitually late), but I grew to love it, and then it just became a rule. I don’t finish preparing the meal on time. I start it and get about halfway through, but I love the atmosphere created by friends helping in the kitchen. Before everyone arrives, I make a mental note of how tasks can be divided and then it’s easy to delegate. There’s music playing, wine being poured, and a dip with good crackers for snacking. Chopping alongside each other and finishing the meal together eases everyone into good conversation. It breaks the ice too if you don’t know someone as well.
What scares you about entertaining?
Because recipe developing is now in my blood from doing it almost daily for Huckle & Goose, I often will just wing it with a recipe when friends come over to try something new. I slightly stress about it not turning out right, but the good thing about cooking with just-picked fruits and vegetables is that they’re bursting with flavor and do the work for you, so it’s hard to mess anything up.
Your must-have entertaining tool:
Lots of white dishes, tiny bowls, large bowls, and platters in all different sizes. Everything matches and is easily replaceable, and food just shines when it’s against a simple white canvas.
Always in your refrigerator:
Greens! I try my best to incorporate them into meals at least once a day and if we’re having last-minute weeknight guests I can whip up my favorite kale salad that’s satisfying and might change everyone’s mind about kale.
What’t on the menu tonight?
An impromptu “Late Summer Mezze”, including:
- Marinated Eggplant and Tomato with Basil Smoke-Infused Beetroot Spread
- Corn, Poblano, and Zucchini Salad with Cilantro Basket of Toasted Breads and Crackers
- Ginger Cantaloupe Refresher (awesome for kids, and even more awesome with a splash of gin for adults)
- Sweet Potato Vegan Cheesecake to eat with any fresh peaches or berries still around in late summer.
Current favorite color palette for parties:
I’m super minimalist and love the versatility of neutral tones, so I leave it up to the food and flowers to give a splash of color.
Click here to get the recipe for Huckle & Goose’s Smoke-Infused Beet Spread!
Your standard hostess outfit:
Cigarette jeans, a slouchy grey tee, fun earrings and a necklace.
The taste you’re always craving:
The beauty of eating with the seasons is savoring everything in its time. In wintertime I dream of juicy peaches and ripe tomatoes that taste like sunshine, but rutabagas and squash and stews are so perfect for those cold months that waiting makes those things I’m craving all the more sweet.
Click here to get the recipe for Huckle & Goose’s Marinated Eggplant and Tomato Crostini!
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
It totally depends on the cuisine and mood, but you can never go wrong with classy jazz! We have all sorts for different occasions on our Spotify account.
Your signature entertaining dish:
In fall and winter, it’s always meat braised in wine or beer with a buttery root veggie mash and zesty kale salad.
In spring, fresh fish with asparagus, fava beans and peas all tossed in a roasted garlic vinaigrette.
And in summertime… the options are just endless and wonderful, but it’s hard to top a garden-fresh tomato dish. A huge bowl of pasta tossed in fresh heirloom tomato sauce with heaps of basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano, with a glass of crisp white wine is perfection.
The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:
2Amys, the brick-oven pizza place around the corner from our old apartment in DC. Easily the best pizza I’ve ever had. We went at least once every couple weeks for 6 years — with my husband as newlyweds, with friends that came over, with family from out-of-town, with my son when he was just days old, then with my daughter. It was the first time their little tastebuds ever tasted pizza and now we’re all spoiled forevermore.
Your dream dinner guests:
I know I’m probably supposed to list a few awesome people from history, but there’s nothing like seeing my family together for holidays since we’re all in different cities. Wish we were all closer and could have dinner together more often.
Your entertaining style in 5 words or less:
Simple, market-inspired, everyone is family.
Share this Post