Welcome to Cravings Cookbook Season Three! I am soooo happy to have you back (or joining us for the first time)! Since the birth of Cravings—which feels like 10,000 lifetimes ago—so much has happened: babies have come, career and life paths have zigzagged like wild tributaries. Not to mention the country itself, which has been through the RINGER. We’ve all been through the ringer. A nation divided, friends and families torn apart by fundamental differences. But there has been one constant: one thing has kept me sane, kept us happy, and kept us together—a damn good meal with the ones we care about.
Family (in whatever form that takes for each of us) is more important than ever, and we’ve gotten to see firsthand how crucial love is to our everyday existence. For far longer than anyone would have thought, human interactions were replaced with Zoom calls, and hugs became double- tapped hearts on Instagram. But mannnn, am I lucky that the act of creating a meal, whether it’s for yourself or your people, is a passion for so many of you out there! Every day—Every. Single. Day.—you tag me on posts showing the world something you’ve cooked, and I see how you love to cook as much as I do, and it inspires me. You have no idea!
Look, I know what we write in books is supposed to be able to withstand the test of time, and hopefully by the time you read this, the pandemic is just a bad memory, but I’d be insane not to address the incredible, heartbreaking time we have just been through. People have passed. People have suffered. There has been so much loss. We have all had to cope with this thing in one way or another, and many of us did it alone.
If there is any silver lining, during this time when we’ve been stuck inside, we’ve learned an incredible amount about ourselves and others, and we’ve learned about what we need and what and who we love. Whereas before we barreled ahead without pausing, now we’re lucky to even see our people. Although impromptu dinner parties with friends have seemed like a relic of the past for so long, I also had a chance to realize that they will come back and we will appreciate them more than ever.
For over a year, I have found comfort in, well, comfort. “Comfort food” used to sound like a cliché, but those dishes and that idea have meant so much to me this past year. Cravings, by nature, are timely. They are urges. Moments. But comfort, hopefully, lasts. The recipes we have created for this book are meant to be a cookable arsenal to hold on to forever.
Without a doubt, I have just lived through a period more transformative than I could have ever imagined. We lived through personal trauma, with the loss of our unborn baby, Jack. And that turned a very private journey into personal love and acceptance of life and all of its wild, horrific, beautiful ups and downs. So many of you stood by us during that time! I cannot thank you enough. This journey changed me in ways nothing else ever could, and while it was the absolute most painful thing I have endured, I have emerged stronger and hungrier than ever. Hungry for my family, hungry for my friends, hungry for love, hungry for work, hungry to make you hungry, and just plain f***ing hungry.
And boy, did Adeena get to see that firsthand. Like in the past, she moved in with me to cook and write this book together . . . and if she thought she knew me before, phew, was she mistaken! Even I was wrong about me. I thought, “Hell, book three, how on earth am I gonna muster up a hundred more recipes without some kind of gimmick?” Do I do healthy? Quick-and-easy? Both? I couldn’t think of a theme. All I knew was that I wanted to have color and JOY, to dive more into the veggie world, to maybe nottttt put ham and cheese into every recipe.
Then I realized that the biggest thing I’ve personally craved—and that I know we have all
craved WORLDWIDE—is comfort. Finding joy and beauty in simplicity, in balance. Eating not just to nourish your body but also your soul. As always, we strive to keep our recipes interesting, keep them twisty, keep them Cravings. But some of the dishes here are a little bit simpler, a little bit more straightforward than ones you’ve seen from us in the past. And that’s okay, because sometimes you just want something that tastes like the perfect version of something you’ve had a hundred times before. Because it just makes you feel like everything is going to be okay.
All these recipes were created by us but always, always, inspired by you. I hope these meals take you to your happy place, make your house even more of a home, and bring you all the cozy you’re craving in these—or any—crazy times.
Copyright © 2021 by Chrissy Teigen with Adeena Sussman. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.