Tag Archive: comfort food


First of all, apologies for being away from the blogosphere so long. Life happens when you are busy making other plans. But I’ve missed writing and I’ve missed doing a fair bit of cooking so this year, I am going to do both. Lock up your pots and pans! Along the way, we’ll talk about our, well my favorite food shows. Or the ones that have really seen better days (Next Foodnetwork Star, I am looking directly at you). But two of my goals for the year were to cook and write more. Two things I sorely miss. Another goal involves Tom Hiddleston and I am keeping that one to myself.

So, over the past several months my weight loss has become a bit more of a weight gain. I know why, it’s all good now. But more importantly, I wasn’t eating well. And I was feeling gross and sluggish. It’s bad when you don’t even enjoy what you’re eating. Don’t get me wrong, I had some lovely meals and some great cocktails and some good times. But day to day, things had to change.

But it’s me, so change is a bit slow to come. I can channel Diane Keaton in…well, a lot of her movies,,very easily. But guys, it’s the journey, not the destination. There’s no end goal here except for feeling good and strong and healthy. And enjoying what I eat. And that thing with Hiddleston. But I digress.

Today, I tried this recipe: Yummy goodness

Someone posted it, I believe, to Facebook and I knew I wanted to try it. I don’t run. Unless someone is chasing me to eat me for dinner. But I can pretend and eat like one!

A couple of differences though; I thought I had kale. Nope. I did have collard greens though. So, I used those. And I didn’t use lemon. I only bought 3 and I need them for another recipe. I didn’t miss it. I also skipped the hot sauce. Didn’t miss that either.

Have you tried quinoa? You should. It’s a grain that is a species of goosefoot and it looks super weird when it’s cooked. I’ve tried red quinoa and I prefer the white. You’re going to look at it and think “why is there an alien in my lot?” It’d little germ pops out when it’s cooked (hey you! Mind out of gutter please!) but it’s how you know it’s done.

The collards. You need to clean them and remove the stems. I soak them in warm water and rinse.

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The collards waiting for me to do my thing!

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This was my thing. Roll ’em up the long way and cut into ribbons, the not long way. Then I sautéed them with in olive oil and garlic. So good you will slap your mama. But don’t. She gave birth to you, that would be super uncalled for. Don’t overcook them. You sauté until they wilt but are still really green. Let me say this; there is NOTHING worse than an overlooked vegetable. It should be a punishable crime. I feel very strongly about this.

So, you’ve cooked your quinoa and collards (or kale). What now? Fry an egg. No, that’s not code for anything. You need to fry an egg. You also need to cube up a 1/2 an avocado. If you use a whole one, I won’t tell. I did that. You don’t tell either. Before the egg goes on:

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Now an egg is a personal thing. Some people like them fried a little more (hi,mom!) some a bit less. Like me. I don’t judge. If you want to make it over medium, I won’t tell. This is between you and your egg.

And…voila!

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I build it thusly, quinoa, collards, avocado, egg. If you want a little hot sauce hit others don’t, a little shake over the egg would be good, no? Yes! My fella ate it and if it’s not coated in cheese or is a Cheeto, he is not on board. He liked it.

Super good. Good for you. Decent protein. I ate this and then cleaned all of the floors. And then took a nap. Naps are awesome. Don’t judge me.

Now lest you think I am going to go all healthy on you…this is what I just ate for an early dinner!

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Stove top Mac and cheese from Alton Brown. He’s not a favorite but this a delight.
Stove top Mac and cheese

So very cheesy. I may be having a second bowl. You’ll never really know.

Anyway, it’s all about balance in life. Sometimes the tightrope gets a little tough to walk. If that happens, take a break. Have a snack. Call me, we’ll go for a snack and a cocktail.

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As we get into the season for nesting and stick to your ribs meals you start to hear the words “comfort food” bandied about quite a bit by the tv personalities on your favorite cooking show.   The food become a bit heavier as the days become a bit shorter and instead of thinking of about having a nice salad or piece of grilled chicken, your thoughts start to turn to stews and soups and heavier foodstuffs. Things that remind you of home, hearth and being a kid again.

Think about it. When you have a grilled cheese and tomato soup (Campbell’s please!) you know you are thinking about being a kid and having that as your weekend lunch or after school snack. Although, more often than not, my after school snack was cereal. No matter the season.  As a matter of fact, my after WORK snack is often cereal as well.  And yes, cereal does comfort me but it’s pretty easy. I don’t have to cook it. It takes maybe 5 minutes to prepare and it’s usually gone within 10 minutes.

So, if you make it yourself…is it still comfort food? Yes and no, I think. I do most of the cooking in my house…wait, who am I fooling? I do pretty much ALL of the cooking in my house. So, while I am gratified and often satiated by my food, I am not often comforted by it. Except for mashed potatoes.  I am always comforted by those, even if I make them myself.  I am comforted knowing that others are enjoying my food. But for me, true comfort food should be something made for you, by someone you love or who loves you, because they  love you.  Cooks of the world know that sometimes it’s just really nice to have a home cooked meal that someone else has cooked for you.

My mom hates to cook. And it’s a good thing I eventually grew to love it or else we’d all starve.  She makes a couple of things really well…the Thanksgiving turkey (although I help now) and meatloaf. And she can poach an egg like nobody’s business. When I am sick, all I want is  my mom to poach me an egg or two. It immediately makes me feel better.  But really, it doesn’t count if someone else poaches it. Like the inevitable braids I have to put my hair when I’m sick, poached eggs belong to mom and I have to have them when I’m sick.

And now we get to meatloaf. It’s important to note that I don’t actually much like meatloaf. Historically, the loaf of meat can be made of any kind of ground meat. Ground beef is the meat most commonly used but you can use pork, veal, lamb…etc. And this American staple actually came to us by way of Europe and who knows, maybe even those industrious and land  grabbing Romans!  At one point, veal was more commonly used as it was cheaper but I think that’s all meat under the broiler at this point.  Mom used ground beef exlusively. So, I don’t like meatloaf. I never make it, I never order it anymore and I never think “Hey, let’s get meatloaf”. Unless, it’s mom’s meatloaf. It is the ONLY meatloaf I like and the only meatloaf I eat. Someone once tried to make her and I one and we had one bite, tasted the dryness and ordered out. Man, was he MAD! But, his meatloaf sucked.  So, if I  make myself meatloaf, it holds no allure. If my mom makes meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans (from a can. Shut it! They have to be from a can), I immediately get the whole food that feeds your body and soul. Because it reminds me of being a kid and one of the few things my made that she knew she killed on. It makes me think of sitting at the table with her when I was little, just talking and having dinner. Discussing the day.  That’s comforting.

So tonight when I go home…because it’s been a tough year and I am a good girl, I get the comfort of my mom’s meatloaf.

What is your comfort food and is it as comforting for you when you make it, versus someone else making it for you?