With tomorrow St. Patrick’s Day, I fully intended to post about my preparations for a lovely Irish meal tomorrow. I wrote a similar post last year, and had a few wonderful meals. Those plans were set until I began struggling with a late winter cold yesterday afternoon. When I woke up this morning coughing and sneezing, the only food on my mind, in fact one of the only things on my mind, is chicken soup.
Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’
Growing up one of my mother’s favorite snacks was pimento cheese. Perhaps it’s because we lived in the north (I’ve since learned it’s a longtime southern favorite), but she never made her own. Instead, she bought this small jarred version of pimento cheese. For a special treat for all of us, she’d put tiny squares of rye bread topped with pimento cheese on a plate. I thought they were okay, but as a girl, would have preferred another snack.
What can I say about the pomegranate? The seeds (the part we eat) are a dark, beautiful shade of red that seems particularly appropriate at this time of year. It’s supposedly one of the “super foods,” rich in antioxidants. And it can be quite tasty. But just what do you do with a pomegranate?
Ah, comfort foods. We all have them. When it suddenly turns cold. When it’s raining. When we’re sick or stressed, comfort foods can bring immense relief. For some of us all it takes is some good chocolate. For others it’s ice cream. I do have my moments when the supreme comfort food is sweet, generally in the form of rice pudding or tapioca pudding. But most of the time my ultimate comfort food is savory. And for me, nothing quite says comfort like tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
And what’s not to love about the combination (well, aside from the calories). They’re creamy and warm, particularly nice for the suddenly cold weather. And they harken back to my childhood when my mother would make me tomato soup (Campbell’s, of course, made with milk) and a grilled cheese sandwich (white bread with Velveeta cheese).
I’ve definitely moved beyond my childhood grilled cheese sandwiches, preferring them now on whole wheat or bakery bread of some kind. I also like to experiment with various combinations of cheeses, and usually add something to the mix, be it sliced green olives, or diced sun dried tomatoes, or even some slices of fruit (apples and pears are particularly nice). But I haven’t strayed very far from the Campbell’s cream of tomato soup. Once in awhile I’ll buy some fancy tomato soup in the deli, but that’s about it. Until today.
After dealing with a lot of stress the past few weeks I decided I really wanted some comfort food this weekend. But instead of Campbell’s, I’m going to try a recipe my friend posted on her blog for making your own tomato soup. With ingredients like Worcestershire sauce (huge fan), white wine, basil, and a variety of tomato products, it sounds like a hit. So this afternoon I’m going to give the recipe a try. Along with it I’ll be making a grilled cheese sandwich (on some whole wheat flat-type bread) made with a mix of cheddar and mozzarella, with sliced green olives and a bit of whole grain mustard. Sounds like the perfect thing for a chilly afternoon.
What about you? Do you have any go-to comfort foods? Do you ever experiment with them, or do you stick with the tried-and-true?
This year, for the first time ever I have made plum jam according to my mother’s recipe. It worked out beautifully, I now don’t understand why I never made it before, and it’s so easy! Here’s how you make it:
The main ingredient is 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of common plums (prunus domestica domestica) or zwetschges – the names for this sort of plum may vary regionally, but they are dark blueish purple and oval (see below; these are from our garden) – with the stones removed. (more…)
When I was a Girl Scout my very favorite thing to make at cookouts was a foil dinner. Our 10-year old version of this gourmet delight started, quite obviously, with a square of foil. On top of the foil we’d put a bit of ground beef, some canned, sliced potatoes, and a few slices of carrots (also from a can). That’s it. No seasoning, no more veggies. We’d seal the packet up, place it on top of the coals from our campfire, and later (it always seemed to take much longer than expected) we’d have what we thought of as a real yummy dinner.
My mother loved to make three-bean salad. The minute it turned warm this dish began appearing on our dinner table as a regular side dish. Now don’t get me wrong; my mother was a wonderful cook. But there was just nothing about her three-bean salad that I liked. Her version consisted of a can of green beans, a can of kidney beans, and a can of yellow waxed beans combined together. I’m not convinced she drained the cans. To this mixture of beans she’d add some oil and vinegar. That was it. Absolutely no seasoning. No garlic. No onions. Nothing. The stuff seemed to last for days, mainly because she was the only one who would eat it. But beans? We all loved beans.
For years the health benefits of salmon have been touted in the media. As a source of Omega-3 fatty acids – one of the good fats – salmon’s health benefits also have been widely researched. Chief among the advantages is lowering one’s risk of heart disease. Although some other fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids (including mackerel, herring, and sardines), salmon seems to be most frequently mentioned. The American Heart Association currently recommends that adults try to incorporate two or more servings a week of one of these fish into their diet. (more…)
Do you cook? If you do, then like me, you’ve undoubtedly made at least one dish that just didn’t turn out as predicted. Most of my flops occur when I’m creating a dish without the help of a recipe. But some recipes, even those praised by numerous individuals on the web, don’t measure up to my tastes.
Unless a dish is absolutely horrible — in which case it goes down the garbage disposal — I normally try to rescue it by use of one of my go-to ingredients.