Posts Tagged comfort

Lasagna: Layer on the Veggies

My father-in-law’s favorite meal strategy is to “use up.” He rummages in the fridge and pulls out anything that requires immediate eating. He evaluates the pile of bits and bobs on the counter, grabs a frying pan and starts cooking.

It’s never the same twice but it’s always (surprisingly) delicious.

People I’ve asked about the cons to their weekly produce box say it’s a challenge to use everything. From the advice they’ve given me, emptying the box seems to require a vigilant using-up mindset, like my father-in-law’s.

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Thinking Inside the Box: Sweet Potato Flapjack Tuesday

Today is Pancake Tuesday (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras). I’m not exactly a religious person and I certainly don’t give up anything for Lent. I do, however, adore an excuse to eat pancakes.

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Candied Ginger Pudding on Food 52

Linguistically Ambiguous Foods is the current Cook the Story theme. I therefore couldn’t resist submitting the ambiguously named Candied Ginger Pudding to the Food 52 Pudding Contest.

The title can be interpreted as Candied-Ginger Pudding since the pudding’s flavor is achieved by steeping candied ginger in milk.

The title can also be interpreted as Candied Ginger-Pudding since each individual serving of pudding is topped with a candy crust.

But who really cares about the title? It’s the taste you want to know about.

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Unambiguously Baked Baked Potato Soup

I squinted down at the bowlful of white glop in front of me then up at the waitress. I asked, “Where’s the cheese?”

“What cheese?”

“The cheese! The cheese! How can you have baked potato soup without cheese?”

She looked at me like I was nuts. “We don’t put cheese on our baked potatoes so why would we put it on our baked potato soup?”

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Pepper Jack Soup from the Falcon Lake Deli

Soup-making is something that I just know how to do. Why? I grew up surrounded by soup-simmering and soup-eating.

Tomato Beef Barleys and Chicken Noodles warmed my childhood. Vegetarian Borscht Dappled with Heavy Cream appeared in the spring and returned to freshen Ukrainian Christmas Eve (a meatier version was ladled daily at the Perogy Patch). Mushroom with Wild Rice, Bean and Bacon, Hearty Potato Tomato, Pepper Jack and many other creations starred in Soup and Sandwich specials at the Falcon Deli.

And now, on my blog, Pepper Jack will also exemplify the simple brilliance of my mom’s recipes. Yay good soup! Yay awesome Mom! Read the rest of this entry »

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Foodies in the Family

Gee Gee, my brother and I catching some shade on a prairie afternoon

My Gee Gee would pay us five cents for every potato bug in our pail.

He’d hose mud off of a carrot and off of us at the same time. Shrieking, we’d jump from the spray secretly hoping to get caught by refreshing coldness.

He’d hand us roughly cut rhubarb and send us to Baba knowing she’d sit us at the table where we’d dip scarlet tips into glasses of sugar.

His apple tree yielded so many golden spheres that every pair of pantyhose from Shoppers Drugmart was required to strain the juice.

He always had Rocket Candies in his pocket. He’d tell us, “One for you, two for me” (but only if we’d sing his favorite Ukrainian folk song first). Read the rest of this entry »

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Permission, Imperfection and Pizza = The Best Baby Gifts of All

My toddler is transitioning from crib to bed. Every time he wakes up, he realizes that he’s no longer confined. What does he do? He JUMPS! An excited thunder from bed to floor, from floor to bed and then back again.

His floor also happens to be our bedroom ceiling.

I am so tired. Read the rest of this entry »

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What My Husband Hates: Shrimp, Feta and Olive Pasta on a Tangle of Arugula

Yesterday I told you about the mischief I get up to when my hubs goes out of town. Synopsis: I watch Glee, listen to cheesy 80s dance music, drink pink girlie drinks (like French Martinis) and eat feta and olives.

Here’s my favorite recipe to make when G goes away. Note that you can double, triple or quadruple this. Just increase the amounts accordingly and use bigger pots, bowls and pans (and make sure that everyone you’re cooking for likes shrimp, feta, olives and arugula!).

Shrimp, Feta and Olive Pasta on a Tangle of Arugula

Serves 1. (It’s a big serving because I’m starving by the time I get little J to bed, surf the net, read some fiction, chat on the phone, paint my toenails and then finally get around to cooking). Read the rest of this entry »

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When Does Food Taste THE BEST? Part 1: So Good

Me this weekend: Lips trembling as I mumble (kind of stupidly), “mmmm…yummy…want more now.” Everything I ate made my mouth (and stomach) beg for another bite.

From the snack of smoked sausage eaten while watching the waves (Bee Gees singing in the background, toddler zooming a convertible on the tile floor, mom stirring a cassoulet in the kitchen as I plunge the last bit of sausage into gooping yellow mustard) to the steel cut oats with melting brown sugar cooled slightly by frozen wild blueberries all stirred together and then slugged back with strong coffee as we debated where to play an early round of golf, everything sent me into a drooling stupor.

Lurking deeper, my brain kept asking, “WHY is it so good?”

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Mexican-Ukrainian Fusion???

If Mexican-Korean Fusion works, maybe Mexican-Anything Fusion can. Let’s test this theory with these Mexican Holubtsi (a.k.a. cabbage rolls).

This recipe fulfills my New Year’s Resolution since it’s good for me (brown rice, cabbage and lean poultry), it’s got Zumba in the seasonings AND it makes me feel good, like all things Ukrainian.

My grandfather (Gee Gee) came from the Ukraine as did the parents of my grandmother (Baba, the one who made such wonderful chicken soup). Ukrainian food (perogies, pyrizhky, holubtsi) takes me back to their kitchen and to my own childhood home. Read the rest of this entry »

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