Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Thursday Three

I'm writing this on a wet and windy afternoon, listening to the rain pounding on my roof. Our entire area is under a flood watch that seems justified, since when I went to pick the kids up from school a while ago I had to maneuver around huge puddles of standing water. The heater is cranked up, none of the dogs want to set foot outside to do their business and, all in all, it's a great day to be inside. And make some

Really Good Icky Weather Food

What is it with me? All roads seemingly lead to food lately.

#1. Chili.
Coincidentally, this is what is simmering on my stove at this exact moment. When I asked the kids this morning if anything in particular sounded good for dinner, this was the first thing I heard. Later, I braved the downpour to make a grocery run to pick up a few things I needed.

As I was standing in front of the canned tomatoes, a complete stranger (with his arms full of canned beans) said to me Is this chili weather or what? I said Funny you should mention that. In the checkout aisle the woman ringing me up said Chili, huh? That's what I'm making, too. Clearly, something is in the air. And it's spicy.

#2. Fresh baked bread.
Along with the chili we're going to have my trusty standby cuban bread that the whole family loves. For those of you not familiar with cuban bread, this is a really interesting recipe. It's a yeast bread, but it's finished in about an hour and fifteen minutes start to finish. Only about five minutes of that is actually hands on time. It rises just once and then gets put into a cold oven to keep rising while it bakes.This picture is wrong, as the loaves are round and have poppy seeds on them, but you get the idea.

I've never had a bread machine, although I know lots of people who adore theirs. Back in the day, I used to make a fair amount of bread from scratch, because nothing gets out aggression better than beating the hell out of bread dough. And my whole family loves bread. But as all the other time consuming recipes went away, this one stayed. Very easy, very good, gone in no time.

#3. Lasagna. Because nothing says comfort on a blustery night like pasta. Nothing says comfort like pasta period, but it's especially soothing when the elements are raging. I load mine with veggies, which my children are too brainwashed to even complain about, so it's pretty healthy, too.

Stringy cheese. Ummm. Creamy cheese. Ummm. Cheese. I like cheese. Of course, I mess with the comfort value by loading it with red pepper flakes, but what can I say? It keeps the chill away.

I'm having somewhat of a stress eating week. For all the gory details, click here, but I warn you, it isn't pretty and I'd avoid it if it were me. So food is on my mind as I sit in my warm, dry house not wanting to go pick Gumby up from Theater class. But when I walk in the door to the smell of chili and fresh bread it'll all be okay.

What foods keep the wolf at bay in your house?


my two cents said...

1. Baked Potato Soup with Buttermilk Wheatgerm bread (homemade on both). Any kind of warm homemede bread, really.

3. Warm freshly baked scones served with jam and tea by the fireplace.

4. Homemade chocolate chip cookies eaten warm out of the over, or brownies, eaten the same way.

On mornings like that, homemade hot cocoa with whipped cream, yummy.

I could go on, but you know, we don't get enough weather like that...

Kimberly said...

Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Carrot spice muffins warm from the oven. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes...

I think I need to go lie down now.

Kaycie said...

1. Homemade baked macaroni and cheese. The kind with buttered crumbs on top.

2. Chicken with big chunks of vegetables and dumplings in a thick sauce.

3. Jambalaya with chicken and ham.


Sweet Irene said...

Having a gastric band, there is not much I can do with food nowadays. I eat tiny amounts of easy to get foods. Something that is readily at hand. Right now it is raisin bread with butter on it, but one slice of it and I am very full. In my previous life (before gastric band) I really liked any sort of pasta dish and I did adore lasagna. I especially liked any sort of pasta dish that someone else fixed for me. Food is always better when someone else fixes it. When it came to eating pasta, I could really gorge and make a pig out of myself. Luckily (or unluckily, it depends on your point of view) those days are over and I can only take a bite now and then. I could easily overeat and make myself extremely uncomfortable when faced with a pasta dish.

Altaglow said...

RC, I remember well when you were little, but with teeth, and had a big favorite called chewy beef--obviously before this and the previous vegetarianism. We would cook that chewy beef along with chunky mashed potatoes and eat it while we listened to the wind pile the snow up outside in Michigan. The beef took a while to chew and took away some of the otherwise flat time that accrues on an incredibly long Michigan winter night.

I have found, since moving to California, that what we used to call chewy beef--whcih was sold as rounds with skewers through it-it actually a cut called LondonBroil. When cooked flat on the grill as it is supposed to be it is quite tasty and, while chewy, doesn't pull the enamel off of your teeth the way the old Michigan version did.

Comfort food to me these days is eating almost anything with someone I love.

Eileen said...

We love chili too, but we make it with veggie/boca meat. Also, we love homemade mashed potatoes. And the baking that goes on, Hannah has been on a baking kick for the past 2 years, so there is always something yummy baking. She is getting pretty good at it too. Not so good at cleaning up.
Stay warm and dry!

ped crossing said...

1. Bread right out of the oven.

2. ???

I'm still in a food funk and not much sounds good.

Please share the Cuban Bread recipe. It sounds fabulous!

I had a bread maker, but the bread wasn't as good. I might bake some bread this weekend after soccer and if I get a ninja costume made.

ciara said...

i've already confessed to being a rotten housewife...need i say more?? i'll just say one thing: cincinnati chili (too bad only my girls and i like it)

Woody's Mom said...

Ok, we need the chili recipe and the Cuban bread recipe. Stat.

For me:

1. Beef stew
2. Macaroni and cheese
3. Homemade soup and warm bread

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ohhh RC they're proper cosy foods.

We had chilli last night and I added the chilli and pink peppercorn chocolate. The chocolate was good, the pink peppercorns were still a bit unpleasant, so I'll stick a bit of the 100% in next time. :D

So my list is,

1. Chilli

2. Fresh Bread

3. Warm Chocolate Croissants


Flowerpot said...

I like home made soup. Roasted vegetables with cheese. Jacket spuds with coleslaw and tuna. Having said that, last night I had a bean burger with steamed vegetables. It was pretty vile.

Jen said...

Yum, I want that bread recipe please!

Chili is always good for us, but my new favourite is:

Grillades and Grits. I've got the recipe over on my site. Yummy spicy New Orleans beef stew served over buttery, creamy grits.

My other favorite, short ribs done in the crock pot. Simmered all day, fall of the bone tender, served with rice.

And I'm all about the fresh baked bread.

PixelPi said...

1. Any vegetable soup or chili but there must be cornbread involved.

2. Baked potatoes, white or sweet potatoes, which are particularly yummy.

3. Tea and homemade muffins. I am a homemade muffin addict.

BTW, I do have a bread machine, and yes, the loaves are heavier than the knead-the-hell-out-of-it version. But the secret (AHA!) is to add about 2 teaspoons or so of gluten (which keeps for ages in the fridge). It's the last ingredient you add to the bread machine, right on top of the yeast. Not so good if you're allergic to gluten, however.

Also, need the chili and Cuban bread recipes stat. Please.

CableGirl said...

split pea, lentil or squash soup always are greeted with cheers.

Potty Mummy said...

It's GOT to be cheese and pancetta risotto.

Or beans on toast.

I'm not fussy...

laurie said...

now this is funny because it's pouring out, it's nearly 7 a.m., and i am putting together Brunswick Stew in the crock pot for tonight.
made with chicken, not squirrel, as the original recipe calls for, and with the addition of a couple of diced Yukon gold potatoes and some hot sauce. for zip.

i love the rain.

laurie said...

ps somehow ataglow's vision of RC as very small, but with teeth, is a little bit frightening. yet appropriate.

it's kind of how i envision her...

laurie said...

ok i am waaaay boosting your comment count, but ... i wish share my irish soda bread recipe with you if you will share the cuban bread.

mine doesn't rise--it uses soda and baking powder to rise in the oven--and it is so good it's like eating cake with butter on it.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Your Cuban bread is unlike the Cuban bread I grew up eating in Tampa, Florida. There it's a long, thin dryish bread used to make Cuban sandwiches, which are to die for and you must get one from the Silver Dollar in Ybor City if you ever visit.
Everyone's comments have made me very hungry. But I will second beef stew and add coq au vin.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Hello, everyone! We're in a brief lull from the downpour at the moment, but it isn't supposed to last long. Tonight it's lasagna...aaah.

The Cuban Bread recipe is linked on the post, so if you're interested just follow it. It's really quite good.The recipe does say this, but just to repeat - it doesn't have any fat in it (that isn't a typo) so it gets stale fast. In my house it's never around long enough to get stale.

As for the chili recipe, I hate to say it but I don't follow a recipe. It's a veggie bean chili with some soy chorizo, which is a mexican spiced sausage, and a fair amount of chipotle because we all like spicy.

my two cents - I forgot scones. I was so set on savory that I forgot sweet. Also, I'm mixing up a batch of my hot chocolate mix today.

kimberly - apple cider...ummm. None of my kids will touch hot cider, but I adore it. I have no idea what's wrong with them.

kaycie - we're big on the mac and cheese too.

sweet irene - I'm almost always uncomfortable after a pasta dish!

altaglow - oh, I remember the chewy beef. Dinner and exercise all rolled up in one!

eileen - Surfer Dude made a pie last night. It was a chocolate mint pie in a chocolate crust. I didn't have any. I'm sure it was good, but it didn't really say "cozy" to me.

ped crossing - did you see pixelpi's bread machine tip?

ciara - oh, my god. I LOVE Cincinnati chili! It has to be Five Way - don't leave off my onions.

woody's mom - we're a big soup family, too. My kids will even eat it for breakfast.

jo - sorry about the peppercorns. Did you taste the chocolate in it or did it just add a little more depth? Umm...chocolate croissants.

flowerpot - how do you do the spuds with coleslaw and tuna? I've never heard of that.

jen - I would eat my shoe if it had grits on it, so I guess I'd better check out that recipe. Yum!

pixelpi - my family is crazy about sweet potatoes too. As a matter of fact, I have a whole bunch I'm planning on roasting. Everyone likes cornbread except SD, don't know why. How can you NOT like cornbread??

cablegirl - I have a lentil and cumin soup recipe that I absolutely adore. And split pea makes me so happy...the kids not so much!

potty mummy - okay,here's where my ignorance is going to pop up. How exactly do you do beans on toast? I always think I know, but am not at all sure that I really do.

laurie - oh, that sounds good. I love crockpots. There's something so nice about walking in the door and having something done. You're getting the rain we're getting, I'll bet.Oh, and I still have teeth. Watch your step. And I would love your soda bread recipe.

wakeup - I have had cuban sandwiches and you're right - they are to die for. This bread is totally different. I don't know why the names are the same.

Mya said...

Treacle tart

Apple crumble

Spaghetti carbonara

I put on a stone just writing that.

Mya x

la bellina mammina said...

Just like two cents, - hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies... if it rains at night - hot chicken soup! :-)

AmyK said...

If it's fried or some variety of potato, it will do. Such as deep fried cheese curds, fried peppers, fried potatoes, potato pie, potato soup. Apparently, if you use the word "sauteed" instead of fried, it has fewer calories so you can eat more. But when you need comfort food, you don't care about euphemisms.

Amy said...

That was me. The other me. That doesn't want classmates to know who I really am.

Akelamalu said...

What time's dinner? I'm on my way! :)

Potty Mummy said...

Hi RC, assuming this is not some sick joke at the poor English schmuck's expense, you guys do have baked beans, right? The beans that come in a tin with a tomato sauce? Just checking because I don't want to make any assumptions.

But here's my take on it: 2 slices wholemeal or granary bread (the thicker the better). Toast them (both sides - because I know that some strange people only toast their bread one side. Freaks). Depending on how healthy you are feeling, do one of the following:

1. Healthy option: add hot baked beans. Eat. Feel worthy. This has lots of fibre and not much fat. (but depending on the brand of beans, it may have a lot of sugar. So sue me...)

2. Not-so-healthy option: butter the toast. Properly. Not just a thin smear, but proper, drip through the toast butter. And none of that half-fat rubbish, either - you might as well not bother and go for option 1 and feel worthy. Add the beans, remember nanny, and enjoy.

3. Carb-tastic artery furring option. Take some thick slices of strong cheddar - not wimpy plastic cheese, why bother? - and put on top of the hot toast. If you're feeling totally devil-may-care, butter it first, but have the crash cart on standby. Once the cheese is in place, tip the piping hot baked beans on top. Leave a minute or so for the hot beans to melt the cheese, and then tuck in - no sharing allowed.

Feel like a pig for the rest of the evening. But it's so worth it!

Devon said...

Pot Roast and lots of soup!!

I am training my 11 y/o daughter to be "the best chef in the world". Her life ambition... Just blogged about it today. She likes to bake bread from scratch also. You gotta love that!

My blog is titled Loves Rain. Very seriously love the wet stuff. Drug my dog out for a run in it a couple days ago. Your dogs would hate me, mine sure does.

auntie barbie said...

Potty Mommy,
I grew up eating baked beans that were homemade and baked all day. My mom used to make bean sandwiches with the leftover beans the next day. I had forgotten all about them.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

mya - yeah, but if you're going to gain weight, it might as well be with great food, no?

bella - I think rain at night is my favorite. I open all the windows and just listen to it. It's one of my favorite things about the midwest.

amy(k) - got any more secrets you'd like to share? hmmm? I've said for years that any combination of potatoes, grease and salt is okay in my book. Better than okay, really.

auntie barbie - and is it a good memory or a bad one? I make refried bean sandwiches sometimes, but never baked. I will now!

devon - welcome! Your daughter sounds like my wannabe chef 10 year old son. And you would have a fight on your hands with my dogs. They're lazy to start with and the rain just makes it worse!

potty mummy - thank you. I've honestly been wondering forever. I think option 3 sounds too good for words, but I think I'll start small with #1 and work my way up. I can't wait to try this!

akela - come on over!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

THAT'S weird. Blogger just switched around the order of my comments.


my two cents said...

Chocolate mint pie??? Bring it with you!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

my two cents - the pie really did look good and the kids all said it tasted great. Of course, like me, they all like the chocolate/mint combo. Do you remember those home-made peppermint patties we used to make?


my two cents said...

Yes, of course I do! I have cut out several recipes to make them, but haven't gotten to it. The fifteen-year-old girl thinks we should try one of these days...

auntie barbie said...

RC, I never ate them as a child but I eat them now. We make our beans very sweet & with bacon. I make mine on thick slices of bread with butter, not toasted. Its kind of like a desert with beans.
We love refried beans, I will have to try that one.