Down home comfort

January 21, 2016

Country cooking: Meat loaf, potato salad, peas with tomato relish, slaw.

Country cooking: Meat loaf, potato salad, peas with tomato relish, slaw.

(NOTE: Robin and Tammie, y’all asked for it — here ’tis.)

It doesn’t get much more plebian or blue-collar than meat loaf. Nor does it get much more comforting. A slab of steaming meat loaf, sporting its shiny red ketchup cap; a big scoop of mashed potatoes with a pat of butter melting in the middle; some peas or beans, just because Mama told you needed a vegetable AND a starch with every meal.

I’m tellin’ you, you can’t beat it.

I’ve made probably a thousand meat loaves in my life, some of them better than others. I’ve finally settled on two recipes. One is my bacon barbecue meatloaf, which I’ve blogged on here before, which is a wonderful thing on the grill, cooked low and slow with lots of smoke, but that’s not what we’re doing today. No, today is standard meat loaf, which may not be to everyone’s preferences, but certainly hits the spot for me and mine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Looks good, right? Wrong.

Looks good, right? Wrong.

It’s cold, it’s gray, we had some sort of snofreet (snow/freezing rain/sleet) last night, and I am already sick of winter. I have no alternative but to take to the kitchen.

And this time, I’m sticking with stuff I know is good, since I’ve had a couple of abysmal failures in the kitchen this week. Tonight will be meat loaf; I can rock some meat loaf. Probably potato salad with it, and maybe some purple hulled peas, and I have slaw in the fridge. Additionally, I’m baking some bread, so I’ll have bread for meat loaf sandwiches, because I have been jonesing for a meat loaf sandwich.

This, either.

This, either.

That’ll go a long way toward chasing the winter blues.

Which beef stroganoff and vegetarian chili with butternut squash did not, thank you very much.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ahem. Er…..yes. It’s me. I am attempting to find my way back to normalcy after two weeks with the Sinus Infection From Hell, which has finally consented to leave me, albeit as a weakened, frail husk of my former self.

Which means I’ve got to get in the kitchen and cook myself up some strength-renewing dishes that will not pack on the pounds which I have lost to that and a mild stomach issue that plagued me through the fall. So, in an attempt to maintain, I’m joining  a bunch of friends in an online 12-week health and fitness challenge. The guidelines don’t call for a special diet, but rather for ensuring you eat your requisite fruits and veggies every day, drink at least 64 ounces of water, eat no added sugar or sugary treats but for one day a week, and get at least 30 minutes’ worth of exercise. So I’m hoping that’ll keep me from blimping back up, and encourage me to eat healthier, as well.

It is now 9:30 a.m. and I’ve had a serving and a half of fruit (in a breakfast smoothie) and about 24 ounces of water so far. Of course, I’m sitting here bundled in an afghan and shivering from the smoothie. That oughta burn some calories, right?

Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy for January

January 11, 2016

After all, it’s what resolutions are made of, right?

In the event you haven’t given up in the first two weeks and chunked your resolution to eat healthier, lose weight and exercise onto the 2016 trash heap, here are a couple of things you can put together on a Monday morning for quick lunches that are your friend on the calorie/carb scale.

Healthy stuff for the New Year.

Healthy stuff for the New Year.

First, hummus. You should always, always, have a can of chickpeas in your pantry, because when you’re desperate for something for an appetizer, you can whir up some hummus and feel quite sophisticated and international. Plus, it’s good stuff, and it’s healthy. While you’re about it, you can cut up several different kinds of raw veggies and stash them in plastic baggies in the fridge, so all you have to do is spoon out some hummus and lay out some veggies for a snack or to go with lunch.

Not much is easier than hummus, which is what you want to make of it. Drain your 15-oz can of chickpeas. Dump them in the FoPro. Add about 1/3 cup of tahini (sesame paste), which, as far as I can tell, lasts indefinitely in the fridge.  Add some garlic — garlic confit, in my case, given my aversion to raw garlic. I used about 6 or 8 cloves. Add some lemon juice — at least three or four tablespoons, and leave it out because you may want more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cooking a little history

January 10, 2016

Meh. Acceptable. I wanted exceptional.

Meh. Acceptable. I wanted exceptional.

I’ve had Brunswick stew on my mind since the ladies at my Forrest City office bragged on what they’d bought back in the early fall at the Methodist church fundraiser.

(As an aside: Is it just me, or are Methodists in general better cooks than other denominations? Maybe it’s because I grew up Methodist, and still am, but sure seems to me that Methodists depend a lot more on food-based fundraisers than do other denominations.)

Now, I have never made Brunswick stew, but as faithful readers will know, that has never stopped me. I perused a few recipes, found one that looked interesting, and set about to recreate it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Once a hippie….

January 9, 2016

Yogurt, granola and grapes. How you gonna get any healthier?

Yogurt, granola and grapes. How you gonna get any healthier?

I have made granola. And I have eaten it with homemade yogurt and honey.

Somewhere, Mama Cass Elliott is smiling down at me.

I really wasn’t a hippie. I was something of a wanna-be hippie, but I was about eight years too late and 1,500 miles too far from a coast to be the real thing. But the sentiment was, and to some extent still is, there. Sometimes, it comes through stronger than others. Today, I feel downright Earth Motherish.

(I also was a devotee of the Foxfire books. But that was because most of the stuff they talked about doing — hunting, curing meat, gardening, canning, preserving, and so forth — was stuff I was familiar with anyway, from growing up in the rural South in the 1950s and 60s. )

Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, I’m alive

January 8, 2016

Barely. I seem to have welcomed the New Year with a nasty case of sore throat/sinus infection/general crud, which has for the most part laid me low all week. Today, though, I begin to show some promise of being human again.

As I’ve been poorly, there’s been no cooking to speak of, other than taking out a frozen homemade lasagna one night and cooking it. Last night was Chinese delivery, which sounded wonderful when I thought about it, even better when I ordered it, and then just Did Not Deliver.

Today, I may perhaps actually cook. I may actually get out. There are things I am out of that need to be replenished, and I’ve been thinking about Brunswick stew all week, which will require a stop by the local barbecue emporium. I also have a notion to make granola. And I MUST clean out the refrigerator.

Anyway, will return to something approximating regular cooking/blogging schedule this weekend, I hope.  You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stand by.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,117 other followers