Comfort and Food

Motherhood and grandmothering are my greatest accomplishments, that’s the ultimate comfort in my life but…there is a second runner up that is very near and dear…FOOD!
There were several times in my life that I tried to control my relationship with food. You, know teen years and after the first baby when you actually give a hoot what people think. Skinny means more clothing choices but for me it didn’t equal happiness.

In the late 90’s Food Network entered the scene and it was totally life changing. After many years of watching my favorite cooks and chefs I consider myself a guru of not only eating great food but preparing it as well.

No more agony of being chained to a recipe, the ability to improvise was a real game changer. I feel like before Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals my views on preparing a meal were in a completely different universe. For years I’d get ideas about what new gourmet ingredient was an essential to have in my pantry from Martha and I love her dearly but Rachael broke it down on how to utilize gourmet ingredients in a way that even a complete novice could comprehend then proceed to cook a five star meal at home in very little time with no fuss and minimal effort.

In November of 2002 Ina Garten burst through the Food Network lineup captivating the home cooks as well as celebrities and beyond. Through social media I found out that my one year old was not the only toddler that Ina had wrapped around her spatula. The theme song was mesmerizing, I felt like crying when they changed it years later.  Ina cooks precisely, measuring everything, I do not but I feel her casual elegance has helped me hone my skills to a spectacular level.

These are the people who gave me the confidence to do my own thing with food and cooking. It feels amazing to grab a yeast donut out of fridge(that I made!)warm it slightly in the microwave, slap some icing and sprinkles on it and be in a donut shop right in my own home. It’s like no other feeling. Just add coffee.

These are a few of my latest creations…(food is art).

  
Sunflower Seed Oat Bread

  

Fresh Green Beans sautéed with Caesar Dressing, Mushrooms and Parmesan

  

Pepperjack Alfredo

Cranberry Stuffin’ Muffins

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Paige loves cornbread stuffing/dressing and I’ve been meaning to use the Stovetop Cranberry Stuffing in my pantry since Thanksgiving 2012, today was the day. We both went ga ga over them!

1 box stuffing mix, I used Cranberry

1 can chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup mayo

2 tbs Major Grey’s Chutney

muffin pan

Preheat oven to 350. Heat broth to just under boiling, add remaining ingredients, mix to combine, spoon into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes 9 stuffin’ muffins! #MegaDelicious

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Best Ever Country Gravy

Slowly, I began my love of cooking when I was 16. Usually, when I’m out at a restaurant the food is enjoyable but it always misses the wow factor that I get when I fix food here at home. For example, my country gravy. Nothing is measured, just an educated guess.

10 patties Tennessee Pride mild frozen sausage patties($10 and some change for 31 patties at Walmart)

1/4 cup Shedd’s Country Crock margarine

1/4 cup Gold Medal all purpose flour

1 tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 1/2 – 3 cups whole milk

cast iron skillet

8 jumbo biscuits

Break up the sausage as it cooks, when it’s completely done add margarine, when it melts add the flour, stirring and cooking about a minute, add salt, pepper and milk then cook until thick and bubbly. Serve over biscuits, toast, potatoes or even country fried steak.

Biscuits and gravy are an excellent breakfast for supper meal! Especially in this chilly Fall weather.

“I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”
― Billy Graham

Meatloaf and a Sweater

If you eat a meal at my house, if we have meatloaf then you come back another time and have meatloaf it probably won’t taste exactly the same. I experiment, sometimes with good results, sometimes, meh.

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Results pending on this meatloaf.

My Mom is consistent, follows recipes exactly and sweater patterns, with these results…

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My 41st Birthday(on Oct. 15th)present! I’m SO excited to wear it! It’s been many years since I’ve worn a beautiful sweater!