10 January 2010

Comfort Foods

It has been ridiculously cold here recently.  The kind of cold that hurts.  The kind of cold we experienced in London. 

March 2008

Houston has been under a Hard Freeze Warning for 3 days!  Now, I realize all you Northerners think we are a bunch of pansies, and maybe we are, but I don't care.  Houses here (at least those 30+ years old) are not built to weather those temperatures very well.  That seriously stressed me out.  I could just picture waking up in the morning to water gushing from our ceiling, flooding the entire house.  Needless to say, I have not slept well the past few nights.  R says I spend too much time worrying about things I can't control.  Maybe he's right.   

Our pipes did survive (great job protecting them, R) and for that I am incredibly thankful, but I am dreading our next electricity bill.  I so wish we had gas heating (and a gas dryer, oven and stove)... but that's a whole other post. 

In addition to the biting cold weather and the stress it caused me, we had "one of those weeks".  You know, the kind where nothing goes as planned and just when you think you might have finally caught a break, or at least caught up, something else goes disastrously wrong?  Yeah, well that was us.  The mother of a former student/player passed away, a "simple" home improvement project went awry and we have a back door that no longer opens, R got a nasty virus on his computer which halted ALL photo processing, my cat broke R's marble chess board and all accompanying pieces and  then yesterday morning the little plastic flanges on the shutoff valve snapped off as we tried to turn the water back on.  Lovely. 

 Needless to say, this week's events left me in need of some serious comfort food.

Friday evening I made a pot of chili for frito pies.  This wasn't fancy chili.  Just the kind I always make, the kind that takes 25 minutes.  The kind made with canned beans and canned tomotoes.  The kind that uses the McCormick's seasoning packet. 

Cheating?  Maybe.  But remember, comfort food should not be stressful to prepare.  Plus, it's the way my mom always made chili for us growing up. 

Now for accompaniments.  While some may argue that cornbread would have been a better choice, I disagree.  Nothing is better than Fritos that have become somewhat soggy from chili "juice", and the semi-melted shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top - divine. 

Oh, and one more thing.  Frito pie must always be served with a cold beer. 

Really liked this brew, by the way. 
Had never had it before, but seemed like an appropriate purchase considering the weather.
(Photo by R.)

Saturday night we were invited over to some dear friends' house for more comfort food - pulled pork sandwiches and homemade mac and cheese.  How could we say no to a menu like that?

As soon as we stepped out of the cold into their warm home we were hit with all sorts of delicious smells.  The pork shoulder and onions had been in the slow cooker all day, becoming tender and juicy, and were just begging to be devoured.  The mac and cheese was finishing up in the oven, developing that nice crunch on the edges.  I could not wait to eat. 

So yummy!

The meal did not disappoint and everything tasted even more wonderful than it smelled.  My friend said both recipes came from the Deen boys, Paula's sons, but when I searched Food Network I could not find them.  Maybe she pulled them from a cookbook or maybe I just didn't look hard enough.  Whatever the case may be, I will be giving my friend a call soon to ask for both recipes.  Until then I will have to be satisfied simply enjoying the leftovers they sent home with us!

1 comment:

Robin said...

Love the blog! I haven't cooked in a week due to moving, and I am ready to get my kitchen reorganized and make dinner.