Cold Weather & Comfort Food

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One thing most people can always count on after a long or wearisome day is a meal they can make to feel better, otherwise known as comfort food. It may just be me, but I indulge in comfort food year-round, no matter if it’s the “season” for the dish. For my May birthday, I would always ask my paternal grandmother to make me her Thanksgiving dressing, & even though it wasn’t slated for another 6 months, she would always make it for me. I was pretty spoiled.

I never really stepped foot into a kitchen until I married my husband over ten years ago. He was used to fast food and I was used to having homemade meals – just not having to make them. The first time my high school best friend had breakfast in bed was one weekend when she spent the night with me at my mom and step-dad’s. My step-dad greeted us, came in with a tray of fresh fruit, bacon, waffles, warm syrup, & OJ, & set it down on the bed. She asked if this happened all the time, to which I replied yes, & she just looked at me in awe & started digging in. Like I said, I was spoiled.

Being an only child had its *SERIOUS* perks, but when I got married, those perks didn’t all translate, if you catch my drift. No more breakfast in bed, & definitely no man that could make waffles lived in my house. When my grandmother passed eleven years ago, the cooking torch was unofficially passed to me, only because we took a family trip & while the food was awful, the memories lasted much longer than the sweet potato casserole we missed. So, the next year, I decided to try to make it myself, & my journey in the kitchen truly began.

Everyone in my family has a signature dish, though I really have no idea what mine is, since I spend most of the time trying to recreate the food that came before me. There have been a few things I’ve mastered that aren’t my own, & a few things I’ve totally changed to make my own.

But I digress & must return to the topic at hand: comfort food.

It’s November which means my hometown is barely starting to experience a chill, & most people flock to the grocery stores as if the Winter Apocalypse were upon us all. Though I’m part of the shopping madness, I know what I want & get out quickly with no time to waste with my stomach growling after work. My taste buds kick in & vote for warm, savory meals, so that’s what I’ll share first.

I know it’s cliche, but I’m a sucker for soup and a sandwich. The classic tomato soup with grilled cheese seemed a little tired, so I thought I might change things up. Plus, I didn’t feel like going to the store, so this was also a pantry/fridge clean-out meal. : )

 

 

Tomato soup has never really done it for me, but a roasted pepper soup does it every time. There were some bell peppers, onions, garlic, & chicken broth left over in our fridge from earlier in the week & I decided to roast the veggies with olive oil & salt & pepper in the oven until tender, removed any unsavory skin & seeds from the peppers, & dropped them in the pot of broth. Then I took an immersion blender to the mixture & pureed until smooth, adding milk & Parmesan cheese a little at a time until the taste & the color were what I wanted.

We had leftover garlic mashed potatoes my amazing husband made the night before & I was inspired by our meals from Omaha Steaks my mom and step-dad send us for special occasions. They have these baked potato puffs that are to die for, or at least I would, & my mission was to recreate them. So I turned to none other than Pinterest for direction. (I should take this time to mention that my husband has most certainly become quite comfortable & welcome in the kitchen over the last few years. He made me a believer in spaghetti, & THAT is an accomplishment.)

 

 

Finding a basic recipe & mixing the ingredients together was the easy part; the hard part was not shoving each of these muffin size potato puffs into my mouth between *terrible* pictures.

After the potato puffs were ready & the soup came together, I plated a potato puff in a shallow bowl & spooned over the roasted pepper soup till covered. Since I know I like to cool things down with a dollop of sour cream, I finished my comfort food meal with that & a garnish of parsley.

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Roasted pepper soup over a potato puff

The pictures don’t serve the meal justice, but I’ve never been a photographer, no matter how hard I try. I’m also pretty terrible at writing down what I’m doing while cooking. I just wing it and see how it goes. This means I don’t have a recipe for the soup, & I have a pin on my food board somewhere that will tell me how to recreate the puffs, but nothing tangible to go back on.

So, I’ll just have to make it again & actually write down what I do as I go. But it’s a win-win; I’ll get to enjoy my soup and potato puffs again, & there will be a recipe to follow in case the hubs, or the kiddo, wants to make it one day. Or maybe you’ll give it a try. Check back again for more recipes; I promise I have them! Hope to see you when your tummy growls again!

 

 

 

 

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