What’s your comfort food?

Yes, I will readily admit that I am one of those women who feeds her emotions. I use food to celebrate, to grieve, to get through the tough times, and to reconnect with people I love. Yes, of course there are those comfort food staples – junk food! Sometimes the craving is overwhelming to get take out, to eat chips, and just go for what’s easy. But to me, really, comfort food is really that food that you make, that you don’t need a recipe to cook, that you’ve grown up with, and love to eat any time of day or any time of year.

Last night we needed some comfort food. It was a long, rough week, and we needed something to help us make it to Friday. So, I dusted off my comfort food index (in my brain) and pulled together a couple of staples that always hit the spot. I made a garlic-marinated pork, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. The pork is really easy and fun to make. It’s all based on how much garlic you like/want, and you just cook it in the oven until it’s ready. I have found an easy blender-hollandaise recipe. This is my go to when I don’t want to be too fancy with the double-boiler (which I’ve still got to acquire for my kitchen). This meal just provides the comforts of home, the tastes my mom raised me with, and is my way of showing my love for my husband and children. This is my attempt to wrap them in warmth and protect them from the inside.

Приятного аппетита!

Garlic-marinated Pork

Pork shoulder or Pork butt (with the fat trimmed off as much as possible)

1 head of garlic, minced (or more, depending on how big the pork is and how much garlic you like)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Combine the garlic, salt, and pepper. Using a knife, stab holes into the pork in different places, at different angles, and stuff these holes with the garlic/salt/pepper mixture. Rub the top, bottom, and sides of the pork with the garlic, and place into a greased baking pan. Pour the white wine over the pork. This can be made up to a day ahead. The longer it marinates, the tastier it is, so I always try to give it at least a couple hours to marinate. Bake until the meat is cooked all the way through, time varies according to size of meat. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then slice and enjoy!

Blender Hollandaise

1/4cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter

1 large egg yolk

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

In a small pot, melt butter and cook until slightly bubbling. In the blender, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice and cayenne pepper, pulse a few times. While the blender is running, slowly pour in hot and melted butter. Season with a pinch of salt. If the sauce is thicker than you like, add a little water and blend to the consistency you like. Use immediately.

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Project Sue

This is a two-part experiment in providing some accountability for myself as I explore activities that I enjoy. I am not claiming that I will uncover an amazing hidden talent lying under years of neglect. I don’t know if anyone will be interested in my personal journey to experience the things I enjoy and to learn or if, in essence, I’m just talking to myself. Like I said, this is an experiment, so here goes…

Part 1: Drawing

I went to a small, liberal arts college and in an attempt to produce well-rounded individuals in the span of 4 years, all students were required to take an art class. Well, knowing (from 10 years of piano lesson and singing in school choruses) that music wasn’t an artistic option for myself, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take a drawing class. I was a fish out of water, a biology/psychology major taking a drawing class in a very artsy school, and I loved it! I loved my art classes in high school (shh… don’t tell anyone) and this college art course really introduced me to techniques that I felt I could do, and I didn’t think turned out half bad. In this part of my journey, I’m going to work through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. I am hoping that at the end of this, I will have honed my skills enough to enjoy drawing as a hobby and perhaps feel confident enough to share my drawings with other without making their eyes bleed.

Part 2: Cooking

I love to cook! I love making something delicious and sharing it with people that I love (I know, how cheesy does that sound?). I am a die-hard fan of “Top Chef”, I never miss an episode. I have collected a small collection of various cook books, mostly as gifts from family and friends encouraging me to continue cooking, that I have read from cover to cover, but have not made the recipes within. What a waste! To read recipes, study the pictures, and then put it on the shelf without attempting to make it? No more! I am going to start cooking those recipes that I’ve collected in the “someday” folder. I’m going to keep track of what I make, how I like it, and perhaps even reviews I get from my family.

Now, I need to go and find that first, perfect recipe with which to start my journey of self-discovery… Bon appetit!