Comfort Foods and Indulgences

midnightpizzaWhen I awoke bleary-eyed at 12:15 am last night, I rolled over to Jeff's side of the bed to discover a still-warm, empty spot. Fearing he was ill, I immediately walked to the bathroom. Empty. I walked into the kitchen and there he was, standing in the darkened room lit only by the bluish glow of the refrigerator light. His cheeks were bulging, and he was holding a big slice of leftover eggplant and caramelized onion pizza.

"Watcha doin'?" I asked.

"Noffin," he said, trying unsuccessfully, to hide the ball of pizza stuffed in his mouth.

"Doesn't look like nothin'," I said, "Looks like pizza."

"You're dreaming. Go back to bed," he said.

If ever there was a pizza worth getting up in the middle of the night, it's this eggplant, caramelized onion and prosciutto pizza with smoked mozzarella.

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Triple-Cheese-Buffalo-Chicken-Enchiladas-I've had these on my mind for a while now. I'm not the biggest fan of traditional enchilada sauce but I will take buffalo sauce in an enchilada anytime! I stuffed these with ricotta cheese, Monterey Jack and of course blue cheese. More Jack on top and crunchy celery...this was a TOUCHDOWN.

I'm not sure your Super Bowl party will be complete without them. I made these in individual stoneware bakers, two enchiladas in each one. I admit I love serving food in smaller portions, it's always more fun. You could also make these in a large casserole dish, you'll just have to double or triple the amount of ingredients.

Even if the corn tortillas break a little on top when you roll them, it's okay since you will be covering it with lots of cheese. And I have a question, is anyone watching the Super Bowl this year for the game? It seems every one I have come in contact with says they are not thrilled with the teams. Most will be watching for commercials and the food. Ha-ha perfect. You better make extras!

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Creamy-Chicken-Noodle-SoupA bit of a cold spell finally hit the Pacific Northwest this past week. The rain was so nice, except it rained while we were harvesting our vineyard, not cool mother nature, not cool. We have had such an unusually hot summer so the rain was a nice change for the most part.

During the rainstorm, all I could think about was making soup. As soon as I had a free moment, I did just that.

Have you ever had creamy chicken noodle as opposed to the clear, broth kind? It's so good. The consistency is not thick like potato soup, but the creamy part adds mouthfeel. With homemade bread, it's amazing. In fact the whole family asked for seconds.

I think if you are not going to make your own stock/broth, creamy is the way to go when it comes to chicken soup. This recipe is really something you can throw together on a weeknight. In fact, the chicken can go into the broth totally frozen. And is fully cooked within 15 minutes. That is the beauty of using tenderloins. Who can beat that for a mid-week dinner? 

You might be looking at this pot of soup and wondering where are the carrots? While I love carrots, the creamy version of chicken noodle tastes so much better with parsnips. They are just as sweet, if not sweeter and my family loves them.

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chickenhashEvery Sunday I roast a few chicken breasts (bone in, skin on). It’s easy. Having shredded chicken in the kitchen at all times prevents me from randomly eating empty calories during the week. Plus, having pre-cooked, roasted chicken on hand, gives me lots of inspiration for one pot meals.

Generally, I don’t really like leftovers. With that said, I always make enough food for dinner so M can take lunch to work with him the next day and the kids have something healthy to put in their lunch box. Yet, by the time Thursday rolls around, even though I have “planned” a particular meal for that night (yes, I do meal plan every single week), sometimes it is hard to motivate. Whipping up a meal in less than 2o minutes is sometimes much more desirable than what was supposed to be on the table that night and this leftover hash was created on one of those nights.

Left over roasted potatoes, shredded chicken, half of a red pepper, a few leeks, additional random veggies, and some spices, created one of our new favorites; Chicken-Potato Hash. It is equally delish with or without the poached egg. Eli and I prefered it with the egg, where as Isaac cannot sit next to us when eggs are on the menu. Instead, he added a bit of ketchup. This also makes a wonderful and highly requested Sunday morning breakfast. Sausage works just as well and I have been known to a throw in some left over green beans, roasted carrots (or other roots), and a dollop of goat cheese.

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bread.cinswril.2Patricia (Technicolor Kitchen) and I are at it again.  She and I are having so much fun thumbing through our cookbooks, choosing our task, and baking goodies on our bucket list.

We both decided that this week we would bake from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook.  This is one of my newest purchases and  I have read it from cover to cover. I love this book and there are very few recipes I do not want to try.  I cannot wait to make them all.  Patricia chose to make hers with chocoate chips (I entertained that idea, but decided against it) and although she says the chocoalte was a bit too bitter, I kind of like the idea of bitter and sweet.

Who doesn’t like Cinnamon Bread (with raisins, chocolate, nuts)?  This is every bit as good as a cinnamon bread you would buy in the best bakery.  I swapped out the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour and it was airy and light and perfectly balanced.  The second day, we toasted it and slathered it with salted, organic butter.  Comfort food at its best!

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