From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
Tonight is all about comfort foods. Most of us are in the midst of a cold snap (and those of you who aren’t, don’t gloat, lest we descend upon you and stay until late spring) and the only way to get through it is to hunker down with some hot soup, buttery biscuits and finish with some melt-in-your mouth cake warm from the oven. This is my go-to potato soup, over the traditional cream of potato soup; I like the spiciness and the sautéed onions add a deep, rich flavor. The garlic biscuits are a nice complement to the soup. I was going to find a healthy dessert for tonight, but then thought to heck with it, it’s cold, it’s icy and we need chocolate. Rich, gooey, chocolaty goodness.
On the board tonight:
1. Spicy Potato Soup
2. Garlic Biscuits
4. Mocha Cake
Recipes and shopping list at the link.
The soup and biscuits and cake sound delicious (and the biscuits LOOK mouthwatering), but I cannot eat any of them! I have finally accepted that yes, I am lactose-intolerant and wheat-intolerant (maybe even gluten-intolerant), and I am adjusting my diet accordingly. Anyone else out there with said intolerances?
And, Happy Taiwanese New Year. Bitchez.
It was taco night at our house. I even fried the shells up myself.
@asiangrrlMN: Gluten allergy here.
I know the things going on in Egypt is serious business, but I’m gonna just have to take my place in the bad chair right now please.
Wolf Blitzer had this story about Americans having a hard time leaving Egypt. Whycome my first thought was of this song:
@asiangrrlMN: I’m with you on the wheat. Gluten doesn’t seem to bother me, so I can indulge on occasion without too much remorse. But in my early 20s I was having horrible joint issues, afraid it was arthritis and almost had to give up running and cycling. With some detective work, I eliminated wheat and the symptoms went away. I substitute rice pasta when I really want some comfort foods like mac n cheese. And I have pizza when I want a treat. I’ve found some really good flour-less cakes that can get me by when I’m craving cakes and cookies. And fruit crisps are easily made without flour. But I really miss bread, a lot. And JeffW makes it really difficult sometimes: New Toy and Yummy Buns
It’s definitely hot-soup weather here. I rode out Snowpocalypse 2011 by making a large pot of chicken soup. There’s just something about snow falling outside combined with the smells of soup on the stove. And, of course, I now have a few meals worth of soup stashed in the freezer for the next cold snap.
Speaking of comfort food, I can’t decide between a carne asada quesadilla or a couple of salmon tacos.
Hey, it’s California. We don’t do meatloaf and tuna noodle casserole out here.
@burnspbesq: You do if your mother is from the mid-west (raises hand).
ETA: We weren’t subject to this once the childhood allergy diagnosis were made. (both kids: strawberries, eggs, milk, wheat, chocolate)
He sings pretty good for an All-American football player ;-)
Quesadilla. Nothing says comfort food like melted cheese.
Left Coast Tom
I’m a skier…the Sierra hasn’t seen precipitation since mid-January, and that wasn’t much. Can I mope around in a depressed state about northern CA not being in the midst of a cold snap?
I definitely have my intolerances but not of the food kind.
Actually, I’m sensitive to processed foods and certain oils. The crap they use to make movie popcorn always upsets my stomach. Fake sugar also gives me a stomach ache. High sodium content foods give me a headache.
I would not survive in the future.
@wobblybits: Yup, along with Hot pot, Abelskiever, tacos, Satay, granola, mashed pototoes, spatzle, saurbrauten, dried corn, Anadama bread and about anything that came through Sunset magazine. I think the only thing my mother abandoned in IL was jello salad and beets.
I am in one of those currently-nice-weather places with no chance of the snowpocalypse (that would be SF), but I’m not gloating. I truly hope all of you are getting by okay and hope this passes soon. I’d be a wreck if I were dealing with it so I’m sure not going to be an a-hole about not dealing with it.
I haven’t eaten processed foods for a long time. I can’t stand the salt. It tastes awful.
J. Michael Neal
@dmsilev: I’m pretty sure you previously said that your girlfriend made the soup. Now you’re stealing her credit?
I have a cold. Blech. And I want to know if I got the job, dammit! Screw patience.
J. Michael Neal
@Alison: The upside of an occasional Snowmageddon and a week plus of subzero temperatures every year is that it keeps the Californians from moving here.
Oregon should look into this.
My sister is in Marin, says the weather in the Bay Area is unusually balmy for this time if year.
We, on the other hand, are supposed to get snow this weekend. *SIGH*
@burnspbesq: Where’s the salmon from? Is it just pink or something better Nothing wrong with pink, but there exist foods better than it. The same is not true for Chinook.
I know I hate processed foods. Once when we were just married my husband made his “famous black bean chilli” which turns out came primarily from a Swanson’s spice packet.
Needless to say, he doesn’t do the family cooking any more.
@Southern Beale: Well, we did have a long spell of unusually super cold weather, but yes – lately it’s been getting warm-ish during the day and sunny, and I’m quite happy. (Medical issues make cold very hard for me to handle.) But still sad for those of you in icy places!
Lactose intolerant, but not gluten/wheat. Weirdly, one thing that helps a lot is getting my 8 glasses of water a day — if I’m well-hydrated, I have a lot fewer problems. That’s probably because I also tend towards IBS, but the water helped with both. Between that, lactose-free milk (find Organic Valley’s, that’s the best one) and yogurt with live and active cultures, I do pretty well.
Thank Pasta, I am not allergic to any marginally edible thing, I would really suffer if I had to worry about what I eat. The only thing I have to avoid is bad food & that is not that hard to do.
I make a roast garlic potato soup that is very ‘cuddlely’, Roast 2 or three heads of garlic. Dice a pound or so of potatoes (Yukon Gold makes a better soup) and cook in 4 cups of broth – chicken or veggie (I make my own roast veggie stock that goes really well if you want a vegan option). It will take 30-40 minutes to cook depending on how small the dice. Squish the garlic from the skins into the pot for the last 10 minutes or so. When the potatoes are soft take it off heat & blend it – I use a stick blender but you can use a masher or a blender. Salt & pepper. You can thin it with milk but I find the soup to be pretty creamy so more stock would work.
Depending on our mood or company I’ll serve with crumbled bacon or a pat of butter or chopped green onion.
If you’ve got those intolerances, you could also have issues with soy. Not in the traditional forms, like we talked about the other night, but in the Americanized forms (soy ice cream, soy meat substitute, etc.). Something to keep an eye on and maybe do an elimination/add back in to test. Soy is a problem for many people and goes hand in hand with those other issues many times.
I’ve got an intolerance to wheat, although mine isn’t terrible. I think a lot of people would feel a lot better if they got off wheat and sugar. I know I do, but it’s so hard I can’t seem to stay on the diet.
If it’s wheat and not gluten, try looking for all rye crackers. If it’s gluten too you have to avoid rye. There are a bunch of really good gluten-free products at places like Whole Foods. They can make your life a lot easier.
Cooking for yourself makes it a lot easier, but you don’t cook, iirc, so eat at Asian restaurants. Not nearly as much wheat or lactose there.
Good luck. It’s a pain, but if you can cut it out or at least reduce your intake you’ll feel much better.
There’s an aftertaste to some them, I remember.
I like sweets but don’t eat too many.
I got Edy’s can’t spell, chocolate ice cream and eat a small amount with coffee in the afternoons. I don’t eat ice cream much but usually French Vanilla.
It was the taste that stopped me from eating a lot of junk food.
Awesome on so many levels: Packers, Steelers Find A Bunch Of Fucked-Up Shit While Exploring Cowboys Stadium.
One thing we can all agree on, Packers and Stillers fans alike, is that Jerry Jones can go shove his shellacked head up a horse’s rectum.
@Southern Beale: I can’t do most processed foods, either. They tie my stomach on knots and make me unpleasant to be around, if ya know what I mean.
Cooked up a crockpot full of Hillbilly Caviar for some rib sticking to pleasure. A stick or two of celery, and couple of Little Debbie brownies and it’s culinary bliss.
Can’t believe there’s only one episode of “Friday Night Lights” left. :-/
I’ve got no food issues (except for loving it too much!), but I make butternut squash soup and it is creamy and thick without butter or cream.
I eat a very veggie-heavy diet that is low-ish in typical carbs (Volumetrics)–so butternut squash is potato-y without the potato carbs. I add a can of canned pumpkin for thickness and flavor. This time around I added a few small sweet potatoes. It was sweet and delicious and mostly (free) veggies.
Start with chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery sauted in the pot with a little olive oil. Then add the squash and potatoes (cubed). Salt to taste. Sage and nutmeg to taste (I never measure. Sorry!). Then the can of pumpkin with a can or so of water (or stock–but the water is fine). Cook for about 45 min or until veggies are tender and mushy.
No milk, no wheat. All goodness.
@asiangrrlMN: I just finished a six week gluten challenge!
On the one hand, durn it, I am. This started when I got painless belly bloat from a sandwich wrap. But it was enough to make me unbutton and then unzip and then fasten the pants with a big rubber band and be glad I wore a tunic sweater that day.
On the considerable other hand; no more bloating incidents, I’ve lost a pound, and the arthritis in my thumbs has gone down to a whisper; even now, in the depths of winter.
So I’m giving it up (and I’m low carb, so I never got much of it lately) and every so often my midsection sends out a happy little signal I can’t describe; but tells me some healing, somehow, seems to be going on there.
There are compensations; I made this gluten free cake last night. Nom nom nom!
I know he was cute as a baby, and now Tristan is growing up.
But isn’t our five month old kitten a handsome fellow?
@Left Coast Tom: do not despair that all the snow has been taken by the rest of the country east of us. Our friends at
http://www.snowforecast.com are confident that the storm door opens for the Sierra after Feb 10. I don’t know how they do it, but they are pretty accurate.
@WereBear: Tristan looks like he’s doing a softcore pr0n shoot :} He’s got a much better “smouldering” expression than our own Sen. Scotty “Cosmo” Brown!
Thanks everyone for sympathies and suggestions. I actually did a wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet before for four months. It’s tough, but not impossible. And, they are coming out with more tasty alternatives all the time.
@TaMara (BHF): jeffreyw. does make things VERY difficult. His food always looks so yummy.
@Violet: It’s possible. The only soy-based substitute I eat is the ice cream. Sometimes, I drink soy milk, but I don’t like it very much. I wouldn’t be too upset if I had to eliminate soy (as long as I get to keep my tofu).
@WereBear: In the end, this is what made me realize I have got to get it under control. No matter how yummy the food is (and, it’s sooo yummy), the aftereffects just aren’t worth it.
Tristan needs a smoking jacket and a pipe. He’s so handsome! He looks like he’s saying, “Hey, how YOU doing? Come sit next to me, little lady.”
Thank you, Anne Laurie. He’s one of those cats who is always posing.
I love your menus but they make way too much for a single guy living alone. Suggestions on how to make a smaller batch and/or freeze and reheat for future use would be welcome. And I don’t own a microwave, so I need real oven intructions.
Left Coast Tom
@CA Doc: From their lips to the Snow Goddess’ ears.
Truthfully, I wasn’t doing any moping a couple weekends ago when snow camping w/ almost 60 degree high temperatures. But enough is enough. Besides, snow is wasted on easterners who just complain about it. Send it to the Sierra, Californians will make good use of it.
This should be right up your alley. You can obviously make these one at a time especially if you have individually pieces of vacuum sealed salmon
@Greg: Got ya covered. When I started these menus I worked really hard to make them easily doubled or reduced by 1/2 and maintain their flavors. Often when I was recipe testing, I would make 5 or 6 different dishes in 1/2 portions and invite everyone over to taste-test, so divide by 2 and you’ll have at least one good meal and one leftover meal with almost any menu I post. Hope that helps.
I don’t have a microwave either. 2 years ago I was suddenly without one and thought I’d replace it and never have. I don’t miss.
@TaMara (BHF): FWIW the pork enchilada recipe I made for you is very easily halved. Plus it freezes beautifully. So I aim for that goal as well.
@Yutsano: Hi, hon. I saw your recipe in TaMara’s Men Who Cook series. That’s hawt. I’m about to crash. My schedule has been so fucked up. How you be?
@asiangrrlMN: I kinda kept the spicy under control, mostly because I didn’t really have too much in the way of heat in the house. Poblanos are stealth hot peppers, they can be rather mild or quite spicy, but there is no real rhyme or reason to it. That and chile rellenos. Nom.
One more day to the weekend and I can’t wait.
@J. Michael Neal: You must have me confused with someone else; I’m single at the moment, and I certainly did cook the pot myself. Not that it was any great feat; making chicken soup is a genetic imperative for me (Eastern European Jewish descent…)