Comfort Food

I suppose comfort food is the stuff you love best and that makes you feel at home.  For me, it’s Mexican food of almost any sort.  Because it’s hard to find here, I have reverted back to cooking my own again.  Most of my recipes are not exactly haute cuisine and maybe not even totally authentic, but I liked them, and apparently so did my kids.  One of my sons called and requested my enchilada casserole recipe the other day.

When I first had the idea for this blog it was to have a place to share my old recipes with my sons and their wives so that they could always eat those things they grew up with.  So, my son’s call was a little like comfort food to me.

Here is my recipe for Enchilada Casserole.  It is something I made all of the time, not always the same, because I never really used a recipe.  If you are out of the right kind of cheese you can substitute within reason (cheddar will actually work, altho I don’t like it quite as well).  It froze well and the leftovers (if they existed) were never turned down for a lunch or dinner even the next day.

BTW this is not wheat free.  I have not tried to find a wheat free enchilada sauce.  You can make your own too, which is not all that difficult, but one of the wonderful things about this recipe is you can put it together in a short time and have dinner on the table quickly.



Chili Like I Make It

Chili is one of the more controversial dishes.  Even the spelling.  Chili? Chile?  Look it up, both are accepted, but people will argue about it.  Who cares.  It’s tasty.  My recipe originally had beans in it, but real chili experts will turn their noses up.  And so does my husband and at least one of my kids.  So, I like beans in it (and it makes it go further and adds fiber) but I’m leaving them out.

It’s a good meal for cold days, but I can eat it any time.  Great for lunch, great for dinner.  Better the next day, make a bunch and freeze some for later.  You’re only limited by the size of your pot.  I could usually make this with things I had on hand, and most of the ingredients can be substituted with something else, except for chili powder, cumin and some version of tomato.  Cumin is the secret, in my opinion, for chili that tastes like chili or chili that tastes like spaghetti sauce with chili powder in it.

And so, without further chatter, let’s go to Cook It and look at my Non-Traditional Chili Recipe.

Mom’s Meatloaf

For some reason when you say meatloaf a lot of people make that face.  You know, that bad face that says, YUCK!  And I admit, I don’t like a lot of people’s meatloaf either.  But really, how can you hate what is essentially a big, giant hamburger?  I made it often because my youngest son was not much of a meat eater, but he would eat hamburger in almost any permutation.  I was not willing to serve hamburgers every night of the week, but meatloaf seemed like a real meal, so I ended up with several versions.  All three of the boys would eat it, and it was easy to make an extra one to freeze for later.

Jeff and I went to the store and we bought all the ingredients, because my plan is to make my old recipes and measure and take pictures and write it all down and then post them.  I never cooked with real recipes, I just threw in this and that, and over time they evolved.  I chopped and measured and mixed and cooked.  I photographed and set the table and we sat down to eat.  It looked great.   But…. The garlic mashed potatoes were wonderful.  The spinach salad was super.  But the meatloaf was, bland.  Not my meatloaf at all.

So, I have to go back and try again.  I suspect I didn’t put enough of my normal spices in it, since I was trying to measure (instead of, “hey, that doesn’t look like enough of that!”)  So, I’ll try it again before I post the recipe.

I thought about NOT posting anything and then I thought, no, everyone has cooking disasters.  At least this was edible.  Too bad it was 1 1/2 lbs of bland.  On the other hand, I can crumble it up for chili or spaghetti or something else.  Appropriately we can eat it anyway.