When Melissa asked me to be her guest blogger, I jumped at the chance. What perfect timing! A blizzard was on the horizon so that meant multiple trips to the grocery store. This is Maryland and we take our winter weather seriously! I looked forward to the opportunity to spend time at home with family, cooking wonderful winter comfort foods. At least that was the vision I had in my head. In reality, I drank more wine than usual and we watched a great deal of news coverage about the blizzard.
First up: International Comfort Food! Arroz con pollo. Grocery store #1 was practically giving away pork shoulders so I nixed the international chicken for this favorite pork and pasta dish. Lucky me, our friend Susan H. brought the Arroz con pollo to our Blizzard Arrival party. (Hint: Always give your friends a heads up when you plan on cooking something. They just may test it out for you!)
The pork shoulder was huge so I cut it down, put the smaller piece in a slow cooker with this great carnita sauce. I had it in the pantry so it turned out to be a very cheap dinner. Score!
As the blizzard week dragged on, my motivation to spend quality time with the family lost some of its luster as the snow melted but no one returned to work or school. What is with you people, you are always hungry! Schedules were off and it seemed like someone was always looking for a meal.
By the end of the week I was left with a great deal of leftovers, a bin of wilted produce and wilted enthusiasm. Using Melissa’s kitchen pantry clean out as a guide, I made a big pot of leftover soup. Anything in the fridge that was on life support made the cut.
Leftover canned crushed tomatoes, some sad celery, half an onion and other random castoffs.
I’m sorry. I really had high hopes for you this week.
Among the wreckage were leftover braised beans and kale which made an outstanding snow day lunch. Do not leave out the lemon zest or pepperocini!
Into the pot went chopped onion, shallot, garlic, sad carrots, sad celery, sad mushrooms, the leftover tomatoes, whatever was left in the box of chicken broth, the cup of leftover beans and kale, another can of roman beans I had on hand and a bunch of chopped parsley.
About 30 minutes later I had this:
Miracle stew! The vegetables lived to fulfill their destiny! A little Parmesan jazzed it up.
After the cathartic feeling of a clean fridge, I am ready to face the blizzard-free week ahead. On the menu is this favorite pot pie
And this Greek chicken
Recently I was at a dinner party where we played a game called “Something everyone loves but I hate.” It’s fun, you get to shout out something like Rainbows! Puppies! Starbucks! and everyone gasps “but how could you hate ___________!”
Lentils. Yes, the perfect food. I hate lentils. Yet I keep buying them whenever I get the feeling I should eat Superfoods so that I feel Superhealthy.
I have several half-full pouches of lentils. I’m a hopeful gal and I was willing to give them one more chance. Happily, lentils and I have found our happy place. This soup has changed my relationship with lentils. I have yet to resolve my relationship with curry, so I left that out. But me and lentils. We’re a thing now.
I hope you fared well during the blizzard or at least ate well!