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Comfort

My first blog post this month titled Pasta alla Bolognese was my introductory entry about comfort food.  If you think about it, the subject of comfort in itself is endless and as unique to each of us as our fingerprint.  What is comforting to you?  What do you do when you wish to send a little love your own way?  Go shopping, get a massage, indulge in something decadent, draw a hot bath, and the list goes on.

Sometimes our bodies give us clues that we need to slow down or special attention is required.  Yesterday was such a day for me.  I didn’t feel under the weather, just low on energy and needing some “me” time; luckily I had a relatively short workday and could go home to chill out.  But before driving home, I asked myself what I would like to eat for dinner.  And without hesitation, my answer was mac and cheese.  So I stopped quickly at the store before going home.

Now I’m not talking about Kraft in a box.  Which is fine in a pinch and I confess we have one in the pantry, however I wanted the adult version.  Rich with sharp Cheddar, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.  Crisp panko topping, toothsome pasta, and wonderfully creamy texture.  I threw some ground beef in there also, for the protein.

It just so happened as I was standing in the check out line, something caught my eye.  I saw a publication with a single word title and unmistakable script, Gourmet.  Unfortunately Condé Nast no loner publishes Gourmet magazine.  It’s beloved 68 year run, paid homage to food, wine and good living.  My mother had a subscription for as long as I can remember.  One can find books with collected recipes or from time to time, a special issue will come out, like the one I saw yesterday – Gourmet COMFORT.  With those two words, I didn’t need to look inside the cover I just threw it in my basket and knew it would be good.

As it was still early in the day when I got home, I snuggled into the couch and watched Braveheart, one of my all time favorite movies.  Michael came home from skiing, sat down to join me and we tucked into a bag of white cheddar popcorn.  When the movie was over, it was time to cook.

Now, I didn’t use the recipe for mac and cheese in the new Gourmet COMFORT issue.  I’ll save that for another time.  I guess the recipe I used is more of collaboration.  I like to throw in stewed canned tomatoes, ground beef as I mentioned, a little cream and the three cheeses mentioned above.  Also some versions of mac and cheese don’t have the panko crust, but again I say, what is not better with a crisp and buttery topping?

I guess I was hungry because I had . . . a few helpings, I won’t say how many.  Did I mention that I taught two fitness classes earlier in the day?  I also had chocolate pudding for dessert.  No, not homemade.  When one is taking a chill out day, one only has a certain amount of time to make homemade food and I thought I could slide by with store bought pudding.  But hey, I wanted mac and cheese and chocolate pudding for dessert and so I had it!  Thus feeling the wonderful warm & fuzzy effects of some love thrown my way.

Bon Appétit

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