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Posts tagged ‘comfort food’

More From Teagan, Comfort Food For Pip- Souffléd Macaroni And Cheese

I absolutely love working with Teagan, and admire her and her wonderful work. This is another snippet from Teagan involving her feisty character Pip. We wanted to do something involving comfort food and when I think of comfort food one of the first things that come to mind is macaroni and cheese. In keeping with the 1920’s flapper theme of the story this recipe is from that era from another feisty and very talented woman named Clemantine Paddleford. Enjoy, and take it away Teagan!!

PS: The recipe is fantastic, light and flavorful really a wonderful change from the traditional macaroni and cheese.

Pip Arrives in Savannah
Thanks for letting me visit again, Suzanne!  Here’s another little vignette from the “universe” of my character Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.  This would happen after The Three Things Serial Story It’s inspired by Suzanne’s macaroni and cheese.

Pip’s dad didn’t appreciate her escapades in that novella. So now she’s been sent to her grandmother, to learn to cook!  I hope you’ll enjoy this tidbit.


Pip Arrives in Savannah

The breeze that rustled through the fronds of tall palm trees was tinged with salt.  I inhaled deeply as I walked out of the tall arched door at Savannah’s Union Station.  I heard the bell of a streetcar, which had gone past a moment before.  I stretched to see the trolley, but barely got a glimpse of its back-end.

With a loud Bronx cheer I dropped my suitcase to the curb of West Broad Street.  I thought the Jazz Age slang for the rude noise I made was appropriate, since my Pops was continuing on the train to New York City.

Pops said I needed to be reigned-in, and Granny insisted that I needed to learn to cook.  Neither of them would admit that I was a modern woman.  No self-respecting Flapper needed to cook!  Anyhow, Pops had unceremoniously dumped me off the train, saying he’d visit with Granny and me on his way back.  I blew another raspberry at the streetcar that I had just missed — and at my wretched situation.

Union Station Savannah, GA

The ringing of the streetcar’s bell faded into the distance.  The first time I ever saw a trolley was during a visit to my grandmother, there in Savannah, when I was a very little girl.  I slipped away from her and Pops, and scampered onto a streetcar.  I didn’t get far, but Granny Phanny was mad enough to spit. 

This time, I had done the opposite.  Instead of getting on a trolley when I shouldn’t have, I had missed the one I was supposed to ride to get to her.  Now Granny would be waiting to meet me at some Chinese restaurant downtown, but I wouldn’t be on the trolley.  Horsefeathers!  She would be in a lather.

A nearby news vendor walked away from his stall, probably headed for a bite of lunch.  I called out and waved as I hurried toward him, my suitcase bumping along at my side.

“Hey Mac!  Was that the trolley that goes to Pearl Street?” I called out, but he didn’t hear me over the blast of a train whistle.  “Enjoy your lunch,” I grumbled and my empty stomach answered in kind.  “I sure could do with some of Granny’s macaroni and cheese.”

“Did you miss the trolley, sweet cheeks?” a clear tenor voice asked.

I didn’t see him until he moved forward.  He had been leaning against the opposite side of the newsstand.  He wore a suit and hat, but they had flair.  He cast a furtive glance over his shoulder, but then tilted his head back and blew a smoke ring into the air.

Applesauce!  He looked pos-i-lute-ly like the kind of character I had always been told to avoid, but he was as sexy as the Sheik of Araby.  Then his cigarette smoke drifted to me and I sneezed.  So much for me being a sophisticated Sheba.  I had to agree with Pops that smoking was a nasty habit.


“You’re new in town, huh?  I’m Floyd.  I can take you where the giggle water flows aplenty.  It’ll be a real blow,” he said with a smile and a wink that made him even handsomer.

“Says you,” I countered coyly, thinking he was joking around.

“At least let me drive you over to Pearl Street.  Stick around until my pal gets back.  He’s picking up something for me,” he added gazing up and then down the street, as if looking for his friend.  Stay right here and I’ll get my machine.  It’s a sweet ride.  You’ll love it,” he called over his shoulder as he rushed away.  “Don’t move.  Promise.  I’ll be right back.”

I stood baffled, gaping at Floyd’s retreating form.  I was also feeling flattered by his interest.  There was an intensity about him that I found exciting.  Not to mention the fact that I was relieved that I might avoid Granny’s wrath over me missing the streetcar and leaving her waiting.

Signorina, do not be going with that man.  It would be a bad thing for you.  Trouble comes,” a voice, heavily accented with Italian, said from behind me.  “There will be other transportation.”

Turning, I saw a portly man in odd looking chef’s clothes.  He lifted his brimless toque and bowed.  A jalopy backfired so suddenly and so loudly that I jerked around to face the noise.  When I turned back, the chef was gone.  I didn’t see him anywhere.  It was as if he disappeared into thin air.

I quickly forgot about the odd occurrence when a wooden crate fell off a passing truck.  The driver pulled to the curb beside me.  Without thinking I went to help.  He had not been traveling fast, so little damage was done.  A few oranges rolled from a broken crate.  I started picking up the wayward fruit.1920s delivery truck

An Asian looking guy with a quasi-British accent jumped out of the driver’s door, apologizing even before his feet hit the street.  He gingerly hopped over the tailgate and began re-positioning the crates.  A couple of them looked ready to fall.

I noticed lettering on the truck proclaiming Wong’s Chinese.  Was that the name of the restaurant where I was supposed to meet Granny?  I was so resentful about being sent to Savannah that I hadn’t even paid attention to what she said.  I knew there wouldn’t be more than one Chinese restaurant on the street.

“Your place isn’t on Pearl Street by any chance, is it?”

“Yep, that’s Wong’s,” he replied with a grin, stopping his work.  “Hey, are you Pip?  Miss Phanny will be looking for you.  I’m Alastair Wong,” he bent from the truck bed and shook my hand.

I sighed with relief.

Then a brand new Ford stopped and gave a long blare of the auto’s horn.  “Hey! Move it,” my Sheik of Araby from moments before shouted angrily, and followed that with a racial slur.

Floyd got out of the automobile, moving toward us in a menacing posture.  I stood up, a smashed and dripping orange still in my hand.

“This cake eater’s bad news, Pip.  You don’t want to have anything to do with him,” Alastair Wong whispered as he stepped in front of me protectively.

In the distance a police whistle trilled.  The guy’s eyes widened and he looked over his shoulder.  Before I knew what was happening, he had hit Alastair in the head with the butt of a pistol.  I shrieked as he dragged me into the open Ford, my arms and legs flailing.

I could hear the coppers coming toward us, shouting and blowing whistles.  Suddenly the Ford was blocked between the delivery truck and police vehicles.  Alastair lay unconscious on the street.  The busted orange dripped juice all over my skirt.  The guy waved his gun around excitedly.  A maniacal gleam came to his eyes when he looked at me.

1920s Police car

An over eager copper fired his gun.  I heard the whiz of the bullet pass by my head.  Startled, Floyd jerked toward the policemen.  Movement from the delivery truck caught my eye.  A catawampus crate started to wobble.  Suddenly that crate and another one tumbled down to land on the windshield of the Ford.  Floyd started screaming and cursing, waving his pistol even more.

When he turned back to me, on sudden impulse I stuck the busted orange in his face and smeared it into his eyes.  By then the coppers had reached us.  They grabbed him before he could do any damage with the gun.

A copper helped me out of the Ford.  I ran to Alastair as another cop helped him stand.  Across the street I saw Floyd’s pal, the news vendor being held by a policeman.

“What just happened here?” I demanded.

A paddy wagon rolled up and the policemen pushed Floyd into it, along with his pal.

“Bootleggers,” a copper told me.  “As if we didn’t already have enough of those around here.”

“So Pip,” Alastair said while he held a handkerchief to his bloodied forehead.  “How do you like Savannah so far?”

I chuckled despite everything.  At least he had a sense of humor.


“Well, I was afraid I would be bored to tears here,” I told him with a dramatic sigh.  “But I suppose it will be interesting enough.  So far I’ve learned three things.  Don’t take any wooden nickels.  Don’t get into Fords with handsome men.  And Wong’s Chinese is the right place to go.”

Alastair laughed.  “That’s a good slogan, doll face.  Mind if I use it?  How about we get you to the restaurant.  Miss Phanny will be getting impatient.”

And so began my adventures in Savannah.

The end



Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.


Souffléd Macaroni and Cheese

Makes 4 servings

Recipe by Clemantine Paddleford

1 1/2 cups scalded whole milk

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese Note: I used 2  cups cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked macaroni

3 eggs separated

1/4 cup diced pimentos

1 tbs chopped parsley

1 tbs grated onion

1 tsp salt

3 tbs butter melted

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s Grease a casserole Note: I baked at 375 degree’s

Pour milk over soft bread crumbs, add cheese. Cover and let stand until cheese melts. Add macaroni. Combine and add beaten egg yolks, pimento, parsley, onion, salt and buttter. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the mixture. Note: I sprinkled the top of the mac and cheese with breadcrumbs and grated some cheddar and gruyere on top.

Pour into prepared casserole. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes.



Tomato Soup



I have a good friend who used to live in Brooklyn and a couple of years ago moved into Manhattan, we don’t get to see each other that often and I was so happy that we set a date to meet and decided we would catch up over lunch. I offered to cook and thought since it’s cold outside a bowl of soup would be good, she lives near Sullivan Street Bakery and said she would bring bread. The first thing I thought of was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve made tomato soup before, posted it a few years ago, it was actually an accident that turned into soup. This one is intentional and it’s phenomenal. I got the recipe from food network and reading it I thought OMG, there is something wrong for example it called for 3/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup on the tomatoes and sauteeing the vegetables in 1/2 cup of olive oil, REALLY, don’t think so. Luckily the recipe from Michael Chiarrello had an accompanying video from his show. I followed what he said in the video and not what was written and the soup is awesome. I made a few changes adding some fresh tomatoes, rind of parmigiana but other than those two things I stuck to the recipe. The soup is delicious and quick and easy and I highly recommend. Who can resist dunking a gooey grilled cheese in tomato soup, it’s one of lifes great pleasures.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Makes 2-3 generous portions or 4 moderately sized portions

1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes- juices drained and reserved

1 cup fresh tomatoes cut into pieces or if cherry or grape cut in half

1 stalk celery

1 small onion

1 carrot

1 1/2-2 cup (approximately) stock, chicken or vegetable or water

reserved juice from tomatoes

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to drizzle on tomatoes and to cook the vegetables

small piece of parmigiano rind (optional)

fresh basil chopped (I used 3 large leaves)

1 tbs butter (optional)

heavy cream- I didn’t measure but if I had to guess it was a bit shy of 1/4 cup (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degree’s. Drain canned tomatoes and reserve the juice. Place on baking sheet along with fresh tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until caramelized – it took approximately 20 minutes

Heat some olive oil in heavy non reactive sauce pan or saucier. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until they start to soften and caramelize. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, stock or water, bay leaf, rind of parmigiano and cook approximate 25-30 minutes until vegetables are tender add the basil now.  Remove bay leaf and you can use either your immersion blender or your blender and puree until smooth. Return to pan and add the optional butter and cream. Serve hot.

Braised Country Ribs


One of my favorite cuts of pork (ribs) are country ribs. They are very meaty and tender when cooked with a slow braise and very very flavorful. I will often put in in a tomato sauce when I make an Italian meal the sauce is amazing when you use this cut. Today I am doing something a little different. It’s very simple to make, most of the cooking time is in the oven. If I had a slow cooker I would use that. Serving for dinner tonight with some oven roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes.  It’s a stick to your ribs, satisfying comfort meal.

Country Pork Ribs

Country Pork Ribs

Braised Country Ribs

Serves 3-4

3 lbs Country ribs (approx 4 ribs)

1 stalk celery chopped

1 carrot cut or chopped

1 medium yellow onion chopped

3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

2 tbs tomato paste

1 cup good white wine – I used a Pinot D’Alsace

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup water (you can also use chicken or vegetable broth)

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 degree’s. Place 2 tbs olive oil in dutch oven and heat on high, pat dry the ribs and sear in the hot pan until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add a little more olive oil and add the vegetables and garlic. Saute until soft, add the tomato paste and cook for about a minute or until the tomato paste is cooked and no longer raw. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Add the ribs back into the pan along with accumulated juices. Add the cider and water the liquid should come a little more than half way up the ribs add more water or broth if your ribs are thicker than mine were. Bring to a simmer and then cover and place in the oven.

Let cook in the oven for approximately 3 hours, the meat should be fall off the bone tender. When the meat is done raise the oven temp to 350, remove the lid and let it continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the meat is browned it takes about 30 minutes.




Beef Stew A Bowl Of Comfort

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Hearty, warming, filling,  a meal in a bowl, thats beef stew.Honestly, I don’t eat that much meat, but every now and then I want it and look forward to the cooler weather so I can make this wonderful dish. I don’t use a recipe, you don’t really need to it’s one of those wonderful meals that you can just add ingredients, you be the judge how much or how little, taste, add more of this and that add a variety of vegetables you can get creative. I will give you the basics for my beef stew, there are a million and one recipes out there so here is one more to add to the list.

I like using a good red wine in my stew and always use a wine that is good enough to drink, not that cooking wine you see in the supermarket,  but you can omit and use just stock and/or water, good cubed beef, vegetables, let it braise until the meat is so tender it literally melts in your mouth. I don’t add potatoes to my stew, instead I spoon over creamy mashed potatoes, I like yukon gold that I put through a food mill so there are no lumps, add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.

Beef Stew

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

2 lbs good cubed beef (I like chuck)

2 tbs flour

2 tbs tomato paste

1 onion finely diced

2 cloves garlic (smash and add whole)

Red wine (half bottle approximately)

water or stock (about 3 1/2 cups) just enough to cover the meat

Carrots I like to use the small baby carrots for this and add them whole (you judge how much)

peas – frozen are fine

Bay leaf, thyme (optional)

Peas- I never measure but I think about 1 cup frozen peas or fresh if you have.

salt and pepper

Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven, add the onion and sweat them, cook just until it gets soft, add garlic and cook for a short time just so it is warmed. Sprinkle the beef with the flour and toss to coat. Add to the pot with the onions and garlic and brown the meat, now add the tomato paste and carrots, stir to combine and cook for approximately 2 minutes just so the tomato paste starts to caramelize. Now add the wine and water or stock. You can season with salt and pepper, cover with lid slightly ajar and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasional for about 2-3-4 hours, check frequently stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and also to make sure the liquid hasn’t reduced to much, adjust if it has. About 15 before you are ready to serve add the peas. The liquid will have reduced significantly and will be thick and rich but if it is not thick enough for your taste, make a slurry using flour and water and pour into the stew, give a stir and cook a few more minutes. Serve alone or with potatoes, egg noodles or warm crusty bread and butter and a glass of your favorite red wine. NOTE: I used Fritz a Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,  from Dry Creek Valley in California, this is a deliciously rich wine, that I thought would go well with a hearty beef stew. I drank the rest of the wine with dinner, a really nice pairing.




Meatloaf Plain And Simple

Meatloaf the ultimate comfort food

Ahh… Meatloaf, in my humble opinion just about the ultimate comfort food. So simple to make and so delicious and leftovers make a truly wonderful sandwich. This is my take on my Mom’s meatloaf, it was always tender and juicy and so delicious. I used ground pork and beef, freshly ground bread crumbs, vegetables (carrot, celery, onion and parsley) ground in the food processor and sauteed green pepper and mushrooms. I also add worcestershire sauce, heavy cream, and eggs. How easy is it to mix it up, plop it in the pan, shape and bake. No muss no fuss. I had to top it with ketchup, I am a huge fan of the stuff, you can make home made ketchup but I used plain old Heinz. I love serving this with creamy mashed potatoes and a vegetable side, and  I am flooded with memories every time I take a bite. Gotta love meatloaf!!

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef (85%)
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 medium
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley with the tender part of the stems
  • 1 small size carrot peeled
  • 1 small ripe tomato pureed in blender
  • 1 pepper I used cubanelle but a small green pepper is fine chopped into small pieces
  • 6 white stuffer mushrooms gently cleaned and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ketchup to glaze

  • Break up bread and pulse in processor until they are crumbs, set aside. Add celery, onion, carrot and parsley to processor and pulse until ground (not pulverized), set aside. Chop green peppers and mushrooms, place small saute pan on med high heat, add a little olive oil, first put the peppers in and saute until they begin to soften, add the mushrooms and saute both until they are softened and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Chop a ripe tomato into chunks and puree in the blender.

  • In large mixing bowl add the meat, ground vegetables, sauteed green peppers and mushrooms, tomato puree, worcestershire, eggs, cream, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. NOTE: to test for seasoning I microwave a spoonful to make sure that it is seasoned correctly. Mix well. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

  • Lightly oil a baking pan, plop the meatloaf into the pan and shape into loaf. Pour some ketchup on top and spread on the loaf Bake for 60-70 minutes until done. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.