I was really in the mood for comfort foods today. Which can be interpreted as things my mother used to make for the family when me and my brother were growing up.  I’m not slighting my youngest brother, but there was a ten-year age difference between the two of us and frankly, the family dynamics just wasn’t the same.m+d+b+j001

Back when I was a kid, my mom would actually bake special treats for the family breakfast. Ten years into the future, the special treats would come from a store. Anyway one of her special treats was apple toast.DSC05320

It was easy enough to make, and I would always help my mom make them.  Thanks to that, I’ve always been able to make them for myself because there is no recipe.  You just butter several slices of bread. My current favorite is Healthy Nut Bread. Then peel and slice a couple of sweet apples. My job was to spread the apples on top of the buttered bread. The you sprinkle a bit of sugar over the apples and follow-up with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Bake in a 350 degree oven until brown and toasty. You’ll know when they’re done. When they come out of the oven just top with sprinkle of powdered sugar.

I’ve always preferred a cup of breakfast tea to go with my toast. And today I used one of my favorite tea mugs …DSC05322


With a good breakfast under my belt, I opted for a light lunch of cheese cubes, fruit and water crackers.


Then I started getting ready for dinner. I had a couple of friends coming over and I had decided to make the traditional family meatloaf. I had to start early, because I forgot to transfer the ground beef from the freezer to the fridge to thaw out overnight. The recipe is another one of those passed down by watching your mother do it recipes.  You can’t go wrong with the Quaker Oat recipe — the spice and things that go with the ground meat is the family secret. And I’m the only one left who knows how to make it.


And I always top my meatloaf with chili sauce instead of catsup or tomato paste. It only takes about 75 to 90 minutes to bake in a 350 oven.DSC05348

I made a southern blend of veggies (sautéed corn, red and green peppers, okra and celery) to accompany the meatloaf and peeled baked potato. The wine was a Ménage à Trois red.

Dessert was French Vanilla Ice Cream topped with salted caramel sauce.

And yes, I have enough meatloaf left over for several dinners and lunches.



I don’t know, it seems to happen every fall when the heat of summer fades and a little nip shows up in the air. For some reason or other, I get this primal urge to start cooking again. So far this week I have spent three days cooking. And since it really is impossible to cook for one, that means I have produced enough for … not three dinners, but TEN dinners. That means I have three totally delicious first round dinners, and four days of rewarmed leftover dinners. There’s nothing wrong with rewarming leftover dinners, but I still have three more still waiting in the freezer.

It all started a week ago Sunday when I slow-roasted a beautiful Angus beef chuck roast with red wine and a ton of onions with carrots and potatoes on the side. The gravy was to die for, but unfortunately I forgot to photograph the roast as evidence. Any I had the roast beef dinner on Sunday, with a leftover dinner on Tuesday. I also had a couple of roast beef sandwiches for lunch during the week. For some reason, it seemed like the roast beef was replenishing itself.

With another Sunday looming, I decided I had to use up the left over roast. So last Sunday I made roast beef pot pie.


Surprisingly, I had enough roast to make two pot pies which filled the dinner menu on Sunday and Tuesday. Monday I had the leftover American Goulash that was in the freezer from week before the Sunday I made the roast beef. Wednesday I realized that I had three beautiful lean pork cutlets in the freezer. So I got them out of the freezer to defrost.

They would make a fantastic pot of pork chop suey. My pork chop suey is based on a dish I used to eat at the old  Orient Cafe in Down Saint Louis. It wasn’t like the wok cooked dishes served in most restaurants today. The vegetables and meat were slow cooked until they were tender instead of crisp. It was more an Oriental stew with a thick brown slightly sweet sauce. It took me a couple of years before I could really replicate the Orient’s dish. My family loved it and I was always being asked to make a batch for family gatherings. Though I also think my mother liked the fact that someone else was cooking rather than her, more than she like the chop suey. So I had chop suey on Wednesday, with three left over servings going into the freezer.

Thursday, I had a serving of leftover split pea and ham soup from out of the freezer.

Friday, I realized I had three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer I had to cook. So I made slow-roasted chicken breasts in a mushroom herb sauce with a vegetable risotto. I served it with a glass of cranberry lemonade with a serving of pumpkin spice mousse for dessert. Again leftovers went into the freezer.

Saturday I ate a repeat of the chop suey, and today featured a return of the chicken.

Guess Monday holds a week of reruns from the freezer!



How low can you go? No, I wasn’t in a limbo competition … I was cooking. To be more specific, I was fixing lunch for my friend Clayton who had dropped by to pick up a load of books that had been threatening to inundate the house. And you don’t pay back a friend who has just helped you haul out several bags of books with a plain old baloney sandwich … even if you do spell it BOLOGNA. No, you step it up and turn it into Bob’s Barbecued Bologna. In other words, you amp up the classic Fried Bologna Sandwich to new heights!

First you have to start with good bologna. I use …Yes, there is better bologna, but you have to shop the deli counters or shops, or visit the ethnic sausage makers. Oscar makes a pretty good bologna as long as you buy the old-fashioned garlic. I don’t like the chicken or turkey sausages, and all beef is hard to find. First I remove the casings and then plop it into a medium hot skillet. When it starts to brown I pull out the condiments … my basic five.

I don’t have a recipe for my BBQ sauce; I just add dabs and dollops until it tastes the way I think it should. I pour the sauce into the skillet and let the meat and sauce simmer.

When it’s ready I start making the sandwiches. Normally I prefer a crusty hard roll, but I did have any today. So I used whole wheat bread. If you like you can add a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and a slice of red onion.

Like I said, it’s not haute cuisine, but it sure is finger lickin’ good eating!

That gives me an idea. Maybe I should start writing a cook book and call it …