Chicken Soup Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

The Dreaded Summer Cold.

It really is one of the worst (non-life-threatening) illnesses out there. Ya feel like crud, there’s nothing you can take to make you actually feel better, you lose your sense of taste and smell… It is just no fun.

Mine has been lingering in the peripheral of life – just enough to feel headachy and out of sorts. It’s hit Victor Full-Tilt-Boogie. Imagine hacking and coughing and mountains of Kleenex and you get the picture.  I merely feel meh – he feels really rotten.

So we started the week with a thin-broth Chicken Soup.  There are a score of studies out there that show the medicinal properties of chicken soup. It really is Jewish penicillin. It hasn’t seemed to cure anything this time around, though, but I’m going to make another batch tonight.

I also made some Beer Bread because it’s easy and can be on the table in an hour. The recipe is totally no-brainer and can be played with to your liking.

Beer Bread Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

I used Guinness in this batch because it’s what I had in the ‘fridge.

Beer Bread Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

Since man – or Nonna – cannot live by soup alone, I stayed with the chicken theme, but added a twist – pureed carrots and peach-pepper jam. Capsasin is also a miracle food. We had the carrot puree at my sister’s house in Portland a few weeks back – under her famous crab cakes.

Chicken with Peach and Pepper Jam and Carrot Puree  Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

I grilled the chicken and topped it with the Peach-Pepper Jam.

For the carrot puree, I cooked carrots until they were really soft, and then blended them with salt, pepper, butter, and a bit of maple syrup. I saved a bit of the cooking water and used it to get the right consistency.I used my immersion blender but a regular blender will work just fine.

One of my favorite Lundgerg rice blends on the side…

Beef Pot Pie Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

Feeling the need for Comfort Food, I next made a beef pot pie with biscuit topping. And I used canned biscuits. Yes, it’s true. I was sick. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And while they weren’t horrible, there really is a reason why I make my own. Homemade really are better. The big secret to making a biscuit top is to make sure the filling is REALLY hot before putting the biscuits on and placing everything into the oven. If the filling is cold, the biscuit will burn before the bottom cooks. Ask me how I know.

I made a pretty basic beef stew – another item I really don’t have a recipe for – put too much into the casserole, and it bubbled over everything. I did place it on a sheetpan in the oven, so I spared us the billowing clouds of smoke I’m famous for.

Still looking for Comfort Food, I next went for Tortellini with sauce made from fresh tomatoes out of our garden.

Tortellini Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes www.tjrecipes.com

Victor made the sauce. It’s pretty much just throwing tomatoes in a skillet with some onion, garlic, red wine, some grated cheese, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs from the garden. Hit it with an immersion blender.

One of the bigger mistakes a lot of people do is try and replicate jarred sauces or flavors from packaged foods. Food manufactures are chemists who manipulate foods, ingredients, enhancers – you name it – to trick the brain into thinking it’s good. Even All-Natural-Organic foods can contain ingredients like carrageenan that create an otherwise unnatural creaminess. It’s like the biscuits I used. The ingredient list was a mile long – and they’re “all-natural.”

Real food tastes like real food. It’s okay if your sauce doesn’t taste like Ragu. in fact, it’s better if it doesn’t!

In the meantime, I’m off to make another pot of soup.

 

 

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