Tuna Nicoise Toast

What do other people eat when they’re on their own? Davis was out of town this week, and I found myself eating the most random assortment of things. For instance, I had an avocado and some almonds one night and rice with stewed tomatoes on another. Does an avocado and almonds even constitute as dinner?!

Feeling a bit dissatisfied on the food front, I took a look around to find what I could find to take me outside of my normal single-person food doldrums and when I saw this in Bon Appetit – I was stunned. Easy comfort for me is almost always fish on toast.  I am so ashamed I hadn’t thought of this before.

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Jan & Robin – Home Fries

Being from the southern US, I grew up eating home fries almost every morning, and I still like to make them on weekends topped with an egg for an easy hash. I actually have a scar on my left hand from a grease fire caused by getting the oil too hot whilst making home fries for a class breakfast at 15; I’ve gotten a little better since then. I still have an aversion to frying, and now I put them in the oven. It also helps to use less oil and makes them a little less calorie-heavy.

So: less scarring and healthier. Everybody wins.

Jan & Robins are simply yummy things to look at. 

Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make home fries there is a recipe after the break.

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Couscous Breaded Pork Chops with Honey Mustard

This is an idea I have been playing around with for a while. Last year we hosted some family over, and I realized I don’t have anything in my repertoire that would appease a picky eater. The original idea was to have this be the breading for chicken tenders, and while the breading works really well with chicken, I prefer it with pork chops. However, my husband is not really a mustard fan, so I have worked this up two separate ways.

The couscous allows the breading to be crumbly, but not crispy and stands up to a tougher cut of meat. It’s also incredibly easy to make and a versatile way to change up a standard breaded meat.

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Bacon-Wrapped Figs

As I am coming to the end of a week that I could only describe as “intense”, I find myself listening to Stevie Wonder and cuddling with a cat. I am trying to get up the gumption to go make something to eat, and am feeling a strangely absent of the desire to do anything.  Now nobody in the history of my existence has ever accused me (not to my face anyway) of being capable of relaxing. Somehow, doing nothing is almost rarely ever on the agenda. You can ask my perpetually bemused husband, how often I can sit through a movie without finding some other task in which to occupy myself.

I realize that even for the most high strung and task oriented of us, there are days when you just don’t – don’t have anything in the kitchen to make, don’t have time to get to the store, don’t have the energy to finagle something magical, but at the same time know you won’t be satisfied with something being delivered. We’re humans, our feelings aren’t meant to make sense all the time. Today, I think I’ve found my secret weapon for a mood like this and that hardly-hidden cure is right out there in the open… and guess what, it’s sweet, savory and easy.

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Baked White Beans and Rice

Today I woke up feeling a bit under the weather, and I needed something filling without being too overpowering. The perfect meal in a time like this is some good ole’ fashioned baked beans and rice. I suppose this would be considered peasant food, and there is nothing wrong with that. This batch of delicious requires nothing fancy, no long grocery list, and not a ton of standing up in the kitchen time. As Davis mentioned mid-meal, this also accidentally filled our vegan dish requirement for the week. You can make the beans from scratch, but in a moment like this, I felt a jar of canned white beans did the trick just fine.

Aside from feeling a bit ill, I have been recently a craving salad like nobody’s business, so I had to have one of those to round out the meal. I’ve never been very good at making salad dressings; it’s a skill that I’ve been working on improving and have to say this one turned out brilliantly. Adding white wine to the dressing and red pepper to the salad provides the tie in to the baked beans and rice, keeping the flavors relatively consistent. Similarly to how a rug that can bring a room together, using the same ingredients in two different ways can bring seemingly disparate dishes into unison.

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

One strange thing since I’ve been in Spain is that I will have moments where I realize that I’m just plain starving. Maybe my body is adjusting to a different diet, but all I know is that I randomly get hit with a thought of – man, I’m really freaking hungry. Davis arrived a bit after I did and sure enough, he goes through the same thing, a random and sudden realization that you are just ravenous.

It’s not for lack of eating; my pet philosophy is it has to do with the times that we’re eating and the types of foods just aren’t what we’ve come to know as being “filling.” I wonder if everyone has a similar adjustment when moving to a foreign country?

That said, I have been craving, and I mean, craving macaroni and cheese lately. It’s normally a fall/winter food, but for some reason I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s super dense and almost everyone’s version of comfort food. I can say definitively that it hit the spot.

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Deviled Egg Salad

In the south, we do deviled eggs at pretty much every function. Everyone’s gramma makes the best, and even though my husband’s aunt MJ’s aren’t too shabby, they don’t come close to my Gramma Ginger’s. He disputes this fact, but he just doesn’t understand.

One thing you have to understand about deviled eggs: they smell vaguely… fart-ish. Still, a perfectly done deviled egg is out of this world. Just ignore the smell.

Similarly, after living in New York for a few years I came to fall in love with deli-style egg salad. Piled sky high on some rye bread with some celery and a tad bit of mustard – if there are better ways to spend 5 bucks, I can’t think of it right now.

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