Woman’s Survival List–Comfort Food


Appetizer Trio – Lobster Mac n Cheese on left

On October 20th, a black cat crossed my car’s path on my way to work. I’m not particularly superstitious, but a slight shiver trickled down my spine just the same. I’d long forgotten the cat later that day as I prepared to attend a meeting across town. I slipped and fell on my way to exit the building. Hard. Hard enough to require doctor visits, an arm sling, a knee wrap, x-rays of four joints, an orthopedist specialist, and PT three times a week for the foreseeable future. I’m also likely looking at MRIs in a few weeks for my shoulder and knee. My doctors say I was lucky. I agree. It could’ve happened before my Key West getaway. I could have hit my head.

A few days ago, I bumped into a colleague at work as I limped down the hall. I asked after his wife, who was injured back in September. He said she continues to heal. Then he laughed and added, “She tells me if she has any one of the following, the hurt isn’t so bad. But the more, the better.” He ticked off her items with a smile. “Chocolate, wine, sex, and sleep.” I smiled too, and in my mind, I’d already dubbed her items as belonging to a universal Woman’s Survival List. You know, for every day when the going gets tough.

The air has turned downright frigid chilly here in the northeast, so here’s another item I’d add to the list. Comfort food.

Soup soothes the soul

My husband and I ate a soul-filling dinner at a new Key West restaurant, The Flaming Buoy, on our recent getaway. The top photo includes their famous lobster mac and cheese. When we inquired about the ingredients, the hostess was kind enough to divulge all but their “secret” sauce. She said it was fine to share as we wish. I wish:

Flaming Buoy Lobster Mac n Cheese:  Florida lobster tail, cut into small chunks; Aged, sharp white cheddar, shaved; Thin slices of fresh parmesan; Swiss cheese, melted in a “signature” heavy cream sauce; All mixed with penne pasta.

We look forward to replicating the magic of this delectable dish. I’ll let you know if we succeed. In the meantime, here’s another comfort food, one our family enjoys on a weekly basis during colder weather:

CHICKEN CHEESE CASSEROLE: (Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 50 – 65 minutes)

6 x 9 casserole dish, aluminum foil, oven

Ingredients: 1 inch thick boneless chicken breasts, deli-sliced Yarlsberg swiss cheese, herb stuffing mix, 1 stick butter, milk, cream of celery soup, salt, pepper

1. Place chicken breasts in casserole dish

2. Cover each breast with a slice of swiss

3. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and around chicken breasts

4. Mix soup with milk until soup is thin; spoon onto stuffing

5. Slice butter into thin pads and place all over top of mixture

6. Salt and pepper entire dish

7. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 mins. – 1 hour, depending on your oven.

The Flaming Buoy at corner of Packer and Virginia- KW

Feel free to share your favorite comfort food or add another item to the Woman’s Survival List. Men, you’re welcome to join in the fun. The above recipe is actually my husband’s concoction. And please, take care to avoid those black cats, broken mirrors, ladders, and umbrellas opened indoors.

I’m off to pour a glass of merlot and cuddle on my couch next to the fireplace. My leftover chicken cheese casserole is ready. Mmm. Maybe it’s good I was forced to slow down for awhile. I’m enjoying the simple things. May you, too.

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie Glover
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 10:39:35

    I feed a black cat in our neighborhood so he crosses my path all the time. Does that mean something?

    I love comfort food – especially when it gets chilly. Taco soup is coming up this week for us. Easy breezy with cans of beans, tomatoes, corn, and Rotel; envelopes of taco seasoning and buttermilk ranch dressing; and cooked ground beef. Add some tortilla chips or cornbread, and yum. Thanks for sharing your recipes, Jolyse!

  2. Dawn
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 18:45:05

    Cheese totally belongs on the list of comfort foods. I was upset this weekend and decided I needed french fries covered in cheese sauce. Soooo bad. And yet I felt immediately better. 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:00:11

      Hi Dawn,

      I’m sorry to learn you were upset this weekend. I’m hapy the cheese sauce did the trick for you. I love pasta with cheese sauce because it fills a hunger spot like nothing else can. Yum!

  3. Christine Ashworth
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 18:51:24

    My favorite cheesy comestible is garlic-brie toast. Take any bread (but a sourdough baguette is perfect for this) and toast. Rub toasted bread with fresh garlic, drizzle with olive oil, top with brie and pop it back into the toaster just long enough for the cheese to get melty. Eat with slices of salami or prosciutto, and either fresh grapes or a nice glass of red wine. This dish picks up my spirits any time of the day!

    Glad you’re feeling a little better, hon!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:02:43

      Thanks for the kind thoughts, Christine. I believe everyone’s support helps me get through the torture that is PT.

      Anyway, I love that recipe. I’ll definitely try it this week. I’m a huge cheese fan like Dawn and you. The fresh sweetness of the grapes balances the warm saltiness of the bread. Terrific!

  4. Jennette Marie Powell
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 21:02:42

    My favorite comfort food is my husband’s homemade chicken noodle soup, over mashed potatoes. Some might find it weird, but it’s been on my comfort list since I was a little kid – only then it was my mom’s noodle soup. It’s her favorite too – along with my husband’s soup, which even she admits is the best. Good thoughts coming your way that your PT will go well and be super-effective in getting you healed soon!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 21:38:11

      Hi Jennette! I love mashed potatoes and like to pile buttered corn on top of it. I bet chicken noodle soup with it is delicious, too. I’ll be sure to try it. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I have a new appreciation for all those I’ve known to go through PT now. I had no idea how tough it would be, and all I did was slip and fall. So many other people have injuries from car accidents, war, strokes, etc. The physical therapists are truly angels on Earth, in my opinion. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t go back every other day.)

  5. Jeannie Moon
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 21:28:37

    I gained five pounds just reading this post. My favorite comfort foods are meatballs (homemade) and chocolate. I’m not fussy. In the winter, every now and then, I crave Mallomars. Does it get any better?

    Regarding your injuries, take care and feel better soon. 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 21:34:29

      I love spicy Italian sausage, too. Can you believe I don’t know what a Mallomar is? Thanks for your positive thoughts. I’m healing as quickly as I can, so I can return to my writing schedule and finish book 2 by March.

  6. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 23:29:44

    My comfort food – Lindt dark chocolate truffels and simple, homemade mac and cheese, Oh and Baskin and Robbins chocolate ice cream.

    Have a speedy recovery, sweetie.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 06:35:09

      Thanks for stopping by, Donna, and for your sweet thoughts. I notice that, so far, our comfort foods are not only incredibly delicious, but simple to throw together as well. Maybe that’s part of their appeal. 🙂

  7. Catie Rhodes
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 20:22:54

    Jolyse, I sure hope you get to feeling better soon. You’re so fit, I bet you’ll be surprised at how quickly you heal.

    My comfort food? Pinto beans, cornbread, and collard greens. (This is the whole meal.) I adapted my bean recipe from the one for red beans on Chuck Taggart’s Gumbo Pages. The cornbread is the one I posted on David N. Walker’s blog. Collards are easy. Just don’t leave out the bacon grease and vinegar. LOL

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 09, 2011 @ 06:49:27

      Hi Catie! Thanks for the positive thoughts. The PT is helping a lot, and I am getting back to shape slowly but surely.

      I love cornbread and beans, so I will track down your cornbread recipe over at David’s blog. Hope you’re having a pleasant autumn. 🙂

  8. alicamckennajohnson
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 23:17:52

    I’m sorry you were hurt so badly I hope you heal quickly. Comfort food- for me egg rolls (which I shouldn’t eat because I’m allergic to wheat) are high on the list. As are these gluten free cupcake I found. And lemonade – i love tart fresh squeezed lemonade.

  9. Tuere Morton
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 19:54:49

    Sorry to hear about the fall, Jolyse 😦 Been there, done that…and move like molasses because of it. I can’t even wrap my mind around how delic lobster mac and cheese tastes like!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Nov 10, 2011 @ 20:00:21

      Sorry about your injury. I’m healing, slowly but steadily. The lobster mac was incredible, especially with all the different cheese flavors and the creamy sauce. Yummy!

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