Okay, here is something fun that I would like to share with you. Food! OMG! I can’t believe how much I am stuck on pasta. I try very hard not to consume it 24/7. Heck, I just lost my weight about a couple of years ago and trying like crazy to not gain it back. Talk about comfort food, you can’t get no more comforting if you tried…. (okay, soul food included). But, when someone offers me Italian food or Salmon, it is very difficult for me to turn it down. My favourite turns out to be Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken/Shrimp; then comes anything else afterwards. However, I don’t do too much tomato based sauces because my stomach is a little too delicate for the acid in tomatoes.
It is this favourite restaurant that my ex-boyfriend and I used to go to called “C & O Trattoria” by the Venice Pier in Los Angeles, CA. They serve the best food and the atmosphere is always warm and inviting. They treat you like family. They also have this ritual that you can choose to participate in or not, but you get a crayon and paper to write on each time you want a re-fill on the Sangria. Anyways, that’s as much as I could remember about it because after that first visit when the ritual was introduced to us, we would just order a bottle of our favorite wine (Beringer White Zinfandel). Inside, you’ll notice the many pictures of Italy and actors/movies depicting the same Italian theme. The patio area have the outside heating lamps for those cool evenings and is just as wonderful and enjoyable as dining inside. They have the Italian music in the background. Also, they play “Amore” and the waiters get in the action by singing along amongst the patrons. Furthermore, the prices are very reasonable. The portions are large; you can’t go wrong with this one. The experience of it all reminds me of the book/movie called “Eat, Pray, Love”. In it the main character (played by Julia Roberts in the movie) admits to her loving the food and how she finds it hard to be disciplined against eating at the various restaurants, and therefore, ends up gaining weight. Yeah, it is just that good. So, if you’re ever in the area and you are looking for some great Italian fare, I highly encourage you to stop and partake of C & O Trattoria’s fine dining.
Now soul food is another comfort food of mine. My comparison or to give you an idea of what I consider soul food, think of Soul Food the movie that starred Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, and Irma P. Hall. If you recall, the meals included Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potatoes, Greens, Green Beans, Corn Bread, Fried Chicken, Fried Cat Fish, Mashed Potatoes, etc.
Now, I asked a few friends to share with me their choice of comfort foods and the recipes to go along with them and this is what they had to say:
T loves her chips with salsa and guacamole, L loves her Armenian bread with cheese, and J loves her Shrimp Alfredo (and her sweet tooth picks Butter Pecan ice cream, something she’s able to enjoy without the worry of her little ones asking for some because they don’t like the pecans. I tell her, “Go on, Missy, enjoy that treat for yourself”. LOL!)
As an added bonus, I am including their recipes (hence the diverse selection):
1) Mac and Cheese
2) Armenian Bread and Cheese (Appetizer)
3) Chips/Salsa/Guacamole (Appetizer)
4) Shrimp Alfredo
Macaroni and Cheese:
~ Macaroni Small Elbow shells (16 oz)
~ Butter (1 stick)
~ Pepper (to taste)
~ Seasoning Salt (to taste)
~ Milk (1/3 cup)
~ 3 eggs (beaten)
~ Grated Cheddar Cheese (16 oz of sharp and 16 oz of medium)
~ Paprika (1 teaspoon)
Boil pasta in lightly salted water w/a drop of oil. Drain, but do not rinse.
Stir in other ingredients with the macaroni (leaving 8 oz of the sharp cheddar cheese for topping).
Take complete macaroni mixture and pour ½ of mixture into baking pan and top it with ½ of sharp cheddar cheese. Then take the remaining macaroni mixture and layer it on top. Top off with remaining sharp cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of paprika for color. Put pan into the oven (pre-heated at 350) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.
~ Love Blue Chips from Trader Joe’s or Organic White Corn Chips
~ 3 Jalapeños
~ 1 Small Can of Whole Tomatoes
Combine the jalapeños, can of whole tomatoes, cilantro, and onions in a food processor for the Salsa.
~ 2 Avocados
~ Chopped Cilantro
~ Dash of Garlic Salt
Combine the avocados, chopped cilantro, onions, and the garlic salt in food processor for the Guacamole.
Armenian Bread and Cheese:
~ Armenian Bread (1 roll/sliced)
~ Armenian Cheese (sliced)
~ 2 Cucumbers (sliced)
~ 2 Tomatoes (sliced)
~ Mint Leaves
Simply place the above ingredients, sliced, on a platter to serve.
*Choereg: Armenian Easter Bread *Armenian Kefir Cheese
~ Jumbo Fresh Shrimp
~ Cream of Mushrooms (1 can)
~ Seasoning Salt (to taste)
~ Black pepper (to taste)
~ Onion powder (to taste)
~ Fresh Garlic (1 large clove cut up)
~ Butter (2 tbl)
~ Alfredo sauce (Ragu)
~ Pasta (thin spaghetti)
Boil pasta in lightly salted water w/a drop of oil. Drain and rinse.
Sauté the shrimp in skillet with butter and season the shrimp with season salt creating a sauce to use for later. Add to the can of mushroom soup the garlic, Alfredo sauce, seasoning salt, pepper, onion powder, and the sauce from the sautéed shrimp. Mix in the pasta and Voila!, the Shrimp Alfredo is made.
Have fun and enjoy it to the max!!!!!!!
Note: The recipes mentioned are also available on the internet or via family and friends (your choice).