Comfort Food For Idiots | #Madvent Day 6

I am a big fan of takeaway. And nachos. And Kraft mac and cheese. But since living on my own (with Fiona, without parental supervision/catering) I have realised very quickly that I relied on my dad's cooking to maintain a balance. There's only so much freezer-packed garlic bread and hash browns one can tolerate before it all begins to seem a bit sickening, and sometimes you just need a good ol' home cooked meal. Technically that time I cooked chicken and peanut butter in a frying pan was a home cooked meal, but I think we all get what I mean. Wholesome. Filling. Not going to make you feel like you have just ingested cardboard and/or a litre of oil.

I am not completely hopeless in the kitchen - I can make a bitchin' lasagne and hella good tacos - but I go from completely fine to dying of starvation without noticing the transition and in those situations a lot of proper meals take far more effort than I'm willing to expend. It is for these times that I have compiled a selection of easy, quick and filling meals that wouldn't make my mother horribly concerned about my cardiovascular health.*

Important to note: This is basically a run through of my thought process when making these meals so it's probably going to be extremely vague, but these are pretty foolproof recipes so don't stress too much about measurements. Trust yo instincts. Live yo dreams.


Carbonara
Two Servings

You Will Need
Pasta
2 eggs
1/2 cup of cream
Bacon
Approx 1/2 cup of grated cheese (ideally parmesan but it doesn't super matter)
Olive oil and salt (optional)

Steps
1. Chuck your pasta into some boiling water and add some salt and oil if ya feelin' fancy
2. Chop your bacon into small pieces (however big you'd want it to be when scattered throughout ya pasta) and fang it into a frying pan to cook with a little bit of olive oil
3. Mix cream, eggs and cheese together in a bowl so that they're blended into one entity. I find it's best not to add all of your cheese at this stage because you can always put more in later, but can't undo what's already been did.
4. When your pasta is cooked, drain it and then put it back into the saucepan on a very low heat
5. Add your bacon bits and creamy egg cheese sauce
6. Mix it all around in there until the sauce has thickened a bit. If it's too hot it might curdle or burn, so be hecka careful of that.
7. Eat it.


Tuna Noodle Bake
Serves One (or two if you're not very hungry)

This recipe is almost exactly the same as one that my godmother (Sussy's mum) has been making probably our whole lives, and Suss has done a run through of that one as part of THIS post. Howevz, I have added the 'bake' component of this because I am an innovator.

You Will Need
Pasta
One can of tuna
Mayonnaise
Any combination of red onion, capsicum and/or celery
Grated cheese

Steps
1. Cook your pasta
2. Chop up your crunchy vegetables into pretty dang small pieces (at least a solid handful worth) and mix them with your tuna (which I assume you have drained of its oil to the best of your ability)
3. When pasta is cooked, drain it and chuck it back in the pot
4. Mix the tuna/veggies in with the pasta
5. Add as much mayonnaise as your heart desires. My heart desires a lot.
- NOTE: You can stop at this point and it will still be A+, especially if you leave it to cool for a bit
6. Once that's all mixed in pop it in a bowl or in a serving dish, and spread grated cheese throughout, particularly on the top layer
7. Place your cheesy tuna noodle in the oven. Now this is the tricky bit because our oven's numbers have rubbed off so we don't actually know what temperature we're baking anything at, I just turn the dial vertical, but it doesn't really matter. Just put it in the oven and take it out when the cheese seems sufficiently melted and is beginning to brown slightly


Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves god knows how many tbh

This is basically a watered down version of The Londoner's more adventurous chicken soup. If you're into exciting flavours and tang you can find that here. The beauty of this is that once you've got the basics down you can just throw in whatever you want and it'll probably work.

You Will Need
Garlic (one clove)
Olive oil
Roast chicken
Chicken stock
Vermicelli rice noodles (or whatev noodles you want, I'm not a dictator)
Peas, carrots, sweet corn, whatever you want tbh

Steps
1. Crush your garlic up so it's real small and unobtrusive
2. Separate your roast chicken into smaller chunks. I pull it apart because then I can make sure there's no weird shit in there but if you're not crazy you can just cut it.
3. Put a little puddle of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan and chuck in the garlic
4. Once that's gone slightly golden (careful not to burn it, so mbz have it on a low-ish heat) toss in the chicken and stir that around for a bit so it absorbs some of the fancy garlic oil
5. Pop in your chicken stock. Now I usually either use 500ml or a litre of stock, depending on how much soup I want to make. It doesn't really matter as long as you're happy with the chicken-to-liquid ratio, and you...
6. Add 1/2 or 1/3 as much boiling water as you did stock to even things out a bit
7. Insert ya peas/carrots/corn/whatevz into the mixture as it comes to a boil
8. Pop in your vermicelli. If we're super real I have no idea how to gauge the appropriate amount of this stuff to put in, I just wing it. However, it is important to note that it will end up being probably twice the amount of noodles as you think you put in. Shit expands like cray.
9. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the noodles are soft and then EAT IT
10. Sometimes I put hardboiled eggs in there but that makes it VERY filling. 


Leek and Potato Soup
Serves a thousand

You Will Need
1 brown onion
Olive oil
Two stalks of leek (are they called stalks? idk)
1 litre of chicken stock
4 potatoes
Hand blender or something similar

Steps
1. Chop your onion up. Doesn't matter how thinly, everything gets blended at the end.
2. Pour a puddle of oil into a large saucepan and add onion over medium heat
3. Chop the leek up into like 1cm-ish wide sections. So you have a bunch of little circular chunks.
4. Once the onion has gone transparent add the leek into the saucepan
5. When the leek bits have completely come apart (the little rings will pull apart from each other when you mix it around) add the stock
6. Wait for the stock to come to a boil
7. While you wait, cut the potatoes up into smaller chunks. I peel them but you can keep the skin on if that's your thang.
8. When the stock is boiling add the potato chunks
9. Leave it bubbling away until the potato is cooked enough to mash up
10. Blend it all together so it just makes one big goopy mess
11. Eat it. I would personally suggest mixing in some grated cheddar or parmesan cheese and accompanying the entire shebang with finely buttered toast. Hella tasty. Not even that bad for you. Not even that hard.

So there you have it, four of my go-to comforting meals that do not come from a box or a third party I found on MenuLog. Legit just mess around with them as much as you like, if I can cook them they're probably pretty hard to completely screw up.

Today's #Madvent Movie: The Holiday


*The leek and potato isn't so quick and the carbonara isn't super healthy but you know what, we're gonna roll with it. It tastes good. No h8rs.

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