+[comfort foods]+

As I mentioned before, the girls and I are putting together a pictorial family cookbook. Really it is an in-depth technology project for Peyton, but as usual, Ive disguised the lesson as something enjoyable (thats my favorite homeschool tactic, you know).

Upon our refrigerator is a list of the recipes we each want included in the cookbook: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, vegetables, soups, breads and salads. Each category has 20 or so handwritten entries below its title, all written in different hands and inks, all bringing memories back for its contributor. Weve been adding entries for about 2 months now as we remember them.  I think we are about finished.

I would say that everything on our list is a comfort food for someone within our home. Comfort foods typically connect three generations, but in our case these recipes are first generational as neither my mom nor Dougs mom was handy in the kitchen (my mom says leaving a good tip is her legacy). That is the very reason why I choose a cookbook for Peytons project. I wanted to pass these handmade, tried-and-true first generation feasts and memories along!

In finalizing the recipes that will make it into our book I sat and wrote out my top 10 comfort foods - all recipes Doug or I have customized along our married life. I ask for top 10 lists from our dinner guests regularly just to see what they enjoy (and their favorites and the memories involved with why they are favorites always reveal much to me about them), but I had never asked myself. I have to admit I thought it would be easy to make a top 10 list, but I stopped short after four and really had to think about what should make the cut. Then I decided there had to be a restaurant list and a homemade list because my mind just couldnt stop thinking about certain restaurant comforts. After much deliberation, here are my lists. You can figure out what they say about me. And yes, there are two number 10's on the homemade list...I just couldnt decide!

Top 10 Restaurant Comfort Foods:

1. Chips and salsa from MiCocina in Dallas, TX (the sun, the patio, the peoplewatching....sigh)
2. Brisket tacos from Taco Diner in Dallas, TX
3. Burgers from Snuffers in Dallas, TX
4. The Prima Dora Omelet and Gingerbread Pancakes from Magnolia in Austin, TX (intense fluttering as I even type this one)
5. Green Chile Cheese Grits from Lamberts in Austin, TX
6. The Mimi Pizza from Punch in Wayzata, MN
7. Chicken Rellenos with Deluxe Tomatillo Sauce from Chuys in Austin, TX
8. Chicken Tikka Masala, Chole and Chai tea from Namaste Cafe in Minneapolis, MN (oh deeper sigh)
9. Chicken, mashed potatoes and those yeasty rolls from Bubbas or Babes (same owners) in Dallas, TX
10. Enchiladas, Chips and Salsa from Vivo in Austin, TX (their motto is "better than sex Tex-Mex")

Top 10 Homemade Comfort Foods:

1. My Banana Pudding
2. Dougs Smoked Ribs (seriously unbelievable) and Green Chile Jalapeno Cheddar Grits
3. My Texas Sheet Cake
4. My Sour Cream Grilled Chicken Enchiladas with Guacamole
5. Dougs Salsa
6. My Cream Scones, Lemon Curd and Raspberry Jam with Tea
7. My Chicken Tikka Masala with brown basmati rice
8. My Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
9. My Strawberry Cake
10a. My Squash Casserole
10b. My Chicken Pot Pie with Tart Cranberry Sauce