Comfort Food Day


Today was a day that demanded comfort food.  When in doubt, I always feel best heading straight into the kitchen and creating some sense of order in my life by making food that makes the house smell good and is also extra tasty.  That is exactly what I did today with the help of my youngest daughter, Rachael.

I also cleaned out my work closet that was filled with books and papers and mementos related to my writing students (a big job) and shifted books around so that I have my favorites in my new little office where I plan to do all my writing beginning now.  I need my books nearby for comfort, inspiration and courage, and I am very happy to have gotten that all accomplished.

Like I said, when in doubt, I feel compelled to create a safe and cozy home environment so I feel a bit more secure.  Mission accomplished at least on the micro level.  Tomorrow, Ray and I will go downtown and join our kids to march in the Women’s March, LA. That is me tackling my discomfort on the macro-scale.

Here are the recipes I used today.  Both are excellent.

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon

Makes 4 Servings


    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
    • 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    • 3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 4 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 small carrot, peeled, grated


    1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
    2. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
    3. Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot.



 Fudge-Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yield: 12 big fat sandwich cookies


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) COLD unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp whole milk

1 1/2 cups (9 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips


1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 1/3 cups (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Position rack in middle. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and butter the paper.

To make the cookies: In a mixer bowl, on low speed, mix the flour, brown sugar, and baking soda. Add the butter and continue mixing until butter pieces are the size of peas, about 2 minutes (you will still see some loose flour).  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides as needed while mixing. Mix in the egg and vanilla- don’t worry, the batter still looks dry. Add the sour cream and milk, mix until the batter is evenly moistened. You may still see some small pieces of butter. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop about 3 level Tbsps at least 2.5 inches apart onto the prepared sheets. I measured for the first one, but the batter is sticky, so I just eyeballed it for the rest. Try to get as close to the same size, so the cookies bake evenly and match up when making the sandwiches.  The recipe says this can be done on two cookie sheets. I got 8 to a sheet and a few of my cookies spread enough to touch a bit. Bake until the tops feel soft but firm and the edges are slightly brown and crisp, and a toothpick in the center comes out clean, ~17 minutes. I rotated the sheet halfway. Cool the cookies on their sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Filling:

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until it forms little bubbles, 175°F by thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Once the chips soften for ~3o seconds, whisk until the filling is smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes or 20 minutes in the fridge.

Match up the cookies as close as you can by size, and frost the bottom halves and place the remaining cookies on top. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Source:big fat cookies by Elinor Klivans

One was a variation since it was agave-sweetened so here is the picture of what Klivans’s cookies are supposed to look like:


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Your kitchen is aromatic now. The soup calls to me and I smell the warm cookies, the chocolate still too hot to eat. ❤ ❤

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