Yesterday is still a blur. I woke up to my phone vibrating. Nothing new there really but something did not seem right. Check the phone. It was my MIL and it was….12:15 pm! WTF! Would be a nice lazy Sunday morning except I was supposed to pick up my girls at noon. And here I was in bed, 45 minutes away from them. Strike one for dad. Oops.

Rush, stress, grab stuff, you know that feeling, heart racing, jump in the truck, go, go. Then I remember the soccer game. 2:00 pm start time and 2 hours of driving away. It is 12:40 pm now. Strike 2 for dad. Oops.

Luckily, I had 40 minutes of alone driving to get some perspective and breathe. MIL has to wait a bit. Not really that big of deal. Missed soccer game. Life will go on. But what really hit me is the need for a little more balance in my life. (And sleep!) And I need to stop screwing around and really do something great. But what? How? I already shut down the Chef and Father membership site. Regrouping to make my small business bigger and better. Serving more and making more. Win, win. I will figure this out. Just have to let go….

Funny thing is girls could care less about me being late or about missing the soccer game. They just wanted to know what was for dinner. I ignored what my brain was saying and listened to my body. My body needed some comfort food…stat…and that means slow cooked pork and creamy pasta. So let’s begin there.

Grabbed some local pork shoulder…sliced about an inch thick for faster cooking. Seasoned that with some sea salt

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Cast iron skillet really hot with a little oil. Sear it up on both sides and remove.

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Sliced some onions and added to pan. Cook to brown a bit. Hit that with a little italian herbs, some garlic powder and then a bit of white wine. Added a dollop of whole grain mustard. (This is key)

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Returned pork and added some water to almost cover. Topped with some foil and popped in a 325 oven. Then it was time go play with the kids for 30 minutes…

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At 30 minutes I found some brussel sprouts, some bacon and some cherry tomatoes. That will work. Cook the bacon chunks, remove some of the fat, add the sprouts and tomatoes. Pop that in the oven.

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Then I got some water boiling. Bit of salt. Boiled some pasta. Whatever was in the pantry. Drained the pasta and added some heavy cream to the empty pan. I use Smith Brothers Farms cause they still deliver old school to people’s doorstep and I just think that is pretty cool.

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Heat that up a bit then added in some shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stirred a couple times then added back the pasta. I stirred this up until it was so creamy and delicious looking that I almost forgot the sprouts and pork in the oven.

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Pork was perfect at just over an hour. Spooned up the creamy goodness in the big bowls and topped it off with a chunk of pork, some bacon laced brussel sprouts and then doused that with the grain mustard cooking liquid and onions. This is my sweet spot. My body is about to be happy. This is healthy. It has to be.

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I don’t think the girls loved this one but I didn’t care. I needed this. Today I am back to being the dad who pleases everyone but last night was just for me. Life goes on. I have to take care of me first, then family, then work. Ha, ya right. But I am working on it. I can’t take care of everyone else unless I am top chef and father first. Starting now.

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Chef Greg

192 comments on “Inner voice says…”comfort food.” Thank you.