Category Archives: Cooking

The Journey to the Couch is Shorter

MV5BMTQ3Mjg2MTE4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzcyNDMwMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_After four snow days which have limited our ability to get out of the house (Can you say CABIN FEVER!?), I decided to sit down and watch a movie that I had seen just a few months ago. I loved it then, but due to a few interruptions (teenagers and their social lives) I didn’t get to give it my full attention. So last night, I downloaded The Hundred Foot Journey and settled under my quilt for a re-watch.

It did not disappoint the second time. One of the things I love about this movie is it’s wholesome story telling. It’s so very rare to watch a movie that isn’t filled with bad language, cover-your-eyes sex scenes, violence, or questionable innuendos. Another element of the movie that I love is what it teaches the viewer. That leads us to today’s post . . .

 Three Things that The Hundred Foot Journey Taught Me

  1. Maybe brakes break for a reason.” – Hassan Kadam

100ft-car-rideThis quote from the movie seems simple but is layered with truth. The Kadam family have lefttheir homeland (India) for tragic reasons. While on their exploration to find a new place to relocate, the brakes on their van go out. This causes them to meet the lovely Margarit in the French village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. If the brakes had never quit working, then the family would have driven on thru this quaint village that changes their lives.

So often in our own lives, we equate delays and detours with failures. Because of one situation or another, we are stuck in traffic or waiting endlessly in the line at the DMV. Or sometimes the way we thought things would go, end up happening quite the opposite. No matter what delay or detour we experience, it is no less an opportunity. An opportunity to stop and ask, “Is this where I’m supposed to be?” In our feeble human minds, we usually answer know if the plan hasn’t gone according to plan. But in God’s eyes (the one who sees the big picture) we might be exactly where we are supposed to be and at exactly the right time. The next time you experience a life detour or delay, stop and ask God if the brakes broke for a reason.

  1. “Every bite takes you home. ” –cooking school friend of Hassan

There is a deep connection between a person’s soul and food. In a world where most people grab food in the drive-thru or head out to a local restaurant, this food-nourishes-soul connection has gotten lost. Long gone are the days of sharing the table with family – except around the holidays. But good food goes beyond the belly. It’s not just about filling your stomach; it’s about nourishing your soul. The slow act of preparing a meal, shopping for its ingredients, chopping, mixing, tasting are all important to who we are. In the movie, Hassan is reminded by a friend that “Food is memories.” This simple thought is ultimately what brings his character to a dramatic change, forcing him to recognize what is truly important in life. The food you prepare and share with family and those you love is a powerful force of life.

  1. Wherever the family is, that is home.” – Papa Kadam

In the midst of the Kadam family’s traveling turmoil, a son laments that their current location is not their home. Papa Kadam is quick to inform him of the truth.

For a woman whose moved around A LOT in the last five years, I can testify to Papa’s truth. No matter where I went – Costa Rica, Ecuadorian jungle, Florida, Tennessee – if my family was with me, it was home. It isn’t a building or a city; it’s the company of those you love. A house doesn’t provide comfort from life’s storms; it’s the open arms of those who love you unconditionally. Family makes a home not a house.

Once again, we are headed into the weekend. How about taking this one to slow down and connect with your “home?” Maybe cook a meal, or even dessert, to share. Then sit down in front of the TV and enjoy a film that helps us better appreciate detours, food, and family

Seen the movie? Tell me what you thought. If not, watch it, then come back and share what you learned.

Sicilian Meat Roll

ThFeastwithURLe first Feast Recipe was handed down to me by my mother-in-law. As the queen of casseroles, this was an unusual dish for her to bring to the table. However, after taking one bite, I knew why her sons raved about it so much.

I have to say it has turned into a crowd-pleaser at my house as well.  I serve it with the same side dish each time, Italian Stir Fry, and sometimes homemade bread (but usually the pre-packaged stuff from the nearest grocery store bakery.)

Since the purpose of Feast is to allow busy families to prep for dinner earlier in the week as time permits, I will be sharing how I prepare both of these dishes ahead of time so that there is limited cooking time needed on the day of the actual meal. Buon appetito!

Sicilian Meat Roll

Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs of ground round or chuck
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup marinara sauce (or tomato sauce)
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
4-6 slices of sandwich-sliced ham
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella

Prep:

1. Mix all ingredients together except the ham and mozzarella. I use my hands to mix because it goes faster.

2. Lay out sheet of plastic wrap approximately 9×13 size. Dump meat mixture on the plastic wrap and press out into a ½ inch thick rectangle being sure to keep the mixture on the plastic wrap.Image

3. Layer ham slices over the meat layer.

4. Add layer of mozzarella over the ham.

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5. Grab one side of the short end of the plastic wrap and begin to roll the meat. Roll from the plastic wrap side until you reach the end. (Think jelly roll, except it’s meat.)

6. Now place the roll into meatloaf pan. Note that the plastic wrap will be on the bottom of the roll. After placing the roll in pan, gently pull the plastic wrap out from under the meat. It should slide fairly easily. Once the wrap is removed, tuck the ends of the roll down to close off the cheese and ham inside. (Check out the very professional video here for a more detailed explanation.)

6. At this point, you can cover with aluminum foil and place in freezer for up to 7 days or in refrigerator overnight.

To Cook:

  •  Place in oven at 400° for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Remember, Feast is all about sharing meals and moments with your family. No matter what you serve, the faces that sit around the table are the most important aspect of any meal.