Tales From A Hungry Life

October 11, 2016

Cooking On A Lazy Day

By Maria Schulz

Some people don’t like rainy weekend days, but I do. Especially a rainy day that comes after a really busy, fun-filled Saturday.

Look! A rainbow.

Look! A rainbow.

I love waking up to the sound of soft rain dancing against the windows and the wind rustling through the trees. Yes, my dog and I still walk in the rain, but not for long.

Short walks on rainy days

Short walks on rainy days

The best part of a cool, rainy Sunday is that I feel free to bake and cook. The last couple of weeks have been so warm that I’ve still been using my barbecue. Turning on the oven was a welcome change.

I baked muffins in the morning. The rich smell of cornflour, eggs, milk and butter made me think of weekend visits with Irene, my mother-in-law. She loved corn muffins.

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

Sundays are also the perfect time to make a batch of sauce that we can use later in the week. I love putting on a big pot of sauce to simmer on the stove. That smell immediately transports me back to Sundays with my parents. Mom made her sauce while Dad listened to Frank Sinatra on the radio or watched Meet the Press on television. I can still see my mom handing me a piece of bread as she stirred the sauce, asking me what I thought. img_0012

“Perfect!” I’d reply, because Mom’s sauce always was the best.

Later in the day, I made some memories for my own family by making a batch of Chicken Tetrazzini. My husband, girls, and dog always hover near the kitchen as I cook the chicken, stir the sauce, add the sherry, and make the pasta. When it all goes into the casserole dish and into the oven, I have to reassure them that it will be ready soon.

Giada's recipe

Giada’s recipe

My husband even made his mom’s baked apple recipe, filling the whole house with the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and maple syrup.

Makes the whole house smell great

Makes the whole house smell great

It was a day filled with comforting food, happy memories, and much-loved family.

As Martha Stewart would say, it was a very good thing.


Chicken Tetrazzini

Giada’s recipe is a lot more involved than mine, but it’s still delicious. I use a lot less butter, no bread crumbs (I put parmesan cheese on top of mine) and I add a quarter of a cup of sherry to my sauce, which gives it a wonderful flavor.

Baked Apples

This recipe includes things like cherries and nuts, which add an interesting texture and flavor to the baked apple. You can go a much simpler route by just cleaning and coring your apples and stuffing them with cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Your call.


My corn muffin recipe is a little less fussy. I open two packages of Betty Crocker’s Corn bread & muffin mix, double the ingredients (except for the butter–I find that doubling the butter makes them too greasy. So I use 3 tablespoons of butter instead of 4) and bake. Yes, this is an indulgence and doubles the caloric hit but I like a jumbo muffin every once in a while. I have tried every type of corn muffin mix and have even made them from scratch, but this brand of corn muffins is by far my favorite. These are great in the mornings and also wonderful to make as a side dish to a big pot of chili. But that’s a recipe for another day.

So…what’s your favorite comfort food? What do you like doing on a lazy, rainy day? Please leave a comment with your thoughts or your favorite recipe. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new ones to try. Thanks!



  1. You are correct a soft rain on a Sunday always was good. We ate our big meal Sunday afternoon after the 12 o’clock mass . The morning always had a special breakfast like pancakes or eggs in a basket. The pot of gravy (sauce to you who must be correct) with the meatballs, sausages and maybe a peace of pork and beef was on the stove sending up beautiful aromas that had to make us dip a piece of Italian bread in the gravy. Usually we were finished and cleaned up with Lunch (dinner) of Spaghetti around four and then we’d visit one of the family or just laze about until Jack Benny came on the Radio. These days happened in the 1940’s a long and simpler time ago.

    Comment by bglou — October 11, 2016 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

    • Sounds like a great time surrounded by some of the best people I’ve ever met. Good times!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — October 12, 2016 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  2. As well as the joys of a relaxing Sunday, you re-created the warmth, the flavor, the comfort, and the love of a strong family, . Whether they’re speaking to us from another realm or the next room, their influence can only make us happy to be alive. Thanks, Maria, as always!

    Comment by Beth Goehring — October 12, 2016 @ 9:38 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Beth. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. Our loved ones are only as far as our thoughts, so that’s where I go to find them! It’s probably the best part of quiet days for me.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — October 12, 2016 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  3. Maria, the best thing to to on a rainy day is get a bagel and a hot cup of coffee while reading the newspaper (not one on line). Cinnamon rolls are also a favorite on those days. The smell permeates the whole house and gives it a sense of family style living. I enjoy listening to Meet The Press as I read and get the political information floating about on the airwaves.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — October 12, 2016 @ 11:23 am | Reply

    • You watch Meet the Press too! Like father like son. I love cinnamon rolls but one is never enough…so they are out of the rotation for me (at least for now). I still love reading the newspaper and holding it in my hands too!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — October 12, 2016 @ 11:51 am | Reply

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