What do you do with a cranky girl??? (Basque Potato Tortilla & Butt Kickin' Tomato Soup & Garbanzo Bean Bread)

When I am cold, miserable, aggravated and have passed over to the far side of cranky, there are some things that I want need to help me self-medicate myself back into a happy place...  Because I don't like to be cranky...for long. 

First, I want to put on a pair of sweats, a T-shirt and a ratty old hoodie - yes, I know I look like a bum; but if I am at the point where I am donning this gear, I probably am beyond the point of caring.  It takes down the crankiness resulting from constricting clothing a notch.  Yes, I know Stacey & Clinton would have some diatribe about how comfort doesn't have to schlumpy...  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.   

Secondly, I try to warm my fingers and toes - because numb extremeties do nothing to improve my mental well-being. Finally, I seek out foods that make me feel like I want to feel. Warm.  Relaxed. 

Potatoes.  Soup.  Oatmeal.  Bread.  Mac-n-cheese.  You get the point. 

I was really happy that this week's FFwD fit in with my need to carb load for comfort.  Potatoes & onion cooked to the point of  "home fry" goodness. 

A "little" bit of egg thrown in for protein...

I was tempted just to stop here and eat potatoes out of the pan, but it just didn't seem right.  Or did it???

So, instead of shovelling the potatoes into my gullet nibbling on fried potato goodness, I added them to the egg mixture of the tortilla/ quiche/ omelet thingy and continued cooking.  (Of course, I only had to "wipe down" the pan between steps.  HA HA HA.  Full scale wash was required.)  

We won't talk about why only a "corner" shot of the finished tortilla is being shown.  It had absolutely nothing to do with some one's impatience and failure to fully release it from the cast iron pan before flipping over.  And certainly had nothing to do with that same impatience resulting in half of the bottom being left in the plan.  No, couldn't be...

Now, potatoes and eggs beg for one thing.  Ketchup (or hot sauce - oohh I wish I thought of that sooner).  But schlopping on a dollop of Heinz's best just didn't seem to be the ethical thing to do.  Not classy enough, dah'ling.  (Although, perhaps in alignment with the theme of "comfort").   

But tomato soup - that I could get away with.  And when one wants soup, one might as well seek out a recipe from a Soup Addict.  Hellooo???  So, check out Soup Addict's Tomato Soup - it's way classier than ketchup, my friends.  You won't even have to resist the urge lift your pinky finger while you slurp the remains from the bottom of your bowl. 

I should point out that there are two things that make this soup stand out (in my mind):

1) Roasting the San Marzano tomatoes - oh, and buy the real ones - they will have a DOP Certification somewhere on the can.  Yes, I know they are like $4 or $5 a can, but it's worth it.  Believe this. 

2.  Fresh basil.  Because everything is better with fresh basil.  Soup.  Salad.  Gelato.  Mixed adult beverages...  Just saying. 

And, of course, the meal would not have been complete with out a loaf slice of bread in hand....  In spite of all my crankiness I was still feeling a bit on the quirky side, so I picked a garbanzo bean bread (the real story is that I heavily adapted a pinto bean bread recipe and prayed to the bread fairies that it would not turn into an epic fail...)

Oh, what a beautiful riser it was...  All three times....  (But not because someone forgot about it for several hours and had to give it an additional pre-shape rise because it had over-risen.  No, not at all...)  Should I make note that it was a forgiving bread?  Which is good, because starting over would not have helped with the cranky factor...

WHEW!  Just like I planned it...  Wink. 

Verdict:  The Karate Kid ate everything except for the loose eggy bottom skin on the tortilla.  The Runner ate all and pronounced it good.  Me?  By the time I was finished, my crank-o-meter had gone down by at least three notches, for that what that's worth...

Recipe for Garbanzo Bean Bread

This recipe started out as Pinto Bean Bread from the More-with-Less Cookbook.  By the time I finished with it, the structure was similar, but the ingredients & end result... not so much.  But the end result was delicious & I can't way to try some toasted with peanut butter....

2 cups scalded milk, cooled to lukewarm
1 1/2 Tbs instant dry yeast
2 cups cooked, mashed & unseasoned garbanzo beans (about 2 16 oz cans - I drained the juice and reserved that and the leftover chick pea mash to add to the tomato soup I made)
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs peanut butter
1 cup white whole wheat flour
4-5 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I used ~ 4 & 1/2 cups)
In bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the milk & yeast.  Add beans, sugar, salt peanut butter and five cups of flour.  Mix well.  Switching over to the dough hook, knead until smooth - if needed, slowly add flour until desired consistency (dough will be a little sticky, but should hold its shape). 

Place into a greased bowl.  Cover.  Let rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours - this dough was a lovely riser).  Remove from bowl, gently deflate and divide into two.  Shape into loaves and place into 2 greased 9" by 5" pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled again.  Near the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350F. 

Uncover, bake @ 50 minutes - until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  If it looks like loaves are browning too fast, cover loosely during last twenty minutes of baking. 

Remove from pans, cool on wire racks.  Cool completely before cutting for best retention of structure.

This post participate in French Fridays with Dorie.  Come check out what how all the less-cranky bloggers made out!


  1. It all looks so delicious, i to have a hard time with serving the home fries...they are best eaten straight from the pan :-) But covering them with eggs? Never thought of that, YUM!

  2. All of it looks delicious! Great post! And, I love San Marzano tomatoes.

  3. Who could be cranky reading your stories?! So cute and everything looks wonderful. What a great comfort meal.

  4. Comfort food and homefried goodness..I like that! Everything looks tasty!

  5. Cher Looks great. I loved all your extras.What a wonderful meal B:)

  6. Yeah, mine took a lot of effort to get from the pan to the plate...4 spatulas to be exact! Still, yours looks delicious :)

  7. Those sides sound great--and definitely warming! I also completely agree with the whole comfort clothing is Step 1 of reducing the cranky. I've got a ratty 15-year-old sweatshirt that I wear, and when I'm in that bad of a mood I could care less what Stacey and Clinton say! Thanks for the bread recipe!

  8. What an amazing meal! Love your photos too--from a fellow blogger in her sweats

  9. Fabulous meal and beautiful photos. And that bread-wow I'm impressed. Nice work

  10. Ha ha , truly comfort food :-)out here we did eat the potatoes outa the pan :-)
    Sooo good no?
    Cool , n m giggling over why only the corner of the tortilla got shot:-)
    The bread is fantastic!

  11. Wow! That actually looks like a very exciting adventure in the kitchen. I noticed you unmolded yours like I did mine, with the bottom up. When I was looking at Dorie's it looks so much lighter that I figured she must have not served it with the bottom up. So I've been thinking that mine is upside down... And now I am confused. I guess it doesn't really matter?

  12. I had to do a full scale wash too after frying the potatoes and onions! Next time I'll just fry them in my non-stick pan and use the cast iron for eggs only since it's the same amount of washing...

    Hope you're feeling better after the carb loading!

  13. Everything looks great! Thanks for the link to Soup Addict. Going to check it out now!

  14. That soups looks wonderful and your tortilla is gorgeous!

  15. Thanks for the laugh! I especially enjoyed your discussion on why only a corner of your tortilla is pictured. I also had to do a full-on wash after cooking the potatoes and onions.

  16. Hi Cher! The fried potato goodness was one of my favorite parts of this dish. That and the hot sauce, too! That bread looks delish!

  17. Looks great! If I was that cranky, I'd have grabbed a bowl of cereal and a whisky and called it a day.

  18. Yep, I was a bottoms up and I thought the bottom "crust" was the best part. And your sides, or was the tortilla a side? anyway, wonderful. Great photos. Enjoy your posts. I'd like to try your bread recipe...looks great!

  19. My, what beautiful pictures you have!!! Your tortilla looks awesome and I especially love the looks and sound of your Garbanzo Bean Bread! Thank you for posting that recipe as well. I'm a yeast lover from way back and am always looking for new and unusual yeast bread recipes! BTW, your very creative with your photo styling! I love the way you think!

  20. Cher, you are too funny (and thanks for the call-out!) There's nothing like carbs to cure the crank - that's my philosophy. I had to laugh at the wiping out the pan bit when I read it in the recipe. Pfft. This pan is going to be full-on hot - not fit for wiping, no sir. I didn't bother. It stuck a little bit, but because it's cast iron, it stuck *only* a little bit. No one died. Which is always the goal of my cooking. ;)

  21. Comfort food and comfy pants--a great combination! Fun post, and I hope you're less cranky now. Good food always cheers me up too.

  22. Basque Potato Tortilla turned out beautiful! Garbanzo bean bread? Now that sounds really delicious:)
    Take care,

  23. Cher, I am with you 100 hundred percent…there are days that only comfort food (and this was comfort food) will take away the crankiness! Loved your photos and your bread looks amazing. I can't wait to try it! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  24. Wow, I got to give it to you for cooking and baking when feeling cranky! That would be the last thing I want to do when in a cranky mood. :) Your golden brown tortilla looks absolutely delicious!

  25. Thanks for visiting my site. You asked if I used a smaller pan than the recipe recommended. No, I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Wish I could tell you my 'secret' to puffiness but it was just luck! Your tortilla looks great but I'm really intrigued by your bread!

  26. Gorgeous!!! I love that bread! I too had to do major scrubbing on the potato pan and then decided to switch pans for the eggs...which turned out to be a good thing or mine would have stuck too!

  27. Love "the far side of cranky." Your tortilla looks great.

  28. Thanks for your comment on my first FFwD post. This seems like a fun idea and a great way to get me to use my favorite Christmas gift, Dorie's book.
    I had to fully scrub my pan before the egg step too.

  29. Oh Cher me too! I couldn't stop picking at the potatoes out of the pan. That bread looks delicious. I'm putting that in my recipe queue!

  30. I had major sticking AND had to do a major scrub in the middle too. Hope you're not cranky by now. Cooking always cheers me up. Hope the same is true for you.

  31. Cher, I have just been passed 'The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award'.
    The best part of getting this award is I get to award it to other bloggers who I think deserve the recognition. So I am awarding it to you via my blog.
    Love your blog!

  32. Of course I can relate with your state of mind, even though I always reprimand myself for being the schlumpy role model:)I have been craving comfort food lately, and this frittata hit the spot. I made it, but did not have the time to blog about it (the change in schedule is not working for me and FFwD:(
    I loved the mix of potatoes and onions, and mine stuck to the skillet, too.
    I'll have to try the tomato soup, it sounds great.

  33. You are SO right - San Marzano's are totally worth it. And hot sauce makes everything better ; )


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