Those sophisticated Eagles fans, and feeding all of Chicago

So on Sunday, we stayed home to watch football (we have cable now, and it's cheaper to drink at home) and I managed to completely mess up Debdoozie's simple chili recipe. I knew what I was doing. I was deviating, and it didn't work.

"Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread," however, was perfect. I followed the recipe exactly, and my Southerner cousin said it was a keeper. I was proud of myself there, because I'm not much of a baker, and I've never made cornbread from scratch before.

Messing up the chili ruined my Sunday almost as much as the Philly fans did in the Colts v. Eagles game. You stay classy, Philadelphia. And then, the Chiefs lost, against the Raiders no less, in OT. D. was not a happy camper, even though he was resting comfortably in his Man Chair with a bowl of hot chili, some gin, and a full pack of smokes. The Chiefs obviously mean a lot to him.

Anyway, so a few friends of mine are coming down from Chicago this weekend and will be staying at my house. I think I'm expected to cook. The way I've been screwing up recipes lately, I'm a little nervous, so I think I'll make something I'm really familiar with. This isn't the time to try something new.

(a) Baked salmon, with a baked potato and some kind of green bean casserole
(b) Meatloaf (made with ground turkey... we use turkey instead of beef anyway, but one of my friends visiting me doesn't eat red meat), with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
(c) Braised balsamic chicken, with corn on the cob and broccoli marinara

Those are my go-to meals that look and taste like they take a lot more time to make than they actually do. Which should I do? I don't care which sides go with which protein, it's just an example of what sides I'm semi-familiar with. I also do some pretty good roasted potatoes and Italian peas (but my cousin hates peas).

For breakfast, I imagine I'll try to find a recipe similar to the egg and sausage casserole that my former-future-mother-in-law used to make for houseguests. I've made that before and got a lot of compliments. On the food, I mean. It'll be good timing, though, because I just bought some farm fresh, cage-less chicken eggs from one of my co-workers, and I'm anxious to try them out. Some people can't taste the difference if the eggs they're eating come from chickens that are treated nicely, but I can. Ah, shoot. My friend won't eat the casserole it if there's sausage in it. Will use turkey instead -- do they have sausage that's turkey-only?

I will now start my daily ritual of slipping into unconsciousness in front of my work computer.

...oh man, it's only 1:24 p.m. I still have 36 minutes before I can start my ritual.

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