Finding Comfort in Many Different Flavors

| By Eric Gunzenhauser

Getting different perspectives is one of the coolest things about working with the folks at Reuben Rink. Everybody brings their own ideas and tastes to the table (albeit virtually, at the moment). Sure, it makes it tricky to agree on what to fill the growler with at City Beverage, but it makes the work interesting and better.

Finding comfort in many different flavors.

Getting everyone’s perspectives on things has been one of the hardest aspects of this whole work-from-home endeavor. To help keep that collaborative spirit thriving, our weekly staff Zoom meetings typically feature a show-and-tell of sorts, where we have fun sharing photos, home projects, and last week, some of our favorite recipes that we’ve been enjoying since we’ve been staying at home.

After swapping recipes we thought others might want to take part in this deliciousness. After all, what we’re talking about here is a kind of comfort food. And with apologies to those using this time to shed unwanted pounds, we think we could all use a little more comfort right about now.

Without further ado, here are a few of the recipes our team has been passing around lately. Enjoy!

Cassidy’s Mediterranean-ish Pasta Salad:


  • 1 box orzo pasta (cooked al dente)
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Approximately ½ cup mixed olives, diced + a splash of the juice
  • 1 ball of Mozzarella, diced (can sub in crumbled Feta if you prefer)
  • ½ log hot Soppressata (or other cured meat), diced
  • Handful each of fresh dill and parsley (can sub in mint for a more Greek-inspired feel), chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon


Mix all ingredients and add olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Grace’s (actually, her husband Josh’s) Best Dang Turkey Burger


  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup quick-cook oats, raw
  • Cajun seasoning (as much as you can handle)


1. Mix turkey meat with egg yolk in a bowl.

2. Fold quick oats into mixed meat.

3. Add seasoning to taste.

4. Form into patties.

5. Cook patties on grill for 5-6 minutes per side until internal temperature is 165˚F.

6. Enjoy!

Michelle’s Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup (Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen cookbook)

  • 1 12-ounce bone-in split chicken breast, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼-teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½-cup wide egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken, skin side down, until golden, about 6 minutes; transfer to plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from saucepan.

2. Add onion, celery and carrot to fat left in saucepan and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits.

3. Add browned chicken with any accumulated juices and bay leaf. Bring to simmer and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 20 to 22 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-sized pieces using 2 forks, discarding skin and bones.

4. Discard bay leaf. Return soup to simmer, stir in noodles and cook until vegetables and noodles are tender, about 8 minutes. Off heat, stir in shredded chicken and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

Eric’s Marinated Flank Steak (Courtesy of Alton Brown’s “I’m Just Here for the Food”)


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon fresh minced ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 flank steak


1. Combine all ingredients except the steak in a bowl or food processor. Process until the onions are puréed. Pour into a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add the steak and carefully seal while squeezing the remaining air out of the bag.

2. Refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. The longer the marinate, the better the flavor.

3. Take the steak out of the fridge about 20-25 minutes before cooking to let the meat come to room temperature. You can remove it from the marinade and pat dry. I usually just shake off any extra marinade and let the rest stay on.

4. Grill over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on the thickness of the steak. Or you can broil it in the oven.

5. After you pull it off the grill, let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice into thin strips, making sure to cut across the grain on the bias. Oh, yeah.

JG’s Six-Layer Chocolate Cake (Courtesy of Michelle at


For the Cake:

  • 2½ cups+ 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup+ 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1½ cups buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1½ cups strong black coffee hot
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toasted Marshmallow Filling:

  • 16 large marshmallows
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7.5 ounce Marshmallow Fluff

For the Malted Chocolate Frosting:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup Ovaltine Classic
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup heavy cream


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Toasted Marshmallow Filling: Place the marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the lowest rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, keeping an eye on them the entire time so they don’t burn. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until the other side is golden brown.

6. Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, add the Marshmallow Fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

7. Make the Malted Chocolate Frosting: Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the Ovaltine, vanilla and salt, and continue to beat on low until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.

8. Assemble the Cake: Slice each cake layer in half horizontally so you have six cake layers. Place your first layer face-up on a cake plate and cover with one-third of the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. Place another cake layer face-up and cover with about ¾ to 1 cup of Malted Chocolate Frosting. Repeat, alternating marshmallow and chocolate filling layers, until you come to your cake final layer, which you will place face-down. Frost the entire outside of cake with the remaining Malted Chocolate Frosting.


Leave a Reply