A holiday for everyone: National Comfort Food Day | Families
I think the name says it all: comfort food. We all love it, it makes us feel cozy and well-fed when we eat it, and it makes us happy even when we're preparing it, in some cases! Here is a round up of some recipes you might enjoy to help get you through this weekend's freezing weather. Enjoy!
1. Pie, pie, and more pie! Nine recipes for these sweet treats found here.
2. Soups from Mama Steph's blog, InMamaStephsKitchen.com. LOTS of soups, and all delicious! Here's one example:
MamaSteph’s Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and diced (reserve the cooking broth)
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick medallions
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 TBS olive or canola oil
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup plain flour
frozen or canned and drained green peas (I used one can of Lesueur peas that I had on hand)
frozen or canned and drained yellow corn (I used two cans)
2 or 3 large potatoes, boiled and chopped into about 1″ chunks (or about 10 small red potatoes, which is what I had. You could also use canned if you had to.)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp seasoned salt
In a large stockpot or dutch oven, saute the onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil over low-medium heat. You want to soften the carrots here without browning the onions, so don’t let it get too hot. (tip for busy cooks: use frozen mixed veggies and this step can be skipped. You’ll just add the frozen vegetables to the broth to cook as it simmers.)
When veggies are softened, add thyme and seasoned salt. Stir in well. Then add four or five cups of chicken broth. Add diced chicken, corn, peas, cooked potatoes, and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream.
In a small bowl, make a slurry with the remaining 1 cup cream (chilled) and 1/ 2 cup of plain flour. Whisk together until smooth. When soup is very hot, stir this slurry in the broth to thicken. Stir until broth is smooth.
Allow the soup to simmer over low heat; cream soups are easy to scorch, so stir often. Taste broth and adjust seasonings to your preference.
Next, to make it REALLY pot pie-like, I made a batch of pie crust dough. I then used a pastry cutter to cut out rounds of it, then baked them until lightly browned.
I made the pastry crust from a basic recipe like this: basic pie pastry, but I used cold butter instead of shortening in my recipe.
Roll it nice and thin, and then cut out your preferred shape. You could just use a drinking glass as a cutter if you don’t have anything else to use. Easy!
Also, as a time-saving device you could buy a pre-made crust and cut it into whatever shape you like. Bake, then place in the bowl of soup and serve!
3. If you're watching calories or carbs, how about a noodleless lasagna?
Noodleless Lasagna Casserole:
Recipe from Lynn Kahler
Total Time: 20-25 minutes
2 cups cut up and cubed cooked chicken breast
1/2 frozen bag of spinach
1/2 frozen bag of broccoli
1/2 frozen bag of cauliflower
2 large red bell peppers sliced into thin strips
1/2 onion peeled and sliced thin
2 cups of pan sauteed sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. of garlic, pepper and salt
1 1/2 tsp. basil
2 jars of prepared spaghetti sauce (I like Ragu Garden combination)
1 large (13 oz. or so) can of tomato sauce
2 cups diced/sliced Mozzarella cheese
Prepare and mix all ingredients except cheese, and pour into a large greased casserole dish. The ingredients should be completely covered in sauce. If not, add some water.
Cook covered at *390 for 1-1 1/4 hours.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove covered dish and sprinkle the top with cheese.
Return uncovered to oven to melt.
You may serve with cooked noodles on the side and/or hot french bread. Enjoy!
Comments: This is a hearty variation of lasagna without the weight of the pasta.
4. For those who feel that pasta is the ultimate comfort food, try this easy recipe:
Creamy cheese farfalle:
Recipe from Elizabeth Copeman
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30-45 minutes
Serves 2-4 (I usually double when serving 5)
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 can peas & carrots
6 oz package smoked ham, choppped
1 onion, chopped
1 package mushrooms, chopped to preference
1 clove garlic
Smoked gouda cheese
1 box farfalle pasta, cooked
Saute ham, onions, mushrooms and garlic until onions are clear and mushrooms are tender. (I sauté in olive oil.) Add alfredo sauce and peas/carrots. Sprinkle finely chopped smoked cheese over sauce and mix well. Simmer until cheese is thoroughly melted into sauce.
Serve over farfalle (bowtie) pasta.
Optional: top with or stir-in chopped or diced cooked chicken.
Comments from Elizabeth:
This meal is very similar to one served at Macaroni Grill and was taught to me by a friend in Duisburg, Germany.
5. If chocolate is what you crave, here are a couple of ideas:
Most and yummy chocolate cake:
Recipe from Allen Akers of Dublin, Va.
Total Time: 20 minutes
2 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of oil
1 stick of butter
1 cup of water
4 tbsp of cocoa
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. In a small pot combine the water, oil, and butter. Stir in the cocoa and then bring to a boil for one minute.
2. In a large mixing bowl, pour flour, sugar and baking soda. Pour the hot water, oil, butter and cocoa mixture into the bowl. Beat mixture until it is smooth.
3. Then add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk, beating the mixture again until smooth. Pour contents into a grease baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
1 stick of butter
4 tbsp of milk
1 box of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1. Mix milk and butter vanilla and 4 tbsp of cocoa together bring to a boil. Then add powdered sugar. Pour over cake while hot. Let cool and enjoy.
Servings: This cake makes at least 15 servings
Comments: This cake never last long at our house. It is great for all occasions.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups peanut butter (I used smooth)
- 2- 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave until butter and peanut butter are melted, one to two minutes (time will vary by microwave).
Remove from microwave and use a large spoon to stir all of the ingredients together until they form a ball of dough that leaves the side of the bowl. Pat into a 9×13 pan.
Pour chocolate chips into another microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted. Spoon over top of peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.
Allow to cool completely at room temperature until chocolate hardens again or place in the refrigerator for faster hardening. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!
(p.s. I thought crumbling pretzels into the top of the soft chocolate would be good, too. I look forward to trying that out soon.)
Stay warm and cozy, neighbors! And remember, watch out for neighbors who may not have heat, especially older folks, and bring pets inside. Here are top tips for protecting your pets from cold weather.
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