Cozy Comfort Food

Mac & CheeseIt’s one of those winter snowy days where all you want to do is stay inside a nice warm comfy house.   The first thing that comes to mind is getting into the kitchen and making soup. Our family loves comfort foods, some of the favorites are Turkey Corn Chowder, and Chile served over rice, Beef Stew, Chicken and Dumplings. Slow Cooker and Casserole recipes are also very popular in our house and make for quick and easy meals with a minimum amount of planning. Slow Cooker recipes are my personal favorites for this time of year. Maybe it’s because the weather is cold outside and inside it‘s warm and homey. The house smells yummy and the meal is ready to serve.

Often I find myself cleaning out the refrigerator and finding enough of the right ingredients for a quick and easy soup. Today we had leftover boiled chicken, summer squash, green peas, cabbage, mashed potatoes and boiled carrots. Basically it was pretty easy to whip together a potato veggie chicken soup with the help of a little chicken stock and seasonings.
We can’t forget the all time favorite, Mac & Cheese. There is seldom box Mac & Cheese at our house. The variations of this dish could go on forever, but we like it plain with elbow paste and sharp cheddar cheese. I start a cheese sauce while the pasta is boiling and within 20 – 30 minutes have it in the oven and ready to serve a half an hour later. If we have some leftover baked ham it will find its way in the Mac & Cheese. You can use your imagination on variations and create your own irresistible baked wonder. Don’t forget this could also be done in a Slow Cooker.

Casseroles are could be consider comfort food in my book and are fun and easy to prepare. Many of them are can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the oven for another tasty unattended meal. Tuna Noodle is one of my favorites and Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce is always welcomed at the dinner table. Sometimes when we have leftover spaghetti and meat sauce, it ends up in the oven as Baked Spaghetti. A quick toss salad and compliments many of our casseroles. Chicken Broccoli and rice casserole will stick to your ribs for a long time and brings a smile to everyone at the table.

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