As the snow sweeps across the US, everyone is thinking of summer, But we have a ways to go yet. Settle in for the long haul with comfort food to tide you over until them.
Wikipedia defines comfort foods as “food consumed to positively pique emotions, to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings.” The term was first used in 1977, according to Webster’s Dictionary. Comfort foods can mean different things to different people depending on the want and need for sweet vs salty vs savory. Chocolate chip cookies vs potato chips vs quiche. Of course, the downside is that comfort foods aren’t exactly healthy, so get yourself outside to frolic in the snow, shovel your walk, or run with the dog.
The Top 5 Comfort Foods
Pierogies: Mrs. T’s Pierogies is the way to go. Sautéed, boiled, fried or baked, this pasta pockets of cheesy, oniony potato-y goodness are delicious and when served with a salad or veggies, nutritious too. My favorite way to enjoy pierogies is sautéed with a dollop of butter on the stovetop so they get all nice and crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.
Soup: Chicken noodle, clam chowder (red or white), French onion, cream of mushroom, lobster bisque- it doesn’t matter. Warm, filling soups are the key to happiness this winter. I am a fan of Campbell’s Chicken & Stars soup, but the sodium can be a mite high.
Try this delicious recipe for crock-pot butternut squash soup:
Pierce a butternut squash and an acorn squash with a fork, microwave for 3 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and cut into chunks, discarding the innards. Place on a baking sheet or in stoneware and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool to the touch. Meanwhile, sauté a yellow onion in a teaspoon butter and one teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Carefully peel away the outer layers of the squashes and place the cooked, peeled squash in a small crock-pot. Slowly add 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Add the sautéed onion and add a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours.
The squash melds into a lovely creamy soup. Add a tablespoon of cream, and a scoop of wild rice (or any rice) if you prefer. Now enjoy!
Sandwiches: Preferably, grilled cheese or a BLT. Or a hoagie (or zep). Meats, cheeses, condiments, baked or toasted or plain, sandwiches are very nice comfort foods when accompanied with a bowl of soup.
Baked Goods: Cookies (Girl Scout cookies! Homemade!), pudding, pie- all taste so yummy! All those sugar and carbs aren’t the best for you but are a comforting taste. Enjoy sweets in moderation with a big cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a good book or movie.
Macaroni and Cheese: This is number one! Homemade or out of a box, mac n cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Indulge in creamy, cheesy goodness, either baked or done on the stovetop or try cooking in the crock-pot, such as this recipe from BEB.
My favorite mac and cheese dish is from the DoubleTree by Hilton in King of Prussia, PA, which is doing my wedding reception. Their restaurant, T. Burke’s, has the most amazing truffle macaroni and cheese, with truffle-oil-rubbed- mini- crock in which the dish is baked. Velveeta shells and cheese and Kraft dinner are also delicious!
How about you- what’s your favorite way to indulge and in what comfort foods?