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Cold Weather Comfort Foods

by Sherriff-Goslin on January 31, 2017

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Everyone knows the phrase “comfort food.” The term, traced back to the 1960s, describes a particular dish we associate with security, one that reminds us of home and helps us cope with negative feelings or overwhelming situations.

What nurtures your soul? Is it mashed potatoes – or perhaps lasagna? If you’re looking for something new this winter, check out these five recipes that are sure to provide comfort during the coldest days.

1 – Turkey Pot Pie

This recipe banishes winter chill as soon as you take a bite. Its flaky, golden crust and deliciously savory filling are the very definition of comfort. If you’ve never made a pot pie before, give it a try – it’s not as hard as it seems.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 can coconut milk (1¾ cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 refrigerated pie pastries (or 1, depending on whether you want a double crust on your pie)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Boil chopped carrots for 8 minutes, then remove and set aside.
Step 3: Boil diced potatoes for 7 minutes, then remove and set aside.
Step 4: In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in the butter and oil until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix veggies and stir until they are evenly coated.
Step 5: Add the can of coconut milk and allow to boil, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened.
Step 6: Add the cooked turkey, frozen peas, parboiled carrots and potatoes, poultry seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper; mix.
Step 7: Pour mixture into a greased pie plate. If you want your pie with double crust, line a greased pie plate with a sheet of pie dough before pouring your mixture into the container.
Step 8: Place the remaining pie dough sheet on top of your pie and seal to fit. Using a knife, cut ventilation slits through the top of the crust. Be as decorative or as simple as you like – the flower design is classic.
Step 9: Place your pot pie on a cookie or baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, increase temperature to 425 degrees and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Step 10: Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and enjoy!

2 – Creamy Baked Ziti

If you’re more of a pasta person, this one is for you. The savory sausage, creamy ricotta and delicious tomato sauce cook up to a bubbly comfort perfection.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 (16-ounce) package of ziti pasta
  • 1 pound mild (or spicy if you prefer) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars of marinara sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Step 2: Boil pasta according to directions on the box.
Step 3: Cook sausage in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.
Step 4: In a large saucepan, heat marinara, cream cheese, olive oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon of basil until cheese is melted and the mixture is well blended.
Step 5: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Step 6: Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with sauce. Layer half of the ziti, half of the sausage, half of the ricotta and half of the mozzarella. Spoon half of the sauce over the top.
Step 7: Repeat step 6 to layer.
Step 8: Sprinkle top with ½ teaspoon of basil and Italian seasoning.
Step 9: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Step 10: Serve and enjoy!

3 – Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Gouda, Roasted Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Who can say no to grilled cheese? Here’s a recipe that takes the classic favorite to the next level on your comfort meter.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices of your choice of bread
  • 1 cup gouda, shredded

Let’s get started!

Step 1: In a medium skillet over low heat, caramelize onion in 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Toss to make sure onion is evenly coated. Cook on low for 30 to 40 minutes, checking frequently to make sure onions do not burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 3: Toss mushrooms in remaining olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked to taste.
Step 4:  Heat butter in medium/large skillet over medium heat.
Step 5: While butter is melting, assemble sandwiches. Layer cheese, roasted mushrooms and onions, followed by another layer of cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with another slice of bread.
Step 6: Place sandwich in pan for one second, then flip to other side and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat until cheese is melted and bread is browned to taste.

4 – Chicken Noodle (Tortellini) Soup

Simple and delicious, chicken noodle soup has a place in everyone’s heart. This recipe uses tortellini to put a delicious spin on an old favorite. What’s even better is that you can make it in the crockpot. When you get home from work, dinner is served.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups tortellini of your choosing — we prefer cheese

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Add all ingredients to crockpot, except tortellini.
Step 2: Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Step 3: Remove cooked chicken from crockpot and shred or cube and add back to crockpot.
Step 4: Add the tortellini and cook for another 15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Step 5: Remove bay leaves, serve with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional) and enjoy!

Time for dessert!

5 – S’more Brownie Bites

Roasted marshmallows and chocolate – what could be better? The taste of everyone’s campfire classic in small bites.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour (available at many health food stores)
  • ¾ cup mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup graham crack crumbs or 4 large graham crackers, finely crushed
  • Materials: mini-muffin pan, mini-muffin cup liners

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Line mini-muffin pan with liners
Step 3: Heat butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove when melted.
Step 4: Add ¾ cup of chocolate chips into melted butter and stir until mixture is smooth and blended.
Step 5: Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Step 6: Gradually beat in the flour until the mixture is thick and well blended.
Step 7: Stir in the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips.
Step 8: Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, fill each liner with 2 tablespoons of the batter. Push 3 of the marshmallows into the center of the batter.
Step 9: Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the graham cracker crumbs over the marshmallows.
Step 10: Bake until marshmallows are puffed and lightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 11: Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

What’s Your Comfort Go-To?

Are you sticking to old favorites this winter – or maybe attempting a few of these recipes? Post a photo and tag us to let us know what you think! Do you have a favorite comfort-food recipe? Share it with us! Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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