Comfort Food Week ~ Third Day

We’ve sure been enjoying our comfort food dinners and leftovers this week. For this recipe that we had the last couple days, Southern Macaroni and Cheese, I’m going to send you back to Sweet Tea and Cornbread. This version has some unusual things I wouldn’t have thought to put in my mac and cheese, but they mesh together and create such a perfect taste that it takes this American staple to a whole new level.

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For dessert, nothing says comfort food like good old-fashioned apple pie. I don’t measure anything, but basically what you do is, mix up a bunch, and I mean a bunch, of peeled, cored, sliced apples with real generous amounts of white sugar, brown sugar, a couple heaping tablespoons of flour, about a teaspoon of cinnamon, dashes of nutmeg and salt, and a good splash of lemon juice. Feel intimidated? Just taste the apple mixture and adjust the flavors how you want it. Put it in a pie plate lined with pie crust. The reason you want a bunch of apples is that you want to mound it up pretty high. It’ll shrink some during baking. Dot with butter, cover with the a top crust in which you cut some steam vents, and then paint the top with cream or half and half and sprinkle white sugar on it. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool for at least an hour to give it time to gel. Good fall eating!

 

Comfort Food Week ~ Second Day

Another yummy Comfort Food Week dinner to report. Chicken noodle soup is an old American favorite, and this particular recipe, Silky Chicken Noodle Soup, is THE best in my family’s opinion. For this recipe, I’m just going to send you to my favorite food blog Sweet Tea and Cornbread. I make it exactly as they say.

For dessert, nothing says comfort food like bread pudding. Here’s our favorite, Caramel Bread Pudding.

1 stick of butter, melted

1 cup of brown sugar

Lots of slices of white bread

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Several dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix melted butter and brown sugar in bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan. Place a layer of white bread on top. Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla and pour half of it over bread, then sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

What are your favorite comfort food recipes?

Comfort Food Week ~ First Day

BreadsWhere I live we’re having crisp, cool autumn days now, which makes me think of nice, warm comfort food. So I announced to my family that this would be Comfort Food Week, and I picked out some of my favorite recipes to have for dinner this week. The first day we had Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes, with salad and rolls, followed by homemade, from-scratch banana pudding. Yum! I made enough to last two nights, so we won’t actually be having seven days of different things. And it was so good, it’s nice to be able to enjoy it for two dinners.

Here’s my Salisbury steak recipe:

Combine 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, a small chopped onion, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Form into 8 patties, cook in a couple tablespoons of oil till no longer pink, and drain. Mix together and add 2 cans beef consomme, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 4 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Cook and stir till gravy is thickened.

For my mashed potatoes, which is pretty basic and I don’t need to tell you that, I had a used-up bottle of Ranch dressing that still had a coating of dressing in the bottle that I didn’t want to waste. I poured about a half cup of milk into the bottle, replaced the lid, and shook it up really well, then poured that into the potatoes and whipped them. Great flavor.

I like my banana pudding with meringue on top instead of whipped cream, and here’s a link to a recipe like mine. Good stuff right there!

Easy Peasy Pizza

Easy Peasy Pizza

Want an inexpensive, quick dinner for those busy days, and maybe eating out isn’t an option? Try my Easy Peasy Pizza. The basic ingredients are ones that, if you don’t keep them on hand, you really should so that you can always have a cheap, tasty dinner that’s also popular with kids. And you can even dress it up with various leftovers you need to use up.

Preheat oven to lowest setting (about 170 degrees F.)

Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups flour

1 T. yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 T. oil

1 cup hot water

Mix all ingredients and knead for about one minute (really, that’s all). Place dough in oil-coated bowl and turn over so all of dough gets coated and place in warmed oven. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door ajar. Let rise for 20 minutes. When you take the dough out, start preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Then use your fingers to spread the dough out in a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet that’s about 15 x 10 inches and coated with cooking spray. Don’t stretch the dough because you’ll get holes in it. Just gently press it outwards from the middle till it fills the pan. It won’t seem like it, but this dough really will fill the whole pan. Top with pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce

3 oz. tomato paste

3 oz. water

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

Mix all ingredients together and cover top of pizza dough. Top with 8-oz. package of shredded Mozzarella cheese and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

The basic pizza is yummy enough, but here’s where you can have some fun. Raid the fridge for goodies you can add to personalize your pizza. You can do pepperoni, sausage (cook first), olives, onions. I did one we loved that included thin-sliced zucchini, Roma tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese in addition to the Mozzarella. For another one I used some shredded chicken seasoned with garlic powder and oregano. The one pictured above has julienne-cut ham and red, green, and yellow peppers on it. It’s a great way to use up leftovers you don’t want to throw away but which there are not enough of to serve your family. Bon appetit!