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Posts Tagged ‘Comfort Food’

Beef Soup platedIf you’re looking for a warm bowl of comfort food on a cold wintery day, this hearty beef and barley soup definitely fits the bill.

Easy to make, you can serve a large group with this recipe.

Add a green salad and some toasted bread on the side and you’ve got a great meal.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Take about two pounds of stew meat and trim off most of the fat, cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

Take about two pounds of stew meat and trim off most of the fat, cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

Season with an all-purpose seasoning and salt.

Season with an all-purpose seasoning and salt.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Doesn't that look yummy? Don't you want to just snitch a piece?

Doesn’t that look yummy? Don’t you want to just snitch a piece?

When the meat is almost done, add water and broth to your stock pot.

When the meat is almost done, add water and broth to your stock pot.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover then cook on medium-high heat until it reaches a nice roiling boil.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover then cook on medium-high heat until it reaches a nice roiling boil.

Add meat, cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Add meat, cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Beef Barley Soup

2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 cup celery, cut into small pieces

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

4 cups chicken broth

8 cups water

1 cup Quick Barley

1 tbsp. parsley flakes

1 tbsp. all-seasoning

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion flakes (or add real onion pieces if you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a nine-inch cast iron skillet, give it a light coat of non-stick cooking spray. Place stew meat in the pan, add 2 tsp. all-seasoning and 1 tsp. salt. Cover with foil and bake 2 1/2 hours.

Just before the meat is done, put eight cups of water on to boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or stock pot. (I used an 8-quart pot).

Add the chicken broth, salt, vegetables, barley, remaining seasoning, and parsley flakes (I happened to find some left-over potatoes in the fridge and tossed them in, too!) Cover and bring this to a boil.

Once it gets rolling, add the meat. Make sure you scrape all the delicious beefy goodness from the bottom of the pan into the soup. Cover and turn heat down to medium, letting this simmer for about 15 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.

Serve and enjoy!

She Who Loves a Warm Bowl of Soup on a Cold Day

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Hash Brown Casserole PlatedOur weather has been incredibly and ridiculously cold the past week or so (although it seems like months!).

The bone-chilling temperatures just make me crave comfort-type food. Something warm and filling.

The other day, in a panic to come up with something edible for dinner before Captain Cavedweller arrived home, tired and hungry, I whipped up a hash brown casserole. Super easy, it proved to be quite tasty.

Simple ingredients

Simple ingredients

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Stir together until cracker crumbs are well coated.

Stir together until cracker crumbs (in my case, chunks… did I mention I was in a hurry?) are well coated.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

When it's done, you'll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

When it’s done, you’ll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs frozen shredded hash browns

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar (or colby-jack cheese) grated

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

1 tsp. parsley

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt butter then crumbled crackers into it, stirring until well coated. Set aside.

Mix the remaining  ingredients together, place in prepared pan, and top with 1/2 cup additional cheese, if desired. Top with the cracker crumbs and bake for an hour.

Remove and indulge in the deliciousness!

She Who Should Not Make This Again, but It Was So Yummy

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Meatloaf plated

Captain Cavedweller isn’t a meatloaf fan and I’m allergic to processed tomatoes, so we’ve avoided meatloaf at our house.

The other day I got inspired to see if I could either find or create a recipe that didn’t use ketchup or any kind of canned tomatoes. Boy, did that turn out to be a tasty decision. Finding a few recipes online, I combined elements of what I liked and came up with a meatloaf recipe that is nothing like the one Granny used to make, but delicious all the same!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Start by slicing and dicing your celery into small, thin pieces.

Start by slicing and dicing your celery into small, thin pieces.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and add celery and onion flakes. If you want to use fresh onion and add garlic, you can certainly do that, too. Cook until celery is soft then let cool.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and add celery and onion flakes. If you want to use fresh onion and add garlic, you can certainly do that, too. Cook until celery is soft then let cool.

Add celery mixture to remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Add celery mixture to remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

 

Form mixture into a loaf on a rimmed baking sheet. I lined mine with foil because I'm lazy and don't like scraping goo off the pan. The loaf should be about twelve inches long, four to five inches wide and at least an inch and a half to two inches deep.

Form mixture into a loaf on a rimmed baking sheet. I lined mine with foil because I’m lazy and don’t like scraping goo off the pan. The loaf should be about twelve inches long, four to five inches wide and at least an inch and a half to two inches deep.

 

While the meatloaf is baking, pour two cups of chicken broth into a pan with butter. You can add a spoon of crushed garlic if you want, which we didn't. This is going to cook for about twenty minutes, until it starts to thicken (although it will still be thin, not like gravy).

While the meatloaf is baking, pour two cups of chicken broth into a pan with butter. You can add a spoon of crushed garlic if you want, which we didn’t. This is going to cook for about twenty minutes, until it starts to thicken (although it will still be thin, not like gravy).

 

Bake the meatloaf until nice and brown - about an hour.

Bake the meatloaf until nice and brown – about an hour.

 

Slice and serve with the "gravy" drizzled over the top.

Slice and serve with the “gravy” drizzled over the top.

 

Not Your Granny’s Meatloaf

2 pounds of ground beef

3 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 tbsp. parsley

1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs

1 tsp. seasoning

dash of salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup of thinly sliced and diced celery

1 tsp. onion flakes (or you can add fresh onion)

2 cups chicken broth

3 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thinly slice and dice celery. Heat olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat and add celery and onion (you can also add a little garlic if you want). Cook until celery is softened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix celery with remaining ingredients until thoroughly blended.

Line a rimmed baking pan with foil (if you’re lazy like me) and give it a shot of non-stick spray. Form a loaf in the pan that is about 12 inches long by 4-5 inches wide by 1 1/2-2 inches deep.

Bake for an hour, until outside is a nice, deep brown.

About twenty-five minutes before the meatloaf is finished baking, pour 2 cups of chicken broth into a heavy skillet with the butter. You can add a spoon of crushed garlic if you want or a spoon of seasoning.

Bring to a boil then simmer for about twenty minutes, until it starts to thicken. It will not get thick like gravy, but will be thicker than broth.

When the meatloaf is finished, slice and drizzle with the gravy and enjoy the delicious, yummy treat!

She Who Will Be Making This Again

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I came across this recipe a few years ago and it has quickly become a favorite comfort food dish that is tasty enough to serve to family and friends alike.

The thing I like best about this particular recipe is that you can make it the night before! Enjoy!

Cashew Chicken Casserole

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1/2 shredded cheddar or colby-jack cheese

1 tsp. onion flakes

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

1 10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup

1 3/4 cups milk

1 can chicken broth

1/4 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 20)

3/4 cup cashew halves

In a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan, layer the first six ingredients, in the order listed. In a bowl, combine the soups, milk and broth. Pour over layers in pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Toss butter and cracker crumbs together and sprinkle over casserole. Top with cashews and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until macaroni is tender.

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January is a great month to dig into my stash of comfort food recipes. When the weather is gloomy, there is nothing like a comfort-food meal to just make the day seem brighter.

One of Hubby’s favorites is salisbury steak. I know there are many, many variations of this recipe, but this is an easy one that we both enjoy.

Salisbury Steak

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 small can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup bread crumbs (or Saltine crackers crumbled)

1 egg

1 tsp. onion flakes

1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup water

In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, onion flakes, seasoning, salt and pepper. Form into six patties. Combine water and soup in a separate bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of the patties. Pour off excess fat.  Pour soup mix over patties, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is great served with rice or creamy mashed potatoes.

Enjoy and Happy Entertaining!

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Growing up, I think I was the only one in our home who loved pasta – especially Mom’s chicken and noodles. She made the noodles from scratch and cooked the chicken for hours until it literally fell apart. It was probably my favorite meal that she made (which she never made often enough!).

Since I still love chicken and noodles but don’t have the time to invest in preparing it the way she did, I was thrilled when I found this easy crock pot recipe. It takes just minutes to put together and is so good. It is the perfect comfort food for a cold wintery day. Enjoy!

Chicken & Noodles

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper to taste

2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup

1 14-1/2 oz. can chicken broth

16-oz. package of wide egg noodles, cooked

Place chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkled the salt and pepper. Top with both cans of cream of chicken soup, cover and cook on low setting for six hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and add broth along with the cooked noodles. Mix well, cover and cook on low setting for an additional 30 minutes or until heated through. Serves 6.

Happy Entertaining!

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