4 Cold Weather Comfort Foods

2013 March 5

What do you consider ‘comfort food’?

What’s the one (or several) things you fall back on when there’s a blizzard blanketing the neighborhood, or when someone in your family is sick or when you need a happy, warm & fuzzy meal that reminds you of your mama?!

My 4 favorite go-to Comfort Foods

  1. Chicken Vermicelli (a cream-y, soup-y pasta dish)
  2. Stove Top Meatloaf & Roasted potatoes (I know, but seriously give it a chance!)
  3. Potato Soup Thick & Cheesy
  4. Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

Chicken Vermicelli

I think you could call it Thick Chicken Noodle soup… but it’s made with Vermicelli Noodles so we always called it Chicken Vermicelli. I remember my oldest sister was the first to make it and then my mom adopted it from her. I was still a kid at the time and we all liked it so well it became a regular Winter Meal.

RECIPE:

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 2 Quarts Chicken Broth (made when you boil chicken)
  • ½ Green Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion (or ½ large) Chopped
  • ¾ C (or 1 C) Diced Celery
  • 1 Stick Butter (or ½ stick if you prefer)
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 12 oz. Vermicelli Noodles
  • 1 Small Jar Pimentos
  • 1 7oz Can Sliced Mushrooms (or chopped if picky eater don’t like the larger slices)
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Boil Chicken until it falls off the bones, about 1-1.5 hours on a low boil. (If frozen boil for 2 hours.) Drain Chicken but keep the broth! After the Chicken is cool, debone and dice in large chunks (set aside).  Add the butter, green pepper, onion and celery to a large sauce pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to the 2 Quarts of chicken broth and bring to boil. Add the Vermicelli noodles (I break them in half) and cook on med low for about 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Add the soup, mushrooms, pimento and diced chicken, heat thru (another 5 minutes or so) and serve with a giant hunk of Italian Bread!

***

Stove Top Meatloaf and Roasted Potatoes (Adapted from Kraft.com)

My meatloaf comes straight from the Kraft Foods recipe box. I was researching for fun ways to use Stove Top stuffing and came across the idea to add it directly to your meatloaf.  (???) I was surprised and intrigued. (And tried it out right away.)  It takes only 5 minutes to prepare! I always make roasted red potatoes chopped up with dots of butter and Lipton Onion soup mix sprinkled on top, wrapped up in tin foil and baked at the same time as the meatloaf.

My kids now beg for this meatloaf and I quote: “Some kids hate their mom’s meatloaf! Not us, we LOVE ours!” They somehow think this is the funniest thing on the planet…

RECIPE:

  • 1-2 Lbs of Ground Beef
  • 1 Package Stove Top Stufffing  (I have used nearly every variety and they all work great)
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Favorite prepared BBQ sauce (Kraft wants you to use their sauce of course…)
  • 1 Cup warm water

Dump it all in a large bowl and prepare to get your hands messy. Wash hands and mix it all up. Place one large loaf in a foil lined 9×13 pan, or two smaller loaves. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Chop about 4-6 cups of Red Potatoes into large chunks (I do not peel them). Place them in a square foil lined backing dish.  Sprinkle a whole envelope of Lipton Onion Soup mix over the top and ½ to whole stick of butter dotted over the top as well. Close up the foil around the potatoes and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees as well. (If you like softer potatoes bake longer or if you want more firm potatoes check them at 45 minutes.)

***

Thick & Cheesy Potato Soup

(I’m from Idaho— yo! Where potatoes are awesome.) I’ve tried out too many potato soup recipes to count. I always want it thicker, with more vegetables and cheesier.. so finally I made my own!  Served with lots of fun toppings makes it all the more yummy of course.

RECIPE:

  • 1 Cup + Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup + Chopped Celery
  • 2 Cup Medium Chopped Potato (I uses both red & brown)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Cups Butter
  • 1/2-3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Quart Half & Half
  • Salt & Pepper To taste
  • Optional: Corn, Parsely, Chicken Boullion, Adobo Seasoning
  • 1/2 pound cooked & crumbled bacon (cook it in the oven!!)

In a large saute pan, at half stick butter and diced onions and celery. Saute until onions are transparent. Transfer to a large stock pot and add the potatoes. I add corn at this point. Add enough water to just cover the veggies and cook until tender. Bake the bacon in the oven and meanwhile in the first large saute pan, add remaining butter and melt on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup flour if you want a medium thickness to your soup… 3/4 cup if you want it REALLY thick. Whisk until the flour is combined. Then add the half & half and continue whisking until the rue is smooth. It will thicken very fast.

Add the thickened cream sauce to the tender vegetables (undrained) and heat through. Season with salt & pepper, 1+ teaspoon of parsley and 1 teaspoon bullion or Adobo Seasoning. If your soup is too thick at this point add 1/2 can of Chicken broth or more as needed.

Serve with cheese and bacon of course!

***

Easy BBQ Baked Chicken

And last but not least I found this Baked BBQ Chicken recipe in one of those ‘group cookbooks’ where a community of women contributed their favorite recipes. It’s crazy simple. And it’s literally one of the top 5 favorite meals for all my kids. (And that’s saying A LOT!)

Basically just cook chicken breasts for an hour in a casserole dish with a whole jar of BBQ sauce dumped in. You could stop there but no. Add bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, tomatoes and avocados to kick this easy chicken dish up to ‘Company’ status! Serve with rice and voilà!

RECIPE:

  • 5 Chicken Breasts
  • Whole Jar of BBQ Sauce
  • 1 7oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • Plus fill up the 7oz Can with Water
  • Cooked, crumbled Bacon
  • Slices of Cheese (Cheddar, Pepper Jack, whatever you like!)
  • Diced Tomatoes, Avocado, Red Onion

Place the breasts in a Pam sprayed (or foil lined) 9×13 pan. Pour the Jar of BBQ Sauce and Tomato sauce over the top of chicken. Then fill the can with water and pour that over the chicken as well. Sort of stir around to mix the sauce. Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Test for 165 degrees with a meat thermometer, when done pull out of the oven, dish up by placing a cheese slice and bacon on top of the chicken and sprinkle the diced vegetables over the top.

Serve over Rice!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    January 23, 2014

    I love stove top stuffing meatloaf, I’ve been making it like that for years.. Beast meatloaf ever, but I use ketchup and wortchesire sause instead of BBQ

    • January 23, 2014

      My kids always joke…. aren’t you supposed to HATE your mom’s meatloaf?
      We don’t. We LOVE it! :)

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