Comfort food. Those two words mean many things to different folks. And whether your definition of comfort food relates to nostalgia, calorie count or convenience, sometimes nothing will satisfy us quite like our favorite foods. For me, things like fried chicken, squash casserole, beef tips and rice, peach cobbler and an amazing Oreo cookie dessert my mom makes are always on the list.
Whether a bad day, a chill in the air or homesickness has you craving comfort, I’ve got a superb collection of some of my favorite comforting recipes to fill your stomach and warm your heart.
Now, we can’t talk about comfort foods and not talk about meatloaf. Not in my book, anyway. Meatloaf is one of my ultimate comfort classics. While I love it fresh out of the oven, the real treat for me is the meatloaf sandwiches that come the next day. A slice of warm meatloaf and some Duke’s mayo sandwiched between two slices of white bread is just about as close to heaven on earth as I can get.
This version of meatloaf adds bloody mary mix for an amazing kick of flavor. I love using Zing Zang or Tony Chachere’s brand mixes because they bring tons of savory deliciousness to this dish, but you’re welcome to pick your favorite.
A few years back, my friends at Southern Living asked me to reinvent one of their classic recipes for my audience. The thing is, classics are classic for a reason. Keeping that in mind, I agreed and put my own little spin on their classic baked mac and cheese recipe by swapping out the cheddar cheese for good ol’ hoop cheese — among other things. The results were amazing, and I’ve not made mac and cheese another way since then. A reader once told me this was “hands down the best mac and cheese she’s ever tasted…” and I have to agree! It’s gooey, delicious, cheesy perfection!
I didn’t grow up eating Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. What seems like a staple in our lives now was just not something Mom ever made; my sweet wife, Heather, introduced me to this delicious dish. She made it as one of our first meals together, and it’s been in the menu rotation ever since.
This version has some seriously amazing flavor with tons of sauce to drizzle over your rice. One of the biggest tips I can offer is to resist the urge to boil your chicken. Boiling can make the chicken incredibly tough. A very low simmer is the best way to cook it through without the meat turning into shoe leather.
And no proper list of comfort food is complete without a little something sweet. This Hummingbird Sheet Cake is just that — and it’s so much easier than its layered counterpart. Mom has been making this cake for as long as I can remember. The delicious flavors of cinnamon, pecans, pineapple and banana are perfectly complemented by the cream cheese frosting. The only thing you’ll love more than how this cake tastes is how incredibly easy it is.