Friday, November 1, 2013

10 Comfort Foods Perfect for Fall

November is here, can you believe it?  Where has the year gone?  The weather here has been all over the place but I believe the fall weather is here to stay.  When that first hint of the crisp air finally arrives I instantly start craving cozy comfort foods; pasta, soups, stews, chili and the list goes on and on.  So in the spirit of fall I've decided to share some perfectly comforting foods that are perfect for this time of year!

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting- The smell of apples and cinnamon really bring the sense of fall home.  I love the combination of those smells and I love that combination in baked goods.  This apple cake not only has applesauce in the batter but has chunks of apples throughout the cake.  The addition of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg truly ring in those fall flavors.  This deliciously moist cake is then topped with the ultimate of frostings, brown butter frosting.  The brown butter lends a slight nuttiness to the dish and compliments the warm apple cake perfeclty. 

Bean and Cheese Burritos- Burritos may not be on the top of everyone's list of comfort food, and typically they wouldn't be on mine.  But growing up my Grandma always had some of those frozen bean burritos on hand and if I was hungry she would whip one up for me in a flash.  So to me there's just something so comforting about creamy beans combined with tons of gooey melty cheese.  It's a meal that comes together in very little time and is so comforting.  Pair these with a side of jalapeno cream cheese rice and you've got a simple meal that is very satisfying. 

Buffalo Chicken Twice Baked Potatoes- Baked potatoes are one of my favorite foods.  I could take a potato add a little butter, some cheese and salt and pepper and make that my meal.  But I also love to play with my food and add different ingredients to twist things up from time to time.  That's what I did with these buffalo chicken twice baked potatoes; I took my love for potatoes and my love for hot wings and combined them in what you see here.  A potato loaded with chicken, hot sauce, cheddar and blue cheese and topped with a drizzle of ranch.  Um, yum!  Add a green salad and maybe some mixed fruit and you've got a perfectly simple and delicious meal!

Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Chowder- Corn chowder is a classic.  But this particular corn chowder is amped up with the addition of tons of cheese, bacon, potatoes and jalapeno.  Now if that doesn't sound tempting I don't know what does!  This chowder is big on flavor and takes very little time to prepare.  In a matter of about 40 minutes you've got a comforting chowder this is cozy, big in flavor and fulfilling!

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese-Bacon Lover's Style- Macaroni and cheese is the epitome of comfort food.  There's just something about starchy pasta coated with tons of cheese that will make even the worst day better.  Now add tons of crispy, salty bacon to the mix and you've got the ultimate macaroni and cheese that is perfect for that bacon lover in your life.  Make a simple salad to enjoy on the side and you've got a perfect cozy meal.

Crock pot, Sausage,Peppers, and Onions- Practically any meal that can be made in a crock pot is comfort food.  There's something about food cooking slowly all day that screams comfort, not to mention the aroma that fills your house throughout the cooking process.  This dish is packed full of sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, wine and chicken broth.  The end result is tender veggies and juicy meat that goes on top of a bed of rice, hoagie bun or pasta perfectly.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup- I have a weakness for big ol' baked potatoes piled high with butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream.  They are delicious and there's just something so comforting about them.  This loaded baked potato soup takes all the goodness of a loaded baked potato and puts it in a hearty, creamy soup.  Serve it in a bread bowl or with a loaf of crusty bread and you're set!

Roasted Poblano Beef Stew- There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of stew on a coo day.  This stew is one of my favorites packed with chunks of seared chuck roast, roasted pepers, mushrooms, potatoes and a variety of spices.  The flavors are complex; smoky, spicy, but brightened by the fresh cilantro.  Serve this with a glass of red and some crusty bread and you've got an amazing dinner!

Salted Caramel Apple Monkey Bread- Crisp apples paired with brown sugar and cinnamon. Now that's a classic combination that is so comforting and the perfect aroma to cut through the crisp fall morning air. This salted caramel apple monkey bread is a delicious fall twist on the classic monkey bread. Each piece of dough is filled with apples that have been tossed in brown sugar, sugar and cinammon. The bread is then tossed in another coating of cinnamon and brown sugar and that develops a deliciously sticky coating while baking. All of that is then topped off with drizzled caramel and a pinch of sea salt. This is the thing to wake up to in the mornings!

 Slow Cooker Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin- A juicy pork tenderloin cooked slowly in a combination of maple syrup and brown sugar.  Those flavors not only evident on the outside of the meat but they penetrate through the meat entirely.  Then there's the gravy; it's incredibly simple but bursting with flavor.  It's the juices that are rendered throughout the cooking process and a portion of the onions that are cooked with the meat and those are pureed together and provide a gravy that is bursting with flavor...and that would be a perfect base for a delicious soup.

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