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Fall might be the best thing about living in the Midwest. The summers tend to be hot and the winters can be pretty cold and miserable but my oh my fall is a wonderful time. I’ve lived other places in the western US and the changing of the seasons is what I missed the most, especially fall. Some of the prettiest sights you’ll ever see are the colors of the leaves as they’re changing. In this house, fall means the return of comfort food. Tasty casseroles, hearty soups, warm sides, desserts…yes, please! Bring it on. I am so content on those rainy and chilly October evenings when I’m warm inside with some chicken and noodles or a big bowl of minestrone. The leaves and the temperatures start to drop about the same time and that’s my signal to fire up the crockpot and make sure the oven’s clean. Because, you know. Maybe I don’t get on that like I should…
In preparation for the start of fall, I’ve rounded up some comfort food recipes to share with you today. When I picture the perfect fall afternoon in my mind it’s a bright but chilly Sunday afternoon, I have a mug of warm cider in my hand, a few candles burning, the sound of leaves blowing outside and the smell of something wonderful cooking. Sigh. Did I actually say last week that I wasn’t ready for fall? How wrong I was! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes I’ve found.
Comfort Food Recipes from the Interwebs
Chicken and noodles are one of my very favorite comfort foods. Pair it with some creamy homemade mashed potatoes and your stomach will be thanking you. This recipe from Just a Pinch looks like a keeper!
I love a good loaded baked potato soup but this casserole version from Mom Always Finds Out looks just as appetizing! The cheese! The bacon!
Casseroles are the busy person’s best friend. They’re so easy to throw together and you know you’re eating and feeding your family real food. The chicken bacon ranch casserole from My Incredible Recipes hits all the right spots.
Shephard’s Pie is one of those dishes that just makes you smile if you’re a mashed potato lover. It’s also one of those dishes that I put in the affordable but tasty category and I like those! The Food Charlatan has a recipe that is next-level goodness. Ground beef, veggies, and heaps of mashed potatoes topped with cheese – need I say more?
Next up on our comfort food tour are some soups. Casseroles and one-dish meals are great comfort foods but we can’t forget about the power of a good a soup to warm us up and make us happy. This first soup is one I’m going to try out as soon as possible because my mouth was watering just reading the recipe. A Flavor Journal brings us Spicy White Cheddar Beer Cheese Soup. Did you get all that? All of that awesomeness served in a bread bowl is my idea of a happy fall meal.
White chili is so different than the typical meat, beans and tomato chili we’re used to. Everything from the flavors to the textures is a nice departure from the ordinary. I like to switch things up in fall and winter and make a white chili every so often. Bonus – white chili freezes just as well as regular chili! This easy recipe from Averie Cooks is a surefire way to convert to a white chili lover if you’ve never tried it before.
I blame the Exorcist. For what, you might ask? Turning everyone against split pea soup, that’s what. You just mention it to some people and they’re immediately reminded of projectile…well, you get the idea. Me? I love split pea soup. I make at least 4 or 5 batches every year and I always freeze some so I have it on hand. Split peas, ham, and veggies in a nice thick soup served with some crusty bread. Now that’s good eats in my opinion. From Valerie’s Kitchen has a slow cooker version of Split Pea Soup that looks super yummy.
I like bread with soup. Sometimes I like stuff on that bread. Like this grilled cheese sandwich from The Garlic Diaries. Grilled cheese is the quintessential comfort food. It’s the standard by which all other comfort food is measured. And with a name like Fancy Schmancy Grilled Cheese, how can this one not be good?
If I can’t have a grilled cheese sandwich or I’m in the mood for something a little different, I’ll look to my second most favorite sandwich – the Reuben. While I’m not a huge Thousand Island dressing fan if it’s on a salad, it’s a must-have on a Reuben. Sauerkraut, swiss cheese, corned beef and rye bread complete me, er, complete the sandwich I mean. Grandmother’s Kitchen has a recipe for a classic Reuben sandwich that’s to die for.
Did you think I forgot about dessert? Never! And because I like to do things the right way, I’ve found a couple of amazing dessert recipes for your reading (and maybe cooking) pleasure. Call Me PMC has shared a recipe for a caramel apple cobbler that I might actually have real feelings for. It might be too soon but you know, I think it’s “the one”.
And finally, a recipe that combines two of my favorite things – cinnamon and banana bread. Cocoa and Dash brings us this Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread that’s sure to satisfy any cravings for your sweet tooth while still making us feel like it’s “health food” because there’s a banana in it.
I hope you’re inspired to cook up some great food this fall! I know I can’t wait. Are there any comfort foods that you look forward to every year? Let us know in the comments!