As the seasons change and the temperature drops, we begin craving those warm and familiar, homemade family recipes. Whether you’re dropping off a meal to parents of a newborn, cooking for a sick friend, grieving the loss of a loved one, or just cozying up for a night in, these are some of Lolli’s and my go-to “comfort food” recipes that have become family favorites:
Lolli’s Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul
This hearty soup is such a beloved family recipe, that my oldest son requested it for his 7th birthday party at our lake house this past July. It warms the heart any time of year!
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken (prepared)
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 96 oz chicken broth
- 12 oz (1 package) wide egg noodles
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 1/4 cup water
Place the carrots, celery, onions, butter, and poultry seasoning in a large stock pot on medium-high heat and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Place the entire chicken on top of the vegetables and then pour the broth over the top.
Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the soup simmers, mix the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Then at the end of the 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the soup and pour the cornstarch mixture into the broth slowly while continuously stirring. Once it is all combined, stir in the noodles and let them cook 6-8 minutes or until just tender. While the noodles are cooking, remove the chicken meat from the bones and chop it into bite sized pieces. When the noodles are tender, stir the chicken in and mix well. Serve hot and enjoy!
Lolli’s Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Of all of the family recipes I hold dear, this is my personal favorite. Lolli whips these up for holidays and special occasions, and everyone goes wild for this cheesy side dish. One memory of this recipe is when Lolli made a batch for two girlfriends (You know who you are!) and me the afternoon we decided to skip afternoon classes after a high school boyfriend breakup. Lolli’s mashed potatoes were the perfect comfort food to go with the chick flicks we watched that day, like Sweet Home Alabama!
- 5 lbs. red potatoes
- 1-2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese
- 3 heaping cups of shredded cheddar cheese (Save 1 cup for topping.)
- 2-3 cups of sour cream
- 1 cup of half and half
- 1-2 sticks butter
- Lawry’s seasoning salt (to taste)
- Garlic salt (to taste)
- Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)
Boil potatoes with skin on to retain flavor. Drain water and let potatoes cool down, then peel them. Chop the peeled potatoes and place in a large bowl to mash. Add all other ingredients and mix with a hand masher. For a smoother texture, you may use an electric mixer.
Butter two 9×12 glass pans and pour mixture into pans, topping off with layer of shredded cheese. Cover in foil and freeze to save, or cook uncovered at 350º for 35-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
For the holidays, garnish the shredded cheese layer with chopped green chives for color. This recipe also works great for a mashed potato bar – just add all the toppings from fresh chives to bacon bits, assorted cheeses, hot sauce, diced ham, etc. and VOILA, Y’ALL!™
A friend taught us about this simple crockpot chili recipe that we make every Friday for family movie night. My boys love it and Liza, too! I recently made a big pot of it at the lake on a lazy day. If people are coming over, we double or triple the recipe and put out lots of toppings. It’s also great served over a baked potato and as a go-to for game night.
- 1 lb ground beef (Can substitute for ground turkey if preferred)
- 1 white onion (diced)
- 1 can chili beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (or to taste if you like it thicker)
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
In saucepan, brown meat. Add diced onion and sauté until onion is clear. Pour into crockpot. Add chili beans, kidney beans, beef broth and the rest of spices to crockpot. Mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours. Serves 4-5 (We like to serve our chili with toppings like shredded cheese, Fritos, sour cream, hot sauce, and most certainly, a side of cornbread!).
Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
When comfort food means something satisfying to your sweet tooth, Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding (inspired by Bill Nicholson’s recipe) is a real crowd pleaser! In the original version Lolli has adapted for years, she leaves out the raisins and occasionally the fruit cocktail (It’s a personal preference!) and sometimes serves with Blue Bell ice cream.
- 2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- Two 4.5-ounce cans fruit cocktail (undrained) (optional)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- One 9-ounce box raisins (optional)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Butter Rum Sauce, recipe follows
Butter Rum Sauce:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
- Rum or rum extract (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cube donuts into a large bowl. Pour other ingredients on top of donuts and let soak for a few minutes. Mix all ingredients together until donuts have soaked up the liquid as much as possible. Bake for about 1 hour until center has jelled.
For Butter Rum Sauce:
Melt butter and slowly stir in confectioners’ sugar. Add rum/rum extract and heat until bubbly. Let the bread pudding cool, then pour the Butter Rum Sauce on top. Cut into slices like cake to serve.
Part of what makes a meal delicious is the company, the heart behind it, and of course, the presentation! Here are some ideas for both making and serving up these recipes and other comfort foods for fall: