There are certainly times where we could all use some food to comfort you and whatever ails you. But, what exactly is the definition of comfort food? According to dictionary.com it is “simple, home-style food that brings comforting thoughts of home or childhood” and “food that is enjoyable to eat and brings comfort to the person emotionally”. We typically think of comfort food in conjunction with times when we are sad, like after a heartbreak or the death of someone we love. But, we can also use comfort food as way of taking care of ourselves if we are intentional about it.
Danish Hygge and Food to Comfort You
The Danish hygge trend introduced the idea of comfort food as part of a lifestyle. In their hygge world, what you eat is an important part of the overall picture. They look for food that bring thoughts of comfort and are familiar. The food they would consider to bring about this picture might sound foreign to you, but that is the whole idea. Everyone is going to have their own notion of what would constitute as comfort food for them. Comfort food can vary by region, country, and even families. A big part of comfort food is the type of food you ate growing up. So, dig back and think about your favorite foods as a child.
Top comfort foods for the United States (in no particular order):
- Ice Cream
- Fried Chicken
- Mashed Potatoes
- French Fries
- Grilled cheese
This reads like a list of all the foods you should avoid, right? It is true you wouldn’t want to indulge in these foods everyday as they are high in calories and fat. However, if you are intentional about eating something as a form of comfort and do it in moderation (or rarely), the occasional splurge might be permitted. Most of us already use comfort food as a form of well, comfort, for those times when we feel low.
If we are going to eat comfort food regardless, we might as well have some good food while we are at it. If I am going to splurge on some calories, I’d rather it be something that is homemade and delicious!
Favorite Food to Comfort You Recipes:
Amish Chicken and Noodles with Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Amish Chicken and Noodles by Neighborfoodblog – We have had this dish in my family for years. Cooking the chicken in the water and making the broth from scratch really makes it taste even better as she shows. However, if you are in a rush, you can also use my “cheater” method. Use a rotisserie chicken, and a carton of chicken stock. Heat up the chicken stock and cook the noodles for as long as directed. When there is about five minutes left, put the cut up chicken from the rotisserie chicken in the noodle/broth mixture. Let it heat up and you are done! You can also use microwavable mashed potatoes if you are short on time. A yummy comforting dinner for a busy weeknight!
Chili – McCormick– Okay, I am sure you are wondering why I have included this on here. But, over the years, I have tried numerous made from scratch chili’s and the one my family loves the most is this one. It is also the easiest – so win/win. I usually just double the recipe and add – 2 cans tomatoes, 2 cans kidney beans and 2 cans tomato sauce along with 2 lbs of ground beef and 2 packets of mix. Once it all cooks together, you have a hearty meal in about 15 minutes tops.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese – Alton Brown- Food Network – This one requires more effort than the easy boxed version, however my kids still request it on special occasions like birthdays where they get to pick the meal. It is not difficult, just requires a bit more time. It is also delicious!
Challah French Toast – Barefoot Contessa – This has been our go-to Sunday brunch meal for years. The addition of the orange zest really makes it taste divine. It is yummy, quick and very filling. My kids never complain when this is served.
Baked Fudge Cake- Pioneer Woman – Food Network– Trying to pick your favorite form of chocolate cake is a bit like picking your favorite book. Too many to choose from! However, this one is a winner just from being easy to whip together and then wait while your house begins to smell like a bakery. Delightful! If you don’t like this one, there are a whole bunch of recipes in this series of the Top Chocolate Dessert Recipes.
Biscuits and Gravy – Pioneer Woman – Another easy favorite when you need to feed a crowd and you want something warm and comforting to fill their bellies. It tastes wonderful, I just wish it wasn’t so bad for you! Eat sparingly, but enjoy when you do.
These are just a few of my favorite comfort foods. One other one to try is the Caramel Apple Pie recipe I shared from Bon Appetit last year.
What are your favorite comfort foods? If you haven’t had any of them for a while and you want to pamper yourself a little, try making one of them. Please let me know your thoughts or share your favorite comfort foods in the comments below. I’m always looking for new favorites! Enjoy!
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