Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sarah's Favorite Comfort Food Recipes

One question I get asked quite frequently regarding this blog is:

What are your favorite recipes?

I am in such a passionate love affair with food that answering that question puts me in a bit of a pickle. I don't know how I could possibly choose "favorites". They're all like my children - different, but I love 'em all the same.

The only recipes I post on this blog are the ones that I really, really love. The "so-so" ones never make it here.

And, for the last 6 months or so, I've only been posting recipes that I've created and developed - the ones that I hope one day will make it into my cookbook.

I can dream, right?

So, today, I'm posting some of my favorite comfort foods.

I love comfort food. I love food that makes me feel good, deep down in my soul. Food that makes me love a little better, reminds me of home, and food that after I've finished eating it, I am satisfied. Happy. Full.

If you've tried any of these, I'd love to hear about it in the comments! I love sharing my recipes with you, and I love it that you all are making them. Besides my brutally honest husband, and my finicky kids, you all are the best feedback I get!

Here are ten of my favorite comfort food recipes. These recipes are all accessible - no weird ingredients, nothing complicated. You, no matter how novice a cook you are, can make every single one of these recipes.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies. The best chocolate chip cookies in the world.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo. A great pasta dish with a homemade alfredo sauce. And, for under $5.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes. One of my all-time favorite things to eat.

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. I could swim in this frosting. A no nuts, no pineapple, no weird spices cake that's sure to please everyone.

SG's Baked Ziti. Bacon, feta cheese, sour cream. Need I say more?

Mom's Roast Beef. The easiest, best roast you'll ever make. I *promise* you can make this.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits. Simple drop biscuits with cheddar cheese and a hint of garlic.

Cran-Raisin and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. My favorite salad.

Triple Chocolate Sour Cream Brownie Bites. The best take-a-long dessert. And, they're as cute as can be.

Macaroni and Cheese. Nothing says comfort food like homemade Macaroni and Cheese. (with a hint of sherry!)

So, there you have it. Ten of my favorite comfort food recipes.

With the holidays approaching, family coming to town, and friends coming for dinner, comfort food is what will fill our holiday tables. These ten "tried and true" comfort food recipes are sure to speak love to your guests.

And, they'll leave your house satisfied. Happy. Full.

For more frugal tips, visit Life as Mom on Fridays.


  1. OK, so you mostly know which ones I've tried and which ones we LOVE, but I thought I'd put it in writing.

    Our whole family absolutely loves the cookies, chicken/broc alfredo, and mashed potatoes. We really liked the baked ziti, although next time I'll use a little less thyme since it's not one of my favorite spices. But that one is totally just a matter of personal opinion -- everything else about it is delicious!!! The others I haven't tried yet, though I did use your chocolate chip tip from the brownie bites in that crazy cake I make.

    But you know I think you're an awesome cook! Maybe I'll try the mac and cheese next...

  2. Hey Sarah,
    I want the chicken and broccoli alfredo recipe but when I click it it brings up the mashed potatoes.

  3. Cheri-

    I went through and fixed the links - a few of them were wrong. But, I think it was too late and they showed up in readers incorrectly. They should all be correct now! :)

  4. Jenni (or anyone else making SG's Baked Ziti),

    If thyme isn't your favorite spice, still use 3 tablespoons of your favorite herbs in the sauce. The sauce will be really bland without a good amount of herbs (since it's essentially plain tomatoes), but you could use italian seasoning, oregano, rosemary, or even parsley! :)

  5. Sarah-

    The's coming. Slowly and steadily you are making classics into a new fresh taste. You're like Ina... only cuter. :)

    I love your pot pie. Did you mention SG's pot pie? 'Cause it's my fav.

    Love you!


  6. Sarah, our family loves your mac & cheese. Your carrot cake is absolutely the best I have ever have-I could eat the entire cake! I love the bacon in the baked ziti, but I am sorry to say I am not a big fan of feta cheese-what other cheese could I use?

    My only question-is there only one bag of chocolate chips in the cookies because when I made them, it seemed like it needed more chips. The recipe says a double batch but with only one bag of chips. I could be wrong-maybe I'll try those again and just add an extra bag!

    Your recipes are fantastic-you've made dinnertime at our house much more enjoyable. I love to cook and bake now-your blog has a lot to do with that. I have a notebook full of your recipes. That's kind of like my own Short Stop cookbook.

  7. Emily,

    Oooh, I kind of forgot about Chicken Pot Pie - that is indeed one of my faves, too! Maybe I'll do a Comfort Foods, Take 2 post!! :)

  8. Heather,

    I actually know many people who don't like feta cheese, so you're not alone. You could use Mozzarella in the ziti recipe instead of feta, especially a fresh ball of mozzarella that you cut into small cubes. That would be *really* good in the recipe!

  9. Not sure, but I think you made the salad for us. If it's the same one, it was by far the best ever! I'm not big on salad and often cannot eat them (ei. in restaurants I can never eat them.) I couldn't get enough of this salad! It was amazing!

    I haven't tried the others, but have eaten your mac n cheese...yup, warm and comfort says it well! Wait, I've had your roast beef as well. Mmmmmmm, the best..oh and the mashed tators! Hey, I've eaten at your house too many time! Oh no, I take that back, LOVED every time :)

    I'm first in line for the cookbook. I know I would use it and give a copy to my girls. Add a scripture to each recipe and "Z" has a hit...I just now it!

  10. You make me hungary.

    Oh, and I love how you added toffee to your chocolate butter frosting. All things are better with toffee.

  11. Sarah,

    I made your cheddar garlic biscuits and they're great. I added extra fresh chives to the dry mixture. I also love your potato skins. I will try your recipe carrot cake - it's one of my husband's favorite desserts.

    You are a great blogger. Do you have a background in journalism or creative writing? I would purchase your cookbook!

  12. My favorite recipe of all time has to be a creamy minestrone soup recipe that my brother gave me a few years back.

    However, from your site I love the brownie bite recipe. I am asked to make it monthly and it's so easy yet so good! ;)

  13. i've tried a few of your recipes - and everyone LOVES the baked ziti. it is so good - i've had people all over the place asking for the recipe. you can't go wrong w/ bacon and feta.

    keep posting those recipes - as a fellow-foodie and cook for a finicky family, i love the inspiration!

    here's a thought... you know the chicken caesar calzones you posted a while ago? well, i had some of the filling left over so i saved it (of course) - and yesterday, i added it to some leftover tortellini. what a yummy dish. i'm thinking about tweaking it a bit and seeing what i come up with. pasta is always a big hit in our house (so is bacon...)

  14. Love these pics, though since I am home sick with the flu I won't be making any dishes today.


  15. Tried many of these and they are delicious. Roast beef and mashed potatoes, Gram Bell style. Brings back soooo many memories with family, including YOU! Wouldn't it be fun to do that again? Course I guess we do at Bell Thanksgiving! Will you be there?

  16. Can I some how make a meal out of all of these? Like right now?

  17. Heather - I forgot to answer your second question. For the chocolate chip cookies, I *do* only use one bag of chips for a double batch. I don't like a lot of chips (and that's how the recipe came from my MIL), but add as many as you'd like!

    Ginger - YES! That is the salad I made when you were here!

    DelKee - No, I don't have a background in either of those things - Political Science was my major. LOTS of writing, though!

    Katie - That sounds fabulous!! I LOVE tortellini! What a great idea - let me know if you come up with an official "recipe"!

    Kristy - we'll be there! Can't wait to see you all. :)

  18. Oh Sarah - will you come and cook for me? Your food looks so yummy! I have to make a gluten free version of that Mac n Cheese. I did groceries today so it will have to wait until next week. :)

  19. Hi Sarah,
    I read your post about the carrot cake, and I thought you might like to try the brazilian variation (this is how brazilians who have not bought into the american nutty-pineappley-spicey version bake carrot cakes). It is ridiculously easy, and you probably have all the ingredients at home. The cake turns out orange, and it's usually covered with a thin layer of somewhat like a quickly boiled chocolate syrup. Blah, blah, blah... let's go to the recipe:

    1 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower or corn)
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    4 large carrots
    Toss carrots, oil, and eggs in your blender and blend (that's pretty obvious) until you get a smooth mixture - it's pretty fast. Pour it in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Quick mix with a spoon, and voilá! Pour in a baking pan (you'll have to figure out the size in inches - it's a sheet cake). Bake until done - test with a toothpick. While the cake is still warm, cover it with a syrup made of cocoa, sugar, butter, and a bit of milk (no quantities there, sorry), and poke some holes in it with a fork or a tooth pick - so the syrup can go deep into the cake. Let it cool before eating - if you can...

  20. mmm, I'm hungry.
    I've made a few of your recipes, most recently the apple crisp. Hubby didn't want to eat it after I told him how much butta was in it. (he has high cholesterol). You are definitely a great cook!

  21. Thanks for posting...these recipes look simply wonderful. I saved them all and can't wait to try.