Let the fall comfort food commence!
By Kara Kimbrough
It's fall, a sign that we can begin dreaming of cozy evenings gathered around the table filled with hot dishes of our favorite comfort foods. Or maybe we're curled up before a crackling fire cradling a hot, steamy bowl of comforting soup. While these scenaireos are just pipe dreams at the moment, eventually the weather will cool down. I think...Who cares if it doesn't happen until January? We'll still get to enjoy our favorite comfort foods without having to turn on the A/C.
This past week, I compiled several my favorite fall comfort food recipes in my "Fall 2023" binder. When the time is right, I'll have them at my fingertips. Will I use them in the next few weeks? Probably not..although I confess to making a few Crockpots and stockpots of homemade soup in the past few weeks. It's one of the few fall/winter comfort foods I make all year long.
If you're lucky enough to be enjoying more seasonal weather, you may feel like jumping in a making a few of my favorite fall dishes. If not, keep them nearby (and I have many more if you want to drop me an email). Before we know it, it'll be New Year's and you'll actually say..."Geez, I'm freezing! Hand me a bowl of soup!"
Basic Tomato Sauce for Spaghetti and Meatballs 3 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic loves, sliced thin
2 - 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice Salt and pepper 4 fresh basil leaves Heat olive oil in large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add two basil leave and stir. Add tomatoes and juice and remaining basil leaves. Turn heat to high. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally while sauce is simmering.
Homemade Meatballs 1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs ¼ cup grated Romano cheese 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder 1/2 cup water 2 eggs, beaten 1-1/2 pounds ground chuck Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumbs, Romano cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a large bowl; stir in water and eggs. Add ground beef and mix until well combined. Form mixture into balls and place on a nonstick baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs and cooked through and evenly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, drain grease and add to tomato sauce in skillet. Stir and cover meatballs with sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes in sauce until meatballs absorb plenty of the sauce. Serve over hot pasta. 20-Minute Chili 1 pound ground chuck 1 onion, chopped 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes 1 ½ cups water 1 pinch chili powder 1 pinch garlic powder Salt and pepper to taste Place ground chuck and onion in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until meat is browned and onion is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, beans, stewed tomatoes with juice, and water. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with cooked rice, sour cream, grated cheese or other favorite toppings. Overnight Baked Apple Oatmeal 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¾ teaspoon salt ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar, more to taste 2 ½ cups milk (I use unsweetened almond milk) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 tablespoons butter, melted large tart sweet apples, peeled, cored and diced Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or 9x9-inch (for thicker oatmeal) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (unless you are making ahead of time and refrigerating overnight). In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar. In a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and add the melted butter. Stir or whisk to combine.
Arrange the diced apples evenly over the bottom of the baking dish and pour the oatmeal mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight or bake right away (uncover before baking the next morning).
Bake for 35-45 minutes until top is golden and the mixture has set up. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer and travel agent from Mississippi. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.