Why comfort food recipes? Simply because everyone loves good food.
This website started out as a way to organize and preserve all my favorite recipes. I've been collecting and testing recipes since I was a teenager. The majority of the comfort food recipes you will find here came from my grandmother, who was the queen of comfort food. Some of the recipes came from my mom, friends and other family.
I wanted to share these recipes so that everyone could have access to tried and true, comfort food recipes made with common foods and easy to find ingredients. I've found over the years that many cookbooks and magazines couldn't possibly have tested the recipe before publishing it because when I made it, it was horrible. Sometimes, the recipes would have strange ingredients that I couldn't find in the grocery store and that left me wondering if it was real food.
All of the comfort food recipes listed here are either family favorites, or at the very least, tested by my picky family to insure that it is yummy. Many will be photographed for the website, mainly because I find that it helps to know what the recipe should look like. Using my imagination to “see a dish” by reading a list of ingredients is not one of my talents and I think many people feel the same way.
Now, I've heard that food pictures in magazines, books and many websites are touched up, air brushed and sometimes not even food, but synthetic reproductions because food does not photograph well. So, please keep in mind that I'm not a professional photographer, but I will do my best and all the photos will be the real food. I remind my daughter, when she says, "that looks yucky", that she needs to try it. Candy bars are hard, lumpy and brown and if she hadn't tried one, she wouldn't know the wonderful sweet taste of chocolate. If I don't have a photo up, it just means that I haven't made it since starting this website, or I forgot to photograph it before we started eating, which I sometimes do.
My grandma passed away in 2003, but recently my mom gave me a box full of my grandma's comfort food recipes. As I started looking through them, I'd found that many of our family recipes had been altered over time and use. I wanted to see if the originals were still good. For instance, I have 3 recipes for Grandma's chili--one I wrote down, one my mom had and one that was in the box, written in Gram's handwriting that may have been the original. This got me thinking about the movie Julie & Julia and how Julie cooked her way through Julia's cookbook. My reasoning is different, but I want to do that with Grandma's comfort food recipe box simply for the fun of it. This will be a challenge, since some of Gram's recipes start off with things like "a 3 cent cake of yeast". My experience with yeast has been in little packets so I wasn't sure if this was still around and I'm sure it costs a lot more than 3 cents by now!
This website will be the home of many comfort food recipes that bring back happy childhood memories. My daughter has assured me that she will not be carrying on a few of those recipes (anything with tomatoes for sure), so maybe they will live on in your families. If you are trying to recreate a comfort food recipe from childhood that you just can’t quite get, feel free to email me as I’ve had some luck in this department. My grandmother had this wonderful creamy, rich chicken gravy that she would pour over bread and of course, I craved it after she passed away. It took several experiments, but soon I was eating a comforting dish full of memories. I didn’t make it the same way she did (boiling chicken bones is not my thing) but I got the same wonderful flavor she had and that was what mattered.
If your child or children are as picky about eating as mine, sharing the kitchen and these recipes will encourage them to try new and different foods. Before starting the website, my daughter had a list of favorites (pizza, beefy nachos and steak--no vegies included), that she requested at every meal time and it was a real struggle to get variety and vegetables into her. When we started cooking together, she wanted to try her creations and we've also found some rather creative vegetable recipes too.
Here you will find recipes that are harder for experienced cooks and also recipes that are easy for beginners, but in all the recipes, I've added details that make the hard recipes easy and have taken out the "cooking lingo" so you don't need a dictionary to figure it out.
I also try to give you alternatives within the recipes because sometimes you just don't have an ingredient in the pantry and a different ingredient will work just as well. Also, different people have different taste buds and the recipe needs to work for your family. The fish recipes (except baked tuna) do not come from Grandma because she didn't like fish. My dad and I are the only people who love spicy--the hotter, the better, but that means I have very few recipes that contain heat. That doesn't mean that if you like spicy, you can't add the spice to my recipes...I happen to love curry and add it to a lot of my dishes (even if it isn't in my recipe here).
The ingredients in these recipes will be simple--no trekking to some strange market that's only open on Saturday mornings. You should be able to find all the ingredients in your cupboards or local grocery store. Even my “gourmet” recipes, that you can use for entertaining will be made with easy to find, common foods. If I do have something in a recipe that has the potential to be difficult, I will try to give you a substitute for it, or at least let you know where it can be found in the grocery store.
Oh, and just so you know, I am adding recipes on a weekly basis so please keep checking back to see what's new. Soon you will be able to sign up for my Ezine to receive an update when new recipes have been added.