All About "comfort foods"

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Kids' Pasta and Cheese

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This is a fast favorite for lunches in our house. Acini di pepe is most often used in Italian Wedding Soup, but the kids like the small shape and it's easy for little ones to spoon up. Change up the cheese and veggies here to whatever your particular tastes are.

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Potato Corn Chowder

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I love chowders and corn chowder is one of my very favorites. The addition of red pepper adds a little kick to the soup without overwhelming any of the other flavors. This would also make a complete meal with a green salad and warm cornbread added.

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Best Buttermilk Dressing

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It's better known as Ranch (which is a Hidden Valley trademark), but Buttermilk dressing is the original name of this American classic. This great homemade version is quick, fresh and utterly delicious.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I am lucky enough to live in a climate that experiences, in their fullest, each season the world has to offer. Of all four, fall is my favorite. The intense aromas and colors are unmatched in any other season. The sky is never bluer and the shadows seem to take on a life all their own in autumn.

The foods of this time of year also tend to be my favorites. Apples abound, pumpkins are ripe and ovens are lit in expectation of comforting dishes.

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Rice Pudding

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Rice is almost always served under something here in Dutch Pennsylvania -- whether it be gravy, chili or stewed chicken. The other way that it's enjoyed is in rice pudding. This is one of those dishes that everyone here has a recipe for. I love this recipe for two main reasons -- the sugar is very limited and there's lots of milk so the kids are getting a good kick of calcium. You can leave out the sugar altogether and add it per serving, but I found that the kids were adding way more that way. If you leave in the little there is, it incorporates through the whole pudding and isn't too sweet at all. This takes time but is very worth it!

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Hearty Tomato Soup

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Tomato soup is a favorite of mine and pairs well with any grilled cheese -- simple American and white bread or more complex multi-grain bread with turkey, pear and cheddar.

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More About soups, sides, comfort foods