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Comfort Corner Archives

Comfort Corner

The Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie

By Charlotte on February 24, 2015 11:39 AM | Read More

Ask Bob what he'd like for dinner on a cool night and he's likely to say "Chicken Pot Pie" followed by "please!" because his mama raised him right. He lights up at the thought of that comforting classic loaded with white-meat chicken and healthy veggies in a luscious cream sauce. Ahhh!

 

This Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie is packed with cooked chicken breast and healthy veggies in a made-from-scratch cream sauce.

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Comfort Corner

Cheesy Chili Dog Casserole

By Charlotte on February 2, 2015 9:45 AM | Read More

When the weather turns frosty, Bob and I want a dinner that'll help us feel warm all over. Our go-to's are chilisoup and this easy Cheesy Chili Dog Casserole.

It layers beef hot dogs in a spicy tomato-and-bean sauce, crunchy French fried onions, and canned biscuits with oodles of cheesy goodness. So you get an oh-so-delicious chili cheese dog taste that'll remind you of summer at the ballpark in the convenience of a casserole dish.

Kids of all ages adore this easy Cheesy Chili Dog Casserole.

Hot Dog Bake - 600.jpgI like keeping all the ingredients on hand, especially since everyone in our neighborhood craves biscuits when it's cold. At least that's true for those who shop at Tar-jay like me because a freeze warning means the dairy case will be stripped clean of those quick little breads in no time.

Filling enough for weeknights but fun enough for game day, this comforting, one-dish meal comes together in under an hour and most of that time is hands off. You get six, hearty servings that kids of all ages adore. When you have an empty nest like us that means enough for several meals. I freeze the leftovers because the only thing easier than making this casserole is just warming it up!

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Comfort Corner

One-Pot Chicken Chili Macaroni

By Charlotte on December 5, 2014 6:28 AM | Read More

After a relaxing Thanksgiving break, Bob and I returned home to a ton of to-dos. Work, bills and bank statements had piled up while we were out of town. Christmas cards, shopping and wrapping had to be juggled with all my regular chores. And I was scrambling because my sweet mother was about to have back surgery and I might be needed in east Texas anytime.

I was tempted to forget cooking until I stumbled on this quick-and-easy Chicken Chili Macaroni recipe in Rose Murray's 125 Best Chicken Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., Feb. 28, 2014, $19.95). Got half an hour? That's seriously all you need to get this one-pot delight on the table.

A gem on busy nights, this 30-minute skillet meal features ground chicken, pasta and green beans in a mildly spicy tomato sauce topped with plenty of cheese.

Chicken Chili Macaroni Ready to Eat-600.jpgYou just brown ground chicken and garlic in a skillet. Drain any liquid. Then stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Mexican spices, macaroni, and fresh or frozen green beans. I couldn't find Mexican stewed tomatoes as recommended so I substituted Hot Mexican Chili Powder for the regular version and added 2 tablespoons green chilies to up the heat factor.

There's no chopping involved other than dicing the canned tomatoes. Plus, everything cooks in one big pot so cleanup is simple. Make that super simple if you pull out something non-stick like Kyocera's Kyo Glaze Ceramic Fry Pan. With this sleek skillet (thanks for the free tester Kyocera!), you can use metal utensils without fear of scratching the interior and food slides right off. It works both on top of the stove and in the oven (up to 400o F) and has a great stainless steel handle. Hand washing is recommended but that's no biggie because even Bob, who wants to put everything in the dishwasher, noticed how easy this slick pan cleans up. (12" fry pan $64.95 at KyoceraAdvancedCeramics.com)

Kyocera's versatile Kyo Glaze skillet has an advanced ceramic interior that resists scratching and keeps food from sticking.Skillet=600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Easy, Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Casserole

By Charlotte on November 14, 2014 6:31 AM | Read More

It takes some juggling to please everyone at our holiday table. Our son Cole's not crazy about cranberry sauce. My stepfather Ken doesn't eat broccoli or almonds. My mom Patsy's not keen on pumpkin. Then there's Ashley. Let's just say the list of what my precious niece likes is MUCH shorter than what she avoids.

But this Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Casserole is one side they all adore. I guess that's why it's been part of our holiday celebrations for almost 40 years. My mom made it for many a family gathering when I was a teenager. Then when I married Bob, his mother Jo taught me a yummy variation. Her secret was using frozen Potatoes O'Brien with onions and peppers already mixed in instead of the plain Jane version. That's a great way to cut chopping time!

This Easy, Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Casserole makes a super side for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any festive get-together.

Ready to Serve-600.jpgSince then, I've tweaked the recipe to lighten the ingredients. But it's as easy as ever. You just combine sour cream, canned soup, seasonings and cheese with frozen hash browns and bake.

You need only seven ingredients to make this company-worthy baked potato casserole.

Potato Casserole Ingredients-600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

By Charlotte on October 24, 2014 6:02 AM | Read More

Bob and I often crave chicken enchiladas. One of our all-time favorites, this lasagna-like dish offers that creamy chicken, cheese and corn tortilla taste we adore without a lot of work.

Perfect for weeknights, this Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole can be on the table in under an hour start to finish if you use precooked chicken.

Ready to eat-600.jpgI usually use grilled chicken breast that Bob has made ahead. (Don't you just love a man who cooks?!) But you can opt for boiled or deli white meat.

Once you've shredded (our choice) or chopped the chicken, you can forget slicing and dicing. The oh, so flavorful sauce includes cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, more green chiles, four spices and Tabasco for an extra kick. Talk about easy! Making it is as simple as opening cans and adding spices.

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Creamy, Crockpot Chicken Artichoke Casserole

By Charlotte on October 3, 2014 1:58 AM | Read More

Bob and I discovered Asiago cheese while crusin' the Mediterranean earlier this year. Many nights on ship, we snacked on that to-die-for Italian classic, crunchy breadsticks, a Dirty Martini (Bob) and Prosecco (me) before dinner. What a way to live!

Once home, we stocked up on our new addiction. So naturally, we couldn't wait to try this Asiago-laced casserole from Donna-Marie Pye's Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., June 26, 2014, $24.95). This simple, crockpot delight features cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, green onions and red pepper in a cheesy Alfredo sauce with a crunchy-crouton topping.

Easy and delicious, this crockpot meal includes chicken, artichoke hearts and veggies in a cheesy Alfredo sauce with a crunchy-crouton topping.

Chicken Artichoke Casserole - 600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Pecan-Topped Peach and Blueberry Crisp

By Charlotte on September 12, 2014 6:06 AM | Read More

Things have been pretty peachy in Colleywood lately. Regular trips to the farmer's market have kept our fridge full of some of the most flavorful Texas beauties ever! We've also picked up some wonderful fresh blueberries there. So last week, I decided to combine these two faves in a delicious new dessert.

The filling for this soul-satisfying sweet includes peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and a little bit of sugar.

Peach Crisp - 600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Easiest-Ever Barbecue and Baked Beans

By Charlotte on August 1, 2014 1:59 AM | Read More

Like most Texans, Bob and I need a regular barbecue fix. Make it chopped beef or pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans and a spicy sauce (extra for me, please!) and we're happy campers.

I've been known to spend all day slow roasting pork to perfection. But who has that kind of time during the week? That's why the folks at Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q want to give one lucky reader a quick and easy route to smokehouse flavor ... FREE. From Texas (of course!), these Austin-based barbecue gurus have joined us to give away a $30-value coupon bundle good for an assortment of fast, cookout-inspired favorites. 


You could enjoy delicious smokehouse flavor at home FREE thanks to Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q. They've joined us to give away a $30-value coupon bundle good for any:

Click "Read More" for details on this appetizing prize package and information on how to enter. Contest* ends Aug. 21.


 
Stubb's six new, frozen, heat-and-eat meats and sides have real, made-in-Texas taste.

Frozen Line Group shot 600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Slow-Cooker Enchilada Stack

By Charlotte on May 9, 2014 6:53 AM | Read More

My slow cooker gets a workout on Tuesdays. That's the night I meet eight of my best girlfriends for book club and, if we're busy like always, Bob and I eat afterwards.

This enchilada stack recipe is perfect for those nights. Besides answering our constant craving for Tex-Mex, this slow-cooker sensation gives us a hot meal that's ready as soon as I hit the door.

This yummy enchilada stack includes six layers of tasty, homemade chili con carne sauce, flour tortillas and cheesy goodness.

Let's Eat-600.jpgIt includes tasty, homemade chili con carne sauce, flour tortillas and plenty of cheesy goodness. I like using fresh flour tortillas from Rosa's Café, our favorite for fast Tex-Mex, especially since Bob often volunteers to pick them up! But soft-taco size (eight-inch) tortillas from the grocery store also work well here.

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Simple Sliced Meatball Panini

By Charlotte on March 7, 2014 6:48 AM | Read More

Many weekends, Bob and I live on Italian food (pizza, pizza!). We're also wild about hot sandwiches and anything quick and easy.

So it was love-at-first-bite with these great grilled subs from Tiffany Collins' 200 Best Panini Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., Oct. 15, 2013, $24.95).

This easy, 3-cheese Panini recipe is perfect for 2.

SlicedMeatballPanini 600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Spicy Southern Fried Chicken

By Charlotte on February 14, 2014 1:27 AM | Read More

Growing up in Texas, I ate fried chicken regularly. It was a favorite at family get-togethers and a special treat when served by my working mom during the week. She'd buy a whole bird, cut it into pieces (a trick I've yet to master) and always save the wish bone for the pickiest eater (woops, that was me!)

These days, frying is off the table at our house most of the time because Bob and I have to think about our waistlines. But every now and then, I like to give my iron skillet a workout. That's one reason I wanted to fix this lightly battered delight from Junior's Home Cooking (Taunton Press, October 2013, $24.95).

 Using cornmeal in the breading gives this fried chicken a delicious golden color and crunch.

Ready to Eat-600.jpg

 

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Individual Chicken Pot Pies

By Charlotte on January 18, 2014 6:34 AM | Read More

Bob has always had a weakness for Chicken Pot Pies. In college, he practically lived on 'em because, besides being satisfying, frozen ones were cheap (would you believe 5 for $1?!) and easy to fix.

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Simple, Slow-Cooker Cornbread Dressing

By Charlotte on December 14, 2013 1:12 AM | Read More

Bob, our son Cole and I love our holiday traditions. We spend Thanksgiving at the beach in Alabama where it's usually just the three of us; Christmas at home in Texas with the rest of the family. But, wherever we are, you can count on lunch at 1 p.m. starring turkey and dressing.

Since he's all about the main event, Bob takes charge of the turkey, cooking it slow and easy until we have a wonderfully moist and flavorful bird. Meanwhile, I focus on dressing, sides and desserts. I like serving a variety of vegetables and sweets so everyone can point to a favorite. Only problem is, I have to do quite a dance popping things in and out of the oven since space is limited.

That's why I was thrilled to discover this delicious dressing a few years ago. You can bake the cornbread one or two days ahead of time. Then cook this comforting creation in a large crockpot leaving the oven free for scalloped potatoes, spinach casserole, sweet potatoes and other goodies.

Thanks to the slow cooker, you get an incredibly moist-but-firm dressing accented by a yummy, lightly browned crust on the bottom and sides

Dressing Ready to Eat - 600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Chicken Parmesan Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

By Charlotte on September 20, 2013 1:00 AM | Read More

Bob and I grew up eating boxed macaroni and cheese. It was a much-loved favorite our working moms relied on to save time and please everyone in the family.

But I never thought about using this store-bought shortcut as a springboard to scrumptious meals until we received Kristen Kuchar's Mac N' Cheese to the Rescue cookbook (Ulysses Press, April 2013, $12.95). She's come up with 101 delectable dishes that start with a box of cheesy goodness, including this yummy Chicken Parm Mac.

This cheesy casserole uses boxed mac n' cheese as a shortcut to lucious Chicken Parmesan taste.

Mac & Cheese Serving-600.jpg

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Comfort Corner

2-Step Chicken and Dumplings

By Charlotte on February 27, 2013 6:39 AM | Read More

When Bob and I crave comfort food, I know I can count on this quick-and-easy Chicken n' Dumplings recipe to fill the bill.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.

Tips:

If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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