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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Cold Days of Winter – When Comfort Foods Reign

By Sherrie Norris

During this time of year, many of us are vacillating between what we know to be the right thing to eat and simply what we want to eat. We all have that special dish (or two!) that brings us comfort, even if it’s just temporary before the guilt returns.

It is so easy to warm up to traditional, comfort foods on these soggy January days. We’re here to help make it as simple as possible and hope these recipes bring delight to your dinner table as the winds of winter continue to blow. We’ll talk healthy again later!

Best Ever Meatloaf

½ cup breadcrumbs

1½ lbs. lean ground beef

1cup milk

1 large egg

¼ cup chopped onion

½ tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. ground sage

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

½ cup barbecue sauce (or) a combination of ketchup and brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, except for the (barbecue) sauce together; spread meatloaf mixture into an ungreased loaf pan. Spoon sauce on top; bake, uncovered for 1 hour.


Easy Chicken and Dumplings

3 lbs. chicken, cut up

2 med. onions chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2 bouillon cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ tsp. garlic powder

Gallon of water

2 cups Jiffy or biscuit mix

2/3 cup milk


In a large stock pan, place chicken, onions, celery, bullion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add a gallon of water.

Bring to a simmer for about 45 minutes.

Remove chicken; when cool enough to touch, pull meat into bite size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Return chicken to pot. Bring back to a simmer.

In a bowl, mix biscuit mix and milk. Drop by tablespoons into simmering soup. Do not stir the dumplings!

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.


Million Dollar Casserole

Cook l lb. elbow macaroni

Lay half in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a bowl make a mixture of:

¼ cup sour cream

8 oz. cottage cheese

4 oz. pkg. cream cheese

1/3 cup chopped onion

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. pepper

28 oz. spaghetti sauce (preferably homemade – with or without meat)

Any other veggies – mushrooms, green peppers, etc.


Spread above mixture evenly over macaroni; cover with layer of remaining pasta. Cover with spaghetti sauce.

Sprinkle on any other veggies – mushrooms, green peppers, etc. Top with cheese.

Refrigerate overnight; bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Easy Apple Cobbler  

4 cups peeled, sliced apples

1/3 cup apple juice

1 cup sugar

Yellow cake mix

1 1/3 cup water

1/3 cup oil

3 eggs


Slice apples. Mix apple juice and sugar, pour over apple slices and stir lightly. Set aside while you prepare cake batter, according to pkg. directions.

Add apples to large greased glass rectangle baking dish. Pour about ¾ of the cake batter over apples. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Check cake for doneness after about 45 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream.