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When cold weather sets in, there’s nothing better than comfort food at the end of a long day. Whether you choose to prepare favorite recipes in their original version, make healthier adjustments, or take some time-shaving shortcuts, here are some menu ideas for those winter nights when everybody wants to know, "What’s for dinner?"
• Tomato soup, served with or without a grilled cheese sandwich, is always a hit. Make it from scratch or reach for the can and use whole, 2%, or skim milk instead of water. You can also change it up by adding cooked pasta, hot pepper flakes, or chopped pepperoni for a new twist.
• Chili makes a hearty and satisfying dish and smells great while it simmers on your stovetop. Make it with or without beans, and use beef, turkey, or cook a vegetarian version. Be sure to put out a variety of toppings such as shredded cheese, onions, chopped bell peppers, black olives, sour cream, crushed corn chips or crackers, and jalapenos.
• For many, chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food but some recipes can be time consuming. To cut corners, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken and canned or frozen mixed vegetables. Try a refrigerated pie crust, or top your chicken and vegetable mixture with canned biscuits that will cook and rise while the pie bakes.
• Macaroni and cheese is always a crowd pleaser and is budget-friendly, too. Try using whole wheat or gluten-free noodles for a change, or mixing in different cheeses such as white cheddar, Parmesan, or Gruyere. For a protein-enriched dish, stir in some grilled chicken or chopped ham before serving.
• If you think pot roast is just for the weekends because it has to cook so long, try making it in a slow cooker. Most pot roast recipes can be easily adapted to slow cooking, which means you can prepare everything in the morning and come home to a delicious meal – and a delectable aroma!
• When talking about comfort foods, we can’t overlook dessert and nothing says comfort like Mom’s apple pie. If you don’t have time to make a pie crust from scratch like Mom did, don’t give up on this classic. In addition to many good quality prepared crusts available today in supermarkets, you can also make individual apple pies by filling refrigerated crescent rolls with apple pie mixture, sealing the edges, brushing the tops with beaten egg, sprinkling with sugar, and baking according to the package directions.
This winter, make sure your cooktop, oven, and other valuable home appliances and system components have home warranty protection. With an AHS Home Warranty, you’ll have reliable repair and replacement help for covered items so you won’t be left out in the cold when inevitable breakdowns occur. Bon appetit!