When there is a blizzard in December and I'm cooped up in my apartment, I clean it from top to bottom. I clean out closets, organize drawers and dust every inch. When there is a blizzard in April, I do the opposite. I plan on not getting out of my pajamas the whole weekend, catching up on my TiVo'd shows, reading magazines and cooking comfort food.

Maybe it has something to do with this weekend being one of the last unbusy weekends until October and I just want to relax and enjoy it.

The one thing I'm looking forward to is cooking some yummy comfort foods I never have time to cook during the week. Some of my favorites are meatloaf patties and macaroni and cheese, tater tot casserole, and chili. I also plan on baking homemade bread and cinnamon rolls. There is a very good possibility I won't won't make any of it and just eat Count Chocula cereal because I don't want to do dishes. We'll have to play it by ear.

I'm a very picky eater so my recipes are a little boring, but they taste super good. I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you. These aren't exact measurements because I never measure anything unless I'm baking, so adjust to your taste.

Meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • I use a dash of onion and garlic powder, but you might want to use the real thing
  • For the topping, mix together 1 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together until combined. I make my meatloaf into patties and fry them, then put them in a 350 degree oven with the ketchup sauce for about 15 minutes.

I also use this same recipe (minus the ketchup sauce) for meatballs.

To go with the meatloaf, you have to have macaroni and cheese. I used to just do a stove top mac and cheese and then discovered baked mac and cheese.

  • Cook one cup of elbow macaroni. I use the big elbows. Don't overcook. It will cook more in the oven and you don't want mushy mac. I only cook for myself, so if your family is bigger, you'll need to adjust the recipe.
  • In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and combine. Stir in 1 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup cream. I season this with white pepper, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard. Then, I add the cheese. I use American slices (Land o' Lakes American is my cheese of choice) and if I feel like it, I add a couple ounces of shredded cheddar. Make sure you don't buy the already shredded bags of cheese. The shreds have a coating on them to keep them from clumping. You'll have a smoother, creamier cheese sauce if you shred your own cheese.
  • After the cheese sauce is melted, add to drained macaroni. Pour into a baking dish and top with a thin layer of grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the Parmesan cheese is lightly brown.
Karla Brown/Townsquare Media

Another one of my favorite comfort foods is tater tot casserole. Mine is super simple, but incredibly delicious.

  • 1 pound of ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and drained
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (I'm extremely picky and I take the mushrooms out using a mesh strainer. No, I'm not kidding).
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  • You may want to add diced onions to your beef. I don't like onions, so I add onion powder.
  • Stir the soup, spices and sour cream into the drained meat.
  • Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish
  • Top the meat mixture with an 8 ounce block of cheddar/jack cheese (shredded by hand)
  • On top of the cheese, layer as many tater tots as you can fit. The more the better.
  • Bake in a 425 degree oven until the tater tots are brown.
Raul Taborda/Thinkstock

There is no such thing as a "small pot" of chili, so when I make a pot of chili, I freeze 1 cup servings in plastic baggies and thaw as needed.

My chili recipe is the best I've ever tasted and the easiest recipe ever (thanks to McCormick)!

  • Brown, season with salt and pepper, and drain one pound of ground beef
  • Add one package of McCormick original chili seasoning
  • 2 eight-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • 1 can red beans
  • Stir together and cook on low on the stove top for at least an hour, cook in the slow cooker all day, or use the Instant Pot pressure cooker and do a manual cook for 15 minutes.
  • Top with cheddar cheese, crackers or your favorite topping.

What is your favorite comfort food to make on snowy weekends?  Comment under this story on our Facebook page.


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