April may be almost over, but we have a funny feeling that we haven't seen the last of those pesky Spring showers. Don't let the rain get you down; instead, channel all of that energy into some culinary projects and challenges. We've got eight ideas for recipes to make while it's coming down outside. Some of them may take a bit of extra effort, but it will be worth it when you can cuddle up in front of a good movie with some delicious eats while you wait for the sun to come out again.
Like peanut butter and jelly, lamb and mint, or strawberry and rhubarb, tomato soup and grilled cheese were practically made to be paired with each other. Here, I've taken the combination one better and — inspired by the always charming and ingenious Ina Garten — melded two solid concepts (tomato soup with grilled cheese, and a crispy crouton garnish) to create a dish that really, truly may just blow your mind.
This combination is pretty darn hard to beat — like a comforting hug in a bowl — but is admittedly a bit indulgent. For days when you're looking for something a little less over the top, omit the grilled cheese croutons, and garnish per usual, adding a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, and an extra pinch of red pepper flakes if you can handle the heat. Either way, this classic tomato soup is a soul-soothing must make.
As a California girl by way of New England, I had yet to taste the wonder-inducing substance that is pimento cheese till a few weeks prior. Let's just say that since that first sharp, creamy, and all-around mind-bogglingly delicious bite, I've been making up for lost time and then some. Luckily, I live with a Southern lady who shares a passion for all things culinary related, and — as luck would have it — comes from a family that's involved in the restaurant and catering business. So, when I decided to re-create this revelatory retro treat I knew exactly who to turn to.
Tangy, twangy, sharp but smooth, and studded with chunks of sweet pimento peppers, this classic, no-frills recipe comes courtesy of my roommate's stepmother — who happens to own a catering business — and is pretty darn perfect. If you've yet to become acquainted with this Southern luncheon staple, there's no time like the present — whip up an addictive batch today.
When my mom took me shopping to pick out a cake for my third birthday party, I perused the cake case and almost immediately zeroed in on a pure white coconut layer cake, crowned by a single gleaming red maraschino cherry. Now, this wouldn't seem out of the ordinary, except for one key factor: I hated coconut (and still do).
Not looking to tempt a meltdown, my mom gave in and had the cake boxed up for the celebration. Later, after blowing out the candles, I refused to try even the tiniest taste, instead gobbling up the maraschino cherry with glee, sated by that single cheery cherry. Today, my mom likes to joke that she could have gotten away with just buying a jumbo-size jar of maraschino cherries, with better success for all parties involved.
So when my mom mentioned that my (much younger) brother requested a carrot cake for his birthday, I panicked slightly. Would he be expecting the carrot cake equivalent of that notorious coconut cake? Were his eyes filled with dreams of piped frosting carrots, rather than the contents within? Craftier folk might have practiced piping diminutive carrots ad nauseam until they came out with bakery-level precision. But I know my limitations: my shaky hands are capable of a clean and simple frosting job at best, so I trudged on, and held my hopes high that my brother would be wise beyond his years and enjoy the cake for its sweet and spicy flavor, rather than a deftly packaged product.
Comfort food lovers, listen up: we've got a recipe for truffle macaroni that takes pasta and cheese to a whole new level. This velvety stove-top version, which includes three types of cheese and truffle butter, is the most umami-packed mac we've ever had. To find out all the tips for getting the texture just right — including our secret cheese for extra creaminess! — watch our video.
Perhaps you've tried cheddar beer chips, cheddar beer fondue, or even beer-infused cheese, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this bacon-studded cheddar beer soup is a whole new frontier, unless you've dined at Jonathon's Oak Cliff in Dallas, TX, where this ridiculously indulgent dish hails from.
Now, let's address the hulking elephant in the room: unlike many soups, this soup is decidedly not diet food, but that's OK. Heck, I could barely finish one petite bacon-studded bowl before admitting defeat, even though I loved every dreamy-creamy spoonful. Rather, this luxuriously decadent soup is the sort that's meant to be shared and paired with a pint of beer and a heaping mound of the greenest salad you can get your hands on.
That said, it is very good — as in ditch your dinner plans and make it tonight good. I can say with absolute certainty that I'll be making it at any appropriate opportunity I can conjure — for starters, I can think of no better Super Bowl party treat — and suggest you follow suit. Treat yourself!
Whether the source is a nasty cold, a hangover I can't quite shake, or just a general feeling of malaise, I tend to turn to spicy Asian cuisine to cure my less-than-optimal mood. While it may not be traditional comfort food, when I'm feeling funky, few foods soothe better than a steaming bowl of pho or a clean-flavored tofu dish. Recently, after a particularly frustrating day, I simmered up a batch of creamy Korean poached tofu topped with scallions, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Per usual, it did the trick!
We're curious to learn what comfort foods you're cooking or baking up, whether it's cookies, chili, slow-cooker meals, or something a hair less conventional (like the aforementioned poached tofu). Share all your comfort food photos with us! All you need to do is upload your photos to Instagram and include the hashtag #savorysight in your caption; keep checking back, because you could be featured in a slideshow of our favorite submissions. And make sure to follow YumSugar on Instagram (@heyyumsugar) for mouthwatering inspiration. If Instagram's not your thing, then don't worry: you can still participate by sharing snaps of your dishes and drinks in our Savory Sights community group.
Dread cooking when it's cold outside? We've got a recipe for chicken pot pie that's sure to warm your house (not to mention your soul). This version — which comes courtesy of YumSugar host Brandi Milloy's grandma herself! — is ready to eat in under an hour. Watch the video to learn how to make everything, from the creamy chicken filling down to that perfectly golden, flaky pie crust. On Brandi: Active Basic top, Jessie Steele Apron and jewelry by Edward Avedis.
If you told me a few years back that I'd be turning to Gwyneth Paltrow — the then-macrobiotic queen — for culinary advice, I'd surely scoff. But today I'm doing just that (well, not asking her directly . . . although a girl can dream). Haters are always gonna hate, but if one can push skepticism aside, her recipes deliver and then some.
Handed down from her father's family (as many recipes from her charming cookbook are), this brisket is bound to be a classic on your family's table, thanks to its robust flavor, laissez-faire cooking method (low and slow braising), and a velvety sauce that begs to be sampled and sampled again from the pan.
The unexpected addition of pureed butternut squash to mac and cheese may raise a few eyebrows. But not only does the squash puree help the recipe keep the nostalgic orange hue (without any food coloring!), but the taste also remains traditional. In fact, the butternut squash only adds an extra layer of creamy comfort to the mix. Clocking in at less than 300 calories per serving, keep reading for this guilt-free and creative mac attack recipe.