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By Cara Beth Lewis

The Autumn season is beloved by many for a variety of reasons: pumpkin spice everything, harvest-themed decor, Halloween candy, cozy-scented candles, and, last but not least, comfort food. By comfort food, I mean hearty, rich meals that warm you up and calm you down. It smells like heaven and feels like home.

Lucky for us (*insert sarcasm here*), Bladen County is still experiencing extremely hot temperatures, so you may not quite be ready for soups, chilis, and other cold weather staples … but that is okay! Save these ideas for whenever you are ready to give them a try.

What is “Comfort Food?”

• Typically high in calories, carbs, and sugar or salt.

• Nostalgic. Maybe it reminds you of happy times or someone you love.

• Usually simple and not-so-pretty.

• Comfort food triggers dopamine.

• Usually very flavorful and aromatic.

Oftentimes, comfort foods are unique. It may be a random, cheap, weeknight recipe that your mom threw together years ago in the midst of a hectic week that ended up becoming a household staple. Common comfort foods are macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, lasagna, and chili.

Check out The Pioneer Woman’s Best Comfort Food Recipes here: https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/meals-menus/g32933285/comfort-food-recipes/?slide=28

Comfort food is good for the mind, body, and soul all year-’round. Bad day? Under the weather? Missing home? Try preparing your favorite comfort food and let it mend your mind!

Our Recipe Recommendations:

Chicken Pot Pie: According to delish.com, “Truly comfort food at its finest, chicken pot pie represents the addictive marriage of a flaky, buttery crust with diced chicken, onions, carrots, and peas in a creamy sauce. While it’s a dish that you can easily find pre-made in almost any grocery freezer aisle, we strongly believe that making your own is worth it.”

Click here for the full recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Tater Tot Casserole: This recipe is definitely a guilty pleasure that you and your family are sure to love! Delish.com recommends replacing ground beef with ground turkey if you are looking for a healthier version.

Click here for the full recipe: Tater Tot Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows: This Thanksgiving star dish is perfect Fall comfort food. Bonus: This recipe includes pecan AND marshmallow topping!

Click here for the full recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

We hope that you get the opportunity to enjoy some of your all-time favorite comfort foods this holiday season, and maybe you will even try a few new recipes out too! Happy cooking (and eating)!

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