Comfort Food 5 Recipe Round-up

Is it getting cold where you live? Here in Tennessee, we literally went from 85 to 45 in less than a week. I’m not really sure why Mother Nature decided we didn’t need fall and just skipped right to winter!

As the temperatures keep dropping and it is getting darker earlier, my family and I are starting to crave warm comfort food. So, I thought I would round up a few of our family’s favorite recipes that I keep in the rotation in our kitchen and share them with y’all!

Recipe #1: Crock Pot Chicken and Dressing

Courtesy of Mary, Stephanie’s sister

1 stick butter, melted

2 c. onion, chopped

2 c. celery, chopped (Helpful hint-Kroger sells Trinity mix of frozen vegetables with onion, celery and carrot-an easy substitution in this recipe for the fresh veggies)

1 skillet of baked cornbread (I use 2 packages of Jiffy cornbread and bake in a 13*9 pan)

Cooking in the kitchen at home; Photo: Janelle Vest

Cooking in the kitchen at home; Photo: Janelle Vest

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

2 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 eggs, well beaten

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 to 2 c. chicken broth

3 c. chicken, cooked and chopped.

Mix butter, onion and celery into crumbled cornbread. Add seasonings, soups and eggs. Pour chicken broth over this. Layer of the dressing into slow cooker, then a layer of chicken, then repeat again. Cook 45 minutes on high; Cut temperature to low and cook for at least 4 hours. Stir throughout this time.

Recipe #2: Meatloaf

Courtesy of Shelby, Josh’s aunt

12-14 crushed Ritz crackers

2 well-beaten eggs

1 small onion, grated or chopped

1 c. milk

1 tsp. Lawry’s season salt

1/4 tsp. each: pepper, oregano, chili powder

1 tbsp. BBQ sauce

1/3 c. Ketchup

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef/chuck


3 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 c. Ketchup

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. mustard

Mix all ingredients for the meatloaf and add 1 1/2 lbs. of meat. Mix well with your hands. Form in a loaf and place either in a loaf pan or an 11*7 pan. Top with the topping mixture. Bake at 350 for at least an hour, usually 1 hr. 25 minutes. Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small ones. I like to use organic 93/7 beef as a healthier alternative.

Recipe #3: Quiche Lorraine

Quiche and spring mix salad

Quiche and spring mix salad

2 deep dish frozen pie crusts

2 small containers whipping cream

6 eggs, beaten

2/3 c. milk

16 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 c. grated Cheddar

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Bake crust for 5 minutes at 425.

Crumble bacon in crusts. Top with cheese. Mix all other ingredients and pour over crust. Cook quiches 15 minutes at 425 and then 350 for 30-40 minutes (you may have to cover crust edges with foil to prevent burning). This recipe makes 2 quiches. I usually freeze 1. You can add anything else besides bacon-ham, spinach, etc.

Recipe #4: White chicken chili w/hushpuppy crust

From the kitchen of Paula Deen

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/4 c. finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 mdm green pepper, chopped

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

1 19 oz. can cannellini beans, drained

2 c. chopped cooked chicken

1 14 oz. can chicken broth

1 4.5 oz. can green chiles, chopped

1 egg

1/2 c. milk

3 tbsp. butter

1 6 oz. pkg. Martha White Cotton Pickin Cornbread mix

1 c. shredded cheddar

Sour cream, salsa, avocado, etc. for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. In an iron skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add 1 c. onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin and chili powder and cook for about 3- 5 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add the lime juice, beans, chicken, broth and green chiles and stir until combined. Remove from heat/set aside.


In medium bowl, beat egg. Add the milk, butter and cornbread mix and blend well. Stir in 1/4 c. onion, and the cheese. Pour over the chicken chili in the skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes over until cornbread is golden brown.

Recipe #5: Chicken and Rice Casserole

From the kitchen of Paula Deen

3 cups cooked, diced chicken (You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and cut it up or use your Instant Pot to prep the chicken)

1 medium onion, diced and sauteed (cooked for a few minutes in a little butter or olive oil)

Mom and Son cooking in the kitchen

1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

2 14.5 oz. cans French green beans, rinsed and drained

1 4 oz. can pimentos, rinsed and drained

1 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of celery

1 c. mayonnaise

1 6 oz. box Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice, cooked

1 c. grated sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 300. Mix all ingredients and pour into a 3-quart casserole dish or 13*9 pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

There ya go! Five of my favorite “comfort food” recipes that I thought you and your family might enjoy!



The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe. Ever.

Guest Contributor-Sarah Hartsfield, Venue & Marketing Coordinator


I know, I know...the first day of fall isn't until September 22nd. But can you blame me with this weather?! As soon as I saw that the temperature was staying cool for more than a week, I jumped to put out all of my fall decorations. It's my favorite time of the year (with Christmas as a close second). I love that I can open all of my windows, sit on my front porch swing any time of the day, and light a fire in our fire pit while we play cards on the back porch in the evenings. It's magical and oh so cozy. My husband even broke out a long sleeved shirt last night! Amazing, because he's a heater. 

So of course, to add to the bliss, I had to bake pumpkin bread. But not just any pumpkin bread. My mom-in-law's pumpkin bread. It's perfectly moist, perfectly sweet, and perfectly spicy. How could I keep something like that to myself?? So to help get you in the fall spirit, I'm going to share the recipe today. You're welcome.

In my opinion, baking something like this needs to be an experience; I want to enjoy the process. For that reason, my favorite time to bake is in the morning in a perfectly clean kitchen. 

The kitchen in our little farmhouse is also one of my favorite places in the whole world. The sun rises behind our home, causing our whole kitchen to fill with that crisp, pure, morning light. We have so many windows in here, and wow. I just love it. And to make the experience even better? Making that first morning cup of coffee. If you can't tell, I love processes, and for me and my husband, coffee is just that. It's a soothing experience first thing in the morning--a good time to pray and ponder.  

Now that the coffee is made, it's time to bake. This recipe is really so simple & takes no time. You throw all the ingredients into your mixer & let it do the work. 

Here's what you'll need: 

  • 3 c. sugar (half white, half brown)
  • 5 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. oil
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 15oz. can of pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 c. flour

Mix all of your dry ingredients together except the flour. Add in your wet ingredients, and mix until smooth. Gradually add in your flour until it's thoroughly mixed. 

*It'll seem like 3 1/2 cups is too much and that the batter is too thick, but it's not. I promise.*

My mom-in-law uses 4 13-oz coffee cans to bake them in (I used to also, until I lost them in the move). If you use coffee cans, fill them up half way. I used a 9x13 glass pan this time. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. 

DONE. See, so easy. Your house will fill with the best smells in the whole world, and then you'll get to enjoy the tastiest pumpkin bread ever. 

Don't forget--the baking is much more fun if you have your fall decorations out to enjoy with it ;) 

Happy fall, y'all!

Sarah Hartsfield, Venue and Marketing Coordinator


Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

It's snowing here in West Tennessee, and I'm bundled up in my house thinking about warm things...a cozy crackling fire, an almond milk latte, getting back under the covers...literally anything to take my mind off this cold!  Y'all, I went out to feed my goats and chickens this morning, and my fingers had frost-bite by the time I got back inside.  Okay, not really, but it sure felt like they were going to fall off.  This Southern girl isn't used to these temps.

The only thing I can think of eating right now are warm, yummy soups.  Here's a recipe I modified for my family, especially on busy weeknights.

Warm bowl of chicken tortilla soup

Warm bowl of chicken tortilla soup

What do you need?

  • Rotisserie chicken from the grocery (if they have organic-even better!)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken stock/broth (Tip: I use the box kind because it's 4 cups)
  • 28-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilis
  • Small can of tomato sauce
  • Packet of taco seasoning (I make my own with ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper)
  • Toppings-limes, jalapeños, cilantro, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese


  1. Shred your rotisserie chicken to use in the soup
  2. Sauté chopped onion (4-6 minutes) and add garlic (1-2 minutes additional) in olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. This (Tip-if you want to put this in the CrockPot, you can just use a small sauté pan for this step and add to the CrockPot).
  3. Add 4 cups of chicken stock/broth.  
  4. Add in the can of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilis, the small can of tomato sauce, the taco seasoning, and the shredded chicken.
  5. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Serve warm in bowls with salt and pepper, fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
Chicken Tortilla soup with quesadilla wedge

Chicken Tortilla soup with quesadilla wedge

Additional Tricks/Tips:

  • You can also add black beans in place of the chicken for a vegetarian soup
  • Buy garlic pre-minced and keep the jar in the fridge
  • Poblano peppers are a nice addition; add chopped poblanos when you sauté the onions and garlic. 

  • If you want a quick side for this, serve with warm cheese quesadilla wedges for dipping (my kids love this!)
easy tortilla soup and tabasco sauce bowls

I hope this soup is a hit with your family!  If you are snowed in, I promise it will warm you up.