Category Archives: Comfort Food

Christmas Comfort in a Cup

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I love the word comfy. My middle son, Chase, pronounces it “comfty”. How adorable is that? We love to cuddle and get comfty together quite often around here.

Comfy to me is watching a movie in some stretchy pants, a cup of flavored coffee, snuggled under a fluffy blanket. Christmas time offers so many great moments to be comfy and it is absolutely one of my favorite things to do in the month of December. Make it a Christmas movie and an eggnog latte and this girl is HAPPY.

Here are some of my favorite “Comfort in a Cup” recipes!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate:

This is the super easy fast version. I saw a ton of recipes on Pinterest with steamed milk and espresso and yadda yadda but I’m too lazy for all that business.

Here’s how I made it:
Cup of prepared coffee
Caramel sauce (about a tablespoon or two)
Packet of hot chocolate mix
Pinch of sea salt
Milk or creamer (make it caramel creamer to take it up a notch!)
Whipped cream
Extra caramel sauce to drizzle and sea salt to sprinkle on top

Mix together the coffee, hot cocoa mix, creamer or milk, caramel and sea salt. Top with whip cream and then drizzle with extra caramel sauce and sprinkle extra sea salt on top.

It’s that mixture of sweet with  a hint of salty that I just can not get enough of!

Homemade Coffee Creamers

Photo courtesy of Deliciously Organic

This is something I have been wanting to do for some time now. I am totally addicted to flavored coffee creamers but not a big fan of all the junk that’s in them. Here are some amazing flavors made by Deliciously Organic. Flavored coffee creamer in a hot cuppa joe is comfort all the way for me!

Hot Buttered Rum

Well I tried to show you this one as a video but my laptop decided that the file was corrupted and I couldn’t redo it because I drank it all. Here is a screen shot from the video. See that smile? Hot Buttered Rum.

So. Here is the recipe. You’ll have to wait a little longer to see me get merry on video. Sorry. Or You’re Welcome. Whichever. Did I mention all the Hot Buttered Rum I drank?

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups softened vanilla ice cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Each Serving:
1/2 cup boiling water
1 to 3 Tbsp rum

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the ice cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and store in the freezer.

For each serving, place 1/2 cup butter mixture in a mug; add boiling water and stir to dissolve. Stir in rum.

The butter mixture can be prepared ahead of time and kept stored in the freezer. Then whenever you are ready for a cup of happy, scoop it out and mix with some hot water! Easy and delicious way to warm up on a cold night!

*Original recipe from Taste of Home Magazine

The only thing that can possibly make these drinks more comforting is the people you are sharing them with. (YES. You have to share.) Enjoy every warm and snuggly moment.

Go ahead, get comfty. And have a really wonderful Christmas!

Follow #clevercomforts on Twitter for more comforting Holiday inspiration!

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*All of this was my idea. These are my own thoughts. Hot Buttered Rum. The End.

Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

This is a great recipe for those nights when you need something quick! Especially if you follow the freezer friendly steps I will give at the bottom of the post!

Beef Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
8 oz sliced mushrooms (we actually do not put them in ours, kids are not fans, but it’s great with them!)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I usually make a homemade cream sauce but I do use the cans on quick nights)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz sour cream
1 pound pasta (egg noodles or elbow noodles are our favorites)
2 tbs melted butter
dash of parsley
1-2 cups peas (optional, I suppose)

Combine ground beef, mushrooms, cream of mushroom, water and spices in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Stir in sour cream. Lightly toss in the peas. Don’t squish them!

Cook pasta and drain. Toss with parsley and butter. Spoon stroganoff over pasta or just mix it all together like we do. I also like to sprinkle a teeny bit of parmesan cheese over the top.


To make this meal freezer friendly: Cook and drain the ground beef. Mix with the mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, water and spices. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze. To make: Thaw frozen ingredients. Mix in a skillet and bring to a simmer; add sour cream. Cook pasta and toss with butter and parsley and serve as mentioned above.

This post linked to:
This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

I was always intimidated to try making Chicken and Dumplings from scratch because my Mom’s were always SO GOOD that I thought it must be a lot of work. A few years ago I watched her make it and I was like, “Wait, that’s it?!” And I have been making it ever since! My boys love this meal and I love that it can be a super quick meal if you play your cards right!

Chicken and Dumplings

1/2 onion, chopped
about 6 carrots, pealed and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced (or two if you like garlic like I do)
2 tbs butter
celery if desired (my family does not like celery so I leave it out)
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
2 (32 oz) cartons of chicken broth
1 tsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/4 cup biscuit mix
2/3 cup milk

In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Mix in chopped onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Saute for a couple of minutes. Basically just to get the flavors blended and cook down the veggies a bit.

Add shredded chicken,*See note below* broth and seasonings.

Heat through until it comes to a light boil.

(Basically at this point, you have chicken soup. Add cooked noodles for chicken noodle soup. Or rice. Or nothing!)

To make dumplings, add the biscuit mix *See note below* and milk and stir until it makes a soft gooey dough. Drop into the soup. Don’t worry, the dumplings might sink at first. But they will come back up! Cook uncovered for ten minutes. Put a lid on and cook covered for ten more minutes. You can check the done-ness of the dumpling by splitting one open. If it’s fluffy and does not have a gooey center, it’s done!

**Here is where I say you can make this meal quick. I like to use chicken that has already been cooked and shredded from my freezer. This saves me a ton of time. I will also sometimes plan to cook my chicken in the crock pot and then use the broth left over right in the soup I’m making that night. If you do not have any on hand, you can still easily make this meal without a ton more effort. Just place some chicken in a pot of water and boil it. Once it’s cooked through you can shred it up. You can use some of the water as broth as well. Or take it a step farther and cook it low and slow all day with veggies and herbs right in the pot with the chicken to make a broth from scratch.  For the biscuit topping, I like to make my own biscuit mix so making the dumplings is quick and easy. You could also just mix together any biscuit recipe together and use that. I like the consistency of the Bisquick dumplings. So I use my homemade version and follow the recipe for dumplings from their box.**


This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Homemade Fried Chicken

 There is nothing more comforting than fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner! This recipe is easy and fried chicken isn’t as hard to make as you think!

Homemade Fried Chicken

1 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk if that’s all you have)
1/4 cup hot sauce (more if you like it spicy!)
8 pieces of chicken
1 cup flour
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp salt
4 cups oil for frying

Add buttermilk and hot sauce to a bowl or baking pan and mix. Place chicken in and marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (If you do not have time to marinate, don’t worry about it! It will still work out!) Add flour and seasonings to another bowl and mix. Place marinated chicken into the flour mixture and coat. I like to do that process a second time as well but if you aren’t a huge fan of thick batter, only do it once. I like the crunchy batter. It’s my favorite part of fried chicken!

In a large pan or a fryer, heat the oil to about 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you know it’s hot enough when you add a drop of water to the hot oil and it sizzles quite loudly. Place the battered chicken into the hot oil and fry for about 15 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees. I will usually cut open one of the bigger pieces to see if it is cooked through. You can see from the picture above that I used a skillet to fry the chicken so the oil did not cover the chicken. I just turned it half way through to cook both sides evenly.

Place cooked chicken onto a plate lined with pa1per towels to catch the grease. It’s not legal for me to serve fried chicken without mashed potatoes and corn


This post linked to:
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Homemade Cheese Sauce

Who needs that box of chemically formulated cheese? Who needs the jar of processed “I’m pretending to be cheese!” stuff? Not you! Because I am giving you this delightful and easy recipe for Homemade Cheese Sauce! Replace it in any recipe for that fake stuff and your taste buds will thank you! (Not to mention your body who is not a big fan of the chemically processed stuff.)  You can also serve over pasta for homemade mac and cheese, though I think my full recipe for that is better.  You decide!

Homemade Cheese Sauce

2 cups shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
pinch of salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat.  Whisk in flour, stirring for about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually whisk in the heavy cream and then the milk.  Simmer on low heat until smooth.  (Tip: You know it is smooth and thick enough when it coats the spoon)  Add in the cheeses and salt and pepper and whisk until smooth again. 

Sorry I don’t have any pictures to share.  I kind of just throw this together when I need a cheese sauce and never to think to snap a picture!