October is an exciting month in the agriculture world, as peaches and corn give way to apples and pumpkins, prime for the picking. And in certain vine-filled valleys, it’s a lush time, indeed: the grape harvest. On a recent visit to Willamette Valley — Oregon’s up-and-coming wine region known for its bold Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays — we learned that an unusually warm summer had sped up the growing and ripening process, resulting in an earlier harvest. Lucky for us, that meant we were able to get up close and personal with those big, juicy grapes.
To learn all about the harvest process — and see how varying microclimates within a 10-mile radius can yield entirely different grapes — we visited a few different wineries. We checked in with Winemaker Melissa Burr from Stoller Family Estate as she sampled some of the new juices coming off of the vines, and toured Sokol Blosser and Penner-Ash wineries to see how their harvests were progressing.
Continue Reading Behind the Wine: It’s Harvest Season in Oregon
Kelsey Nixon pays homage to late-night dining and decadent comfort food with this grilled cheese sandwich. You might be tempted to eat her Creamy Stovetop Bacon Mac and Cheese —filled with thick-cut smoked bacon, loads of sharp cheddar and shredded Muenster — all by itself. But even better is the super sandwich creation that incorporates this creamy dish.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Kelsey’s Decadent Grilled Cheese
Skip traditional treats this Valentine’s Day and make a decadent dessert that will keep you satisfied for days. These bread pudding recipes make enough for a celebratory crowd or can be a sweet treat for the whole weekend for you and your sweetie.
1. Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (pictured above)
Swap traditional bread for croissants in this chocolate bread pudding. The chocolate custard fills every layer of flaky pastry. Plus croissants are almost all crust, which is the best part of bread pudding. Use stale croissants since they’ll be more firm and absorbent than fresh ones; the finished product will hold together better.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: 5 Bread Pudding Recipes for Valentine’s Day
If yet another snowstorm has you staying indoors this week, Giada’s Italian-inspired recipes are a comfort food solution for dinner tonight.
1. Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs (pictured above)
Get a kid-friendly dinner on the table in just 30 minutes with Giada’s easy-to-do meatball dish. Toss homemade chicken meatballs with pasta, mozzarella cheese and basil for a meal the whole family will enjoy.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Giada’s Top Chicken Dinners
Both comforting and game-day friendly, hand-held sliders make the perfect party food. Pick your favorite stuffing, be it meatballs, chicken or even tuna, and let the crowds go wild.
1. Garlicky Meatball Sliders (pictured above)
This ground beef and bacon meatball gets garlic flavor in two forms: from chopped, lightly pungent cloves baked into the meatballs, and also from sweet, earthy roasted garlic that’s incorporated into a creamy spread.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Pick Your Slider Stuffing for Super Bowl
Casseroles – those mom-approved childhood classics – take some knocks as retro, creamy side dishes. But a casserole can also be the star of dinner, thanks to hearty ingredients and hefty servings. Serve these dishes tonight, and dazzle your diners with their flavor and modern appeal.
1. Tuna Noodle Casserole (pictured above)
Kelsey’s take on the classic comfort food dish skips the traditional canned soup base in favor of a homemade white sauce filled with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Quick-cooking frozen peas, button mushrooms and egg noodles fill the casserole dish. Top with grated cheddar and breadcrumbs, then bake until bubbling and brown.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Dinner Casseroles
Pasta and cheese, what could be better? Whether you’re cooking on the stove top or baking your dish in the oven, this dish is a quintessential comfort food. Put a whole new spin on classic macaroni and cheese with these delicious mix ins.
1. Grilled Chicken Caesar Mac (pictured above)
Rachael simply grills boneless, skinless chicken breast and slices it before tossing into her penne and cheese mixture. Looking to cut down on cooking time? Swap in sliced rotisserie chicken instead.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Mix-Ins for Macaroni and Cheese
After a polar vortex you might be tempted to hunker down and order delivery instead of bundling up to shop for groceries. But many of these comforting recipes from Bobby Flay rely on staples you’ll likely have on hand. Even better, they ensure that you can have the most important meal of the day even after 5pm.
1. Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes (pictured above)
A strata is a breakfast casserole featuring bread, eggs and cheese. Bobby’s version is filled with sauteed cherry tomatoes and spinach. This big batch dish serves eight, but you’ll definitely be tempted for seconds.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Bobby’s Breakfast for Dinner Recipes
Come December, it’s easy to turn to pasta as a (nightly) dinner option. But incorporating vegetables into the mix nearly justifies the habit. Ellie’s Macaroni and 4 Cheeses adds squash to the classic dish. Her recipe calls for frozen pureed winter squash, but since there are so many varieties available fresh right now, in-season acorn squash works well, too.
Continue Reading Fall Fest: Winter Squash Macaroni and Cheese