recipes of the day 04/30/04......comfort foods.

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by snorton938, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    definition of comfort food: food that is simply prepared and gives a sense of wellbeing; typically food with a high sugar or carbohydrate content that is associated with childhood or with home cooking.

    any scientific basis?

    Study: Chronic stress fuels biological impulse to eat high-calorie food
    The Washington Post
    Mary F. Dallman

    When the going gets tough, the tough (and not-so-tough) often get hungry. Why that happens has been a mystery.

    Although researchers have had clues that there might be some scientific basis for the notion of "comfort food," the precise link between stress and eating has been fuzzy.

    Now, scientists have developed a model for a biological link between stress and the drive to eat: Food with lots of sugar, fat and calories appears literally to calm the body's response to chronic stress.

    In addition, research indicates stress hormones encourage formation of fat cells, particularly the kind that are the most dangerous to health. That may be at least one reason why obesity rates are skyrocketing in the United States and many other modern societies.

    "In highly industrialized countries, people do apparently seem to feel more stressed -- more under the gun," said Mary F. Dallman, a professor of physiology at the University of California at San Francisco, who outlined her theory in a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "And they certainly are eating a lot more."

    The new theory has been drawing praise from other scientists since it was posted on the Internet earlier this month.

    "It's an important new model," said Alan G. Watts, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California. "She's brought together under one roof two parallel processes. This is the first time anybody's been able to put together a united theory on stress and energy metabolism."

    While the relationship between stress and eating is driven by a complex mixture of emotional, psychological, social and physiological factors, the new research does appear to explain puzzles that have long baffled researchers, said Elissa S. Epel, an expert on stress, eating and fat at the University of California at San Francisco.

    "It would be a real distortion to say it's all driven by the stress response," Epel said. "But this explains mysteries that stress researchers have been unable to resolve for a long time."

    Scientists have long known that during times of stress, parts of the brain emit a chemical signal called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which in turn causes the adrenal gland to pump out large amounts of hormones known as adrenal corticosteroids, including cortisol. These "stress hormones" flood the body, producing a wide array of effects designed to get ready to flee or fight: The immune system gets damped down. Alertness increases. Heart rate quickens. Activity jumps.

    During acute stress -- a car accident, an argument -- a feedback system kicks in and shuts down this response fairly quickly. But during chronic stress, the system keeps going, caught in a vicious cycle.

    To examine the relationship between chronic stress and food, Dallman and her colleagues conducted a series of experiments with rats, which are considered good models for how the same systems work in people. The researchers studied levels of stress hormones, brain activity and chemical signals, as well as fat distribution in the rats' bodies, comparing animals experiencing acute and chronic stress induced by exposure to cold or being restrained.

    When the rats were under chronic stress and had high levels of stress hormones coursing through their bodies, they became very active. They ingested large amounts of high-calorie lard, eschewing their normal feed, and drank prodigious amounts of sugar water. They ignored water containing saccharin, even though it tasted equally sweet. This, in turn, tended to make the rats develop deposits of fat cells in their abdominal areas.

    now on to our first recipe post. food that makes you feel better (and in moderation, coupled with exercise, should not pose that much of a health risk)......... :D
     
  2. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Peachy Lemonade
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups cold water
    • 1 cup lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 16-ounce can sliced peaches, chilled
    • Peach or nectarine slices (optional)

    Directions

    1. In a 1-1/2-quart pitcher stir together the water, lemon juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Place half of the undrained chilled peach slices in a blender or food processor container with 1 cup of the lemonade. Cover; blend or process until smooth. If desired, chill. Serve over ice cubes. Repeat with remaining peaches and 1 cup lemonade. (Refrigerate remaining lemonade for another use.) If desired, garnish with peach or nectarine slices.

    Makes 4 (8-ounce) servings.
     
  3. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    White Chocolate and Nut Ice Cream
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or milk
    • 2 beaten egg yolks
    • 3 cups whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted (optional)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 4 ounces white baking bars or pieces with cocoa butter, melted
    • Sliced fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries (optional)

    Directions

    1. In a large saucepan combine half-and-half, light cream, or milk and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat just until sugar dissolves. Stir about 1 cup of the warm mixture into beaten egg yolks; return all to saucepan. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Stir the melted white baking bars into hot, cooked egg mixture, stirring until mixture is smooth (about 3 minutes).
    2. Stir in the whipping cream and the vanilla. Cool. If desired, stir in almonds. Freeze in a 4- or 5-quart ice-cream freezer according to manufacturer's directions. If desired, serve ice cream with fresh berries.
     
  4. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Pumpkin-Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 1 15- or 16-ounce can pear halves (juice pack)
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light-colored corn syrup
    • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses
    • Whipped cream

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain pears, reserving juice; set both aside. Combine melted butter, the 1/2 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon reserved pear juice. Pour brown sugar mixture into a 10-inch round baking pan or a 10-inch ovenproof skillet.
    2. Cut each pear half into a fan by making four or five lengthwise cuts starting 1/2 inch from the stem end of pear through the bottom. Arrange pears over syrup in pan with small ends to the center and rounded sides down. Set aside.
    3. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, ginger, orange peel, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
    4. In a medium mixing bowl beat together the 1/3 cup butter and the 1/3 cup brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Beat in pumpkin and molasses until combined.
    5. Alternately add flour mixture and 1/3 cup of the reserved pear juice to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed after each addition just until smooth. Carefully spoon over pears in pan. Spread mixture evenly with back of spoon.
    6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a narrow metal spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm, garnished with whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 10 servings.
     
  5. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Cinnamon Swirl Bread for 24
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
    • 4 cups bread flour
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
    • Sifted powdered sugar

    Directions

    1.Add the first 7 ingredients to a 2-pound bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Select the dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough. Punch down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
    2.Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium bowl stir together the walnuts or pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    3.Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 14x9-inch rectangle. Spread one rectangle with 1 tablespoon margarine or butter and sprinkle with half of the filling. Starting from both short sides, roll up each side into a spiral toward the center. Repeat with remaining dough rectangle, margarine and filling to make a second loaf. Place, rolled side up, in two greased 9x5x3- or 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise about 30 minutes or until nearly double.
    4.Bake in a 350 degree F. oven about 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. If necessary, loosely cover with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 2 loaves (24 servings).
    Make-Ahead Tip: Bake and cool bread. Do not dust with powdered sugar. Wrap in foil and place in large plastic freezer bag or freezer container. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator or 2 hours at room temperature. Place foil-wrapped frozen bread in a 300 degree F. oven for 25 minutes or just until warm. Serve as above.
     
  6. snorton938

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    Scalloped Potato and Roasted Pepper Bake
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
    • 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
    • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley
    • 6 medium potatoes (2 pounds), peeled
    • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
    • Rosemary or parsley sprigs (optional)

    Directions

    1. In a large saucepan cook onion in margarine or butter until tender but not brown. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and parsley until cheese is melted.
    2. Meanwhile, thinly slice potatoes (should have about 6 cups). In a 2-quart rectangular baking dish place half of the potatoes. Cover with half of the sauce. Add all of the roasted peppers. Repeat layers of potatoes and sauce.
    3. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 1-1/4 hours. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Garnish with rosemary or parsley sprigs, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
     
  7. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Chicken and Vegetable Stew
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens
    snort's note: if a stew is comfort food, then gumbo must be the king of the comfort food...... :D

    Ingredients

    • 8 small chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 2 cups water
    • 8 small new potatoes, halved
    • 2 stalks celery, bias sliced into 3/4-inch pieces (2 cups)
    • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces or frozen cut green beans
    • 1 small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices (1-1/4 cups)
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • Snipped parsley (optional)
    • 4 medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)

    Directions

    Skin chicken. In a 4-1/2-quart Dutch oven cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, turning to brown evenly. Drain fat.
    Add 2 cups water, potatoes, carrots, celery, fresh green beans (if using), onion, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt, and rosemary. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
    Add zucchini and frozen green beans (if using). Cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes more or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Discard bay leaf.
    Combine 1/4 cup water and flour. Add to chicken mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
     
  8. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Three-Cheese Manicotti
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
    • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
    • 1 small bay leaf
    • 8 dried manicotti shells
    • 2 beaten eggs
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
    • 1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese or cream-style cottage cheese
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
    • Dash pepper

    Directions

    1. For sauce, in a 2-quart saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, the 1 teaspoon oregano, the thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
    2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse shells in cold water.
    3. For filling, in a medium mixing bowl stir together eggs, half of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta or cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, the 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and dash pepper. Spoon filling into manicotti.
    4. Pour half of the tomato mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese atop.
    5. Bake the stuffed manicotti, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings.
    Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare as above, except do not bake. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as above.
     
  9. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Crunchy-Top Gingerbread
    Source: Midwest Living

    Ingredients

    • 1 14-1/2-ounce package gingerbread mix
    • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • Whipped cream (optional)

    Directions

    1. Grease an 11x7x1-1/2-inch baking pan; set aside.
    2. Prepare gingerbread mix according to package directions. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle over the gingerbread.
    4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut the warm gingerbread into squares. Serve with some whipped cream, if you like. Makes 12 to 15 servings.
     
  10. snorton938

    snorton938 Freshman

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    Turkey Tamale Casserole
    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound uncooked ground turkey (or beef or pork or a combo)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 14- to 16-ounce can cream-style corn
    • 1 10-1/2-ounce can chili without beans
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
    • 1 cup chicken broth or water
    • 1 2-1/4-ounce can sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
    • Dairy sour cream (optional)
    • Thinly sliced green onion (optional)

    Directions

    1. In a large skillet cook turkey and garlic over medium heat until turkey is brown. Drain fat. Stir in corn, chili, oregano, cumin, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
    2. Stack tortillas; cut into 6 wedges. Place wedges in a medium mixing bowl; add broth or water. Let stand for 1 minute. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Stir the reserved liquid and drained olives into the turkey mixture. In a 2-quart rectangular baking dish layer 2 cups of the turkey mixture and half of the tortillas; repeat layers. Top with remaining turkey mixture, spreading to cover tortillas.
    3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with cheese; bake for 2 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with sour cream and green onion, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
     

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