It's been just about as cold as it ever gets here, hovering around 50 or so, and although the sun is bright, I'm freezing, so that means dinnertime is all about comfort food.
Comfort food warms me just thinking about it. It comes in large pots or big casseroles, isn't always as complicated as it may first seem if I'm trying a new recipe, and is challenging to keep from helping myself to just one small serving. What's best about comfort food is that time in the fridge over night improves the flavor. And since I'm the one who gets to enjoy it for lunch, that matters quite a bit.
While my sister's family was here for the holidays, I made several dishes I'd say fit this bill — which provides yet another characteristic of comfort foods: They can feed a big group, and if you're not sure whether everyone will be able to sit down to dinner at the same time, they're nearly always something that can be made ahead, and heated up.
I'm sure we all have our favorites, but one of mine is Macaroni and Cheese. It probably tops my list. In the last few months, I've sampled a variety of recipes, not so much trying to find the one we like best, but more to see just what each recipe can do with an old classic.
This version is similar to Ina Garten's, but I've included some thick bacon and parsley, and cut back on the cheese. Not quite a Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato Mac-a-Cheese, but the idea was there.