By Rachel Hoeing

I always seem to forget how cold it can get in February until this time rolls around. And as usual, cold weather has me yearning for warm food! Today’s tasty table includes recipes of some of my favorite comfort dishes that I have gathered over the years.

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Bacon Mushroom Swiss Meatloaf


  • Home style lamb meatloaf with salad ready to serve.12 oz bacon diced
  • 1 egg
  • 4 med white mushrooms chopped
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk or half & half
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup corn flake bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef


In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, drain and cool. Remove all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and saute mushrooms and onions until tender. In large bowl mix the beef, egg and milk. Add mushroom/onion mixture, all but a few spoonfuls of swiss, and all but 1 Tablespoon of bacon pieces. Add corn flake crumbs and spices, and mix well. Shape into loaf and place in large loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through at 350. Sprinkle reserved cheese and bacon on top. Bake for 5 additional minutes.

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells


shellsButternut squash
2 c. fat free or low fat ricotta
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, fresh and grated
1 clove garlic, diced
¼ c. fresh spinach, chopped (squeezed and drained)
1 egg
salt & pepper
Jumbo pasta shells
1 stick butter
10 sage leaves

Cook squash in the microwave for 15 min. (poke holes and place on a plate). After 15 mins., cut it in half and cook for another 7-10 mins. (or until you can easily scoop out the squash – remember to discard the seeds). If you want to roast it instead of the microwave: peel and chop it then place on a backing sheet with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 425’ for 20 mins.

Cook past shells according to directions. In a bowl, add ricotta, Parmesan cheese, garlic, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, cooled roasted squash, around 2 cups. Add grated lemon peel. Stuff the shells with the mixture and place in a buttered baking dish. Make a sage brown butter sauce by melting 1 stick of butter in a sauté pan until golden brown and bubbly. Add at least 10 sage leaves until slightly crisp. Turn off heat and squeeze in fresh lemon juice.

Place your shells in a 400’ oven until heated through around 20-25 minutes. When finished,  spoon your warm sage sauce all over and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Chicken Enchiladas


1 T. butter
medium onion
small can chopped green chilies
8 oz. cream cheese
4c. chicken, cooked & shredded or 3 ½ cans.
2 c. Monterey jack cheese
small carton whipping cream
1 pkg. flour tortillas


Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add green chilies and sauté one minute. Stir in chicken and cream cheese until cream cheese is melted. Spoon mixture into tortillas. Roll-up and place in a greased 9×13 pan with seam side down. Sprinkle with cheese and pour whipping cream over all. Bake 30-40 minutes or until brown at 350.


Easy Sunday Chicken

White rice with chicken slices in white sauce and with fresh rosemary and big salad bowl with cucumber, arugula, cherry tomatoes and yellow capsicum. Balanced eating concept.


5 chicken breasts
2 c. cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
1 pkg. cream cheese (low fat and fat free work well)

Line outer edge of crockpot with chicken breast. Put soups in the middle. Break up the cream cheese into about 8 pieces and put on the soup. Sprinkle Italian dressing mix over all. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Excellent Sunday meal served with rice, corn and salad.


Corn Flake Potato Casserole

2 lbs. Ore-Ida hash browns (frozen)
½ c. melted butter
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ c. chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
10 oz. grated cheddar cheese
2 c. Corn Flakes crushed with ¼ c. melted butter.
Pour other ¼ c. melted butter over potatoes. In a large bowl, mix next 6 ingredients and add to potatoes. Put in 13×9” dish. Sprinkle corn flakes on top. Bake at 350’ for 1 hour.