Comfort Food from Our Grandmas’ Kitchen to Yours
a special feature from Leslie Zinberg & Kay Ziplow, founders
These dishes are like the comfort food that our grandmas used to make for us, and we’re delighted to share them with you. Everyone in your family will surely love these homemade dishes, no matter what age. These recipes are so easy and simple, and of course don’t forget the most important ingredient: make them with a whole lotta love! If you have a special recipe you’d like to share, please send it to us: firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to publish your recipes!
Grandma’s Mac & Cheese
Since the early 19th century, cookbooks have offered receipts (recipes) for baked macaroni layered with butter and cheese (usually Parmesan). It is believed that one of the first sauced macaroni dishes was introduced by Sarah Rutledge in her recipe “To Dress Macaroni à la Sauce Blanche,” in The Carolina Housewife (1847): “…put in first a layer of macaroni, then one of grated [Parmesan] cheese, then some sauce, and so on until the dish is filled; the last layer must be of cheese and sauce…. Ten minutes will bake it in a quick oven.” The dish didn’t grow in popularity until around 1914, when the importation of Italian pasta was halted due to World War I. It was then that pasta production began here on a large scale. During the Depression, everyone ate macaroni and cheese because it was so affordable and delicious. By the 1950s, the macaroni and cheese we have come to love had become an American tradition in school cafeterias and on supper tables nationwide.
- 1 package elbow macaroni
- ¾ c. fresh bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¼ tbsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. salt
- .13 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1½ c. milk
- 8 oz. Cheddar cheese
- In 3-quart saucepan, cook macaroni as label directs. Drain well.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-inch square baking dish or casserole. In small bowl, toss bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter until moistened. Set aside.
- To saucepan, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour, mustard, salt, and pepper; stir until blended. Stir in milk; cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
- Spoon macaroni into prepared baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni. Sprinkle crumb mixture over top. Bake until bubbly and top is golden, about 20 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes for easier serving.
Turn basic eggs into something special for brunch with this tasty frittata filled with cheese and vegetables.
- 8 large eggs
- ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper
- 1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella
- ⅓ c. frozen peas
- ¼ c. grated Parmesan
- 2 c. sliced zucchini
- 1 c. diced potatoes
- 1 c. chopped onion
- Heated marinara sauce and chopped basil
- Turn on broiler. Heat a Tbsp. oil in an 11- to 12-in. nonstick skillet. Add vegetables and sauté 5 minutes or until almost tender.
- Combine the eggs, cheese, peas and salt and pepper and whisk together in a medium bowl. Pour into skillet, shaking pan a bit to distribute evenly.
- Cover and cook (without stirring), about 4 minutes over medium-low heat, until set on bottom and sides (it will still be runny in center).
- Wrap skillet handle with foil. Broil 2 minutes or until center is firm. Serve out of skillet, or loosen edges and invert onto platter. Serve with selected toppings listed in first step.
Grandma’s Corn Chowder
- 8 cups of yellow corn*
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 5 slices bacon, cut into ¼ to ½-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 ½ cups)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
*Note: we found that frozen corn works really great if you can’t use fresh corn in season…don’t worry (!) just defrost, and pat dry to remove excess water.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown around edges, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 ½ minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir in corn kernels and potatoes. Add in thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil; then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leave; then transfer 2 ½ cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot; then stir in half and half and honey. Sprinkle each serving with chives and optional cheddar.
Grandma’s Blueberry Buckle
A trifecta of cake, berries, and streusel topping, this dessert is perfect for family and friends!
- 2⅓ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. unsalted butter or margarine
- ¾ c. sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ c. whole milk
- 2½ c. fresh blueberries*
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
*(Frozen blueberries can be used defrosted and increase by ½ cup more – just pat dry.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9-inch-square baking pan. Into medium bowl, sift 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. In large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat ½ cup butter until smooth. Add ½ cup sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Beat in egg until combined. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk until combined, starting and ending with flour mixture and scraping bowl as needed. Transfer to prepared pan.
- In bowl, toss blueberries with lemon juice. Sprinkle over batter.
- In another bowl, whisk cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining 1/3 cup flour, and ¼ cup sugar. Add remaining butter; with pastry blender, blend well. Form into large crumbs; sprinkle over blueberries. Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store, refrigerated, up to 3 days.