Feel-Good Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. By planning ahead, you can have it in a flash—even when you’re sick. Get Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It warms you from head to toe, even reaching fingertips wrapped around a warm bowl or mug. It can be pleasantly light or satisfyingly filling. You can load it with your favorite ingredients and flavors, and it makes brilliant leftovers. What’s not to love about homemade soup?

Some days, the answer is, “That I have to make it.” When you’re sick, soup can make you feel better, but not if you have to get out of bed, gather and chop the ingredients, and monitor the pot. When I’ve got a bug, I crave hot and sour soup. But one of my favorite recipes, Padma Lakshmi’s Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, requires specialty ingredients and effort. So I’ve developed a version can be frozen as a broth base. The essential work can happen long before you want the soup. When you’re under the weather, you can simply defrost and mix it into homemade stock. On healthy days, you can fill it out to create a full meal for everyone at the table.
Learn to make Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup

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Hot Cereals

I never was a cornflake girl, and as a kid I wasn’t a hot cereal girl. Then I went to Russia. Get hot cereal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I never was a cornflake girl, and as a kid I wasn’t a hot cereal girl. I blame my dad: To this day, he calls his porridge “mush.” (If you want to get little girls excited about eating hot breakfast cereal, I highly suggest a different name.) Beyond the name, I disliked the taste and texture—or rather, the lack of both. Dad’s porridge was always bland oats or wheat, ground finely enough or cooked long enough that “mush” was an appropriate title.

It wasn’t until I lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, that hot breakfast cereals became comfort food. Part of it was stepping off the train in early January into –23°F—weather that will make anyone eat anything hot. But mostly it was because Russians know how to make simple porridge taste good. It starts with a mix of grains, improving both flavor and texture. Adding butter to the saucepan before the grains lets them toast slightly. I then take the un-Russian step of adding spices.
Learn to make Russian Kasha and Pearl Barley Cereal with Honeyed Nuts

Comfort Foods

Instead of satisfying, comfort foods might make us feel guilty or even queasy. Learn how to change that at TwiceasTasty.com.
We all have comfort foods—dishes we grew up with, meals based around favorite flavors, recipes that are filling and satisfying. Merriam-Webster defines comfort food as “food that is satisfying because it is prepared in a simple or traditional way and reminds you of home, family, or friends.” Oxford Dictionaries gives a more specific definition: “Food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically having a high sugar or carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.”

The “high sugar or carbohydrate content” bit is unfortunate but all too common. It also seems to be the antithesis of comforting: Instead of being enjoyable, high-calorie meals and snacks can make us feel guilty or even queasy after the thrill of the initial bite. Many traditional comfort foods are now mass produced, giving only a faded memory of the family table. So I prefer to focus on the other defining element of comfort food: simple home cooking.
Read more about simple, homemade comfort foods

Veggie Burgers

Homemade veggie burgers that taste delicious and freeze well? Yes, please! Get Black Bean Veggie Burger and Spiked Guacamole recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.I’ve always loved the idea of veggie burgers as easy from-the-freezer meals but dislike the standard brands. Most are like frozen pizzas: a couple of bites satisfy a craving, but I lose interest by the meal’s end, even when topped with fresh guacamole. My homemade veggie burgers, like pizza from scratch, are full of flavor but have always fallen apart when reheated—until now.

Several things make this week’s recipe work. Precooking the vegetables and draining them helps; if added raw, they release their water content as they cook and loosen the patties. But no amount of draining makes it possible to skip the binders, as with falafel. Most recipes call for an excessive blend of whole grains and flours that still leave the patties crumbly or gummy. Grinding all grains to meal gives the right texture and adhesion. The third factor is tightly shaping the patties. A wide-mouth canning ring is perfect; the burgers are the right size for buns, and uniform edges and surfaces are less likely to crack and crumble.
Learn to make Black Bean Veggie Burgers and Spiked Guacamole