Comfort food and a tribute to an amazing man!

This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful Uncle Hal. My uncle has become ill and won’t be with us for much longer. He is an amazing, inspiring, and wonderful man. He is someone I have always looked up to. I have been so lucky to have him in my life.

I was lucky enough to get to visit him yesterday and I wanted to bring some meals so that my aunt wouldn’t have to worry about cooking. I knew I wanted to make some of my favorite comfort foods.

I remembered making some roasted tomato soup for my sweetie when he was sick. It was delicious and I wanted to make it for my uncle. I later found out he loves tomato soup. 🙂 I also wanted to make something that would be easy to reheat, so I went for baked Mac & Cheese. I hope that these recipes gave him a small amount of comfort through this hard time.

These aren’t my pictures. Given the nature of why I was cooking, I didn’t have time to snap any pictures. But I hope you all enjoy. And please remember to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Don’t let an illness be the reason you finally tell someone how much you care. I love you Hal!

A quick note: I altered this recipe to be vegetarian but it can easily be made vegan by replacing the heavy cream with a soy or almond cream replacer. Or you could just leave it out all together.

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

Based on a recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon

  • 1 ½ lbs Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spread tomato halves onto a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 30 minutes and add garlic cloves. Roast for another 30 minutes.
After tomatoes and garlic are done roasting and slightly cooled, add them to the food processor, with the fresh basil. Pulse until mixture is broken down but slightly chunky. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and dried basil, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes,  and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour broth and roasted tomato misture into the pot. Season with salt and pepper. And simmer soup, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cream until fully incorporated. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes before ladling into bowls.

Easy Baked Macaroni & Cheese 

Based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (not low fat)
  • 2 cups milk (not skim)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

Heat oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use one tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together.* Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


5 thoughts on “Comfort food and a tribute to an amazing man!

  1. Heather you’re such a sweetie!!! I’m sure Lori and Hal both appreciated your offerings and what wonderful choices for someone ill. You are awesome!!!

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