My definition is food that:

  • is seasonal.
  • smells great.
  • warms me in winter and cools me in summer.
  • only has one or two ingredients not on my staples list. This way I don’t spend too much and feel too guilty to enjoy it.

This week my five planned dinners are:

My two planned seasonal sides will be:

Comfort food needs to be full of flavor. Don’t you agree? The French certainly do. (I’m not sure about the British.) So, though people often associate tea with England, I hope to visit France for the food someday. Once a weekend, my man and I pretend we’re French. We eat great bread, a great cheese, a special appetizer and open a bottle of wine. This week’s appetizer we will make is Prosciutto Wrapped Apple Slices.

And because I’m a mom who doesn’t always rush out the door each morning, married a man who cooks the dinners, and suffers from her share of 21st century mommy-guilt, I will make these two breakfasts this week:

And because I’m Tea Party Girl, we must have a few special tea treats. This week I plan to make caramel apples (and because I live with children, they WILL be dipped in some kind of sprinkles) and Cran-Applesauce Sundaes.

Now, you might be wondering. Does all this go with tea? Absolutely. Remember, tea is like wine in its intricacies, nuances, and food-pairing possibilities. The children we will host this weekend drink tea daily as do mine, even though five out of the six of them are boys. So all the above will include multiple pots of tea.

Two of my favorite resources for my menu inspirations are Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine and Everyday Food: Great Food Fast. If you want to start cooking seasonally more, but aren’t quite ready for Chez Panisse Café cookbooks, I recommend adding these two resources to your menu planning.

What’s your definition of comfort food? Let us know in the comments below.