Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 10 List: America's Favorite Holiday Comfort Foods and Recipes

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It's my favorite time of the year (and favorite recipes too)! 

We are a big food family. Not sure if that comes from my family owning restaurants, working in them or the simple fact that we are from New Orleans. It just is what it is and in our house the food is just as important as the presents! So preparing for the holiday meals is an all-hands on deck event in itself. It is a tradition that I love! And while we aren't always together each year, I feel the bond of my family and ancestors when I make our family dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I also like to try new things and expose my kids to new flavors, so we always have one dish that is a new recipe try. Our side dishes far out weigh the main course and that is right up my ally. There are several veggie casseroles and always seafood. The smells aren't something you can bottle up, if I could, I would!

I recently partnered with Del Monte (the makers of premium canned vegetables and so much more) to share with you some fun stats on what Americans love to eat during the holidays. They just published their Del Monte Comfort Food Index, which ranked the Top 10 Holiday Comfort Foods.

Percentages below measure the response of people who feel "comfort" by eating the following food:
1. Potatoes (mashed or scalloped): 84%
2. Pie: 82%
3. Baked goods (cookies & muffins): 81%
4. Macaroni & cheese: 75%
5. Cake: 71%
6. Casserole: 69%
7. Stews and hearty soups: 68%
8. Meatballs (with or without pasta: 65%
9. Sweet potatoes (mashed or cut): 61%
10. Cornbread: 60%

Throughout the holiday season, we have pretty much all of these dishes on the menu. We love potatoes in our household, but casseroles are always a huge hit too. Who doesn't love casseroles?!? We do Mirliton (chayote) & Shrimp Casserole, Oyster Dressing, Eggplant & Sausage Casserole and the infamous Green Bean Casserole!

Going through the Del Monte America’s Recipe site, you'll discover many classics alongside variations and new recipes.

French Style Green Bean Casserole
 A guaranteed holiday hit is Green Bean Casserole. In fact, it's not surprising to hear that 57% of Americans find it comforting and nostalgic to eat green bean casserole. (I'm certainly one of these folks!!!) We put a small twist, and always use Del Monte canned French Style Green Beans. While you can use any style here, my family tradition is French Style. I love the thin long cuts.

One of my twin boys, 10, made this dish all by himself this was delish!

Cheddar Corn Casserole may be the ultimate holiday comfort food. This was a first time recipe try for us and it was a big hit with the kids and adults.

And... Pie. I could probably eat a fruit pie every week! Try Del Monte's Peach Slab Pie recipe, it is so easy to make. It would be a great finale to any dish this winter!

So, just how important is comfort food during the holidays? Very important. The survey also found:

  • 46% of Americans agree that their family "shows love and comfort through food."
  • 44% of Americans look forward to the food more than presents during the holidays. {Totally true in my family!!!}
  • 62% of Americans say that they are "traditional and like to make or eat classic comfort recipes in the same way every year."
  • 38% of Americans say they "like to change things up and prefer modern twists on favorite comfort foods."

Looking for more quick and delicious versions of comfort food? Check out some of my new faves which match the top 10 comfort foods:

1. Potatoes (mashed or scalloped): 84% (percent who feel "comfort" by eating the food)
>> Skinny Scalloped Potatoes

2. Pie: 82%
>> Peach Slab Pie

3. Baked goods (cookies & muffins): 81%
>> One Bowl Carrot Oat Muffins

4. Macaroni & Cheese: 75%
>> The Best Macaroni, Cheese and Peas

5. Cake: 71%
>> Spiced Pear Upside Down Cake

6. Casserole: 69%
>> Cheddar Corn Casserole
>> Green Bean Casserole

7. Stews and hearty soups: 68%
>> Shrimp and Corn Stew

8. Meatballs (with or without pasta): 65%
>> Meatball Pasta Bake

9. Sweet potatoes (mashed or cut): 61%
>> Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pear, Sage and Browned Butter

10. Cornbread: 60%
>> Golden Sweet Cornbread

Find more of Del Monte's top-rated, family-approved holiday recipes here: Del Monte America’s Recipe site

I'd love to hear which of these recipes you want to add to your holiday dinners! Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. My opinions are my own and honest. I did receive sample kitchen tools to use in my prep.

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