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50 Comforting Recipes to Help You Survive Second Winter

In Northern states, there's a chilly gap between those deceitfully warm March days and actual spring. Welcome to second winter! These cozy, comforting recipes will help get you through it.

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Tater Tot Casseroles Exps Ft20 80833 F 0227 1 2

Tater Tot Casseroles

Ground beef, sausage and cheese make this tater tot casserole with green beans a crowd-pleaser. Cayenne pepper and hot Italian sausage give it a pleasant kick. —Ryan Jones, Chillicothe, Illinois
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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Meat Loaf

When my husband and I were first married, he refused to eat meat loaf because he said it was bland and dry. Then I prepared this version, and it became his favorite meal. —Suzanne Codner, Starbuck, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Bananas Foster

The flavors of caramel, rum and walnut naturally complement fresh bananas in this classic dessert made easy! —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Chive Smashed Potatoes Exps Cwmjj20 58582 B02 14 5b 1

Chive Smashed Potatoes

No need to peel the potatoes—in fact, this is the only way we make mashed potatoes anymore. They’re chunky, tasty and attractive. And the flavored cream cheese is a delightful twist! —Beverly Norris, Evanston, Wyoming
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Shepherd S Pie Twice Baked Potatoes Exps Tohjj20 87631 E02 07 10b 3

Shepherd’s Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes

This recipe features the best of two classics—baked potatoes and shepherd’s pie. Serve with a green salad, and satisfaction is guaranteed even for those with the heartiest appetites. —Cyndy Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Dad S Chocolate Chip Cookies Exps Qebz20 9836 B01 24 5b 1

Dad's Chocolate Chip Cookies

My dad, Art Winter, would tuck some of these cookies in the care packages he and my mom sent to me when I was in college.—Art Winter, Trumbull, Connecticut
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Slow Cooked Hungarian Goulash Exps Qebz20 30961 E01 30 1b 4

Slow-Cooked Hungarian Goulash

The tasty family dish boasts a rich creamy sauce certain to satisfy goulash lovers. I enjoy sharing recipes with friends and family and this one's great for potluck suppers, too. Garnish with fresh parsley for flavor and color. —Jackie Kohn, Duluth, Minnesota
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Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Exps Ft20 35391 F 0214 1 2

Slow-Cooker Beef Brisket

This slow-cooker beef brisket recipe is so easy to prepare and has been a family favorite for years. I added the fresh mushrooms to give it more flavor. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Old Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts Exps Cimzs20 50855 E12 10 2b 7

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts

Guests will have a touch of nostalgia when they bite into one of these old-fashioned doughnuts. Accents of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with a subtle burst of lemon, make them hard to resist. — June Jones, Harveyville, Kansas
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Macaroni and Cheese for Two

This is one of those dishes that our family calls "a Mama recipe." My mother rarely consulted a cookbook, so when asked for a recipe, she could only estimate. I've worked out the ingredients to make it for two, but it can easily be doubled. It's simply a good, wholesome dish most folks seem to enjoy. —Betty Allen, East Point, Georgia
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Baked Potato Soup

I found our favorite soup in an unexpected place—a children's cookbook! This creamy comfort food is not only delicious but also scaled down to make a small amount that's perfect for my husband and me. —Linda Mumm, Davenport, Iowa
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Easy Italian Beef Sandwiches

These party-sized sandwiches make the meal! Just add your favorite Italian salad on the side. If you like, top the sandwiches with some sliced provolone. —Troy Parkos, Verona, Wisconsin
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Creamy Rice Pudding

I was fortunate to grow up around fabulous cooks. My mother and grandmother taught me to experiment with recipes, and we tried a lot of variations on this one. No matter how we chose to embellish it, it was always tasty. When I make this, it brings fond memories to mind. —Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
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Green Chili Grilled Cheese Melt Exps Cimzs20 129807 B12 18 9b 4

Green Chile Grilled Cheese Melt

My daughter created a masterpiece with her ultimate grilled cheese and chiles. Want more heat? Use a 4-ounce can of diced jalapenos instead of chiles. —Julia Huntington, Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Creamy Ham Potatoes Exps Cf2bz20 42584 E12 11 2b 5

Creamy Ham & Potatoes

If you love scalloped potatoes, this downsized version with tender chunks of ham is just for you. The cozy, comforting entree comes courtesy of Wendy Rowley from Green River, Wyoming.
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Four Cheese Stuffed Shells Exps Cf2bz20 32209 B12 05 1b 3

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

More cheese, please! You'll get your fill from saucy jumbo pasta shells loaded with four kinds—ricotta, Asiago, mozzarella and cottage cheese. Do the prep work, and then freeze according to the recipe directions to have a ready-to-bake meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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French Silk Pie Exps Diyd19 33993 E12 11 6b 6

French Silk Pie

I first made French silk pie when I was in high school. Years later, I tinkered with the recipe until I was happy with it. Now it’s one of my husband's favorites. —Lisa Francis, Elba, Alabama
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Corn Bread Stuffed Pork Chops Exps Cf2bz20 26593 E12 11 4b 2

Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chops

Tart apple adds a delicious flavor to the moist stuffing that fills these savory chops. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick Beef And Noodles Exps Ft20 41138 F 0228 1 8

Quick Beef and Noodles

My family loves stroganoff, and this beef and noodles dish is my lightened-up version. Using meat from the deli saves the hours spent cooking a beef roast. I serve this with a salad for a great, homestyle meal. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Carrot Chowder

My husband's grandmother passed this recipe on to us, and it's just wonderful—especially with a basket of warm, fresh bread on the side. This soup freezes well. —Wendy Wilkins, Prattville, Alabama
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Family Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta Exps Ft19 44476 F 1211 1 7

Family-Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta

I created this cheeseburger pasta recipe to satisfy a craving. What a delicious, healthy classic! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Pecan French Toast Exps Cf2bz20 31601 E11 19 5b 5

Pecan French Toast

Make-ahead convenience is a bonus with this yummy brunch dish, says Summerfield, North Carolina’s Cindy Fish. “It couldn’t be easier but tastes like you really fussed!“
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Cast Iron Favorite Pizza Exps Cimz19 236703 B08 28 5b 8

Cast-Iron Favorite Pizza

Cast-iron skillets are the perfect vessel for a crisp, deep-dish pizza without needing any extra cookware. Our team developed this meaty pizza that is fabulous for any time of year. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Creamy Reuben Casserole

This Reuben casserole dish is great to serve for St. Patrick's Day - or any time. It features corned beef, sauerkraut and other ingredients that make Reuben sandwiches so popular. It's always well received at a potluck. —Margery Bryan, Royal City, Washington
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Bacon N Egg Gravy Exps Cf2bz20 19892 B11 14 6b 3

Bacon 'n' Egg Gravy

My husband, Ron, created this wonderful bacon gravy. It's home-style and old-fashioned. Sometimes we ladle the gravy over homemade biscuits. Served with fruit salad, it's a great breakfast. —Terry Bray, Winter Haven, Florida
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake Exps Ft19 201018 F 1120 1 3

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

I've tried different variations of these cakes for my family and this chocolate peanut butter mug cake is a winner! I have made it with almond milk and melted coconut oil, and both ways are delicious! —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Matzo Ball Soup Exps Ft19 41673 F 1119 1 2

Matzo Ball Soup

This traditional matzo ball soup recipe is worth the extra effort. If you prefer, you can add egg noodles instead of matzo balls. —Julia Sherman, New Market, Tennessee
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Cottage Pie Exps Cimz19 163374 E09 11 7b 3

Cottage Pie

I get a pound of ground turkey—the light kind—and a pound of the dark kind for this recipe, but you could use beef or lamb. — Jane Leeves, Los Angeles, California
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Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake Exps Tohcom19 204281 B10 04 5b 8

Pineapple Upside-Down Dump Cake

This dump cake recipe is wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It works well with gluten-free and sugar-free cake mixes too. —Karin Gatewood, Dallas, Texas
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Beefy Cabbage Bean Stew Exps Ssmz20 109535 B10 25 1b 4

Beefy Cabbage Bean Stew

While on one of our small group quilting retreats, one of my friends made this wonderful recipe for dinner. We all loved it and have since passed it around for others to enjoy—now I'm passing it on to you. —Melissa Glancy, La Grange, Kentucky
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Cheesy Chicken Chowder

I like to serve this hearty chowder with garlic bread and a salad. It's a wonderful dish to prepare when company drops in. The rich, mild flavor and tender chicken and vegetables appeal even to children and picky eaters. —Hazel Fritchie, Palestine, Illinois
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Beef & Onion Piroshki

When I lived in Seattle, one of my favorite places was a small stand that sold piroshki—Russian stuffed pocket sandwiches. Whenever I’m missing my former town, I make my own batch. —julie merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Tex Mex Chili Exps Ssmz20 46339 B10 08 3b 4

Tex-Mex Chili

Need to satisfy big, hearty appetites? Look no further than a chili brimming with beef stew meat, plenty of beans and tasty spices. —Eric Hayes, Antioch, California
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Southwest Tuna Noodle Bake Exps 13x9bz20 42606 E10 02 8b 6

Southwest Tuna Noodle Bake

None of my co-workers had ever tried tuna noodle casserole, and since we live near the Mexican border, they challenged me to make a Southwest version. After trying the tasty results, everyone wanted the recipe! —Sandra Crane, Las Cruces, New Mexico
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Caramel Pecan Monkey Bread Exps Bw19 47666 C10 04 11b 11

Caramel-Pecan Monkey Bread

The kids will get a kick out of pulling off gooey pieces of this delectable monkey bread. It's hard to resist the caramel-coated treat. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Creamy Chicken Broccoli Stew Exps Ssmz20 161950 E10 08 2b 6

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Stew

Shh! Don’t tell anyone! This recipe is so simple, but you’d never know it. My husband, who normally doesn’t like chicken, asks for this dish regularly. —Mary Watkins, Little Elm, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Beef Tips

These slow cooked beef tips remind me of a childhood favorite. I cook them with mushrooms and serve over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Skillet Bacon Cinnamon Buns Exps Cimzw19 212428 B09 12 9b 2

Skillet Cinnamon Rolls

I love using cast iron to get a nice crust on these skillet cinnamon rolls! The pan also makes an impressive serving dish on the table without it looking as if you tried too hard. —Danielle Williams, Newport, Rhode Island
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So-Tender Swiss Steak

This fork-tender Swiss steak with rich gravy was an often-requested main dish around our house when I was growing up. Mom took pride in preparing scrumptious, hearty meals like this for our family and guests. —Linda McGinty, Parma, Ohio
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Puppy Chow Exps Botohbz19 720 E08 21 3b 7

Puppy Chow

This snack mix is perfect for a late-night treat or a pick-me-up any time of the day. I sometimes take a batch to work, and it's always eaten up quickly. It's a slightly different cereal snack because of the chocolate and peanut butter. —Mary Obeilin, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
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Breakfast Biscuit Cups Exps Tohpp19 94109 B08 23 3b 7

Breakfast Biscuit Cups

The first time I made these biscuit cups, my husband and his assistant basketball coach came in as I was pulling them out of the oven. They loved them! —Debra Carlson, Columbus Junction, Iowa
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Best Ever Banana Bread Exps Tohdj20 3309 E07 31 7b 38

Best Ever Banana Bread

Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of my best banana bread recipe. It really is amazingly good! —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Pudding Cake

Growing up, I remember my grandfather cherishing the chocolate-covered cherries we’d bring him for Christmas. He passed away this past year, and I came up with this rich recipe in his honor. It’s delicious served with whipped topping. —Meredith Coe, Charlottesville, Virginia
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Bacon Mac N Cheese Cornbread Skillet Exps Ciwmz19 242205 B09 04 1b 4

Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese Cornbread Skillet

My cast-iron skillet is a workhorse in my kitchen. I just love it for cooking and baking. And this cast-iron mac and cheese recipe can be served as a main dish or as a smaller-portion side. —Lisa Keys, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Monster Cookies Exps Tohon19 9150 E06 18 8b 4

Monster Cookies

This recipe combines several favorite flavors—peanut butter, butterscotch and chocolate—in one big cookie. Before baking, I like to press a few extra M&M's on top for added color. —Patricia Schroedl, Jefferson, Wisconsin
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Sausage Cheese Crescents Exps Hbmz19 137498 B06 26 1b 4

Sausage Cheese Crescents

My mother says that my grandmother made the best butterhorns. I never tasted hers, but my mom's were delicious and grandma, of course, taught her. Through the years, my mom filled butter horns with everything, from fruit, to seafood, to meats and all sorts of nuts and raisins. I always got a kick out of trying to guess what was in them. This recipe is ideal for brunch or lunch. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Sweet Potato Caramelized Onion Shells Exps Tcbz19 134563 B05 17 3b 4

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Shells

Gorgonzola cheese and sweet potatoes add a fun and flavorful twist to classic stuffed shells. Delicious with a sprinkle of Parmesan, the pasta can be topped with leftover gravy, too. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Movie Theater Pretzel Rods Exps Tcbz19 91878 B05 15 5b 4

Movie Theater Pretzel Rods

My kids and all of their friends clamor for the large, chewy pretzel rods. They are fantastic fresh from the oven. —Lisa Shaw, Burnettsville, Indiana
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Savory Mustard Chicken and Stuffing Waffles

Adding mustard to the chicken coating adds a tang that's amazing with the savory waffles and sweet maple syrup. —John Ginn, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Crunchy au Gratin Potatoes

Crunchy au Gratin Potatoes

With its golden, crunchy topping and gooey, cheesy interior, this comforting spin on a classic side dish is brimming with robust flavors. Horseradish and nutmeg add that extra-special touch.—Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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