11 Super Cheap And Easy Comfort Foods

11 Super Cheap And Easy Comfort Foods

Who needs a fancy dinner?

"I'm hungry."

I say that at least twenty times per day. If I don't, feel free to assume I'm coming down with something. My favorite thing to do is eat -- period. Many people believe laughter is the best medicine, but we all have days where we just don't feel like cracking a smile.

That's where food comes in.

Certainly, you shouldn't indulge in all of these every day (you'd give a whole new meaning to the term 'food coma'). However, nothing makes a bad day better quite like a little something to satisfy your taste buds.

We also don't feel like putting a whole lot of effort into a meal for ourselves when we're feeling down. Ever try to make yourself some cookies and barely get six out of the dough that was supposed to make two dozen because you've already eaten the dough? Me too.

The best comfort foods are either cheesy, chocolate-y, sweet, or salty. It doesn't matter your preference -- the secret ingredient in all of them is carbs. Go ahead. Treat yo' self.

1. Cinnamon Toast

There are endless possibilities as to how you can go about putting butter, sugar and cinnamon on bread. Do you want to toast white bread and prepare it after? Do you want to use pre-packaged cinnamon rolls? Do you want the pre-packaged swirled loaf that makes the bread aisle smell like heaven?

This is number one because I'm eating the latter straight out of the bag as I type. It's amazing.

2. Nachos a la Doritos

One of the best aspects of nachos is you can put whatever you want on them (within reason) and they still taste bomb. These can go in the oven or microwave -- I prefer to microwave as I'm impatient. Just throw some chips down on a microwave-, or oven-safe plate, slather with shredded cheese, heat to your desire and voila: nachos.

3. Mac and Cheese

Hands down, the best few bucks I've ever spent was on the Rapid Mac Cooker from Walmart. Seriously, I've never been more pleased with an "As Seen On TV" product. It makes an entire box in the microwave in just a few minutes, no straining required, and you can eat it right out of the bowl.

It's also great for making Ramen or any other type of pasta in the microwave.

4. Soup in a Mug

You can use pre-packaged broth or buy the bouillon and add it to hot water (my recommendation is the bouillon, because it's more for your money, lasts longer and tastes better). Season to your liking, even add some fresh or frozen veggies if you so choose, but never salt your soup before you taste it.

This is also perfect for allergies and flu season.

5. Rotisserie Chicken

Too tired to cook tonight? Stop by the grocery store and grab a hot-n-ready rotisserie chicken. This is perfect to pick at with a fork or add to any of the recipes above -- except the cinnamon toast (just because you can do something doesn't mean you should).

6. Toaster Waffle Grilled Cheese

Toast two frozen waffles and prepare like you would a normal grilled cheese. To me, it tastes better than regular bread, but I could not for the life of me tell you why. Just take my word for it.

7. Ice Cream Sandwiches

We've all seen the trend of cutting a pint of ice cream into round slices to fit perfectly on a cookie. If you don't want to ruin the container, scoop any flavor of ice cream on top of a cookie of your choice. Brownie points if you bake 'em, but microwaved store-bought pastries taste great, too.

8. Cake in a Mug

Or a brownie in a mug. Honestly, any food or flavor you're craving has a recipe to make it in a mug. Just search whatever you want and add "in a mug" to the end of it, and you'll get your wish.

Yes, even pizza.

9. Peanut Butter Pretzels

These come pre-filled, but sometimes they can be hard to find or don't have as much PB as you may want. If that's the case, grab a bag of your favorite shape (I recommend the rods or sticks) and dip right out of the jar!

Unless you share it with other members in your household -- in which case, you should probably spoon some into a paper bowl or cup (easy clean up), this works if you melt chocolate as a dip in place of the peanut butter -- or in addition.

Who's gonna stop you?

10. Chocolate Mousse

Disclaimer: this one requires a food processor or blender, but the ingredients are simple!

All you need is heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder and sugar. Sweetener works just as well in place of sugar, and sometimes I like to add a little bit of vanilla. Beware of over-sweetening; taste-test while mixing thoroughly.

I like to chill it first, but it's totally understood if you can't wait (just be sure to keep any extra covered and in the fridge).

11. Truffles

Much like cake in a mug, you find just about any truffle recipe you desire online. There's a few limitations, but my favorites are M&M and Oreo. Super simple, but requires a bit of patience waiting for them to chill (although you won't mind as you'll be temporarily full on dough).

12. Buckeyes

"What's a buckeye?"

Imagine if a truffle and Reese's cup had a baby. Mix peanut butter with regular butter and powdered sugar, roll the dough into balls and freeze on parchment paper to avoid sticking. Stick toothpicks into each one, dip 3/4 of each ball into melted chocolate, and freeze again.

You will then respond to the above question with, "You've never had a buckeye?!"

What's your favorite lazy comfort food?
Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.

Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with Coconutmilk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.

6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!

7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.

9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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