We've obviously been thinking a lot this week about the millions of people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since much of the HuffPost team is based in New York, it's been especially present in our minds as many of our friends, family and loved ones are without power or dealing with damage to their homes and businesses. There are a ton of ways you can help people struggling after the storm (HuffPost Impact has a great, constantly updated list of ways to help), but we want to talk to you today about a simple thing that anyone can do.
If you are one of the lucky ones who never lost power during the storm, now is the time for the biggest, most comfort-food-laden dinner party in history. Inviting friends, family and neighbors over for a hot meal can help get storm victims through the next day of frustration. Even if you live in an area not affected by Sandy, there's always a reason to cook someone a meal that will make them feel better. We asked our colleagues, friends and family what they would want to have cooked for them in a time of distress and pulled together some of the coziest comfort food recipes we've ever seen.
We're talking perishables here -- cheese, cream, butter, meat -- but also fresh vegetables, warming soups and (for those who indulge) booze. Let us know in the comments what you would want someone to cook for you when you needed it most.
Brie And Bacon Spinach Dip
<strong>Get the <a href="http://cookbetterthan.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/brie-and-bacon-spinach-dip/">Brie and Bacon Spinach Dip recipe from Cook Better Than Most Restaurants</a></strong>
Creamy Herb Dip & Crunchy Vegetables
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/creamy-herb-dip--crunchy_n_1049620.html">Creamy Herb Dip & Crunchy Vegetables</a> recipe</strong> We know. You guys are like, "wow, crudite. Way to pull out all the stops." But hear us out: imagine how <strong>awesome</strong> the crunch of a raw, fresh vegetable will be after a few days of mushy canned foods.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://pimentocheeseplease.com/2009/05/25/the-namesake/">Pimento Cheese recipe from Pimento Cheese, Please.</a></strong>
Autumn Minestrone Soup
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/autumn-minestrone-soup_n_1059881.html">Autumn Minestrone Soup</a> recipe</strong>
French Onion Soup
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2010/08/07/henris-french-onion-soup/">French Onion Soup recipe from The Curvy Carrot</a></strong> The picture really says it all, right?
Chunky Root Vegetable And Barley Broth With Herbed Dumplings
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/chunky-root-vegetable-and_n_1057492.html">Chunky Root Vegetable and Barley Broth With Herbed Dumplings</a> recipe</strong> Every culture has a dumpling soup -- matzoh ball soup, chicken and dumplings -- call it whatever you want, it's always instant comfort.
Creamy Caprese Pasta
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/05/creamy-caprese-pasta/">Creamy Caprese Pasta recipe from How Sweet It Is</a></strong>
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/cauliflower-mac--cheese_n_1151649.html">Cauliflower Mac & Cheese</a> recipe</strong>
Smoky Shrimp And Grits
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/smoky-shrimp-and-grits_n_1059206.html">Smoky Shrimp and Grits</a> recipe</strong>
<strong>Get the <a href="http://mimithorisson.com/2012/06/07/ratatouille/">Ratatouille recipe from Manger</a></strong> This vegetarian stew of eggplant, peppers, squash and tomatoes would comfort even a confirmed carnivore.
Beef Tenderloin Aux Poivre With Brandied Mushroom Sauce
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/beef-tenderloin-aux-poivr_n_1059488.html">Beef Tenderloin Aux Poivre With Brandied Mushroom Sauce</a> recipe</strong>
Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/pan-roasted-chicken-amp_n_1056577.html">Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy</a> recipe</strong>
Creamed Kale Gratin
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.ouichefnetwork.com/oui_chef/2012/03/creamed-kale-gratin.html">Creamed Kale Gratin recipe from Oui, Chef</a></strong> The comfort of creamed spinach with the nutritional punch of kale.
Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/creamy-horseradish-mashed_n_1055090.html">Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes</a> recipe</strong> Nearly every person we asked about comfort foods said mashed potatoes first. Hard to argue with.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/cider-gravy_n_1056601.html">Cider Gravy</a> recipe</strong> A small extravagance that makes a meal feel like a <strong>big deal</strong>.
Chocolate Cream Pie
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2011/06/chocolate-cream-pie-.html">Chocolate Cream Pie recipe from Once Upon a Chef</a></strong>
Archibald's Last Memory
And finally, a cocktail. A soothe your nerves, blow your hair back, four kinds of booze kind of cocktail.
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