Awesome Autumn: Comfort foods

I am planning a get together, and with this chilly fall weather, I thought that comfort foods would be warming to body and soul. I want to make dishes that are universally appealing, that feed our cravings, and that are easy to make for a big group.

Of course, I first thought of mac-n-cheese: warm and gooey and crispy around the edges (sorry to all my dairy-allergy friends). So I’ll be making the recipe I posted recently (under “requests from the audience”). I also thought of apple cobbler with all the lovely apples in season right now, but then I thought of spiced apple bread pudding with caramel sauce. I’ll probably do a pan of that and then another pan of chocolate bread pudding, since I realize that for some folks, chocolate is the ultimate food for your soul.

We had some amazing mulled wine at Room 11 (the wine bar near our house) the other night, so I’ll be doing a version of that. We also had this great spiced Guinness cocktail at Policy – Guinness, pumpkin liqueur, allspice dram – and I found a recipe online to make my own pumpkin liqueur, so I’ll be trying my hand at those as well. Both of these drinks are the essence of autumn in a glass – I can’t wait!

I need a few more comfort foods to round out the menu though – any ideas? Something easy enough to make for a crowd, can be reheated or kept warm? Thanks!

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