For me, cold weather and comfort food go hand in hand. Autumn and Winter are the best seasons to enjoy more heavy and warming dishes. One of our favourites all year round is mum’s spaghetti and meatballs; it’s worth suffering through the heat to make in the summer, but absolutely enjoyable to come home to in the winter. The same can be said of my grandmother’s bisquick chicken. It’s an absolute favourite. In the summer, the kitchen turns into an oven, a place to avoid if you know what’s good for you. But in the winter, when you’re seeking warmth, the aroma of chicken baking lures you in and the warmth keeps you there. Not to mention there’s the promise of getting to try other cooking foods. But that’s another story. Then there are some dishes that were just made for autumn. To me, any meal that requires a long slow cooking process is perfect for the shorter colder days of fall and winter. Think of a pot roast for instance. While it simmers all day without heating up the kitchen, pairing it with stewed carrots and fluffy mashed potatoes with gravy makes it entirely too heavy of a meal to eat during the summer. The same could be said of casseroles. Casseroles are great and I’m partial to the holiday months because there are two casseroles that mum makes that I look forward to all year round. For years, I (like any other child who didn’t know what tasted good) wouldn’t go within a mile of mum’s green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. Why would I want to? Even though it smelled delicious, I would still wrinkle my nose at it. It was green and looked gross. What was that she put on top of it? Were the green beans held together by some kind of whitish sauce? A couple years ago, I took the dive and tried it. I couldn’t believe I had been missing that all these years and now I go back for seconds not for the turkey, but for the casserole. At Christmas mum makes this thing with sweet yams. Again, for years I wouldn’t go near the stuff. It smelled sweet like candy but they looked orange and were covered in a glaze. I finally got brave last year and asked mum to pass the sweet potatoes. They’re super delicious and now there’s one less box in the fridge for Christmas leftovers. Before Sunday, I hadn’t actually made a casserole myself and I’m happy I did. Though chicken and rice casserole is one of the more basic casseroles out there, it was slightly beyond my comfort zone in cooking and it sounded really good when I was reading through my behemoth cookbook at some ungodly hour of the morning.