This month welcome Sara Bir. Sara Bir is the author of two cookbooks, Tasting Ohio and the IACP award-winning The Fruit Forager’s Companion. She also moderates and replies to your comments here on Simply Recipes. Follow her @sausagetarian.

When the going gets tough, the tough want comfort. It’s okay.

What makes a comfort food, anyway? For some, it’s happy childhood associations, while for others it’s simply food that’s not too taxing to make. Things you don’t have to think hard about. And yes, for some it’s food with loads of fat, salt, and carbs.

I wanted to replenish my comfort meter without diving into garbage food territory. So, to shake things up, we put together a week of dinners that look at comfort food classics through a new lens.

A few are the likes of what you’d see at an upscale 21st-century diner, while others harken back to pages of no-frills…

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