When a bottle of water left in my car overnight is frozen solid the next morning it means winter has finally come to the Carolinas. For some people, that would be the signal to pack up and head to Florida. For me, it means it's time to pull out the fuzzy socks, heavy sweatshirts, and stock up on ingredients for some of my cold weather favorites; foods that fill my tummy and feed my soul.
Luckily, my local grocery fell right in line with the weather by putting boneless chuck roast on sale today. After a quick trip to the store, I kicked off soup season tonight with one of my all-time favorites: beef stew. It's been cooking on the stove since 2:30 this afternoon and the aroma in my condo (not just my condo, the whole ground floor of my building!) is mouth-wateringly delicious. Smells good. Tastes good. And it's good for you. Can't beat that!
Another winter favorite of mine is a perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwich. Okay, I'll admit it. I love them year-round but they taste especially yummy on cold days and nights. As a child, a grilled cheese meant white bread and Velveeta cheese but I've grown more adventurous over the years. Nowadays, it can be any type of bread (though I'm a bit limited since going gluten free) and fillings that range from eggs, bacon (or ham), tomatoes, sliced avocado, and gouda cheese to chicken salad with havarti cheese to cream cheese with sliced green olives (also good with a hamburger patty). The choices are limitless and I love experimenting.
One of my favorite soups to make is potato. I like mine creamy with green onions and ham and topped with cheddar cheese and bacon. The photo is from Panera Bread which makes great baked potato soup. When I'm not in the mood to make a big pot myself I skip on over to my local Panera where it's always hot, ready, and delicious. If my youngest brothers lived nearby, I'd be skipping over to his house. He makes the best potato soup!
Hot chocolate is another cold weather favorite. I make mine with milk. I usually don't use any toppings (like the whipped cream on Junior's hot chocolate in the photo) but occasionally I'll indulge with mini marshmallows or Cool Whip. For some reason, hot chocolate seems to be a late night treat for me.
Put away the cold cereal and smoothies. Now's the time for oatmeal. Hot, filling, healthy oatmeal. It's
Do your menus change with the weather?
What foods bring you comfort during the cold months?
Do you make your own soups or stews? Do you have a favorite?
Are you a grilled cheese purist or do you enjoy experimenting? Do you have a variation to recommend?
What's your cold weather beverage of choice?