I’m totally ready for spring weather. Winter has never been my favorite season, and I doubt it ever will be. At least it doesn’t snow here.

What I’m not ready for is saying goodbye to winter dishes. Pot pies and stews and casseroles and thick, hearty soups. I have an abundance of winter recipes to try out, plus plenty more that I consider must-haves every year. I could eat a whole year of winter dishes, but soon, spring will be here and warmer weather will arrive, and I’ll start wanting asparagus and spinach and artichokes in lighter dishes. Pasta with lemony sauces and airy cream soups. Delicious stuff, but not of the same comforting stuff that makes up winter. Oh, dear and wonderful winter comfort food.

But that’s still a good six weeks away. I’ll enjoy my winter fare while I can.

 

Monday
Crockpot Butter Chicken (from Half Baked Harvest), roasted cauliflower, naan

Crockpot Butter Chicken with roasted cauliflower.

Crockpot Butter Chicken with roasted cauliflower.

The 12th of January is National Curried Chicken Day. I decided on a butter chicken curry because that’s always been my favorite, even if it isn’t exactly a traditional curry. It’s not overly spicy, but spicy enough that we weren’t sure we wanted Hannah to have any. She had a puree pouch and some naan. Hannah does love naan (who doesn’t?), so that made her happy. The flavor on this was good but not perfect. It could have been a little sweeter and bit more buttery. Plus, the chicken got way overcooked. It was tough to eat it. I added cauliflower to the dish because the original recipe had no veggie to it, and I actually think I should have just thrown it in with the chicken after roasting it. This recipe is good starting point, but for us, it needs some tweaking.

 

Tuesday
“Meatballs” in Mushroom Sauce (from Kayotic Kitchen), sauteed Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes

"Meatballs" in mushroom sauce, with Brussels sprouts.

“Meatballs” in mushroom sauce, with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes.

It was supposed to be a meatball night, but I got a little distracted before dinnertime and no longer had time to make meatballs. Instead, I browned the beef/pork combo with the same seasonings and then simmered them in some beef broth. The rest of the dish was cooked as the recipe reads, and it all turned out right in the end. I’ve actually made these meatballs before and enjoyed them, so it’s a dish that works well either way. Hannah did not touch the Brussels sprouts, but she loved the meat and the mushrooms and even ate some of the mashed potatoes. It was a very easy meal to throw together and even gave us some leftovers that were just as good the next day.

 

Thursday
Kale-Potato Soup with Bacon (from Food Network)

Kale-Potato Soup with Bacon.

Kale-Potato Soup with Bacon.

Kale is not my most favorite thing to eat. Apparently, however, Hannah loves it. She downed this soup like it was the most delicious thing she’d ever had, along with the kale chips I’d made to go on top of it. As far as kale soups go, it was pretty decent and was actually quite nice for a cool winter evening. The bacon added some much-needed meat and crunch. The recipe calls for water, but I used all chicken broth, and that probably made a big difference (the reviews on the site suggest that the water mutes the soup’s flavors). I didn’t think it was terrible exciting, but Geordie and Hannah both enjoyed it for dinner and for leftovers. I fed it to Hannah for lunch mixed with a little Greek yogurt to give it a little thickness, and she devoured it.

 

Friday
Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips (from Skinnytaste), roasted carrots, grits with blue cheese

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips with roasted carrots and grits with blue cheese.

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips with roasted carrots and grits with blue cheese.

Buffalo is my weakness. I will eat buffalo sauce on just about anything (a few days ago, I doused some green beans in it, topped it with blue cheese, and called it lunch – better than  expected). Skinnytaste is one of my favorite healthy eating blogs, and this seemed like a sure winner. It was. For something so simple, it packed a lot of flavor and totally satisfied my buffalo craving. Matched with some roasted carrots and grits with blue cheese, it was pretty terrific. I gave Hannah two un-buffaloed strips, which she inhaled almost before I’d plated our food and sat down to eat. She’s also a big fan of roasted carrots and grits, so this meal went over really well with her. Not so much the blue cheese, though; she’s still not sure about that. But this is definitely one I’ll be doing again.

 

Sunday
Southern Beef Stew (from Deep Dish South)

Beef stew.

Beef stew.

One of my favorite things about winter is beef stew. It’s just not winter without beef stew, and this is one of the best beef stews I’ve had. We also think it would make a pretty decent pot pie, but it went nicely with some noodles. The flavor here is just so cozy and hearty, and the sauce thickened up beautifully. I’ve thought about leaving out the potatoes and mashing them on the side instead, but this is so perfect that it’s hard to mess with it too much. Definitely in my Top Ten Favorite Meals of the Year.

Advertisements