February. The month of grey. The month of cold. The month of hearty stews.
Bon Appetit’s February cover recipe did not disappoint. I made its Chicken and Dumpling with Mushroom stew. My house smelled amazing. My mouth and stomach? So, so happy. Make it, eat it, love it. Do it!
March’s recipe? A short rib pot pie. I can’t say this is a recipe I’d be tempted to make without this challenge – it’s not quite my thing. I know I can’t eat this all on my own, and I don’t think it will freeze as well as stew. Anyone feel like a dinner party?
It’s a polar vortex January… otherwise known as winter in Ontario.
I’m living in layers of flannel, cashmere and wool. This is the season to be warm – because frostbite ain’t sexy.
So yes, baby, it’s cold outside. Bundle out. Keep warm. Put the tunes on. And kiss someone cute. It’s guaranteed to get you through to the spring thaw.
To keep my always cold toes warm I vote for some Roots moccasins – trust me, they will keep you warm.
Winter shoes. Is it too much to ask for them to be gorgeous and protect me against frostbite?
I don’t think so.
And if I can find it in my favourite colour combo? Even better.
This winter I vow to add a bit of shine and sparkle to my wardrobe. I can’t make the season go any faster, but I can find ways to enjoy it.
I don’t know about you, but frigid weather always means soup. And I don’t mean soup out of a can. I’m talking about real, homemade soup.
I don’t use a recipe. I make my “kitchen sink soup” based on whatever I have in the house. I promise you this soup is so easy you’ll wonder why you ever would buy soup again. Make it vegetarian with vegetable stock and seasonal veggies. Change up the spices to dramatically alter the flavour. Add different meats, add different grains. It’s really, really hard to mess up soup. Use flavours you love and you will always have a winner.
Here’s my recipe from today’s meal:
As I haven’t done groceries in a couple of weeks (oops) I grabbed chickpeas, quinoa, and frozen veggies. At the last minute I subbed roasted chicken for the quinoa.
I cooked the veggies in a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil for about five minutes. Then I added my broth and water. I use three cups of broth and two cups of water. At this point I also added my chickpeas and seasoning of choice. For today’s soup I used two teaspoons chile flakes, ginger and coriander, and one teaspoon rosemary and chile powder. I wanted something spicy to warm me up! I also tossed in a tablespoon of soy sauce for colour and zing.
The I let the stove do the work. It needed to simmer for half an hour. This is the time I get antsy and ready to eat. I recommend you open a bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass and paint your nails.
When my nails were dry I threw in my chicken and simmered for ten minutes more.
Then I added freshly ground pepper and devour. See? Easy peasy. This batch made me about four servings. The other three are in my fridge, and will act as meals for the weekend, although it can just as easily be put in the freezer.
I believe that the way your house smells should change with the seasons. For me, this means my house smells like cupcakes in the spring, vanilla in the summer, pumpkin pie in the fall, and pine and cinnamon during the holidays. But what does winter smell like?
Warmth and light is what I crave during the dark of winter, and I think I’ve found two scents from a favourite line which give me just that.
I’m currently burning (and loving) Simpatico candles. Handmade in the USA and poured into beautiful hobnail glass container these candles don’t just smell lovely, but also look beautiful at home.
My two favourite scents to burn are:
#2 Tea – yes, this smells like a cup of tea. It’s described as being reminiscent of earl grey tea. And I must say, they nailed the scent on the nose. It’s light and warm.
My second scent is unusual for me. I don’t like many floral scents. However, I can’t get enough of #42 White Flower. Woodsy and delicately floral this scent is unique but not cloying.
I’m looking forward to slowly trying more of this line. What scents do you burn in the winter?