Easy Winter Meals

PARDON THE INTERRUPTION: Allison over at Motherhood, WTF? is part of the good-people-who-happen-to-be-creative-and-down-to-earth-and-also-mommies vanguard and she gave Momsicle a Freakin’ Funny award today. Whoo hooooo! How cool is that? Go check her out. And if you are looking for funny here, try a taste of two classic posts: Mommy Magazines and The Child Rearing Books.

AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING (which happens to be more food than funny, today).

Once December hits I’m ready for holiday comfort food. But I’m delusional. When am I going to make pork loin with roasted root vegetables…chicken with orange sauce and steamed winter squash…stuffed Cornish game hens with sweet potato purée? Unless I get all of my presents/cards/pictures/decorating done in November, it’s hard to sit down to a relaxing meal in December.

So here’s the simple stuff we’ve been eating that’s a cut above a frozen meal, in case you could also use some inspiration. (And please put your easy comfort food secrets in the comments! We will eat them.)

The dressed-up grilled cheese sandwich: when you want to add a little class to the living room that is covered in alphabet books, blankets, tennis balls, and rock ‘n’ roll walkers. Start with whole grain bread, add Dijon mustard, extra sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced red onion, and any herbs you want. Stick it in the toaster oven and eat open-faced.

Throw-everything-in-there roasted red pepper soup. This is a take-off on Giada de Laurentiis’s recipe. Don’t be fooled by Giada’s insistence that there’s an order to how to make this. All I do is sauté some onions and carrots, then thrown in every vegetable I can find with a lot of stock (or water) and let the stove top do the rest. Also, you don’t need ricotta. A little of whatever liquid dairy you have–milk, half-and-half–will work at the end. Voilà! Your house smells delicious while the stock pot does the work.

You have to have a real grilled cheese to dunk. Plus, it feeds the baby and gives you more time to get back to your holiday insanity.

Bon appétit!

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9 responses to “Easy Winter Meals

  1. Your grilled cheese sandwich looks really amazing! It sounds delicious and perfect with the roasted pepper soup 🙂

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

    I just completed my menu planning for the week, and “easy” is an important part of it all. So we’ll be using a crockpot for a couple of the meals, including chili and beef stroganoff, and then sloppy joes and baked ziti and, one night, take out pizza.

    At some point soon I need to make my lovely Turkey Pumpkin Chili, which always makes people look askance but OMG SO GOOD. It really doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie. Also: easy. I think that will be on the menu next week…

    Here’s the link for that (thank God for allrecipes.com): http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Turkey-Chili/Detail.aspx

    • You are wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration, and the link to the turkey pumpkin chili recipe. It does sound strange, but I am currently in love with cooking with pumpkin!

  3. We love enchiladas around here, and they are super easy. They’re not the kind of food I normally profess to love (since everything comes from a can!) but they are delish … and take about 20 minutes to prep, which is key.
    I use one can of refried beans, one can of enchilada sauce, a bag of shredded cheddar cheese, and pre-made tortillas. Slap beans in tortilla, roll it up, cover with sauce and shredded cheese, pop in oven. Have a drink and/or nurse the baby while you’re waiting for the cheese to melt. Eat with salad from a bag on the side. Make hubby wash the dishes. Voila, comfort dinner. xoxo

    • Yum! Thanks, Ali! I’ve been loving the Goya low-sodium black beans lately, but there’s only so many burritos one can make. I’m sure they would be delicious in your enchiladas. Will report back. 🙂

  4. Evelyn (the other one)

    Do you have a rice cooker*? Good. Throw some rice, water, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cilantro into it. Turn on. While it’s cooking, chop up scallions, roasted red pepper and at the last minute, avocado. When rice is done, stir all of that in, plus some black beans. Throw into a tortilla with some jar salsa and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.

    I would post the recipe but it’s from a cookbook and I don’t know if that is copyright infringement. Is it?

    *if you don’t, you can still make it on the stovetop, it’s just way easier in the cooker.

    • I need to get a rice cooker. And a crock pot. I wish the Kitchen Aid could handle those functions, but it would just spin the rice around. This dish sounds SO flavorful! Thank you for the inspiration, “Other Evelyn”! ;0)

  5. I am going to gain back everything I lost after I do this and some of TeacherMommy’s stuff! LOL I love this though. Given where I grew up, I’d have never thought of using sharp cheddar for it…

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