Winter Food (How I Gained a Few Pounds)
What’s got me talking about winter food? The kids (including Coach) are out of school again today for snow! Yes, again! They also burned a snow day last Wednesday, but it was really just a little ice that was gone by evening. Then, it really snowed. It’s almost gone now, but this was Friday (yes, out of school),
and Saturday looked like this:
This is a typical Deep South snow, which means the grass is poking through in places, but it’s plenty for sledding our big hill. What do you do when you get a snow day (or 3)? Eat, of course! If you’d like to learn how I gained a few pounds, and how we grazed our way through three snow days, then read on for some delicious winter food ideas!
Do you ever watch Food Network? Someone really should remove that channel from my programming. I am the last person who needs recipe suggestions, especially new ways to fix pasta. I already need an intervention for my pasta consumption, people. It’s ridiculous! I don’t know if you ever watched the Neely’s on Food Network,
but they have a chain of barbecue restaurants with a location in The Big City near me. Of course I had to try it out, and of course I had to try the barbecue spaghetti! Pulled pork on a bed of buttery noodles? Heck yeah!
Ok, to be honest, theirs was more like a vat of barbecue sauce with a few chunks of pork in it, on a bed of mushy noodles (Sorry, Neely’s! I actually loved your show, Down Home with the Neely’s, just not crazy about this particular dish.) The concept had me hooked, though, and I’ve made it myself more than once. I’d love to share Coach’s recipes for pulled pork and barbecue sauce, but he won’t let me…his homemade barbecue sauce is the bomb-diggety, and so is his amazing rub (barbecue chefs are so dang territorial, gah)! Anytime we have some leftover pulled pork and his fabulous sauce, this happens. You MUST try barbecue spaghetti with your favorite barbecue recipe! I MUST stop trying it!
Speaking of pasta, here’s another yummy meal I made recently. This lemony chicken and broccoli pasta recipe is actually one I adapted from a recipe I found on Pinterest, Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata on The Chunky Chef. I prepared it once just like the recipe directed, and it was absolutely delicious. I just don’t like taking all that extra time breading and frying and greasing up my stovetop, so I changed a few things. First of all, as much as I love capers, my family wasn’t crazy about them, so I left them out and added some broccoli to the sauce. I cut my chicken into bite-sized pieces, browned it off in a little olive oil, removed it from the skillet and then followed the rest of the recipe, adding the chopped, fresh broccoli and letting it steam just enough. We like our broccoli crisp-tender, so I just simmered the sauce long enough to cook the chicken through and that was plenty. I sprinkled in a little bit of Italian seasoning for flavor, since I didn’t bread the chicken with the herbs. The pasta I used is a fairly new product from Barilla, and it’s called “Collezione”; the shape is “Cassarece”. It was just perfect for my lemony chicken and broccoli pasta creation. Don’t judge me…I had a coupon! It really was super-good, though, because it held on to that delicious, creamy wine sauce so nicely! It’s hanging onto my hips beautifully, as well!
For our snow-day enjoyment, I made some Ro-Tel dip. See? I can eat something besides pasta! You know what this is, right? Yep, 16 ounces of Velveeta melted with a can of Ro-Tel! Easy as pie! (did someone say pie?) Except, I live in the Deep South, and we add pork to everything here. I browned some good ol’ breakfast sausage, drained the grease and mixed it with my cheesy, gooey dip! If you haven’t ever made it this way, you’re missing out! I know most of my Southern friends probably haven’t had it any other way.
I only used half of the pound of browned sausage in the dip, so I was forced to make some Zatarain’s Dirty Rice with the other half. Try sausage the next time you make it instead of the ground beef the box calls for; you won’t be disappointed (yes, I make food from a box sometimes, who doesn’t?).
You know what else I love to eat when it’s cold? Chili, of course! Next time I make it, I’m planning to try this recipe that my sweet friend Lia shared several months ago on her blog, Lifestyles With Lia. The awesome story is a huge bonus! If you have an addiction for food-porn, you should totally follow her on Instagram, as well. This girl is just going to have to cook me a meal one day! This chili looks so good, and I’m dying to try it. Soon, Lia, I promise!
What do you love to eat when it’s cold? Apparently, I like to eat anything and everything. Remember me mentioning I went to the dermatologist recently? Well, I hopped onto the scales before I went, just so I wouldn’t be too shocked when they weighed me. Believe it or not, they didn’t, so I found out about the few pounds I’d gained for nothing. Gah! Oh well, it’s good to store up some fat for hibernation season, right? Besides, I saw it coming. In other words, there’s no need for anyone to mention it to me, since I’m alive with half a brain and can certainly tell when my clothes are getting snug without your pointing it out. MMMkay?
Gotta go…I’m getting hungry!
Ok, slow down….I bet y’all thought I forgot! The winner of my cute little heartsy eye mask from Friday’s giveaway is: (drumroll, please)
Congratulations, Lisa! Just send me an email: email@example.com. I’ll get your info and make your eye mask so I can ship it to you ASAP (as long as you live in the US)! Thanks for playing, everyone!
*This post has been shared on the Thursday Favorite Things link-up party! Come by and visit all the wonderful blogs gathered there, won’t you?
January 25, 2016 @ 9:22 am
Martie!! First of all, happy snow day! I loved seeing the pics of the fun you’re all having in the snow and wow, that last photo of the gorgeous landscape makes me dream of winter wonderlands in nature and not slushy, mushy gray snow piled high on street corners like we have today in NYC!
Ah, you mention gaining weight this winter? Hmm, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I tried on a pair of jeans yesterday that I haven’t worn since Thanksgiving! All these stormy days inside had me drinking lots of coffee and what goes better with coffee than cookies! Yipes, I didn’t dare weigh myself yet but I fear the scales have tipped!
Looking at the pics of your yummy food has got me hungry! The barbeque spaghetti sounds luscious as does the lemony, broccoli chicken pasta! PS: Casarecce is one of my favorite pasta shapes! In Italian the word, “casarecce” means “homemade” since that shape pasta is reminiscent of that which home cooks make in Italy 🙂
And oh, that Ro-Tel cheese dip? YUMM! I’ve got to admit I never tried it though I have heard of it….makes me what to hop a plane and come on over your place, stat!
And dearest Martie, I am “over the moon” honored and thrilled that you mentioned my chili recipe with link to my story and blog..and my IG account too! Wow, I feel like a celebrity…thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart and you’ve got a permanent seat reserved at my dinner table any time you want to come visit!
Sending you and your family warm wishes on this chilly day!
Always yours in friendship and joy,
January 25, 2016 @ 10:31 am
Thanks for the pasta history! I knew you’d have the 411! Can’t wait to try your awesome chili, and whatever you cook for me someday! Have a great Monday, Lia! ?
January 25, 2016 @ 11:51 am
Your sledging looks so much fun! Gosh now I’m hungry looking at all that amazing food! Particularly loved the look of your spaghetti! 🙂
January 25, 2016 @ 12:41 pm
You should give it a try! Can you find good barbecue into he UK? I think of it as a particularly American food, but don’t really know. If not, slow cook a pork butt with some good BBQ sauce, shred it and pile it on some buttered noodles! Yum!
January 25, 2016 @ 4:14 pm
You had me at pasta.
January 25, 2016 @ 6:22 pm
Tonight is chicken pot pie…see how versatile I can be?