Winter Food (How I Gained a Few Pounds)

Winter Food

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),


Coach, my big kid.

Coach, my big kid.


and Saturday looked like this:  snowroad

Tiggs sled


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,

Ain't they the cutest?

Ain’t they the cutest?

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.  bbqspaghettiYou 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.  lemon chicken pastaThis 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. RoteldipSee? 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. LiaschiliThe 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)

Lisa L.

Congratulations, Lisa!  Just send me an email:  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!

X,O,X,O,    Martie


*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?