For anyone living in a northern climate, we’re into the toughest point of winter: the weather is frigid, the days are often gloomy and spring is still far, far away. The warm glow of the holiday season is a month behind us and people are starting to get cranky. However, there is no need to despair! It’s the perfect time to enjoy winter activities such as skiing, skating and sledding as well as indulge in our favourite hearty dishes. Here are a few of my favourite cold weather comfort foods. They’re not exactly diet-friendly but they are delicious and will be sure to warm you up!
Meatloaf with Zesty Tomato Glaze – Forget dry, boring cafeteria-style meatloaf: this version is moist and flavourful. Serve with lightly steamed and buttered green beans and mashed potatoes.
Baked Rigatoni with Sausage and Three Cheeses – Light? No. Delicious? Yes! This easy pasta dish can be assembled in advance and baked just before serving, making it perfect for busy nights.
Beef Pie with Cheddar Crust – A hearty pot pie packed with beef chunks and winter vegetables in a rich red wine sauce. Topped with a cheddar-flecked crust, it’s a great dinner after a busy day of skiing or skating (see photo, above).
Slow Simmered Ragu with Pasta – One of my favourite meals to make on a lazy Sunday. Once the prep work it done, it just requires low and slow simmering to develop into a rich and flavourful sauce.
Juicy Herb Roasted Chicken – Roast chicken is the ultimate comfort food and this version doesn’t disappoint. Serve with mashed potatoes, Savoury Mushroom Bread Pudding and a green salad. Celery Root Slaw also pairs well with the chicken.
Lobster Pot Pie – For a special treat, splurge on a bit of lobster meat to make this decadent pie. Serve with a simple salad.
Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna – Another Seasonal Gourmet favourite, this make-ahead dinner has layers of pasta and rich meat sauce, studded with mushrooms and topped with a hearty bechamel. Decadent and delicious!
Chocolate Fondue – Melted chocolate, fruit and cake – what’s not to love? A staple of 70’s parties, fondue is making a comeback in the 21st century. Light a fire, gather ’round and enjoy!
Pear and Pecan Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce – Pears, nuts and a decadent caramel sauce make this dessert a favourite.
Baked Apples with Apple Brandy Sauce – These baked apples are one of my new ‘go-to’ easy desserts. It’s simple to put together and the results are surprisingly delicious. Don’t let the apple brandy put you off – if you can’t find it, just use extra cider in the sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple-Caramel Sauce – Cream puffs stuffed with a pumpkin pie-inspired cream filling and topped with caramel sauce – what more could you want in a dessert?
Brownie Cheesecake Bites – Fun little desserts combining the best of brownies and cheesecake are just the thing to end a decadent meal. They’re also portable so you can pack them in lunches or take them on a picnic.
Bon Appétit and Stay Warm!