Did someone say WINTER? Baby, it’s cold outside!
My Rx for muddling through?
Item 1: Snuggle up to someone you love. Yes, kids, spouses, lovers, puppies, and kittens all qualify…
Item 2: Make sure you have an easy-peasy recipe or two you can throw together for the family, and preferably one that lasts for a few nights. (More on that in a minute.)
Item 3: If you don’t have to head out onto nasty, stormy, slip-slidey roads, then don’t!
Item 4: If the kiddos insist on sculpting snowmen, chiseling out an igloo from the drift alongside the house, and otherwise refusing to come in when red-cheeked, runny-nosed and otherwise enraptured with the winter weather — if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
Item 5: If you are out, be especially nice to those grocery clerks, public transportation employees, postal workers, bank tellers, housekeepers and sitters and others who may well have had to trek a long (tiring) way to get to where they do their jobs, many so that the rest of us feel well taken care of, and those jobs are often very low-paying.
Item 6: Don’t forget those sub-zero temperatures when it comes to protecting your pipes. (Remember… leave your faucets on a slight drip and that includes the bath tub or shower.)
Now about those recipes, I’m a huge fan of pressure cooker meals — they’re always within budget and they’re oh-so-fast — and I’m also a fan of hearty, healthy homemade soups. Among my favorites?
Something known around this household as Fireside Love Potage (no kidding), and Soupe Hercule Poireau. The former is a chicken veggie soup (potage is a thick soup in French) and the latter is a play on words with regard to famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (poireau is French for leek).
Both of these recipes are fast, easy, DELISH and pretty inexpensive! (Hey, who doesn’t live on a budget?)
And if you tell me that cooking isn’t your thing, take it from one who could barely boil an egg not so many years ago. Okay, belay that. I could barely boil an egg when I got married, but I quickly learned – and then some!
Looking for another idea?
Scrounge for whatever veggies you have in your fridge, chop them up, throw in some chicken or shrimp (or whatever other protein you have on hand), sautée – et voilà! (Then give your culinary concoction an exotic name. Go on. Try it. It’s fun!)
I may not be snowed in at present, but it is brrrrrrr-isk and bitter outside. My evening meal?
Exactly the above… Poulet Légumes Exotica! (What do you think of the name?) It’s a mélange of veggies and chicken. Here goes.
- Red pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper
- Indian eggplant, zuchini, yellow squash
- Red onion, garlic, button mushrooms
- Chicken (eventually garnished with parsley)
How much? Whatever you have!
- Chop / dice everything (except the chicken)
- Brown the chicken with the onions and garlic
- Toss in the mushrooms, cover, simmer on low (10 minutes)
- In a separate pan, sauté the remaining veggies in a bit of olive oil then simmer (10 minutes)
- Combine, then garnish with parsley
This one took longer than my usual… roughly 50 minutes (mostly due to chopping). As for the cost, the chicken was $7 (a pound), mushrooms $2, other bits & pieces of veggies were $5 max. Total = $14 and it easily serves four or five adults. (Or, in my experience, one adult and two teenage boys. *SIGH*)
And yes, it was ALL antibiotic-free / organic!
Now about that seasonal snuggle… If your kids are feeling cuddly, lucky you! And if not, who doesn’t adore cozying up to a beloved pet if you don’t have a “beloved” in the vicinity?
None of the above?
Stay warm, stay safe, and pluck a great book off the shelf and curl up to enjoy it. ‘Cuz Baby, it’s cold outside!