Just when we thought we’d have a ‘mild’ winter, sailing through December hovering around 40ish, we hit January.
That dreaded first month of the year. January is just…….dumb.
Like, I don’t understand how ONE degree is even a remote option for a day. One. single. degree. It’s painful.
The other night, decked out in plaid flannel from head to toe, I declared it too cold to eat at the bay window. That’s right, it’s was too cold to eat at a table inside our home simply because it was near all windows. Thus started our new polar vortex tradition: picnic dinners by the fire.
Seriously, try this out. The kids were totally into it. And I was totally into it as well because I claimed the seat that was practically in the fire, thus finally being able to warm up. Lay a big blanket down (that’s easy to wash) and cuddle up.
Now, what to make? Sorry January dieters, light and healthy just won’t cut it for a fire picnic dinner. This is warm you up from the inside out comfort food kind of night. Gooey, warm, and bubbly. All necessary.
Polar vortex chili is a great way to begin. Cheesy chicken pot pie will also really warm you up. Crock pot meals tuscan chicken stew or ropa veja are super comforting and you get to smell them cooking all day long. And let’s not forget about wintery sausage stew. All of these rock, will warm you up, and can be served in deep bowls perfect for easy eating on the blanket by the fire.
Want one more brand new option? We just devoured french onion soup casserole last week when the iphone temp read a balmy -3. It was perfect, perfect. Normally I would suggest a nice light spinach salad on the side but we were beyond salad that night. Desperate times, man. We each had three thick slices of this genius casserole, and it hit the spot: gooey, warm, and bubbly. For a moment, just a mere moment, the whole -3 temperature felt kind of……nice.
Try it out this week and stay warm my friends!
- 3 medium sweet onions, sliced thinly
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- loaf of french bread, sliced up (1/2 inch slices)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the beef broth and the Worcestershire sauce to the onions. Heat the broth mixture until it boils and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. The broth will reduce greatly.
- Pour onion and broth mixture into a greased casserole dish.
- Lightly toast the slices of bread. Place toasted bread in a single layer on top of onion/broth mixture spaced evenly.
- Cover bread with a thick layer of the shredded mozzarella and top with grated Parmesan.
- Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and brown on top.