Friday Favorites: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Maybe it’s because a year ago today, I was 37 weeks pregnant and about to pop, or maybe it’s because today it feels like -37 degrees outside, but all I want to do is hunker down, cook, and enjoy some serious comfort food.  Who’s with me?

So, today I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite winter dishes, some trusty favorites and some recently discovered.

As my beloved Julia Child would say, “Bon Appetit!”

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina from Manu's Menu
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina from Manu’s Menu

A few weeks ago, I attempted to recreate my favorite dish from a local Virginia Beach restaurant, Bella Italia: Gnocchi alla Sorrentina.  Oh my goodness, it is so good!  I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with potato dumplings and fresh mozzarella cheese!

It’s a great, easy meal for entertaining.  And for a little extra pizazz, we served it one time in individual ramekins.

Modifications:
I added a few cloves of garlic and a touch of cream to the tomato sauce.

We served it with a crusty baguette, a Caesar salad, and brussels sprouts with a little bacon (we HAD to insert a little meat somewhere!)

Get the full recipe here.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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I recently made these turkey meatloaf muffins from Dahlias to Doxies with ingredients from my freezer and pantry.  They were delicious!

Modifications:
I added some red pepper slices and a little cheddar cheese.
Instead of mashed potatoes, I served with sweet potato fries.

Get the recipe here.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Sour cream noodle bake from Pioneer Woman
Sour cream noodle bake from Pioneer Woman

I recently discovered this Sour Cream Noodle Bake from the Pioneer Woman and felt as though I was eight-years-old again eating at a church potluck. It reminds me of my childhood and it’s yummy, cozy, and so comforting.

This dish helped me get over my fear and incredible aversion to cottage cheese.  Who knew it was actually good?!
Get the recipe here.

Butter Barley Herb Risotto with Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Image via Bella Eats
Image via Bella Eats

If you have a few hours to kill one lonely night, you MUST try this Butter Barley and Herb Risotto with Crusted Brussels Sprouts from Bella Eats. This dish is perfect when you have a free night, can turn on some good music (I love to cook to Cole Porter’s Pandora station), enjoy a good glass of white wine, and stir a pan for a few hours until the risotto reaches its perfect consistency.

A few notes:
Don’t skimp on the ingredients. This dish is the best when you use high quality butter and really good parmesan cheese.
Might not be the best meal for company. It can be a little stressful if you’re trying to set a table and stir. Trust me, I learned my lesson.
Perl Barley can be found in the bulk section of Whole Foods.

Get the recipe here.

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa from Tyler Florence
Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa from Tyler Florence

This is our go-to enchilada recipe. It’s seriously the BEST!

Get the full recipe here.

Chicken and Seafood Gumbo

Chicken and Seafood Gumbo from Danny Boome
Chicken and Seafood Gumbo from Danny Boome

B and I both LOVE this gumbo recipe from Danny Boome. One of his secrets is the homemade hot sauce to go with it.

Modifications:
You can add pretty much any kind of meat. This is one way we get rid of a lot of the duck B accumulates during the winter. We tend to replace shrimp with sausage, because, why not? Plus, the sausage keeps longer than the shrimp for leftovers

A fun Sunday afternoon dish to feed you through the week.

Get the full recipe here.

Tom YUM! Soup

(see what I just did there?)

Tom Yum soup via Food Network
Tom Yum soup via Food Network

This winter, I’ve fallen in love with Tom Yum soup. I seriously make it pretty much once a week. The flavors are rich and it’s perfect when you’re feeling yucky. Here’s a really simple recipe I found. Don’t be scared by the ingredients you don’t understand.

Lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves are usually found in the herb section (though Harris Teeter sells fresh lemongrass stalks).

Modifications:
I replaced galangal with fresh ginger root and opted for fresh mushrooms instead of canned button mushrooms.
I also opted for some shredded chicken over tofu.

Get the full recipe here.

What’s your favorite winter dish?

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