Thick socks and your favorite old sweater definitely help fight the chill but some particularly cold nights call for something more to warm you from the inside out. Whether the family is gathered around a board game in front of the fire place or you are cuddled up on the couch with a good book and your favorite mug, these hot delicacies will warm you up and calm you down.
Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger
Serve this delicious treat as an appetizer or as a snack with crispy croutons.
- 2 butternut squash, about 4 pounds,, peeled, seeded and sliced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 5 cups water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley or toasted pine nuts to garnish, optional
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes.
Add squash and 5 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until squash is soft.
Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley or pine nuts and serve.
Potato Carrot Souffle
This soufflé is great hot from the oven. The added greens are a great boost of iron for the winter immune system.
- 7 medium potatoes, shredded ( Do NOT drain!)
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 large onion, shredded
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable or olive oil
- ¾ Tablespoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease one 11 x 7 baking pan or two loaf pans.
Mix ingredients in large mixing bowl and pour into prepared pans.
Bake for one hour or until light to dark brown on top.
Spoon onto plates hot or let cool and slice.
Couscous and Vegetables
A light middle eastern dish, welcome on any cold afternoon.
- 3 zucchinis cut in half circles
- 4 onions sliced
- 3 Bell peppers, one red, one green and on yellow or orange
- 1 medium butter nut squash cute into one inch cubes
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp each of ground cumin and turmeric
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- One cup water
- One 15 oz. can of chick peas drained and rinsed
- 2 cups instant couscous
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black or white pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups boiling water
Place zucchini, onion, peppers, squash, carrots, garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper and paprika in a large pot. Add one cup of water and bring to boil. Simmer on low-medium fire about twenty minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Add in chick peas and bring to boil again. Remove from fire.
Meanwhile place the couscous in a large bowl that has a tight fitting lid. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well till all the couscous is evenly coated in oil.
When the vegetables are ready, add two cups of boiling water to the couscous, mix with fork and cover tightly. Let sit for 3 minutes, then fluff with fork and cover again for an additional two minutes.
Spoon the couscous onto the center of the plates and ladle the vegetables around the couscous.
Perfect Hot Cocoa
Now some yummy variances on classic hot milk for the midnight snack.
A timeless classic for the whole family to enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa or 2 tablespoons cocoa for rich hot cocoa
- Dash salt
- 1 cup milk
Stir together milk, sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and serve.
VARIATIONS: Add three drops vanilla extract, one drop of mint extract or one drop of orange extract. Or try two teaspoons of your favorite liquor, one teaspoon instant coffee crystals or half a teaspoon of maple syrup.
This is a unique beverage, originating in India but rapidly gaining popularity among the rest of the world. Masala is a mixture of spices used in Indian cooking that are known to warm the body by improving blood flow.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, powder or fresh
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tsp. sugar or to taste
- 1 teaspoon any loose black tea
Put water in saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a boil again. Put in the tea leaves, cover, and turn ff the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately.
Bucharian Jews serve traditional green tea at every opportunity, but this is a special treat they serve when it’s extra cold!
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teapsoon green tea leaves
- 3/4 cup milk
- Dash of salt
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar or according to taste
Place water and tea leaves in small saucepan and bring to boil. Strain out the leaves and return water to saucepan. Add milk and salt and bring to boil. Transfer to mug and add butter and sugar.
Milk and honey
Simple and soothing, an excellent remedy for insomnia.
- 1 cup milk
- 1-2 teaspoons honey or according to taste
Place milk in a small sauce pan and place on medium fire. When boiled, remove from heat and transfer to mug. Add honey and stir.