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Snow Day food

I work for a weekly newspaper and we got our paper done a day early so we could beat the storm, which dumped about two feet of the white stuff here in Connecticut.

So yesterday I did a special shopping and today I have a pot of beef stew with red wine simmering away. Should be ready by lunch time.

What are you making on this snowy day?

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  1. Real baked beans are in the oven: molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, onion, and salt pork. OK, I like a tbl of Worcestshire too.

    Green split pea soup also can't be beat for the snowbound.

    7 Replies
    1. re: carbonaraboy

      Same in my oven, only tripled-smoked bacon instead of salt pork, maple syrup instead of brown sugar. My first batch ever but my neighbor makes terrific baked beans and coached me. Another neighbor invited me for blizzard chicken parm for dinner so as long as we don't lose power it will be good eating the next couple of days!

      1. re: GretchenS

        Hey Gretchen...

        you have the recipe handy? You mind sending it to me? I use the one from Cook's Illustrated and have had great luck with it but am always looking to try others

        1. re: whoppr

          My neighbor said to soak a pound of navy beans overnight, then drain, put in bean pot or Dutch oven, add 2 T molasses, 1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 or 2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1 or 2 onions, and either salt pork or butter (he does butter because he's vegetarian), and pour in boiling water to about an inch over the beans. 250 to 300 covered for a few hours, then 350 uncovered for 30-45 minutes. They came out great but could be even better. I used the smaller amount of syrup but would use even less next time (don't like my beans sweet) and would use more Dijon and salt next time. Triple-smoked bacon gave its all: loads of taste in the beans, none left in the meat. I left one onion halved and chopped the other and liked that. Would love to know if the Cooks Illustrated ones are markedly different or if they give one of those special tips they sometimes do.

          1. re: GretchenS

            I cook all the time with Maple Syrup and havent used it in baked beans. I think it might be worth a try. Cooks has all molasses, about 2 cups, salt pork and some bacon. The recipe you have above is pretty similar. Calls for brown mustard, no maple syrup. If you google it, it shows up on tastebook and virtual weber bullet I think. I actually subscribe so I have the original magazine copy. If you have trouble and are intersted let me know, I can send it to you.

            I also used to use a recipe from Mabel Haufmann (sp ?) from years ago. Crockpot version. I tried it recently and didnt come out nearlyl as good as a remember. So either my tastes have changed or I didnt something wrong.

      2. re: carbonaraboy

        I actually did baked beans this weekend. Working on another batch and a batch of chili....


        1. re: carbonaraboy

          Before the last snow storm, I went to three grocery stores before I found any split peas.

          1. re: Indy 67

            That's funny, I guess an impending winter storm brings out the split pea soup craving in people. It does just seem so right.

        2. I don't cook until after a snowstorm has passed. When the power fails while you've got half-cooked meat in the oven, you learn your lesson. I made a pot of clam chowder YESTERDAY and put serving-sized containers plus sandwich fixings, fruit, and beverages in a cooler on the porch last night. If need be, I can warm things up on a rack set a few inches above some jar candles.

          In autumn, I buy some dried/dehydrated foods online (Barry Farm), to expand my cooking options when it's hard to get out in bad winter weather. Things like dehydrated carrots and celery, powdered eggs, and powdered sour cream. It's a good cushion for my weekly shopping list.

          3 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            Those dehydrated items...especially the sour cream, sound interesting. Would be good for camping trips too.

            1. re: greygarious

              Quote: " When the power fails while you've got half-cooked meat in the oven, you learn your lesson."

              I ruined a pot of cioppino once in Santa Rosa, CA at the end of an already horrible day. I was ranch-sitting for a horse trainer friend and a horse had gotten injured, sick cattle needed to be doctored, and then a very cold rainstorm hit as I was feeding that evening.

              I was making a pot of cioppino and just as I added the last seafood, the power went out. I would assume the unopened clams and mussels "poisoned" the entire pot.

            2. A batch of Cook's Illustrated Almost No-Knead bread has been fermenting since last night. It will be perfect with the Spicy Portuguese Fish Stew that my son and I put together yesterdayt.

              If the power goes out, the dough will only get more flavor overnight if I put it in the cold garage.

              That's assuming I ever get to eat dinner. There are at least two feet of wet, slushy snow from the plows on my busy street at the end of my driveway!

              1 Reply
              1. re: bear

                Well, hopefully I burned off a few calories shovelling considering the amount of butter-laden warm bread that I ate. It was, once again, fabulous. I totally forgot to put the lid on the dutch oven for the first 30 minutes of baking the Almost No-Knead Bread, but it didn't seem to make a difference at all. Totally delicious, crust was crispy and brown, and took about ten minutes less to reach the suggested internal temp of 210 degrees.

                Totally tasty, comforting meal for such a snowy day.

              2. I am making that Pork neck soup that was posted here the other day.

                1. I did the same, Trish, buying a whole cart of ingreds right before the market closed last night.

                  I haven't started yet, but I'm excited about my cooking syllabus for today. I am making a new recipe, velvety lemon chicken soup (epicurious) and a Mediterranean vegetarian casserole that I found here in the fall that is just so divinely simple, cozy, and good. Also my favorite blondies and some homemade chai.

                  I would be glad to share any recipes, if anyone's interested!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: twilight goddess

                    tg, I'd love the vegetarian casserole recipe!

                    Oops, just saw it on the Vegetarian meal thread. It sounds fabulous. Thanks!


                    1. re: bear

                      bear, it IS fabulous. You can add a touch of cream, especially if you are including the butternut. I prefer it in its glorious simplicity though, cream-free (and that's unusual for me). I do sometimes serve with Greek yogurt on top.

                      1. re: twilight goddess

                        Thanks for the tips. Sounds like it will please the meat-lovers and veggies in the family. Greek yogurt makes everything better!

                    2. re: twilight goddess

                      the velvety lemon chicken soup is DIVINE. simple, soft, cozy. I added sauteed shallot and 10 ounces sliced mushroom, skipped the snow pea pods, and used fresh basil instead of parsley. I tripled all of the ingreds, and saved some of the chicken for chicken salad. I cooked up a 9-ounce container of cheese tortellini right in the broth in the last step, and separated them out so they won't get soggy. I always wait to savor soups the second day, but I indulged in a preview. Mmmmm!


                    3. I'm trying out a new crock pot recipe - sort of like a cassoulet (but definitely not one) - its got boneless/skinless chicken thighs, turkey keilbasa, white beans . . . with some fresh baked bread. Can't wait to get home and eat!

                      1. baked a couple of extra chicken breasts last night to add to the tomato tortilla soup that was just placed through the immersion blender.

                        tonight, i refuse to bow to the storm (46" since christmas) and mrs j and i are having some steak tacos.

                        Both recipes from Ellie Krieger, so with some shovelling and healthier eating, the storm had some benefits. And it also offset the mozzy, basil and tomato on a focaccio I had for lunch.

                            1. If I'm home in time Chx&Dmp

                              1. I've made chicken soup, pot pie, and now mushroom stock for a potato kale soup, along with some focaccia. Oh, and white chocolate/dried cranberry/walnut cookies, one batch baked and four dozen for the freezer. Am also making a big pot of Japanese style bison curry, some simmered kabocha and daikon, and rice with chestnuts in the rice cooker. If I have to work this weekend, which I suspect is likely, I'll be prepared!

                                1. Not a flake to be seen here in Texas, but it is mighty cold. And I'm making my favorite cold weather dish: Massaman curry. It's just meaty, potato-y, spicy, everthing you want on a cold day. In my home it has a cute story behind it as a tradition. I hosted a Thai student last year and it snowed several times--the first she had ever seen it! She always said that the snowy weather made her want massaman for some reason and now I just associate it with cold weather :)

                                  1. I'm working now so a little jealous of many posts, but thinking shrimp and chorizo rissotto when I get home.

                                    1. Today I have made ciabatta bread with yesterday's starter, white beans are soaking, made a ton of mac/cheese for freezing, and now the flank steak is marinating. Strangely, I have spent less time in the kitchen than on a "normal" day.

                                      Whoops... after shoveling 18 inches of snow, one mac/cheese is being eaten. Shoveling is hard work!

                                      1. I'm trying a Wisconsin Cheddar Cauliflower soup...don't know how it will turn out but last winter i had some kind of wisconsin cheddar apple soup at one of my favorite restaurants and that day turned out to be a really good day...one with fond memories. So now i'm kind of obsessed with trying out all kinds of pureed soups when it gets really, really cold and gloomy outside.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: iluvtennis

                                          Cauliflower and cheddar...what could be bad? Please let us know how it turned out, and post the recipe if you liked it!

                                          1. re: iluvtennis

                                            Please do post that recipe - that sounds excellent!

                                            1. re: iluvtennis

                                              I followed this recipe and i thought it turned out really well. I am not much of a cook, so i pretty much find recipes and follow them by the book. I wish i were a little more inventive, but i guess i don't trust my cooking skill enough.

                                            2. My stew ended up delicious. Paired it with a loaf of crusty french bread and wine. I got bored this afternoon and decided to make some parmesean crisps. So good, man I love these things. Just take fresh coarse grated parmigiana reggiano and put it in circles on a parchment lined baking sheet, bake at 375 for 5 minutes or so and you've got some delicious cracker-like parmesean crisps.

                                              1. Snow hit me in TX on Sunday and didn't stick, but I assume that is the same storm all of you are facing now.

                                                I still used it as "excuse" to make a big pot of soup. It has been at or below freezing for most of this week, so I sent a few containers of soup along with some chili I already had in my freezer to an elderly man from work. I hope he enjoys it.

                                                1. We "only" had about 9 inches in NYC yesterday, so I made white bean soup with ham stock, longaniza, the usual vegetable suspects and herbs and spinach. I also did some baking, gingerbread (Gramercy Tavern recipe) and pumpkin bread (my old recipe). The house was warm and smelled great.

                                                  1. we only got 3'' of snow in nashville, but that was enough to keep the schools closed since monday! crazy.

                                                    i made individual chicken pot pies one night, as they are super snow day food to me. another night, i made homemade meatballs with parmesan + parsley + served 'em with pappardelle.

                                                    loved reading about everyone's snow day cooking!

                                                    1. Lentil soup (from dried) and bread. Maybe some applesauce later.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                          Thanks! It definitely hit the spot.

                                                      1. buffalo chili. Man, that was good!

                                                        1. 2nd day (I was still in that cozy cooking mode/mood) I made chicken braised with mushrooms and artichokes, and little nut cookies. Yum and yum.

                                                          1. After eating chicken for most of the week following the stew, I embarked yesterday on Three-Day short ribs, inspired by Jfood's/John Besh's recipe as well as Anne Burrell's. Friday I marinated the ribs (bone-in), today I browned the ribs and veggies and cooked them in broth and wine, and tomorrow we eat them for dinner with mashed potatoes/carrots. The smell in the kitchen was amazing! Ultimate comfort food.

                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                Yours looks better than mine. How do you get it so tall?

                                                                1. re: jvanderh

                                                                  Thank you....It was my first stab with this technique, first try making bread in general, so I have no idea what I might of done! I can tell you though, the result was outfrikinstanding

                                                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                    Wow, color me impressed. When you made the dough, was it super wet and sticky (stuck to your hands, stuck to the towel?). Did you measure by weight or volume? Which recipe did you use? (I think there are two versions of the basic one).

                                                                    1. re: jvanderh

                                                                      I had saved the Times article, November 2006, Bittman/Lahey, ...measured by volume as the steps suggested. And yes, the dough was out of control wet, stuck to hands, towels, and....SHOES. I used a bit of olive oil in the resting bowl, which was not part of the procedure

                                                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                        I also saved the article and have been experimenting with this for a couple of months now. I do the recipe by weight and also add more salt (a little shy of a tablespoon)as Bittman noted in his follow up recipe column. I have actually been pre-measuring everything except the water and putting them in bags or containers to make it even easier when I want to make bread.

                                                                        The first couple batches I used a cast iron dutch oven, but find a clay baker also really works well if I want something more loaf shaped.

                                                                        jfanderh, I also find the dough super tacky. I use a spatula to spoon/pour it out. I have also found 3 hours instead of 2 hours on the second rise gets the loaf a little taller. I flour the board or counter as well as my hands probably more than I should to have it not stick to my hands when shaping the loaf.

                                                                        1. re: whoppr

                                                                          Thanks so much for the responses! Whoppr, could you pretty-please post your recipe by weight?

                                                                          1. re: jvanderh

                                                                            Here is a link to Mark Bittman's mod by weight.


                                                                            My modifications are that I still do a lot by volume except the water and flour. The flour I do by weight because it can vary a lot even by volume and until I get a better feel. My measuring cup doesnt have eighths so I wanted to do that by weight as well.

                                                                            -Mr Bittman uses 430grams of flour and I use the same.
                                                                            -He also says 345 grams of water. The original recipe calls for 1 5/8 cups of water. This should be about 384 grams so I think he is either off or is deviating from the original. I have settled on about 370 grams of water but am still experimenting with it.
                                                                            - I use about 3/4 tablespoons of salt.
                                                                            - I use 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. You can buy this in bulk at sams for like $5 and is well worth it.
                                                                            - As I mentioned earlier I also use a clay baker with good results.

                                                                            Hope that helps.

                                                                            1. re: whoppr

                                                                              That's marvelous. I appreciate the volume measurements for salt and yeast. I could probably do the salt by weight, but no way I could accurately measure the yeast on my scale. I actually do have the bulk yeast from Sam's. (The price difference is amazing!)

                                                              2. African Chicken Soup (have never been to Africa---this is my own invention but it sounds African): Make chicken soup using chicken, onions, a green pepper, a can of tomatoes, tomato paste or sauce, salt, and hot chili pepper to your taste). After it has simmered for long enough, remove any bones, tear up the meat, and add 1/4 cup or so of peanut butter. Correct seasoning. Should be rich and quite spicy. Excellent in freezing cold weather. And as I copy this from my file I am wondering why I never added okra---seems to belong.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                  Mmn, sorta African. Sounds tasty. Check out The Africa News cookbook, virtually all the recipes use easily accessible ingredients, lots of soup, stew and some simple braed recipes, and you can have it for a song from amazon:


                                                                2. Chocolate pudding, comfort food on a cold, snowy day. So much snow here in New England. Ridiculous!!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: addicted2cake

                                                                    Seventy-two degrees here in North Texas. We're having shrimp tacos and chocolate bundt cake with Blue Bell.

                                                                    1. re: Plano Rose

                                                                      Bet your menu is a little different today since it is sub-freezing! Gotta love North Texas in the winter! My power kept going out today so I made cheese quesadillas on my outdoor grill (freezing my butt off out there) but I needed something warm and the electric stove and microwave were useless.

                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                        Knock wood! We haven't lost power yet. You're dead right about a major shift in menus. We just finished biscuits and sausage gravy. Stroganoff is on the agenda for tonight. Tuesday was tamales, pinto beans, and pico de gallo. Keep warm. I don't think the rest of the country has too much sympathy for North Texans, however.

                                                                  2. I had a snow day on Thursday. And while I did have to work from home, I found time to make choc-pb swirl brownies, oatmeal-pecan-chip cookies, oatmeal-pb dog treats, and, finally, lemon linguine for dinner (along with green beans and sliced avocados/grapefruit/tomatoes.) More snow is predicted for this week, so I'll have to start thinking about what I need to stock up on!

                                                                    1. I made Osso Buco this weekend (Briased Veal Shanks), served with parmesean risotto and string beans with lemon and pepper. Unbelievably good winter.

                                                                      This is the recipe I used, tweaked just slightly for our tastes.


                                                                      1. After seeing the recipe of the day, I'm lobbying my wife to make shepherd's pie.

                                                                        1. Just watched an orange and lamb Moroccan stew created on TV (that over rice) would seem incredible. Love the spice blend.

                                                                          1. Made some New England Clam Chowder the other day when it snowed. Yum....One of those dishes that is great in winter and summer