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Cooking for the season's first snow day

Here it is October, and I can't believe we are already set to get our first snow storm of the season in Connecticut. Not only is it expected to snow, but winds are forecast to be high, so there may be power outages. We've got our camp stove, flashlights, wind up radio and gallons of water at the ready.

For food, last night I made a pot of beef stew with burgundy. This morning I have a crockpot of meatballs and sausages swimming in San Marzano tomatoes heating up.

Not. Looking. Forward. To This.

So what are you cooking?

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  1. Not a snow day here but the first day I had to put the heater on in the house as it's unseasonably cold.

    I made a tajine last night so I'm probably just going to reheat leftovers lol.

    Your crockpot of meatballs and sausages sounds yummy.

    1. I got a jump start last night & made chicken and dumplings. Hey, if it wants to act like winter, I'll eat like winter! Today I have a pan of snickerdoodle blondies baking now, and I will shortly be making meatballs to simmer all day in sauce.
      Not looking forward to the 8+ inches forecast for our area (MA). The woodstove will be glowing, so at least we'll have heat if the power goes out.

      1. THis is our second snow in southwest Virginia. It snowed on October 1 too. Anyway I'm doing a pot of chicken and dumplings too along with a batch of pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies.

        1. So far no accumulation here in Baltimore, but it's cold and nasty out. I'm waiting for some bread to cool and will be eating it with beef and veg soup. Flavor base was leeks, garlic and peppers - poblanos I think- and a splash of Amontillado. I'm also wracking my brains for party snacks I can bring without going out for groceries :-)

          1. Here in Mass. we are supposed to get 4-8 inches!! We are going to finally buy our pumpkins today (perfect timing) and then will come home to leftovers of chicken chili (an ina garten recipe) that i just took out of the freezer. If we lose power, then I'll defrost some zucchini bread and we'll live on that for the next day! Brrrr!!!

            1. Love that I am not the only one who loves to cook in preparation of a snowstorm and like you OP, I have a pan of homemade meatballs simmering away in a San Marzano sauce on my stove top.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hto44

                Instead of a snowball party, maybe we should all get together for a meatball party!

              2. Luckily they are only predicting rain and wind on the Cape but I have a huge pot of sweet & sour cabbage soup on the stove. Got a loaf of Pain D'Avignon rye to go with it so we are all set.

                1 Reply
                1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                  What goes in sweet & sour cabbage soup? It's not snowing in my neck of the woods yet but it's always dampand chilly soup weather.... I also have a bit of cabbage to use up.

                2. I'm deciding....beef stew, or a roast, or something in a long simmered tomato sauce.......or maybe a chili since I picked all the remaining jolokias, 7 pots, and trinidad scorpions that I could see under the already substantial snow here in Queens. Nah......my wife would never go along with anything that hot.

                  1. Meatballs and sausage are ready. They make a good lunch with a salad. We'll have the Beef Burgundy tonight. Snow coming down very very heavy right now.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                      Photos of the meatballs and sausage and the blasted snow.

                    2. Snow has slowed down to a few flakes right now, and we have about an inch on the ground in NYC. I'm baking today, and we have some lentil and sausage soup left from earlier this week, so we're set.

                      Meatballs, mmmm!

                      Milk, check, bread, check; I never understood why people stock up on milk right before a big storm. I guess if the power goes out you can bury the milk container in the snow...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        What a difference being 70 minutes from NYC makes...

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          no kidding - we're only about 5 miles NW of the city and we've already gotten around 5 inches and it's still falling steadily...so much for the "dusting" they predicted! this totally caught me off guard - we have plenty to eat in the house, but i didn't stock up on supplies to spend the day in the kitchen cooking & baking all sorts of comfort food. such a bummer, and luckily we have a backup generator so the power outage that's currently affecting hundreds of thousands out here wouldn't even have stopped me from cranking it all out.

                      2. Definitely snowing hard here just north of NYC, and it's scary driving with lots of heavy boughs hanging over the roads. I think we're in for the duration now. A leg of lamb will be tonight's fare, served with mashed potatoes and broccoli. We'll start with some left over black bean soup. It looks like January outside, and the snow is coming down HARD.

                        1. Bought a whole sirloin tip roast; 1/2 will be slow roasted for tomorrow's "Sunday dinner with the family", along with mashed potatoes and gravy, and carrots. Home made crumb-topped apple pie a la mode for dessert My husband will grind the other half and I think I will make a meatloaf tonight with part of it. Baked potatoes, green beans and home made chocolate pudding with it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Here in Westchester, I wasn't really prepared to make a stew or braise or anything, but my 7 year old daughter and I just made banana muffins that my kids like for breakfast. We throw in a handful of chocolate chips and call them chocolate chip muffins and my finicky 5 year old son will eat them too. They are in the oven now and smell good!

                            1. No accumulation, but a long night of sleet/ice pellets & all day rain mixed with snow. Yuck.

                              Will be roasting two organic, free-range, heritage-breed, turkey drumsticks tonight, along with roasted "Sweet Dumpling" squash, some broccoli, & a nice green salad. Perfect meal for such a nasty day.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Breezychow

                                Sounds wonderful! I love Sweet Dumpling squash!

                              2. Last night's roasted chicken is today's Escarole and Bean Soup....

                                My latest experiment........I presently have a 4 inch thick, 12 pound, Chuck Blade Roast slow roasting @ 250*. I estimate it to take 5-6+ hours to reach medium-rare temperature. The sides will be roasted potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: fourunder

                                  wow, that looks really tasty. also, i love brussels sprouts. enjoy!

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    Awesome! Would love to see the after pictures and know how it comes out.

                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped


                                      Since you asked, here are the details of my roast with pictures.

                                      This roast is from the fourth through eighth inches from the front end of the Chuck section, as explained by the butcher who prepared it. The first through third inches are part of another roast I had cut and put in the freezer for another day.

                                      The roast was removed from the fridge 2 1/2 hours before placing in the oven. At this time, I seasoned both sides simply with Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. I covered with plastic film and allowed it to come close to room temperature. When time to prepare for the oven, I preheated the oven @ 400* for 20 minutes, I then placed the roast on a rack, and the rack then on a sheet pan lined with foil. I did not sear the roast. After the preheat, I placed the roast on the second rung/setting from the bottom of the oven, closed the door and immediately reduced the oven down to 250*. The roast now cooked for three hours, where I then removed it from the oven to flip it over on the other side, and continued to slow roast for another two hours. I do not use a digital probe thermometer, rather, I use the simple poke test with my finger to get an idea of the temperature.by getting a feel for the resistance of the meat, and in combination with a classic instant read thermometer. At this time, I determined it was prudent to take the initial temperature check with the pocket thermometer. The readings were: 130* on the outer edge and 120* near the center.. I continued to cook the roast for an additional 30 minutes, where I then again took readings with the pocket thermometer. At this time the roast was 137* on the outer edges and 126* near the center. I removed the roast from the oven and placed the sheet pan on a large thick bath towel, away from any drafts, and covered the roast with a large stainless steel mixing bowl, then covered the bowl with the remaining half of the towel to insulate the bowl somewhat and reduce heat loss....or cold air from hitting the bowl While I placed my side potatoes and vegetables in the oven for the next 45 minutes, the roast rested undisturbed. After the 45 minute rest period, I placed the roast under the broiler for exactly three minutes on each side to brown and develop some char.. After the six minutes browning stage, I shut the oven off and left the roast sit in the oven for another 10 minutes with the broiler door open.

                                      I transferred to a cutting board and removed the chine bone....made my first cut and some slices. The following pictures show each stage. Sorry for some of the blurriness in the photos.......


                                      *1.. Roast removed from the refrigerator.

                                      *2. Seasoned roast resting and coming to room temperature.

                                      *3. Roast removed from oven after 5.5 hours

                                      *4. Roast removed from oven after 5.5 hours, reverse side

                                      *5. Roast removed from the Broiler, after browning stage

                                      *6. Roast removed from the Broiler, reverse side

                                      *7. Chine Bone removed

                                      *8. First slices

                                      *9. First Cut and First Slices....Chine Bone removed.

                                      *10. Consistent Medium-Rare Temperature throughout.

                                      *11. Leftover pieces after one hour and being boned out...including the Flat iron section. You can see there was very minimal bleeding or loss of meat juice.

                                      The final conclusion.......I will always try to have the Chuck Roast, or Blade Roast, a minimum three inches thick for slow roasting. After the roast reaches 135*, I will remove it from the oven and allow it to rest a minimum 45 minutes.....then I will brown it in the oven and warm it up, allow to rest for a short while and then slice. This will also be my method for all Holiday Prime Rib or Strip Loin Roasts as well.

                                    2. re: fourunder

                                      I'm using your guidance from an earlier post to slow roast a sirloin tip roast for tomorrow:) Have followed your instructions before, with great results! How long at 250 degrees would you think for about a 41/2 lb, kind of roundish shaped sirloin tip roast? (It is marinating now in soy sauce, a little olive oil, garlic and cracked pepper.) I bought the whole tip roast (9 lbs) and had them cut it about in half.( my husband ground the other half. ) Thanks!

                                      1. re: sunflwrsdh


                                        Assuming you will first take the roast out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to placing it into your oven , which is calibrated properly....I would say you could expect 2-2.3/4 hours roasting time @ 250*.....allowing for a resting period, the total time closer to 3 hours before slicing and serving.

                                        I generally roast @ 225* if time is not a factor, as I find it is more forgiving and has less margin for error for the possibility for over-cooking. In the case of your (rolled & tied?) roast, I would sear first in a pan, rather than a high heat blast in the oven before or after. At 250*, follow the following as a guideline. Since it is a halved roast, my gut tells me the smaller size should not make for allowances for a longer roasting time due to the shape....however, you may want to consider rotating the roast, and or flipping, halfway through, for more even results.

                                        The general rule for slow roasting is 22-25 minutes per pound roasting time. That puts your roast in the vicinity of 112.5 minutes......or slightly under two hours. This is the point where you would check your roast with a thermometer (125-130) for medium rare..... or if using a digital probe thermometer, you could set it at your desired temperature from the start to monitor the progress and note your temperatures and time at key 15 minute intervals for future roasts

                                        I'll provide more details about my 12 pound Chuck Roast later, with pictures......but @ 250* and using a rack on a sheet pan, I roasted for 3 hours, then flipped it for an additional 2.5 hours when it reached just over 135* in the center. I removed the roast and rested it for 45 minutes covered with a stainless steel bowl, and the bowl cover by a towel. I then put the roast back into the oven under the broiler to brown for 3 minutes on each side. Removed from the broiler, I then covered it again with the stainless steel bowl, no towel, for another 10 minutes to rest and then started slicing......The roast was perfect with minimal bleeding. The best and most tender roast I have made to date using Chuck.


                                        With regards to....

                                        I bought the whole tip roast (9 lbs) and had them cut it about in half.( my husband ground the other half. )....

                                        With Top Butt Sirloin, I like to seam out the three muscles, which gives you three pieces in the shape more along the lines of a thicker, but smaller, London Broil cut. It lends itself to easier marinating and easier slicing. If you purchase it at a place like Costco, it is very reasonable at under 3 bucks per pound. To seam out, all you need is a boning knife and follow the silver skin. After separating, remove the silver skin and fat. Along with the scrapings, you can still grind for ground beef........you are now a butcher.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          Thanks for the additional info, fournunder! I'll pass the seaming info on to my husband, who does all of our home butchery:)
                                          I did take my roast ( which weighed just under 4 lbs, uncooked) out of the fridge about 1 1/2 hours before I put it in the oven, at 225. I started checking the temp at about 2 1/2 hours, ( and I am seriously doubting the acccuracy of my meat thermometer, which is just and old cheap probe model) and it never got past 140. But I took it out anyway, after about 4 hours ( I turned the oven up to 500 for about the last 15 minutes) and it was really nicely medium -medium rare. Excellent roast, thanks again for all of your helpful info!

                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh


                                            The benefit of seaming the three muscles out and roasting separately is the time element saved and portion control. You can have the finished roast in about two hours instead of the four you needed. Each seam can definitely feed 2, but as many as four depending on your appetites. You can stretch the whole butt into three dinners.....or cook all three seams in less time for one dinner or party......the larger seams can be cooked,e.g., to medium-rare....and the smaller seam to medium is the same oven,temperature and time.....There's no guess work., slicing is easier and presentation is also more appealing(smaller oblong slices as opposed to one large round slice or fractured slices.

                                            btw....glad to hear you enjoyed your results.

                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh


                                              here's a good link for your husband. it shows in pictures and in video how to butcher a whole top butt sirloin.


                                      2. Cheesy Broccoli Pie With a Cracker Crumb Crust. Pic doesn't do it justice--except for all the WHITE STUFF falling down, it's kinda dark here today. Cracker crumb crust for quiche--or quiche-like dishes such as this--is a stellar idea. I borrowed it from Guy Fieri's Halloween episode in which he made a sweet cracker crust for his pumpkin brulees--and from raisa who posted about making a cracker crumb quiche crust this week. Simply brilliant and delicious, too!

                                        Third pic will explain why I forgot all about meaning to add fresh parsley to the custard! 4:15 p.m. in the Land of Steady Habits (a.k.a. Connecticut, Middlesex County): OUT!

                                        1. I'm sick and tired of losing expensive food in the freezer and not being able to cook due to power outages. So -- the workmen finished installing our new Generac whole-house generator 15 minutes ago. Take that, winter!

                                          5 Replies
                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              A very special acorn-fed Iberico pork tenderloin from La Tienda (they were on sale), brushed with grainy mustard, rolled in mix of panko/Parm/rosemary and olive oil, roasted on a rack to just 145. Steamed fingerlings, salad of local greens, and onions glazed with maple vinegar.

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                ^^I'll have what she's having!^^ LOVE this idea for pork tenderloin, even if mine will never be quite as special. ;) You really are the queen of vinegar, too--maple, eh?! Sounds SO good! I will keep an eye out for that.

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  I do love my vinegars. The brand for the maple is Boyajian.

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    The above post was my last sign of online activity. I literally clicked to post and the lights went out. Still out of power, but the cheesy broccoli pie was well-received by my friend who hosted me AND April Katt! Grateful for good friends--especially good friends with generators. :)

                                            2. Another one here cooking something in tomato sauce. Pork country style ribs braising in the oven. Will toss the sauce with rigatoni and serve the meat on top. As much as this weather is crazy early, I'm enjoying cooking in my oven again after a long, hot summer.

                                              1. i'm also going to try Smitten Kitchen's walnut cake for the first time. although the lights keep flickering here in western Mass.....i hope i can get it baked before the power goes out!!! what a crazy day!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: saintp

                                                  Got the cake baked. SOOOO easy and very tasty. I didn't top it with jam and/or whipped cream as recommended....4 eggs and a stick of butter seemed like it would be rich enough. Maybe some sort of glaze on top....or some confectioner's sugar?? Either way, it would be great with a cup of tea.

                                                  1. re: saintp

                                                    Sounds really good; I'm going to try that cake soon!

                                                2. Our power keeps going on and off so we're having some of the Beef Burgundy now. Nine inches of snow with no signs of letting up. Gonna be a long night. Kitten needs mittens.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                    Wow you guys!! I never expected to hear myself saying this but . . . greetings from sunny Toronto!!

                                                    We're having a typical, cool & sunny fall like day here but all your talk of snow has us craving colder weather dishes. I picked up a ham hock today and plan to make some split pea w ham soup tomorrow. Tonight as our antipasti we're enjoying some assorted roasted veggies we picked up at the farmer's market this morning and then its on to the lasagna.

                                                    Trish your meatballs and sausages in San Marzano tomatoes had us drooling and your kitty in the snow made us shiver....so few days like today left for us!!! Thanks for this post, such a great idea!!

                                                  2. It is still snowing hard, we lost power ca. two hours ago. I am glad we bought a generator a couple of years ago! But I am not cooking today, we just had a nice spread of cheeses, sausages, bread, wine. We are happy!

                                                    1. lol.
                                                      I shut off the outside water this morning. I read the forecast so I loaded up on necessities, beer and wine, on Friday. I bought cheese, really fat pork chops, thin-sliced veal, some fresh veg around 11 a.m. today. There was some sparkling wine when I returned home. Nachos, too. Leftovers (chicken and rice) will be on tonight's menu.

                                                      1. In the hilltowns of Western Ma ( 10 inches predicted) we have 4 so far, are not going to friends' as intended. I turned on the oven awhile ago because it is gas and once on it stays on. I am baking beautiful local potatoes, sauteeing broccoli rabe and deciding how to prepare the hanger steaks from the freezer.

                                                        1. In my part of VA, we had mostly cold rain and just a few snowflakes, but still unpleasant enough to keep me inside all day. I currently have a caramel apple cake cooling and have crabcakes prepared and ready to go when the WVU game is over.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: sherriberry

                                                            sherri, would you consider sharing the recipe for caramel apple cake . . . that sounds so decadent and scrumptious!!

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              At the risk of being flamed, it is a doctored up cake mix. Duncan Hines Decadent line-caramel apple cake. It comes w/ a separate pack for the caramel-follow package directions. For the cake itself, I follow package directions, but use only 1/2 the water, add tsp. of almond extract, tbsp. cinnamon and 1/3 can finely chopped apple pie filling. Pour cake mix into pan and dollop spoonfuls of the caramel on top. Swirl into cake w/ knife. I do horizontal, then vertical swirls. When it comes out of the oven, the slightly heavier caramel falls a bit and the top looks like fall leaves are on top. I took this to a pot luck last weekend and it was gobbled up. Everyone thought it was from scratch and were very impressed w/ my ability to make the leaves on the cake. I didn't tell them this was a happy accident. It truly is delicious.

                                                              1. re: sherriberry

                                                                There is nothing flameworthy about Duncan Hines. That sounds delicious! :)

                                                          2. All of your meals sound comforting and divine. I was craving something stewy and starchy, so guiness beef stew over mashed potatoes it is. Stay warm and safe everyone!

                                                            1. Wet, heavy, slushy snow falling all day in Queens. And I had to work! At least I found out my new winter boots are, indeed, waterproof. But then I had fun making lamb and canellini bean stew (in the oven now)- thought it might be one of the last chances to use fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley off the front porch.

                                                              1. Here in Boston. Hasn't started to snow yet, just cold and wind and rain. I put a cabernet marinated pot roast from Trader Jo's in the crockpot this morning. Serving it with a kale and onion gratin, and crispy baguette. Bottle of red wine. Ice cream for dessert. Yum!

                                                                1. I just finished up a double batch of Lima Bean and Winter Vegetable Soup from The Greens Cookbook. Here's a link to the recipe I found onlineā€¦ http://cooksfrombooks.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                  I was going to make it yesterday, but I have an electric stove and was afraid that the power was going to go out while I was cooking. The power did go out twice, but only just long enough where I had to go and reset all the digital clocks in my house.

                                                                  1. Well, it's Monday now and after getting 15 inches of snow on Saturday, my entire town is still without power. May not be back for another week. Yuck.

                                                                    On the positive side, we are eating very well. The Beef Beef Burgundy and meatballs and sausage have been very satisfying. Since we're campers, we lit up a Colman stove and our grill and have made easy breakfasts (french toast, bacon, sausage...) Cast iron skillets work great on the grill. I'll post photos of our outdoor cooking tomorrow. I'm on borrowed time here at this computer. Need to go home now to a dark house.

                                                                    1. Well, here it is Friday, and we still have NO power at our home in Connecticut. Yeah, it's been lousy. I won't go into all the details about what it's like to have to bathe at a shelter... and how I woke up each morning smelling like smoke from my fireplace.... or how I couldn't snag a reservation at Balthazar in NYC tomorrow night so we could at least enjoy a lovely dinner at my fave restaurant... I'll spare you that...

                                                                      Instead here are some food photos from this experience. On Sunday, we got out our Colman camping stove, as well as the gas grill. Cast iron pans work excellent on the gas grill, no handles to melt. My husband worked hard shoveling our driveway, so I made him an ultra hearty breakfast - Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, Sausage, Bacon, Home Fries and Coffee.