In celebration of winter, part 1: Good foods for cold days

the everyday woman Jan 02, 2019

Christmas is done, so I’m basically ready for it to be summer now. No? What do you mean there are still months to go?

Ah, well, then I’d better dig in to some of my favorite winter hobbies: eating and reading.

Today my friend Kelly at is hosting a new Friday Five topic: Winter! All week I’ve been debating about whether to give you my five favorite winter reads or recipes. Finally, I realized that it’s my blog and I can do what I want, so I’m doing both! Today I will share five of my favorite foods to make in winter, and next week I will be back with five favorite reads.

Winter is a great time to warm up in the kitchen, and I’m excited to share some of our family favorites with you! Let’s dive in, shall we?


Winter is a great time to warm up in the kitchen.CLICK TO TWEET

Shredded Beef

Adapted from The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet

When Jon and I were first married, my brother and sister-in-law (who had already been married for eight whole years, which seemed like a lifetime to us newlywed babes) gave us this cookbook for Christmas. While I have never really gotten into the rhythm of freezer cooking on the whole, many of these recipes have come in handy when I have needed to cook ahead (like when I abandoned my family for two weeks and went to Africa or when I was preparing to go to the hospital and have a baby). And some, like this one, have become family favorites and make regular appearances on our table. This particular recipe is great because it is flavorful and unbelievably easy.


2.5 lbs beef roast (I usually buy whatever is on sale!)
2 packets dry Ranch dressing (Italian can be used as well, but we all prefer it with the Ranch)
1 cup water
8 hamburger buns


Place the roast in the crock pot, cover with dressing, pour water over top. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8+. Shred beef with fork. Serve on buns.

Yep, it’s that easy! Jon loves this with horseradish sauce, and I like it with mayo. The kids like to eat the beef plain, without a bun.

As written above, this serves about 6 people, but the ingredients can be multiplied with the same cooking time.


Chicken & Dumplings

 I may have a slight addiction to cookbooks. This one is another of my favorites, primarily because they are all, obviously, pretty cook dishes to put together.

I absolutely love the chicken & dumplings recipe in this book. I searched online and couldn’t find the exact one, but this is a similar one (also by Rachael Ray) that I am trying next week.



A post on winter eats would be incomplete without an ode to chili. So simple, so fragrant, so filling. I have tried several chili recipes over the years, but my current favorite comes from the Food Network.

I reserve the right, though, to change my favorite chili recipe at any time. This is especially true right now, as our church is preparing to host a chili cook-off, and my favorite mini-foodie (Matt) is ecstatic for the opportunity to concoct his own chili creation. He has been printing and studying chili recipes, looking for ways to tweak and customize them. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!


Cinnamon Rolls

I love, love, LOVE Ree Drummond’s cinnamon rolls, and they are a frequently requested treat in my house. I have to limit myself to making these no more than twice per year… only because I desire to not weigh 4,000 by next Christmas. They are amazingly delicious. Two pieces of advice: Before rolling out the dough, stick it in the fridge or an hour or so. SO MUCH EASIER to work with. Also, DO NOT melt the butter completely. Get it goopy but semi-solid. Easy to spread over the dough, but much less messy. (Oh, and I never put the coffee in the icing. I don’t drink it, and we usually don’t have it in the house. I leave it out, and it is still delicious, so don’t get hung up on that if you’re not a coffee drinker.) Other than that, just bake and enjoy. And invite me over, will you?


Beef Bourguignon

As many of you know, I had the honor of serving as part of Jen Hatmaker’s launch team for her book For the Love. In the book she shares some of her favorite recipes, including a slight adaptation of The Barefoot Contessa’s Beef Bourguignon. While I highly recommend you read this in Jen’s words because she is far more clever than I, I can tell you that she (and I) vary from Ina’s recipe in two main ways: omit the cognac, and cook at 300 for 2 hours (instead of 250 for 1 1/4 hours). I love this over bread (toasted in the oven and rubbed with a clove of garlic), but it is also delicious over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or whatever sounds good to you. Amazing, amazing, amazing! Go make it right now! In fact, I’ll come over, have dinner, we can have a sleepover, and then chow down on some cinnamon rolls in the morning! Is it a date?


This is a #FridayFive post. Make sure you head over to to check out more tributes to winter… and come back next week as we talk about 5 books to read this winter!


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