December 13, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside! .... and sorry, baby, but it's cold inside too. 
Here in our rustic little 1940's house in Minnesota, although it's cozy, things are rather brisk. Especially if you're over by the front door, near the drafty windows... in the spare room... upstairs in our bedroom.. laying on the hardwood floor.. pretty much anywhere unless you're on the couch under a blanket. But I don't mind too much. This is my 5th winter up here and I've learned how to warm up without hobbling over to the thermostat every time I feel shiver-y. Here's my checklist for keeping warm as we get used to the wintry air again:

1. TWO long sleeve layers at all times.
2. Smartwool socks. 
3. Slippers with a sturdy sole. 
4. Silk undershirts for maximum warmth.
5. Thick, soft, non-itchy scarves for all-day wear.
6. Space heater. What we do: Before bed, turn it on for 30 minutes to take the edge off the chill in your room. So nice for early mornings, too!
7. Steamy mug of tea, cider, or coffee.
8. Get sweaty. Climb the stairs, jump around, do push ups! 
9. Eat. A plate of piping hot scrambled eggs or a bowl of sweet rice always helps me warm up fast.
10. Chicken Soup! and with cornbread?! Can't dream up a cozier meal. I can almost feel it toasting my insides just thinking about it. I always feel pretty balmy after a bowl of soup.

We've been making old-fashioned chicken soup a few times a week lately. Here's how I do it. 1 whole chicken + veggies/herbs + water. It makes such a rich, clear broth all on its own. (The easiest way ever! And I can't believe this is my first time ever posting a recipe for it!)

Classic Chicken Soup

1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
8-10 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped 
1 to 2 T. sea salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered 
rosemary to taste
3 quarts of water or more 

Add all ingredients to a large pot and pour in water until it almost covers the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer all day (or at least 4 hours). Remove chicken (it will probably fall apart on you- a very good sign) and pull the meat off the bones, then add meat back to the pot. Serve piping hot! Optional: stir in cooked rice, beans, or noodles. 

AND nothing goes better with soup/chili/a cold day than a cake of cornbread! Here's my simple gluten-free version.

Gluten Free Cornbread
(it's also dairy free)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 to 2 T. honey
1 large egg
1/4 cup coconut/almond/rice milk

1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Blend together all of the wet ingredients, then stir in the dry. Don't over mix. Add batter to a greased baking dish (something small like an 8x8 or smaller). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Makes one small cake or a few muffins- perfect for me because I'm the only one eating it right now. Feel free to double it!
**I always add a little vinegar to make it more like buttermilk. I love the taste of buttermilk.

This cornbread is crazy moist and soft and wonderful. I hope you can try it sometime.
Have a great day guys, and please do stay warm- wherever you are!


Nicole said...

I can't wait for snow to hit here (Michigan) :) I love reading your posts and have been making tons of soups lately.

Aunt Kayleen said...

Love your recipes, Summer! Thanks for sharing them!! These two look delicious!!
This week I made your Banana Choco Chip Cookies (for Uncle Don's lunches), another batch of your Pickled Carrot Sticks, and my first batch of your Sauerkraut Salsa!! The next recipe on my list to try is your Walnut Fudge Larabars. Yum! My mouth is already watering! Thanks again! I love having a steady supply of "real food" recipes to try!!

Christina said...

Our little 1950's house in Montana has the same chilly problem especially in our room...and beside the glorious windows...and on the tile floor)! ;) Layers, warm drinks, and hot soup and bread really are the BEST! And my husbamd recently nabbed a like-new snuggie for me at a white elephant gift exchange. I'm embarassingly excited about it. Lol

Maggie Mizelle said...

I just made the soup today and it was AMAZING! Thanks, Summer.

Anna Wilson said...

Marie Callender's organic cornbread is to die for…. I've used this mix for several years
and everyone in my family loves it!! Now, it's sort of a radition for me and the little ones to have weekly baking sessions with MC’s cornbreads and muffins. You should visit their website today to purchase your mixes. I’m sure you will enjoy the great taste!

Alicia said...

I just came across your site recently and decided to try this recipe. Our farmer's market offers local chickens, and so I decided to make this soup. Super tasty. It's not mentioned in the recipe, but your picture made it look like your soup included zucchini (also in season in these parts). So, I threw that in. So enjoyable. I"m looking forward to trying out some other recipes!



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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