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
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!