Winter Foods, A Friday Free for All

Heather says:

We haven’t done a Friday Free for All in a few months and it’s January 20th, winter is in full swing -in most of the country, we’ve been pretty lucky here. When the weather is miserable it’s time to break out your favorite comfort food recipes.

Yesterday I picked up all of the ingredients to make a double batch of my lasagna recipe, which we’ll have tonight along with caprese. Hush about the season, a friend of mine runs a hydroponic farm. I just need to swing by and pick them up. If I have any sauce leftover I’ll freeze it, as it’s pretty close to my spaghetti sauce recipe and works quite well.

Lasagna Recipe

So on the comfort food track, later this week I plan on making stewed chicken, leek and potato soup, and maybe creamy chicken and wild rice soup. Of course there’s the chance I’ll decide it’s finally time to get around to sharing a recipe for tortilla soup or I’ll maybe I’ll bring back one of our favorites taco soup.

Currently my inbox is loaded with legume recipes from frequent commenter deneicer1 and I’ll be adding those to the site as time and energy permit.

This year I also hope to add a few more recipes for winter vegetables and I will happily take on requests as a cooking challenge. (Sometimes I need a kick in the pants, too.)

Since it’s a free for all Friday, I’d love to hear what’s on your mind, just keep it family friendly. Can’t think of anything specific? How about follow my lead and share a link to your favorite winter comfort food.

Happy Friday.


  1. Caroline Bohn on January 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

    It’s hard to think of ‘winter foods’ when it’s 81 degrees outside.

  2. Rachel@FoodFix on January 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Yum…I’m in that winter mood too…considering there is 6 inches of snow on the ground outside my window right now! I’ve been making confits…confit garlic, onions, onions and fennel, turkey legs….a low, slow oil poaching process that gives you beautiful results and confits that have a long, long shelf life in the fridge…looks like I’ll be housebound and cooking this weekend…thanks for the recipes!

    • HeatherSolos on January 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

      @Rachel@FoodFix I have had confits in restuarants, but I have never tried my hand at them. Thank you for bringing them up, it seems like a wonderful cooking challenge. I hope your weekend was pleasant.

  3. TheBellWitch on January 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @HeatherSolos #homechat is back?? Squee!!!!

    • HeatherSolos on January 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

      @TheBellWitch yes ma’am it sure is.

      • TheBellWitch on January 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

        @HeatherSolos awesome!!! Now to remember that on Tuesday.. Lol

        • HeatherSolos on January 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

          @TheBellWitch do you use Google Calendar? Set a reminder

        • TheBellWitch on January 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

          @HeatherSolos what time is #homechat?

        • HeatherSolos on January 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

          @TheBellWitch 8:30 Eastern

        • TheBellWitch on January 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

          @HeatherSolos thanks, setting alarm on phone calendar now. 🙂

  4. BevE on January 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Talking about soups, how about other comfort foods like brownies ? I’d love to hear if anyone has a good brownie recipe out there that is as low in sugar as possible. I’ve tried using artificial sweeteners but I’m now crazy about the taste. Thanks : D

    • CarolShiveMirek on January 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      @BevE I am a from scratch baker for the most part. 90 % of what I do is like that, but I think I made brownies from scratch once. People love my boxed brownies, ask for the recipe all the time, so why bother. LOL

      • BevE on January 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        @CarolShiveMirek@BevE I know what you mean : D

        I have a huge sweet tooth but am also prediabetic so I need to watch the carbs. I’ve tried a few artificial sweeteners but haven’t found one I like so thought I could just cut the sugar some other way. I LUV brownies.

    • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      @BevE I defer to @CarolShiveMirek as I typically only bake when someone twists my arm. I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth,

    • Brenda Lee on January 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      @BevE My sister swears by Hershey’s Best Brownies. you can find it on their website. Sometimes she adds chocolate chips & nuts. Her workmates devour them.

      • BevE on January 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        @Brenda Lee I found the recipe. Going to try it with half the sugar and no frosting. Thanks : D

  5. carnellm on January 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Yum! You would have been so proud of me – I made lasagna for my family over the holidays. Needed something good and warm while sister and such were in town. Did it all myself and sauce from scratch. It was so good that I need to do it again soon.

    • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      @carnellm I am proud of you. What did your kids think?

      • carnellm on January 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        @HeatherSolos Everyone loved it. It was kinda hard to believe.

        • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

          @carnellm what recipe did you use?

        • carnellm on January 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

          @HeatherSolos Recipe? Recipe?! We don’t need no stinking recipes!

  6. caroline on January 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    That lasagna looks amazing! My favorite winter comfort food so far is Kielbasa Stew. Mmm! 🙂

    • HeatherSolos on January 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

      @caroline I should make that for my mother, she is a kielbasa fiend, shhh. She even puts kielbasa in -I don’t know if I can say it- spaghetti.

      Love you Mom, I’m just not as big a kielbasa fan.

  7. TonyaStaab on January 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    That lasagna looks delicious.

    My favorite comfort food is soup. It’s my go to, especially on cool nights.

  8. 2MakeEndsMeet on January 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Scalloped Potatoes (with Ham)…a definite comfort food from my childhood! Just made it last week, too! 🙂

  9. LolliFranklin on January 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Here’s one of my favorite comfort foods….I’m guessing that it’s mostly because it’s so easy and quick to make. 🙂

  10. typeamom on January 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Thanks! I have a healthier variation on pizza (one of the fave comfort foods at my house).

  11. suemaynard on January 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Company coming tonight. I have peanut butter chicken in the crockpot as I type, and will cook rice and collards when I get home. Dessert still tbd but I have an abundance of pecans and some apples. Ideas? I’d like to keep it kind of light…

    • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

      @suemaynard why not do a sort of apple crisp, but roughly chop the pecans instead of using oats?

    • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      @suemaynard Also, tell me about peanut butter chicken… is it sort of Thai flavored?

      • suemaynard on January 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

        @HeatherSolos I followed Stephanie O’Dea’s recipe here

        I’m being a bit reckless here and am making a new recipe (crockpot at that!) for a company dinner. Advantage: I already had all the ingredients, and the reviews seem good enough that I’m willing. Also my husband is working from home so he can turn it off if it seems to be cooking fast. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

        • HeatherSolos on January 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

          @suemaynard how did your dinner & dessert turn out?

        • suemaynard on January 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          @HeatherSolos It was good! The peanut butter chicken went over well, although my husband and I agreed it could use a little more kick next time. Easy enough. And for dessert, I went with what I called “stuffed apples: deconstructed” (deconstructed sounds way classier than lazy, right?). I sliced up some apples, and tossed them in a baking dish with some brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and pecans, and baked it while we ate dinner. Served with coffee creamer in a nice little pitcher (we were out of ice cream). Totally worked!

  12. CarolShiveMirek on January 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I need to get my soup cooking!! I haven’t made baked potato soup yet this winter, or beef barely. Two of my standbys. Love the barely, because like chicken soup it freezes well. So besides soup, need to do some bread and more baking. I made chocolate chip muffins last night for my sons pine wood derby, so the boys were thrilled to have them this morning for breakfast. My 8 year old said your finally back to baking, Mom?? Guess I know what we need to do more of on the weekends. My little sous chefs are missing it!

    • HeatherSolos on January 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      @CarolShiveMirek I go in spurts, too. This has been an off couple of weeks because of the travel. Before that though I was on a roll and I’m hoping to pick that back up.

      • CarolShiveMirek on January 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

        @HeatherSolos I have been missing out on baking, didn’t even do much for the holidays, but the kids never asked, so I figured they didn’t care. But now I know they do love me :).

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