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As much as I love the summer, there’s something about winter that holds fond memories for me – the crisp fresh air waking you up in the mornings, snowfall, families coming together, drinking hot beverages by an open fireplace, cozying up in a blanket watching a film or reading a book, and of course, the lead up to Christmas and the New Year. The lights, markets, parties, the buzz you feel when you go shopping, the merry atmosphere….I know, it’s not going to be the same this year, but we’ll all be finding ways to enjoy the festive period whilst staying safe!
It’s also the best time of the year to tuck into some delicious comfort foods. Sure, you can have these foods any time of year, but it feels all the more satisfying when you have them in winter. Here are my favorite winter warmers.
When it’s cold and you’re looking for something easy to rustle up to warm you through, that’s when soup becomes the perfect choice. I prefer having chunky soups as they’re more filling – whether it’s adding vegetables, chicken, chickpeas, beans or croutons for some crunch, you can never run out of options when it comes to experimenting with different ingredients to create your perfect soup.
Jacket Potatoes are the perfect dinner choice for winter – the combination of the crispy skin and light, velvety middle makes this a delicious dish. I tend to fill them up with bean chilli, tuna, garlic mushrooms, grated cheese and beans (not altogether!). As jacket potatoes are versatile, there are so many recipe fillings to try out. I’m sure I’ll be trying out a few different fillings in cafes after the lockdown’s been lifted in England!
A fish baked pie with a mash potato topping is the ultimate dinner comfort food. The mash topping (if it has cheese, then even better) coupled with creamy sauce and fish chunks warms me up instantly as soon as I take the first bite. Definitely one of my drool-worthy favorite winter warmers!
Pasta bakes are the ultimate comfort food and a crowd-pleaser. I mean, who doesn’t love pasta?! There are so many varieties to try – tuna pasta bake, macaroni cheese, lasagne. Top it off with melted cheese (yes, I’m obsessed with cheese) and you’re onto a winner!
Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Marshmallows
This is the ultimate sugary treat! If I’m meeting up with a friend at a coffee shop in the winter, I can’t resist ordering a steaming mug of hot chocolate to warm my hands and gulp down as I’m having a chat with my friend. Topping the drink with whipped cream and marshmallows makes it even more of a sumptuous beverage.
Mince pies are a uniquely British sweet treat that I can’t get enough of. They’re mainly available in stores during the winter period, otherwise, I’d end up munching on them throughout the year! The pies are filled with a mixture of dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants) and spices such a nutmeg and cinnamon, also known as “mincemeat”. They can be eaten cold, but I prefer them warmed up. I tend to heat up a few mince pies at home then drizzle over some cream to make them an even more delectable winter treat.
Eating a fruit crumble straight out of the oven is what winter is for! Plums, apples, blackberries and pears are perfect fruits to create a tarty, rich flavored crumble. Personally, I prefer fruit crumbles compared to fruit pies, as crumbles offer a buttery and crunchy topping which I enjoy having in a dessert. Pair your fruit crumble with clotted cream, custard or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you’ll have yourself a mouth-watering winter dessert.
I will have any dessert that includes chocolate – it’s definitely my weakness! Warm chocolate puddings can definitely satisfy my chocoholic cravings (as well as hot chocolate). Crunchy on the outside, thick sauce on the inside and served with ice cream, it’s no wonder chocolate puddings make an indulgent dessert.
As we’re going back and forth between tier systems and national lockdowns in England, I’ll be trying to make these at home. It could end up well or end up being a kitchen disaster! The likelihood is that I’ll wait until the coffee shops and restaurants are open for me to have these delicious winter warmers!
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