Comforting Cold Weather Meals

Easy Beef Stew with Red Wine ~ I threw together this tasty beef stew in no time at all.  I let it simmer slowly on the stove and it made the house smell wonderful.  It was a perfect meal for this bitter cold weather we've been having.

We've been stuck in our house for the last week, riding out this huge polar vortex snow storm that's been hammering the Midwest/US.  This past week has been bitter cold, but it's slowly warming up.  We've finally started seeing temps a few degrees above freezing, just enough to start some of the snow melting, but there is still so much more to go.  It's been so over-the-top bitter cold, that all the schools were canceled this  week.  J was thrilled to get an extra week of Christmas break, can't say as I blame him. 

Before the arctic air and snow arrived, I stocked up my pantry and fridge, so we've been enjoying warming and comforting foods for the last week ~ beef stew, chili, ham & beans, chicken & dumplings, chicken noodle soup, mac & cheese ~ you know, comfort food that I've posted about in the past.  I decided that if I couldn't go out-and-about, I might as well cook.  :)  Needless to say, good home cooked meals were the highlight of our snowbound days...

Our backyard has knee deep drifts of snow...

Ham & Bean Soup ~ our leftover Christmas ham was the perfect addition to a pot of Hurst Great Northern Beans.  A little drizzle of Frank's RedHot Sauce adds just the right amount of heat.

The view out my kitchen window...  Brrr!!

I hear that there is the possibility of another polar vortex snow storm heading our way in the next few days.  Well...guess it's time to head back out to the market to replenish the supplies once more.  Hopefully this time the trip won't take up an entire afternoon.  Seriously, the market was PACKED!  Worse than the Black Friday sales ~  all 25 register lanes were open, each stacked 7-10 full shopping carts deep, people everywhere and shelves emptied fast. 

The view out the front of the house ~  It was too cold to go outside & take most of the pictures (-40 with the windchill), so I just took pics through the glass.  Roy took the photo of the front of the house when it started to 'warm up', I think maybe it got up to zero that day...

When you're waiting in the checkout line, with nothing else to do, seeing what others are purchasing can be amusing.  I was chuckling at what some people had in their carts ~ some were full of cereal, bread, eggs, pancake mix, ice cream, hot chocolate, milk, juice, meat, veggies, cat food & kids games to help keep the boredom away (sounds like my cart).  While others were full of beer, chips, munchies, frozen pizza, wine, cheese and crackers.  Ahhh...I remember those single days.  :)

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