I mean, really, really cold.
And I don’t like the cold.
Thankfully, we don’t have the sketchy power surges some areas of the country have and we are accustomed to January being on the cool side. Also, the Black Hills can be odd…it was 60 degrees this past Saturday. Today’s high was 12.
So as I’m sitting in my office, listening to the howling of the wind, staring at the review copy of Sleeping Bear, I opted to make this a short (but timely) post and instead of share amazing words of writing wisdom — or even the half-baked ideas I usually have — I thought I’d share one of my favorite cold weather dinner recipes.
Oh, and I’ve had both of these recipes for awhile, and don’t remember where I originally found them.
Potato Bacon Soup (makes a big pot!)
- 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
- 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
- 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
- 3 stalks Celery, Diced
- 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
- 8 cups Chicken Broth
- 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice
- Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.
- Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.
- Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Blend half to 2/3 of the soup in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot. Let it heat back up and taste for seasonings (salt, pepper, etc), adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream.
- Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces if desired.
Beer Bread (makes 1 1/2 pound loaf in the bread maker)
- 1 1/8 cups beer (9 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons fast rising yeast (or 2 1/4 t. bread machine yeast)
- Pour beer into a bowl and let stand at room temperature for a few hours to go flat.
- Place all ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s directions.
- Set crust on dark and program for the Basic cycle; press Start.
- Let cool to room temperature before slicing.
Nichole R. Bennett has been an avid mystery reader from a young age. Her first novel, Ghost Mountain, is available from Second Wind Publishing. Her second novel, Sleeping Bear, will be available soon. When she’s not writing, Nichole can be found doing a plethora of crafty things, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, or spending too much time online. And staying warm.