Winter Warm-Up: Cozy Dinner Recipes to Chase Away the Chill

Winter Dinner Recipes

31 Oct 2022

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Winter Warm-Up: Cozy Dinner Recipes to Chase Away the Chill

One of the best things about winter is enjoying cozy dinners by the fireplace. There’s something about the combination of crackling flames and delicious comfort food that makes the cold months seem a little less daunting. Whether it’s a hearty stew, a comforting casserole, or a simple bowl of soup, there’s nothing quite like a winter meal to chase away the chill. And, of course, no winter dinner is complete without a warm slice of freshly-baked bread. So if you’re looking for a reason to love winter, here are some cozy fireside dinners that are definitely at the top of the list for many. 

Winter Dinner Recipes to Keep You Warm  

As the weather gets colder, we all crave warm, comfort food. This list of some winter dinner inspiration has something for everyone, including soups, entrees, drinks, and desserts. Whether you’re snowed in or looking for a cozy meal, these recipes should hit the spot. Bon appetit!

Also Read: A Quick Guide For The Perfect Brunch Party

Delicious Winter Soup  

Winter is the perfect time to curl up with a bowl of soup. Not only does soup provide a hearty and warming meal, but it can also be customized to suit your taste. Check out these delicious soups to keep you warm all winter long. 

  • Potato and Leek Soup: This classic soup is the perfect comfort food. The creamy potato base is complemented by the fresh flavor of leeks, making it a satisfying and warming meal. 
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: This soup is bursting with fall flavors. The roasted butternut squash combines aromatic spices like ginger and nutmeg, making it the perfect cozy meal for chilly nights. 
  • Tomato Basil Soup: This bright and flavorful soup is a great way to enjoy the taste of summer in the middle of winter. The sweet tomatoes are balanced by the savory flavor of basil, making it a soup sure to please everyone. 
  • Chicken Noodle Soup: This timeless soup is perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather. The chicken broth is comforting and soothing, while the noodles provide a filling and satisfying meal. 
  • Lentil Soup: This hearty soup is packed with protein and fiber, making it a filling and nutritious meal. The earthy flavor of lentils is balanced by adding carrots and celery, making it a delicious and easy-to-make soup.
  • Golden Potato Soup: You can prepare this comforting potato soup with Yukon gold potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, chicken broth, and half-and-half. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, diced bacon, and chives for extra flavor. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
     

Winter Dinner Entrees 

Winter is the perfect time to break out the slow cooker and whip up some hearty comfort food. Here are some great recipes to keep you warm all winter long. 

  • Slow Cooker Honey and Sriracha Garlic Pork Loin: This dish is packed with flavor, thanks to a sweet and spicy sriracha honey glaze. You can serve it with roasted Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes for a complete meal. 
  • Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb: This recipe is perfect for special occasions. It’s impressive yet surprisingly easy to prepare, and the combination of fresh herbs and garlic makes it taste genuinely gourmet. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans for a classic pairing that never gets old. 
  • Parmesan Risotto: This rich and creamy risotto is the epitome of comfort food. Made with white wine, chicken broth, and plenty of Parmesan cheese, it’s guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Serve as a main course or side dish. 
  • Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin: This spice-rubbed pork tenderloin is juicy, flavorful, and easy to make. Just rub a spice blend over the pork, roast it in the oven, and enjoy. Serve with roasted vegetables or a simple salad for a complete meal. 
  • Roasted acorn squash: Acorn squash is roasted until tender and then topped with a brown sugar-balsamic glaze in this recipe. It makes an impressive yet easy side dish for any winter meal. 
  • Chicken Pot Pie: This classic chicken pot pie is guaranteed to hit the spot on a cold winter night. It features a flaky pie crust filled with chunks of chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a creamy sauce. Serve warm, garnished with parsley or thyme. 
  • Cabbage Rolls: These cabbage rolls are first stuffed with beef and rice and then simmered in a tomato sauce until they’re nice and tender. They make a delicious and hearty main course that keeps you warm all winter.  
  • Beef Stew: This classic beef stew is full of tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, and celery, all simmered in a rich gravy. 
  • Mac and Cheese: This comforting dish features creamy macaroni and cheese, made even better with the addition of bacon or ham. 
  • Chili: There’s nothing like a big bowl of chili to warm you up on a cold day. This recipe features ground beef, beans, and plenty of spices. 
  • Beef Stroganoff: This Russian classic features tender chunks of beef in a rich sour cream sauce, served over egg noodles. 
  • Shepherd’s Pie: This English classic features ground lamb or beef in a savory gravy, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked until golden brown. 
  • Salmon Chowder: This hearty chowder is full of salmon, potatoes, and corn, all simmered in a creamy base. Serve with some crusty bread for dipping. 
  • Vegetarian Chili: A vegetarian chili is a mix of beans, vegetables, and plenty of spices. It’s a great Meatless Monday option that will satisfy you all winter. 
  • French Onion Soup: This soup features caramelized onions simmered in beef broth, then topped with cheesy croutons and baked until golden brown. 
  • Tomato Soup: This comforting soup features ripe tomatoes simmered in chicken broth and finished with a splash of cream. 
  • Crockpot Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes: These addictively good potatoes feature chunks of Yukon gold potatoes cooked in a ranch-flavored sauce until tender, then finished with crispy bacon pieces and lots of shredded cheese. Slow cooker recipes are perfect for winter because they require minimal effort but yield big flavor payoffs. 

 These recipes will become new favorites to help you get through the colder months. So fire up your slow cooker and enjoy! 

Also Read: Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immunity System

Winter Drinks 

Winter makes for an excellent time to curl up with a cozy dinner and a warm drink. Many different drinks can help to keep you warm on a cold winter night. Here are five of the best winter dinner drinks to keep you cozy: 

  • Hot Chocolate: Hot chocolate is always a classic winter favorite. Add a little bit of peppermint extract or marshmallows for an extra-special treat. 
  • Hot Cider: A mug of hot cider is the perfect way to warm up after a long day in the cold. Use fresh cider for the best flavor, and add a cinnamon stick for extra warmth. 
  • Mulled Wine: If you’re looking for something with a little more kick, try making mulled wine. This warming drink simmers red wine with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s perfect for sipping by the fire on a cold winter night. 
  • Hot Tea: A steaming cup of tea is the perfect drink for chilly evenings. Choose a strong tea like Earl Grey or English Breakfast for added warmth, or go for a lighter herbal tea if you prefer. Add a splash of milk and honey for added sweetness. 
  • Hot Toddy: For something truly unique, try making a hot toddy. This classic Scottish drink combines whiskey with boiling water, honey, and lemon. It’s said to be an excellent cure for a cold winter evening. 

Winter Desserts 

Looking for some comforting desserts? Here are some wintertime favorites that are sure to please your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied:

  • Apple Crisp: This classic dessert is prepared with thinly sliced apples, spices, and a crisp, crumbly topping. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a truly delicious treat. 
  • Brownies: There’s nothing like a rich, fudgy brownie to take the chill off a winter’s evening. Top your brownie with a scoop of mint-flavored choco chip ice cream for an extra special treat. 
  • Peach Cobbler: This Southern classic is a mix of fresh peaches, sugar, flour, and butter. The result is a light, fluffy cobbler perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 
  • Chocolate Pudding: This childhood favorite is always a welcome treat on a cold winter’s night. Top it with whipped cream or shaved chocolate for a touch of decadence. 
  • Rice Pudding: A creamy pudding is packed with rice, milk, spices, and raisins (optional). It’s the perfect comfort food to enjoy on a chilly evening. Serve it warm or cold, whichever you prefer. 

Well, there you have it! Our top picks for winter dinner recipes. We hope you’ll find something here that you and your family will enjoy. With so many delicious options, there’s sure to be something for everyone. So go ahead and give some of these recipes a try. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Happy cooking! 


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26 Apr 2021

“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

—Abraham Lincoln 

The second Monday of every May is dedicated to the women (Mother’s day) who take care of us the other 364 days of the year: Moms.  

 And don’t they deserve a day just for them? In many homes, moms are the ones who get it all done: making home cooked meals, buying groceries, packing lunches, folding laundry, organizing schedules, running the carpool, and so much more. Even in today’s more enlightened times, with a generation of dads who take on more than any group before them, a Gallup poll showed that women still shoulder the primary responsibility for doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and making meals.1  

 So this Mother’s Day, how can you show that special mom—your own mother, the mother of your children, a mom-to-be, or a special mom in your life—that you care? Sure, flowers and handmade cards are great. But this Mother’s Daywe’ve got a better idea: get her a Genie, and leave the meal shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up to us.  

Whether you want to treat her to brunch, lunch, dinner, or a week’s worth of meals prepped and ready to go for the days ahead, CookinGenie can arrange for a chef to show up at the door with all the ingredients needed to make a fresh, home-cooked meal from scratch. Our Genie will prepare and plate the food and leave the kitchen as clean (or maybe even cleaner!) as it was before they arrived. 

 Not sure what to order? Check out this sample Mother’s Day menu 

How about starting your meal with Genie Michael Booth’s decadent Baked Brie, a show-stopping starter of creamy brie wrapped in crisp, flaky puff pastry and topped with a nutty bourbon glaze.  

 

Or maybe begin with a springy Arugula Salad studded with marinated red onions, shaved Parmesan and toasted walnuts, and tossed with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. 

 

For the main course, try a light and refreshing Cioppinoa delicate seafood stew in an aromatic tomato-fennel broth— 

 

or, if you want something more hearty, Filet Mignon with Fingerlings, Broccolini and Chimichurri. 

 

And end on a sweet note with a Fruit Crostata topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.  

Don’t see mom’s favorites on our menu – message us and we are going to put a custom home cooked meal together for the special mom.  

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Personal Chef's Advice to Beat Holiday Buldge

23 Sep 2022

If you’re like most people, the holiday season is a time when unhealthy eating habits can easily creep in. Whether it’s Christmas cookies or New Year’s Eve champagne, it’s easy to let your guard down and indulge in things you wouldn’t normally eat. With some planning and some self-control, you can enjoy the holiday season without packing on the pounds. 

1- Be mindful of what you eat

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and, all too often, weight gain. If you’re determined to avoid adding extra pounds this holiday season, there are a few things you can do to stay on track.  

First, make sure to pre-plan:  

If you know, you’ll be attending a party where you may fall for unhealthy foods, eat a light meal beforehand so you don’t feel tempted to overindulge.  

When it comes time to fill your plate, be mindful of what you eat. Balance the Christmas cookies with some fruits and vegetables and limit yourself to one or two servings of each dish.  

It’s also important to stay active during the holidays. Take a brisk walk after dinner, go for hikes, or play tag with the kids.  

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the holidays without adding extra weight.  

2- Choose healthy options at gatherings

If you’re like most people, gatherings tend to revolve around food. And while it’s OK to indulge in your favorite comfort foods occasionally, it’s essential to ensure that you’re also making healthy choices. After all, the last thing you want is to undo all of your hard work simply because a plate of cookies tempted you. By making sure to go for healthy options, you can help yourself stay on track without feeling deprived. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from, so there’s no need to fill up empty calories. Remember to make wise choices the next time you’re at a gathering; it will be easy to keep track of your weight.    

3- Portion Control: Don’t go overboard

Most of us have been there before: we start with the best intentions, vowing to eat healthily and watch our portion sizes. But then we get busy or stressed, or we lose motivation. Before we know it, we’re eating half a dozen cookies instead of the one or two we originally planned. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. By being mindful of our portion sizes and making thoughtful choices about the foods we eat, we can enjoy and indulge in the occasional treat without throwing our healthy eating habits out the window. So next time you feel tempted to go overboard, remember that moderation is key. A few extra cookies never hurt anyone, but a whole box might leave you feeling (and looking) a little bit worse for wear.  

4- Get moving! Incorporate physical activity into your holiday plans to help offset any extra calories you may be consuming.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and extra servings of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. While you may indulge once in a while, there are easy ways to offset any extra calories you consume. An easy solution is to get moving! Incorporate physical activity into your holiday plans. A simple exercise like walking or swimming each day can help offset any extra calories you consume. Such moderate-intensity activities can help burn those extra holiday calories. And who knows, you might even have some fun in the process!  

So this holiday season, don’t let your fitness goals fall by the wayside. Get up and get moving – your body will thank you for it. 

5- If you do gain some fat, follow a meal plan to lose it.

Like most people, you probably indulge in one too many holiday treats. As a result, you may gain a few extra pounds. But don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to get rid of that holiday weight.  

First of all, cut back on your calorie intake. Instead of three large meals a day, try eating five or six smaller meals. Such a meal plan will help to boost your metabolism and help your body burn those extra calories.  

Secondly, make sure to exercise regularly. A combination of cardio and strength training is the best way to shed those unwanted pounds.  

Finally, follow a healthy meal plan. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. And drink plenty of water!  

By following these simple tips, you’ll be back to your pre-holiday weight in no time.  

Let a personal chef help you indulge without overindulging

Hiring a personal chef to help you with your meal planning is the best way to lose weight without sacrificing taste. Dietitians can help you create a healthy plan, but a personal chef can make sure it’s delicious. By customizing each dish to your liking, a personal chef can ensure you get the nutrients you need without feeling deprived of the foods you love. And because they do all the cooking and clean-up, you’ll have more time to focus on your fitness goals. So if you wish to lose weight without giving up tasty food, hire a personal chef. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Friendsgiving Celebration

04 Nov 2022

Friendsgiving is a relatively new holiday celebrated among friends, typically around Thanksgiving. The holiday originated in the United States but has since spread to other countries. Most people celebrate Friendsgiving with a potluck-style meal, where each person brings a dish to share. The holiday is also often marked by festive activities such as board games, football watching, and pumpkin carving. Friendsgiving is a time to come together and celebrate friendship and is often considered to be more low-key and relaxed than traditional Thanksgiving celebrations. Whether it is a potluck dinner party or a simple gathering of close friends, Friendsgiving is a time to come together and express gratitude for the role that friends play in our lives.  

Origin of Friendsgiving

Since there is no definitive origin story for Friendsgiving, the exact origins of this popular holiday remain a mystery. Some might say it was brought into the mainstream by a popular TV show, while others might point to social media trends. Whatever the case may be, one thing is sure, over time, Friendsgiving has become a beloved tradition for many people worldwide, offering a chance to gather with friends and family in celebration for expressing love and gratitude.  

Friends TV Show

Generally, the popular TV show “Friends is given credit for starting the Friendsgiving celebration. The show first aired in November 1994, wherein one of its episodes, many characters faced different challenges and obstacles that kept them from returning home for Thanksgiving, so they ended up spending the holiday together in Monica’s apartment.  

While there are no direct references to Friendsgiving in that episode, it is clear that it was a special time for these friends. They enjoyed each other’s company and shared a meal, bonding over their struggles and celebrating their friendships. Over time, this concept of coming together with loved ones to celebrate Friendsgiving caught on among people across the country, becoming an important tradition for many families.   

Twitter

Twitter has played an essential role in the rise of Friendsgiving, as it was one of the first platforms to popularize the term online. Through its viral nature and immediacy, Twitter allowed people worldwide to connect easily with each other around this new holiday. Furthermore, social media influencers could use their platforms to promote Friendsgiving and encourage others to celebrate in this way.  

Bailey’s Irish Cream Took It Further Up

The role of Bailey’s Irish Cream in starting the popular Friendsgiving celebration is significant, as this liqueur was one of the first to capitalize on the growing trend. Through its “Friendsgiving with Baileys” campaign, Bailey’s helped to bring much-needed attention and visibility to this festive holiday gathering.  

By tapping into the values central to Friendsgiving—including joy, togetherness, and community—Bailey’s played a substantial role in paving the way for this celebration to become a national phenomenon. The ad campaign encouraged people across the country to throw their potluck dinners, sharing food and drinks with their friends to build stronger connections and create lasting memories.  

Also Read: Winter Warm-Up: Cozy Dinner Recipes to Chase Away the Chill

How to celebrate Friendsgiving?

While there is no thumb rule to celebrate Friendsgiving or any special occasion, if your need some suggestions to make the day more special for everyone, here are 5 of the most popular:  

  • Potluck Style: One of the great things about Friendsgiving is that it is usually potluck style so that everyone can contribute a dish. A potluck-style celebration makes the party more affordable and lowers the stress of hosting a large gathering.  
  • Game Night: What better way to celebrate friendship than with some friendly competition? Board games, card games, and charades are all great options for a fun-filled evening.  
  • Cook-Off: If your friends are foodies, why not have a cook-off? Assign teams and give them an ingredient or dish to make. Then have everyone vote on their favorite.  
  • Movie Marathon: For a more low-key evening, gather blankets and pillows and have a movie marathon. Choose a theme, like holiday movies or romantic comedies, to make it even more fun.  
  • Scavenger Hunt: Another excellent option for friends who like to be active is to organize a scavenger hunt. Hide items around the house or neighborhood and see who can find them all first.   
  • Hire a Personal Chef: One of the best ways to make sure your Friendsgiving feast is extra special is to hire a personal chef. A personal chef can custom-tailor a menu to fit your taste and budget, and they will take care of all the shopping and cooking so that you can relax and enjoy your time with your friends. And because every good Friendsgiving includes plenty of time for catch-up and laughs, a personal chef will also handle all the clean-up so that you can keep the party going well into the night. So if you want to make this year’s Friendsgiving extra special, hire a personal chef and let them take care of everything.  

Food Ideas

While the menu for Friendsgiving can vary greatly, some dishes are sure to please everyone. Here are some of the top foods to serve at your Friendsgiving feast:  

  • Turkey: Turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners and can also be an excellent addition to Friendsgiving. Roast turkey is always a hit, but you can get creative with your turkey preparation by deep frying, smoking, or even grilling it.  
  • Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are another essential Thanksgiving dish, and they’re perfect for Friendsgiving too. Creamy mashed potatoes with plenty of butter and milk are sure to be a hit, but you can also get creative by adding shredded cheese, bacon bits, or green onions.  
  • Stuffing: Stuffing is another ideal dish that’s perfect for Friendsgiving. Whether you make it with traditional bread crumbs or add some wild rice or other grains, stuffing is always a welcome addition to the table.  
  • Green bean casserole: Green bean casserole is a staple of many Thanksgiving dinners and can also go well for Friendsgiving. This creamy casserole made with fresh green beans, mushrooms, and crispy onions is sure to be a hit.  
  • Pumpkin pie: Pumpkin pie is the quintessential dessert you can include in your Friendsgiving celebration. Serve this classic dessert made with rich pumpkin puree, spices, and a flaky pie crust, and your guests will ask for seconds.  

Also Read: Hiring a Personal Chef: What to Expect in Terms of Cost?

Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to bring to your Friendsgiving celebration, you may consider these gift ideas:  

  • A festive bottle of wine or champagne: What better way to toast to friendships old and new than with a delicious bottle of wine?  
  • An assortment of festive desserts: Your friends will surely appreciate a sweet treat, from pies to cookies to cakes.  
  • A scented candle: Add some ambiance to your Friendsgiving dinner table with a scented candle. Choose a scent that reminds you of fall, such as pumpkin spice or cinnamon.  
  • A festive tablecloth or napkins: Help your friends dress up their dining table for the occasion with a beautiful tablecloth or festive napkins.  
  • A personalized Friendsgiving card. Express gratitude for your friends and all they’ve meant to you over the years. Let them know how much you appreciate their friendship with a heartfelt message inside a beautiful card.  
  • Give a CookinGenie gift card: Giving a CookinGenie gift card to your friend on Friendsgiving can be a unique and thoughtful idea. This gift card allows your friend to hire a personal chef from CookinGenie, who will cook a delicious meal for them and their guests on this special occasion. The customizable option allows you to choose the best denomination per your budget. Additionally, it is a great way to express gratitude to your friend for all they have done throughout the years and show that you appreciate their friendship on this important day.  

In conclusion, Friendsgiving is a great way to show your friends how much you care about them. By planning and preparing a meal together, you can create lasting memories and strengthen your bonds of friendship. And, of course, don’t forget the essential part of any Friendsgiving celebration: the food! Good food is essential to a successful Friendsgiving gathering, whether you’re preparing a traditional Thanksgiving feast or something unique to your taste. So get cooking, invite your friends over, and enjoy all the best Friendsgiving offers. 

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