Hi friends! It’s February in New Orleans and technically I have absolutely no business complaining about winter. I’ve brought new JtB editor Abby Mallett who lives in Chicago (and has every right to complain about winter) in to share a few of her favorite Joy the Baker recipes to beat back the winter blues with kitchen cozies. Here’s Abby ——>
There is a period between the middle of January to the end of March where the laws of time do not apply. My daily routine becomes as abstract as a Dalí painting. One might find me eating vanilla wafers with cubes of sharp cheddar cheese on my couch for dinner. Iced coffee lunches, followed by anxiety naps. When is the last time I watered my plants? Nothing matters, I’m starting New Girl for the fortieth time, and have gone on a leg shaving strike.
Thankfully, these 5 recipes offer an intense amount of grace, a low amount of brain power, and enough flavor to let you know there is a light at the end of the wintery tunnel. Spring is nearer than you think – the days are getting longer! Allergy season is nigh! Let these gently lead you back to a daily routine, and for the love, eat a vegetable. You got this!
Easy Sunday Lemon Pasta – This is a recipe staple. Perfect for late nights and comes together quickly after a long day at work. The bright zest with the creamy cheese is sure to put a smile on any grumpy face.
Chili Baked Sweet Potato Fries – Sometimes fries for dinner is the best way to get through the week. When working remotely means answering emails on your living room floor with a glass of wine at 8pm, please let these fries be a comfort and a balm.
Easy 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies – I offer four more ingredients to make this complete: a heavy blanket, a warm mug of milky, sweet black tea, tweezers because we all pluck our chin hairs on the couch, don’t deny it, and the current season of Love Island.
One-Pot Greek Oregano Chicken – An impressive and satisfying meal, with minimal effort. It offers balance and can be put over anything, like rice, quinoa or pasta. Or could be eaten alone, standing up next to your kitchen sink. Not that I speak from personal experience.
When all else fails, popcorn for dinner, and Let It Be. We’ll try again tomorrow. Winter cannot last forever, thank goodness.
Thank you for these ideas!!
Um, because it’s the best season? Reasons why I feel this way:
1) I lived on the surface of the sun (i.e. Yuma, AZ) for way too long; give me the cold any day
2) I work remotely, so I don’t have to commute in it
3) In the 12 years I’ve lived here, I’ve only had to shovel one time. (If my young adult children ever move out, though, I’m probably screwed. Don’t see myself regularly shoveling, or learning how to use the snow blower. Maybe they could move out but not far?)
Cheryl, you have the best mentality around winter! I don’t hate winter, it just tends to trick me into thinking it’s forever, no big deal. I hope your kids stay close for your sake, although snowblowers seem so satisfying!
As a native Chicagoan, I appreciate this perspective so much. Also, welcome to Joy the Baker, Abby! I LOVE your writing. :)
Abby is not wrong! Time is JELLO right now (and has been for the past 2 years if we’re being honest).
Anyway, I’m off to buy a box of Nilla Wafers and cheddar cheese.
Kate De La Rosa
Already bookmarked that oregano chicken recipe!! All of these sound like the perfect meals to get through those times where we just can’t even… I am all about the low brain power meals! ??? Hurry up, spring!
Thank you for providing me with dinner inspiration for tonight! I have chicken thighs defrosting but didn’t know what I wanted to do – Greek chicken it is!
You had me at chin hairs!
New Englander here (Massachusetts)! The last two weeks have felt like one continuous snow or ice storm and while I try SUPER HARD to find the joy and beauty in winter, it becomes really hard this time of year. I’m taking advantage of the crazy cheap flights and escaping to Florida at the end of the month. If you can swing it, I highly recommend a short escape from winter. There are ways to do it super budget and it makes a HUGE difference to be around green growing things, feel sunshine on bare arms, and walk without fear of slipping and falling on the treacherous ice that is currently coating every surface at home. Hang in there Northern folks!
I’m in North Florida and so can’t technically complain, except I totally can because it’s been below 50 degrees and raining this week and I’m so ready for it to be over.
Putting this lemon pasta on the meal plan this week, thank you!
I thought you were going to post an eclair recipe for Valentine’s Day???
Joy the Baker - Founder
I am, Judy. I’ll have it for you later this week. :)
Thank you, I needed this roundup bc this winter has been brutal. Can’t wait to make that one-pot chicken!
Oh, I hear you Joy, I really do. I live in the UK, and although we don’t have hard winters here, it is grey, rainy, cold and dark. The joys of Christmas have passed, and, well, there’s now a bit of a gap until Spring. But, the sun is rising earlier and setting later, and the Spring bulbs have started to come through, reminding me that winter is nearly over. So, do whatever you need to do (comfort food, lots of wine, cosy blankets, as many episodes of new girl as you need) to get through these last few weeks …