It’s here – November has gone and slid straight into December, and now the crunch is on. This is no excuse to not cook. This is no excuse to not cook. This is no excuse to not cook. (Repeat after me – this is no excuse to not cook.) In fact, the cold weather and shorter days beg for home cooked meals to warm the house. I find it getting dark by 4, and I’m drawn to the stove earlier than usual. I don’t tend to get too creative at this time of year – saving my kitchen experimentation for holiday baking, party food and the big feast. For this week’s meal plan, comfort meets kid-friendly, with no sign of frozen fish sticks or takeout.
Who doesn’t love fried noodles? This is a quick dish to pull together, once you have ingredients prepped and ready to go – it’s real fast food, coming together in under 20 minutes. It’s a great way to use up leftover roast chicken or pork, or whatever veggies you’re in the mood for. Served up in one bowl, it’s fun to eat on the couch, in wooly socks, with chopsticks.
Photo credit: Laura Keogh, Sweet Potato Chronicles
This French Onion Soup is Canadianized with maple syrup – there to boost the sweetness of the onions – and aged Canadian cheddar cheese, which appeals to kids more than the traditional gruyere. The recipe turns out a generous batch, but the onion soup base freezes well, making for a quick supper one night closer to Christmas, when the mealtime crunch is on. What could be more comforting than toasted cheese on top?
Photo credit: Aimee of Simple Bites
I adore these. Jaime of Sophistimom made a chicken stew, or the insides of a chicken pot pie, and put it inside a pie crust. Turns out these little chicken hand pies are perfect for an outside meal in the cold. If you’re planning to go tobogganing or skating, or are heading to hockey or other extra-curricular activities and need something to wrap up and take to go, this is it. They’re extra cute wrapped individually in parchment, with ribbon, if you’re channeling your inner Martha.
Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom
Kids love pizza. And Hawaiian pizza in particular. With four of her own, Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen knows this. This brilliant pie is made with pulled pork. It’s got fresh pineapple. And red peppers. And spicy jack cheese. It’s irresistible. A great reason to knock pizza night back to Thursday.
The Ultimate Hawaiian Pizza
Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
Chili is perfect wintertime comfort food. And because it tastes even better the next day, chili is perfect to make ahead if you’re having large groups of people over, or if you like to have lunches and dinners ready in the fridge or freezer. If you like, double (or even triple) this recipe and freeze half; thaw and reheat over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.