Weekend womanscraft: winter warmers

Anyone who has spent Thursday night/Friday in NSW is probably in need of some winter warmers, at least! What’s warming your innards this season? Here are a few recipes of ours, household style (that is, very imprecise measurements).

Cream of mushroom soup

Closeup photo of about ten button mushrooms

A few handfuls of button mushrooms.
Half an onion.
About 800mL of stock, possibly somewhat more if using a stove top.
About 100mL of cream or sour cream, or some mixture thereof.

NB: I prefer and recommend sour cream but my co-cook despises it, so we tend to make it with cream.

Preparation: Chop up the mushrooms and onions. Fry the mushrooms and onions together. Add the stock and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cream and simmer briefly. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth.

Photo of mushrooms and onions in a frying pan

Alternative preparation: Chop up the mushrooms and onions. Place in slow cooker with cream and stock on low for 4 hours. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth.

Optional additions: we don’t cook anything much in our house in winter without thyme and bay leaves. Be sure to remove the bay leaf before blending.

Serving suggestion: grind pepper over the result.

Closeup photo of a bowl of cream of mushroom soup

Slow cooked chicken drumsticks

An appropriate number of chicken drumsticks.
A 400g tin of diced tomatoes for about every 8 drumsticks.
About 100mL of stock for every drumstick.
A splash of white wine.
As many olives as you think sounds good.
Optional: onion garlic, thyme, bay leaf, etc.

Preparation: roll/dip/immerse the drumsticks in plain flour and briefly brown them in a fry pan (perhaps with onions and garlic). Place them in a slow cooker with all other ingredients and slow cook on high for 4 hours.

Serving suggestion: we serve with couscous.

Red lentil daal

For this we follow a recipe pretty closely, namely Stephanie Alexander’s recipe in The Cook’s Companion. It’s very similar to her published recipe in Fairfax’s Cuisine, except we haven’t been using chilli or mustand seeds.

I’ve also tried this in a slow cooker (don’t pre-soak the lentils, have all the pot ingredients in for 8 hours on low) but it ended up being too smooth for my tastes (I have a very strong aversion to some types of very smooth food, namely well-mashed potatoes, ripe avocados, and a few other things, and this daal went into that range).

Closeup photo of a bowl full of daal, with fried onions on top and brown rice behind.

Apple crumble

Closeup photograph of cutup apple being placed in cooking vessels.

Another dish where we follow a (simple!) recipe closely, specifically Donna Hay’s recipe for individual portions. We had great luck also, when we had some passionfruit to spare, juicing several of them and mixing the juice with the apple slices for passionfruit crumble.

Closeup photo of an individual portion of apple crumble, just after cooking.

A few other warmers you might fancy:

  • Skud’s apple and oat crumble for breakfasts.
  • Tom yum goong can go either way, seasonally, but at this time of year if you make it spicy enough it will warm most of the lower half of your face.
  • Lemon delicious pudding, another great dessert to make in one container or individual portions.

What’s warming you, this winter?

Categories: fun & hobbies, Life

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7 replies

  1. I’ve been making fairly simple soups, the warmest of which is just butternut pumpkin, an onion, a capsicum, some garlic (all roughly chopped) and then vegie stock and a teaspoon each of curry powder and peanut butter brought to the boil and left on a low heat for 25 minutes before being stick blended into smooth soupy goodness.
    It’s minimal effort and leaves a relatively small number of dirty dishes, which makes it perfect for days I’m low on spoons and don’t have anything premade.

  2. Likewise, I’ve been making pumpkin soup with coriander and cumin to give it a spicy hint. Tonight I’ll be making my own bread (haven’t made any in a while!) to go with asparagus soup, with fresh asparagus that was on special – too expensive otherwise!

  3. Chickpea and lemon soup for me, and I’ve been having a lot of success with this apple sharlotka as a dinner-party gift. I’m also planning to have a go at parkin, a traditional ginger cake pudding thing.

  4. Ooh, chick peas are my favourite food ever! I can eat them out of the can, just like that. What goes in your soup, TAK?

  5. It’s a good one – like a warm, super-creamy liquid hummus. When I unpack my recipe books I’ll type the recipe up for you!

  6. Winter in Australia is the best time for making CHEESE! Just started a Swiss yesterday. We’ll see if it gets holey over the next couple of months or if my Swiss methodology has… er… holes in it.
    Did a nice roly poly the other week when the family visited, too – imitation vegetable suet + flour + water = pastry, chuck some jam on that, roll it up, throw it in the oven, and an hour later, Bob’s your uncle. Euphemistically speaking.

  7. May not seem the most obvious winter thing, but I just hit on a great combo. I make lemon cheesecake icecream with lemon curd and substituting cream cheese for half required amount of cream. I also have a super basic shortcake recipe that can be whipped up in five minutes (just butter, sugar, egg, SR flour, milk), so I added some ginger and a touch of all spice to the shortcake and served it hot out of the oven, with a scoop of the icecream on top.

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