So you’ve got your interior styling locked down and cosy with organic materials, natural textures, rich colours, sun-facing furniture, rugs, cushions, throws and of course plenty of candles. But what else can you do to beat the cold you ask?
For us, nothing warms the cockles like a good home-cooked meal. We all know how great it can be to curl up with our favourite meal, but here’s a little more inspiration if you feel like trying something new. Our top winter recipe ideas are quick and easy, ensuring you spend less time shivering and more time doing what you love.
Chowder easily tops our list of winter classics for its ability to warm the soul. The thick and hearty (not to mention creamy and chunky) cousin of the humble soup can be cram-packed with any of your favourite winter ingredients, meaning you can tweak it to your taste or with whatever leftover veg you have.
If you’re a seafood fan, then seafood chowder is a must try. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked for life. There’s no better chowder in the world than that produced by Blah Blah Blah Cafe in Dargaville, Northland New Zealand. Their locally sourced mussel and kumara goes down a treat, especially well on a wet and miserable winter day.
Marinara mix from your local supermarket is an easy substitute for locally sourced seafood, just remember to liven things up with loads of fresh parsley. Crispy ham or bacon can also make great alternatives, but for a vegetarian option, stick to corn, potato and leek bases.
The classic roast chicken comes in at a very close second. Cheap, tasty and reliable, the bird is the word when it comes to staple winter roasts. With a range of stuffings and seasonings to pick from, there’s plenty of room to let your creative flair loose.
- Vegetables go a long way
A layer of your favourite roasting veggies will keep the skin on the bottom of the bird from getting sloppy and gives an extra flavour depth to both the roast and pan juices.
- Don’t hold back on the seasoning
Seasoning is the ultimate shortcut to flavour town. Generous amounts of salt, pepper and even on oil rub down (inside and out) is a must. Opt for kosher salt, as it is iodine free and won’t produce a ‘metallic’ taste. If table salt is all you have, just use a bit less. It doesn’t have to end there. Sweet paprika is a personal seasoning favourite for the colour and smokiness it delivers. Cumin or garam masala can also work if you’re looking to keep things interesting.
- Get under the skin
By gently using your fingers to work the skin away from the breasts, you can make room for another layer of flavour. Melted butter with garlic is nearly unbeatable, but you can also use lemon, herbs, onion or oil.
- Stuff the stuffing
Instead of packing your chook full to the brim with stuffing before tying the legs, try using half the amount. Doing so will give you room for lemon, onion, garlic, thyme and any of your other favourite herbs.
Slow cooker vindaloo
Good things come to those who wait, and it doesn’t get much better than slow-cooked vindaloo. Super-easy and cost-effective, all you need is 600g of your preferred meat, two brown onions, a tin of coconut cream (400g), a tin of diced tomatoes (400g) and curry paste. You can make your own curry paste if your super keen, or pick up a premade jar. Beef, lamb, chicken, goat, fish and prawn are all great meat options for vindaloo, while eggplant and mushroom makes an excellent vegetarian option.
Got your pen ready for the slow cooking instructions? Okay, so place all of the ingredients in a 4.5L slow cooker and turn on low. Stir occasionally for four to six hours, or until the meat is tender. Done.
Crumbed halloumi and ruby grapefruit rocket salad
You had me at halloumi. Better yet, we’re talking crumbed and fried halloumi. This one sells itself. Couscous or walnuts also both work well as substitute bases in a rocket salad, with beetroot or sultanas working well as sweeteners. Otherwise, try mixing up your own dressings to keep things interesting. Oil, lemon juice and mustard seasoned with salt and pepper will give any salad a zap of freshness.
Beating the cold has never been easier with our top four winter recipe picks. Check out our Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids blog if you’re looking for more recipe inspo. If it’s furniture design your looking for, then check out the deep hues, muted greys and natural timber accents of our Winter Hideaway range.