Every once in a while, a food opinion piece gets at something essential, something it suddenly seems as if you always knew but were never quite able to articulate. For those of us who nostalgically remember running in from sledding or skating, fort building or just shoveling the front walk on snowy winter childhood days and diving right into a steaming cup of powdered hot cocoa, a paean to what some may consider winter’s perfect drink written by Grub Street association editor Chris Crowley may resonate big-time.
According to Colicchio & Sons’ beverage director, Patrick Bennett, the hot toddy — whiskey, hot water, lemon and honey — has an interesting history. While experts agree on where the cocktail originated, the why is debatable. With Scottish roots, the hot toddy is believed to have been designed as either a remedy for a winter cold or a way to make Scotch whiskey more palatable for women. Or perhaps it was the vessel in which it was served — a teacup — that ladies found so appealing. In any instance, it is a heartwarming cocktail that certainly will get you through the last weeks of winter. Here are three restaurants serving their own unique spins on the classic.
Photo by Randy Schmidt for Borgne
It’s that time of year when winter just isn’t a novelty anymore. The buzz of the holidays is long gone, first-snow excitement has given way to the agony of filthy and slushy puddles, and, frankly, we’re just cold. You could tough out the coming weeks with a blanket and a slow cooker (a totally valid choice), or you could combat the lingering chill with some fun in the kitchen. These recipes are a great antidote for even the grayest day.
True, we’re still a few months away from enjoying warm days spent sipping lemonade on the porch. But citrus actually shines brightest in winter, and a tangy salad can make a dull day feel downright tropical.
Fondue — that beautifully bubbly pot of melted cheese — is classically made from a mixture of Emmental and Gruyère cheeses. While there’s nothing wrong with going old-school, chefs are taking terrific liberties with the stalwart Swiss recipe. Here are three delicious new takes on a retro favorite.
Photo by Scott Suchman for Garrison
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
With winter storms blanketing the country, there are plenty of snow days. Before you turn to reheated leftovers and a packet of hot chocolate, borrow a recipe from these snow-inspired chefs who have the perfect ways to warm up after snowball fights or shoveling. Read more
The East Coast is bracing for its first real winter storm of the year, and it looks to be a big one. Combat cabin fever and celebrate the snowfall with icy treats made with fresh snow. They’ll keep the kids (and kids-at-heart!) occupied, but when you’re truly cooped up and can’t get to the store to make dinner, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Hitting the mountain this season? Getting ready for a day of skiing or snowboarding can be more grueling and time-consuming than the act itself, with having to track down gloves and goggles and standing in line for rentals and tickets, not to mention breaking a sweat yanking on the godforsaken boots. The pre-skiing morning can be so jam-packed that you might forget to pin down lunch, meaning your ski break will undoubtedly entail overpriced, fried foods that’ll weigh you down for your afternoon runs. This winter, do things a little differently by packing easy-to-make, energizing foods that’ll get you back on the mountain fueled up and ready to go, with a few extra dollars in your wallet to boot.
A steamy mug of hot cocoa is inarguably the best way to counter the cold weather. Though you could go the store-bought route and swirl powdered hot cocoa mix into hot water or milk, going the extra mile and making your own chocolatey blend from scratch is totally worth it. Get our top homemade hot chocolate recipes for sipping all winter long.
Food Network Kitchen’s Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate is one festively minty recipe that you shouldn’t wait until the holidays are in full swing to savor. It’s made and served all in one pot, and it’s thickened and enriched with dark chocolate.
Ramen has established its place on the list of ultimate comfort foods. Forget about those packets of instant noodles you ate in college — these craveworthy bowls are the real deal. You’ll now find this slippery noodle dish all across the country, not just in dorms and Japanese enclaves. Chefs are putting their spin on it, creating their own mash-up versions with everything from coconut curry broth to toppings like matzo balls or cheese. Check out the full gallery for all 12 steaming bowls that are sure to beat your winter blues.
Pizza delivery is a pipe dream right now for snowed-in East Coasters, and it may be a few days before many can get to the store for fresh provisions. Fortunately, you don’t have to subsist on frostbitten leftovers from who knows when. Food Network Kitchen worked up these six comforting recipes made exclusively with nonperishable pantry ingredients. At first the rules seemed daunting — no fresh produce, no dairy, no fresh herbs, not even a squeeze of lemon! — but these recipes turned out so delicious that your family will never know. Plus, they make fun and easy cooking projects to keep cooped-up kids and adults occupied.
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
If you’re snowed in, or just way too tired for a trip to the store on a busy weeknight, this comforting pasta (pictured above) is perfect. Think beef stroganoff meets chicken paprikash (without the meat). The sauce is uber-creamy without the help of cream. Instead, the combo of evaporated milk, flour and mustard does the trick.