Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a fan of winter. As soon as the temperature starts dipping into the 50s for highs, I start staring longingly toward Florida. From about November through March, I'm colder than I want to be. I live with layers of fleece and a space heater going next to my desk. My husband bought me fingerless typing gloves a few Christmases ago because my hands (particularly my right, since it's on the computer mouse a lot) go ice cold unless I get up and exercise.
It's this time a year that I wish I was a coffee drinker. Or even a hot tea drinker. Alas, I don't like either. But this is the only time of the year that Starbucks makes any money off me -- for their yummy hot chocolate.
In November of 2008, I think I hit half a dozen Starbucks locations in New York City when my agent and I met there to visit with the editors at my young adult publishing house. It was really cold (seriously, even New Yorkers were bundled up and looking pained), so every time we had to go somewhere and passed a Starbucks, in we ducked for hot chocolate.
I also love soups during the cold months. Potato soup, tomato soup, vegetable, chicken noodle, lentil -- you name it. When I go to Panera Bread for lunch and some writing time away from home, I typically get one of their hearty soups.
Another cold weather staple is a pot of white beans with cornbread. Not only is this warm and hearty, but with a couple of cans of Bush's Great Northern beans with a piece of bacon thrown in for flavor and a package of Jiffy corn muffin mix, it's also really easy. As someone who isn't a big fan of cooking, I like easy.
Finally, I love a big bowl of chicken and dumplings. I've been eating this dish since I was a little thing. I can remember my grandma making dumplings from scratch and me actually snagging a couple of pieces of raw dough to eat. Okay, so that wasn't very healthy and it sounds gross now, but at the time I thought it was awesome. What was even more awesome was the finished product. My grandma has been gone nearly 30 years, so most of my chicken and dumplings come from Cracker Barrel now.
So, I'm curious. What dishes do you turn to for keeping you warm in the winter? Also, I'm looking for some good soup or dumpling recipes. Please take pity on this cold soul and share. One poster today will receive a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks as we continue our 12 Bandita Days of Christmas.