Crisp air, snowflakes, wisps of smoke from chimneys. Skate, ski, shovel. Indulge in quietness. When you're done, come inside, the kitchen's warmth calls. Celebrate with hot chocolate and egg nog. Warm up with beef stew and fresh bread. Breathe in all the pleasures of winter cooking.

Boeuf la Bourgogne

Image from LaaLoosh

Beef stew in cast iron pan

Boeuf ala Bourgogne (Beef Stew with Burgundy)

In heavy skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove from pan. Brown meat in small batches in bacon fat. Remove meat to casserole pan or a slow-cooker. Add carrots, onion, potatoes, and bacon pieces. Add salt, pepper, and flour, stirring to coat meat lightly. Add wine, broth, tomato paste, and herbs. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hrs; do not boil. Cook 6 to 8 hrs in slow-cooker.

Approximately 30 minutes before serving, saute mushrooms and add to meat. Before serving, skim off any visible fat and thicken juice with a flour and water mixture.

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Winter Recipes

Wild Rice Soup

Image from Dave Brinkis

Wild rice soup in blue bowl

Wild Rice Soup from Byerly's of Minnesota

Melt margarine in saucepan; sauté onion until tender. Blend in flour; gradually stir in broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in wild rice, ham, carrots, almonds, and salt; simmer about 5 minutes. Blend in half-and-half and sherry; heat to serving temperature. Garnish with parsley.

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Breakfast Paninis

with Breville's Panini Press

Fresh bread and panini press with egg and pepperoni sandwich being make

Paninis

with Scrambled Eggs and Pepperoni

Divide eggs, cheese, and pepperoni for sandwiches. Place bread, buttered side down, on press. Add egg, cheese, and pepperoni. Top with remaining slices of bread. Cook in panini press for 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste. Serve with fruit.

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Belgian Waffles

with All-Clad's Waffle Maker

Belgian waffles on a plate

Belgian Waffles, an All-Clad recipe

Preheat waffle maker on medium-high. Warm oven to 200°F. In large bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add flour mixture to yolks and whisk until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 cup of egg whites into batter; then carefully fold in remaining whites.

Pour about 1/3 cup batter into each well of waffle maker and close lid. Cook until waffles are golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer waffles to oven to keep warm.

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Egg Nog

Mug of egg nog on marble counter

Egg Nog, toddy style

Whisk eggs and sugar. Add cream and brandy. Warm.

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