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  • The Editorial Team

Comfort Foods To Get You Ready for Winter

The transition into winter in the Midwest is one of our favorite times of the year as the air turns crisp and our surroundings becomes extra cozy. And there’s nothing more special than food to mark the beginning of the festive season.

We’re all about the spicy yet soothing flavors that provide warmth from head to toe. In this blog post, we list our absolute favorite comfort foods to get ready for the winter, share dreamy kitchens we have seen as Realtors and some of our go to recipes we love. Let’s dive in!

Olive Well Broker Dana Oliff pictured above.

Five Simple Comfort Recipes for Winter

1. Spin On the Classic Mac n’ Cheese

Let’s face it, no matter how gourmet your palate can become, it’s hard to say no to a bowl of classic mac n' cheese. The best part about this cozy dish is that it is highly customizable. Put an adult spin by adding freshly cracked black pepper, cooking it in a white wine reduction with butter, or adding quality cheeses like Gruyere or Pecorino. Add some pancetta crumbs, and serve it with a side of glazed Brussels sprouts. Voila! You have an easy meal that is delicious, nostalgic, and quite sophisticated at the same time. We also love adding peas, broccoli and sometimes tomatoes.

Our favorite is The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese recipe.

2. Meatballs in Red Wine Tomato Sauce

You and your family can get together to prepare the meatballs from scratch. Once they’re ready, all you need to do is pick out a good can of chunky tomatoes and make the sauce. Use garlic and red onions for the base. Once you’ve added the tomatoes and reduced them a fair bit, throw in a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan and bring out a delicious depth of flavor. Season the sauce with your favorite herbs and spices, and throw the meatballs in. Break apart a nice sourdough loaf or serve with pasta of your choice for a cozy winter meal. Don't forget a fresh basil topper.

We believe Chrissy Teigen can do no wrong and this recipe is an example of her perfection.

3. Soup

Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm soup in the middle of winter? Soups can be whatever you want them to be: a spicy, tangy, simmering broth like Tom Yum or a rich, creamy and indulgent cream of mushroom drizzled with truffle oil. Either way, it’s like a hug in a bowl. It’s as simple as picking your favorite vegetable pairings, choosing a touch of protein, and adding flavorful herbs and spices to your broth. With these three simple elements, you can master cooking any type of soup to get through the chill.

We are obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow's Carrot Ginger Soup recipe.

4. Mulled Cider or Wine

Winter is the best time to enjoy a glass of cider—it gets us right in the mood for the holidays.

Choose a good wine or non-alcoholic cider and add in the aromatics of your choice. We love whole cinnamon, cloves, star anise, orange, lemon peels, and a touch of honey.

Celebrity Chef, Jeffrey Zakaris has a tried and true recipe that we can't wait to try this winter.

5. Warm Apple Pie

There’s so much you can do with this simple fruit and the best use for some tart and juicy apples is to bake a pie. It’s easier than you think: all you need is flour, butter, and ice-cold water for the pastry dough. Throw in some cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and a spoon of flour with sliced apples to create a tasty filling. Assemble the dough and filling in a tart or pie pan and bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. You can serve this homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream and enjoy, bon appetite!

No one does baking quite like Martha Stewart and that's why we always go to her recipe when we are ready to throw on our apron and make some apple pie.

The kitchen is often said to be the heart of the home and as Realtors, we get to see some of the most incredible kitchens. From ultra modern and minimalist to perfectly styled, we've seen the best of the best. Below are some of our favorite kitchens and the clients we have loved working with. Want to keep exploring more fabulous kitchens? Check out our current listings all over Chicagoland here.


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