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11 Great Winter Dates

11 Great Winter Dates

Just because it’s absolutely freezing outside doesn’t mean your dates have to suffer

Set the scene in the snow for a perfect date!

Winter is fully upon us, and as these days we’re buried under three layers of clothes when we travel to and from our homes, we are forced to think creatively about how to spend time with our better halves other than sitting at home under the covers.

In the spring and summer, our calendars are marked with picnics in the park, sidewalk café lunches, and lazy days at the beach. But just because the temperature has dropped and the snow is starting to fall doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun.

Winter is a perfect season for quality couple time, with its romantic snowy settings, ideal cuddling opportunities, and frozen bodies of water (ice-skating, anyone?).

There are plenty of date ideas to go around so you don't go stir-crazy indoors and cause a potential fight.

If you like the sound of a great winter date but are at a loss for ideas, no worries — we have plenty of romantics on staff that have you covered.


The Yule and Winter Solstice Menu: Recipes for the Winter Holidays

The holiday season offers dishes that warm the body and comfort the soul. At the Winter Solstice the focus is on rich, hearty, and nurturing food. The season celebrates displays and masterful cooking through roasted dishes, slow cooked stews, bright salads with pops of fruity flavor, and sweets that double as delicious gifts. Seasonal fruits and vegetables include beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Citrus Fruits, Cranberries, dates, escarole, fennel, horseradish, kale, parsnips, pears, persimmons, pomegranate, radishes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

At this time of the year I like to honor the traditions and the foods that my family cooked. I love the nostalgic feeling of creating recipes that my parents had at Christmastime, so you may find recipes inspired by that. Do you have a dish that reminds you of the winter season and December holidays? Is there something you traditionally make for your Yule or Winter Solstice celebrations that I didn’t put on this list? Please let me know and I will add it!

Main Courses

The main courses of the winter holidays are warm and inviting for a full table of friends and family. Common main courses are rich, filling, and lavish – classic main courses include roasted or baked bird, hearty beef dishes, pot roasts, and meat pies.


Date, feta and red cabbage salad

Sara Jenkins is famous for making the Italian roasted pork street food known as porchetta trendy in New York. She’s also known for her way with pasta (and has a new book out with her famed food writer mom celebrating it). She’s had turns at a handful of great Italian restaurants in New York, earning them stars and accolades and has written at length for The Atlantic about Italian food. And almost all I ever want to talk about here? Her salads.



I can’t help it — they’re riveting, and while I will forever love roasted pork and pasta, in my life, nothing fills the inspiration deficit that accumulates from the daily repetition of cooking that real life requires like chefs that have a way with vegetables — ways we can take back home and eat food we’re more excited about. It began the first time we went to Porsena nearly 5 years ago, when I fell in love with a green bean salad busy with pickled onions, fried almonds, thinly sliced fennel and celery, which I’m of the opinion never gets enough praise. Crunchy and bright, I became obsessed and made it again and again at home. Last week, we were back for an early Sunday night dinner with our menagerie of mini-humans (fine, just two, but it feels like a lot!) and the giant shells with kale pesto were excellent, my son’s thousand-layer deeply broiled duck lasagna was otherworldly, my husband has nothing but good things to say about the linguine with clams, but the only thing I spent the next week babbling on about was the salad I had with dates, feta and radicchio.

I also spent the next week telling myself it was too basic, too boring to warrant mention, which is kind of a shame when these simple ingredients that I already had in the kitchen are so spectacularly good together, the perfect balancing act of sweet and salty on crunchy salad. At the restaurant, they use an heirloom radicchio with tender pink leaves that is absolutely nothing like the bitter-as-lemon-peel heads we get at the store, so I replaced it with red cabbage, which is cheap, hearty and holds up well if you’re trying to plan ahead for that big holiday this month. Everything else was guesswork: I detected a lot of olive oil, a bit of lime juice and Aleppo pepper at the restaurant, but couldn’t resist adding two more things at home, very well toasted sesame seeds and a handful of parsley to finish. You could add even more stuff, I don’t think thinly shaved red onion, a splash of pomegranate molasses or even chickpeas would be unwelcome here, but the good news is that you don’t need them to make a really gorgeous November salad that I’m angling to put on the Thanksgiving table this year, and uh, in my belly at lunchtime today.

Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad

If you don’t like your cabbage too crunchy, dressing it as directed and letting it rest in the salad bowl for a while before adding the other ingredients will soften and wilt it a bit.

1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds

Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.

Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.

Do ahead: The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge. Mine is going strong on the second day. You can also prepare the parts separately (feta, chopped dates, sliced cabbage) to assemble right before serving, if you’re planning ahead for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.


Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Orange + Fennel Dressing

This super-versatile salad is a great way to use whatever hearty grains and winter vegetables you may have in your pantry. Be sure to read the notes at the end of the recipe for ideas of alternatives you can use to the suggested items here, including a gluten-free option. The dressing is really what ties this dish together, and it is one of my favorite ways to make citrus dressings: using the whole fruit. I learned this technique from a Moroccan chef years ago, and love being able to include the fiber of the fruit in the dressing to balance out all of its natural sugars.

Prep time: 60–75 minutes | Cook time: 45–65 minutes

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

1 cup wheat berries (see note below for alternatives)
1 medium delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and chopped into thin half-moons
1 teaspoon avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
1 large handful thinly sliced radicchio
1 large handful thinly sliced lacinato kale (ribs removed)
¼ cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup chopped and toasted pecans, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper

Dressing Ingredients:

1 large orange
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place wheat berries in a pot with 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and then cover the pot and reduce heat to a steady simmer. Cook until the wheat berries are tender (they will still be a bit chewy when done), about 40–60 minutes (your exact cooking time will vary depending on the age of your wheat berries).

Toss the sliced delicata squash with the avocado oil and then arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20–25 minutes total, flipping the slices halfway through. Set aside once roasting is complete.

While the wheat berries are cooking and squash is roasting, prepare the dressing:
Use a knife to slice off the top and bottom of the orange rind. Set one of the cut ends down on your cutting board, then use a knife to carefully cut away the rind and white pith from the flesh of the orange. As you work, follow the natural curves of the fruit. Once all rind has been removed, cut the orange into quarters. If the orange contains many seeds, you can optionally remove them using your fingers.

Add the prepared orange to your blender, along with all the other dressing ingredients (except the salt). Blend until very smooth. Add in the salt and process for another 10 seconds. Taste the dressing and make any adjustments you like.

When the wheat berries have finished cooking, drain them well in a colander and then place in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing, the roasted squash and all remaining ingredients and use a rubber/silicone spatula to gently mix everything together (take care not to break the squash). Taste the salad and add any additional salt/pepper as desired. Transfer the salad to individual plates/bowls and garnish with extra parsley and pecans if you like. Enjoy this salad warm or at room temperature.

You can use other grains, like farro or einkorn berries, in place of the wheat berries. For a gluten-free option, I suggest using wild rice. All of the grains I’ve mentioned can be cooked “pasta style” just like the wheat berries for about the same amount of time.

Feel free to add roasted carrots, sweet potatoes or other winter squashes in place of or in addition to the delicata squash.

You can replace the pecans with walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts.

In addition to parsley, you could add any other fresh herbs you have on hand: tarragon, chives and mint would all be delightful.

While you could technically prepare the salad ahead of time, it really is best served warm right after cooking. If you do some steps ahead, I definitely suggest making the dressing while the wheat berries cook and tossing them together while the grains are still warm – this will ensure they soak up the most flavor.


12 Winter Cocktails to Help You Brave the Snow

If you're one of the people brave enough to go to the bar in 30-degree weather, congratulations: You're a champ. For those of you who are the Netflix-and-never-leave-the-couch types that prefer to hibernate from December to March (same), consider this your definitive home winter cocktail guide. Ahead, a dozen delicious warm pick-me-ups to lift your spirits after the holidays and keep them there until frosé season.

Ingredients:

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Whipped cream for serving

In your favorite coffee mug, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chili powder. Add in the hot coffee, vodka, Kahlua, and Baileys until dissolved. Stir in milk. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

Ingredients:

4 oz Jose Cuervo Red Sangria Margarita

Combine the margarita mix and sparkling water. Garnish with lime, orange, pomegranate, apple, and mint.

Ingredients:

2 dashes Smoked chili or chili chipotle bitters

In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the agave syrup and the bitters. Add Altos Anejo and fill with ice. Stir. Squeeze a grapefruit twist on top.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

In a saucepan, heat milk until hot but do not let boil. Whisk in the cocoa, salt, sugar, milk, and other ingredients until fully melted and creamy. Top with whipped cream and hazelnut spread.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

Ingredients:

1/2 oz J Rieger Caffe Amaro

1/2 oz white creme de cacao

Combine all ingredients except cayenne and poppy seeds in a chilled martini shaker. Shake hard and fine strain in a coupe glass. Garnish.

Ingredients:

3 oz Caramel Apple HI-CHEW Infused Applejack*

In a small saucepan, heat the cider until hot. Remove from the heat, stir in the applejack and lemon juice, and divide between two mugs. Garnish with a lemon wheel and dried apple ring.

Courtesy of HI-CHEW and Allison Kave of Brooklyn bar and bakery Butter & Scotch

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Rabbit Hole Bourbon

1 heaping tsp. Holiday Compound Butter

0.25 oz Rich Demerara Syrup

Combine the ingredients in an Irish coffee mug and stir. Then garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Ingredients:

1 ½ parts HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico Rum

1 part simple syrup or 1 tbs white sugar

Prepare Chai Tea. While the tea steeps, warm coconut milk over medium heat. Do not boil. Combine remaining ingredients in a high temperature resistant mixing glass, add rum last, and stir. Serve in a glass coffee cup, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Ingredients:

2 bottles Smirnoff Ice Strawberry

2 bottles Smirnoff Ice Original

1.5 cups Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka

4 cups blood orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup - optional

Mix everything&mdashexcept Smirnoff Ice Original&mdashin a punch bowl or large pitcher. Pour punch into glasses, top with Smirnoff Ice Original, and garnish with mint leaves, pomegranate arils, strawberries, and blood orange slice.

Ingredients:

Fill a glass with ice and pour in vodka and curacao. Top the rest of the way with lemonade. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

Ingredients:

.75 oz fresh grapefruit juice

2 dashes angostura bitters

Cracked white pepper for garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Fine strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with cracked white pepper.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups cranberry juice cocktail

In a saucepan, combine the cranberry juice cocktail, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Simmer for 15&ndash20 minutes. Add in the wine and cranberries and bring back to a simmer. Serve warm.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

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Lemon Blueberry Muffins

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

These classic lemon blueberry muffins have a pecan and brown-sugar crumb topping and the bright flavor of lemon from both zest and juice. Their tartness is the perfect partner for fresh blueberries, although frozen berries also can be used to good effect.


10 warming recipes perfect for autumn and winter

As the nights draw in, the best way to spend an evening is to enjoy a warming supper for two in front of the fire. We've handpicked ten of the best winter recipes to impress your date this season.

Parsnip soup with Italian sausage and tomato

This hearty soup is just the job after a wintery walk in the countryside &ndash add Parmesan rind to the recipe for a pleasing depth of flavour. Recipe here.

Autumn salad with pears, blue cheese and caramelised walnuts

This flavoursome autumn salad is bursting with seasonal ingredients and ideal for a romantic lunch or starter for two. Recipe here.

Apple and potato boulangère

Apples and pork make the perfect pairing and this delicious one-pot boulangère makes a great lighter alternative to dauphinoise. Recipe here.

Pumpkin and prawn curry

Use the flesh from a pumpkin to whip up this sweet and spicy curry, topped off with a coriander garnish. Recipe here.

Chicken tagine with honey and dates Richly flavoured with spices, this fragrant tagine tastes even better when made the day before and reheated, so makes a great choice if you're pressed for time on the day. Recipe here.

Chilli con carne with chocolate

The special ingredient to this warming chilli adds a marvellous depth of flavour &ndash make sure you save some chocolate for afters! Recipe here.

Autumn roasted vegetables

This sweet and simple side dish makes a wonderfully colourful display on the table and is the perfect accompaniment to any autumn dish. Recipe here.

Plum and almond tart

If you've saved some summer plums in the freezer, this deep-filled tart is best served warm from the oven with a good dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. Recipe here.

Tansy with plum and apple

Top off your Sunday lunch with this comforting pudding that harks back to the 16 th century and is best served golden and bubbling. Recipe here.

Warm apple, honey and vanilla custard pie

Make sure you leave enough room for this sweet treat at the end of your meal - the ultimate comfort food for a chilly day. Recipe here.

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Warm Banana Cinnamon Smoothie (no refined sugar!)

Not in the mood for coffee or tea? A creamy smoothie is the perfect alternative – give it a try!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 bananas
  • 4 dates
  • 1 Tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 200 ml water

Directions (time 15 minutes):

  1. Peel the bananas and cut them into chunks.
  2. Remove the pits and chop the dates.
  3. Combine the bananas, dates, cacao powder, cinnamon, and chia seeds in a blender.
  4. Heat up the water, add it to the blender, and mix the ingredients at the highest speed.
  5. When the smoothie is nice and creamy, it’s ready to drink.

One smoothie has 292 cal, 69 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, and 4 g fat.


60+ Best Dinner Ideas for Two for the Most Romantic Date Night

They'll fall in love with these fabulous recipes&mdashand so will you.

Whether you're celebrating an anniversary or just want to treat your special someone a little, well, special on a Tuesday night, one of the most romantic ways to pamper the person you love is to spend a little quality time with them, over a romantic dinner for two. You could go out to a fancy restaurant, of course, but there's something much more heartfelt about making the food yourself&mdashor even better, making it together.

It can be hard to make the same kitchen and dinner table you're always sitting at feel special. Our advice? Dress up a little! Even a nice shirt can help set the mood. Then turn off the tv and turn on some romantic music instead. Light some candles (or at least use floor lamps instead of the overhead lights). If you want to really set the mood, surprise your special someone with a heartfelt love note or a card with a cute quote about love written inside. Then enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with them.

We know what you're going to say: "Who has time to do all that on a weeknight?" Not to worry. Our recipes are beyond easy, including slow-cooker recipes that will help you get dinner on the table in less time than you can say, "I love you!" So give these recipes a gander, then hit the grocery store, grab an apron, and turn on the stove. You can do this!

And after you've found a delicious dinner, we suggest finding a sweet ending to the evening by perusing these delicious romantic desserts.


Winter Squash Recipes for the Holidays

Photo and recipe by Dr. Archer of @archerfriendly and archerfriendly.com via thefeedfeed.com.

This vegan and gluten-free riff on classic pumpkin pie has a crust made from pumpkin seeds and dates. As for the delicious, creamy filling, it comes from coconut milk, which is sweetened with dried apricots.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Toasted Squash Seeds and Tahini Sauce

Photo and recipe by @superfoodrunner via thefeedfeed.com.

A quick and easy side dish that will please vegans and meat-eaters alike! The creamy tahini sauce spiced with berbere (a spice blend that is hot, sweet and bitter all at once) takes standard roasted squash to the next level.

Delicata Squash Salad with Toasted Nuts, Crispy Chickpeas, Cider Vinaigrette & Almond 'Parmesan'

Photo and recipe by @andreabemis via thefeedfeed.com.

Don't forget the greens! Salad may steal the show this year if you serve this version by @andreabemis. The almond based "parmesan" makes this a great vegan side dish, but feel free to substitute with real cheese if you prefer.


Watch the video: Καλημέρααα,Καλημέρααα!!Ενέργειες του Σαββατοκύριακου για όλα τα ζωδιακια!! (October 2021).