Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cooking with the Seasons

Pull up a chair while I fix dinner! I’ve been cooking non-stop lately, so it’s only fitting that I write my blog post while I work on tonight’s meal. My favorite time of year to cook is September through December, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been in the kitchen often lately. But I’m also feeding two of my grown sons and my husband while they work on a major house renovation, so I’m trying to pour some extra love into my cooking efforts as small way to thank them for all the manual labor.
My future office is part of the home renovation project

Tonight, it’s soup for dinner. I’m merging a recipe for turkey noodle soup and corn chowder so I get a turkey corn chowder. There’s bacon in it, so that’s always a win. Plus potatoes, noodles, corn and turkey. It’s a good post Thanksgiving meal because it puts the turkey carcass to work! I could live on soup because I like the taste, and the chef in me appreciates a one-dish meal.

My favorite soup recipes are for butternut squash and sweet potato (heavy on the ginger… I love ginger!), roasted tomato soup, and a ham and navy bean soup. I would have never imagined I’d like roasted tomato soup since I wouldn’t go near a tomato as a kid—(so sad since my father grew mostly tomatoes on our vegetable farm in my youth). But I’ve grown fond of tomatoes and I always make homemade croutons for that one, which takes the soup to a whole other level.

For tonight though, I’m working on my turkey corn chowder and find I have to make all kinds of substitutions since I haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile. Do you do this when you cook on the fly? No Worcestershire sauce, so in goes some soy sauce instead. No soup noodles, so get creative with the pasta element.

In the next few weeks, I’ll put a soup in the dinner rotation about once a week. And it’s a good thing to balance out some of the rich meals we’ll have all December long! Maybe that’s why I simplify my cooking tremendously once January comes. I’m back to grilled fish and chicken, lighter vegetable prep, and less sauces. The nice thing about living in Florida is I can cook on the grill all year long, and I take full advantage.

Win my January book
But for now, I’m unapologetically cooking with more calories (for my hard working laborers! They need it, right?!). My Christmas dinner goes all out with a standing rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. If we go to a family member’s house on Christmas Day, I’ll just rotate my own Christmas meal a day or two, but I don’t skip the chance to make those dishes that I look forward to all year long.

Free for a limited time
What about you? What’s on your menu most often through the fall and into the holidays? Do you change up your menu seasonally? I’ve got an advance copy of THE RANCHER’S BARGAIN, my January Harlequin Desire for one random commenter. And for everyone, please download my FREE book LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS while it’s still free through 11/29.


Teresa Fordice said...

I am not a soupy soup person, love the thick ones though and yes to Broccoli cheese, potato and chicken noodle, chili - we also use the grill year around - snowing today and I can still turn up the gas and grill burgers and hot dogs!

Joanne Rock said...

Teresa, it's a treat to enjoy the grill year round! When we lived up north, my husband would carry the grill up onto the covered porch some years, which meant I could use it more often for sure. But there would always be that six week stretch when it was below freezing or even-- oy!-- below zero, and I couldn't even think about opening the door . Thank you for visiting the blog today!

dstoutholcomb said...

I made a really good chicken noodle soup in my instant pot about a month ago. I need to make chili. I'll do pork roast or a pot roast in the slow cooker, too.

you're basically making chicken corn chowder and substituting turkey for the chicken--you don't even need the noodles. send me a bowl.


Joanne Rock said...

If I was making it for me, I wouldn't have used noodles, but those men are bottomless pits!! I figured they could use the carbs. My chicken noodle soup is really simple but I make it more often than anything else since the leftovers always get eaten. I think it's the comfort factor. Who doesn't love chicken noodle? I use nutmeg in mine, BTW. Only a little, but I love that element.

Sharon Guagliardo said...

I love soup and only make it during the cooler weather. I, too, like my soups a little thicker and more fulfilling. My menus do change with the weather, including making Italian sauce and pasta much more during the cooler months. I do more crockpot stuff during the cooler weather and use my pressure cooker during the summer heatwave.

Pam Hamblin said...

During the cold, winter month's I make chili , canned soups for lunch, I try to get one quart of egg nog, and I've even dabbled into ham and bean soup in the crock pot! Doug loved it. I also love baked potatoes, squash, and banana bread!

Mary Preston said...

I agree about soup. A heart soup , like a vegetable soup is clean to the palate and very delicious, filling and nutritious.

Beverly S said...

Happy post thanksgiving.
I am not of fan of soup. I only eat chicken noodle soup when I am sick.
I also love my mom's beef stew.
Happy Holidays.

Laney4 said...

We have soups and roasts all year round (here in Canada). I love a good soup, and roasts are easy/yummy for all of our company. I would say I make more mashed potatoes in the wintertime, as opposed to boiled potatoes in the summertime. I TRY to have lots of salads all year round while my family eats those potatoes (as the men don't care that the salads are better for all of us).

Joanne Rock said...

Laney, I am on a perpetual quest for more veggies too!

Joanne Rock said...

Winner!!! Congrats, Teresa Fordice! You've got yourself an advance copy of The Rancher's Bargain! All you need to do is message me at with a mailing address and I'll send this your way asap. Thank you all for visiting with me and here's hoping next month I'll have an update on my house :-).