The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Snow Weekend Eating and Cooking

This has been the best weekend ever. The last time I was outside of my house was Thursday at 3:45. It is now Sunday afternoon. So, so lovely.

We have worn almost the same clothes since arriving home from school. I have just about finished two books, watched hours of Say Yes to the Dress, played games, watched Christmas movies, and cooked.

It has all been lots of fun.
Our first snow-weekend meal was fondue. We were in Nashville for Thanksgiving, and we stopped by Trader Joe’s on our way out of town to mingle with the yuppies and grab some unique eats. I tried to hang like a yuppie, but all my clothes matched and I left my sunglasses in the car so I couldn’t wear them in the store. So embarrassing.

I got some kale, seaweed, and a bag of almonds as big as my head for my brother-in-law; I am sure it is a gift that will keep on giving. (Shout out there to Mark and Cousin Eddie!) I also got all sorts of weird cheeses, so peppermint pretzels that I didn’t share, and this tub of fondue which we ate with leftover Conecuh sausage and some crunchy bread. Delish!
After we ate, I made the usual joke about how we were now fondone. Mr. Picky just rolled his eyes at me.

Tough crowd.

For dessert, we had the necessary snow cake. It was the reason for the snow, I am sure. It just melts like snow in your mouth and lasts the whole snow weekend.
I also made a potato soup that was a recipe of a friend’s friend. To. Die. For. I didn’t have Velveeta, so I used four cups of shredded Cheddar instead, and it was still fabulous. We ate it twice, and then I threw the rest out so I could use my large pot for chili. That did not go over very well when Mr. Opinionated went looking for it. I thought I was going to be thrown out in the snow. Yikes.
I was spared when I promised to make it again someday. Whew.

The chili was okay, but it was beanless. Beanless chili is unheard of around here, but apparently I am expected to have beans even when the road looks like a mirror because it has so much ice on it.

Again, tough crowd.
Today I made Grandma’s chicken and dumplins. This is the food that should be made for anyone who has to get out in weather like this. I promise you that a bowl could put hair on your chest and keep you warm for a month. It made up for the beanless chili.

Next, I am going to try to make buckeyes. Depending on if we have school tomorrow or not, who knows what else is coming out of my kitchen.

One thing’s for sure, it better have beans in it if it is supposed to.

The potato soup recipe which I halved:
10 cups cubed and peeled potatoes
3 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of water
1 stick of butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 T chives
1 T parsley flakes
1 1/2 t both salt and pepper
1 package real bacon bits

1 cup flour
2 cups milk

1 pound Velveeta, cubed
16 oz sour cream

In a large pot, combine all of the first eleven ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are tender-about fifteen minutes. Combine the flour and milk. Add flour and milk to the soup and bring to a boil. Stir often. Remove the pot from the heat, add the Velveeta, and allow to sit with the lid on for several minutes for the cheese to melt. Add the sour cream and stir to incorporate the cheese and sour cream.


A Tribute to My Friend Amanda: Snow Cake

It has been a mild winter, to say the least.

We’ve had the promise of four separate snows. None of them amounted to anything.

And today, the high is supposed to be in the seventies. In February. It’s just not right.

Still, we’ve tried for that beloved event of the winter-the snow day. We’ve made four snow cakes.

Several years ago while preparing for book club, my friend Amanda made this cake. It snowed, and book club was canceled. When book club was rescheduled, she made it again. Again, we were snowed out. After the third time she made the cake and book club was snowed out, we dubbed the cake “The Snow Cake.” We’ve been been making it with the hopes of snow ever since.

It is a very simple cake, and it is mostly effective for making it snow. When snow is in the forecast, the cake must be made as insurance for a day off.

I have made it totally from scratch, and I have made it from a box mix. Either way makes a lovely, moist cake that sometimes guarantees a wintry mix.

Amanda’s cake has a better snow success rate than mine does, but I’ll share mine for this blog’s purposes.

The recipe using a box mix:

One box of any white cake mix, although I like Duncan Hines best. Once I used a yellow cake mix. I then had a yellow snow cake. It was good, but one should not eat yellow snow, so it was a little weird.

Anyway, I digress. Make the cake according to the directions on the box. Allow it to cool slightly. Using a fork, poke holes all over the whole thing.

Then mix
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake. Pour nice and slowly and cover the whole cake. Let the cake set until all of the milk is absorbed.

To make the icing, beat 2 cups of whipping cream until thick. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip to incorporate.

When the cake is cool and the milk is absorbed, spread the cream over the cake. Keep it refrigerated.

As you eat this beautiful, white, super moist cake, pray for snow for the teachers out there like my friend Amanda who deserve a day off. Or two.

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