Hibernating? Snowed-in? Got that not-so-social inclination? I feel ya.

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It’s snowing. Again. Still. Relentlessly even! My Stratton neighborhood seems more like a rabbit warren of shoveled paths and plow piles. I’m hardly motivated to brush my hair, much less get dolled up for an evening out, find a parking space, trudge through snow banks (in boots that don’t work with my outfit anyway) and pay an expensive dinner tab.

So I’m not reviewing a local restaurant this month. I’m staying in. Who’s with me?! OK, OK, I might brush my hair. For you.

And for me, so I’m not caught in some prestorm french-toast-fixins frenzy at the supermarket, I lay in supplies ahead of time.

Here are some incredibly simple (because I know you are worn to a nub from all that shoveling) One-Pot-Wonders and Snowed-In Suppers that I’ve come up with over the years that use a lot of pantry items or stuff you can keep in the freezer.

These are not just comfort foods; they are wrap-their-arms-around-you-and stroke-your-furrowed-brow-and-say, “There, there. Spring will come again,” easy ideas. Even if you don’t like to cook.

I realize I’m late to this snowmageddon. But my warm wish to you, fellow Arlingtonian, is that you might take this little ditty to the market next week to prepare for the next onslaught. Then brush your hair and invite the neighbors over for something delicious.

Turkey Chili Verde

Brown 1 lb frozen ground turkey, seasoned with less salt and pepper than you would normally use, in a big pot.
Add 1 medium onion diced and 1 poblano or other mild pepper diced
Add ½ bottle of beer and bring to barely a boil just to cook off alcohol (chicken Stock can be substituted)
Turn heat to low, add the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.
1 jar salsa verde (fairly salty, thus the reduced seasoning)
2 cans Great Northern or pinto beans
Serve with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, sour cream or shredded pepper jack cheese, fresh lime wedges, and jalapeno hot sauce.


Buy fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe’s or Capri. Throw it in the freezer when you get home. On the morning of Pizza Nite, take it out and put it on the counter. Open the plastic bag and pour in a T or two of olive oil and squish the bag around a bit. Leave it there all day. At dinner time preheat the oven to 500. The dough will be swollen. Add a bit more oil to the bag to make sure you can pull it out without sticking. Cut into two or four pieces depending on the desired size of your pizzas and let each pizza chef stretch their own disc. Scatter cornmeal on a cookie sheet if you have it. If not, don’t sweat it. Place each stretched pizza dough disc on the pan (you will probably need two) and swirl a glaze of your favorite jarred marinara sauce on top, almost to the edge. Sprinkle mozzarella, parmesan, pepperoni, onion, cooked sausage, mushrooms, olives…. Drizzle with more olive oil (good for all that chapped skin!) Cook until the outside edges of the dough begin to brown. Serve with a smile.

Faux Foodie Jambalaya

(So named because even your foodie friends will be impressed)

Heat a cast iron or enameled Dutch oven on high. Add 2T of your oil of choice. I’m rocking coconut oil of late. Add bite-sized sliced Andouille or chorizo sausage. Trader Joe’s sells a very spicy chicken Andouille that works well, but only if you like it *hot*. While the sausage is browning, Dice 1 large onion, 3 stalks of celery, and 1 large green bell pepper. Add to the pot with either 1 t Cajon seasoning or a shake of salt, pepper, granulated garlic, dried thyme, and Cayenne pepper. Stir in for a minute and add 1 jar of mild chunky salsa, 1 c water, 1 C dry white wine (or 2 c water + a splash of white vinegar), and ¾ c Basmati Rice. Then stir in 1 bag of frozen uncooked shrimp. Put the lid on and turn down to simmer for 25 minutes.
Serve with chopped scallions and an array of hot sauces.

Lazy Gal’s Pulled Pork

Put a 3 to 5 pound Pork Shoulder/Butt in the crock pot covered with chili powder or similar Seasoning of your choice. Add 1 and ½ c Orange Juice. Cook on high all day. Serve with soft rolls, Cole slaw and pickles.

Roast Chicken Pot Pie

Yep, this is a twofer; apropos to multiple snow days. First, roast a chicken. I like using a small oval Dutch oven that rather conforms to the shape of a medium sized bird and taking the self-basting lid off for the last half hour to brown. Salt, pepper, lemon and garlic will do the trick and make the whole house smell delicious. Bake some potatoes while you’re at it, then whisk a little flour into the pan drippings and add some milk—voila, gravy for the potatoes and the base for Phase two.
After supper put the whole pot with leftover chicken in the fridge. The next day, take ready-made pie crust or puff pastry out of the freezer to thaw on the counter for an hour or two. Then pull off any remaining chicken meat and chop into bite sized dice. Add frozen peas, carrots, even pearl onions to the pot. Top the chicken, veg, gravy mixture with pastry crust (cutting decorative shapes out of the trimmings is a fun snow-day activity for the kids, too—put those on top for your own signature pie) and bake until brown.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

It’s practically a meal and can be made with vegan mayo if you are so inclined.
Combine 1 can drained artichokes chopped, about 10 oz frozen spinach thawed, 1 c shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise. I also like to add a little Cayenne or crushed red pepper, but this is entirely optional. Bake in a crock or small baking dish until brown and bubbly. Chances are you don’t have fresh bread in the house so serve with pita chips or toast up slices of some old bagels brushed with olive oil on a cookie sheet.


Eggs keep for a good long time, and I always have them. Frittatas are the answer to transforming workaday leftovers into something snow-day wonderful. Last night’s pasta, roasted potatoes or rice upgrade a same-old omelet into a substantial frittata with just the flip of a spatula. The trick is to combine the starch with the eggs before adding to the frying pan (remember--hot pan, cold oil, food won’t stick) and don’t use a non-stick pan because the whole thing goes under the broiler after you’ve added virtually any sort of leftover veggies and cheese. So let’s review: Heat pan. Add oil or butter. Dump scrambled egg combined with leftover starch in pan. Distribute cooked veggies and shredded or sliced cheese on top. Finish cooking under the broiler. Serve in wedges with a Romaine (also keeps for over a week) Salad tossed with lemon and good olive 0il.

Happy hunkering! See you with the thaw.

This series of recipes was published pon a snow-filled Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. When she’s not reviewing restaurants or cooking. Lori Uhland of Arlington styles homes and events at www.stagerightlori.com. She specializes in big-bang-for-your-buck functional design and loves all things delicious.