Winter Comforts

It’s winter break and Friday Night Dinners are back! Portland’s cold weather had us craving some warm, comforting food so we decided our dinner would be all about winter comfort foods. Only three of us were able to come to the dinner so we didn’t have many dishes, but what we did have was delicious! Here are the dishes we made:

Vegetable Pot Pies:


  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 box defrosted puff pastry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnip cubes and simmer until just tender–about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set veggies aside.
  2. In another large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Then, add the carrots and mushrooms and continue to saute for another 10 minutes until carrots are tender. Sprinkle with the flour and mix until combined.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and cream and raise the heat to high. Add salt, pepper and oregano and bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously until very thick.
  4. Add cooked root veggies and season additionally to taste.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  6. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface.
  7. Put filling in a 9×13 casserole dish. Drape the pastry over the top and brush with beaten egg.
  8. Bake pot pies for 10 minutes then lightly cover with tin foil and cook an additional 20 minutes, until pastry is deep golden brown and puffy.

Roasted Vegetables:


  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red onion


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Prepare the vegetables and mix them together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, prepare any seasoning you would like (rosemary, thyme, vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil etc.)
  4. Toss this with the vegetables and place on a roasting pan.
  5. Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through and browned slightly.

Apple Crumble:


  • 3 oz. plain flour
  • 1.5 oz. brown sugar
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 3 apples
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Piece of lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 370°F.
  2. Sift plain flour and sugar in a bowl, and rub in the butter to make “crumbs”.
  3. Slice the peeled apples and place in a tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and squeeze lemon on sliced apple.
  4. Put “crumbs” on sliced apple and bake for about 40 minutes or until light golden in colour.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: 


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups (8oz.) chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and 1 cup of water over medium heat, whisking constantly, until hot, but not boiling, about 8 minutes (the mixture should be smooth). Pour into mugs.


One thought on “Winter Comforts

  1. Mary December 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm Reply

    That was seriously the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had…

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