7 Tricks to Perk Up Heavy Winter Meals
When the weather turns cold, all we want are warm, heavy comfort foods, but once we get our fill of mac and cheese, slow cooker stews, and braised dinners, we start to miss the fresh flavors of summer. Traditionally, “winter food” and “fresh” aren’t exactly synonymous, but there are actually a ton of easy ways to brighten up your favorite cold-weather meals. From adding citrus to sprinkling in some queso fresco, these seven tricks will incorporate the fresh, bright flavors you’re craving into this season’s hearty staples.
1. Add some citrus
This meal-brightening flavor can be used three ways: You can add some citrus juice to your dish shortly before it’s done cooking, add citrus zest to the other ingredients in the pan, or serve your meal with lemon or lime wedges on the side for people to use at their discretion.
2. Serve with a salad
Sometimes the best way to lighten up a heavy meal is to serve it with something green. We like making a salad full of fresh herbs and peppery greens like arugula, and topping it with a simple, tangy vinaigrette.
3. Garnish with preserved produce
Like the turnip pickles you get with shawarma or the kimchi with your Korean barbecue, there are all kinds of preserved and pickled fruits and vegetables you can serve alongside your heavier meals. Even a dish of cornichons offered next to a stew gives diners an opportunity to cleanse their palates when eating a rich entrée.
4. Add a dash of hot sauce
Briny, spicy, and with a hint of vinegar, the best hot sauces can brighten up and balance any dish. There are tons of varieties to choose from, but steer clear of those made with roasted chilies, which can actually deepen, not lighten up, the flavor of your meal.
5. Use a splash of vinegar
Sometimes a splash of vinegar is exactly what a heavy or dull meal needs — just think of the way a few drops of malt vinegar enliven a dish of fish and chips. Whether you add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your vegetable soup or a dash of balsamic to your marinara, vinegar can help balance out your dish.
6. Sprinkle with Fresh cheese
Fresh, tangy cheeses like feta and queso fresco can add a zing of flavor to heavier dishes like chili, enchiladas, and even roast chicken or grilled steaks. And a little sprinkle goes a long way.
7. Scatter with fresh herbs before serving
Last but not least, when you’re eating a dish full of cooked meat and vegetables, sometimes you need to bring in a raw element to freshen it up. Nothing works better than a scattering of finely chopped herbs, sprinkled atop your serving platter or people’s plates right before serving.
With these tips, you won’t get bored of eating your favorite comfort food dishes anytime soon.
For more winter meal ideas, follow us on Pinterest.
(Photo via Stefan Johnson/Unsplash)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)