Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days

From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

On crisp cold days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole
6slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
1pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces
2medium onions, chopped
1jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
5garlic cloves, minced
2tablespoons chili powder
2teaspoons ground cumin
1/2teaspoon dried oregano
1/4teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2cups chicken broth
1can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans
1/2cup quick-cooking barley
1/2teaspoon salt

Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate.

Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds.

Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-16

Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan
1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4cups yellow cornmeal
3tablespoons sugar
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon sea salt
1cup canned pumpkin puree
2large eggs, at room temperature
5tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4tablespoons honey
1/3cup buttermilk
1tablespoon grated orange zest

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter baking pan.

In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.

Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Skillet Chicken and Dumplings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan
3containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock
Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan
2medium onions, diced
4carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
1head broccoli, chopped
2tablespoons butter
2tablespoons olive oil
2-3cups chopped chicken
2bay leaves
1/2teaspoon dried oregano
1/2teaspoon dried basil
1/2teaspoon dried thyme
1teaspoon powdered garlic
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
1/2cup half-and-half
2tablespoons cornstarch


1 1/2cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon salt
1cup half-and-half


fresh grated Parmesan cheese
fresh black pepper

In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil.

In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.

Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.

Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.

To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-and-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.

Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

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