Spices Add Warmth to Winter Meals

Recipes to delight the winter palate...

Hot Spiced Tea (Granmama's Russian Tea)

1/2 cup of instant tea (regular or decaf will work)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of Tang instant breakfast drink
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all together well and store in an airtight container. Depending on how strong or weak you prefer your tea, put 2 to 3 teaspoons mixture in mug and fill with boiling water. Stir and enjoy!

Hearty & Easy Spicy Soup

1 can Rotel Tomatoes (mild)
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 can black beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 package Old El Paso taco seasoning mix
1 pound cooked ground beef - browned and crumbled
1 tsp salt
1 qt water (or enough to fill remainder of pot)

Put all ingredients into crockpot or large stock pot and stir well. In crock pot cook for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on medium. For stock pot simmer on low for 2-3 hours. Serve with tortilla chips with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. Other options for garnish: your favorite hot pepper sauce, sliced pepperoncini, and sliced limes.

Winter Salad with Grape Tomato Vinaigrette

Sometimes there's just nothing better than a great salad of mixed greens, whatever fresh greens are available. Check your local produce market and if it comes down to it, just use romaine hearts. The pecans and cranberries give this salad a distinctively winter feel.

Chopped greens
Red onions, thinly sliced
Pecan halves
Dried cranberries
Grape Tomato Vinaigrette

Mix all greens into large bowl. Drop in red onion, pecan halves, and dried cranberries. Just before serving, pour vinaigrette over and toss.

Grape Tomato Vinaigrette

Grape tomatoes are generally available and have a tangy-sweet flavor.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/8 tsp. garlic powder grape tomatoes, thinly sliced ground salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Pour olive oil into medium bowl. Add basil, oregano, rosemary, and garlic powder. With a very sharp knife, slice grape tomatoes into very thin rounds. Add to oil mixture. Add salt and pepper. Take a whisk and mix all this together, crushing the tomatoes and the herbs so that you release the flavors into the oil. Add vinegar and mix vigorously with whisk.

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