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Wednesday, June 19
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COLUMN: Four easy recipes that will provide comfort during the cold winter weather

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As the temperature outside continues to drop, here are four meals guaranteed to warm your soul. All the recipes are inspired by “The 5 ingredient College Cookbook by Pamela Ellgen.”  

Grilled Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup: What’s better than a gratifying cheese pull from a toasty grilled cheese on a cold day? Grilled cheese sandwiches are typically made with cheddar cheese, but you can intensify the flavor by adding Gouda or Monterey Jack cheese to the mix. Plus, if you have the time, you can even pair the sandwich with a homemade soup.  

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup Recipe: 

  1. Brush two cups of cherry tomatoes and two halved red peppers with olive oil. Place the vegetables in the oven for five minutes on the broiler setting.
  2. Once the tomatoes and peppers are charred, season the vegetables with pepper and salt. Allow the tomatoes and peppers to steam in a container for five minutes before removing their charred skin.
  3. Put two cups of warmed vegetable broth, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and the peeled vegetables in a blender. Purée until the mixture becomes smooth. Enjoy!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: This is a creamy and cheesy baked dish that is perfect for your next gathering. Crinkle cut chips, toasted baguette slices and fresh crudités are perfect items to compliment the hot dip.  

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F and spray a baking dish with oil. 
  2. Place a drained can of artichoke hearts, two cups of chopped spinach, eight ounces of cream cheese, two minced garlic cloves and a cup of mozzarella cheese in the oiled dish.   
  3. Bake the dip for 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned.  
  4. Stir the dip and enjoy! 

Italian Meatball Sub: Who doesn’t want a messy but steamy sandwich for dinner? The recipe can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be, depending on your level of dedication. Either way, this recipe will create a loaded sub, encapsulating Italian flavor.  

Italian Meatball Sub Recipe:  

  1. Mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, one egg, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning into a bowl. Form two-inch balls with the beef mixture and place them in a large skillet with oil for five to seven minutes. You can also use pre-made frozen meatballs and follow the instructions on the bag.  
  2. Once the meatballs are brown on both sides, warm up a jar of marinara sauce in a pot. Drop the meatballs in the saucepan and allow them to cook for an additional 20 minutes on low heat.
  3. Toast your bread in the toaster and begin to assemble your sandwich. Plop the meatballs, sauce and mozzarella cheese on your bread and enjoy!  

Loaded Baked Potato: A steamy loaded baked potato is guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day. This meal is great for a large group because everyone can customize their own ideal loaded potato. 

Loaded Baked Potato Recipe: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. Poke numerous holes in your potato and then wrap it in tinfoil. Bake the potato for about an hour or until it’s soft. 
  3. Take the potato out of the oven and split it in half. Add any toppings to the potato that you would like. Popular toppings include sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese and bacon. Enjoy! 

Trying new recipes and sharing warm meals with friends is a perfect way to spend a cold day in Bloomington. Winter has just begun, but with these recipes on-hand, I know you can handle even the coldest day.

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