Weekend Roundup: CLUES on how to brighten up winter meals

clueClue is one of my a favorite movies, thanks to an obsession by my bestie that caused us to watch it repeatedly in college. As I was writing this post I couldn’t help but think of that movie…do you get the references?

When I think about wintertime cooking, I usually think of hearty, meaty stews, squash, potatoes…things that I love because they warm me up from the inside out. What I don’t usually think about is fresh, bright, juicy flavors, vibrant colors, exotic smells perfuming the house…things I love because they lift me up when winter or life is getting me a little down. 

I just finished a cleanse, if you hadn’t notice by my constant posting on the topic. It was the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse so the food was AMAZING. I was reintroduced to so many amazing flavors that I’d forgotten about or take for granted even though I have the ingredients in my pantry or easily available at the most basic grocery store.

I don’t think I’m the only one who’s looking for vibrant colors and bold flavors in their wintertime cooking. Here’s a few ideas on how to brighten up mealtime this winter–apparently inspired by the 1985 movie Clue.

Curry

curry

Coconut milk and curry powder are two items that I always have in my pantry and seldom use. And what a shame! The two together turn any simple meal into a mental adventure. I like to picture myself trekking through southeast asia with my family, meeting locals and sharing meals along the way–no monkey brains please. I know if we are ever lucky enough to travel there we’ll find the food very different, but this is just enough after a long day to awaken my senses and make me think outside the walls of our daily responsibilities.

Crab Claws and Curry Sauce by Cooking with Books

Mussels in Curry Sauce by Bon Appetit

Curry Popcorn by my husband

Mustard

Here’s one that we use every day on sandwiches and often in a classic vinaigrette and don’t think much about. But when you start to make it a featured item in your dinner recipe it starts to get really interesting. Vinegary and spicy with that sensation that kind of makes the back of your mouth tickle. Now let me ask you something, can you ever feel blue when something is tickling the back of your mouth?

Zesty Mustard Chicken Thighs by Dine and Dish

Mustard Roasted Potatoes by Bon Appetit

Blood Oranges

coulis

Despite the gothic name, it’s hard to stay blah when these babies hit your table. Sweet, juicy almost red flesh that produces vats of the darkest pink juice. It’s eye candy in it’s best form.

Citrus Salad on Mango Coulis by Bon Appetit

Persimmon Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette by Love and Olive Oil

Blood Orange Gin Fizz by Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Did you get the Clue references? Tell me in the comments!

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