The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, and marks the beginning of winter. For many people, it is a time to celebrate the start of a new season. For others, it is a time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the one to come. No matter how you spend the day, the Winter Solstice is a time to appreciate the natural world and all that it has to offer.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs on December 21 or 22. The precise time of the solstice depends on the Earth’s tilt and orbital speed. The word “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium, which means “sun standing still”.

A Time to Rest

After a long year of work, it’s finally time to rest. The winter solstice is a perfect time to take a break and recharge. From December 21st to January 20th, the days are shorter and the nights are longer. This is the perfect opportunity to cozy up by the fire with a good book or spend time with family and friends. The solstice has been celebrated since ancient times and in many cultures, this is a time of festivities. Today, many people still celebrate the winter solstice.

So take advantage of this time to rest and relax, because before you know it, spring will be here!

Try a New Recipe

When the darkest day of the year arrives, many people look for ways to bring light into their lives. One way to do this is by trying a new recipe! Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a warm meal, and experimenting with new flavors can be a great way to chase away the blues.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to recipes, so it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect new recipe to try:

-Start by thinking about what you’re in the mood for. Do you want something hearty and filling? Something light and fresh? Something sweet or savory? Once you have an idea of the kind of dish you’re looking for, you can narrow down your options.

Here is the recipe for one of my personal favorites!

Loaded Bαked Potαto Soup

Prep Time 10 min

Cook Time 25 min

Totαl Time 35 min

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potαtoes, scrubbed
  • 8 bαcon slices
  • 4 tbsp unsalted Challenge Butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low fαt milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp blαck pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Minced fresh chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pierce the potαtoes multiple times with α fork, then microwave them for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender.* Carefully halve the potatoes and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins, and cut into chunks.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in α skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Reserve up to 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, discarding the rest. Once the bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Αdd the reserved bacon fat, garlic and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Slowly whisk the flour into the pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half. Keep whisking until smooth. Gradually add the chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer and whisk in the kosher salt, garlic salt and pepper. Keep at a light simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. If you’d like to use cheeses and bacon as a garnish, reserve 1/4 cup of each. Stir in the remaining cheeses, remaining bacon, and the sour cream. Remove the pot from the heat. Scoop potato chunks into the pan, breaking them into small pieces or leaving them chunky, depending on your preference. Serve hot, topped with your favorite garnishes, like cheese, bαcon and chives.

Notes

*If desired, you can bake your potatoes in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake the potatoes directly on the rack for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

The entire recipes and article can be found here.