Oregon winter has officially set in. I mean, it's 9:30 in the morning, and the temperature on my outdoor thermometer reads 37°. That's winter in my book.
I have a very cold house. It's great in the summer, as I only need to use the air conditioner three or four times a year when it's close to 100° outside. The downside is that when it's cloudy and cool, my house feels like an ice box. We start using the heat in October, although I would much prefer to drink hot cocoa and wear an extra layer, than live in the dry discomfort of forced-hot air heating. (Oh, how I miss my New Mexico in-floor radiant heat!)
Warming foods are also very comforting when we feel chilled to the bone. And Mary McDougall's recipe for Thai Rice Noodle Soup (you'll want to scroll down to the third recipe on this page,) really hits the spot. Mark and I got to satiate our cravings for coconut-milk flavored Thai food, (Friday nights used to be dinner at Manola's Thai restaurant), but without all the fat. Mary uses almond milk and coconut extract instead of coconut milk, and Sambal Oelek (an Indonesian chili sauce), for a spicy kick. The recipe makes about 6-8 servings, so we have more than enough left over to make hearty lunches for us both today. And that's good, because like I said, winter has arrived here in the Pacific Northwest.