9 Recipes That Will Make You Forget Winter Sucks

9 Recipes That Will Make You Forget Winter Sucks

Get through the dregs of winter with these bright and fresh flavors.

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pasta salad in bowl
Pasta salad is one of the required dishes of summer
Graphic: Karl Gustafson

We’ve hit the dreaded mid-winter doldrums, where we’ve got to remind ourselves that winter is still going to drag on for a few more weeks, or maybe even months. There’s snow, it’s cold, the sun still goes down early, and all we want is to gripe about summer being so far away. At least we can make summer happen in the kitchen, because we’ve got some recipes that’ll brighten up your dinner table without you having to step outside in the snow. Check out these recipes, and bring summer back for the span of a meal or a drink.

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Blueberry Switchel

Blueberry Switchel

switchel on table outside
This blueberry switchel will perk up your day
Photo: Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Karl Gustafson

If you’ve never had switchel, now’s the time to try it. Its acidic tang comes from vinegar, which probably sounds like a strange proposition at first. But when you add water to tame its tartness, along with a sweetener and some fruit, you’ve suddenly got a drink that’ll make you reach past the lemonade. This vibrant version is flavored with blueberries, and frozen ones work perfectly well, providing you with a sip of sunshine. Get the recipe here.

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Tropical Fruit Cocktails

Tropical Fruit Cocktails

bottled blue beverage
Looks like blue raspberry, tastes like passionfruit
Photo: Harmony Coleangelo

The winter is perfect for video games, because there’s no better way to spend some time on the couch. Zora’s Lament is a cocktail inspired by Majora’s Mask, a video game in the Legend of Zelda franchise. It gets its bright blue color from Hypnotiq, which is a sky blue liqueur that tastes like tropical fruit. This summery cocktail goes well with video games, video games go well with winter, and the alcohol will warm you gently. Get the recipe here.

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Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

golfer on course and pimiento cheese sandwich
Pimiento cheese sandwiches are a hole in one
Graphic: Jimy Hasse

You don’t have to be a golfer at the Augusta National golf course to appreciate a good pimento cheese sandwich. They’re extremely easy to make. Plus they’re creamy from the the cheddar and bleu cheese mixture, and texturally soft from the white bread. Jarred pimientos bring a subtle sweet pepper flavor (and zero heat), with a tiny bit of bitterness to offset the richness of the spread. One bite and you’ll forget winter for a minute. Get the recipe here.

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Spicy Nashville Hot Dogs

Spicy Nashville Hot Dogs

Hot dogs just scream summer
Hot dogs just scream summer
Photo: Allison Robicelli

For all the many delicious contributions Nashville has lent to America’s food landscape, its blazing hot chicken is one the most popular. (Just ask Drake.) Combine that with the unlikely pairing of hot dogs, and it’ll give you a nice reminder of grilling season. These hot dogs are spiralized, breaded, and fried, then treated with a spicy oil. Get the recipe here.

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Maxwell St. Polish Sausages

Maxwell St. Polish Sausages

maxwell street polish on tray
Sausages are like summer year-round
Photo: Dennis Lee

Maxwell St. Polishes are a quiet legend of Chicago’s encased meat scene, and there’s a good reason. While they’re just comprised of a snappy Polish sausage, grilled onions, and yellow mustard, their flavor just can’t be beat. Instead of grilling, you can just fry the sausages up in a pan and call it a day. Get the recipe here.

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Lemon Herb Macaroni Salad

Lemon Herb Macaroni Salad

macaroni salad
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Macaroni salad can get a bad rap for being mealy, dry, and flavorless. This version gives it fresher tones with the addition of plenty of curly parsley and lemon juice. Garlic oil gives the dressing some extra flavor and silkiness. Try this garlicky lemon herb macaroni as a side to some indoor grilled burgers, and it’ll feel like you’re having a miniature barbecue inside. Get the recipe here.

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Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

pasta salad in bowl
There’s a secret seasoning you won’t want to miss
Graphic: Karl Gustafson

There are secrets to every good pasta salad, and in this version, it’s all about the seasoning blend. But this isn’t just any seasoning, it’s Salad Supreme. The product known as Salad Supreme comes in a shaker at the grocery store, and it’s applied liberally to this antipasto pasta salad. You’ll feel like you’re on a picnic while you’re eating it. Get the recipe here.

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Cold Borscht

Cold Borscht

borscht on table
Look at that bright beet color
Photo: Photo: Kate Bernot, Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Borscht comes in many varieties, but this version is chilled. It brings both wintery and summery flavors together by using root vegetables like beets, parsnips, and rutabaga, while balancing it out with a bit of red wine vinegar. When you think of soup, you probably think of a hot steaming bowl of comfort food, but this borscht will bring you summer brightness on a dreary winter day. Eat it by the fire for a study in contrasts. Get the recipe here.

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Homemade Dole Whip

Homemade Dole Whip

dole whip in cup with spoon
Whip it good
Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

Let’s face it, frozen desserts are good year-round. This refreshing take on Dole Whip only requires three ingredients: crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, and Cool Whip. You don’t even need ice cream! Blend them together, let it all set in the freezer, and you’ve got a creamy and scoopable treat that tastes like a theme park on a hot day—and entertains any kids in the house who might feel stuck inside by the weather. Get the recipe here.

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