A Dozen Ways to Find Winter Warmth
The past weeks have seen record low temperatures in many areas of the country; few places have escaped winter’s fury when it comes to snow and ice. With more weeks of bad weather ahead of us, this article brings you a few “warm ideas” for surviving the remainder of this winter.
- Keep your head and feet covered well when you’re outside as much of your body heat is lost through them.
- Stay active even when you’re inside. The exercise is great and will keep you warm!
- Leave your oven door open after baking to best utilize the remaining heat as the oven cools down.
- Avoid burns, but use a hot water bottle or a cloth bag of beans that has been microwaved for extra warmth.
- Add layers to your bedding for insulation but try jogging in place or doing jumping jacks to warm up a bit before getting into bed.
- Spend some time planning and booking your summer travel. Let the on-line travel brochures and promises of the coming seasons warm you now and save you money!
- When entering and leaving your home, move quickly so that doors, including your garage door, are open as little as possible.
- Prevent unintentional heat loss by ensuring that the dampers on your chimneys and exhaust fans are closing properly when not in use. Avoid running exhaust fans whenever possible.
- Make sure that condensation doesn’t collect on your window frames but, if possible, keep drapes and blinds closed at night, opening them during the day if warm sunlight is present.
- If you need to melt the snow on your sidewalks, look for magnesium chloride. It is the least damaging chemical agent and it’s effective even at very low temperatures.
- Do you have areas on your roof where, even with proper ventilation and air sealing from your home to the attic, dangerous ice forms? Mark your calendar to check back with us this summer for information on our new Heated Shingle that is currently being sold in select markets, and will soon be released nationally. Or, sign up to get notified about our new Heated Shingle when it is released.
If all else fails, consider warming up with this delicious recipe for Chicken Stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
14-1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes
14 ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken breasts
15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally for about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.
Have a great rest of the winter. Spring is not that far off! Keep in mind that severe winter weather takes a toll on your home’s roof. Shingles crack, curl, and lose granules. If you have ice accumulation on your roof, it can damage the seal between your shingles, causing permanent areas of water infiltration. Contact us today if you’d like more information on our beautiful residential metal roofing materials, or if you’d like to schedule a no-charge appointment with your local independent dealer for a roof assessment.