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Haylie Duff Shares Tips on Comfort Cooking During the Winter Months

Winter has arrived – the days are shorter, the temperature has cooled, and warm comfort foods are on the menu. From soups to casseroles, there is an endless list of delicious recipes packed with flavorful ingredients to keep you cozy and satisfied this season.  

A slow cooker is a winter cooking must-have. Not only can you set it and forget it, slow cookers have extended cooking times to better distribute the flavors, it tenderizes meat just enough to fall off the bone, there are minimal dishes to wash, and somehow the dish always turns out delicious.

Our Libby’s® team chatted with our partner, Haylie Duff, about winter entertaining tips, discussing her favorite seasonal recipes, tips for having a well-balanced diet, and fun indoor activities for friends and family.

Check out the below discussion for some winter dinner inspiration using Libby’s® Canned Vegetables, which help create quick and nutritious meals that are packed with flavor for the entire family to enjoy!

Haylie Duff shares tips on comfort cooking

Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on flavor. What are delicious and comforting dishes you love to cook during this time of year?
I love all the warm and cozy recipes that winter brings – there are so many possibilities! But my favorite is my Winter Beef Stew made with Libby’s® Canned Vegetables. I cook it low and slow, and it has tons of flavor. It’s perfect for those chilly days spent by the fire!

Editor’s note: Haylie created a special Winter Beef Stew recipe just for Libby’s® consumers. Check it out here!

What are your go-to seasonal ingredients to include in your winter recipes?
I’m a veggie girl, eating them all year long, and they can be incorporated into so many recipes during these chilly months. In the fall I love making roasted carrots, and with Libby’s® I can enjoy delicious carrots all year long! Right now, Lulu, my littlest one, loves to eat them mashed.

Winter can be dark and chilly, and no one wants to leave their warm house to go to the grocery store. What are some easy and nutritious ingredients to always keep on hand?
I keep my pantry very well stocked (especially since I’ve become a mom!) with lots of vegetables that I can whip up into something tasty. Having a few cans of Libby’s® makes it so easy to cook a variety of dishes at the drop of a hat. My Shepard’s Pie is always a big hit with the family, made with canned peas, corn, and carrots. Yum!

Haylie Duff shares tips on comfort cooking

Slow cooker meals can make cooking a breeze. What are your tips and tricks to making sure every recipe is delicious?
Adding seasoning to your ingredients is really important. Things like fresh herbs always help boost the flavor.

The family can get antsy staying indoors, especially on a snow day. What are your favorite family-friendly games or activities that you can do together?
Cooking together is one of my family’s favorite activities. Ryan will sit on the counter and help me prep the meal. Or if she’s not in the mood to cook, she’ll bring a few coloring books into the kitchen and keep me company.

Haylie Duff shares tips on comfort cooking

Are there any winter recipes that remind you of spending time with family and friends around the table on a snowy night in?
Growing up in LA, we didn’t have too many snowy nights in but we loved to pretend! We would make stews, prime rib, and roast chicken to give you that warm-inside feeling when it’s chilly out. Today, I love the low and slow style of cooking. It’s easy and brings a calm feeling into the home.

Do you have any failsafe tips for hosting a stress-free party in the winter?
Keep your home nice and toasty, nobody wants to be cold once they arrive! Greet them with a cocktail and some delicious appetizers – stuffed mushrooms are my favorite during the winter – before gathering around the table for dinner.

Warm Soups to Fight Cold Weather


The winter weather can be brutal, with winds, freezing temperatures—sleet and snow! That’s why there’s nothing better than coming in after a cold day to a nice hot meal, like a hearty soup.  Here are some soup recipes that will keep your family warm and well fed.



Winter Minestrone

Minestrone is a great soup because of the variety of vegetables — and this one even includes some diced ham for protein.  It’s also a great choice for the cold winter months because the ingredients allow it to serve as a full meal.  Use Libby’s® Cut Green Beans and Mixed Vegetables to add great flavor to this rustic and classic dish.

Vegetable Sausage Soup

The sausage in this dish makes an ordinary vegetable soup into one with diverse spices and flavors. It’s a great choice to help you refuel after being outside in the cold. Use Libby’s® Cut Green Beans, Sliced Carrots and Whole White Potatoes to make a soup that will be a treat for the whole family.

Spicy Split Pea Bisque

Split pea soup is often singular in texture and flavor, but ours is not! This spicy dish calls for some chili powder and black pepper. Salty and crunchy bacon crumbles and a dollop of cool Greek yogurt mix up the consistency and offer a surprisingly delightful flavor combination. However, the peas are the star of this dish, so use Libby’s® Naturals Sweet Peas to get it started; the result will be a soup that is delicious and nutritious.

What’s your favorite soup? Serve it up and share a photo on our Facebook page!

Chili Chow Down

Winter is the perfect time for a hot and hearty meal — and what could be better than chili? Not all chili is created equal; there are many different types to enjoy. Whether you’re cooking for a family meal or a big football game gathering, here are a few recipes to test.

Beef and Bean Chili 

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This is the classic take on chili — a mixture of beef and beans with a secret ingredient that’s sure to add a kick. Use Libby’s® Organic Pinto Beans for this dish that is sure to be a winner with the whole family. 

Winter White Chili 

A much lighter version, this dish substitutes the traditional beef with lean chicken. A variety of vegetables add a tasty and unique flavor to this meal. For this one, you’ll need Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn and Libby’s® Organic Garbanzo Beans.

Black Bean Salsa Chili


Despite its name, turkey and bacon are actually the main stars in this chili dish, but that doesn’t mean the beans aren’t important! Use Libby’s® Black Beans to add a rich and delicious flavor to this meal. 

What are your favorite ingredients to put in chili? Sound off on our Facebook page!

One-Pot Meals Bring Perfection to Dinnertime

During this busy time of year, we could all use some short cuts. Cooking dinner is one of the biggest chores of the day—but these one-pot meals are simple to make and delicious.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Stew

This is a great hearty dinner for the cold winter nights. The beauty of the slow cooker is being able to throw all of the ingredients in and letting it work its magic. You don’t have to worry about constantly checking a pot on the stove.  Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn and Libby’s® Sliced Carrots add delicious veggie flavor.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

This is a really satisfying meal for a busy weeknight. And it certainly delivers your daily dose of veggies!  You’ll need two cans of Libby’s® Mixed Vegetables and one can of Libby’s® Sliced Carrots for this recipe. 

Make Your Own Cloth Napkins

With dinner taken care of, you’ll have some time to spend on an interesting project. So many of us are DIYers—why not make something that you can use for this and future dinners? And think of it this way: You’ll also be more sustainable because you won’t be wasting paper.

What’s your favorite one-pot recipe? Share your go-to winter recipe on our Facebook page.

Be the Boss of Your Holiday Buffet

Hosting friends and family is what the holiday season is all about, but entertaining can create some chaos. Grab your holiday party by the reins by serving a holiday buffet that’s easy to prepare and pleases everyone from the foodie to the health nut. Here are a few tips to help you deliver a bountiful buffet and still enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Warm Up with Winter Soup

The best friend for a holiday host is a slow cooker. This Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Garbanzo Beans takes up to six hours to cook, which gives you plenty of time to tend to other party preparations. For even greater ease, serve the soup in the slow cooker so it stays warm while your guests serve themselves!

Brighten Your Buffet

Serve a colorful and healthy salad, like our Carrot and Beet Salad, and skip the worry about keeping your dishes warm during your holiday soiree. Remember to serve the dressing on the side in a decorative carafe so the lettuce stays fresh and crisp.

Treat Guests with Bite Sized Treasures

We all indulge in our favorite holiday desserts, but the abundance of sweets makes it easy to over-do it. Serve extra-small desserts like mini cookies, tarts, and cupcakes, or Carrot Cake Bites, so guests can try multiple items and enjoy the right-sized portions guilt free.

We hope these tips help you be the boss of your buffet this holiday season! Let us know how you prepare for a large crowd during the holidays in the comments.