Snow days…unexpected time off for the kids, and a great excuse to do all the cozy things like baking. Nothing brings me more joy than spending time in the kitchen on an unexpected day of no responsibilities or places to go. Of course, I’ve never had a snow day. I’m a Floridian. But I have had more than a handful of hurricane days, and they’re really the same thing. No school for the kids, so nowhere to be, no practices or games to attend, and the weather is absolute perfection.
Perhaps I should elaborate here – as a lifelong Floridian, our hurricane days are 99.9% rainy, windy, and enjoyable. Of course, our hearts ache for those directly affected by the horrendous storm that was Hurricane Ian in 2022 and all the other major hurricanes from the past. We’ve lived through many, many hurricanes (and that dreadful No Name Storm of ’93 that decimated our small coastal community). There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as heartbreaking and terrifying as a major hurricane.
However, we rarely see those, and we lifers don’t panic about anything Category 2 or below (run from the water, hide from the wind). When Hurricane Nicole recently went through, we had an unexpected four-day weekend, and it was glorious in our area. Dark, rainy, cool, and windy. We spent all day with the windows and doors open, baking, reading, and watching movies together. Those are the days we love (again, all of our prayers are with those who were not so fortunate in any storm).
Snow Days Are For Cozy Activities
I love the snow, but I also don’t live in the snow. I’m not sure I’d love the cold if it were a constant in my life. For example, it’s Thanksgiving break right now and our kids are currently in the pool swimming while I sit on the pool deck and write. Visiting the snow is always my favorite winter activity, and we do have the most wonderful time. A trip to the beautiful Tennessee Mountains two Christmases ago left us in a lakefront rental home with floor to ceiling windows and a breathtaking view. The snow was so abundant and so strong while we were there that we were stuck in our house for a few days, and it was the single most amazing thing.
It was cozy, perfect, and delightful. All I wanted to do was bake all the things, read books, and curl up on the couch and watch movies with my husband and kids. Of course, all they wanted to do was play in the snow. But for those of you who are given the opportunity to spend a day or two at home due to the snow (or a low-grade hurricane), here are some of my favorite things to bake. From breakfast to dinner to dessert – just an excuse to get into the kitchen and make things that smell decadent and provide comfort.
The Five Best Breakfast Baking Ideas Perfect for a Cozy Snow Day Morning
The show is falling, the lights are twinkling (as a Floridian, I like to imagine all snow days are just before Christmas and all is merry and bright…cold weather leading up to Christmas is delightful. After? Yeah, no, bring back our warm days please and thanks…the magic has ended). The fire is burning in the fireplace. You have a warm cup of coffee in hand, and the smell of breakfast warming in the oven has everyone calling you the mother of the year. Breakfast is always the best meal of the day.
1. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
You cannot go wrong with homemade cinnamon rolls, and this is my favorite recipe. One quick notation, though, is that I prefer to go with less strict measuring making the cinnamon filling. Use your heart, not your dishes.
2. Sausage and Hashbrown Pizza
Let’s be honest – everything tastes better when it’s pizza, and this recipe does not disappoint.
3. Homemade Coffee Cake
This one is a family favorite in my house. Everyone loves it because it’s basically a cake, but it’s breakfast. Let them eat cake for breakfast, but use this recipe so it feels less like you’re giving up.
4. Biscuits and Gravy
There is never a time when I choose something other than biscuits and gravy when we go out to breakfast. Well, I do add a side of bacon to the mix. But there is just something so comforting about biscuits and gravy, and this recipe is one of my favorites.
5. Baked French Toast
I prefer to eat my French toast fresh (well, as fresh as can be when you use day-old bakery French bread for the toast) and traditional. But my kids and my husband love a French toast bake. This recipe is the one I always go to because Ree Drummond does not steer us wrong.
The Best Comfort Food Dishes Perfect for a Snow Day Dinner by the Fire
There is something so appealing about comfort food on an overcast day filled with wind and snow. It’s warm, it’s comforting, and these recipes take us back to our grandmother’s kitchens. Nothing bad ever came from gram’s kitchen.
Nothing – and I mean nothing – is more comforting to me than Lasagna. A classic, beautiful lasagna is the greatest treat. This is best served with a classic Caesar salad and mouthwatering dinner rolls.
7. Spinach and Artichoke Baked Chicken
Who said comfort food has to be fattening and filled with carbs? No one. This is one of my favorite go-to dinner dishes when we are craving something rich but also on the healthier side. This dish, in my opinion, goes well with roasted broccoli or crispy brussels sprouts.
8. Chicken Cordon Bleu
No one makes chicken cordon bleu better than my husband, but he won’t share his recipe. It’s not a secret, he just doesn’t measure things, and it stresses him out to think he’s giving bad advice sharing recipes. So, I found one that he says is very similar to his. Try cutting red potatoes into small slices and throwing them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and your favorite seasons and bake until crisp. They go well with this dish.
9. Baked Potato Soup
Just hear me out – who doesn’t love a baked potato? And soup? On a snow day? Just do it.
10. Lemon Butter Salmon
This is one of my favorite recipes. I love it because it’s light, but the butter makes it feel rich. We serve this recipe with roasted green beans (fresh…never used canned vegetables, please) and a salad. It’s just delicious.
11. Tomato Spinach Ravioli Bake
My grandparents are from Norway, and no one is from Italy from what I can tell. However, I am a self-appointed Italian. Give me all the pasta dishes. Be sure you’re serving this one with a salad and a lovely dry red wine.
12. Stuffed Shells
Again with the pasta dishes, I know. I’m a bit of a pasta-aholic, but that’s better than being a different kind of ‘aholic’ right?
13. Chicken Noodle Soup Bake
It’s like soup, but it’s better. You see, if I had to choose a soup I don’t love, it’s chicken noodle. It is a comfort food. It does remind me of my childhood. But it reminds me of being sick and missing school and other fun stuff, and that’s not my favorite memory. Chicken soup is tainted with bad memories of feeling gross, so this is my favorite alternative.
14. Baked Spaghetti
We don’t eat a lot of spaghetti around here. We tend to forget about it. Probably because it’s so easy. But this is a dish that our kids adore when we do make spaghetti. I think it’s more fun for them, so I vote trying it on your next snow day. Be sure you have a loaf of fresh French bread on hand you can cut into thick slices, butter, and top with salt and garlic before baking. A beautiful Caesar salad on the side is all you need to finish this dish.
15. Chicken Parmesan
We have a teenage daughter who hates chicken. I mean – hates chicken. Unless it’s the Publix popcorn chicken from the deli (and even then, it has to be fresh and hot or she won’t eat it), of course. She’s a true southerner. She needs her chicken deep fried so it looks and smells like a heart attack – she’s not wrong. But, this is the one chicken dish she’ll eat that is not fried chicken, and it’s also delicious.
The Most Sinful and Delicious Desserts Made for Curling Up With a Good Book, a Glass of Wine, and the Snow Falling Outside
Nothing says snow day baking like dessert. Do we need a better reason to indulge? No. We do not.
16. Banana Nut Bread
I’m going to take a moment here to tell you a secret. I loathe bananas. The texture freaks me out, and I’m not a fan. I also dislike banana bread. Every Christmas, my mom bakes a goodie tray to bring over on Christmas Day. She’s a wonderful baker. Chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, Neiman Marcus cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and so much more….and it’s all on a beautiful Christmas tray with a loaf of banana nut bread in the center. Deb is amazing, but once she puts the banana nut bread on that tray, every single thing on the tray takes on the flavor of banana nut bread and ruins it all for me.
I never eat any of it because I cannot stand banana nut bread. Instead of complaining, though, I simply focus on the fact that her banana nut bread is the reason I don’t gain weight during the holidays. Therefore, it’s basically diet. Here’s a recipe if you like this kind of stuff.
17. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
Call me crazy (everyone else does), but there is something to be said for walnuts during the holidays. And since snow days perfectly exist in my mind around the holiday season, add walnuts to your chocolate chip cookies for a little extra holiday feel.
Fun fact: I have a weak spot for a good macaron. They’re so good – not all flavors, of course – but this recipe is a really good one.
19. S’Mores Brownies
What sounds more snow day perfect than brownies? Well, s’mores because it’s cold and the cold means there is a fire. Anytime a fire is lit, my kids think we are having s’mores. I think it might be some kind of rite of passage or something.
Fun story – I also dislike s’mores. They’re sticky, messy, and nothing makes me more paranoid than kids with sharp objects shoved into a fire. I mean, whose idea was this? Like, who said, “Hey, you know what sounds really safe and great? Giving little kids sharp objects with marshmallows on the end that they can stick into a fire!” I mean…honestly. This recipe is good, though, because it combines two of my favorite things. Brownies and not making s’mores by the fire. The kids get s’mores, and everyone gets to keep their eyes.
20. Salted Caramel Cookies
Okay, along with walnuts for holiday feelings comes caramel. There’s something about walnuts and caramel that scream cold, wintery, perfect day to me. Don’t ask me to eat, bake with, or consider either any other time of year, though. It’s not happening. This is a lovely recipe, and you can modify it to make more or less depending on how many people you want to feed.
Perhaps your resident Floridian is not the best source for snow day activities, but I do like to pretend the rain is snow and the cool air is a wintery mix sometimes. I did it yesterday. It was a very random day in which the high was 49 degrees and the rain came down all day. I did every single thing that felt like Christmas, snow, and the holidays yesterday because it’s 80 again today and why is this my life? Happy baking, and send some snow our way.
A Few Other Resources for Your Next Snow Day:
- Activities to Keep the Kids Busy Indoors
- Snow Day Fun for the Kids
- Baking Activities for the Kids on a Snow Day