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On crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili.

To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off.

Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at circulon.com.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

6          slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped

1          pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces

2          medium onions, chopped

1          jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

5          garlic cloves, minced

2          tablespoons chili powder

2          teaspoons ground cumin

1/2       teaspoon dried oregano

1/4       teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

2          cups chicken broth

1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1          can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans

1/2       cup quick-cooking barley

1/2       teaspoon salt

Heat Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-quart casserole pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

3 containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock

2 medium onions, diced

4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds

1 head broccoli, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 cups chopped chicken

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon powdered garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings:

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup half-and-half

Garnish: fresh grated Parmesan cheese, fresh black pepper

Using a Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-quart saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil. In a Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.

Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.

To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and halfand-
half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center
of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover
with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.  Serve topped with grated Parmesan and
fresh cracked pepper. Serves 8.

Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4    cups yellow cornmeal

3          tablespoons sugar

1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder

1/4       teaspoon baking soda

1/2       teaspoon sea salt

1          cup canned pumpkin puree

2          large eggs, at room temperature

5          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4          tablespoons honey

1/3       cup buttermilk

1          tablespoon grated orange zest

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter a Circulon nonstick 9-Inch square baking pan. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.

Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 12-16.

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