My Winter Survival Guide

I think it’s safe to say that most of us are asking, “Is winter over yet?” Oy vey. At one time I liked winter, but this year has been an entire new level—frozen pipes, frosty indoor windows, busted tailbones—enough already! It’s easy to fall into a bout of Cabin Fever. Here’s what is currently keeping me sane.

Trying new recipes. To accompany my tried and true Croque Monsieur, a Kale Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking (one of my favorite sites). This weekend I made this delicious Mexican Quinoa Casserole. I think both will become staples in my kitchen.

Wool pants from Banana Republic. A winter wardrobe must if you ask me. These were especially nice when the heat wasn’t working in my office last week!

Hot tea. My personal favorite is the Safari tea from Zen-Cha Tea Salon. It’s addictive!

The West Wing. My current binge show, now when I watch the news I can’t help but wonder WWPBD? (What Would President Bartlet Do?)

Planning fun times for spring. I start to get anxious when I don’t have travel plans, so I’m looking at a spring break trip to L.A. and a birthday trip for the summer.

Treats. When in doubt, a good treat will always help. Last week I had this amazing cherry and chocolate macaron from The Angry Baker, one of my favorite spots in Columbus.

 Macaron from The Angry Baker

How are you surviving the winter?

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Happy 2014!

Happy 2014! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I think this December was one of my best. I’m so glad I was able to spend time with the important people in my life, especially those that live far away. A few highlights:

  • Took a cooking class at Faire La Cuisine and ate so much I could barely move.
  • Made Christmas cookies with my mom. These included my grandma’s peanut butter cookie recipe and trying out a new marzipan bar recipe. Oh, and sugar cookies, of course!

xmascookies

  • Spent several days in a row laughing with friends over snacks and wine. Oh, and discovered Heads Up!
  • Created a recipe for Peppermint Mocha No Bake Cookies! If you’re like me, you’re surrounded by snow and cold weather, so enjoy these as a treat this week.

Peppermint Mocha No-Bake Cookies

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Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant espresso
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. Combine sugar, milk, cocoa and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for 90 seconds, constantly stirring.

2. Remove from heat and quickly add the remaining ingredients.

3. Drop by spoonfuls on wax or parchment paper.

Do you have any New Year resolutions?
I don’t typically make resolutions, but I have few goals for the month. Since Thanksgiving I haven’t been sticking to my five day vegetarian plan so I’m planning to jump back on the wagon. Last year I took part in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and really enjoyed it so I’ll be taking part again. Apparently, I tend to get sloppy in the last months of the year. I’m excited to have some free weekends this month so I’m planning to tackle some Pinterest crafts. Here’s a start:

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