Cozying Up For Winter

It’s been brutally cold on the mountain top lately….yesterday I’m pretty sure my contact lenses froze to my eyeballs the second I stepped out the door.

Those of you in warmer states probably don’t understand, but we do get used to the frigid winters….and we learn to embrace winter on the mountain top.
It’s all about dressing in layers, keeping the fire stoked and the firewood well stocked. I have multiple throws in my living room, and my bed is made up with my warmest LL Bean flannel bedding. The candles are lit, the music is soft, and the meals couldn’t be better.

I plan my menus around warm, hearty meals…and on the coldest days those meals are something that’s baked, rather than prepared on the stove top.

I did a little meal prep this weekend, making a batch of chicken croquettes which I baked for Sunday’s dinner, and a big batch of Pasta e Fagioli, half of which was to be Monday’s dinner…..and half for the freezer.

Look at all the hearty goodness in there! It’s rare for me, but I don’t think I honestly changed anything about this recipe….if you would like to try it out, this is the recipe I used, from DamnDelicious.

Ok, I lied….I may have used a little extra pasta. The recipe called for 1 cup pasta, cooked separately from the soup. I cooked one cup, tossed it in a little butter, salt, and pepper….ate a few bites (maybe more than a few)….and put it in the fridge to put in the portion of the soup that was to be the next night’s dinner.

But hey, in my opinion you can never have too much pasta in Pasta e Fagioli!

Yesterday was going to be an absolutely brutal day, so I decided that I would bake some Focaccia bread to go along with the soup.

I made the dough in the morning before work (SUPER simple, didn’t even have to break out the mixer, just a bowl and a spoon!)

The dough has to rest for 8 to 24 hours, and then again for two hours once separated into the cake tins, so this recipe needs to be planned out in advance….but it’s so worth it.

The very first thing I did when I got home from work was to split the dough into two portions as the recipe indicated, and sit the dough to rise by the fire.

Dinner was delayed a tiny bit by the additional rising time, but it was worth the wait!

Just look at all that yumminess right there!! I used a recipe from The Cafe Sucre Farine and it truly is incredibly easy to make….no excuses! I normally don’t alter baking recipes very much, as they are a little out of my comfort zone, but I think I’m comfortable enough with this recipe now that next time I make it I want to incorporate some parmesan and garlic.

Can you tell I adore Parmesan?

Our meal was fantastic, and lunch the next day equally awesome.

Bonus? Having the oven on to bake the bread helped warm up the house!

On winter days when I’m blessed to have a day off and the chores are all done, my last task of the day before preparing dinner is usually treating myself to a hot bath.

The candles are lit, the bubbles are fragrant (my current obsession….Bath & Body Works Black Currant & Pine Foam Bath….mmmmmmm) and I settle into the warm bubbles listening either to music or an audiobook. Sweetie got me the most amazing speaker for Christmas (thanks Sweetie!!) and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. I can play my music, my audiobooks, and my phone calls on it….it’s so awesome, and the sound is incredible!

It’s really the little things in life, isn’t it? Being able to play my audiobooks over a speaker has been wonderful….before I used to put my iPhone in a cup or bowl to amplify the sound!

Anyways….

Speaking of little things….how cute are these little guys? My blogging friend Kris over at Junk Chic Cottage sent these to me in December….(those of you who follow me on Instagram saw them at the time) and I decided they could stay out for the winter since they are perfectly dressed for it! Thanks, Kris!! They truly make me smile every time I spot them in the corner of my bedroom!

The real birdies certainly need our help at this time of year, and I bundle up every single morning and go out and fill their feeders and make sure the water is topped up in their heated birdbath.

I enjoy watching them so much out my dining room window, it’s worth every cold minute in the mornings!

Oh, and just look at that….some of the herbs I harvested at the end of the season are still going strong in the dining room window! The basil and thyme have both rooted (note to self: pot up the basil & thyme) and the sage and curry are both still doing very well.

The tall plant you see on the left is my Amaryllis, which will be flowering before long – yayyy!! It didn’t flower at all last year, but I repotted it over the summer and it’s much healthier now. When the Amaryllis is done, I’ll start forcing some of the bulbs that I’ve been chilling in the downstairs fridge….can’t wait to see those spring blooms!

I love surrounding myself with plants in the winter months, don’t you? Even better if they are flowering plants!

Meanwhile, these two little rascals spend most of the winter cuddled up together in the chair in front of the fire, basking in any rays of sunshine that stream through the windows. (Another note to self: clean windows!)

They run out of the house like maniacs in the mornings, frightening any ‘squirbles’ off the deck….but they are back at the door within minutes, anxious to get in out of the cold. Poor little things…yet they get upset when I put their jackets on, go figure!

So there’s a little rambling post about how we cozy up winter around here…what’s your favorite way to make your winter more tolerable?It’s been brutally cold on the mountain top lately….yesterday I’m pretty sure my contact lenses froze to my eyeballs the second I stepped out the door.

Those of you in warmer states probably don’t understand, but we do get used to the frigid winters….and we learn to embrace winter on the mountain top.
It’s all about dressing in layers, keeping the fire stoked and the firewood well stocked. I have multiple throws in my living room, and my bed is made up with my warmest LL Bean flannel bedding. The candles are lit, the music is soft, and the meals couldn’t be better.

I plan my menus around warm, hearty meals…and on the coldest days those meals are something that’s baked, rather than prepared on the stove top.

I did a little meal prep this weekend, making a batch of chicken croquettes which I baked for Sunday’s dinner, and a big batch of Pasta e Fagioli, half of which was to be Monday’s dinner…..and half for the freezer.

Look at all the hearty goodness in there! It’s rare for me, but I don’t think I honestly changed anything about this recipe….if you would like to try it out, this is the recipe I used, from DamnDelicious.

Ok, I lied….I may have used a little extra pasta. The recipe called for 1 cup pasta, cooked separately from the soup. I cooked one cup, tossed it in a little butter, salt, and pepper….ate a few bites (maybe more than a few)….and put it in the fridge to put in the portion of the soup that was to be the next night’s dinner.

But hey, in my opinion you can never have too much pasta in Pasta e Fagioli!

Yesterday was going to be an absolutely brutal day, so I decided that I would bake some Focaccia bread to go along with the soup.

I made the dough in the morning before work (SUPER simple, didn’t even have to break out the mixer, just a bowl and a spoon!)

The dough has to rest for 8 to 24 hours, and then again for two hours once separated into the cake tins, so this recipe needs to be planned out in advance….but it’s so worth it.

The very first thing I did when I got home from work was to split the dough into two portions as the recipe indicated, and sit the dough to rise by the fire.

Dinner was delayed a tiny bit by the additional rising time, but it was worth the wait!

Just look at all that yumminess right there!! I used a recipe from The Cafe Sucre Farine and it truly is incredibly easy to make….no excuses! I normally don’t alter baking recipes very much, as they are a little out of my comfort zone, but I think I’m comfortable enough with this recipe now that next time I make it I want to incorporate some parmesan and garlic.

Can you tell I adore Parmesan?

Our meal was fantastic, and lunch the next day equally awesome.

Bonus? Having the oven on to bake the bread helped warm up the house!

On winter days when I’m blessed to have a day off and the chores are all done, my last task of the day before preparing dinner is usually treating myself to a hot bath.

The candles are lit, the bubbles are fragrant (my current obsession….Bath & Body Works Black Currant & Pine Foam Bath….mmmmmmm) and I settle into the warm bubbles listening either to music or an audiobook. Sweetie got me the most amazing speaker for Christmas (thanks Sweetie!!) and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. I can play my music, my audiobooks, and my phone calls on it….it’s so awesome, and the sound is incredible!

It’s really the little things in life, isn’t it? Being able to play my audiobooks over a speaker has been wonderful….before I used to put my iPhone in a cup or bowl to amplify the sound!

Anyways….

Speaking of little things….how cute are these little guys? My blogging friend Kris over at Junk Chic Cottage sent these to me in December….(those of you who follow me on Instagram saw them at the time) and I decided they could stay out for the winter since they are perfectly dressed for it! Thanks, Kris!! They truly make me smile every time I spot them in the corner of my bedroom!

The real birdies certainly need our help at this time of year, and I bundle up every single morning and go out and fill their feeders and make sure the water is topped up in their heated birdbath.

I enjoy watching them so much out my dining room window, it’s worth every cold minute in the mornings!

Oh, and just look at that….some of the herbs I harvested at the end of the season are still going strong in the dining room window! The basil and thyme have both rooted (note to self: pot up the basil & thyme) and the sage and curry are both still doing very well.

The tall plant you see on the left is my Amaryllis, which will be flowering before long – yayyy!! It didn’t flower at all last year, but I repotted it over the summer and it’s much healthier now. When the Amaryllis is done, I’ll start forcing some of the bulbs that I’ve been chilling in the downstairs fridge….can’t wait to see those spring blooms!

I love surrounding myself with plants in the winter months, don’t you? Even better if they are flowering plants!

Meanwhile, these two little rascals spend most of the winter cuddled up together in the chair in front of the fire, basking in any rays of sunshine that stream through the windows. (Another note to self: clean windows!)

They run out of the house like maniacs in the mornings, frightening any ‘squirbles’ off the deck….but they are back at the door within minutes, anxious to get in out of the cold. Poor little things…yet they get upset when I put their jackets on, go figure!

So there’s a little rambling post about how we cozy up winter around here…what’s your favorite way to make your winter more tolerable?

It’s been brutally cold on the mountain top lately….yesterday I’m pretty sure my contact lenses froze to my eyeballs the second I stepped out the door.
Those of you in warmer states probably don’t understand, but we do get used to the frigid winters….and we learn to embrace winter on the mountain top.

It’s all about dressing in layers, keeping the fire stoked and the firewood well stocked. I have multiple throws in my living room, and my bed is made up with my warmest LL Bean flannel bedding. The candles are lit, the music is soft, and the meals couldn’t be better.
image
I plan my menus around warm, hearty meals…and on the coldest days those meals are something that’s baked, rather than prepared on the stove top.
image
I did a little meal prep this weekend, making a batch of chicken croquettes which I baked for Sunday’s dinner, and a big batch of Pasta e Fagioli, half of which was to be Monday’s dinner…..and half for the freezer.
Look at all the hearty goodness in there! It’s rare for me, but I don’t think I honestly changed anything about this recipe….if you would like to try it out, this is the recipe I used, from DamnDelicious.
Ok, I lied….I may have used a little extra pasta. The recipe called for 1 cup pasta, cooked separately from the soup. I cooked one cup, tossed it in a little butter, salt, and pepper….ate a few bites (maybe more than a few)….and put it in the fridge to put in the portion of the soup that was to be the next night’s dinner.
But hey, in my opinion you can never have too much pasta in Pasta e Fagioli!
Yesterday was going to be an absolutely brutal day, so I decided that I would bake some Focaccia bread to go along with the soup.
image
I made the dough in the morning before work (SUPER simple, didn’t even have to break out the mixer, just a bowl and a spoon!)
image
The dough has to rest for 8 to 24 hours, and then again for two hours once separated into the cake tins, so this recipe needs to be planned out in advance….but it’s so worth it.
The very first thing I did when I got home from work was to split the dough into two portions as the recipe indicated, and sit the dough to rise by the fire.
image
Dinner was delayed a tiny bit by the additional rising time, but it was worth the wait!
image
Just look at all that yumminess right there!! I used a recipe from The Cafe Sucre Farine and it truly is incredibly easy to make….no excuses! I normally don’t alter baking recipes very much, as they are a little out of my comfort zone, but I think I’m comfortable enough with this recipe now that next time I make it I want to incorporate some parmesan and garlic.
image
Can you tell I adore Parmesan?
Our meal was fantastic, and lunch the next day equally awesome.
Bonus? Having the oven on to bake the bread helped warm up the house!
image
On winter days when I’m blessed to have a day off and the chores are all done, my last task of the day before preparing dinner is usually treating myself to a hot bath.
The candles are lit, the bubbles are fragrant (my current obsession….Bath & Body Works Black Currant & Pine Foam Bath….mmmmmmm) and I settle into the warm bubbles listening either to music or an audiobook. Sweetie got me the most amazing speaker for Christmas (thanks Sweetie!!) and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. I can play my music, my audiobooks, and my phone calls on it….it’s so awesome, and the sound is incredible!
It’s really the little things in life, isn’t it? Being able to play my audiobooks over a speaker has been wonderful….before I used to put my iPhone in a cup or bowl to amplify the sound!
Anyways….
image
Speaking of little things….how cute are these little guys? My blogging friend Kris over at Junk Chic Cottage sent these to me in December….(those of you who follow me on Instagram saw them at the time) and I decided they could stay out for the winter since they are perfectly dressed for it! Thanks, Kris!! They truly make me smile every time I spot them in the corner of my bedroom!
image
The real birdies certainly need our help at this time of year, and I bundle up every single morning and go out and fill their feeders and make sure the water is topped up in their heated birdbath.
I enjoy watching them so much out my dining room window, it’s worth every cold minute in the mornings!
Oh, and just look at that….some of the herbs I harvested at the end of the season are still going strong in the dining room window! The basil and thyme have both rooted (note to self: pot up the basil & thyme) and the sage and curry are both still doing very well.
The tall plant you see on the left is my Amaryllis, which will be flowering before long – yayyy!! It didn’t flower at all last year, but I repotted it over the summer and it’s much healthier now. When the Amaryllis is done, I’ll start forcing some of the bulbs that I’ve been chilling in the downstairs fridge….can’t wait to see those spring blooms!
I love surrounding myself with plants in the winter months, don’t you? Even better if they are flowering plants!
image
Meanwhile, these two little rascals spend most of the winter cuddled up together in the chair in front of the fire, basking in any rays of sunshine that stream through the windows. (Another note to self: clean windows!)
They run out of the house like maniacs in the mornings, frightening any ‘squirbles’ off the deck….but they are back at the door within minutes, anxious to get in out of the cold. Poor little things…yet they get upset when I put their jackets on, go figure!
So there’s a little rambling post about how we cozy up winter around here…what’s your favorite way to make your winter more tolerable?
Write a comment