Winter Picnic

Last weekend, Colette made plans for her friend and us to go ice skating on a pond and have a winter picnic. Alas, unseasonably warm temperatures rendered the pond too soggy for skating. But that same warmth made for great winter picnicking weather! We had a simple meal of sandwiches (Black Forest ham, Brie, apple, and arugula on baguette), clementines, coffee, and Colette's famous hot cocoa. Piles of warm wool blankets kept us from getting damp. And we had a gorgeous view of the frozen Connecticut River! It's our favorite picnic spot in all of New England!










Easy and Delicious Crock Pot Roast Recipe

It's wintertime and comfort food season! So, looking around for an easy recipe for roast beef that I could put in the crock pot, I combined Ina Garten's Balsamic Roast Beef from her How Easy is That? cookbook AND Brisket with Sweet Mustard Sauce from The Ski House Cookbook. And the end result was delicious!...tender and flavorful and ohhh so comforting!


The combined recipe goes like this:

1/3 c. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. brown sugar
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. kosher salt
1 T. freshly cracked black pepper
2 medium, yellow onions
2 1/2 lb. roast
1 c. beef broth

Quarter onions and scatter onto bottom of crock pot. Rinse roast and place on top of onions.

In small bowl, combine: mustard, brown sugar, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over meat.

Pour beef broth around roast. Cook on low setting for about 4 hours.

Serves 6.

Enjoying Six More Weeks of Winter

Happy Groundhog's Day! I love this holiday, because it's just so silly. I mean, what's not to love about a chubby rodent surrounded by a bunch of men in top hats? It's the thing of which children's books are written, yet it's real and it happens, much to my delight, every year!

And this year, when pulled from his cozy burrow, America's premier rodent weatherman predicted six more weeks of winter. I suspect about 85% of the nation groaned. I, however, was thrilled! So, lest you be tempted to grumble at the groundhog, here's some winter inspiration to help you enjoy the season to its fullest!



- Plan a sledding party...thermoses of hot cocoa or warming soups, wool blankets, and a group of friends. Bring the dogs too!

- Nights are long in the winter, so find a good television series to watch. We've immensely enjoyed "The Crown" (available play instantly on Netflix) and the latest in the "Hollow Crown" series this winter. The currently playing "Victoria" is excellent as well.

- Go ice skating at a local rink or lake.

- Read a novel aloud as a family in the evenings.

- Light candles every night for dinner.

- Go for a walk in the falling snow.

- Start a collection of warm scarves, mittens, and earmuffs, so bundling up becomes fun.

- Make a new soup recipe at least once a week. Here's one new recipe we've enjoyed this winter, click here.

- Have a fondue party! Ask everyone to bring an ingredient or two. Feast on fondue and then play games.

- Mull wine.

- Have a snowball fight.

- Make orange marmalade, since it's citrus season right now.

- Experiment with hot cocoa by adding flavored syrups, flavored whipped creams, homemade marshmallows, or spices. I've been adding turmeric and cinnamon to mine...mmm!

- As the sun sets early, enjoy the coziness it creates by turning off or dimming overhead lights and turning on lamps. 

- Keep a basket piled high with cozy blankets and quilts.

- Have a taffy pull. 

- Go snowshoeing.

- Build a snowman.

- Wear a bright scarf to add a pop of color to a gray day.

- Learn to ski or snowboard.

- Knit.

- Go for a sleigh ride.

- Bake cinnamon rolls.

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy winter? I'd love to hear!
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