snow

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We are embracing winter this year! If you’ve been reading/following me on social media, you might know that summer is far and away my favorite time of year, and I have a really hard time dealing with dark and cold.

Last winter and recently I have read articles on the Danish concept of hygge, the idea of coziness and a positive state of mind and mental well being. Hygge is about the feelings that come from creating a cozy space and positivity, and I am trying my best to keep this concept in mind.

After a very busy work week, we had a quiet Friday night in by the fire. Friday happened to be Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Christmas in Irish. This is celebrated as a day for women, who tend to do much of the Christmas shopping and cooking, to relax. And relax I did! My husband waited on me with our favorite Indian takeout as I sat with sparkling wine by the fire. We watched The Missing (so good!) and went to bed early.

sparkling wine by the fire  

With hours of cozy sleep under our belts, Saturday morning was full of energy, and we walked to our favorite Irish bakery, Greenhills Bakery in Adams Village for giant cups of tea and a shared chocolate croissant. Hearing Irish spoken in Boston is always a delight, and we soaked up the homey atmosphere before walking a bit more in the snow and deciding a proper brunch at Lucy’s, also in Adams Village, was necessary!

Greenhills Bakery

Look at that biscuit!

The food at Lucy’s is delicious, and with snow falling outside, there was such  cozy vibe inside. We lingered over our meals, not checking phones, just talking and watching the snow fall before venturing out for our beautiful winter wonderland walk home.

 Lucy's Dorchester

snow day

  After another quiet night in, we decided that Sunday should be for hiking at World’s End. We should have brought our snowshoes, but instead laughed and trudged through the drifts to get to high points, where we enjoyed amazing coastal views. It was SO fun.

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham

Hiking always works up an appetite, and especially when it’s snow hiking, so we headed to nearby Hingham Shipyard to try Trident Galley & Raw Bar. They had live music, an incredible brunch menu, and excellent service.

Trying to be a little healthy, we shared a beet salad and the short rib hash, which was a spot-on recommendation. It was amazing.

short rib hash

I love splitting plates like this; we were full but didn’t feel awful, and we got a taste of a couple of great dishes. The live music was a nice touch as well. Covers of old favorites, not-too-loud, and uplifting, it was a lovely addition to brunch.

 

Trident Hingham

 

Hingham Shipyard

After even MORE outdoor wandering at the Shipyard, we decided we needed a little bit more time outside, and stopped at the Milton Yacht Club on the way home to capture the setting sun and beautiful late afternoon winter light.

Milton Yacht Club 

I thawed out with a hot Epsom salt bath before pouring a glass of Navarra wine and whipping up Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup (with kale).

chicken bacon stew

It was the perfect weekend. I realize I can either hate this time of year or spend more time being grateful for all I have to get through it – food, shelter, warmth, love. I think if I can keep that focus, I can make it to spring!

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Tags: brunch, cooking, Dorchester, hiking, Hingham, Nature, New England, outdoors, recipes, snow, winter

I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of shoveling to do. A few feet of snow will result in a few hours of shoveling our sidewalk and driveway, and I hope everyone around us does the same if they can. After all of the falling I did last winter, I am terrified of wandering around on treacherous sidewalks.

I am officially ready for Spring, but if you have to be stuck inside, making and eating dessert is a fun way to pass the time, especially after you’ve burned so many calories shoveling! Here are a few easy and decadent dessert recipes to make on a snowy (or rainy, or any) day.

peanut butter pretzel truffles

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Clusters – So easy, so delicious!

 

banoffee pie

Banoffee Pie – One of our favorites!

chocolate and butter in a double boiler

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Guinness

Guinness Ice Cream Floats – St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

 

bread pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding – Since there’s always a run on bread, milk, and eggs before a blizzard, French Toast is a must. Turn it into dessert in bread pudding form!

At least in Boston, there’s nowhere to go on days like today! Make something delicious, take a nap, pop some bubbly and enjoy the pause in busy life.

 

Are you snowed in today?

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Tags: baking, desserts, Food, recipes, snow, snowed in, winter

Port and Snow

Did you know that Friday was Port Day? Thanks to the magic of the Twitterverse and some great people in the wine business, I also received some Port samples to taste for the occasion.

Since we already had plans to head to Killington, Vermont for the weekend, I brought the Port along. Port and snow go so well together!

The drive to Killington was rainy and foggy until we got close to Killington itself and started ascending the mountainous area. It was then that big snowflakes started to fall. Despite the weather when we arrived, it had been foggy and rainy all day, resulting in the slopes being closed down, and also in lots of ice and slush on unplowed roads. Unfortunately, our not-so-trusty GPS led us astray, down a very long driveway, and we got stuck. Not the best way to start the weekend. The homeowner had a plow, but he told us to call AAA. New England hospitality? Perhaps he should add a giant “Private Driveway” sign to the start of his property?

At any rate, after about 35 minutes of spinning wheels and backing down the driveway and zooming back up, we made it to the dry, salted road. My husband the driver for the win!

fireplace

We arrived at our cozy house to baked ziti and salad and later, Port. I liked this Sandeman 10 year old Tawny Port the best. It exhibited flavors of both dried and ripe fruit with a warm vanilla undertone and a little bit of spice. It went perfectly with Whole Foods two bite brownies. Yes it did.

Sandeman Tawny Port

We spent the evening by the fire sipping Port, and then I had night one of the worst sleep ever.

Luckily, the next day dawned bright but chilly, and we had a leisurely breakfast while looking out over this.

Killington

Due to the icy conditions and general lack of desire to ski, a bunch of us decided to go snowshoeing instead. Those of us who needed to rent shoes did so, and we spent about four hours hiking around a pretty difficult terrain. By the time we were done, I had removed layers and was just enjoying the warm winter sun.

Killington

Blackberry pictures, unfortunately. . . I have snow shoed in the past with my camera, and it was not fun.

Killington

Throughout our hike we went over hills, past a frozen lake, and even saw some adorably furry animals like this pony.

horse

We unstrapped our snowshoes along the way for a quick bite at the Mountain Meadows Lodge. Sweet potato and mushroom soup was just the thing to warm all of us up.

sweet potato and mushroom soup

Après-snowshoe, most of our group took naps, and then we headed to hang out with the skiers at the Lookout. A few pre-dinner beers and some bar food in the very crowded bar, and we headed home for the night, well stocked with some very mediocre Chinese takeout.

We both had another horrible night of sleep, so we ended up not skiing on Sunday and instead, after fluffy pancakes at Blanche and Bill’s, headed home to nap.

Killington is a really fun place, and while the social scene would probably have suited me better five years ago, there are plenty of reasons to return, including dinner at the Killington Ledgewood Yurt.

Vermont still has so much damage from Irene, and I was happy to see businesses booming. If you’re planning a winter trip, Killington is a good place to start!

Special thanks to Killington expert Daisy for all of her recommendations in and around town!

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Tags: Killington, Port, snow, snowshoes, soup, Travel, Vermont, wine, winter

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