(My favorite place Metz, France)
Here in the Pacific Northwest it is getting cold, and I LOVE it! There is nothing like wearing a scarf or beanie, or even getting cozy on the couch with your favorite blanket. I also have a personal furnace in the form of my husband. So in honor of the chilly days ahead I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite things!
One of things I am always lacking, even though I have literally three pairs, is slippers. To solve that little problem I purchased some cabin socks. YOU NEED THESE SOCKS!! They are so warm and soft on the inside, and your feet do not sweat! At least mine do not!
(yes I bought mine from Dick’s Sporting Goods)
If I can’t find some kind of winter garment that I really want I make it! As long as it is a knit, otherwise I just don’t get it! I love to knit! Often I start knitting in the summer like a total goof ball, mainly because I saw something in a movie that I wanted! One of my favorite things that I have knitted was a replica of Hermione’s Scarf from “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”.
If you like this scarf you can find this pattern at the following address: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hermiones-scarf.
I am not going to lie, this scarf took me FOREVER to make, but once I was finally finished with it I took it with me to Germany and France. I went in December and this puppy kept me really warm!
Another thing I enjoy doing this time of year is making goodies!! My most favorite that I make is called a Choc-o-hot-o-pot, courtesy of Nigella Lawson.
These little post of heaven are so good and made to be eaten piping hot. Basically it is like having a gooey brownie.
You can find this recipe on FoodNetwork.com or you can keep reading!
Here is what you will need:
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
4 oz semi sweet chocolate (with 60% cocoa solids) I use nestle toll house semi sweet chocolate chips, a little bit over 4 oz.
¾ superfine sugar
3 TBSP all purpose flour
You will need 4 ⅔ to 1 cup capacity ramekins
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Use the 1 TBSP to butter the ramekins
Next you will either use a microwave or a bowl suspended over a pan over simmering water, melt the butter with 1 stick of butter, then set aside to cool while you mix the other ingredients
In another bowl mix the eggs with the sugar and flour. Then with a whisk mix the cooled melted chocolate mixture in with the flour mixture. Once combined, divide the mixture between the 4 ramekins. Bake for about 20 mins. The tops will be cooked and cracked while the middle will be gooey!
Make sure to place these on a small plate when eating because they will be hot, and don’t forget to WARN your loved one!
Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson (Copyright 2004, Feast, Hyperion, All Rights Reserved)
One of my guilty pleasures during this time of year is a cross between watching ALL the Harry Potter Movies or, please don’t laugh, the “Twilight” movies.
I always feel the need to watch “Twilight” about this time, and then halfway through the first movie I end up wondering why I even started watching them. And then because I started it I have to finish the whole saga!
Harry Potter is my favorite of fantasy movies. I adore watching them with my son, who I read all the books to when he was little. I can’t wait to start reading these to my younger son! I am not sure if it is the magic of the story or the characters, or perhaps the combination of the entire thing that allures me. These movies bring out my inner witch and my inner child! LOVES IT!
One other thing that I love to do during this time of year is read. Here in the Pacific Northwest reading is very popular. Just walk into any Barnes and Noble or locate mom and pop bookstore and you will see! Here in Portland one of the more popular bookstores is Powell’s City of Books.
You can find the largest selection of new and used books at this bookstore. They also have children’s storytimes, writing workshops, game demos and BOOK CLUBS!!!
Of course for space reasons I have gotten a Kindle…I know.. I shiver with shame! I LOVE the smell and feel of a book in my hands but again I was buying books almost once a week and didn’t have enough space to keep them. Many of them became instant favorites so I couldn’t sell them. Plus apparently even if you bought a book for $12 you only got $2-if you were lucky!
So having given that little disclaimer I shall tell you some of my favorite reads this time of year.
This is the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and an unwilling witch. Diana stumbles upon a mysterious book, Ashmole 782, and she must figure out its secrets. In the process she falls in love with a vampire named Matthew Clairmont. With his help she learns the power of herself and how it is okay to accept who she really is! A must read!!!
Nora Grey is a responsible and smart girl who is not in anyway reckless. That is until the day she is paired up in biology with Patch.
Patch has a sketchy past and countless mistakes. The one thing he did get right was fall in love with Nora. Because of her love for Patch, Nora questions everything she has ever known, including herself. As a YA book this is really a must read.
Last but not least one of my other favorite reads during colder months is,
This book always makes me laugh or cry, sometimes at the same time!
Emma and Dexter are from two different worlds, on the day of their college graduation they began a lifelong friendship that spans 20 years. Every 15th of July they meet up to talk about career choices, love, and loss. It takes them awhile but they finally realize the thing they both have been looking for, is each other.
This is seriously a good read for a rainy day! So grab yourself a good glass of Riesling, a cozy blanket and get ready for the emotional ride. Don’t forget the tissues!!
These are just a few of my favorite things during the cold months. What are you favorite things? I’d love to hear from everyone!