Thank you so much Alli for guest blogging for me today. I had a great time this weekend with you!
Many people say that January is the most depressing month of the year. The holidays are over and we’re still months away from seeing green grass under all that dirty snow. In fact, there is an official “Most Depressing Day of the Year” and it was just this past week – Blue Monday. According to experts, this is the bluest day of the year due to weather conditions, time since the holidays, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.
Fortunately, I’m not feeling blue. In fact, I’ve had a fantastic weekend and am feeling great. For me, the key to beating the winter doldrums is to stay busy, try new things and spend time with people who make me happy.
On Saturday morning, Erica, Allison and I went to Core Power Yoga. This was my first time experiencing Yoga and I loved it! For starters, the room was warm. This was such a pleasant change from the last several months of bitter bitter cold. We moved, posed, stretched and sweated to music and the encouraging words of our instructor, a woman even smaller and more energetic than me. After an hour of contorting my body in positions I didn’t know were possible, I felt amazing: strong, healthy, relaxed and ready to take on the day.
Later in the day, Erica, Molly, Justin and Eric came over to my apartment for appetizers. I decided to try making a few new recipes for the event. My main source of recipes is my mom. She embodies my philosophy on cooking – it should be delicious but not take too long, have too many ingredients or be too complicated to make. These recipes transported us out of Minnesota and into the Mediterranean. The cashews are especially addicting – sweet, spicy and aromatic all in one bite.
Later we went to dinner at Wildfire. We all enjoyed our food; my favorite was the incredible and fresh Key Lime Pie for dessert. The only problem was the service. Among our problems were being charged double the price of our meal and having to get our own coats from the coat check because no one was there to give them back to us! We ended the night at Champ’s bar where we met up with lots of friends. That glass of merlot definitely warmed me up at the end of the night.
Hope you’re staying warm and happy too.
Surviving in a Giant Snow Globe,
Ina Garten’s Rosemary Roasted Cashews
1 ¼ pounds cashew nuts (roasted, unsalted)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the nuts in an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm or cold.
7 Layer Hummus Dip
Diced Red Onion
Strips of Romaine Lettuce
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Kalamata Olives (halved)
Layer the ingredients in the order shown above, with Hummus on the bottom. Serve with pita chips and pita bread.