Thrive (not survive) Winter with Citrus and Chocolate
and other recipes to make this February.
Even with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it feels like we are deep into the less romantic side of winter. I’m talking about slushy snow, endless gray skies, and slim produce selections. It lacks the charm of the holidays where even the old snow sparkles from twinkle lights.
A few ways that we are keeping spirits high in the Huff house include skiing, snack cakes, and slow-cooked stews. I have yet to go skiing myself this season (read back on my mission to snowshoe this year), but it’s been amazing to finally experience the breathtaking views and mountain vibes of our own backyard. Taking the kids to their lessons still earns me an invite to après-ski activities, right?
Here is what’s been going on lately:
What I’ve Been Eating:
Half-day Bolognese - I often make this 4-hour bolognese (honestly, it’s just as good in 2.5 hours - which I normally do). I made a big batch to go over spaghetti for my son’s birthday dinner last month.
Citrus Snack Cakes - So handy on-the-go and effortlessly comforting, I can’t get enough of snack cakes. Incorporating citrus zest into the sugar gives them such vibrant flavors despite the dreariness outside. Try this Orange Pound Cake!
Pasta e Fagioli - This is a pantry pasta/soup staple at our house. It always has a mirepoix of carrots/onion/celery or bell pepper, small pasta, and a can of beans (either pinto, navy, or kidney). Sometimes there is sausage and at other times some green beans and kale, but it’s always warming and delicious.
Rocky Road Cookies - I ate a lot of these last month as I tried to perfect this chocolate/pecan/marshmallow cookie. The end result was a double chocolate chip cookie with crispy edges and gooey centers. There are nuts for crunch and both pockets of toasted marshmallows and caramelized ones that burst around the edges.
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What I’ve Been Reading:
Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes - I am a big British Bake Off fan, and Giuseppe was a house favorite from the start. I am thrilled to receive a copy of his new book and can’t wait to make some of the more simple cakes and tortes that could easily double for breakfast and dessert.
Sugar & Spice Cookies - Megan always has the best flavor combinations - not too unique or out there but familiar yet surprising, like banana peanut butter cup cookies, bourbon pecan thumbprints, and lemon thyme cookies bars. If you love cookies, and I think you might, then definitely check out this new book!
Valentine’s Day Desserts
Plan ahead with one of these charming if not a bit indulgent treats to share on Valentine’s Day:
Send a valentine via cookie. I’ve got tons of tips for working with royal icing and designs for all skill levels in the next level decorated sugar cookie post. Plus a full decorating VIDEO!
Berries and cream have never tasted better than when paired with fluffy vanilla cake layers. Developed as a two layer, 6-inch cake, you won’t need to worry about too many leftovers after an intimate gathering.
You might even consider this “personal size.” This moist chocolate cake with fudge frosting is super easy to make.
Donuts are my husband’s love language. I mean, who isn’t up for some freshly fried dough? Find recipes for cinnamon twists, strawberry glazed, and homemade Boston Cream donuts.