Thursday, January 30, 2014

My 10 Favorite Things in January

How's your 2014 going so far? As the first month of the New Year is drawing to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the things I've enjoyed most this month. It's been brutally cold and snowy, and work has been crazy busy, but there have still been plenty of bright moments to be thankful for!

1) Night Shift Brewing Cape Codder Weisse Release Party
We love Night Shift, a local microbrewery in Everett. They recently released a new version of their Berliner Weisse -- Cape Codder Weisse, aged with local cranberries and orange. It's really pink and really good.
2) Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches
Because most weekend mornings are too cold to venture out anywhere for breakfast, we've been making our own a little more often these days. My favorite were these breakfast sandwiches -- bacon, fried egg, and grated cheddar piled onto homemade biscuits and then warmed in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Why had we not thought of this before?
3) Medford Winter Farmer's Market
I love the Medford Winter Farmer's Market. It's little, and it's in a hotel parking garage, but it's so nice to have the opportunity to go buy local produce and wares even in the frigid winter months. Especially when those local wares include hand-filled cannoli from Joni's Cannolis! Jonie even lets you sample the different fillings. (My favorite is the plain filling dipped in pistachios)
4) Belly Wine Bar
On a recent date night we tried Belly, a fairly new wine bar in Kendall Square. We got a cozy table in the corner and snacked on fried chickpeas and a beautiful cheese plate while sipping our wine. My favorite wine bar is still Spoke, but this place is great too!
5) A4 Pizza
Another fun date night with this handsome man of mine and yet another super cool spot in Union Square! Pizza, craft beer, and the best garlic knots I've ever had (though the ones at C and O in Marina del Rey still have a very special place in my heart).
6) Beef, Barley, Sweet Potato Stew
My favorite recipe creation of the month was this hearty, comforting beef stew. I've been craving soups and stews like nobody's business given how cold it's been around here.
7) Pretty Snow
I may not like the cold, but I do love snuggling up on the couch where it's warm and dry and watching the snow fall outside. It's lovely and so peaceful.
8) Snowy Day Nachos
My husband made us a batch of nachos a couple weeks ago that changed my world. He spread bean dip on the chips before topping them with the standard cheese and jalapenos! I know this is old hat to a lot of people, but somehow I had never tried this before. And I love it!
9) Using our new Serving Tray
In the winter, we try to tackle a few projects around the house (one of our tricks for battling stir craziness). In December, we made this serving tray, and it's been so fun putting it to use this month!
10) Candied Pecans
The best part about my husband no longer being a grad student is that he has time to play around in the kitchen again, thus this batch of cinnamon and sugar coated pecans (using fresh Texas pecans). I love it when he cooks!

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