Sunday, December 20, 2009

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

The weather outside might not be frightful, but it's pretty darn cold! Fortunately, while I was baking cookies, my darling husband went outside and dug out my car. I can't tell how much snow we got, but it's more snow than I've seen in Philadelphia in a while and I love it - I hope it never melts! Every time I look out the window I'm happy. Except when I first woke up this morning and forgot how bright snow makes everything...that hurt.

Anyway, as penance for my awfully inconsistent blogging lately, I will reveal my happy secret! The reason I have not been very faithful in my writing recently is because my schedule changed temporarily at work, which has resulted in me only making a few dinners in the past week and a half. I made up for that this weekend with a ton of baking and cooking, but first, my news:

After working my little behind off for nearly a year, I was promoted! It's so gratifying to see that giving something your all can still get you somewhere. As I've been alluding to in my gratitude lists, the Director of my department has been gracious in her praise of me and my efforts and she was all smiles when she offered me a promotion. As a result, I have temporarily stepped in to guide an absent supervisor's team during the second shift. Getting home at 1 AM is not terribly conducive to cooking dinner when my husband is still working "normal" hours. I'll be back to my regular hours soon, so hopefully I'll be able to return to my cooking and posting at that time...despite the crush of busyness we're all anticipating.

Like I said, I cooked and baked up a storm this weekend. There's not too much else to do when it snows for 24 hours straight. It was so amazing - every time I looked out my window, it was still snowing and there was even more on the ground. The best part is that since it was so cold today, it's all still there! Should make for fun driving to work tomorrow, but that can't be avoided.

After a long snowy day, I couldn't think of a better dinner than my more-loved-each-time Potato Corn Chowder from The Accidental Vegan. I don't care how many times I've repeated that recipe - it is one of the best snowy-winter-day meals I can think of. For pictures and a bonus recipe, follow the links!

After dinner last night, I made Isa's Sparkled Ginger Cookies again. I made them smaller this time, which unfortunately resulted in them being a little crunchier than the first batch. To be completely honest, some of them actually burnt. That was disappointing because those cookies are so good! I made up for that tonight, though, and if tomorrow doesn't come soon, I will eat them all before I get them to work!

Tonight's dinner was Peppered Pasta. I didn't know whether I wanted this or the risotto, but I realized that more than half of the vegetables I bought on Wednesday were for this dish and I didn't want anything bad to happen to them, considering it's already Sunday. The risotto is made entirely from pantry goods, so that can wait for last. Peppers and garlic smell so good when they saute together, too.

Before dinner, though, I made four cookie sheets full of the Apple Peanut Pretzel Cookies from VCIYCJ. They don't really look anything like the ones in the book but they taste SO GOOD and that's really what matters. Also, the lighting is weird in these pictures because the kitchen light blew out again. We really need to move before an electrical fire burns this whole place down. One of the first things that occurred to me when accepting my new position at work was the fact that the pay raise associated with this position will expedite the moving process by a bit. many cookies....

I might need another soon. I might also need a gym membership...

The most amazing thing about these cookies are the bites that contain peanuts - I used lightly salted peanuts because they were the only roasted peanuts I could find that weren't rolled in MSG. The only thing I would change about this cookie when I make them again is that next time I think I will chop up a fresh apple, rather than using dried apples - they were just a little too chewy for me.

I had an awesome time at my company holiday party, despite the fact that the only thing I ate was a carrot stick. Not very friendly to my "dietary needs," but why would you expect a posh country club to cater to the whims of its guests?
Left to Right: My (former) supervisor, me, and my generous colleague.

1. I am grateful for the opportunity to take on new responsibilities at work and learn more about that aspect of the company.

2. I am grateful for the beautiful snow adorning the streets and sidewalks of my happy little neighborhood.

3. I am grateful for this last quiet weekend with my husband before the chaos of diet season starts and I have the privilege of working 6 day weeks for 3 weeks.

4. I am grateful that my wonderful husband went outside in the sub-freezing weather to shovel the pretty snow away from my car, as well as dust it off of the windows and other important parts of my car so that I can just get into my car and drive to work tomorrow, instead of performing that same snow removal in high heels and nice clothes.

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