When I was little I loved snow! I loved it when school was called off due to snow and all the kids in the neighborhood would get together because when you’re a kid, playing outside with your friends is a lot more fun than getting stuck inside helping out around the house – and no one wanted to get stuck doing that! So instead you would play the whole day away. Usually we wouldn’t even go home for lunch because of even a slight possibility of having to stay in.
We would shovel, dig and pile the snow up to make snow forts, or we would walk all the way up to Kebo Golf course and go sledding, cross country skiing down Main Street, just all sorts of outdoor activities. So by end of the day after we all trudged our way back home through the snow and it was getting dark and freezing cold we were happy but exhausted and it would be time for some hot chocolate and to eat a giant dinner.
Kids just don’t seem to get to do that as much anymore with all of the organized programs they are in, video games, computer age etc. Even my kids at one time or the other fell into one or more of those categories. I remember on a snow day telling them get outside and get some fresh air, build a snow fort or something and when they were younger my suggestions were met with excitement. But as they got older they would look at me like I had just asked them to chop off their heads and place them on top of a snowman. Then they would go back to the computers or video games and I would stand there reciting what every parent has recited for generations: “When I was your age I used to be outside for hours on end …” And this was usually met with a nod or a shrug as they retreated in their own little worlds.
So as usual if I was home I would retreat to the kitchen and start making some food and miracle of miracle sometimes the smell of cooking or baking would actually bring them in the kitchen and they would sit around or actually help and we would have an actual conversation and a lot of the time it turned out to be fun.
I guess I’ll have my memories of playing in the snow all day and they will have the memories of whatever food we were eating in the kitchen. And I say you can never go wrong with food so I guess it won’t be all that bad!
To warm you up after you come out of the snow, hot chocolate is always great for the your younger ones. But for us bigger kids it’s always nice to add a kick to the hot chocolate to make it extra special!
Adult Hot Chocolate
2 cups milk
3 1/2 oz. of good quality dark chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet-your choice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. your favorite rum or to taste
Pour milk into a saucepan and break your chocolate into pieces and add to the milk with the cinnamon stick, honey and sugar and heat gently until the chocolate is melted. Add the vanilla and whisk add a spoonful of rum and taste; add more to your liking. Remove cinnamon stick pour into two mugs and share and enjoy!
Lightened-up Chicken Wings
I love chicken wings and these are a great substitute to lighten up the calories and fat in them.
1 lb. fresh chicken tenders
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (if you like it hot, add to your taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. of your favorite hot sauce
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. margarine, melted
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fat-free or skim milk
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Carrot and celery sticks for serving
Place your oven rack 6 inches from the heating element in your oven and preheat your broiler.
Spray a sturdy cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the chicken with the ground pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place on pan and broil for 3 minutes.
In a microwave-safe bowl add cayenne, hot sauce, water and margarine and heat on high for 10 to 15 seconds until melted. Remove chicken from oven and pour mixture over chicken, stirring to coat, then return to oven and broil 2 more minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
While chicken is cooking, combine sour cream, blue cheese, mayonnaise, milk and Worcestershire sauce.
Serve chicken with carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dip and enjoy!
Yummy Yogurt Parfait
2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups of your favorite granola
2 cups berries or sliced fruit of your choice. Mix it up if you like.
4 Tbsp. honey
Line up four parfait glasses, wine glasses or any tall glasses.
Spoon 2 Tbsp. yogurt in each glass and smooth the surface.
Spoon 2 Tbsp. of the granola on top of yogurt and gently smooth.
Spoon 2 Tbsp. of fruit on granola and smooth.
Repeat the process, adding a little honey here and there to taste. Enjoy!
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