Hi friends! I’m soooo excited to share today’s post with you because it’s inspired by the new lifestyle trend that’s been getting a ton of buzz in the news lately – HYGGE! (pronounced HOO-gah.)
In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it yet, hygge is a Danish concept that, in a word, translates to “coziness.” It encourages people to take some time every day to do all things warm and snuggly – whether it be cuddling up under a warm blanket with a book and cup of coffee in hand, or sitting in front of the fireplace with your loved ones watching a TV show.
Of course, any time spent “hyggelig” (the verb form, pronounced HOO-ga-lee) merits some delicious comfort food to go with it, and that’s what I’m bringing you today! I’ve put together a fantastic roundup of the ultimate hygge recipes, guaranteed to make any time spent hyggelig a smashing success.
So let’s get to it!
1. PULL-APART BEER BREAD WITH COMTE AND wHOLE gRAIN mUSTARD
2. Healthy Mushroom Risotto
3. Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb
4. Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
6. Danish Smorrebrod with Remoulade
7. Skillet Cornbread with Manuka Honey and Cinnamon Butter
8. 5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup
10. Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet
11. Easy One-Pot Mac ‘n Cheese with Hidden Veggies
12. Black Pepper Rose Puff Loaf
13. Mushroom and Cauliflower Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
14. Kentucky Coffee
15. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes
16. Vegan Florentine Biscuits
17. Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
18. Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole
19. Coconut Braised Chickpeas and Spinach
20. Savory Pretzel Bread Pudding with Cheddar, Apples and Sausage
This warming oatmeal is full of comforting chai spices and filling chia seeds. It’s the perfect, healthy cold weather breakfast that will keep you right on track with your healthy eating goals.
It’s time to hop back in the saddle of life, and I’m going to do it with this Chai Chia Oatmeal by my side.
We got back from Lake Tahoe late Thursday night, just one day after we had initially anticipated and one day before the next storm was supposed to come in. We had such a great time relaxing, playing games and spending time with family…We never wanted to leave but, alas, we had to get back to reality and do this thing called life.
After two weeks away from home (and mostly eating other peoples’ food) I was so excited to get back in the kitchen on Friday and make my own delicious, wholesome food. First up on the list was this Chai Chia Oatmeal, which IMHO is the perfect January breakfast. Healthy, filling and easy to prepare, while still making us feel that we don’t have to say goodbye to all of the festive holiday cheer that has filled us up over the past couple of months.
Speaking of cheer and happiness, has everyone set their intentions and goals for the New Year? I prefer to do this instead of setting resolutions, as having an end goal always motivates me to push forward and achieve everything I want to do. I took some time in between Christmas and New Year’s to reevaluate the direction I want to take the blog (and related business,) and I’m so excited to start setting things into motion to achieve these goals.
The New Year is a perfect time for this, but I think it’s important for us to remember to stop, reflect and reassess more often than once every 365 days. One of my goals for 2017 is to check in with myself AT LEAST every month, and see if I need to approach things a little differently or start focusing more of my time on something else. I think this is so necessary for entrepreneurs like myself, but also for anyone who is trying to achieve something in the New Year. Tell me, what are your goals and intentions for the year ahead?
We all know that one of the biggest intentions people set at New Year’s is to clean up their eating habits. Although you all know I don’t believe in restrictive diets, I think it is inevitable that eating healthier, more whole foods is top of mind at this time of year. I’m all for the healthy eating (and this Chai Chia Oatmeal is healthier than I’ll get out) but let’s not forget to sneak in little indulgences here and there. If it were up to me, I’d ask each and every one of you to have the goal of more BALANCE in your life as opposed to setting restrictions for yourself.
So time for me to get off my pedestal and tell you all about this Chai Chia Oatmeal that is likely to be on repeat weekly in your household once you try it. It comes together in under 30 minutes, and even reheats well if you want to prep it in advance. There is also a huge amount of flavor for very few ingredients. All wins in my book!
Perhaps my favorite part of this recipe is the way we get the “chai spice” flavor into the oatmeal. Rather than having to worry about throwing in all of the different spices that go into chai, we simply steep two chai tea bags in the oatmeal’s liquid as it cooks. I used half water and half unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you could easily go all one or the other based on your taste preferences.
Aside from the above mentioned base ingredients, all that goes into this wholesome breakfast is honey, a little vanilla extract and, of course, the chia seeds! And if you really want to jazz up your Chai Chia Oatmeal, may I suggest topping it all with toasted walnuts, homemade whipped cream and ground cinnamon? Or what about pecans, maple syrup and Greek yogurt? The healthy possibilities are endless, my friends, so let’s get about whipping this up in the kitchen, shall we?
Because when you’re snowed in there’s no other way to go.
This is what I found myself doing when we were stuck in Lake Tahoe for a couple of extra days. I was out of drafted blog posts and needed a cocktail to share with you all. The fam bam brainstormed what we had to work with and this is what we came up with: Kentucky Coffee!
That’s right, this is my stranded-in-a-cabin take on the classic Irish coffee, and let me tell you, it is sooooo good. My mom doesn’t even drink straight up coffee (mochas and lattes are more her jam) and she went back for Kentucky Coffee seconds. It’s that good.
Yes, we were stranded in Tahoe for a bit longer than anticipated, but it’s likely that by the time you’re reading this we’ll have dug our way out of that winter wonderland and made our way back to reality.
Not that we minded the extra time too much. We had a blast just being cozy in our cabin, building snowmen and jigsaw puzzles, and dipping in the hot tub for as long as we could handle. It was such a great time with both sides of our families, time that we will most definitely cherish and try to do more often. Because when you’re stuck in the snow, who else do you want to be with (and enjoy cocktails with) other than those you hold most dear?
So here’s what I did: I brewed up a bit of our huge stash of coffee (no way we’d run out of that on a trip to Tahoe) and I quickly simmered up some fresh mint simple syrup. We had a stash of bourbon on hand (which was a much better option than the tequila my sister brought along for margaritas) so of course that was a necessary ingredient for (and inspired the name for) Kentucky Coffee as well. Finally, I took advantage of the mixer we found in our AirBnB rental and whipped up some fresh whipped cream to top everything off. Do not skip this part! It really makes the drink.
Probably the best (a.k.a. funniest) part of creating this super tasty Kentucky Mule was the photography, which is best narrated by the photos below. Since we had planned on coming home Wednesday morning, I didn’t have any of my photography props with me at the cabin, so I had to make do. I must say the insane amount of snow made a pretty sick backdrop, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging to get the right shots! Thanks to my pops and sis for capturing my dedication (and super cute hairdo) in the process of shooting this recipe.
I hope you all are staying warm, dry, and well-lubricated with drink in this New Year. You made it through the first week of 2017, so time to celebrate with a warming mug (or two) of Kentucky Coffee!
There's a new boozy hot coffee drink in town, and it's full of bourbon, mint and whipped cream. The perfect cold weather cocktail!
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
2ouncesfresh mint simple syrup
1cupfreshly brewed hot coffee
1/2cupheavy whipping cream
Pour 2 ounces of bourbon and 1 ounce of fresh mint simple syrup into the bottom of two coffee mugs. Stir to combine.
Add ½ cup of brewed coffee to each mug.
In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Divide whipped cream amongst both mugs. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig if desired and serve warm.
To make the Fresh Mint Simple Syrup: Combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 10 fresh mint leaves. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture reduces slightly. Remove from heat at this point but it's not necessary to let the syrup cool to room temperature since you're adding it to a warm drink.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that we’re all in recovery mode from a fun and festive weekend. Am I right?
My family, for one, is keeping the New Year’s party going for a couple more days up in Tahoe, but I realize that many of you are stuck with facing work either today or tomorrow, so I thought I’d cheer you up a bit with a quick recap and LOTS of photos from my trip to Quebec City a few weeks ago. Sound good? Great, let’s do it!
First, the quick backstory. Ever since I started working for myself full time, my friend Johanna and I have been talking about planning a trip using her flight attendant benefits. Now that I don’t have to “report” to anyone (well, in person at least) for work, it’s much less stressful having to fly standby to take advantage of her airline employee benefits.
Because she flies for American, the closest airport we could fly into was Montreal, which is about a three-hour drive from Quebec City. We initially planned on taking the train into the city, but after some further research we decided to rent a car (well, SUV – we needed that four wheel drive!) This allowed us to make the trek from Montreal to Quebec City at our own pace, and it also allowed us to get out and explore a bit more than we would have been able to if we were relying on public transportation. It was such a good decision on our part!
We got in on a Wednesday morning and didn’t even end up checking in to our hotel until mid-afternoon. So, I’m going to pick up on our first half day (once we arrived in Quebec City) and go from there. And I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking!!
Checked into the Chateau Frontenac, where we stayed for just one night. Highly recommended. We were able to get the room on my credit card points so we didn’t have to shell out, and it is THE landmark hotel of Quebec City. Please, please, please be sure to stay here if at all possible. Plus, they have the cutest dog!! //
Explored the Old Town of Quebec City //
Had drinks and appetizers at 1608 – Chateau Frontenac’s wine and cheese bar //
Spent the afternoon warming back up at the Siberia Station Spa(We don’t have any photos of this because we probably would have gotten thrown out for busting out our cameras, but trust me when I say this is a MUST DO. You pay for a day pass and get to hop in and out of their numerous hot tubs, cold tubs, saunas, steam rooms and yurts for as long as you want, as long as you’re quiet! This was so relaxing and the perfect thing to do after our morning of snowshoeing in 10-degree weather.) //
Made our own version of “poutine” at the loft for dinner (I’m so sorry I don’t have pics of this, but it was basically hashbrowns topped with onions, raclette and a variety of sausages…so funny, but delicious!) //
Breakfast from Paillardto get our croissant fix //
Explored Ile d’Orleanstasting at quite a bit of the local wineries and cideries because they were the only things open. It was a blast but I definitely want to go back in the spring, summer or fall when you can see all of the farms and crops.
Explored Basse-Ville, the “Lower Town” of Old Quebec with tons of cute shops and restaurants //
And on the last day (Day 5) I was up at the crack of dawn to catch my flight home. The whole trip went by so fast and I can’t wait to go back and see more. Maybe in above freezing temperatures next time?
Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. I’m continuing my Canada-themed week with the perfect cold weather cocktail. In fact, it’s rumored to be so good at making you forget that you’re in below-freezing temperatures that it can be dangerous once you head back inside. True story, or at least that’s what we were told.
So here’s how this belly-warming red wine, whiskey and maple syrup cocktail came to be featured on this here blog: On our trip to Quebec (I know, I know, I keep talking about it, but I promise to have a Travel Diaries post for you next week!) my friend Johanna and I were looking up local food and drinks that we just HAD to try while we were there.
On our last night, we decided to brave the 10 degree temperatures and hit the German Christmas Markets, but we knew we’d need some libations to keep us warm and toasty as we wandered around outside. After a quick Google search we realized that what we’d be looking for is a Canadian drink known as the “Caribou,” because (a) it was served warm and (b) well, it was Canadian.
We found a fun pub just across the street from the Christmas Markets and decided to post up there for a bit to warm up both our bodies and our bellies, and proceeded to ask the bartender for a Caribou. He was a little confused at first (I guess it’s not as popular as we thought? At least not in Quebec) but eventually produced a liquor bottle that claimed it was Caribou. Now, this was pre-mixed stuff, and he served it to us cold, but it was interesting nonetheless and I immediately knew I wanted to try and make a legit, warm version as soon as I got home.
After a bit of further research, we discovered that a Caribou typically contains red wine, whiskey and maple syrup. It sounded easy enough to make on our own! And seeing as we’re heading to Tahoe this weekend with the fam (in 20-degree weather nonetheless) I figured there was no time like the present to perfect this high-octane mulled wine.
And perfect it I did! I strayed slightly from the original recipe in that I added a cinnamon stick, but I feel like any wine served warm (or whiskey for that matter) needs just a touch of spice. This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and as long as you have all of the ingredients on hand, all you have to do is throw them into a saucepan and heat them up.
Although I have not yet consumed enough Caribou in one sitting to worry about it, I feel obliged to tell you a little story we heard from the couple sitting next to us at the pub in Quebec where we enjoyed our Caribou.
After they helped translate what we were looking for to our waiter, this friendly couple visiting from Montreal started giggling a bit at our request. We asked them why they were giggling, and if we should be worried about this “local” drink we were ordering. They told us that Caribou is what everyone drinks during the city’s month-long Winter Carnival celebration…with the goal of drinking enough so that they don’t feel the cold. Hey, that sounded a lot like us!
BUT, they cautioned, the problem with Caribou is that if you drink too much and then go out into the cold weather, you don’t notice how much it’s hit you until you head back inside, at which point you’re apparently a mess and can’t remember anything the next day. Ahhhhhh….that’s why this was so funny. Here we were, just two American blondes, sipping on one stiff pour of ICED Caribou in preparation for our trek through the German Christmas Markets.
So, no, we did not get sick, or even feel the slightest bit of a buzz, but I feel it’s my duty to give you fair forewarning. We are, after all, talking about a cocktail made up of solely red wine AND whiskey.
My message to you is that if you are headed (or live) anywhere frigid, you most definitely must try this unique Canadian cocktail, but sip with caution and know that it can pack a punch. Hopefully you won’t be driving anywhere anyway!