small joys.*

{A little Christmas cheer on the mantle.}

 I love this time of year. Though I know that the rain, grey and cold weather of January and February are right around the corner, October, November and December are really wonderful. The last several months have been some of the busiest of my life, and December will be no different, but I’m really loving the small joys these days. Coziness abounds and I’m loving warm dinners with friends, hanging out with N in the evenings and working hard even though I mostly want to hibernate.

Here’s to a cozy weekend, for you, too!

{Candles in the evening.}

{Nailing a lattice pie crust, if I do say so myself. Thanks to The Joy of Cooking which once belonged to my aunt.}

{Having a beautiful place to work (complete with the desk N made me) … even if I don’t have the time to keep it tidy.}

{GI Winter Ale. Oh how I’ve missed you.}

cozy up.

Two videos that are making me feel cozy these days, and cozy is good, since there is snow coming down in the North Shore mountains right now. I saw the above video a few days ago and cannot stop thinking about it. If I were in that canoe, I think I’d be exhilarated and scared at the same time (maybe just because birds can be scary). The video below is a song I am totally obsessed with and matches the weather, sort of. Stay warm, lovely friends.

P.S. Murmuration is a fantastic word. Much like this one, from a post of yore. mur·mur·a·tion [mur-muh-rey-shuhn] noun 1. an act or instance of murmuring. 2. a flock of starlings.

cranberry chocolate scones.

This weekend we hosted a brunch to celebrate Nick’s birthday. This was occasion enough for me to become a scone making machine! I made three kinds, cranberry dark chocolate, rosemary and parmesan and sweet potato. (I also made banana bread in a fit of baking craziness.) Since I love scones and am at least a quarter Scottish, I’m pretty critical of them. These ones turned out great though (if I do say so myself)! I used a Martha Stewart recipe for a basic dough, and put in my own ingredients at the end to change their flavour. The sweet potato scones were an older recipe that is now tested and true.

hot toddy.

I’ve been feeling like I’m fighting off a cold lately. In my family being sick (or almost sick) means one thing: hot toddies! (Sans whiskey, when we were kids, obviously.) According to my nana, a hot toddy will cure all that ails you: I have to agree!

You’ll need:
1 oz. whiskey, bourbon or rum (or more to put hair on yer chest)
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 lemon
boiling hot water
*Adjust all of the above to taste.

To make:
Pour the honey into a mug. Pour in boiling water so the honey melts. Add liquor and lemon. Enjoy with an early bedtime, an interesting book and a friend with warm feet.