’Tis the season!
The final months of the year are upon us and we are ready to prepare you to end the year with a bang!
Whether you enjoy spending winter days inside, outdoors, with family, kids, colleagues, or friends, we have ideas to keep your spirits high even when the weather drops low.
Outdoor Winter Activities
Skiing and Snowboarding Trips:
There are so many ways to keep active and have fun outdoors this winter! Perhaps you are a seasoned pro, or are in search of a new challenge; grabbing a pair of skis or snowboard and hitting the slopes is a great idea. Gather some pals for a day or weekend trip to a well-known mountain village, strap on your boots and get ready for fun!
Snowmen or Snowball Competition:
If staying closer to home seems more practical for you, enjoy an easy walk to your yard or local neighborhood park. Check the weather in advance for snowfall before sending out the invites for a friendly snowman building competition!
With family, friends, or neighbors, wait for a day with wet snow (the perfect kind for packing) and when temperatures are just above or just below freezing. Find a generously spacious area and begin building away. Try using decor to personalize your snow-made-friends such as red food coloring for rosy-red cheeks, or a top hat and a cane to make your quirky snow-characters come to life!
With the same space and snow, try setting up a snowball fight arena too. Using the perfect packing snow, create forts for you (or your team) and make as many snowballs as you can! Challenge your opponents to see how many targets you can hit while you try to knock their icy fortresses down.
Sledding and Tobogganing:
Another fun (and free) activity to try during the snowy days is sledding. Scout out a local area with hills that have a safe and clear path, and head out with some good company. With gear including warm winter essentials, sleds, and helmets, find a hill and enjoy sliding the day or evening away in the snow. Don’t forget to warm yourselves up afterwards!
Indoor Winter Activities
If viewing the beautiful snow is a sight you prefer from indoors, grab an apron and cooking mitts, and whip up some winter-themed treats such as sugar cookies or a classic-style mulled wine. Who said treats have to wait for Santa?
Iced Winter Sugar Cookies:
These snowy-looking, tasty treats will have your guests smiling at any winter event. All you will need is:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and blend together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
Grab a separate bowl and sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
By using 1 cupful at a time, blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture and pack into a ball (like a snowball!) With the dough “snowball”, use a rolling pin to roll the dough flat out into a 1/4 inch thickness on parchment paper.
Press on some winter themed dough cutters such as snowflakes, snowmen or stars and bake the shapes for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, design the cookie shapes with white icing to add to the icy-looking (yet warm!) treats.
Iced Winter Sugar Cookies recipe here (link opens in new window): https://aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/iced-winter-sugar-cookies/
Classic Mulled Wine:
Fill your home with the sweet aroma of this spicy and fruity festive drink perfect for wine lovers. All you will need is:
- 1 large orange
- 1 bottle of Merlot, Zinfandel or Garnacha
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries
Slice the orange in half, into rounds, and place the rounds into a medium-heavy-bottomed pot. Using the other half of the orange, squeeze the remaining orange juice into the pot. Pour the wine in, followed by the brandy, and 1 tablespoon of either maple syrup or honey to sweeten. Now add in the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves.
On medium heat, let the mixture steam for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pot and reduce heat as soon as any bubbles arrive on the surface. After 5 more minutes, add in the second tablespoon of either maple syrup or honey.
Give it a taste; if it is not sweet enough, add another tablespoon of sweetener. If it is not spicy enough, continue cooking over very low heat for up to 10 more minutes. The longer the mixture is on the stove, the spicier it will get.
Once boiled to your desire, serve the drink in festive-themed mugs, add in fresh cranberries to garnish and enjoy!
If any leftover mulled wine exists, simply pour through a strainer and let it refrigerate for a few days. When ready to enjoy again, rewarm it on low heat and have your classic mulled wine ready to sip on in minutes.
Classic Mulled Wine recipe here (link opens in new window): https://cookieandkate.com/classic-mulled-wine-recipe/
Winter Volunteering Opportunities
Don’t forget that this is the season of giving! If you are safely able, try researching local initiatives in your area where you can lend a helping hand. This may include serving hot plates at food banks, organizing a donation of warm clothing for a specific charity, or simply offering to shovel the snow for an elderly neighbor or someone in need.
Whatever suits your fancy this winter, we hope it is full of love, fun, and warmth.
Heat Holders® will be here to keep you snug all season long.