With frost nipping our noses on the early morning walks to the library, we know that winter is coming, and worse that midterms are looming over us like the cumulonimbus draped over campus.
This post will be split into 2 sections: Food (obviously) and keeping warm.
A and I recently discovered how to make a butter beer latte- don’t go nuts now, there’s no actual beer in it, and it won’t melt away the midterm stress. It will, however, fill your stomach with rainbows and happiness, and help you gain that much needed body fat to fend off the winter chills.
Butter Beer Latte
You will need:
- a heavy, non-stick sauce pan or pot (anything with a bit of depth)
- high-tech stirring device, like a wooden spoon, or spatula, or fork
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs butter
- use the real stuff, fake butter burns, and tastes funny
- 2- 3 cups milk
- a little less if you like it sweet, a little more if you don’t
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- cinnamon and nutmeg (optional, but highly recommended)
Put your cookware on medium-high heat.
First, melt the butter and sugar together to make a thick caramel. Keep it moving in the bottom of the pan, or it may start to burn in the hot spots. It’s done when it reaches the consistence of molasses.
Then, add all the other ingredients in at once. Vigorously stir.
Finally, bring your concoction to a rapid simmer. More stirring.
Remove from heat. Ladle or pour into mug.
I would recommend some garnish, like a massive dollop of whipped cream, or, if you’ve had a long day with your books, a jigger of Bailey’s Irish Cream, or both. Good company always does the trick. Not necessary, but nice.
Now, if a hot and creamy beverage isn’t enough to chase away your midterm woes, peanut butter will.
Lazy PB Cookies
Makes about 30 small cookies.
- 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, no difference)
- 1 cup sugar (White or brown. Brown makes for a softer cookie. White reduces fatalities due to breakage)
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- although, I’ve left this out before, and it barely makes a difference.
- Baking sheet (parchment paper or greased) and functioning oven
Preheat oven to 325F/165C.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. At this point, if you’re finding your dough to be way too malleable, throw it in the freezer for about half an hour before working with it.
Spoon evenly sized balls onto baking sheet.
Bake for 6-10 mins, or until edges are golden. Remove from oven.
Near immediate consumption is highly recommended, but you can transfer them onto a wire rack for complete cooling.
Store in airtight container, or freeze.
Baking is the perfect way to efficiently warm up your house. You end up with baked goodness, and warm toes. Which brings me to my second point: keeping warm, more specifically, keeping warm without upping your bills.
After you’ve turned off your oven, there’s lots of residual heat in it, waiting to be used.
Few safety pointers when using left over oven heat:
1) If you want to do this, keep your oven (inside and out) CLEAN. Fires are not cool.
2) Have a fire suppressant (extinguisher) near by, or on hand- this is more a general oven using tip.
3) Use your logic. Really. I’m not liable for your safety, these are just things that I do around the house and am sharing so you can reap the benefits of the student life.
Now that I’ve schpieled my little disclaimer, here are some things you can do to keep yourself warm without kicking up the energy bills.
- Fold thin blanket into a small rectangle. Place it on a baking tray in the warm oven for 5 mins. Remove and use.
- This also works for socks and sweaters- just nothing with metal fixings or zippers.
- Pull up a chair. Open oven door and allow heat to dissipate into kitchen. Bask in residual cookie smell.
- Invest in a hot water bottle
- Drink beverages
- Teas, coffee and soup are great, but if you’re calorie conscious or cutting back on the caffeine, lemon and honey is top notch.
- Form a study group
- Increased crowding = increased heat. It works.
- Layer up
- Scarves, pashmina, afghans: have no shame. Haters be cold.
Bidding you the best in my many cozy sweaters- that’s a wrap!