Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny Weekends...

Sunshine does a lot for the mood and this weekend was full of it. As much as I adore snow, there are times when it's nice to see the sun. I think there's definitely something to that Seasonal Affective Disorder in which depression sets in during the winter months. Spending some time outdoors in the sunshine does wonders for the mood.

It was a little too cold to spend too much time outside but Rory, Sookie and I had a lovely time taking walks around the neighbourhood. We took two each day: One in the morning, one in the evening. I think the pups were pleased to get out. It was a little hard going at times. Even though the sun was slowly melting the snow and ice, there were patches that were a little hard for two little dachshunds and one unsteady human to maneuver. It's not really even snow anymore- it's just snow coloured ice, much like the stuff you see on snowcones.

Yet each time we walked, there was less ice and snow. The grass, flattened and soggy, is starting to show again. The pups seem to appreciate being able to walk on the grass, wet as it is, rather than have to trundle through the snow. I can't blame them- it has to be cold on the feet.

It's been a nice weekend overall. It's the first one I've had at home in quite a few weeks which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. I love going to my parents' because I love seeing them but there's something to be said to having time in your own home to do what you want.

In my case, I took advantage of the time to cook. I now have a fancy KitchenAid stand mixer with pasta roller so today, I spent the day making ravioli. It was relaxing and fun, especially when I put my iPod on my iHome speaker set and had fun dancing while I kneaded pasta dough, made filling and, finally, put it all together in the form of cheese ravioli and butternut squash ravioli.

I even made the ricotta myself. I've seen them do it a few times on the Food Network and Mario Batali kindly provides a recipe for it in one of his cookbooks. It was ridiculously easy and twice as tasty as the stuff you buy at the store. Tonight, for dinner, I'm going to have homemade ravioli with homemade ricotta filling topped with homemade marinara sauce. It's a nice feeling to know that I've accomplished something, even if it is only making food. To me, cooking and making things in the kitchen is relaxing. The only time it's not is when it involves baking becaue I don't find that particularly relaxing. It's ok when I have time but it doesn't help that my oven isn't the best and so baking isn't as easy as I'd like. I do like to bake at my parents' house because they have a nice oven. Also, my dad likes kitchen tools and gadgets and they have almost anything you could need for a good baking experience.

I'm trying to get my kitchen like that. I'm getting there. Yesterday, I bought a fish spatula from Williams Sonoma. My good friend Saz was kind enough to give me a gift card for my birthday so I took advantage of it yesterday. I'm very excited about my spatula. I think I mentioned in my blog a while ago that I thought I might use my gift card for this and it turned out, I did.

I don't know why things like fish spatulas make me happy. It's the same content feeling as having a day where all I have planned is to make ravioli, walk puppies and relax. I think maybe that's one of the reasons I've been feeling blue: I haven't had time to just relax at home for an entire weekend.

Now the weekend is drawing to a close. The sun has set and it's dark outside. I don't know what the weather is supposed to be like this week. I did hear a rumour that more snow is on the way. I don't mind. I never mind snow. It's just nice to separate bouts of it with a little sunshine.

Sometimes, we just need a little sunshine in your life. It chases the Pootle clouds and the January blues away.

Happy Monday!

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