As I was out and about this last weekend
enjoying enduring the holiday shopping madness, I couldn’t help but notice the variety of winter sleepwear available to women.
The reason I couldn’t help noticing is that Husband has an uncanny knack for parking by entrances leading straight into lingerie departments. It’s like some sort of weird psychic ability of his to know precisely where each store locates their underwear. I guess you could say it’s his superpower.
An amazing, yet completely unhelpful, superpower.
Anyway, I noticed that each article of sleepwear — regardless of its color or size — gave a very clear message. Or at least I thought the message was clear.
Don’t believe me? Here … let me show you:
This one on the left? This is worn by a woman who has embraced motherhood with her whole being. Mind, body and soul. Her kids are her life. As is Hello Kitty.
Her husband is the guy on the sofa with the remote control, wearing sweatpants and an oversize t-shirt. He was the sperm donor. His role is done, and he seems totally fine with that.
This little number on the right? She is channeling her inner Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Better not be planning on giving her a blender for Christmas. It will end badly. You will be in pain. For days.
Shall we continue?
This woman has her future planned out, and it involves cats.
You got a problem with that?
This woman is not planning on having sex tonight.
This woman is not planning on having sex EVER.
You know full well what this woman is planning. She’s certainly NOT planning on sleeping in this thing. The lace is itchy, the underwire is poking her most unpleasantly. I’ll be surprised if she keeps it on long enough to reach the end of this sen … and it’s on the floor.
This young woman is still in college, or if not, she likes to believe she’s still in college. Those were good days, her college days. The best
four five six+ years of her life. And she’s got the debt to prove it. So what if she can’t afford new pajamas? At least she has her memories.
The message could not be more clear: “Would it bankrupt us to raise the thermostat two freakin’ degrees?!”
If this is your mother, it’s best you support her peculiarities. There’s no fighting it. If this is your wife, chances are you are a furry too. I’m not here to judge you, man. That’s not what this blog is about.
Okay, maybe this one isn’t chic, but dang it, I’m having serious PJ-envy right now. Hell, I want everything in this picture, including the dog in the little Santa suit. I bet that’s premium hot chocolate in her mug, too.
Do you suppose there’s a fireplace on the other side of the room? I bet there is. Let’s say there is. Let’s go there now. You bring the marshmallows. I’ll bring soup and cookies.
Comfy & Cozy Beef Stew
This beef stew has cozy written all over it. What’s more, it’s even better the next day. Be sure to serve with with a thick hunk of crusty bread. Mmmm.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups mixed vegetables, your choice (peas, carrots, green beans, whatever you like. This is a good use for leftovers.)
- 2 cups chopped potatoes (can also be leftovers)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, quarter the tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth (can be canned or homemade)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In a large soup pot, heat oil over high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add onion and cook another five minutes, until beef is brown and onion is soft.
Stir in remaining ingredients, add water if necessary to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook about an hour, or until beef and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving.
This stew can also be made in a crockpot — just dump in all ingredients and cook on low for 6 hours.
Shortbread Cookies Dipped in Chocolate
I wish the picture did these buttery gems more justice, but alas, a photographer I’m not. You’ll just have to trust me. Make these and you’re in for a treat.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate works too)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or shortening
Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl. Gradually add the flour until the mixture forms a thick dough. (It will seem very crumbly at first, but keep at it. Eventually it comes together.)
At this point, I roll the dough into a log* and cover in plastic, then I refrigerate it for at least two hours, although overnight is better. If you’d rather, you can leave the dough in a ball to roll out later and cut in shapes — your call — but it’s important to chill it first, as that is what brings out the butter flavor.
After dough has chilled, either cut the log in 1/2-inch slices, or roll out ball to 1/2-inch and cut into shapes. Geometric shapes are traditional for shortbread, but no one will arrest you if you make snowmen and angels.
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and cook in 300 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re a pale, golden-brown color.
If you don’t want to dip the cookies in chocolate: as soon as you take the shortbread out of the oven, prick the cookies with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with caster sugar (Yes, you can use normal sugar if you don’t have caster sugar.)
For chocolate dipped cookies: melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst, until completely melted. Dip shortbread in chocolate, covering just part of the cookie, and lay on waxed paper to set.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
*Did I say one log? Make that two logs. I always underestimate the size of the finished cookies, and this time was no exception. You want them to be no more than 2 inches, as they are rich. Really rich.
Perfect served with tea or premium hot chocolate.