Last night this was what I saw happening on my deck;
and likewise from the front (every one's Christmas lights sure looked extra pretty).
This morning it was still there, it was 30 degrees and and our street was slick.
So I was a bit on the tentative side when I slipped behind the wheel and headed to downtown Seattle for the Jingle Bell Run. The driving really was not all that bad once I hit the main streets and everyone seemed to be taking the weather into account and were driving about 10 mph slower. It is really hard to know how to dress for a run in this weather. I layered 2 long sleeved tops and my thickest sports tank with built in support, my usual spandex/polyester running pants and my thick Thorlo socks, a pair of lined mittens, and a stocking cap. I had bells and a big flocked ribbon on my back same as last year. It worked, I stayed plenty warm and I am glad I went; the crowd was festive and everyone was hopping up and down to keep warm. It was a decent enough run but I don't think I did better than last year. I really slowed down for ice just before I entered the express lanes. The cold air literally assaulted my nasal passages and my lungs, it was an unexpected and rather painful feeling. I don't think my lungs warmed up until after the long hot bath I took when I got home. I think my time was about 25.30 The Jingle Bell Run might have to sustain me through the week as it does not look it is going to thaw very soon.
Weather like this is great for oven cooked meals. Here is the stuffed squash I made for our supper:
I didn't use a recipe. I liked it well enough to repeat sometime so I will list the ingredients in the stuffing here:
Halve and seed the squash. Give it head start by cooking it for 12-15 minutes in the microwave.
3 Mild Italian Chicken sausages squeezed from their casings and sauteed in 1 tblsp. of oil with:
1 yellow pepper
1/8 of an onion
1 stalk of celery
1 small chopped tomato (last one from our plants)
3 chopped basil leaves (from the plant in my garden window)
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of crushed red chilis
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Meanwhile a cook a cup of rice; I used a combination of black and jasmine.
Once the rice is done and the sausage and vegetable mixture is cooked, take them off the heat, add 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Take squash out of microwave oven and stuff each half with the sausage and rice mixture. Bake in a 350 oven for 20 to 30 minutes more. Garnish with a chunk of Parmesan and basil leaf. Serve in a bowl. It is scrumptious and sticks to the ribs like winter food should!