Tired of being cooped up inside during these cold winter months? I know January and February can be down right depressing in northern Ohio. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can cure your cabin fever:
Try an Ice Wine – Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake, OH are makers of a fantastic Ice Wine. Sip its sweetness slowly and let it tingle on your tounge. Ice Wine is very sweet and can take the place of dessert. Share a bottle with the one you love. http://www.klingshirnwine.com/
Wear a New Pair of Shoes – The Lorain County Metroparks offers free classes in Snowshoing. Classes are held throughout January, February and March. The shoes are even provided! Visit http://www.metroparks.cc/ for more information.
Enjoy Soup for the Soul – Laurel Run Cooking School in Vermilion, OH offers several cooking classes throughout the winter months featuring easy to make soups and breads. View their class schedule at http://www.laurelruncookingschool.com/
See a Show – Winter is a great time to enjoy a live stage show; whether its a full blown stage production at Playhouse Square or a one-man show at your local community theater. Locally, Amherst features Workshop Players. This renowned theater troupe offers several different shows throughout the year. Visit http://www.workshopplayers.com/ for their performance schedule. Oberlin College also offers fantastic theater and music performances, sometimes with little or no charge. View their schedule of events at http://www.oberlin.edu/
While the holiday season is a very busy time of year, its sometimes nice to take a step back and enjoy a quick drive to see some local lighting displays. Here’s a quick list of some local displays that are FREE (or close to free):
Downtown Amherst: On Friday, December 3, Main Street Amherst lights up the front yard of Town Hall with lights. Enjoy a parade down Park Avenue along with caroling by members of the Amherst High School choir. Many of the businesses and restaurants stay open to welcome you. Starts at 6pm. www.mainstreetamherst.org
Christmas in the Village (Amherst Historical Society) – Enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Christmas past. At 4pm join visitors for carols in St. George’s Chapel. 2-5pm on Sunday, December 5. www.amhersthistoricalsociety.org
Light Up Lorain: Thousands of lights strung along Broadway. Enjoy a display timed to music in front of City Hall. Stop by 637 Broadway for pictures with Santa and a holiday craft. Visit www.downtownlorainchristmas.com for more information and hours.
Lakeview Beach (Lorain County Metroparks) – Drive thru this lighted display along Lake Erie. Free and open every night from November 28 till December 30. www.metroparks.cc
Carlisle Visitors Center (Lorain County Metroparks) – Walk the short loop trail at the Visitor’s Center and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Holiday Season! Light refreshments available for a small fee. Please bring one non-perishable food item for donation. Sunday – Thursday 6-9pm and Friday & Saturday 6-10pm. www.metroparks.cc
Have a wonderful, and bright, Holiday Season!
If you are like me, you probably have leftover canned pumpkin from your Thanksgiving feast after making pie, muffins or pumpkin roll. Try this delicious recipe for Sunday morning breakfast.
Crock Pot Pumpkin Oatmeal
2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
6 cups water
1 cup fat-free half and half
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
Additional Brown Sugar
Lightly spray 3 1/2-4 quart crock pot with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin. Gradually stir in the water and half and half. Add raisins and vanilla.
Ladle the mixture into the slow cooker. Cook, covered, for 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours on low. In the morning, top with extra brown sugar and walnuts.
I don’t know if I am just weird…but I’m not big on touching all the “guts” from inside a pumpkin. While carving is fun, I’d rather paint, glue, glitter, or even decoupage a design on a pumpkin. I know its a Halloween tradition so I started trying to motivate myself into grabbing the giant knife and digging in. And what better to motivate me than food? Inside that pumpkin are all sorts of tiny seeds just waiting to be eaten. Now I’ve tried roasting the seeds in the past and they’ve just been okay. So how can I make them better? I’ve searched the web and here are a few of what I have found to be the most interesting flavor combos. Let me know what you think!
Step 1 – Wash the seeds in a colander to remove the extra gunk. To make life easier, do this right after the seeds have been removed from the pumpkin.
Step 2 - Coat them in melted butter and mix them with your chosen flavor combination (listed below).
Step 3 – Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Step 4 – Bake for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes.
Step 5 (and possibly the hardest step) – Let cool before eating
Italian – Italian seasoning blend, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper
Simply Sweet – Cinnamon, white sugar, brown sugar and dash of salt
Pumpkin Pie – Cinnamon, ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg
Honey Mustard – For every cup of pumpkin seeds, mix with 2 tsp honey and 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
Asian Influence – For every cup of pumpkin seeds, mix 2 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp orange extract and 1/2 tsp soy sauce
South of the Border – For every cup of seeds, mix 1 tablespoon taco seasoning and 1/4 tsp garlic salt
Spicy Seeds – For 3 cups of seeds, mix 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
Fall is here which means there are apples, apples and more apples! I love this time of year – cool breezes, crisp morning air, and beautiful leaves. And did I mention that I like apples?
Locally, there are several apple orchards and fruit stands that give you the freshest and tastiest apples around:
- Miller’s Apple Hill – 8690 Vermilion Rd, Amherst – Pick your own plus great bulk foods and Pumpkinland
- Grobe Fruit Farm – 43875 SR 113, Elyria
- Hillcrest Orchards – 50336 SR 113, Amherst – Wagon rides in the spring show blossoming trees; pick your own apples and pumpkins in the fall
- Spiegelberg Farms – 6060 Middle Ridge Rd, Amherst – Fantastic apple cider is available year round
You can spend an hour or a whole day out in the countryside. You choose. It is a great time of year! Enjoy every bite.