snow day

Beat The Winter Blues

The picture above is the view from my living room window this morning. Oh the joys of living in Michigan!

Now that the holidays have passed the general mindset is to hunker down for a bit and wait for spring. The cold and dreary days of winter are no reason to just sit on your couch and brood. It’s the perfect time to throw a party!

The Invitation:
This party is the epitome of laid-back. A simple phone call or online invitation is acceptable and appropriate. Also consider having guests bring a game or at least an idea for an activity.

The Music
To offset the doom and gloom of cloudy days and sometimes chilly temps, keep the music upbeat and lively. On line music stations like Pandora, that allow you to choose several genres is perfect for this type of party.

The Games:
If you, or your guests have Wii or Xbox Kinect, the fun meter at your party will skyrocket! These interactive games are not only fun, but can also help you burn off any excess calories you may consume.

The Food:
One of the most memorable parts of any party is the food, and comfort food rules during winter. Here are a few suggestions:

Chili and Cornbread/Crackers
Macaroni and Cheese
Mini Meatloaves
Hot Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Pie (recipe below)

This is one of those dishes that is hard to resist when you see it sitting out. It invites you keep taking a little sliver here and there. It is also a good go-to or party recipe. Extra seasonings aren’t needed because of the saltiness of the cheese.

Tyson Chicken Spinach Pie two

Hot Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Pie
1 (22 oz) bag Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips
1 (8 ounce) pkg 1/3 less cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
½ cup onions, finely chopped
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
¼ cup shredded Colby jack cheese
2 frozen ready made pie crusts, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, Colby jack cheese, and mayonnaise. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach. Divide mixture and chicken strips between both pie crusts. Top with grated parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven 40-45 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Even though this dish has a crust, the inside would be good to scoop up with pita or tortilla chips, and sprinkled with lots of hot sauce.

Drinks:
White Hot Chocolate
3 cups half-and-half or Silk Coconut Milk
¾ cup white chocolate, or white chocolate powdered mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate mint sticks, or chocolate coated stirring spoons
Coconut Rum (optional)

For an adult beverage, the optional coconut rum adds another warming element. On another note, as delightful as this drink is, it is high in calories. To reduce fat and calories, substitute low fat milk, or fat free evaporated milk.

In a medium saucepan over low heat combine ½ of the milk products, white chocolate or white chocolate powdered mix until white chocolate is melted. Add remaining milk product and turn heat to low. Then whisk until heated through. Remove from heat and add in vanilla. Let cool slightly and then add chocolate sticks or chocolate stirring spoons if desired. If using coconut rum add in one shot glass full. Makes 5 (6-ounce) servings.

What better way to combat the dreariness of winter than to throw a party. Invite your friends and family to an impromptu gathering that’s guaranteed to lift your mood.

14 thoughts on “Beat The Winter Blues

  1. Liz

    I want to come to this party! Hasn’t this weather been horrible???? Your Hot Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Pie is the perfect way to warm up from the inside out 🙂

    Reply
  2. Alycia Nichols

    PERFECT time to throw a party…unless you have to go dig all of your guests out of the snow!!! Wow! You guys really got hit hard!

    I’m down with the comfort foods! I have to learn to make them with reduced cholesterol and carbs now, though. That’s going to be a challenge. I love food, so why am I afflicted?!??!! 🙁

    Stay safe out there in that powder!

    Reply
    1. Sandra Post author

      We got hit hard with the snow and these ridiculous freezing temps! The Mr and I both have to watch our cholesterol but you’d never tell it with the things that come out of my kitchen!!

      Reply
  3. Ramona

    You’re right! I think I need a party to get over my winter blues for sure. It’s so sad after all the excitement of the holidays to just go back to boring, cold winter days. I can’t wait for spring… and after seeing all the snow you have… I hope you get an early spring too. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Tiffany

    I started to get heart palpitations when I saw all of that snow! But you’ve got the right idea chica! mac & cheeeeeeese!!!!!!!! HUGS and happy new year! 😀

    Reply
    1. Sandra Post author

      I am so looking forward to being able to go outside and walk off some of this comfort food. At this rate I will be walking for a loooong time, ha!!!!

      Reply
  5. sonia

    Hi Sandra, The snow is looking beautiful though i know its tough to be in it for long… ! It’s wonderful to see your each and every post. Hope to see more of your creative endeavors soon! Wish you and your family a very Happy and Blessed New Year!!!
    Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

    Reply
    1. Sandra Post author

      Thank you so much Sonia for your very kind words. I totally agree that looking out at the snow, it’s pretty. Driving in it, not so much. I think we’ve been through at least 300 lbs of rock salt already and we have a long way to go. Hope you come back and visit again. Be Blessed!

      Reply
  6. Anne@FromMySweetHeart

    What a perfect reason to have a party, Sandra! Everyone wants to get out of the winter doldrums. I can think of no better way than sharing good food with good friends! That artichoke and spinach pie looks pretty amazing. And I would love to wash it down with white hot chocolate…spiked, of course! : )

    Reply

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