I’m in the middle of making some decisions about my own level of screen time and every single time I get to this point, social media goes and does something great. A few weeks ago, I posted a simple question: “How many of you grew up eating oatmeal with salt and butter like I did?” I received 80+ comments highlighting the many different ways we all eat oatmeal. I spent a lot of time thinking about this (probably more time than I should admit). How can the world be filled with so many different oatmeal variations (especially considering all I’ve ever known is butter and salt)? Guess it explains a whole heck of a lot about this big, wide world. I ended up trying a few of the suggestions and decided to mix up my oatmeal strategy and added in some almond milk, cinnamon, bananas, peanut butter, blueberries, and more. There are days I only want the butter and salt, but I’m thankful for the new variations as well. Well done, social media.

I decided to try another question this week: “What’s your favorite holiday treat?” I received plenty of links to recipes, photos of recipe cards, and I found some new ones to try on my favorite blogs. After a busy year, it was nice to stand in the kitchen and bake. As I made some of the recipes recommended by others, I also thought about them! See? Social media has done it again. Now, I just need to figure out how to find some balance (with everything, right?)! Until that happens, here are a few recipes to inspire your holidays!

Alexandra’s Kitchen’s Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

I fell in love with this website during quarantine and since I had to quarantine myself this week (don’t ask), I decided to revisit why I fell in love with this website in the first place. Look no further than these Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread. Bonus: I dusted off the cute cover I ordered from her website (see here) way back in 2020 and used it again. If you want the satisfaction of feeling like you are making bread from scratch successfully without the hassle of actually making bread (ha), this is your recipe. I accidentally snacked on a few before I took a photo of the finished product. Ooooops.

Alexandra’s Kitchen’s Better Than Classic Pound Cake (One Bowl, Hand Mixed)

Yep, you heard that one right. One bowl? Pound cake? Mini loaves? Why not? That’s the blurb and all there really is to say about this situation. I probably should have left them in 10 minutes longer, but who doesn’t love a gooey middle? Here’s the recipe!

Robyn Hyden’s Contribution: Betty Crocker’s Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

My friend, Robyn, commented on my thread that it isn’t Christmas unless her mom makes these Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t trust Robyn on many things (including policies to make our state better) so I’m sure not going to question her recipes. I’m glad I didn’t because these were fun to make and absolutely delicious. Thanks, Robyn! Adding this recipe to our list and will think of you every time we make them!

Carol’s Contribution: Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

Another friend, Carol, posted a link to these Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies! Carol also works on policies to make our state better. She has been a pioneer for all things food access and has been an inspiration for so much of the work so many of us do around food equity! I thought about all of her work as I made these cookies and am so glad I decided to make them. They are perfectly sweet and savory and the orange zest is everything. Super festive and fun and easy. Thanks, Carol!

Pillsbury Chocolate Cake Mix with OREO Cookie Pieces

Shout out to Pillsbury for this inspiration! The branding called to me from the shopping aisles and it went in the cart. Mae picked cupcakes and they didn’t let us down!

Simple, Classic Shortbread + A Ted Lasso Biscuit Box for Gifting

I’m going to be honest, this recipe was just me wishing Ted Lasso was back. What can I say? I was browsing away on Alexandra Cook’s blog and I saw the little boxes and it was a done deal. That’s the blurb. And I mean how can you go wrong with shortbread? Here’s the recipe.

Chickpea Magazine’s Everything Granola Bars

Alright stay with me, okay? If you’ve talked to me over the last few weeks or months, you know I’m in a weird Nordic phase. First, I found Cecilia Blomdahl’s youtube channel (linked here) and I can’t stop watching. I also randomly found ANOTHER youtube channel (or maybe it wasn’t so random, right algorithm gods?) featuring Malin Nilsson, a vegan blogger in Sweden (linked here). Next thing you know, I’m searching airbnb’s and plane tickets and Christmas markets and polar nights and confusing everyone close to me. Anyway, hopefully you are still following all of this. Malin mentioned Chickpea Magazine and I downloaded a free issue and the magazine major in me (yes, I was a magazine major before the internet blew up that dream hence my love/hate relationship with the screen) found a JOY I haven’t had in quite some time. It’s the magazine of my dreams (even if in virtual form). The Everything Granola Bar recipe turned out great and I’m excited to try more. Here’s the link to their website and I’m asking Santa for a subscription: https://chickpeamagazine.com/

In Summary…

So, I guess I’ve got some more thinking to do when it comes to screen time. As you can see in this post, the screen had a positive impact on me this week. I connected with others, searched for some new adventures, found the inner nordic in me, discovered things I never knew I liked, and this magazine major is sitting here in front of this screen sharing it with all of you. Ah, I guess that’s how it goes. Wishing all of you peace and love wherever you are. P.S. If you have an airbnb in Sweden or Svalsbard, I’ll be right here waiting. xo