First Snow & Mulled Wine



This past week it snowed for the first time this winter. I have to admit that I wasn't super stoked about it, because it makes driving so much more stressful. What totally made up for that though was the fact that it was Charlotte's first time seeing snow!

Obviously this will be much more exciting in future years when she can actually play in it. I'm already taking notes of the best sledding hills in the area!



It's so interesting to watch Charlotte observe the world around her. You can really see the wheels turning as she takes everything in, and that was definitely the case with snow! She especially seemed to enjoy the contrast of the white snow on the dark green trees.


Snowy and cold weather also calls for warming drinks! I'm partial to hot cocoa myself (especially with a dash of Baileys!), but my husband Jordan enjoys hot mulled wine.


Every year my parents host a fun party where they serve mulled wine, and I've shared the recipe below. We originally got the recipe after hearing about it on NPR, and NPR got their recipe via the Norwegian Embassy (which I think is hilarious). Beware that this is a pretty strong drink - it will warm you up in no time!


Ingredients: 

Vodka
Burgundy or pinot noir wine (don't use an expensive bottle!)
Port wine
Raisins
Cinnamon sticks
Cloves
Cardamom seeds
One orange
One piece of ginger

Directions: 

Soak 1/2 cup of raisins in one cup of vodka. Soak for at least 30 minutes, but we usually soak overnight.

Put a large pot on the stove, over high heat. Add one cup of water and 1/2 cup sugar to the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Lower the heat to medium and add your spices - two sticks of cinnamon (each broken in half); four whole cloves; six whole cardamom seeds, crushed by hand; a thinly shaved orange peel; and one small piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half. Stir again with wooden spoon. Do not allow the mix to come to a boil from this point on (otherwise you'll burn off the alcohol).







Add the vodka-raisin mixture, two cups of burgundy or pinot noir wine and two cups of port wine.

Sweeten and spice to taste.

Serve hot off the stove, or you can also keep warm in a crock pot on low heat!
Kirsten Bell
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