Thursday, September 15, 2011

Winter wonderland

This was my first winter since moving to Melbourne and I had to adjust to the cold weather. Living in Southern California all my life the most clothing I ever had to wear was jeans and light jacket, so this was tough for me.  I've finally revamped my wardrobe and have a bunch of knitted sweaters and wool jackets. Fortunately I was visiting the USA in June(summer there)  and I got some killer deals on winter clothes to wear here. Getting used to winter without christmas and all the fun holidays was hard too. But its finally spring and the sun is making an appearance, so I decided to put together a list of things that I did to stay warm during winter! 

#1 Bikram yoga

The room is heated to 105F/40C and the class is 90 mins, so it really warms up your core. By the time you are done you are drenched in sweat but you feel amazing, especially walking out into the crisp outside air. I attended Bikram Yoga Melbourne, brought my boyfriend along and he loved it. The casual class is beginner friendly and they offer Yoga mats for $1 if you don't have one. Because everyone is sweaty the class room gets kinda stinky but you get used to it. Drink plenty of water before and after!

#2 Make homemade soup

Soup is so easy to make and healthy. If you make a big pot of it you can even freeze the left overs and have it later! I made a homemade veggie broth first then used this Food Network's Alton Brown recipe. I like lots of veggies so I added onion, celery and peas to my version. 
Homemade stock is easy just put any veggies in a big pot of water with a little oil and salt to taste, bring to a boil then simmer until the veggies are soft(about an hour) and the water has color. I used potato peels, carrots, celery tops, and a half an onion. Try and use the scraps from the chopped veggies for the soup, to make your broth.

#3 GO ice skating

Put on a cute sweater, some gloves and get your butt on that Ice. I went to Medibank Icehouse and it was a great time. They also give you a 20% off your next visit when you purchase your tickets.

#4 Eat Szechuan

Szechwan (or Sichuan) Cuisine is from southwestern China, and uses lots of chillies and Szechwan peppercorns. They are cracked open and when you eat a dish that is cooked with them your mouth tingles. When mixed with the chillies is any dish is bound to warm you up!! I love spicy food so this was right up my alley. I recommend ordering some sort of coconut milk drink with your food! My favorite is Dainty Sichuan and we ordered the "mouth watering chicken" which is loaded with chillies!

#5 Make S'mores!

Fire Roast a marsh mellow(around a camp fire is best) on a metal stick until a little burnt, pull off and put on a cookie or graham cracker, add a piece of chocolate and top with another graham cracker. Yummo!
I showed my Australian family this little treat and they thought I was nuts at first, but they loved it! We did it right in the living room next to the fire place.

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