On Thursday night last week, as I was driving to work, I was greeted by a completely unsuspected visitor - snow!
(Our street in the snow...)
While the northern parts of our continent have been well-coated with snow for quite some time, snow in early January here in Georgia is unheard of - if we do have our annual, singular snowfall at all, it usually arrives in late January or early February, right before Spring sweeps in to rescue us from this mysterious white stuff. Even more strangely, this snow has stayed - our snow typically arrives in the evening, creates a picturesque nighttime winter scene, and then the following day temperatures return to around 45 or 50 degrees F, and the snow slips away quietly once more. This week, though, temperatures haven't made it above freezing at all - ever since Thursday, we've been experiencing a high of around 30 degrees F in the daytime, and painfully chilling temperatures in the single digits at night. Now, I went to college up north, where I drove a 4-wheel drive pickup truck that I would merrily - and perhaps a bit unwisely - drive through two feet of snow on a regular basis, so I fully recognize that so much uproar over a single, 1-inch dusting of snow might be considered a bit reactionary. Nonetheless, I've been back home in the South long enough to succumb to the viewpoint that the sight of a single snow flurry might portend the apocalypse - which, at the very least, adds a bit of drama to everyday life.
(Our house in the snow...)
Needless to say, we stayed in the entire weekend... Surprisingly, we didn't feel the least bit cramped, either - the simple pleasure of staying cozily at home, thankful for our warm house, was utterly delightful and relaxing.
(Ruby, our kitty who always wants to run outside but is never permitted to do so, was even allowed the rare treat of playing the snow... :-)
Of course, we stayed well occupied, too, with working out, studying, reading, and, naturally, cooking. On Saturday night we fancied a bit of dessert, as snowy weather just seems to sing out for baking, but we also wanted to keep things light and cleansing after the holidays, as everyone does as well, I know, so we decided upon a batch of whole wheat oatmeal cookies. Never did we imagine, though, that they would turn out quite so scrumptious - healthful enough for breakfast, yet tantalizing enough for dessert indeed...
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 2 cups rolled oats 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups raw turbinado sugar 1/2 cup light, nonhydrogenated vegan marg 1 T vanilla 2 egg whites 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. ~ In a medium bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. ~ Beat together the turbinado sugar and vegan marg until creamy. ~ Add the vanilla and egg whites to the turbinado sugar mixture, and beat again until well-combined. ~ Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. ~ Fold in the dark chocolate chips. ~ Using your hands, roll walnut-sized balls of dough and place them on the cookie sheets, wetting your hands frequently to keep the dough from sticking to them. ~ Bake for approx 14 minutes - until the cookies are set and just beginning to turn golden around the edges. ~ Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets - or serve them warm... :-)