Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Love

There’s a lot to love about the holidays. Now that I’m officially done with finals, I have time to...go to work? Well, for the rest of this week anyway. Penn State is officially open until Friday, but I do get next week off. They make sure we stay away by making all the offices freezing cold. They say it’s to conserve energy, but I think the real reason is so they won’t have to pay us for those extra hours.

Anyway, it’s the time for family get-togethers, movies, shopping, giving, relaxing...most of which I plan to do with my week of freedom. But there’s something else I love about the holidays: the food!

There’s something about Christmastime (well, really, any time between Halloween and New Year’s) that makes people give you food. And the cool part is that it’s usually food we don’t have around the house, like these little monsters that my mom brought home from work last week:

An entire plate of homemade cinnamon rolls!

I put whipped cream and caramel on mine after sticking it in the toaster for a bit. Unfortunately the toaster isn’t very effective for cinnamon rolls, so I learned what happens when you microwave whipped cream. And it was absolutely delicious! Despite my gravitation toward cinnamon roll-flavored protein bars, I haven’t had a real cinnamon roll in years.

And then there’s the seasonal items that appear on grocery store shelves. Reese’s Christmas Trees, Russell Stover Red Velvet Santas, Christmas Cap’n Crunch, rows upon rows of specialty chocolates, it’s a candy lover’s paradise. But who cares about all that? I want the Peeps!

It’s really a shame that Peeps aren’t available year round, because I use them in my peanut butter sandwiches. Sure, you can use marshmallows, but there’s something about the shape of the Peeps and the grit from the sugar (and probably the extra sweet kick, too) that just takes the sandwich to a whole new level. And even if you stock up after the holidays when they go on sale...eventually they run out.

Having missed most of the post-Halloween sale (a thousand other people have the same idea, of course, although I do have a few precious pumpkins left), I knew I just couldn’t wait until after Christmas when I saw Peeps at Weis. Not only that...they had gingerbread Peeps!! Now peanut butter and gingerbread Peeps just sounded amazing. So I bought two packages (and some cute chocolate mousse reindeer, too).

I got out the Jif, slathered a Flatout flatbread, stuck my Peeps on, and wrapped them up in oily, peanutty goodness (plus all the whole grains and protein from the flatbread, of course).

It was the best PB & Peeps sandwich I’ve ever had. The gingerbread was a nice change from the usual pure-sugar combination, though subtle enough not to be overpowering. really got me into the season. What’s not to love?
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