Do you ever feel like your mind is a few steps ahead of your body? Sometimes, I get stuck thinking about the future me and not the one who is here right now, experiencing every moment. Ever since we got back from Vermont, I can feel the pace of the city more so than ever. Now that everyone has come back to work, projects are ramping up and it’s as though everything is a frenzy, though the cold has a way of slowing us all down. The hard winter is starting to hit New England, where the roads have all turned white from salt.
The thing I love most about winter…BOOKS! I am getting into that winter hibernation where all I want to at night is curl down with a blanket and read a book. I am waiting for a new fiction book to come in the mail, but I picked up a book to *hopefully* help me not be so socially awkward. Whenever somebody asks me about my blog at work, I get nervous and want to hide under my desk OR when I meet new people for the first time, I often don’t know what to say. Once you know me, I guess I’m a chatterbox, but before that I often find myself grasping for straws in conversations. Sometimes, all I can hear in my head during dinner parties is – I COOKED THE FOOD NOW WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?! CONVERSATION?!
All jokes aside, I need some help in the sociability department. I picked up this book “How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships” – and it’s totally awesome! Introverts out there – this is your salvation. It answers those nagging questions, like am I smiling too big? What do I say about my job? How do I avoid talking about the weather for the next twenty minutes? Overall, the book is helping me remember – we are all humans, right?
The book has fun sayings so you will remember the tips, like ‘Never the Naked Thank You’, which is pretty self-explanatory. When you want to say thanks, be specific! I used this a BUNCH this week and it was actually pretty fun. When I wanted to say thank you, I had to find a specific aspect of what somebody did to be thankful for + let’s just say it made me savor more moments from the week. From my coworkers presence + laughter to talking to my family on the phone. I find myself reciting some of the tips in my head on the way to work or in the middle of conversation. It’s nice to remember that I have the tools do things like this – to learn + change + grow any day that I put my energy into it.
Swedish Coffee Bread
I know it’s winter because all I want is BREAD! After muffins last weekend, I decided I wanted something flaky, light, and buttery as a sweet treat this morning. It’s hard as a vegan to make flaky + buttery breakfast treats, despite all the delicious vegetarian pastries out there. To be honest, I’ve never had Swedish Coffee bread before today. I guess I have picked up a danish here and there, but this is totally delicious. This bread is light, buttery, and full packed with flavor. I thought about using apple sauce as the egg binder, but I couldn’t let go of flax as my substitute eggs, I was going for success over experimentation today. I made two loaves, but I halved the recipe below. I aimed for simplicity and tradition with the first loaf, dividing the dough into thirds, braiding them into a circle, and brushing with butter. This loaf is the perfect balance of sweet + salty that I look for in sweet breads. It’s perfect with soup or with jams. With the remaining dough, I whipped together brown sugar, apples, almonds, and butter to make a rich filling + topped off with some leftover frosting I had in the fridge. Both recipes are perfect for that winter need to warm up with a cup of tea or coffee. You can find this recipe, as well as other amazing vegan recipes, over at Chickpea Magazine!