Five recipes to cure your post-holiday blues

Jan. 2, 2022, 9:22 p.m.

As students return to campus for winter quarter, some may have a case of the post-holiday blues. Unsurprisingly, this widespread bout of angst is common and relatable. After all, as the holiday season drifts away and we return to our everyday lives, we lose some of the excitement and energy delivered by the holidays. 

There is no longer the time to enjoy slowly-cooked home meals with families united, to feel the warmth in front of a burning oven or to watch drizzling cinnamon rolls rise through a small glass square. But there are still a few ways to haul yourself through the bleakness of January, one of which is through food. 

So, here is a list of quick holiday-esque recipes to keep the spirits high, bellies full and microwaves turning. 

Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn 

Ingredients: 

  1. One bag of popcorn (microwaveable preferred) 
  2. Chocolate chips 

Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 15-second intervals until the chocolate chips are fully melted and smooth. 

Pour the popped bag of popcorn on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Drizzle the chocolate on top, and then allow the popcorn to cool.  

The addition of colorful sprinkles can expand the enjoyment of consumption.  

Apple Pie Oatmeal 

Ingredients: 

  1. Half a cup of old fashioned rolled oats 
  2. One teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
  3. A pinch of salt 
  4. Two teaspoons of pure maple syrup (substitute option: honey) 
  5. Three-fourths cup of water 
  6. Half an apple, diced 

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Microwave on high for one-and-a-half minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds if desired. 

Topping the oatmeal with milk or walnuts can easily upgrade this simple recipe. 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread with Crackers 

Ingredients: 

  1. Crackers 
  2. Eight ounces of cream cheese 
  3. Half a cup of dried cranberries 
  4. Half a cup of dried apricots 
  5. Optional: One teaspoon of orange zest 

In a large bowl, rapidly whisk the cream cheese, dried fruit and orange zest together. Refrigerate until served. 

Spooning this cheerful, hearty spread on crackers is recommended. It serves as a great addition to turkey sandwiches and will help curb your hunger longer. 

Peppermint Hot Chocolate 

Ingredients: 

  1. One packet of Swiss Miss Peppermint hot chocolate powder 
  2. Eight ounces of water 

The difference between stove-top hot chocolate and Swiss Miss is astronomical, in my opinion. Though both satisfy the craving equally, Swiss Miss happens to be more efficient. 

A mug and spoon are all one needs to achieve this recipe. Microwave the water on high for one minute — or until desired temperature of warmth — and stir in the packet of Swiss Miss. Proceed with caution when handling hot objects. 

Charcuterie Board 

Ingredients: 

  1. One or two types of cheese 
  2. One or two types of meat 
  3. Sliced bread, crackers or pretzels 
  4. Optional: Assorted olives, nuts, grapes, etc. 

If your budget is limited, try sticking with the basics: cheddar cheese, deli ham and Wonder bread. 

A simple plate, cutting board or napkin are needed. Just keep in mind: if the items are strategically placed and aesthetically pleasing, others might partake! 

Anna Boyle is a high school student participating in the Daily Winter Journalism Workshop.

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