And the Winner Is . . .

. . . me! Remember the Ginger People holiday cookie contest giveaway hosted by the Leftover Queen? A winner has been selected -- and it's me! So I will soon be enjoying some yummy crystallized ginger winnings. Thank you, Jenn, for hosting this! Not a bad way to start the new year, eh?

I've been fairly lucky in blog-hosted giveaways lately. In November, I had the good fortune of winning Amy Sedaris' book on hospitality, I Like You. It's full of sarcasm, intriguing recipes, and vintage-styled photography. It's a little outside my realm of cooking comfort, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Besides, who am I to say no to a free cookbook? Not likely, I tell you!

In other news, I seem to have finally gotten over the stomach bug that hit just before Christmas. In celebration, I've been taking our dogs, Cody (the big white lug of a Lab/Akita/miscellaneous mix) and Jackson (an unlikely combo of Australian Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Basset Hound), out for daily hikes in spite of the cold and snow. This week, I have climbed mountains in the midst of freezing winds, snow, and hail. My feelings on the matter? Bring it on! (The fact that I've been wearing my brand new super-warm snowboard pants helps embolden me against the cold. They were a fantastic investment!) After a week of not being able to digest properly, much less get the dogs some exercise, it has been a joy to get out of doors, snow and all. And the pups really appreciate it. Even though we haven't met up with many other dogs (everyone was safely and sanely tucked indoors!), Cody and Jackson had a great time tearing it up, wrestling, and generally running amok.

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