Spread joy with a simple home-cooked meal

As the nights lengthen and temperatures drop, it’s a time to embrace all the simple and cozy pleasures the season has to offer: Tailgating parties, fuzzy socks, hanging strings of lights to bring ambiance to those early evenings.

Of course, the season can also bring on some serious cravings for warm and comforting fare, like warm drinks, stews and chilis and spiced baked apple desserts. In fact, now is the perfect time to increase your contentment and spread the joy by preparing and sharing some homemade food. With these tips, you’ll have the perfect recipe for making you and others around you glow with that particular inner warmth that only the season’s simple pleasures can bring.

Fire up the oven: Staying in is always the perfect excuse to create a comforting meal from scratch, especially when it fills your house with warmth and good scents. It could be a batch of almond scones, a chicken pot pie with extra rosemary or a homemade pizza with a robust basil garlic sauce. For the most delicious results, always start with high-quality, wholesome ingredients that make you feel good about what you’re making. For example, high-quality seasonings and extracts, such as those from the Simply Organic line, will infuse your dishes with pure and delicious flavors.

Share the joy: Whatever you’re cooking, be sure and make extras, because connecting with others is especially important this time of year. Prepare a meal and invite some friends over for an evening of feasting and conversation, Or use your cooking to uplift someone who could really use a friendly gesture. Perhaps there’s an elderly neighbor who can’t get out much in the winter, or a friend or colleague with a touch of the blues. A shared homemade meal can be a source of comfort and bring contentment to a dark winter evening. Then, post your experiences and photos of your meal on social media with the hashtag #CookForAChange.

All aglow: However you share the meal, be sure and go with warm, intimate lighting. Place lit candles around the room, hang a string of lights or do both. Either way, the soft glow will make everyone want to linger a little longer over the dinner table, savoring the warmth that comes from the cozy atmosphere, delicious food and fellowship.

Take time for reflection: In the end, your effort and the happiness it creates can make you feel a deeper appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. Think about how the time-honored practice of sharing your home, your time and a homemade meal transforms how you feel about the season. Then, inspire others with your stories and photos on social media with the hashtag #CookForAChange. For more information about the campaign, visit www.cookforachange.com.


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