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These cold, winter nights can test even the most cheerful among us.

During the darkest months of the year, I’m embracing hygge, a Danish word that means doing things to foster a sense of coziness and contentment.

From lighting candles, wrapping up in a blanket to read, sitting near the fire with a cat on my lap, or eating with friends, this nesting and comfort gives me time to press the pause button. But more, it helps keep the winter blues at bay. When I appreciate the scent of a warm cup of tea, the glow from a fire, the purring of a cat, I feed my heart and head. Rather than a winter of discontent, these small actions help me feel better and improve my mental and emotional state making this a season of content. Are you with me?

In the kitchen, hygge is enhanced with:

  • Making soup
  • Sipping hot chocolate
  • Baking cornbread
  • Dipping a cookie in milk
  • Sharing food like these apple nachos
  • Apple Nachos were love at first bite. My mom and husband hovered as I made these. They couldn’t wait to dig it. We stood in the kitchen, reaching over each other to get our bites. We liked the fresh, crunchy apple with the sweet and salty toppings plus they were just fun to eat.

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Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author of “Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being.” Visit her website www.LiveBest.info for every day food solutions.

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