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vegan_feast_catering_cherryblondieAs this drippy, snowy February wears onward, it’s hard not to to get wrapped up in contagious symptoms and sloppy weather. When the temperatures get cold and the afternoons blustery, we have two choices, ride out the remaining weeks of winter in misery, or perk up. If we want to stay optimistic, we’ll just have to bust out a bottle of Prosecco, a sprinkly cake, some spring flowers, and maybe a bottle of electric coral nail polish (if you’re into that sort of thing). At least, that is, until the season is ripe for mango salsa and agua fresca!

Since I’ve been achy, sneezy, and red nosed for four days now, I’m in need of some cheery snacks to make laying on the couch with the sniffles a little less unbearable. When I think of happy foods the first things that come to mind are birthday cake, curly fries, chocolate milk with a curly straw, and a peach bellini with a cherry on top. You’ll need something more hydrating and healthful if you’ve caught your death of cold, however. So I’ve separated my Compendium of Happiness into two categories, cheery foods for sickies and healthy people who just need a pick-me-up to stave off the winter blues.

In the case of illness, what does one pair with Robitussin? That’s a hard question to answer, but I actually can give you a few good snacks to enjoy with your gallon jug of Odwalla Citrus C Monster:

1. Odwalla Citrus C Monster and Spicy Tortilla Soup

One serving of Odwalla Citrus C Monster (or Strawberry C Monster) has around 1000% of your daily Vitamin C. Needless to say, it couldn’t hurt to try it. I usually feel better within an hour of consuming my Odwalla. It certainly has helped this week.

I’ve also known the tortilla soup at Qdoba to make me feel better when I’m especially achy. I eat a bowl of the veggie-friendly soup without the chicken, but either way you’ll get some great benefits. For those like me who don’t gain the anti-inflammatory benefits of chicken soup due to a vegetarian diet, you’ll be pleased to know that spicy foods can clear sinuses and relieve congestion. If you can find a spicy ginger soup, you can still enjoy its anti-inflammatory curcumin sans meat.

2. Homemade Orange Juice and Penne with Peppers

As easy as it is to pick up a bottle of juice at the store, we all know they’re just chock full of sugar. The short story is that sugar isn’t very good for you when you’re feeling under the weather. If you can, grab a bottle with no added sugar, or get someone who loves you very much to juice some oranges. You may not like the pulp, but hey, you’ll be better for it in the long run.

For your meal, penne pasta with a garlic and olive oil sauce topped with all kinds of sauteed peppers and broccoli  will give you a hydrating veggie boost with all kinds of cold fighting vitamin-c. Plus, fresh crushed garlic provides all sorts of sweet, sweet antioxidants.

3. Chamomile Tea with Honey and a Bowl of Greek Yogurt with Blueberries and Pepitas

Honey is a mood booster that is also an analgesic. With its kaempferol and quercetin, honey just might help your throat and your outlook on life!

Yogurt + Fruit + Nuts = Probiotics, Antioxidants, and Zinc. All three of which help your body to fight and prevent illness.

If you’re feeling fine, but just a bit down in the dumps, you’ll want something more sparkly, and maybe even sprinkly:

1. Cherry Hot Chocolate and Party Popcorn

Of course I found this recipe for rainbow sprinkled popcorn on Pinterest! Where else would I have seen this great idea? Amy of She Wears Many Hats has a lot of tasty ideas, and this one, I think, would be good with a cherry hot chocolate. There is something about liquid chocolate and butter popcorn that warms the spirits. Add some cherry juice to your hot cocoa just to brighten up your day with the fruity goodness. Melt dark chocolate into your mug for extra boost of happy (and blood flow to the brain).

2. Rosé Sparkling Wine and Confetti Pancakes

I wish I had thought of this idea. After sampling the Red Velvet Pancakes at The Bongo Room in Chicago, I found out just how easy it is to make pancakes from a box of cake mix. Jessica from How Sweet It Is clearly shares my idea that sprinkles make the world a better place. Follow her recipe for confetti pancakes, and you’re sure to have a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As sweet as these pancakes look, you’ll probably want to pair them with a Rosé that’s also on the sweet side. However, if you’re just a Brut type of person, go for it.

3. Mimosas and Sugar Dusted Donut Holes

It’s a widely known fact that Mimosas are made of 1 part sunshine to 2 parts giggle water with a dash of bunny love. How can you say no to that? When you’re enjoying a mimosa this weekend, check out this recipe for the shimmery, rainbow hued donut holes that only Martha Stewart could dream up. It looks like a pretty big project, but don’t those happy little globs of confectionery goodness look like they’re worth it?

Just don’t be tempted to gulp down those last three if you’re still getting over an illness, you’ll need all the hydration you can get, and even the lightest alcoholic beverages will make you feel all the worse.

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