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The long cold days of winter are perfect for staying home and spending time in the kitchen. The warmth and aroma of freshly made delicacies make a home a warm and inviting haven on even the windiest, coldest, and snowiest of days. If you are tired of making the same recipes over and over again, or if you are just in the mood to experiment and try new things, the Columbus Public Library has just what you need to spice up your kitchen.

The December 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine has an entire section devoted to new cookie recipes to get you started baking. These innovative recipes are definitely not for your average year after year Christmas cookies. The wide variety of new and exciting flavors include Chai Meringue Drops, Coffee-Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon-Tahini Cookies, Walnut Eggnog Snowballs, Macadamia-Lime Icebox Cookies, and many more.

If you have had enough of cookies this season and want to experiment with something else, the December 2018 issue of Taste of Home has the perfect baking project. With just a few quick ingredient changes, a simple quick bread recipe can be transformed into Herb Quick Bread, Cheesy Garlic Herb Quick Bread, or Cranberry Orange Almond Quick Bread.

To change things up, even more, instructions are given for baking these quick breads in a loaf, a skillet, or a muffin pan.

If you have more time and want to bake something a little more involved, the 2018 Volume 4 of Saveur may have just what you are looking for. Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns are traditionally served during the afternoon coffee break in Sweden. The buttery buns take eight and a half hours to make but are sure to impress even the most finicky guest.

Not all of the time spent in the winter kitchen has to be spent baking, of course. Rachel Ray Every Day’s December 2018 issue has a wide variety of delicious meatball recipes to try. Included are Turkey and Stuffing Christmas Meatballs, Beef Meatballs with Pink Horseradish Sauce, Pork Schnitzel Meatballs, and Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Kale. Even vegetarians can find something to love with her Spicy Meatless Meatballs with Fire-Roasted Red Sauce.

If you want to try something new, but don’t want to invest a lot of time, the December/January 2019 issue of Allrecipes has some great beverage recipes to whip up in flash. You could try Nutty Irish Coffee, Pineapple Mimosas, or Snow Cocoa.

Not to be outdone, Martha Stewart has included several beverage recipes in her December 2018 issue of Martha Stewart Living. Once you have made your own simple syrups, it only takes a few ingredients to create a Bitter Bee, Cinnamon Sour, Rosemary Gimlet, or Sparkling Campari Punch.

And for something completely different, you could try making your own cheese. It does take some time—depending upon the kind of cheese you are making, it can take weeks, or even months, to age. However, the satisfaction you get from eating your own homemade cheese makes the wait well worth it. The December 2018/January 2019 issue of Mother Earth News has very easy to follow recipes for making your own farmhouse and Colby cheeses.

All of the magazine issues mentioned above are available for instant checkout on your digital device from the Columbus Public Library Digital Library, allowing you to access them without leaving the warmth and comfort of your home.

Laura Whitehead is the director of the Columbus Public Library.

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