When It Rains


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When it rains in California, the world sort of stops.  People suddenly cannot drive with even 1/100th of an inch of rain on the roads, i.e. your cat sneezes more water than actual rainfall amounts, and in general people hunker down and stay inside.

This is not how I grew up.  Far from it!  I grew up in rural Minnesota where people went outside in -20F degree temperatures for much of the year and thought nothing of it.  It was life.  You just dealt with it and moved on.  And drank lots of beer, went ice fishing, or went snowmobiling.

In light of the rain yesterday, it was a great day to do some baking.

This is what I came up with.


I need to edit the real pictures and type up the recipe.   It’s coming soon.  Patience is a virtue.

The closest thing in my recipe archives to the cookies I made yesterday are probably these

Other things I do when it rains:

Clean my house

Catch up on emails, computer work, photo editing, and blogging.  Or try to get ahead on things, i.e. pre-blogging some posts in draft so that on really busy days, I can hit Publish rather than starting from scratch

I’d be lying if I said I sit around curled up on the couch reading magazines when it rains.  I’d like to but it’s not reality.

The Beauty Expert Allure September 2011 issue cover

Not when I have a family to feed, work to do, Skylar to take care of, and just life to tend to.

I try to be extra productive by cooking, doing meal prep work like produce cleaning and vegetable chopping, and cooking things that make planned leftovers  <–cook once, eat twice

Some good comfort food like Cheesy Taco Casserole sounds good when it’s raining

Cheesy Taco Casserole with chips aroundGrowing up in Minnesota we ate lots of casseroles.  But we called them ‘hot dishes’.  Casserole sounds much fancier than we ever were.

And we ate lots of leftovers.  As a working mom, I now understand why my working mom was a fan of leftovers.

Cheesy Taco Casserole squares in containerSometimes things are not fully evident for a couple decades, like why anyone would actually want to create leftovers.  But I get it now.

Other rainy day projects included


Wasting time on Pinterest

Drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte in cup

And trying to keep this one from going stir crazy

Skylar smiling in pink top and sweaterGood thing we have lots of crayons, paper, books, and the occasional Barney episode on DVR


1. What do you like to do on Rainy Days?

2. Do people drive differently in your area in rain or bad weather?

They sure do here.  I think it’s probably a universal phenomenon but people who are used to driving in snow and inclement weather get pretty good at it from all the practice.

In Southern California, most people have no practice with snow and since it rains so infrequently here, when it does, holy traffic accidents and traffic delays.

On my way to pick up a Princess Costume (yes, we had success on that venture), I saw some really wicked accidents.  Spin outs, crashes into guardrails, traffic backed up for miles, police and ambulances everywhere.  Gnarly stuff.

Common sense things like: slow down, increase your following distance, don’t tailgate, don’t slam on your brakes, don’t make any sudden or jerky moves, take your time on turns, common.sense.stuff, it seems to have been lost on many drivers here.

Good thing the weather is usually like this

Blue sky and palm trees

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. On rainy days I like to be inside snuggling on the couch, listening to the rain with a glass of wine. I definitely do not like to drive in the rain … the glare from the street lights and wet road at night bothers my eyes and I have trouble driving. Most people in my city drive well in the rain, but get a little stupid when it snows and gets really icy. They get better as the winter goes on.

  2. Oooh, that taco pie looks to die for! I know what you mean about the rain, I think it’s worse up here in LA though, especially around the 405 and LAX areas!

  3. and you had those “hot dishes” for “supper”, right? Maybe with a “pop”? I, was born in Minnesota, but have lived most of my life in California.

  4. ” I grew up in rural Minnesota where people went outside in -20F degree temperatures for much of the year and thought nothing of it. It was life. You just dealt with it and moved on. And drank lots of beer, went ice fishing, or went snowmobiling.

    Amen sister!! We didn’t let anything stop us from having fun. Heck, I recall trick or treating in snow!

    I was born in St. Paul and grew up there plus Minneapolis and Newport, MN. And yes, I remember my mom calling dinner a ‘Hot Dish’. How funny! Do you still have your Mid-West accent? I do, but it is a bit of a blend now. I’ve got the typical Scandanavian look of Blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin. That comes from my Norweigian, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish and a touch of German background. =) My mom went crazy when she found someone that sells Lefse! But no Ludefisk, thank goodness! Nasty smelling fish!

    Have a Great Weekend!

    1. I remember blizzard Halloweens myself…and we still tried to go out and get some candy…haha!

      I think I’ve lost my midwestern accent b/c I havent lived there since the late 90s when I graduated from St. Thomas b/c people are always surprised when I tell them Im not a CA native.

      Lefse…love it with lots of butter and cinnamon and sugar.

      Thanks for saying hi!

  5. Haha, I think that is so funny! It is sort of like there here in Vancouver, only with snow. I am from Alberta, where it snows forty feet and the schools are still open. Here in Vancouver if the snow sticks, the world shuts down! So funny. It is almost always a cloudy or rainy day here in the fall and winter, so rainy days in don’t come around to much!

  6. Living in Oregon, you’d think people would be well versed with driving in the rain. But it’s SO not true. People seem to lose their minds. Granted, when it rains here, it can rain pretty hard, but it’s OREGON. Are people really that surprised when it rains? Apparently.

    And I will be waiting impatiently for that recipe. :)

  7. I love rainy days when I don’t have anywhere to go! Totally agree…it gives me time to catch up on work around the house, cooking, blogging, etc.

  8. If everyone stopped when it rained in Vancouver no one would ever move, LOL. But I’m not a big fan of the rain up here because it’s consistently slow and drizzly. Back home when it rains it’s for 2 hours of bucketing rain down and then the sun comes out. I.e. short, exciting, over! It gets a bit much day after day. But that’s why we have such beautiful green scenery, so there is that!

    Btw your little girl is just SO beautiful! I love how she looks like you too :). And there’s some good news for you over on my blog today… :) I’ll be sending you an email soon.

  9. I used to hate the rain….when I was little, I was terrified of thunderstorms–my mom told me that God was punishing me. Now that I’m 52-I’ve gotten over that :D, and love thunderstorms, especially laying in bed listening to the rain on windows and the roof. Cleaning, reading, baking (depending on the temp) painting, making art…….I never get bored!

  10. I gotta admit; I do like to waste the day away on the couch when it rains, but that’s more of an exception to the rule. Usually the house will get cleaned and laundry done. Those are also the days I make big batches of sauce and such for the freezer. Growing up in Ontario sounds very similar to how you grew up; COLD winters!!

  11. great rainy day ideas!!!

    oh so true about the snow here, even the threat of 1/2 inch is enough to cancel classes and close schools! There isn’t enough/good equipment like salt trucks etc. and people just don’t know how to drive in it. I spent the first 20 years in the North so I do!

  12. Oh, I hope it rains more because these recipes look so yummy!
    I personally go on a cleaning spree when it rains. But then again, it rains all the time here in DC. I had the cleanest house in the world last month!

  13. I love the rain, but I love how long your daughter’s hair is more! How do you do that? My Smudge’s won’t go past her shoulder blades and we’ve been “growing” her bangs for a year! Can’t wait for that cookie recipe, it looks totes tasty.

    1. your cookies are the totes tasty ones :)

      my daughter’s hair actually has never been cut. She’s 4 and we’ve never cut it. We’re about to that time where it needs to probably be cut but I love it long and so does she so we’ve never cut it. Just call her Rapunzel :)

  14. I would have never guessed you were from MN! I am from eastern MN. I can’t believe that people stay home because of rain…. You know how it is here, traveling through blizzards to get from point a to point b. I have been waiting for cool fall weather to make casseroles but it has been in the 80s, almost reaching 90 for the past week!! Love your blog and thanks for all the yummy recipes!!

    1. casseroles and snowmobiling, that’s me. parents still live in the western burbs of Mpls!

  15. This really is an interesting phenomenon: how people drive when it rains in California. All of the common sense things are totally absent. I, like you, grew up in snow (Alaska) and will never forget driving home from Anchorage one late wintry afternoon and my good friend (who was from Santa Cruz – where I live now) looked at me from the passenger seat and said “Hey, Michele! What would you do if I went like this…?” and proceeded to grab the steering wheel of my little Honda Accord and jerk it really hard as we were driving down the highway on black ice. We did about 5 360’s before we came to a complete stop in front of a telephone pole. By some miracle, we did not flip or even slam into another car. I asked him then what the hell he was doing?! He said that he honestly didn’t mean to grab the steering wheel, he was just going to simulate grabbing it! I told him that in Alaska in the middle of winter on TOTALLY ICY ROADS, you don’t pretend like that!! I can look back now and laugh but at the time…DANG! It scared the crap out of me!! Happy and safe driving to you down there in all that rain! We have it now, up here, too! :-)

  16. We didn’t leave the house all day due to the rain! It’s just to hard with a baby to go out and do something/run errands when it’s pouring out side lol. So by 4 in the afternoon I needed to go out and run, I was going so crazy! lol!
    Can’t wait for those cookies!

  17. haha most people drive horrible here in the rain. i knw that more water hits your windsheild the faster you go though making it harder to see. I typically don’t drive slow but speed limit. My boy-friend on the other hand takes advantage and speeds past everyone going slow ha.

  18. Wow! You grew up in Minnesota! I never read that on your blog before. I assumed that you were a native Californian, I never would have guessed your snowmobiling roots! We used to do that when I was a kid in Vermont and it was a blast!

  19. Growing up on the east coast in Canada, the rain in SoCal is indeed just a drizzle but definitely causes quite the commotion!

  20. So true on rain and driving here. But it wasn’t any better in Florida where is rains all the time! But I was totally in shock that I needed my windshield wipers the last two days.

    And yes, a little rain doesn’t make the chores and work go away, they still need to get done! At least it takes care of watering the garden.

    1. Usually try to function as normal getting what I need to do done. Sometimes rain is the best time to go to the mall, Whole Foods, Costco, etc. since crowds stay away and I can dash through the parking lots fast by myself.
    2. Yeah, there’s always more traffic from drivers being over-cautious.

  21. When it rains NO ONE knows how to drive. Super frustrating. Thought it was just here but I think it’s everywhere!!!

    On rainy days I love to just lounge around…having something sweet baking and watch movies.

    Skylers hair is absolutely gorgeous.

  22. People in Santa Rosa drive like idiots when it rains. Of course, they drive like idiots when it’s not raining, too. I think we’ve had at least one pedestrian a week getting hit in a crosswalk for the past few months. Believe me, I practice defensive walking when I’m out and about.

  23. i don’t change my ways at all with the weather – sun, rain, snow, hot, cold, i just do my thing. but i can understand how rain would throw some californians into a tizzy! up here, that’s the situation with the first snow fall of the season…fender-benders every way you look. people forget to slow down and adjust for the weather. it gets a bit better as winter goes on – but that first snowfall is total chaos.
    glad you make the most of a rainy day! it’s so great to prep meals, blog posts, do catch up…really is a great feeling!

  24. Rain makes everyone idiots on the road here. Like carries on here when it rains. Nothing different other than getting a lot wetter!

  25. That’s so funny about the rain! That’s how it is with snow in NYC. Upstate 5 inches of snow was nothing and down here a half inch is enough to cancel classes…

  26. hahah so true! growing up here in california has def made me not a fan of the rain. it’s like chaos ensues when it rains! my bf is from ny and is so used to it. when it rains here, he’s like about time! hahaha while i’m like “nooooo!!”

  27. Rainy days have been pretty common here lately, unfortunately. The driving’s not so bad when it rains, but the first snow is always nuts. I always feel like saying “Come on, people, we live in New England. This happens EVERY YEAR.”

  28. I wish I sat down and relaxed ANY day! I seriusly just can’t do it – even if nothing “really” has to be done. I just have to be constantly moving or working on something! Rainy days are kind of like snowy days here. I love getting snow days in the winter to do some baking and catch up on things I’ve been meaning to do.

  29. The fall colors in this post are just gorgeous…I feel the same way about when it rains. People in Denver will drive through 4 feet of snow but a couple of rain drops and the brakes get slammed! Glad to hear you had a productive day despite the rain :-)

  30. NYC gets pretty kooky when it rains. It feels like everything slows way, way down. I’d like to say I get lots of work done when it’s rainy, but really, I just do what I have to do. And make soup and drink lots of tea.

  31. Oh man I can’t wait for that recipe to get posted. Yum… I love cookies. I just moved from Cali to Utah and I miss the weather there so much. We had 85 degree weather here (Utah) until two days ago and today, IT SNOWED. When its cold outside it nearly kills me to leave my house. I like to cuddle on the couch and watch trash tv :)

  32. He he! Love rainy days here since we don’t get them that often. I lvoe cleaning too (while burning yummy smelling candles). :) But for some reason rigth after I clean everything gets all messed up again. :) Why is that?

  33. Rain is actually my FAVORITE weather. But I drive like an old lady 100% of the time, so nothing changes there. ;)

  34. What is the deal with people and rain when it comes to driving??? We get plenty of rain here, and people still act like it’s something strange. So many more people running red lights and just doing stupid stuff. And when it snows? Forget it. You have the a-hole driving a truck barreling down the roads at full speed or the poor driver too scared to barely move. I don’t know who’s worse.