{life hacks} 10 Simple Ways To Be Happier Every Day

Are you happy? Would you like to be happier? I have been reading a lot of articles on the internet about the habits of happy people, and boy are they stupid. So I would like to add a few of my own. Of course I have no medical or psychology training and just made these up, but I think you will find that if you just do these simple things, you will be happier every day!

10 Simple Ways To Be Happier Every Day

1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Or, something else that will refresh and hydrate you. Like 5 or 6 vodka tonics. Yeah, that will do it.

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October 20, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Glaze

Pumpkin spice season – amirite? Now I have never been a big fan of pumpkins in my lattes, oreos, tampons, and so forth… but a delicious fall cookie? That is what pumpkin was made for.

soft pumpkin spice cookies with brown sugar glaze

These soft pumpkin cookies are super cake-y and tender, with a decadent brown sugar glaze, and I basically can’t stop eating them and now I’ve negated all the working out I did today but that’s beside the point. Because PUMPKIN SPICE!

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October 3, 2016   1 Comment

{recipe} Creamy White Bean Stew with Parmesan and Greens

creamy white bean stew with greens and parmesanMy husband has been flirting with the idea of going vegetarian, and while I don’t think us meat-lovers will ever get all the way there, it is fun to try and incorporate more vegetarian and almost-vegetarian dishes into our regular dinner repertoire. This one is a new favorite, with slow-braised white beans, kale, arugula, and spinach. It’s a definite winner!

The stew is flavored by a bit of bacon, a tiny amount of anchovies, and a parmesan rind. This is like an umami trifecta! If you’re worried about the anchovies being fishy, don’t: they just add a nuttiness and a complexity to the finished dish. To make it vegetarian, just omit the bacon and anchovies.

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September 28, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} The Only Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe You Need

Can we talk about chocolate frosting for a minute? When it’s good, it’s the best – but so often, it’s not that good. Too fudgy, too dark, too sweet, too thick, too sloppy, too chocolatey, not chocolatey enough… you get the idea. But this one, to me, is simply perfect. It’s what I hope for when I bite into a cupcake. And it is really easy to achieve at home.
the best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

The recipe is roughly the chocolate buttercream they use at Magnolia Bakery. The texture, taste, and sweetness are absolutely perfect. It is chocolatey, buttery, and sweet in all the right amounts. And it is super smooth and silky to boot. I have given amounts for different-sized cakes below, so you can make enough for what you need. [Read more →]

September 13, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} Baked Blackberry Buttermilk Donuts

I got a donut pan for my birthday and have been experimenting with baked donut recipes like crazy. When I’ve tried standard flavors like chocolate and vanilla, I’ve been disappointed, frankly, because they aren’t fried like “real” donuts. But stacking the batter up with fresh berries changes the game completely. This is a cakey, muffin-y kind of donut that you can’t stop eating. Dipping them in a simple blackberry glaze just before serving makes them a near-perfect weekend breakfast treat.

Blackberry Buttermilk Donuts

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} Tomato Tart with Corn and Herbed Ricotta

Summer is a wonderful time up in Sonoma wine country – with long days of sunshine, lots of swimming, great vineyard views, and fun time with friends. I’m always stumped about what to make for lunch, though. I often throw together some ahi tuna poke, since we have a great local source for ahi, everyone loves it, and it’s quick to put together. But in the summer, I strive to find creative ways to utilize all of the gorgeous fresh produce available at our local farmer’s market. Hence, this simple but lovely tart.

tomato tart

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July 5, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Have you tried a donut muffin yet? While not as popular a craze as, say, the cronut or the cruffin, I think the donut muffin will yet have its day. I first had one at the inimitable Devil’s Teeth Bakery in San Francisco. This bakery is all the way out by Ocean Beach, but it’s worth the drive across town for so many of their fabulous items, not just their superlative donut muffin. The weird thing is that I don’t really love donuts or muffins that much, but somehow when their best qualities are melded into one baked good, it becomes a really special treat.

Donut Muffins

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May 20, 2016   1 Comment

{insomnia} All The Things I Did When I Couldn’t Sleep Last Night

I woke up around 2 AM this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Does this ever happen to you? Man, insomnia sucks.

sleeping catThis cat is sleeping peacefully. Sadly I am not.

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May 17, 2016   1 Comment

{try this} How To Make Labneh

Do you have enough labneh in your life? It really is delightful stuff. In case you’re not familiar with it, labneh is simply strained, full-fat yogurt – thick, creamy, tangy, and good on everything. It’s a staple of the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, and Jordan) and it should always be in your fridge.

How to make homemade labneh

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May 15, 2016   No Comments

{life} This Is 40: Here’s What I’ve Learned So Far

My friend Whitney wrote a beautiful post when she turned 40 a few years back, and it has stuck with me. It inspired me to write this, on the day of my own 40th birthday.

sunset in panama

Articles like this always have contemplative pictures of sunsets. So here you go.

I am not afraid to turn 40, but I am a little afraid for the world that I am now what passes for a responsible adult! Once you’re 40, there is no more pretending you’re not really a real adult. I grew up thinking that adults–like people who are 40–have all the answers. I guess I’m still a little stunned that I do not have all (or even very many) of the answers.

But I have definitely learned some things here and there, so I wanted to share them on this special day.

15 Things I Know Now That I Am 40 

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know, that is a cliche, but hear me out. Every time you allow yourself to feel rage at a person who cuts you off on the freeway, you are wasting rage that could be better directed towards something really important, like inequality, injustice, running out of sauvignon blanc, etc. [Read more →]

May 7, 2016   3 Comments