I really wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a morning person, which might surprise you given that A) I worked at a morning show for a long time and loved every minute of it, B) one of my all-time favorite books is quite literally titled “Why I Wake Early”, C) I do often jump out of bed and immediately begin singing the “Happy Working Song” from Disney’s Enchanted, and D) okay, OKAY, yes, I own this embarrassingly overpopulated Pinterest board dedicated to the joys of waking up early.
(Please note that I created said board back when I thought my Pinterest profile was private.) (Sigh.)
Anyway, while I’d really rather think of myself as an an all-times-of-day, does-not-discriminate sort of person, it’s true: I think mornings are great. And the best part about them just might be…smoothies! I threw these three together for FabFitFun’s online magazine and will link you guys early next week. In the meantime, you can snag all the recipes below and finally see for yourself just how wonderful it can be to wake up a little bit earlier. (You’ve been warned, though: You will get a little pin-happy in the process.)
MAKES 1.5 servings
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 banana, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
WHAT YOU’LL DO
In a blender, combine all ingredients.
Pour into a tall glass and serve.
COLD BREW ALMOND SMOOTHIE
MAKES 1.5 SERVINGS
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup cold brew coffee
1 banana, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup ice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon honey
WHAT YOU’LL DO
In a blender, combine all ingredients.
Pour into a tall glass and serve, garnishing with extra cinnamon if desired.
(Okay, quick disclaimer before we get to the fun stuff: The “On My Nighstand” series doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for this particular book. I don’t actually read cookbooks before I fall asleep at night. Promise. But I do tend to keep the books I’ve most recently been perusing/loving on my nightstand before they eventually make their way back to my bookshelves. So. Let’s just go with it.)
Now that THAT’S out of the way…I have another beautiful book to share with you guys. It’s Dorie Greenspan’s newest book, “Dorie’s Cookies,” and it’s gorgeous, funny, and SQUARE. Can we admit that we all have a soft spot for interestingly-shaped books? Yes? Good.
HAPPY HANUKKAH! It’s the third night of the holiday, which, for me, is serving as a pretty horrifying reminder of the power of fried food smells to linger in apartments well beyond the actual frying action. Case in point: I made the latkes pictured above on Friday afternoon, a day-and-then-some before the holiday actually began, and my entire home still reeks of oil and onions and burnt potato skins.
But honestly, that nostalgia-inducing, days-old latke smell is totally welcome to stick around my humble abode as long as it pleases. ‘Cause latkes are the best.
As kids, my siblings and I always ate them with applesauce, and I have to admit I still think that savory-sweet pairing still reigns as the ultimate flavor combination. This year, though, I tried my hand at a more grown-up variation, dressing them up with a bit of smoked salmon, some creme fraiche, and — ooh la la! — a smattering of edible flowers. I know. So fancy. I don’t really have anything to say for myself except that Eataly had the colorful flowers in stock and they were calling my name.
I feel a bit like a fraud sharing this recipe with you. The truth is, I only just began drinking coffee regularly, and by “coffee,” I mean, “vanilla chai lattes,” which don’t actually contain coffee. Uh.
But anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve almost certainly got some sort of innate, internal caffeine production system. After all, I’ve got the energy of a die-hard coffee addict, I talk at the pace of a Gilmore, and I tap dance. I TAP DANCE. That must win me some degree of brownie points and/or kinship with even the most patrician of espresso-sipping sophisticates.
And while I haven’t yet (yet!) fallen in love with blacker-than-night-no-milk-no-sugar-*coffee*-coffee, I have become more and more enamored with the idea of said coffee-coffee. Especially as the winter days get shorter and my schedule gets busier. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s a drink that doesn’t just taste good; it revitalizes you. It reincarnates you. It thrusts you back out into the world with a SPRING in your STEP.
I’m pretty sure that anyone who snacked on candy buttons as a child asked their parents the same question at one point or another. “Are you sure it’s okay that I just ate PAPER!??!” …to which their startled parents would give the same dubious shrug. Naturally, as I ventured off to make them myself at home as a grown-up, I attempted to solve the age-old problem once and for all. How, I asked myself, can I make candy dots without subjecting myself to tons of paper consumption?
The answer, friends, was simple: I could not. But then, the thrill of paper-eating is just as much part of these tiny candies’ allure as is their satisfying, sugary crunch, is it not? And since a little bit of paper never hurt anyone (according to a quick Google search, anyway) I say…the heck with it.
You can watch me make these beauties this Saturday on Food Network’s Snapchat Discover profile (yup, Christmas Eve!) or simply scroll down for the recipe below. Get nostalgic, get sugar-high, and…why not? Get a little paper-high, too. You deserve it.
Yes. It’s true. I made mini “Happy Thanksgiving” pies and it’s a good week-and-a-half before the actual holiday. Either I’m already abusing my newfound blogger powers, or I’m just a crazy person.
Don’t dwell on that too long. Instead, direct your attention at the super cute message pies in question. They’re one of those seemingly over-the-top, ultra-impressive desserts that are actually semi-homemade (and in all honesty, that “homemade” part is a little too flattering for what happened in my kitchen tonight. I’m looking at you, frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe’s).
You can dress them down by nixing the leaf garnishes, you can dress them up with some from-scratch pate brisee and faux lattice work, or you can simply leave them as is. Honestly, the possibilities are endless once you’ve you’ve got the basic “mini pie” shtick down to a science.
You know what? Shopping for guys just isn’t that hard. We’re practically swimming in G.G.G. (Guy Gift Gold) these days, from the never-ending onslaught of new tech gadgets to newfangled foodie tools. Subscription boxes have become increasingly gender-neutral in their offerings, too. Even the hardest-to-please, already-has-everything set is fun to shop for (who doesn’t love a challenge?).
When all else fails, there’s the ubiquitous tie and sock pairing. But for the purposes of this post, let’s try to keep things interesting and think outside the J. Crew box.
I’ve rounded up by favorite 100 (one hundred!) smart, sweet, and/or one-of-a-kind gifts for all the guys in your life. For the perfect white tee-shirt to bourbon-flavored marshmallows to the one-blade razor of his dreams, look no further. You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.
The way I see it, you’ve got a few different options when it comes to avoiding the stress of this complicated, drama-packed election cycle’s finale. You can A) curl up in the fetal position, B) stress-eat a ton of candy, C) have an election night watch party, or D) — the best of all possible worlds — have a candy-filled watch party where curling up in the fetal position is encouraged.
Here’s how I’ve set up mine for tomorrow’s big day. I hope it inspires you to create a festive, nonpartisan atmosphere of your own. Suffice it to say, watching the votes pour in is a heck of a lot easier if you’re surrounded by friends.
And now back to my regularly scheduled freaking out about the fate of our country. Make sure to get out and vote if you haven’t already.
The fact of the matter is that I cannot be trusted with inanimate objects of any kind. If there’s something in my vicinity that’s even close to DIY-able, I will find it and I will take a hot glue gun to it until it no longer resembles itself.
Case in point: I rode the F train down to Prospect Park yesterday evening to take a stroll with my boyfriend, and after marveling at the gorgeous autumn colors, that must-decoupage-right-now feeling took ahold of my bod. And frankly, there was nothing I could do to stop it. So I picked up some of the fallen leaves, made a little bouquet out of them, and carried them around for the remainder of our walk. It wasn’t until later that I figured out what I wanted to do with them.
(If you’re curious…my boyfriend, bless his heart, had nothing substantial to say about the pile of dirty leaves I was clutching. He’s used to this kind of behavior.)
For the uninitiated, “Friendsgiving” is a separate, additional, and somewhat unorthodox Thanksgiving dinner with friends that’s generally hosted earlier in the month than its namesake. Beyond those parameters, it’s pretty loosely defined.
I used to be one of its biggest and staunchest opponents. Why have Thanksgiving twice? Wouldn’t that deplete some of the magic of the real thing? It seemed like having two birthday parties — one with your college friends and one with your cousins. WEIRD.
But over time, and likely under the influence of something I drank at Friendsgiving, I not only got used to the idea; I realized that it was kind of genius. I also realized that anyone who didn’t enjoy Friendsgiving was simply doing it wrong…including me. The truth is, you don’t have to go all out with a turkey if you don’t want to. And you don’t have to make your mom’s favorite stuffing recipe if that feels in any way sacrilegious. In fact, in my opinion, it’s probably better that you don’t. Given that you’ll be eating those same foods again just a few days later, and maintaining that there is something sacred about the dysfunction of a family Thanksgiving, why not take the best of what Friendsgiving has to offer — friends, alcohol, sweater weather — and make it your own?