Sunday, June 30, 2013

#401: Putting whipped cream in your coffee

Reason to Be Happy #401:
Putting Whipped Cream in Your Coffee 

 Now, obviously, I don't mean every day. That would be…excessive. But, if you normally put fat-free half-and-half in your coffee, but you just happen to have some whipping cream around, because, let's just say you've been making key lime pie, then this is a perfectly appropriate (and decadent) way to use up the leftover.
 Because let's be honest: wasted whipping cream is not a thing that should exist. That's kind of a culinary crime (in my humble opinion).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

#400: Cat Bearding

Reason to Be Happy #400:
Cat Bearding

 Who knew? Cat bearding. It's a thing. It has a name. There are sites devoted to it, like You can Google it. And you know what? It cracks me up. These images are from BuzzFeed's The 25 Most Epic Cat Beards of All Time, which you should look up. Like right now.

I can't even imagine doing this with Joey. I'm not going to try. Oh, and dog owners are quickly catching up with dog bearding, and those are pretty darn funny, too. Life can always use more funny.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#399: My cat's two-colored paw

Reason to Be Happy #399:
My Cat's Two-Colored Paw
Joey cat has little pink pads on three of his feet, and those are adorable in and of themselves…but his left front paw's pad is two colors—pink with a smudge of black. I'm not sure why, but I find this so endearing and sweet. I like to kiss that paw, which vexes him to no end. I've already raved about the black snip on his nose and his crazy old-man eyebrows. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#398: The hollow pop of a strawberry plucked from the vine

Reason to be Happy #398:
The hollow pop a perfectly ripe strawberry makes when you pluck it from the vine

My strawberry bed is overflowing with abundance this year! The funny thing is it's the first year I haven't tried to cage or net it against the birds, squirrels, and raccoons. In previous summers, I've watched the squirrels spend hours destroying any protection I created…but this year, they're leaving the strawberries alone. Maybe they just like the challenge? Who knows, but I'm not complaining! Every time I turn around there are more to pick. I love sorting through the leaves, searching for them, like hunting for Easter eggs. I'm making strawberry smoothies, strawberry shortcakes, spinach salad with strawberries, strawberry-basil ice cream, and strawberry-cilantro salsa. And, yes, I've frozen lots and lots of them, as well. Feel free to send me recipes or suggestions. Mae West said, "Too much of a good thing is a good thing," and I couldn't agree more.

This perfect photo was taken by Kevin Superfry, one half of the great team that brings you the blog
Food Adventures with Superfry and the Big Ragu.
Check them out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

#397: Kneading Bread Dough

Reason to Be Happy #397:
Kneading Bread Dough

 There's something so soothing and good about kneading the bread dough. Big thanks to my friend Mindy Hoffbauer who came over and baked shockingly good bread in my kitchen. (Look close: I even let her wear reason #396 (the Iron Man Apron). I don't let just any ol' body wear that!)
Mindy made tomato-bagel baguettes from start to finish. Needless to say, the aroma was divine. Watching the dough rise could be another reason to be happy. It doubles in size! It's like a live creature.

 The final product was incredible, baked with parmesan crusted all over it. Mmm. Mindy's not just a great baker (and all around chef and a multitude of other talents), but an excellent writer. You can like her author page on Facebook or check out her blog.You'll be glad you did.

#396: An Iron Man Apron

Reason to be Happy #396:
An Iron Man Apron

Admit it. You know you want one.
Another reason to be happy? Cool friends who will give you such an awesome gift!
Thank you, Colleen and Ellen!