Monday, December 10, 2018

The Happygirl Gift Guide for Your Favorite Guy

He makes you feel like the sun revolves you. He has seen you at your very worst and still his eyes light up when you enter a room. Maybe he calls you "My daughter. My love. My very best friend. My world. My wife. My everything." Your favorite guy may make you the best spaghetti or he's cheered you on at every one of your games. Whether it's your dad, husband, partner, boyfriend or best friend, here are some things that might make him happier than he already is when you're around.


1. A soft cashmere sweater is a good place to rest your head when he pulls you in close. Land's End ($94.99-189)

2. This RFID blocking travel wallet is a steal at $13.99 and perfect for the traveler who likes to stay organized. (Amazon)

3. If his singing in the shower makes you smile, get him this waterproof bluetooth speaker so he and Bruce Springsteen can sing together. (Amazon, $21.99)

4. There's something about the way the air smells after a rainstorm. Bring this scent home for him with this Big Sur After Rain candle. (dsanddurga.com, $65)

5.  Maybe he uses drugstore shampoo in the shower to wash his entire body, including his face. Introduce him to the pleasures of clean skin with this Kiehl's Grooming Set (Nordstrom, $48)

6. Does your favorite guy like his condiments? Elevate his sauce game with this Sweet and Spicy Mini Crate featuring honey, maple syrup and Sriracha sauces (Mancrate, $59.99)

7. You could get him a regular toothbrush for his stocking or you could get him this Quip electric toothbrush set that will make his smile dazzle. (Quip, $40)

8. Nothing beats these L.L. Bean boots for protection from the worst that winter has to offer. (L.L. Bean, $135)

9. He protects you. Now help him protect everything else with this Ring electronic doorbell and never have another package stolen again. (Amazon, $169)

10. If he hates wasting time in coffee shops waiting for his morning joe, gift him his own tabletop coffee shop with this Nespresso machine (Macy's limited time special price, $99.99 from $249)

11. Whether he likes his coffee hot or his iced tea cold, this iconic Yeti 30 oz. Rambler will make him a happy guy. Bonus: it fits in most car cupholders. (Amazon, $34.99)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Happy Food: Easy Baked Brie That Makes You Look Like a Chef (Recipe)


Whenever I see Baked Brie served at a cocktail party, my first thought is "That's gorgeous. When did she have time to make this difficult appetizer between creating the perfect playlist, preparing the themed cocktails and cooking little bites all while looking so breezy and happy?"

This weekend one of my best friends and I met at The Chatham Bars Inn (Cape Cod) for a girls weekend. On our first night we took a cocktail themed cooking class,. There were ten other students  and of the five appetizers, we selected the Baked Brie. Neither of us had made this before and we were a little nervous about our creation being served to the class. With recipe in hand, while sipping a Seasonal Cranberry-Rosemary Mule, it was super easy to prepare this app.  We knew for certain it was perfect when Chef cut into it and it looked like something Martha Stewart would serve on Christmas Eve.

I'll be making this for several cocktail parties this holiday season. It's such a beautiful, festive presentation and an ideal warm appetizer for a cold winter's night. Here's to happy cocktail foods!

Thank you to Chef Stephanie and Chatham Bars Inn for this recipe and a fun evening in the kitchen!



Baked Brie With Spiced Apple, Pear,
Pomegranate and Walnuts
Ingredients
1 each of two types of apples
1 each of two types of pears
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground clove
2 tablespoons of butter

1 sheet of store bought puff pastry
1/2 wheel of Brie cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of walnuts

1 egg
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional)
sprinkling of dried pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. 

Unroll puff pastry from container. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Lay the pastry gently on a baking sheet and let sit on the counter with a dish towel over it while you prepare the filling. 

Peel and dice the apple and pears and saute them over medium heat with butter, cinnamon and clove until tender (approximately ten minutes). Remove from heat and let cool approximately 5 minutes.

In the center of your dough, layer fruit and honey. Top with Brie and walnuts. 

Fold dough around the fruit and brie until sealed. 

Beat the egg and brush mixture onto dough, paying special attention to the folded edges. 

Bake on center rack for 15 minutes. 

Remove when golden brown and finish by drizzling pomegranate molasses and sprinkling pomegranate seeds. 

Cut in half and serve with crostini, crackers, fruit slices or pretzels. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Happygirl Gift Guide for Your Favorite Girl


She's had your back and she knows your laugh in her soul. She knows your best stories and she's been with you through most of them. She may be your mom, your sister, your best friend, your wife, partner or daughter. Whoever she is, you hold her close in your heart. Here are some gift ideas to make favorite girl in your life as happy as she makes you. 




    A simple pair of sparkly earrings to elevate a cashmere crewneck and jeans.

2.  Cashmere and wool scarf, $99 (Nordstrom, color shown is Green Caton)
     My favorite item to pack on airplanes and a pop of color against a simple long-sleeve white t-shirt.

    If your favorite girl travels a lot or is sensitive to noise, these new bluetooth enabled noise-reduction headphones are incredible at blocking the ambient noise and enhancing your sound experience.

4. glassybaby drinker, $55 (color shown is rose)
    Whether she likes bubbles or ice cream, she'll use this glassybaby drinker every day. 

5. Solve for Happy book by Mo Gawdat $10.87
    This 2018 book about happiness is perfect for a Sunday afternoon by the fire.

     If Tequila is her thing, this darling Bento box will make her smile. Includes Shake Your Margarita Paloma, Por Favor and Give it a Shot.  (Contains max 5% alcohol)

    If she's into enhancing her wellbeing, she'll love these custom blended sachets of adaptogenic superherbs and supermushrooms that help to combat stress and nourish the body and consciousness form the inside out. Includes 12 Moon Dust sachets, 2 each of Beauty, Brain, Sex, Power, Spirit and Dream.

   A grey wool beret is as essential as a little black dress. This simple accessory will keep her head cozy as she looks as fashionable as Audrey Hepburn.  

9. New Clarisonic Mia Smart $199 (color shown in mint)
    This device is the gold standard for supercleaning  makeup, sweat and daily grime from your face. This is the newest version. It's expensive but worth it.

      This coconut infused set includes a mini deodorant, coconut melt, coconut face cream and lip glossy. It has a light coconut milk scent and smooths away the winter dryness. 

    This tote, part of the Feed Project provides 10 school meals so she can feel good while she looks cool and kind in this sturdy tote. 

12. Homesick Candle, $25.95 (shown in Summer Camp)
     If she can't stop talking that summer she spent in Paris or if she's homesick for Texas, these candles just might bring tears to her eyes. I don't know how they did it, but they encapsulated the feeling of places so well. A friend bought me the Massachusetts candle and it makes me smile every time I light it. I also like Summer Camp.

    If she has never slept on a silk pillow, she is going to wonder where this has been all her life. The 100% silk pillowcase will keep her hair smooth all night while the soft, cool, eye mask keeps her happily in dreamland. 

14. J Crew Everyday Cashmere Crewneck Sweater, $99 (color shown in Shale Blue)
     A light cashmere sweater is something she can wear all year long, whether it's over a shirt and under a coat in the winter or tied over her shoulders over a strapless dress for a dinner al fresco on Nantucket. This sweater is ideal. It's my go-to and one of my favorite things. In sizes xxs-3x.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving Pizza Recipe


My friend Megs and I were so obsessed with trying the infamous Thanksgiving Pizza from Capri Pizza in Holyoke, Massachusetts that one night we tried to figure out the cheapest way for the two of us to meet in Massachusetts from our homes in Washington D.C and Seattle. We decided that it was crazy to fly somewhere just for a pizza but we couldn't give up the idea of Thanksgiving Pie. THANKSGIVING. PIE.

So, when L and I hosted a Friendsgiving here in Seattle and Megs joined us, after dinner we looked at all the leftovers and thought "Why don't we try making Thanksgiving Pie?" We didn't have a recipe to go by so we winged it. When the moment came to bite into the long awaited Thanksgiving Pizza, it was. . . better than we could have even imagined. (Yes, it looks a little off-putting at first, but it was so delicious and an outstanding way to enjoy Thanksgiving food a second day.)

One of the keys to making a perfect pie is to have a high heat oven. L and I cook pizza often so we use the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven (Amazon, $59.99) which can reach up to 600 degrees and cooks a restaurant style pizza in eight minutes. If you don't have a stovetop oven, set your oven to 450 and preheat a pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone,  use a sheet pan. If you plan on using a stovetop pizza oven or a pizza stone, you'll need a pizza peel. I like this one that folds and fits the Pronto Pizza Oven perfectly. If you're using a sheet pan, you don't need a pizza peel.

Having family and friends over for a holiday party? This is the perfect comfort food. Followed by a game of Scrabble, you and your favorite people will feel very happy, cozy and relaxed.

Ingredients

One pizza dough ball divided in two (I like Trader Joe's  pizza dough ball)

1 1/2 cups of warm cooked mashed potatoes (No leftovers? I like Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes)

1 cup of warm cooked stuffing (No leftovers? I like Stove Top)

1 cup of warm shredded turkey (No leftovers? Pick up some turkey breast in the deli. Buy a half  pound slice and shred it yourself)

1/2 cup of hot gravy (No leftovers? I like Heinz Homestyle Roasted Turkey Gravy)

1/4 cup of cool cranberry sauce (Not leftovers? I like Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce)

Flour for rolling out dough

Fine cornmeal for dusting pizza peel



Directions

Preheat oven according to your method of cooking. (Using a stovetop pizza oven, pizza stone or sheet pan)

Warm the mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and gravy. Set aside. Remove cranberry sauce from refrigerator. 

Set one dough ball aside. Stretch the other dough ball out to fit your pizza stone or sheet pan. 

Dust pizza peel or sheet pan with cornmeal. Slide the pizza dough into stovetop oven, on your hot pizza stone or onto your sheet pan and bake for 4 minutes. 

Remove from oven with pizza peel (if using a sheet pan, use oven mitts and place on heat safe surface).

Spread mashed potatoes onto dough evenly. 

Dollop stuffing evenly around pie. 

Spread shredded turkey onto top of mashed potatoes and stuffing. 

Return to oven for 4 to 5 minutes depending on your cooking method. 

Carefully remove from oven, drizzle with hot turkey gravy then top with spoonfuls of cool cranberry sauce.  (Use cold cranberry sauce, not room temperature canned sauce. There is something about the  hot pie and cold cranberry sauce that creates a masterpiece in your mouth.)

Either freeze or use the extra dough ball for another pizza. 


Enjoy!





 
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