Before Oprah springs to mind, let me give you an image of Julie Andrews, radiant and surrounded by children.
She knows what she loves, and loves what she knows. Her favorites are diverse, and her lilting voice dances from tea kettles to apple strudel to melting winters. No funk or disappointment can mar her favorites, and indulging in them--even thinking of them!--is enough to chase away sadness. It is in this spirit that I shirk the obligatory resolutions and present to you my favorite things:
A Bialetti espresso maker. I prefer the Mokka Express, which brews delicious coffee in minutes on your stovetop.
Thick wedges of Italian Cornmeal Cake. Versatile, simple, delicious. I've made this so many times over the past year, and so should you.
A citrus reamer. This simple tool makes quick work of lemons and limes.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Vegan with a Vengeance. My Mr. makes them every weekend, accompanied by raspberry sauce and soyatoo whipped topping. Wonderful.
Teas from Harney and Sons. I take tea every afternoon with my daughter, and these high-quality blends make every pot special.
Baking my own bread. I've given up store-bought entirely, and it is so worth it. I use a variation of my grandmother's recipe, whole wheat studded with sunflower seeds and oats.
Water. In a cup, a tub, or a river, water is both luxurious and vital. Whether you're a breastfeeding mom or a day laborer, your body works hard and loses it fast. A tap or shower filter will make water purer, or you can go straight to natural sources in your area. I replenish by drinking often, and recently invested in a whole home humidifier (it runs through the heating system).
That dream fulfilled, I'm working toward more ways to enjoy my H2O: with a new kayak this summer, and eventually a whole home filtration system.
And finally, Green Smoothies. Everyone benefits from consuming more greens. Make it a resolution you can keep with this simple elixir:
Orange Cream Green Smoothie
To get a creamier texture, scrape the whole insides of the orange--membranes and all--into your blender. And if you’re new to green smoothies, start with a smaller amount of spinach, and add more next time.
1 banana, frozen
juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (taken from about 1/4 of the orange with a rasp)
generous handful (1-2 cups) spinach
½ cup water
1/2-1 cup ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Drink.
Now tell me, what are your favorite things?