February is National Chocolate Lover’s Month, so I’m bringing you 70 totally awesome chocolate treats. You know you can’t get enough. Drive away dementors, create some love, and indulge in this food of the gods every day. Let’s get to it.
This Rustic Rye Bread might not be the prettiest loaf, but it’s definitely tasty. Made with a mixture of rye and white bread flour, it’s light and hearty with a malty flavor. Get in there and make some bread.
Did you watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show? No surprise, I didn’t see it, but I did see all the photos and memes on Instagram for the few days afterwards. People couldn’t stop talking about how great Jennifer Lopez look at 50. People were not wrong. She is super hot and still an amazing dancer. It almost set off my envy alarm.
But then I remembered that J-Lo has a lot of resources available to help her look that amazing. Somebody to style her perfect, expensive hair extensions. A team of makeup artists. Not to mention a personal trainer, a personal chef, and probably a physical therapist who comes to her house where she might have her own gym. At 41, I have nowhere near the range of motion or the glowing skin (or extraordinary spray tan artist) that J-Lo has. And for once, I’m cool with that.
I am imperfect. I think that’s fine. That hasn’t always been the case. I will never be Jennifer Lopez, and she will never be me. Or you. And we’re all fine.
You know what else is imperfect? This Rustic Rye Bread. Mine turned out totally wonky because I’m still learning how to work with bread dough and my shaping skills are crap. Yours might be better than mine. It doesn’t matter. This bread tastes so good, you should make it no matter what.
I loved the flavor of this bread so much, that I really wanted to share it with you. I could have made it over and over until I got it perfect, but I think we need to embrace imperfection and focus on what really matters. This bread tastes great. That’s all that matters.
You and your bread making skills are great just the way they are, and this Rustic Rye Bread is going to make your life extra awesome.
The Kir Royale is a simple mix of Chambord and sparkling wine. It’s the perfect way to dress up a low quality wine for a cheap date night in. Get romantic with this gorgeous drink.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you go the Leslie Knope route and celebrate with your favorite gal pals for a sweet Galentine’s? Or do you go all out with a fancy dinner and drinks at an expensive restaurant? Do you get chocolate and roses and lingerie? This can be such a devisive holiday. I’m so curious to know how you like to spend it.
For the past few years in Glasgow, my husband has made us dinner reservations. It’s usually a bit of a surprise. It’s nice to go out, as we both prefer to be at home. I actually put on a dress and do something about my hair. You know, make an effort. But it’s always so crowded, usually we can’t wait for dessert to be finished so we can get out of there and actually hear each other speak.
In Hawaii, we used to forego the actual restaurant scene. We’d order something to take away from one of our favorite restaurants and spread out a blanket on the beach and enjoy a nice meal while watching the sunset. February is very different there than it is in Scotland.
This year, Geoff tried to make reservations at an Italian place we’d been wanting to try, but it was already booked. I texted him the other day to see if he had a back up plan. I had one in mind, but I didn’t want to say since he usually makes the plans for this particular holiday. This is how I know this man is my soulmate. He did indeed have a back up plan, and it was the same as mine. This year for Valentine’s Day, we’re going to Five Guys, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I think there’s nothing more romantic than a homemade dinner in, cooked with love for your sweetheart. And the best part is, you don’t have to go that far to the bedroom.
This Kir Royale would be an excellent way to start things off. A shot of Chambord goes into your champagne flute before topping it up with sparkling wine. And you don’t need to splash out on expensive champagne for this one because the raspberry liqueur will cover up most of the subtle flavors of the wine.
The color of this drink is gorgeous. You can serve it plain or add a few frozen berries to the bottom of the glass to help keep it chilled. This drink really couldn’t be simpler. I just love it.
For the rest of my romantic dinner, I think I’d serve something earthy and delicious like Bacon Carbonara. And of course, Molten Chocolate Cake is the ultimate romantic dessert. I think anything home cooked lets someone know you really care.
Even if you think Valentine’s Day is complete garbage, make this Kir Royale for yourself. It’ll be awesome.
Let me know if you’re making my recipes by taggint them #awesomeon20 on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made.
Spam Mac & Cheese is a cheap and easy week night dinner. It feels nostalgic and a little bit naughty. Try it with your favorite Spam flavor tonight.
February is definitely when I miss Hawaii the most. Though the crocuses are emerging and signs of life are returning, we’re still firmly in winter. The wind is harsh, the rain is endless, and the sun barely penetrates. When I see my friends on the beach, my heart aches for our tiny house in Honolulu.
That’s not to say that Scotland doesn’t have its own charm. Stepping into a cozy pub to escape the storm never gets boring. Lighting a fire in the fireplace and snuggling up under a blanket to watch a movie is something we never would have done in Hawaii. And I can cook and bake whenever I want without sweating to death.
This Spam Mac & Cheese is the perfect mash up of my life in Hawaii and my life in Scotland. It features the salty weird but somehow delicious canned ham that Hawaiians adore mixed with the coziest comfort food of all time, mac and cheese. I didn’t realize that mac and cheese was a pub food staple here. It’s so amazing. I never have to worry that there won’t be anything I like on the menu.
We’re making a simple mac and cheese sauce here with evaporated milk that thickens and sets in the oven. First, the Spam gets cubed up and cooked until crisp in a skillet to change up the texture. Then sprinkle the crispy Spam bits over the creamy mac and cheese, and dig in.
No place is perfect. Everything has beauty. Spam Mac and Cheese is awesome. Some things are just universally true.
Good sleep is crucial to mental health. Bring some calm to your night time routine with this homemade Lavendar Pillow Spray. With only two ingredients, you can make your own bottle for next to nothing.
I remember a couple of years ago hearing a sleep expert interviewed on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He was talking about the effects of sleep deprivation on your overall health. What sticks in my memory was when he could immediately point out that Terry hadn’t gotten enough sleep. Sleep deprivation effects basically every system within your body, and it doesn’t take much missed sleep for negative effects to start to rear their ugly heads.
Since then, I’ve been more cognizant of my quality of sleep, and I know for a fact that when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m grumpy and forgetful. I make more mistakes at work. My memory sucks. I even tend to trip or drop things more because my coordination is affected.
There are a lot of tips and tricks out there to improve your quality of sleep, but I think the best thing you can do is to have a routine, and to go to bed at the roughly same time every night, even at weekends. One of my favorite parts of my bedtime routine is my Lavendar Pillow Spray.
Lavendar has long been associated with calm and peace. I don’t know if the science really back up whether or not lavendar can help you fall asleep, but I don’t do it for science. Lavendar Pillow Spray is part of my bedtime ritual. When I smell it, I know it’s time to relax. It makes me happy. That’s why I love it.
All you need to make Lavendar Pillow Spray is about 25 drops of lavendar essential oil in a 100 ml (preferably reusable glass) bottle. Top the rest up distilled water. Give it a shake before you spray it every time. That’s it. Done. My bottle has lasted me months. It couldn’t be simpler.
Good sleep will make us all happier and smarter. Lavendar Pillow Spray will make bedtime a little more awesome.