Monthly Archives: February 2011

I Could Live off This Stuff….

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I got some yummy cilantro at the farmers market this weekend and realized that it was already getting pretty soft. SO I rummaged through the fridge to see in what way I could put this green stuff to use. I then realized that I had everything I needed to make the most delicious dip in the WORLD! My family has been making this stuff since I can remember but I’m not sure where the recipe originated. Well, I use word “recipe” lightly…my fam never actually has anything written down. I don’t think they even use measurements. Things are usually just thrown together until it tastes right. Which is exactly what I did with this heavenly concoction. So here it is- A combination that will prove to be stellar snackage. It’s been my lunch for the last three days.

Black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Combine to your liking and dive in with some tortilla chips. That’s it. Go crazy!

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What Makes You Happy?

This statement is very true in my mind. Merely seeing a picture of a delicious cupcake seems to brighten my day somehow. I found this awesome print by YEE-HAW INDUSTRIAL LETTERPRESS. Check out their stuff! They have some seriously funny and adorable prints, shirts, cards, etc.

I found out that Stanford University actually offers a class called “Designing Happiness.” What an amazing idea! Check it out: The Corporate Pursuit of Happiness. I would love to make a career as a Happiness Coach- working on a personal and corporate level- probably the best job ever! Reading this article really made me think about how amazing Coca Cola is at creating this link between their company and happiness. Think about all their ads- print and commercial. I can’t say that I find myself  NOT smiling after seeing one. Or this genius bit of marketing: The Happiness Machine. If you haven’t watched this video, you really should do your soul the favor.

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Speaking of Coca Cola, the last episode of  This American Life  featured a story about the huge controversy of the sacred and secret Coca Cola recipe. Ira Glass handed over to the public,  what he believes to be the actual Coke recipe. Say what?! Listen to this. You really need to listen to the podcast in order to fully grasp the history and discovery of the recipe: #427 Original Recipe. Even when Ira proposed this recipe to a rep from Coca Cola, he denied it’s validity of course, but he went back to the idea that even if someone DID score the exact recipe, they couldn’t bring consumers the happiness and nostalgic feeling that the Coca Cola Company brings to so many people. He’s got a point.

I think I’ll attempt to do what Jenifer Aaker has her students do in her Designing Happiness class- you should too! Everyday, for 3o days, snap a pic of something that makes you happy or brings you joy. You might just learn a little about yourself….but ultimately, think of what a kick-a, happy collage you’ll be able to make at the end of your 30 days!  🙂

Sweet Sweet Hearts

I absolutely love Valentine’s Day simply because I have an excuse to buy more of my favorite things: chocolate and heart paraphernalia. That sounds terrible, especially because I have a boyfriend who takes holidays/birthdays pretty seriously. I guess I’m the type of person who doesn’t need a designated day to tell someone I love them and give them a personalized gift. I’ll do that whenever I feel like it- and usually that’s pretty often. So Valentine’s Day…bring on the chalky hearts and chocolate truffles!! I’m ready for some girlie crafts and an excuse to buy heart stamps at the post office!
I’m lucky enough to be friends with some very crafty and talented people who enjoy this kind of thing just as much as I do. My friend Tina hosted an early Valentines Party at her place last weekend. Due to selling my weekend soul to my job, I wasn’t able to go. I DID however contribute to the party and, because my wonderful boyfriend went, was able to bask in all the goodies that came out of the festivities. We all decided to purchase cute little valentines, circa elementary school days, make our own goody bags, and fill each other’s bags with the puny folded cards. (My favorite being one with a holographic picture of a wolf that read, “I’m wild about you.” Thanks Matt!) Everyone also painted and decorated wooden, heart picture frames. I still have a blank one- I’ve yet to find the creative juices and energy to whip out the paint. One of my contributions, which was sent with Paul to the party, was a batch of Oreo Truffles. This has got to be the easiest and most rewarding no-bake recipe I’ve come across. They can also be very cute if you take the time to decorate and garnish them. I definitely suggest chilling the balls for an hour before you cover them in chocolate. They’re a lot easier to work with. I also decided to use white chocolate as well as semisweet. Those seemed to be the favorite. 🙂

What You Need:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg.  (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Make It:

MIX cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.

SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

I also want to share one more easy Vday craft. Another reason I love this holiday- I don’t feel so crazy buying ridiculous amounts of doilies (which I tend to do anyway.) I found these adorable heart doilies at the dollar spot at Target- one of my many weaknesses. I decided to just string them together with yarn to make  heart garland. I’m afraid these might end up as year-round decorations, like the doily snow flakes I made around Christmas did. I can’t take all the credit for these though- Paul ended up making them for me! (I was busy with the truffles) I love having boyfriend that isn’t afraid to be domestic!