happy things: a brunch so hard kit

Lemon blueberry pancakes.

An omelette with herbed goat cheese.

French press coffee.

Fat summer strawberries with Greek yogurt.


I don't care much about lunch or dinner but brunch makes me happy, euphoric. The angels sing. It doesn't matter to me if it's room service on a balcony or a little dive diner, brunch food is happy food. Whenever I get the chance L and I will head out on a brunch date and it makes me fall in love with him all over again over shared bites of a cinnamon roll and maple glazed bacon. Friends know that if it involves brunch, I'm in.

So, when I was at Nordstrom, I found this Brunch So Hard kit and I knew that other than a favorite companion, this would be the one other thing I'd need to make brunch perfect. Included in this kit is: antacid, pain reliever, dental floss, breath drops, sweet vs. savory decision coin, hand cleaning towelettes, a stain remover and best of all, a pants extender(!). And once you've used up the products, you get a reusable coin purse that will remind you of just how hard you brunch when you reach for a token.

Here's to the perfect combination of your favorite people and brunch!

happy video: baby pandas on a slide

Whenever I start to lose faith in this world, I watch this video. I like knowing that there are people whose job it is to show baby pandas how to go down a slide. That these little, pudgy Panda cubs follow her down the slide does actually at times bring me to happy tears.

I hope you're having a great (and happy!) Wednesday!

A healthy attempt at the Sweet Potato Toast Trend

We were at home. He was sitting across from me looking at my plate. "That's dinner?" he asked, as my husband took a bite of his Costco hot dog smothered in relish and mustard.  I looked down. "Yeah, it's the newest trend. Avocado on sweet potato toast. I think it probably looks worse than it tastes." I tried lifting the slice to take a bite but it was too floppy to eat with my hands. So, I went with the traditional knife and fork approach and took a bite. He looked at me expectantly. "Well?" "Well," I said. "It tastes like mashed avocado on a slightly charred, chewy but soft piece of sweet potato." It wasn't the worse thing I have ever tasted but it  also wasn't a meal that I would want every night. I did, however, feel virtuous. I felt like the goodness in the avocado and sweet potato were flooding my body with nutrients and that I liked.

I am on a quest to get healthy, to lose weight, to get strong and like who I am. I am happiest when I my clothes fit well and I can walk/run three miles easily. Right now, I need work in this area so lately, I have been wading through healthy lifestyle websites and browsing through cookbooks. Sweet potato toast with avocado is a recipe trend that I keep coming across. As a vegetarian (*with a slight love for bacon) this seemed like a healthy meal bursting with nutrients.  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, manganese, copper and fiber as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados are also good for you, containing healthy mono-unsaturated fat.  I decided to try one of the recipes. I used this one from epicurious.com.

It's a simple recipe. To make Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado, cut a sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices, pop them into your toaster (you may need to do this three or four times on 'dark'). Then top with sliced or mashed avocado. It seemed easy enough.

We have a toaster oven instead of a traditional toaster so I tried it in that. After 10 minutes on the bagel setting, the sweet potato slices were still hard. Fifteen minutes and they were charred and dry but still semi-hard. At 20 minutes, the outside was shriveled and slightly burned. I took them out of the oven and they didn't resemble the crisp looking slices on the epicurious site. My guess is that the sweet potato slices would have cooked more evenly and crisply in a traditional toaster with the heating elements close on both sides of the sweet potato. Of course, avocado can make anything great. So, I mashed an avocado with some fresh lime juice and topped the cooked sweet potato slices with it. It was good, in a way that you like something when you know it's really good for you.

As I was eating the "toast" L, looked at me and laughed. "You look confused as you're eating that," he said, as he took a bite of a potato chip. "Yeah," I said. "It's like a warm Thanksgiving side dish topped with a cool Mexican appetizer. It's not bad. It's just really---soft." Did I finish it? Yes, because I was so hungry. One of the benefits of this meal is that it's super high in fiber so I was full until the following morning. Would I make it again? Probably not, but the next time I find myself in a hipster vegan restaurant, I would order this. I think prepared in a different way, it could be a slice of heaven.