Being Just A Little Bit Different - A Recipe For Happiness - Kitchen Ramblings and Other Things My Mother Taught Me...With a Twist Blog at - 282962

Kitchen Ramblings and Other Things My Mother Taught Me...With a Twist

Being Just a Little Bit Different - A Recipe for Happiness 
Aug. 29, 2012 2:12 pm 
Updated: Aug. 30, 2012 11:20 am
I've always been just a little bit different. I'm not one to follow conventional wisdom and I tend to stand out in a crowd. Hey if you're a woman built like an NFL linebacker, you'd stand out in a crowd too. I'm no Rhodes Scholar and always thought that if I can figure something out, anyone can. I don't always take the high road and I only sometimes take the easy way out. I'm no trailblazer, but I've always made my own way. I'm a food fanatic and recipe geek...well, truth be told the geek thing isn't limited to recipes. I think there are a lot of people out there who are just like me, only different.

My point? Everyone develops their own recipe for happiness in life. The right mix of ingredients, methods and timing that works for them with no two recipes ever turning out exactly the same.

Recently, Allrecipes asked me to participate in their Recipe For Happiness campaign. The campaign is a meant as a "feel good movement" and is open to participation by anyone. I was more than happy to oblige. recipe for happiness press release here To be honest, nothing makes me happier than food so I figured participation was going to be easy. As it turned out, I was not wrong. I started perusing the posts that had already been made by other users and found to my surprise that most of the posts weren't recipes at all...they were photos of family, places, flowers, people, foods, animals...the list goes on.

The things that make people happy are as varied as those who participate. In keeping with the something for everyone theme, Allrecipes has several ways to participate in the campaign. You can participate using Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram.

I admit it, I use Twitter. I love the quick nature of the information. My handle there is livelovelafcook. Please follow along if you are so inclined. I follow lots of food bloggers, chefs and food movements (slow food, food safety, etc). I enjoy seeing what interests them and have a ton of articles saved up for winter reading. I've done a few recipe for happiness tweets since the campaign started. I sometimes like to share a pretty picture of food or ingredients or something that moves me at any particular moment.

It's easy to tweet using the hashtags #recipeforhappiness and #allrecipes. Its also fun, this is one I did a while ago. The recipe for Indian Fry Bread Tacos, by the way, is from Allrecipes you can find it here

I've also done a few posts using the Recipe for Happiness Facebook application. Here's a clip of one of my first posts using Facebook:

One of my favorite things in life is a good red wine from Washington state, I took this photo of Cabernet grapes on Red Mountain last year right before harvest and it always makes me happy to see it.

There's no better place to be than in a vineyard on a sunny day in late September when the grapes are so ripe they are nearly bursting on the vine. Definitely high on the happiness scale.

Another way to post your recipe for happiness is via Instagram, if you happen to have that "free" application loaded on your smart phone, it's a fun and easy way to snap a quick pic of whatever it is that brings you joy. Lots of your fellow food fanatics are snapping food photos everywhere they go...along with all sorts of other things that bring us happiness. Just snap the photo and tag it with the #recipeforhappiness hashtag along with the #allrecipes hashtag and you'll find a whole collection of folks who share your interests.

Other than the fact that its obvious that food makes me happy, along with the wine, of course, if you run across any of my other "recipe for happiness" posts, you'll find flowers, fresh garden veggies, beach scenes and a big giant loaf of the world's easiest artisan bread. My posts are different from many others sharing their happiness in that they don't contain kids or pets, but that's simply because I don't have any of either. Feel free to share any and everything (within reason, of course) that makes up your ingredient list for happiness. As you flip thru the posts on the various platforms, I think you'll find, as I did, that we're not that different after all.

Aug. 29, 2012 3:19 pm
Great blog Jan. I dunno....I got to know you for a brief time and I find you delicious and beautiful and you enjoy so may things that I do. We come from different points in our lives and yet we have so much in common. Bottom line....I like what I see and I thank you for being a part of my happiness :)
Aug. 29, 2012 4:13 pm
Very nicely done! I love how you were able to write around the photos! And I love your idea of what happiness is. I'm not much into the techie stuff, but--who knows--maybe I'll even catch up with that some day!
Aug. 29, 2012 4:28 pm
Great blog entry Jan! Almost got me going back to Twitter (almost :-) I took a break on all the social media for a bit, but slowly getting sucked back in. I hope we get to meet in person one day soon!
Aug. 29, 2012 7:30 pm
Julie - you definitely are a part of my recipe for happiness. Hang in there and know that we are thinking about you.
Aug. 29, 2012 7:32 pm
Marianne - thanks for stopping by (and for the buzz post). You are way more techie than you let on. Your last blog was fabulous and filled with photos.
Aug. 29, 2012 7:33 pm
Hey Gen - I know I will see you on twitter again soon. Come to MN anytime...or better yet I will head your way.
Aug. 29, 2012 8:38 pm
Great blog! Not tech savvy either as far as Twitter or Instagram. Things that make me happy? My son, hubby, 2 cats and all the great friends I've met through AR!
Aug. 29, 2012 10:34 pm
What a lovely blog. There are many things that make up my recipe for happiness - not the least of which are the Recipeeps that bring joy to my life. You are an important ingredient in that recipe.
Aug. 30, 2012 5:58 am
What a neat blog! Thanks for sharing some of those things that make you happy. I'm with MB, not tech savy at all! I have to say the friends that I've made, family, food, the garden and all my pets make me happy!
Aug. 30, 2012 8:03 am
Thanks MB for stopping by. The AR friends are truly special people.
Aug. 30, 2012 8:04 am
Oh BN - you are one of my faves as well. I admire you so much and have no idea how you get it all done. You are truly amazing.
Aug. 30, 2012 8:07 am
Cat Hill - thanks for stopping by. Tech savvy or not, these tools have been wonderful ways for all of us to meet, chat, learn and share. I'm a true geek and it gets overwhelming even for me sometimes. I love your recipe for happiness.
Aug. 30, 2012 10:51 am
Loved your blog. I've noticed, too, it's the small things that make people happy, not money or big houses or fancy cars. Family, food, togetherness, memories.
Aug. 30, 2012 11:20 am
Hi Paula - Certainly money, big houses and fancy cars don't make anyone sad, but you're right. It's the small things that make the big difference. Thanks for stopping by.
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Cookin Up A Storm

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Fergus Falls, Minnesota, USA
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Santa Cruz, California, USA

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About Me
I am a mid-life career changer who has enjoyed cooking (and eating) good food all her life. My Mom went to work when I was in the 5th grade and most days when I got home from school, she'd have left instructions for me to get dinner started. Cooking never felt like a "chore" back then and it certainly rarely feels like one now. During my 20 plus year career in IT, I traveled all over the US for work. And for fun, I traveled internationally. I have a fairly broad knowledge of food, but when cooking, I tend to stick to comfort foods and pretty much anything Italian. I have a big collection of Asian or eastern foods in my arsenal and I absolutely love their flavors. I am a professional chef who runs her own personal chef service.
My favorite things to cook
Comfort foods, soups, chilies, baked goods, candies at christmas, anything Italian, pizzas, homemade dressing for big salads when good veggies are at their peak, potstickers. Anything I can bake that's bad for you like doughnuts, coconut cakes with whipped cream frosting or fresh artisan breads slathered with butter. When I cook for clients, I am forced to move out of my comfort zone and I love trying new things. I especially love coming up with streamlined ways to make seemingly complicated food easy and accessible for everyone.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mom's Potato Doughnuts - she's frying them as she was going into labor with my younger brother and then wasn't home to monitor how many I was eating over the next several days. I rarely stray from the Thanksgiving basics I grew up with. I do switch up the veggie dishes each year, but the basics remain pretty constant. My own tradition (not one I grew up with) is making Turkey Wild Rice soup from the leftovers. No better way to extend the taste of the holiday for me. Making Chili on a cold winter weekend, in honor of my Dad who made a batch nearly every weekend in winter as I was growing up. I don't use his recipe (too much Chili Powder and Dark Kidney Beans for my taste), but I do think of him when I make it.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering Gnocchi - so light and puffy, they are like clouds. A killer Vodka Sauce - never ever have I tasted one better. It took me a lot of tries to get it right. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes - from the book of the same name. Fresh bread...anytime. I always keep a few batches (Wheat, White, Semolina) in the fridge. Heat up the oven, shape the loaves, bake...yum. Homemade Caramels at Christmas time. I make both Vanilla and Chocolate Caramels and they are to die for. I give the Vanilla ones away as fast as possible, as I cannot stop myself from eating them.
My cooking tragedies
So many to list, such little space to write in.
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