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blowing sunshine

Recipe: fried lemon slices with aioli

I am feeling particularly energized lately! So many things are converging to put me in a great frame of mind these days. My cold is kicked, the longer daylight hours are fantastic, I am making some professional inroads, tons of interactions with friends – old and new, and feeling like I can tackle just about anything. That’s huge. Lots of opportunities in motion and I’m stepping ahead into new territory. Even our unbelievably warm, sunshiny days have put an extra spring in my step as I rush around keeping busy (which I love) and out of trouble.

untouched corduroy

My tele class was incredible yesterday: the snow, the weather, the skiing, the ladies, the networking – all phenomenal. I smiled to myself on the lift while my buds were chatting away… just took a short moment to reflect on my life and feel good about it, about the people I love and how fortunate I am to have them in my life. Don’t think for a moment that I don’t wake up each morning raring to go and grateful that I am alive. What Patricia had to say recently about the power of positive thinking resonated with me. Do you know people who get bent out of shape over the most trivial things? Or some folks who are always victims (my friend calls them professional victims) and suck the life force right out of you? These individuals are defeated before they even get to the starting line. That is sad and not just a little pathetic. Life is hard enough as it is, why would you go and screw yourself some more? Happiness for me (and for most of the happy people I know) is making the most of what you’ve got and running with it. I draw inspiration from people like that and they feed my own determination and initiative. As my oncologist instructed me when he listened to my lungs and asked me to take a breath, “with gusto!” You bet.

bluebird day at the top of my favorite black run

messing around on moguls

And it is with gusto that I feel it is time to share the love, what with Valentine’s Day right around the corner and all. Everyone could use a little cutlery in their lives, don’t you think? I know that people rave and rave about their Santoku knives all the time. I quite love my Santoku (Henckels), but I’d be lying to you if I said it was my goto knife. In fact, I goto a lot of knives depending on what the heck I’m doing.

behold, my favorite knives

From top to bottom: 10-inch Chicago Cutlery bread knife, Henckels five-star 8-inch carver, Henckels five-star 7-inch Santoku, my baby, Henckels five-star 3-inch pairing knife. I think I reach for these knives the most. The bread knife gets the most use for pastries and specifically, cakes. The 3-inch pairing knife is an all around utility knife for peeling fruits and vegetables (I do a lot of that). The carving knife actually has an identity as a benchwarmer as I tend to use it when two other preferred knives are dirty. However, I use it when serving cakes (anything round that requires radial slicing) or other foods because its width is thin and the length is perfect for clean cuts. I don’t carve much because we don’t often eat large hunks of animals and I’m a lousy carver. There is likely a correlation between those two observations. My Santoku is the workhorse – heavy, strong, sharp. I slice, dice, julienne, mince, crush, chop, split with this knife on a daily basis. It is incredibly reliable and lovely. If someone were to attack me in my house, this is the knife I would grab to wound them. Those little grooved pockets on the side would keep the intruder from sticking to the Santoku blade when I pull it out to inflict yet another debilitating blow. And then there is the one… the white knife.

kyocera ceramic 5.5-inch

A couple of years ago, my parents bought a Kyocera ceramic knife for themselves and picked one up for me. They called me several times to find out if it had arrived and when it finally did, they told me to “slice a tomato with it!!” Which I did. At first I was afraid of it because it is *really* sharp. Not only is it *really* sharp, but it is brittle because it is ceramic. That means you don’t bang or tap it against anything. You don’t twist it or apply any amount of torque to the blade. Don’t try to cut bone with it or frozen things (thawed is okay, but not frozen). Don’t drop it! Don’t lay it on its side and put something heavy on top of it. You don’t sharpen it (you can send it back to Kyocera to be sharpened once every year or so, but I haven’t yet). What you do is love it and slice with it… beautifully.

The Kyocera is not my everything knife, but since I spend hours each week slicing and dicing, I use it often. It is the nature of Chinese cooking, I dare say. I get thinner, cleaner slices than my Santoku can produce. Feels like silk when you cut through a tomato. It is an amazing tool in the kitchen. You need to have a certain amount of fear and reverence for the knife or it will cut you – and then you will be put in your proper place (that would be the ER).

With great power comes great responsibility. Who is up to the task of owning their very own 5.5-inch Kyocera Ceramic knife? I only ask because I’m willing to give one away – shipped to anywhere in the world! Kyocera isn’t paying me to do this, I’m doing it out of my own pocket because this knife rocks my world and I in turn want it to rock yours… Well one of yours, anyway. Don’t worry, we can afford it.

we just won’t feed kaweah for 8 months

For the regular readers, you know that leaving a plain old comment isn’t enough to enter a drawing on urb. We try to be a leeeeetle more cerebral than that. Try. *snort*

What makes you happy? Hopefully nothing so banal as “money” (yeah, I’m judging… it’s my blog). I’m talking about something that makes you feel good about being alive, be it achievement, laughter, service, vengeance, family, a snuggy puppy, that perfect cup of coffee, a friend… You don’t need to write a novel, just a thoughtful comment on one thing that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be THE thing, just ONE thing. If it’s God, that’s perfectly fine too, as long as we refrain from making God everyone else’s thing. You have until midnight, Friday the 13th (woooo!!!!) of February (2009) to leave a comment. One person will be chosen at random and the winner shall be announced on Valentine’s Day: February 14th. Who loves ya, baby?

Note: If you win and break it soon thereafter, I will personally come to your house and smack you for being such a dolt.

Other Note: You can opt out of the drawing by saying so in your comment, but from me to you, I wouldn’t.

don’t smash the garlic with the kyocera, smash it with the santoku

I know, I know… I just sang the praises of the Kyocera ceramic knife and here I am with the Santoku! But you see, this is how I peel garlic – particularly when I want crushed garlic. [Kitt mentioned this and I was all, “yeah, doesn’t everyone do it that way?”] I lay the clove on the the board, place the blade of the Santoku flat on top of the clove, then set the palm of my hand on the knife with a crushing blow of force that renders the hard-to-peel skin easy to peel. It comes right out and then we do a little choppy choppy.

gather it up in a pile and pour some salt on the wounds

This is how I work the garlic when I want it in a paste for something like guacamole. I love garlic, but the chunky raw bits can be a little too assaulting. I press the salt into the garlic with the flat of my Santoku knife until it is pulverized. Yes, do not attempt this with a ceramic – you’re just flirting with heartbreak (or knifebreak).

vampires beware

The paste is for aioli. I’ve always loved the stuff, but never made it myself. I remember asking my aunt years ago how she makes mayonnaise and the only thing that stuck in my mind was “eggs” and “beat the hell out of them”. I was both exhausted and exhilarated after I got home from tele yesterday, but I had it in my head to make aioli and fried lemon slices like the ones I had at Radda last week.

beat the hell out of them

Just a little fy to the i: I started beating the egg yolks and garlic with a whisk, adding a drizzle of olive oil and all I got was a soupy mess. What? You think everything works out the first time around? With new egg yolks, I used my electric egg beater (how appropriately named) and only a few drops of olive oil at the start, which gave me a nice and thick consistency and then the rest of the oil helped to bring forth the fluffy, creamy volume.

the white knife makes her appearance… she always does

If you like lemons, this is a recipe JUST FOR YOU. I bought a juicy organic lemon with a thin rind for this experiment. You can tell it’s juicy from the weight in your palm. The thin-skinned lemons tend to be smooth and yield to gentle pressure. Be sure to wash it well and pat it dry. The lemon slices should be thin, but not so thin that they fall apart because they have to form enough skeletal structure for the fried goodness.

egg bath, bread crumbs, awaiting destiny

I used a simple egg bath (one egg, beat it) and some bread crumbs, although I have a sneaking suspicion that panko flakes or tempura would be fabulous. The frying started out happily enough. I had my camera ready to get a shot of beautiful lemon slices bubbling away in the oil until some juice leaked out and all hell broke loose. Well, there was much splattering of oil and I opted to put the camera away.

instead of paper towels, use a cooling rack

The slices are great on their own – crispy, lemony, tart. They are even more awesome with a dip in the aioli. I’ll confess, I made fish tacos for dinner last night and I dropped a slice or two into each taco with a smear of aioli and I think I have found true bliss.

there is no charge for awesome

Fried Lemon Slices with Aioli
[print recipe]

1 lemon, organic and thin-skinned
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic
1/2 -1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Make the aioli: Peel the garlic cloves and mince. Gather the garlic into a little pile and pour the salt over it. With the flat of a sturdy knife blade, crush the salt into the garlic until you get a nice paste. Combine the paste in a bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk or beat the egg yolks together (you can also use a food processor), adding a few drops of olive oil at the start. Keep whisking and adding a little oil until it begins to thicken. While whisking/beating, pour half of the oil into the mixture in a slow and thin stream. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and continue whisking in the remaining oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Add more lemon juice and or salt to taste.

Fry the lemons: Slice the lemon into 1/8-inch thickness. Dip each slice into the egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Place in hot oil (350°F) and fry for about a minute or until golden. Take care that there will be some splattering. Remove from oil and set on a rack to cool. Serve with aioli.

429 nibbles at “blowing sunshine”

  1. Maggie says:

    I’m a full-time grad student and a part-time barista… right now the thing that makes me happy depending on the day of the week is making a perfect heart or rosetta on a delicious, carefully-crafted latte or cappuccino or finishing a paper and feeling proud of it!

  2. Kitty says:

    What makes me happy? Spending time with my step-kids. They live across the country from us. Life is so boring when they’re away. And life is so right and warm and colorful when they’re with us.

  3. Kelley says:

    When everyone around me is relaxed and comfortable, I’m happy. One of the things I love most is to see my cat and boyfriend taking a nap together. I can walk around doing boring chores and all I have to do is peek at them and I smile.

  4. Ginny says:

    Looks great! i like your technique for mashing up the garlic!

  5. Caitlin says:

    Sometimes, it’s a really good run, one where I’ve pushed myself to the limit. Other times, kneading dough, because I love how tactile it is. But the surprising one? On my 30 mile commute home, when the sun is setting and the colors across the (flat flat flat) Wisconsin fields are so gorgeous, I can’t help but start grinning and laughing. Can’t stop myself, and I’ve gotten some weird looks from fellow drivers. But sunsets, they’re just so darned beautiful.

  6. Anna says:

    The fetus in my belly whom I’ll be meeting in about three weeks.
    Also, productivity.

  7. Lisa says:

    Feeling accomplished.

    It could be walking into my clean home or taking a project from conception to live at work. It could be nearly fainting at reading a recipe yet then serving it up to rave reviews or watching a friend tear up when flipping through a hand-done scrapbook I’ve gifted her. It could be watching my father stand prouder when talking about me to his friends or observing the puppy finally coming when called. It could be that last pass debugging code and finding the program FINALLY runs or toying with the shutter speed until the shot is no longer blurred. It could be avoiding an accident by swerving at just the right moment or watching a flower finally bloom on my patio.

    I am happiest with myself when I feel I’m doing my best with the challenges I’m facing. It’s pride, really. But for me – pride in myself brings peace… and happiness.

    Thanks for doing this Jen!

  8. Amy says:

    Running! Running makes me happy.

    Fried lemon slices??? Wow, I’ve never heard that… I might have to give that a try.

  9. Fiona says:

    It makes me happy when one of my students asks a really smart question. One that shows s/he has been listening and thinking about what it all means.

    Example: I teach American history. So I had been droning on for a couple of months, and we’d gotten to the bit where the Republican Party comes to be. I explained how they were a party with a lot of radicals and how they were closely associated with opposition to the expansion of slavery. The Democratic Party, as a result, dominated the South, and represented tradition rather than change. Southern dominance by the Democrats lasted until the 1960s, based on the political divisions cemented in the Civil War era.

    One of my students raised her hand and asked, “Is that why all the old people in my town are Democrats, even though they’re conservative?” Yes, Grasshopper, yes that’s right. She *got it* that things like who’s right and who’s left change over time, and she *got it* that those designations are not written in stone but related to specific events and loyalties.

    That kind of thing makes me happy.

    That, and Oreos.

  10. Georgia says:

    Ooooh. This looks so freaking good. Can’t wait to try it.

    Thing that makes me happy: that I can hang out with my best friend in the world after weeks of both of us being too busy, and in two hours flat I feel more grounded and sane, just by talking to her. I love that I have such a great friend in my life.

  11. Diana says:

    Hi… just came across your blog & thought I will share my happiness.
    “Sunshine (in Boulder) makes me happy. It brings all the
    good old memories of my friends/family back in India.
    And most of all, it makes me feel good that I live
    in a beautiful/heartwarming place with my wonderful husband.
    Yeyyyyyyy…. the sun is shining in Boulder today!

  12. Anna says:

    Playing an exceptionally high point word in Scrabble makes me happy. And it makes me feel clever. So maybe feeling clever makes me happy.

  13. Anjanette says:

    What makes me happy? This is an easy one…..the pure, unadulterated joy on my dog Dylan’s face when we go outside after a fresh snowfall. I call it puppy-crack….he dives into a snow pile, inhales as much as he can stand and then smiles at me with snow caked all over his face. He kicks it up himself and then tries to chase it down; he rolls in it to make doggie-angels. It’s pure entertainment. I love it!

    BTW, I am so trying these fried lemon slices. I saw them mentioned in the post about Radda and filed the idea away to try sometime. I think now’s the time.

  14. jennywenny says:

    Oh wow, those lemon slices look absolutely delicious. I may well have those on valentines with some fish, being as we’ll stay home to leave the restaurants to the romantic folks!

    I think my husband makes me the happiest. I just happened to mention I wondered if he’d be interested in making a cupcake stand, and I got home from work to find him with pipes and a base and everything already to get it done by the weekend! He’d already trawled around michaels, home depot and a bunch of places getting the supplies. I’m so lucky to have such a great life and a wonderful husband!

  15. b*schus says:

    Cooking a good meal for my husband makes me happy. Also, my birthday, which is tomorrow!

  16. Nic says:

    Been reading quite a while, but first comment. You *gotta* feed the Big-K… that has to be the only dog on earth that can do “pitty me” eyes – even while the reserves are getting topped up right in front of her! :-)

    Happiness is easy – it’s remembering to think about it that’s tough. I’ve got a great wife and two snuggly cats (we’re not in a good palce for dogs or horses, or they’d be in the mix); a solid job; and a number of close friends. Can’t ask for more than that. For shorter term happiness – it actually is: slicing things in the kitchen :-) Cooking is my main hobby and I usually make somethign just to relax at the end of the day, so mindlessly prepping is, in fact, my little happy place. I also have a Henkle (actually 2, one for each). I’ve tried a the small Kyocera paring knife and loved it – so I’m thinking, having that silky feel as it slides through a tomato could turn my small happy place into pure bliss.

    Even if I dont’ get picked – thanks for the all the great pics, life commentary, recipes, and most of all – keeping it real.

  17. Daniel says:

    Bacon grease makes me happy. :)

    I was looking for knives last night. I found some custom Japanese ones by a guy named Mr. Itou. They are probably great, but they are certainly the most beautiful knives I have ever seen.

  18. Adrienne says:

    My first sip of coffee in the morning (while I am not one of those monster-before-caffeine people) makes me happy every single day.

  19. Kate says:

    Success at a new recipe – original or not – makes me happy. And so does early morning in winter.

    Fried lemon with aioli? One of those things that is so unusual I have got to try it. Eventually.


  20. Rosa says:

    What an unusual and exquisite recipe! Wonderful…

    Living a peaceful life (free from toxic people and problems), good food and other simple things make me happy. I don’ ask for much…



  21. Cindy says:

    few things make me happier than walking to work during a fresh snowfall. picture a light dusting of white powder on the streets of washington, dc, huge, fluffy snowflakes falling all around, and me with a huge grin on my face, skipping down the street. perfection.

  22. barefoot rooster says:

    what makes me happy? my boyfriend, making quart upon quart of applesauce because he loves the vintage foley food mill i found way in the back when i moved into this apartment.

    (i had a long list, but i’ll pick this one for today.)

  23. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy says:

    I could go for the shameless plug and say Nutella since I’m co-host of World Nutella Day today, but what really makes me happy is seeing people help each other, and with their every action reaffirming the fact that they are lucky and blessed and therefore can try to give back in some way. All those other things like food and music make me happy, but when you help someone else, you’re at least doubling the happiness and that’s when it starts to become important.

  24. Jillian says:

    The fried lemons look so good. As far as what makes me happy, hanging out with my husband and my little dog (she is the embodiment of everything that is right with the world).

  25. Christine says:

    One of the things that makes me happiest is seeing the look on a person’s face when he takes a bite out of something I’ve created. I absolutely love baking but it would be nothing if I couldn’t share it with someone. Speaking of sharing it with someone…I’m also very excited about a certain visitor who will be making an appearance just as you choose the lucky knife winner. I don’t think lovers and knives go too well together, though. What are you trying to tell us??

  26. Estie says:

    My Best Friend’s daughter (who’s also my daughter’s best friend!) is deaf and and pretty disabled. She recently received cochlear implants and with intensive therapy, has been making huge strides in learning to both speak and walk (she 2 1/2). It makes me happy and greatful beyond words to see the INCREDIBLE strides she makes each and every day. There is nothing better than hearing her say a new word or take a few steps. My entire family rejoices in these small, yet miraculous accomplishments!

  27. Peggasus says:

    Lately, looking out the windows in the mornings and seeing the neighborhood dogs (five of them from only four houses on our street in our semi-rural area) cavorting all over the place, playing in the snow and having so much fun! All their footprints in the snow show me where they have been.

  28. Holly says:

    May I just say, the tele babe ski pic ROCKS?! :o) You ALL look so happy!

    My family makes me the happiest. I love being needed, and my sons need me. I also am SO happy when I get snuggles from my English bulldog. He thinks he’s still a lap dog (my mistake from when he was a new – and lighter – puppy!). Winning the white knife would make me happy! Thanks for the chance.

  29. Carol says:

    Dark, snowy, winter nights make happy. But those lemons may come in as second, they look so good!

  30. Amy says:

    Jen, this post had me laughing out loud – I’m going to remember that last saying when I serve something tasty…”there is no charge for awesome.” hee hee.

    Happiness for me: walking on the trails by the Ornithology Lab near us, scanning the ground for tiny mushrooms that have popped up after a rainstorm, catching a glimpse of the great blue heron stalking in the shallows for fish, seeing the beaver slip into the water when I come upon him suddenly, coming round a corner and bumping right into a family of geese with their 8 fluffy goslings waddling around. Spring walks around here are always an event, full of surprises, and make my heart swell with joy. :)

  31. Mellisa W. says:

    My eight year old can make my fifteen month old laugh in a way that no one else can. When he gets her going you can’t help but laugh also. It makes my heart sing.

    I am in desperate need of a sharp knife, can’t wait.


  32. Anna says:

    Happiness- where do I begin? Many things make me happy, but the bitter cold of today makes this sentiment particularly timely…

    What makes me happy is anytime I lie in bed listening to the winter wind howl, gaze out my kitchen window watching snow fall, or even slosh through nasty winter slush in my boots. Knowing that unlike so many in the world, I’ve can afford the shelter, heating oil, and clothing necessary to keep myself warm.

  33. Carmen says:

    I’ve been wanting one of these ceramic knives forever!

    I am happy for health and the ability to get up every morning and have a day full of activity.

    I have had fried lemon slices before at a restaurant – I thought it was the strangest thing, but they were so delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  34. Angela says:

    Every day that my little shelter dog is one day closer to being a healthy and happy dog makes me very happy. My husband and I adopted a little cleft-lipped senior pup a little over a year ago and he’s had a host of medical problems since then. We affectionately call him “the Money Pit.” After his most recent surgery, I am hopeful that he will not have to see the inside of a vet’s off (aside from the annual check-ups) for a very long time. /knocks on wood/

    Thank you for your beautiful blog!

  35. Connie says:

    The anticipation right before I open the cover of a new book–I know I have a whole story, either good or bad, waiting for me.

    A totally unexpected song coming on the radio–one i love and haven’t heard in ages.

    Whenever a random stranger is kind or friendly to me in New York City–and this happens more often than you would think!

    When I bake my chocolate chip cookies for JUST the right amount of time so the outside edges are crispy and the middle is soft and melty.

    When someone’s pet takes a liking to me. I like that an animal can sense that I’m animal lover.

    When a blog I read reminds me to think of things that make me happy :)

  36. Mia says:

    What could make me happier than making something delicious to be enjoyed by family and friends?

  37. Kathy O. says:

    There are many, many things that make me happy ….

    Spending time with my daughter and husband, a sunny day without a cloud to be seen, learning new things, meeting new people, keeping my heart and mind open to change, laying in the grass during summer to watch meteor showers (during the appropriate time frame) and finding the different constellations, cooking (therapy), nurturing those I love, gardening, dinner parties with friends, keeping my life simple, knowing my limitations/boundaries and not afraid to express them to those that overstep, knowing I start grad school (social work) in August, loving and thanking God for how He has blessed my life, self-reflection/self-analysis, complete silence (I love the stillness of it), snuggling and playing with my cats >^..^<, lazy picnics, laying on the beach listening and watching the ocean, hiking in the woods, the four seasons …. the list goes on and on :)

  38. Becky says:

    My family is what makes me happy – but a specific moment that floods my heart with joy and my world with happiness usually involves my husband and my daughter in some great moment in their relationship and she’ll look at me and flash her toothy grin. Then there’s certain moments in nature ~ when the humidity is high in Northern Minnesota and it’s cold and the pine trees collect thick frost on their needles and as I’m driving to work and the sun is rising that is a moment that makes me happy as well.

  39. Sandy says:

    I always thought *everyone* smashed garlic cloves with a knife in order to remove the skin.

    What makes me happy?

    When my 10 year old talks to me, and I mean really talk. In a few years, I’ll probably have to pry info from her, but right now, I savor our discussions about all sorts of topics.

    Our good night ritual, which involves x number of kisses to and from each parent, and “I love you.”


  40. barbara says:

    I’ve never heard of the ceramic knives. I’d be really afraid of breaking it so exclude me from the competition Jen.

    But I have to say just being alive makes me happy.

  41. Sarah says:

    Ticking things off of my to do list makes me happy. Getting kids excited about libraries makes me happy. And last but certainly not least, chocolate cake makes my heart smile.

  42. Carole says:

    My chai tea in the morning with lots of milk and sugar makes me VERY happy! I try to sip it slowly to make it last longer but it’s always gone too fast…
    Fried lemon slices? Looks fantastic. This week I tried lemon olives (very good) and lemon ricotta ravioli (amazing!) for the first time in my life. I think I need to make some of these fried lemon slices and try that too…

  43. Lara says:

    So many things make me happy – like when my Hockey team wins a big one. But, I will narrow the list down to two small and very simple things….

    First – the sound of my nephew’s six year old voice on the phone when he says “love you, bye!” but it’s even better when he reprimands my brother for not saying it when he hands the phone off to my wonderful sister-in-law. Distance is a bitch sometimes…but that voice makes it seem less so.

    Second – The ability to read – I can’t imagine life without it. I devour anything and everything I can in print but a fantastically written novel will always bring a smile to my face – even if tears are streaming down my cheeks.

    Thank you for so many happy reading moments through out my day!! (Oh, and not to mention the yummy food I try – and fail – to make on ocasion. My friends always know when I’ve got a new URB recipe to try out on them and love me through the successes and failures!)

  44. Laura says:

    When I step outside and the sky is bright blue, the sun is shining, and there is not a cloud in the sky. The temperature doesn’t matter. Just having that bright, brilliant sun shine down on me. I always point my face towards the sky, take a deep breath and smile.

  45. Manggy says:

    Whoa! That looks very interesting. I dunno if I can handle the sourness without a ton of sugar on it, but I trust you! I have to try my hand at aioli too, someday :)
    Soooo many things that make me happy, but for now what come to mind are seeing my friends and family fall all over themselves when I make them an especially delicious dessert. Also, cuddling up under thick blankets with a special someone. Granted that hasn’t been an option for me in a long while, but a guy can imagine!
    By the way, my go-to knives are some nameless but good bread knife (for torting cakes, making pastry slices and such), a cheap ~$2 “chef’s” knife from a Japanese thrift store for general use till it’s dull then to pass on, a sharp pair of Henckel’s poultry shears (gifted to us!), and another nameless chef’s knife (now dull, but it has those fake “never-sharpen” teeth) that I use for tearing a block of chocolate apart into thousands of fragments.

  46. Kris says:

    Cool blog! What makes me happy is look, kiss & hug that my husband (of 3 months) gives me when I come home from work. Plus, the fact that he loves to clean while I sit on the sofa and watch tv. But, I cook for him.

  47. Angela says:

    Sunlight filtering through a tree’s leaves to warm my face makes me more peaceful than anything in the world.

  48. Jennifer says:

    Laughter makes me happy…especially coming from those I love.

  49. soopling says:

    I love the feeling of a difficult job well done. That can apply to anything, just as long as it involved hard work and genuine effort, and then in the end: success.

  50. Jen C says:

    You know what makes me happy! That cute little man at home, Jack…

  51. Jenny says:

    What makes me happy – when my 4 1/2 year old says “mommy I had a good day”.

  52. Jen says:

    I’m a college student majoring in human biology; and in the midst of midterms, projects, papers, labs reports, final exams, and the like, what makes me the happiest is coming home and reading through my favorite food blogs, looking for the next recipe to attempt. I love the satisfactory feeling of trying out new recipes, being able to create something comforting and beautiful with food, and most of all, sharing the deliciousness with my friends. To me, it’s the little things that count — A group of friends, sitting around the kitchen table, sharing a meal family style, laughing at inside jokes, and forgetting about the stresses of academia :)

  53. Jennifer Naquin Fox says:

    Hi Jen!

    I am the happiest when I am outside running – preferably a long run! I love running marathons – the experience is amazing and it’s so awesome to be surrounded by folks who love running as much as I do. :) My running friends are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and they’ve always been there for me in good times and bad. :)

  54. Lisa says:

    What makes me happy? When I remember that It’s still wonderful to spend a day with my boyfriend doing nothing at all instead of being sad that he doesn’t take me out much.

  55. Lucy says:

    Sailing on Sydney harbour with friends in 15 knots of steady breeze makes me happy

  56. Patricia Scarpin says:

    you can’t imagine how happy I felt when I read your post – well, I always feel happy around here, with your witty texts and ultra yummy photos and recipes, but to be mentioned is an honor.
    I think that growing up without my mom made me realize how much life is worth living (she was really sick when she was my age and died at the age of 32). And I want to live well and be a good companion to others – happiness is not in a pile of money. It can certainly buy things you need and want, but won’t be of any use if you are alone in the world and/or everyone around you is there only for the $$$.
    Being positive and grateful has brought me so many great things and I strongly believe that the future holds many more. And by “things” I don’t mean only objects – the term includes learning, knowing special people, being healthy and overcoming obstacles.
    Those knives are too beautiful, I have to say. And those lemon slices are perfect – it’s like you chose them for me. ;D


  57. Delaney says:

    I’m cheating and answering with two… 1. silence during a really successful dinner party. Hosting friends and family in our new home is one of my very favorite things in life, and if everyone is enjoying the grub so much that they drop out of the conversation, that means my menu-planning and stove-slaving was a success… and 2. my boyfriend of five years. Although I suppose I should call him my fiance; he proposed to me on Friday. I feel like I’m just wandering around in a haze of happy.

  58. DrMeglet says:

    Making things makes me happy. Sometimes it’s managing to get that photograph of that lovely sight that I see so that I can see it again and again, or share it. Other times it’s food, being able to get something that tastes good and again, you can share. And just making it through the day and getting something done makes me happy. Especially if those around me manage to smile while all this is going on.

  59. Delaney says:

    ooh, P.S. I love my chef’s knife so much that I pack it and bring it with me on vacations. I cannot abide using a subpar knife in anyone else’s kitchen.

  60. Anna says:

    I find that most days it is the little things that make me happy. I cook dinner at home and my partner always makes me a cup of tea and hangs out with me while I cook. Just her making that tea and sitting with me always brightens my evening.

  61. Lee says:

    My puppy dog makes me happy! Especially when he’s being cute like tonight, when it’s freezing cold outside.

  62. bekah jones says:

    Cooking a good meal makes me happy and getting to serve it to people who can enjoy it and appreciate the work that went into it.

  63. Melanie says:

    Hi Jen

  64. The Flying Quiche says:

    My boyfriend makes me happy. Corny but true. He’s such a goofball!

  65. Roxane says:

    When my husband and I start laughing, really laughing at something so hard we start crying and complain that our stomachs hurt but we just can’t stop. Yep, that makes me happy just thinking about it. Its even better when its the most inane thing to set us off but the laughter is worth it.

  66. dawn says:

    working out and baking make me very happy

    I always love the pics of your sweet dog.

  67. Melanie says:

    sorry i don’t know what happend hahah what makes me happy is my husband of 17 years considering i’m 36 and still so happy to have my best friend that i love more everyday, i wanted to let you know i got a knife from my grandmother that was passed down i think it started out about 1 1/2″ thick and it’s now about 1/2″ thick from all the sharping and it’s age but i LOVE this knife and all the memories it holds. Have a great Day Jen and thanks also making me happy whenever you have a new posting.

  68. Joanne at frutto della passione says:

    Being with the people I love makes me happy, we don’t have to do anything special, just hanging out is good. Weekends with my husband and son, a good movie, popcorn and the three of us on the couch. When we go to Canada and I can hang with my sisters and their kids. That makes me happy.

  69. Laura says:

    I am a regular reader but not commenter–but like I was not going to come out of the woodwork for this. ;) And the comment re: feeding your dog cracked me up.

    What makes me happy…. boy do I have to choose just one? I am going to say my daughters–which is kinda trite I know, but I just lost my German Shepherd companion of the last 13+ years and I can honestly say that their adorable little toddler faces are what has kept me sane the last week. For a more interesting yet more flip answer I will say my new double oven. I recently baked a cake and bread at the same time and felt like running around the house giggling. :)

  70. Tori says:

    What makes me happy? Seeing my boyfriends entire family together and caring for his dying grandfather. I’ve never seen a family come together like that. While it is a sad time for all of us the love that I feel when I come into that house is amazing.

    We’re all feeding one another and sharing wine and stories and caring for him together as a cohesive unit. When one of us has to step out because it’s so overwhelming someone else steps in.

    I hope when my time comes my family will do the same.

  71. Jess says:

    Sometimes I get tired of my city (Victoria, BC), but every morning this week I’ve walked to my bus stop with cold cheeks, bathed in sunlight with snow-capped mountains in the distance. How lucky am I?

    Opting out of the giveaway, but it’s always an inspirational read, Jen. I especially like the Chinese food – my boyfriend is Chinese but whenever I visit his parents for dinner, they serve white food! I guess I’ll have to take care of this myself…

    PS: OBSESSED WITH LEMONS. Eat ’em on their own. My dentist hates me.

  72. Natasha M says:

    Well what a perfect time to come out of the woodwork. That knife looks gorgeous and I would respect it well. You know what makes me happy? Aioli! I recently learned to make a good one, and have been experimenting with different flavors. My fiance and I now have a different aioli every week! My favorite so far is a garlic & basil aioli, which is amazing drizzled over everything from toasted bread to risotto! And it really jazzes up a plain old chicken sandwich. I take care not to breathe on anyone after that, though, because we are garlic FIENDS!

  73. Janet says:

    I am happy when I get to really reach a student. I teach at Community College and often the kids aren’t ready for college, but they’ll have the raw materials. In my book that boils down to curiosity which is usually in need of much guiding. I love it when I get to work individually with them and see the light bulb of understanding appear. That subtle change in facial expression even before they say ‘oh, I get it’ is the best. At that moment I feel like I have a purpose in this world and am serving it.

  74. nanette w says:

    as a full time student… being able to take enough time out of my day to walk my maltipoo named Beast for longer than 15 min.

  75. Bridget says:

    Every weekend, my husband and I head to the bookstore, where we get cappuccinos to sip while we browse. It it my favorite time of the week; when I’m happiest.

    Also, fried lemon dipped in aioli sounds amazing! And I just bought a bag of organic lemons that I have no plan for, but I’ve indulged quite a bit the last two weekends and really want to eat a little leaner for a while. Bummer!

  76. Aran says:

    I couldn’t agree more with patricia and you regarding positive thinking. it’s the only way to move on from a negative situation. as you know, we don’t have snow in florida (duh!) but we have been having some beautiful sunny but freezing days. that alone makes me happy. sunshine. sunshine on my shoulders, like the song says.

  77. Tanya says:

    List of happy-making things: going out to breakfast, hanging out with my nephews and niece, when a dish/recipe comes together, the ocean, coffee and comics in the morning, farmer’s markets, the ocean, that look on my partner’s face.

  78. Ellen says:

    There are a lot of things that make me happy. The peacefulness of a clean house and a running dishwasher. Good music, played loudly. Insightful discussion. Sunshine. A wholesome, delicious meal. These things, especially when shared with people I love, make me the happiest.

  79. Jordan says:

    When I walk in the door of my brother’s house and his kids come running up to me to give big hugs! I get so much joy out of loving them, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like to have my own kids someday!

  80. Kristina says:

    i love trying out new recipes on friends and family. when it’s a hit, i reply, “oh, it’s a new recipe. i’ve never tried it before.” when it flops, like when i made chocolate pie, i reply, “oh, it’s a new recipe. i’ve never tried it before.” hehehe.

  81. Dyana says:

    I love this post. Life is about the simple pleasures and enjoying every day to it’s fullest.

    What makes me happy……the sunshine streaming through my windows as I’m sitting here typing this. Covered and cozy in my blanket, my favorite feline curled up next to me with all of the information in the world I could ever need or want at my fingertips. Life is good.

    Or at night, when I’m laying in my perfectly comfortable bed, snuggled up in a pile of pillows and blankets getting ready to nod off to sleep listening to the gentle sounds of my wonderful husband lightly snoring, rain landing on the trees outside and enjoying a sense of protection and well-being.

    It’s taken me 31 years to feel this good and damnit, I enjoy every minute of it. = )

  82. JessW says:

    Seeing the beauty all around me is my greatest source of happiness… and gratefulness.

  83. Julia says:

    Cuddling with my favorite person when it’s blustery outside makes me happy.

  84. Stacy says:

    Staying up until odd hours of the night talking face-to-face with a good friend makes me happy. It’s something that the internet and cell phones can never replace! :)

  85. susan in FL says:

    Happy? Family makes me happy. I live 800 miles from my grandchildren and 2000 miles from my sisters and brother. Being with them makes me happy. Hearing from them works almost as well. Especially when they call to share good news.

  86. Vicki says:

    Being lazy on the couch with a blanket and a dog when it’s raining outside :)

  87. Allie says:

    Two things that make me really happy (I can’t decide which makes me happier, so I’m including both):

    – Having a lightbulb ding while struggling to solve a cal problem. I love that moment, because the problem goes from “what the f*ck” to “oh! this is *so* easy!” Huge self-esteem booster after a problem that makes me feel dumb.

    – The satisfied grunt my boyfriend makes after a good meal, and the sight of his plate or bowl being completely devoid of any trace of what I’d cooked. Cooking is love, and eating that food is the acceptance of the love.

    And on a note barely unrelated to happiness, those lemon slices are exquisite. I will be making them soon. Thanks for sharing!

  88. Emmy says:

    Three of my favorite things: fried, lemon, and aioli. I’m so excited to try this!

    What makes me happy…besides food? Hmm. Today, it’s that I gave a very cute boy from work a ride home and I introduced him to my favorite band and we talked about song lyric applicability. Don’t laugh. The boy is almost overwhelmingly cute. If you saw him it would make sense. Also, I’m super excited to have my family come visit me in Portland at the end of the month, and I’m slowly hotting up my apartment to impress them. And today is payday! Hooray!

  89. Pearl says:

    I love so much garlic!

  90. Courtney says:

    The sun makes me happy–I learned that the hard way when I spent four years away from Colorado in the frozen tundra known as Syracuse, NY. Sun is great for the mood, skin, and it breathes life into me.

  91. Mandee Jo says:

    I had no idea there was such a thing as a ceramic knife… Our GIANT dog will eat his dinner, then sit in front of you staring until he burps, its a huge man belch, and it makes me happy every time because its just funny. I’ve never know a dog who burped so loudly.

  92. Beth says:

    I like drinking a really good Belgian beer outside on the deck on a warm Spring day while chatting with good friends. Pure bliss.

  93. Angelique says:

    I love taking my snowboarding boots off after a long powder day. I love eating a giant pile of nachoes. I love drinking beers with my rosy-cheeked friends. I love a perfect, sunny mountain day. When I’m being a glutton, I love all those things at the same time:)

  94. Dragon says:

    Right now, I’m just happy looking at your gorgeous knives. Can you say ENVY? Yeah you can. :)

  95. oranji says:

    coming home from a cerebral “desk job” and getting to do something tactile… like cooking/baking, sewing, playing the guitar, etc. i love using my hands… and would love to take a pottery class someday.

  96. Lily says:

    The smell of a newborn baby when you hold it close makes me happy (pre-poop).

    Great looking fried lemons Jen! I saw them on tv the other day too…now that’s two people who have brought it up and now I must try.

  97. Elis says:

    Reading blogs like this one makes me happy! How can you go wrong with good food, a great attitude & Kaweah?

    Seriously, that photo of the pupster is pretty darn cute…

    And if you think I’m just trying to grease the wheel with that one, I’ll say that the number one thing that makes me happy is the people I love — my friends & my family. They never fail to brighten my life.

  98. jo says:

    Hi Jen, I so do love blog and it’s one of the 1st few things that I do when I log onto my PC each day. Your stories, pictures and recipes are simply priceless. When I think happy, it’s when I’m at home where I’m most comfortable. The best thing about going home after a day at the office is opening the front door and seeing my 2 dogs greet me. The younger one has a tendency to nibble my toes once I step into the door and offer me one of his favourite toys. The older one will give me a funny growl, sounding like “what took you so long”. They are so adorable and I wouldn’t trade them for any other doggies in the world.

  99. haya says:

    sharp knives make me happy! no really, a magical snow fall (to snowshoe through or just enjoy behind glass), excellent company and really yummy food. it’s the simple things in life that are really the best.

  100. Katharine Beutner says:

    I’m also a lurker, though I read often and love your blog and your awesome attitude. I’m so happy to hear that you have your energy back! I hope you continue to feel better and better.

    We lost my dad to cancer this December — but what still makes me happy is that my boyfriend and I managed to pull off a tiny informal last-minute wedding and party in early November, at my parents’ house, while my dad was still well enough to enjoy it. He had *such* a good time and all of our friends and theirs were so amazing and kind. We were even given a gluten-free wedding cake (I have celiac disease). We don’t have a lot of pictures of the party, but even looking at them for a moment makes me tremendously happy, because I know how much brighter it made his last few months.

  101. Jie says:

    happy is simple, happy is easy, happy is everywhere. They are there waving hands and waiting to say hello to you. But the thing is. Do you know how to find them?
    I feel happy when i can become happy from an unhappy thing. I feel happy when i can drink a cold water in a sunny summer day, I feel happy when i see those foot came out of my macarons, I feel happy when my dentist fix a new cavity in my mouth, I feel happy easily because life=happy

  102. Bonnie says:

    My Grandchildren make me happy! Need I say more?!

  103. Paula K says:

    When my dog and I are snuggling and being lazy he will start to lick my hand. He’ll get in between my fingers and nibble a little at the ends. He’s just having a grooming session with me. It’s his way of showing love and it always fills me with warm fuzzy feelings. Occasionally it’s the crook of my elbow which is CRAZY ticklish.. chaos ensues. ^_^

  104. Jeanne says:

    Funny you should ask about happiness. About two weeks ago it struck me that I am happy, really happy – and for no particular reason. Things just seem to be calm and easy for the moment and well, actually, as I think about it, the reasons are legion: my closest friend of over 30 years got a clean oncology report, some women I met in an on line writing class have buddies and we encourage each other to keep writing in addition to having outings at the Getty and eating great food, my daughter is doing well after some trying times, my house is a piled up with clutter from when her five sons lived with me and it’s okay, I discovered your site along with some others I love to peek in on for my daily dose of food enchantment and over all – life is good. Life is good. Yes.

  105. Emily says:

    My friends and life make me happy! Cheesy, yes. True, so yes.

  106. Jazzinx says:

    Beautiful post, as usual.

    So many things make me happy – usually the little ones. But since we’re on a food blog I’ll say that my happiest food pleasure is being able to enjoy a good, fresh loaf of bread. :) Fresh and plianty and warm and mmmm.

  107. MarygQ says:

    What makes me happy is the perfectly round rock I found on my walk yesterday.

  108. Victoria says:

    My partner’s laugh. I don’t care when, I don’t care why–no matter how awful my day is, I hear him and things are good again. Trite and cliched, but so true.

  109. Salena says:

    I love visiting my grandparents. I never tire of hearing their stories, especially about when they first met and about their early married life overseas in France, when my grandpa was stationed at the time. Watching them playfully interact and still be in love after all of these years makes me happy.

  110. Kevin says:

    I would not have thought to fry lemons! They sound good though. Food.

  111. Leah says:

    Lately the early hours of the morning make me happy. I love waking a couple hours earlier than everyone else in the house and have that quiet stillness all to myself. I am free to do what I need or, more importantly, want to do before the kids wake up.

  112. Chiara says:

    Ahhh… I feel bliss (and weak knees) when I listen to my husband’s men’s chorus (he sings with them, not direct) sing on valentine’s day. They perform every year and I love it when they do songs that gives me chills or… weak knees! :) By the way, I have 3 of your knives as my goto knives too: the carver, santoku and the paring knife :) Thanks a lot for the warnings about the ceramic one, if I don’t win, I will eventually get one some day :)

  113. Nicole says:

    I stumbled on this blog a while ago, but have yet to comment. I’ve always been scared to try to make my own sushi, but your instructions have been beyond great and my local Whole Foods fishmonger has been very, very helpful. So thank you!

    And now fried lemons? Lemons = delicious. Fried food = delicious. Sounds wonderful. I will definitely be trying this out this weekend.

    Umm, what makes me happy . . . a vanilla latte, a feather comforter, and a good book. Never fails to cheer me up and recharge me.

  114. Mrs Ergül says:

    How much chance to do I stand amongst 101 (and still counting) other entries? But positive thinking keeps me on the optimist front. No?

    The simple joy of waking up every morning and knowing that I have a ‘blank’ day ahead that could be filled with so much fun, pleasure and happiness, so much knowledge to learn is the simplest happiness for me.

    Jen, I draw inspiration from you. I really do! xxoo

  115. Tony says:

    I’ve done broiled lemon chips for garnish before, but frying them sounds all the more decadent! You know what else works like a charm for making aiolis? the blender (the one for making margaritas). delicioso :)

  116. Britni says:

    What makes me happy:

    My husband and I got married 11 months ago, we’re about to celebrate our first anniversary. We are both in the military and work long, hard hours and are living thousands of miles from anyone we know, love or really trust, but we’ve got each other. As I mentioned before, we’re in the military, and that means that he’s got to keep his beautiful, thick, full auburn beard cropped to baby-butt softness. It just kills me to destroy such a beautiful thing! However, I take immense pleasure in the fact that on Sunday evenings (or maybe after a long weekend) his whiskers have grown in enough to lend to a scratchy-soft half beard. Not only does is compliment his startling green eyes but it feels so good to rub my hand over all that stubble. That’s what makes me happy; Sunday nights with my husband, a glass of red wine and his scratchy almost-beard.

  117. Peggy says:

    What makes me happy? Being surrounded by nature. It can be anywhere, forest, desert, ocean, plains, whatever. It just makes me feel so much more at peace than I ever do in the city (which I sadly live in).

  118. Shazza says:

    What makes me happy is watching my cats wrestle! That and new-fallen snow. Awesome looking recipe by the way!

  119. Asianmommy says:

    What makes me happy is the time that we spend together as a family. Doesn’t matter what we’re doing. Going to the beach and laying in the sun while the kids are nearby digging in the sand…Going for a walk in the woods when the leaves are turning color…Going skiing and watching the kids go down the hill for the very first time…Eating popcorn while watching a Peanuts cartoon together…Reading with the kids and discovering how fast they are learning to read on their own. It’s just so amazing!

  120. payal says:

    Jen, I simply love your blog.

    What makes me happy? Having chats with my hubs because he just “gets me.” Also, a cup of Stumptown coffee with rose macaroons (Laduree).

  121. Hina says:

    I have been reading your blog religiously for a couple months now, but i haven’t yet come across an opportunity to comment. So here goes. I think your blog is amazing by the way!

    What makes me happy is knowing that i wasn’t born with some inherent and burdensome talent. For example, an extraordinary talent for the violin, or the brilliant mind of a mathematician. Although these people are lucky in their own ways they will never be able to experience life in the way i have. Any career, any hobby is a possibility for me. I have so many goals in life, I want to become a lawyer, open my own restaurant, get a PhD, become an ambassador. Some people think that this is too much to accomplish in one lifetime. And it makes me happy to know that all these things are within my grasp because i do not have a rigid set path in life.

  122. Amy from Texas says:

    Reading a really great book, in bed, knowing that I don’t have to go to work the next day. Bliss!

  123. miss lila says:

    there is so much that makes me happy, especially after the greek tragedy that was last year — my love, our little home in this city that we love and all the work we’ve put into it, our real live yard (soon to be my garden) and all the promise of land, working the earth, making with my hands, and rubbing my sweet kitties as i go to sleep. my first good loaf of homemade bread, two nights ago, and i can bake bread!, that makes me inordinately happy. a good audiobook and a handcraft project on a rainy day, the community marketplace and blue crab empanadas on a sunny one, or exploring the new ‘hood on my blue cruiser bike — all of it makes me happy. :D

  124. LizzieBee says:

    I adore my ceramic knife. Friends got me one for my birthday a few years back, and it’s GORGEOUS. I need to get it sharpened, since I’ve had it for 2.5 years now and it’s just getting a bit … well, not DULL, but not as sharp as I’d like it, and to the point where I’d be sharpening it myself. My Kyocera is probably a 3.5″ blade, although it’s a bit longer than my pairing knife (OK I got curious enough and it’s 12cm’s long), and it’s thinner (blade depth) than yours.


  125. Dawn says:

    I love to bake double batches of chocolate chip cookies using the recipe from Magnolia Bakery cookbook. Even better is making a batch and taking them to work or school. I just passed the state nursing board exam on Tuesday after working so hard for 4 years, and during our lectures I would be sneaking cookies to my neighbors. During our breaks I would pull out a baggy to share….I love feeding people, but I especially get a inner happiness from sharing cookies. There were many long hospital days ending with clinical supervision review time; out would come a dozen cookies I’d frozen the weekend before and pulled out just to make it through the end of shift. The sight of a tired hungry students eating a yummy cookie…makes me very happy.

  126. kris says:

    one thing that makes me happy is watching my children sleep…every tough part of parenting and day just melts away and the love i feel for them stops me from breathing for a moment… the hubbie too…he’ll be asleep and i’ll lay a hand on his chest and feel him breathing and feel so grateful we have eachother and still want it that way after ten years.. :)

  127. heidi leon says:

    omg, this is a great idea!! and totally agree with you on the tacos implement, I will def do it (and I’m mexican btw…)

    congrats you have a great blog with great recipes and awesome pictures!!


  128. Diana Banana says:

    am i going to be the only brown-noser here? use real butter makes me happy. it’s gorgeous to look at, makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me wistful, makes me hopeful, and makes me appreciate the good things in life. i’m totally being serious. i love your blog.

  129. Vanessa says:

    I love the feeling of being curled up warm and toasty with the one you love (or my mom :)) with a good book on a stormy day. Theres nothing as satisfying as being warm when its cold out! Also, walking my sisters dog, and then falling asleep with him curled under the covers with me, a good cup of coffee, seeing old friends!Also on my list are, road trips, yoga, rock climbing, even better, climbing so hard you have to drive home with the palms of your hands because your fingers are too sensitive to curl around the steering wheel. Being self-sufficient! Combining two flavors you had never considered before and finding out they are perfectly matched for one another. All of these things make me happy, and so much more! I dont want to hog too much space however, so I think I’ll leave it at that :).

    PS I almost always bookmark your recipes :) they always look so delicious!!

  130. Tawnia says:

    Early morning, while everyone is still sleeping, a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and a good book. Getting to sneak in that quiet time alone makes me oh, so happy.

  131. aholthus says:

    What makes me happy? When my cat comes in after being outside and is SO pleased to see me that he wriggles up in my arms and purrs like an outboard motor.

    This is particularly appropriate to this post because my cat’s name is Gusto.

  132. Sharon says:

    When I wake up in the morning and neither my hubby or I have to work and we spoon. Or talk or cuddle. It’s the best thing just before I hear the kids making noise.

  133. Lauren says:

    First off, I am so jealous of all that lovely skiing in your back yard.

    Second, thank you for sharing the lemon recipe – I look forward to trying it soon.

    And lastly, feeling comfortable in my own skin makes me the most happy, out of the many many things in life that bring me happiness.

  134. Andrea says:

    What makes me happy is finding joy in the things around me. Finding happiness in the small, everyday aspects of life. Like a great meal with good friends. A hug after a rough day. A light blanket of snow. Soup simmering on the stovetop. The sunshine peaking through the clouds. Life makes me happy.

  135. Chiot's Run says:

    My favorite thing is a delicious latte every morning made the the house barista, Mr Chiots. He lovingly gets up early while I sleep in for a bit and makes me the most wonderful hot latte. It’s a beautiful thing. It is the one thing for me (besides Mr Chiots of course).

  136. Sarah says:

    This may sound cheesy, but cooking for people makes me happy. It pleases me to see my husband enjoy his meal, or my co-workers drool over the cake I brought in, and to hear my local homeless friends tell me that the meal I prepared was one of their best. There’s something satisfying in knowing that what you created has brought some happiness in someone’s life and belly!

  137. Karrie says:

    What makes me happy is being able to walk my dog everyday!
    I love this quality time we share.

  138. g..k..s..t..r says:

    My partner has ‘funny guts’ (undiagnosed UC-like symptoms) so I have to get fairly creative with meals. It makes me so happy when I manage to create a dish that doesn’t aggravate his symptoms, that he also enjoys enough to declare it a keeper.

  139. Brooke says:

    Wow, your entry mentioned so many things that make me happy- friendly puppies, loved ones, spreading delicious food love, etc…
    But what comes to mind immediately is when my music shuffle comes up with the PERFECT song to express my mood at that precise moment in time. Perhaps because it makes me feel like fate is looking out for me.

  140. Holly says:

    I’m a knitter and a spinner, and the moment of holding a cloud-fluffy batt of silky merino wool–just holding it, admiring the sheen and the softness–before starting to spin is one of my great happinesses. The perfect colorful potential of a sheep’s best effort in fleece, a dyer’s artistry in the prepared wool, and my vision–it’s exciting and sensory and ever so much different than my usual grad school grind.

  141. Yvettew says:

    Making other people happy makes me happy – to do things other than for you makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself – that’s what happens when you make others happy.

    Also chocolate – hot, melted, ooey, gooey, chocolate in any form ;)

  142. cindy says:

    things that allow me to forget everything around me in that moment… jumping in puddles, the smell of clean laundry, the click of a camera, the pop of a snapple bottle cap, a perfectly risen souffle, crispy skin on a roast chicken, and a newly sharpened knife…*wink wink*

  143. Kim says:

    What makes me happy is realizing and remembering that my happiness is something I get to control. While there are many things in life that happen that are beyond my control, I can choose how I want to react to them and make the best of every situation. For me, happiness is a choice, not a special set of circumstances.

    For something tangible though, the new Animal Collective album has left me grinning like an idiot for a few weeks.

  144. Sheauen says:

    Who makes me happy, my boyfriend.

    What makes me happy, the perfect, pillow-y, plump, brioche donut dusted lightly with cinnamon sugar, hot cup of perfectly brewed coffee, and a romance novel.

    When am I the happiest, when I’m with my family (3 generations of Chinese woman at one dinner table and my poor clueless Korean boyfriend trying to hold his own).

    Where am I the happiest, when I’m at home on the couch, under a fluffy blanket, with a hot cup of cocoa watching the West Wing and listening to the rare sound of rain in Los Angeles.

    Why am I happy? What reasons do I have not to be happy?

    How am I happy? I choose not to dwell on the things that make me unhappy. I choose to either ignore, overcome, or fix those things.

  145. Emily says:

    Getting a throw in judo just right makes me happy. For me to get the timing right, I have to be uncommonly in tune with my own body, and when it actually happens, it feels great. That said, strangely enough, being thrown properly also makes me happy. Very therapeutic, really.

  146. Karen says:

    So many URB readers! Look at us coming out of the woodwork.

    It makes me happy when I have enough time in the morning to sit and enjoy breakfast. And so I make time for it. Work can wait! :)

  147. Shankie says:

    New fresh sheets on my bed and a lovely serene summersnight

  148. Shoshanna says:

    Ballroom dancing is one thing that never fails to make me happy. The challenge of learning new dance moves and mastering them through diligent practice is very rewarding. Dancing, like many other hobbies, allows the participant to continually improve their skills, no matter what level they are at. :o)

  149. Iman says:

    I’ve been a lurker for quite some time and I feel a bit bad that my first comment is where I could win something… but that’s not the reason I’m posting. Your question just really strikes a chord with me.

    I’m a first year engineering undergrad and that means I’m off learning a whole lot about everything… most of all, myself. And what makes me really happy is just… living. I’m having the time of my life at school. I get to meet amazing people, do absolutely ridiculous things, learn to be an adult, make my own mistakes… it’s just an amazing experience. I have never felt so alive before, and it’s a wonderful feeling that I hope never leaves. If I had a working oven and a kitchen that didn’t suck, I would be the happiest girl on campus.

  150. Eunice says:

    What makes me happy is to be able to log onto ProQuest whenever I want to see my completed thesis in full published form and be reminded that I am finally finished and can move onto something greater and better. Well that and a nice gray, cloudy and drizzly day :)

  151. Diane says:

    Happy? I love to watch my 16-yr. old daughter playing volleyball. To have seen her grow from a very gawky kid into a tall, graceful young woman is such a thrill for me. Her team is currently 7th in our Region and they play again on Saturday…woohoo!!!

    =) Diane

  152. Passionate Eater says:

    I was going to opt out, and just leave a comment, until I read how you strongly advised against it. :) As for me, one thing that makes me happy, it is hearing the sound of my father’s familiar and husky (yet frail, and deeply human) voice over the telephone. I commented a while ago how he was diagnosed with cancer and was given 6 mos to live if he opted to undergo chemo. Well, with chemo, it has been over a year now, and my “second chance” at life with him has taught me to treasure every single moment, even if it is just over the telephone.

  153. Emelia says:

    My golden Lab, Simba, has the most personality i’ve ever seen in a dog. Just seeing his little paws crossed over each other as his nose rests on the window, showing a couple front teeth, instantly brightens my day. That, plus cooking an over-the-top meal for my family and just knowing that they enjoy it

  154. Janice says:

    I wanted to let you know for a long time that I really really enjoy reading your blog. I am a grad student, and I don’t have much time to do anything fun, except I do read your blog religiously. I love your your photographs, especially the ones of Kaweah. She is absolutely adorable!

  155. Chantelle says:

    Getting a surprise hug when I’m stressed makes me VERY happy. ^__^

  156. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    Feeding people makes me happy. I love to cook and bake and I love to watch people eat what I have cooked and baked. Makes me happy and content knowing I can fill their bellies with good stuff. Oh and a snuggle with my pup Moose is right up there too.

  157. evenlyn says:

    let me try to write this in the best English I could.

    I love your wisdom, ‘life is already hard, why go screw yourself even more.’

    I’m a happy person, happy go lucky all the time. I easily pleased with just singing, cooking, eating, shopping, covering myself in duvet and read books while the day is freezing cold. Ever since I know more about subconscious mind or positive thinking, I don’t like to be sad. But I do cry once in a while to get rid of the bad feeling inside me.

    I did realise something in particular though that make my so happy. Since it snows heavily in London, I had made a 5 feet snow monster-Kukuru. Whenever I manage to create something out from scratch and it is originally from me,I’m thrill. I’ll be happy and so satisfy for days. I’m happy because I could be creative (I was not educated in a way that I could be creative), it shows I’m alive and I’m living in my life! I’m so satisfy because my brain is working, it is thinking and doing things! :)

    Glad you are a happy person too !! :)

  158. chefsheree says:

    What makes me happy(my husband as well)is to see my 3 children become wonderful, caring, happy, smart, hardworking young adults. I can’t believe we did it!

  159. Maja says:

    :) Tap dance makes me happy, the way something new is always impossible and challenging at first and the satisfaction it gives me to get the rhythm right … be it a combination our teacher gives us or trying to jam when we practice alone. I’m keeping it short and sweet this time. :)

  160. marianne says:

    Yesterday I went to a small, surprise party for a person that I met this year. I didn’t know anyone at the party very well, but when it was time to go home, I walked out of there with the biggest, most wonderful grin on my face. Everyone there was a gem of a person, and the vibe in the room was so positive, open, and loving. So, one thing that makes me happy is being surrounded by a group of people, whether I know them well or not, that are just that – positive, open, and loving.

    (And please opt me out of the contest, thanks… I just thought this was a cool idea and love how many people have commented already!)

  161. Mary says:

    Happy is very early morning, about 4:30am before first light when the eastern sky is somewhat brighter than the rest – but it’s not nearly sunrise yet. At that time in dead of winter, I’m at the back window with great coffee, watching the faint shadows change slightly with the light, and checking snow for the tracks of any night time visitors. In the spring, summer and fall, I’m on my bike then for a 12 mile loop on the empty city streets – no traffic , no stops – AMAZING!
    Cannot wait to try your fried lemon version. I’m afraid I am known as a lemon freak — one more recipe cannot but help my image.

    Love your attitude … and thanks for the giveaway.

  162. Sunshine says:

    Normally, I wouln’t comment on giveaway post, particularly if I’m not a regular commenter; however, you struck a nerve and I thought I share what makes me happy. Instead of a general “this always makes me happy,” I’ll give you two recent instances: one kinda warm and fuzzy in a cheesy way and one, oh so, shameful and super-happy at the same time.

    (1) Backstory, I’m a Bon Jovi fan and not afraid to admit it – Slippery When Wet is an awesome CD; I have copy in my car that I play when I need a “Shot Through the Heart” or “Living on a Prayer” jolt. Every Sunday (yup, EVERY Sunday), my SO and I get together with friends to have dinner. Our ages range from 18 – 45. We usually play a game (this weekend, it was Spoons) and, if it’s the season, some L Word. We shoot the shit and catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s lives. Now, that makes me happy in general, but, I do have a specific moment to intertwine my backstories. So, a few weekends ago, my friends and I are chatting about whatever and, all the sudden, someone – not me – starts singing “Living on a Prayer” and gradually, we all join in and belt out the chorus. I was in heaven, both because I was singing with my friends and because that song was “Living on a Prayer.”

    (2) I had my bachelorette party a few months ago. My friends, who are so dear to me (see above), got me a lapdance by my favorite go-go dancer (I wont’ give a link, but trust me, she’s hot and a fabulous dancer). I have a HUGE crush on her and I normally gawk at her and bashfully give her some money when she dance. My girlfriend (wife!) thinks it’s adorable and usually gives me money. She loves me so much, that she suggested the lapdance. It sounds silly, but it was the happiest moment of my life. I enjoyed it so much, that I cried. I have tried to explain it, but I can’t.

    So, there you go!

  163. Sunshine says:

    Dude! Sorry for the novel!

  164. Sunshine says:

    BTW, my real name is Sunshine. How apropos that I comment on here.

  165. farmerpam says:

    Just ONE thing? Digging in the dirt, opening the root cellar and seeing it stocked with stuff we grew, doing barn chores as the sun comes up, riding my bike up the steepest, kick-ass mtn., snow shoeing through the maple trees and listening to the sap hit the bucket bottoms during sugaring (nature’s symphony), listening to my kids laughing, finding a new born calf in the morning, blizzards, finding perfect river stones, getting the hay in the barn before it rains, sheesh….i gotta stop, cuz it’s all good. Just reading what makes others happy this morning has brought a happy tear to my eyes. Thanks.

  166. Jasmin says:

    I had a case of deep down happiness just the other day. It was a late Saturday afternoon. I had spent the day doing things for everyone else in my family. I knew I could now justify some time for myself. Ohhh…. just one more thing to do. Our 14 month old beagle needed a walk. I piled on the layers and headed out into the cold. The fresh air was invigorating after being indoors all day. The freezing temperatures seemed to have frozen all sound. No one was outside except for a few fellow dog walkers. The daily pressure of having to accomplish things was coming to an end. The sun was dipping low in the sky and promising a spectacular sunset. This sweet beagle, whom I have fallen in love with this past year, was keeping pace with me yet enjoying her own happiness – stretching her limbs, sniffing, checking on me every once in awhile. The world is falling down around our ears, yet I felt a profound sense of peace and happiness bubble up deep inside my chest. I headed back to the house for a cup of hot, strong PG Tips tea. The best happiness comes from the simplest things.
    I love your site. I’ve been reading (and cooking with you) for about a year.

  167. Amy says:

    A Kiss..& not just any kiss, that one that touches you inside & melts your soul. The one that leaves you with butterflies in your stomach everytime you think about it.

  168. brilynn says:

    I love the feel of the sun on my face on a crisp winter day while cross country skiing in my backyard. That makes me happy. Oh, and especially if the moon is out and you can see it in the daytime.

  169. Tartelette says:

    Your friendship makes me happy :)

    I am so making these tonight! Gosh…this is heaven!!

  170. Dak says:

    It’s usually the little things that make me happiest.

    Today, however, I am ecstatic! I’ve just made my first ever loaf of bread, sourdough no less, and it is delicious and perfect. I’ve been dancing with the dog around the house in celebration, have called my husband at work no less than three times to tell him to hurry home before I eat it all, and called my mom at 5am (her time) because I could not contain myself. Yes, kitchen successes make me happy (also a bit giddy). :)

  171. Peter says:

    Calls from my family.

    I spent my entire life, up until I graduated from college, in Ann Arbor, MI. Three months ago, I started my first job. In Tokyo, Japan. Though Skype has made calling home free, it doesn’t help much with the 14 hour time difference. On the occassions where we do manage to synch our schedules, hearing the voices of my sister or my parents never fails to make my day. It reminds me that, no matter where I go, no matter how far away I am, they will always love me. That’s what makes me the most happy these days.

    That and fresh baked cookies.

  172. Dona England says:

    A clean kitchen, a new recipe, fresh ingredients and a day off and I’m happy.

  173. Lan says:

    the song “Into the Groove” by madonna makes me happy. it never fails to make me want to get up and dance …where no one else can see … :)

    and Matt Nathanson’s song “Come On Get Higher” is a very close second, the first chords of the song never fails to put a smile on my face.

    Happy February!

  174. Manda says:

    Quite a lot of things, actually, but the first thing that came to mind was being curled up on the couch with a warm purring Kitten (she’s 13, but her name is Kitten) in my lap, reading a really good book. Bliss!

  175. Chelsea says:

    Most recently, the thing that makes me happy, is when my 2 year old says “mommy, you my best friend”.

    But in general, I am happiest when I get to spend the day in the kitchen and then sit down to a meal with my husband and daughter and friends. For me there is nothing more gratifying than feeding people.

  176. sherry says:

    As soon I started thinking about what makes me happy, I thought of reading. I’ve always been an avid reader ever since my mother lured me from spending too much time in front of the TV to reading books with the line that reading is just TV in your head. Ever since then, I’ve spent countless hours each day reading. About a decade ago, I discovered fan fiction, fiction written by fans based on characters of TV shows, books, movies, you name it.

    Since these stories are written by fans, quality is not always a given. What makes me really happy is reading a really long fic, one that I was skeptical about based on the premise, have it all come together at the end after hours of reading and change my mind about everything I had thought about before I started reading. And if it makes me cry but still end up happily, I’m even more happy. It’s been a while since I found a new story like that but when I do, I am the happiest I ever am in my life.

  177. Kristen says:

    Going home to my parents house in AZ where I grew up and breathing in the sweet desert smell and hearing all the birds chirping fills me with intense happiness and nostalgia.

  178. becky says:

    We call it Family Fun Day and it makes me extremely happy. This month it was around the Super Bowl, planned by my daughter and her family. We do it, FFD once a month. A get together totally Kid Centric and we all participate.

  179. Sue says:

    First some setup.

    I’ve been battling breast cancer for 13 years, metastatic to my bones, lungs, liver and ovaries. As you can imagine, my journey has been beyond challenging, and I’ve bounced back from the edge more than I care to remember.

    My perspective is different now, given my fragile health situation. Time is on fire for me, and most of the extranneous bullshit has dropped away and left me with true clarity.

    My immediate family (husband, children and dogs) makes me happy.

    It’s because of them I keep going.

  180. Panya says:

    Since I’ve been trying to get pregnant for almost seven years, and still don’t have a baby, what makes me happy is my brother’s kids. The fourth was born just yesterday.

  181. adrienne says:

    Anything new that is not sad or unfortunate tends to make me happy, be it meeting new people, exploring new environments, investigating new creatures, cooking new things, surprises, unexpected. I’m a novelty junkie.

  182. Leanna says:

    Spooning with my husband. Oh, so happy.

  183. Jenn says:

    Two things make me happy and they both involve making others happy:

    1- cracking a wicked (or witty) joke and making everyone laugh
    2- cooking or baking something that people really enjoy

  184. Annemarie says:

    Ok now I finally have to comment on your brilliant website, you write really good!

    So now what makes me happy? Well actually just thinking about it and then considering that there is quit a lot that makes me happy for a start.
    But the best thing is probably walking on the beach when you can hang yourself into the wind. (I really miss the wind while I am here in Sweden instead of the Netherlands)

  185. Jean says:

    I come home, none of my roommates are home. I have a bag of groceries that I just hauled home from the store. I make oatmeal the way I like it – with milk, on the stovetop, diced peeled apples and cinnamon softening with the oats. I can freak out about everything else some other time. I might not have enough money right now for pretty clothes, new shoes. But I can buy myself organic milk and apples. I have enough to be happy right now.

  186. Mollie says:

    Dude, I’ve lusted after that knife from the moment we met. No way am I opting out! :) Those look amazing, and in a fish taco? Awesome. My brother told me about the crushed garlic trick too and I had the same response…

    I can tell you one thing that made me happy this week… my hubs. I got to the train station on my way home from work and it had snowed like 8 inches and I realized I didn’t have a brush or scraper in my car… big mistake. I go to put my bag in the back seat and try to figure out what next when I realized there was a scraper brush on my back seat. The hubs knew it would snow and checked to make sure I had one. That’s the kind of guy he is. That makes me pretty happy.

  187. Rosa says:

    What makes me happy, being able to indulge in blog reading and ignoring the emails piled up in my inbox; eating perfectly ripe strawberries in summer, hearing my hubby laugh.

  188. courtney says:

    videochatting with my family/boyfriend on skype. it’s funny what people do when they’re on camera and can see themselves. truly priceless :)

  189. Kitt says:

    Reading all these happy comments is such fun! I love the burping dog one.

    I’m happy when I get something done that I’ve been dreading. I usually find that my dread was unjustified.

    I suspect those lemons would make me very happy, too. My mouth is watering just looking at them. Thanks for the salt-crushed garlic tip. That’s a new one for me!

  190. laura says:

    I’m happy at the end of the day. Not that the day is ending, but that time of day with music and a glass of wine, puttering in the kitchen, quiet cutie-pie no-longer-hungry puppies, my husband home…the only thing I have to be for anyone during those moments is myself, and that makes me happy.

    Love the title :)

  191. Helen says:

    What I love:
    Smashing the ball when I play tennis against someone who is far better than me and getting that surprised expression from them.
    Nuzzling up against my daughter’s face when she is sleeping and just kissing her all over and she’s such sound sleeper that she doesn’t even budge.

  192. Stefanie says:

    Hi! Hearing loud, spontaneous, and uncontrolled laughter from my 5 and 3 year old nieces makes me happy. I can’t think of anything better than that! I’ve been curious about ceramic knives for awhile, so this is a perfect opportunity. Thanks!

  193. Hilary says:

    As a PhD student finishing my dissertation, I am happy when I write for a good hour or two in a day. Also, cooking a great meal for friends always makes me happy. An a glass of wine never hurts …

  194. leigh ann says:

    Having my kids cook with me or for me makes me really happy. My 12 year old boy wants a good set of knives for christmas next year–a boy and knives–HMMMMM

  195. Joanne says:

    what makes me happy —
    In the winter, seeing how much my dog LOVES the snow, and allowing him to “help” me when I shovel it (its guardanteed to bring a smile)
    In the Summer, bringing my young neices and nephews into the ocean past the breakers, and seeing the wonder on their face as they learn how fun the ocean can be.
    In the Spring, planning and planting my garden
    In the Fall, the colors & the crisp in the air, or when you smell the first burning leaf pile.

    Of course, there’s nothing like the first few minutes after sharpening the knives I have to make me happy (that I know how to sharpen) and to swear (time and time again) not to let them get dulled.

    thanks for the great giveaway, and I wish hours of happy cooking to the winner

  196. c3 says:

    Oh my. One thing that makes me happy is learning from the creativity of others, and I’ve just become very happy reading this entry! I’d never have thought of these fried lemon slices, and I’m now eager to try them!

  197. Ellen says:

    Something that’s been keeping me happy when annoyed by life or cloning work this week is the admissions offer from one of the graduate schools that I applied for. It’s a little bit of a simple way to say it, it’s more a combination of relieved, ecstatic, and nerves, but it definitely makes me happy when nothing else does. It’s affirmation from an outside (hopefully somewhat unbiased) source that I am not crazy to think that I’d do well in graduate school! It’s also exciting to think about the different places I may be at this fall.

  198. liz says:

    What makes me happy …. hearing The Honey’s voice when he’s halfway around the world, but coming back in a few days … seeing the cats snoozing together… giving nice things to charity … re-reading the birthday cards my late Mother sent to me … trying new recipes even if The Honey says “you’re making WHAT?” … and last, but certainly not least, a bone-chilling Martini in a Baccarat glass ….

  199. Bri says:

    There are many things that make me happy… Lovely blogs like yours brighten my day, make me smile and make me appreciate the details (thank you!). I have to say though that coming home from a very long day at work to my pup, all smiles and wiggles and happy to see me is the best ever.

  200. Julie L. says:

    My husband makes me very happy, all the time, with everything he does. my cat makes me happy, too, because he looks so cute when he sleeps and makes little squeeky noises. but those seem like kind of rote answers, so i’m going to say smelling makes me happy. i simply adore the sense of smell. i love walking down the street and trying to pick out the exact scents, and trying to remember the last time i smelled that precise combination before (was it my grandmother’s apartment in the summer? the hallway outside my dentist’s office? the way it smelled when i opened my paper-bag lunch in grammar school?) i swear, there’s a corner by my apartment that smells exactly like little debbie’s fudge rounds, and the back of my cat’s head smells like my comforter from childhood, and that makes me happy.

  201. Shannon says:

    My son, Wyatt. He’s two. He especially makes me happy when we’re sitting at the dinner table and he pops something I’ve made in his mouth and he says, “Mmm. That’s good.” He’s happy, I’m happy.

  202. Kathy says:

    What makes me happy is surfing the web, drinking a glass of Chardonnay, then finding a great site like yours that is having a drawing !

    I deep fried (stuffed) Avocado last night. Now I must try Lemon, it looks as good!

  203. trish says:

    Making people happy with what i’ve made makes me REALLY happy and like i’ve accomplished something. I know that seems like such a trite answer for a food blog – but really that is a big happiness for me.

    I love this unique recipe. do you think you could bake the slices, maybe broil them? I try to stay away from frying as much as possible.

  204. Jessicca says:

    Nothing is better than coming home from a long day at work to be greeted by my floppy skinned pink tongued bassett hound. He’s always happy to see me no matter what kind of mood I’m in. And that makes me happy.

  205. Leitha says:

    Right now, one of my favorite things is to grab my baby boy and swish my face in his blonde baby fine hair and take a deep breath. He smells better than any food and for that moment I’m in complete peace.

  206. Anda says:

    I am happy now, I have been so yesterday and will probably be so tomorrow: my life is full of love and I walk my way alongside the best and loveliest 2 people on earth (my daughter and husband).

  207. Elisabeth says:

    I adore lemons. This is right up my alley.

    Nothing makes me happier (not even lemons!) than long Southern nights spent outside in a rocking chair with my best friend. We don’t usually end up doing a lot of talking, but it makes me so unbelievably happy deep down in my soul. Like they say, “All the sweetest winds, they blow across the South.”

  208. Katie says:

    Anything that gets my heart racing and my head wondering just how much whatever I’m doing will hurt if something goes drastically wrong, yep, that makes me happy! It’s wintertime, so that means skiing the terrain parks with my crazy snowboarding son and racing around in a 100-year old sleigh behind my cabin-fever-crazy horse. After a long day skiing, curling up under blankets on the couch with the kiddo watching old horse movies with hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows nearby is pretty good too…

  209. Michelle H. says:

    The scent my husband has. No, not a stench or odor or anything nasty. His skin has a smell, that I can’t figure out. When I press my nose to his skin, I close my eyes and think about how blessed I am to have this creature in my life. But that scent makes me absolutely happy, because I think God made him that way so I can appreciate all the small (over looked) things in life.

  210. Macie says:

    What makes me happy? We live in an apartment. Every weekend we take our dogs out to an empty field, let them off the leashes, and watch them run and play. It warms my heart to see them in there element, enjoying themselves.

  211. Irene says:

    “There is no charge for aweseome” – yes! My favorite quote of the movie.

    It’s not difficult to make me happy, actually. I grew up in Ukraine and we left because they hate Jews and threatened my parents. When I wake up in the morning and I realize that my family is all healthy and we are in the US and not back in Ukraine – well, I am happy! Other than that, pottering about used book stores and discovering things I’d forgotten about is also nice. And also the sunlight in the mornings in our house. It makes me happy.

  212. JMc says:

    Laughter, organization, a hot cup of dark roast, a well composed simple meal and falling asleep holding hangs. And looking at your awesome photos, which is true, but sounds like sucking up when I put it here.

  213. Shorey says:

    I’m a dj for good sized dance events (500+ people), so I’m happy when the groove in the room sparks, everyone starts moving together, listening to each other and the music, and making something so much bigger and more energetic than the sum of the parts. that and a really good cup of black tea (cream please!), my fuzzy slippers and a fantastic book on a sunny saturday morning.

  214. Rebecca says:

    Cold nights with a warm mug of hot chocolate make me happy…

  215. SallyBR says:

    On a profound level, I guess what makes me happy is the fact that I married my best friend ever – knowing I will go to sleep and his face will be the last thing I see at night, and the first I see in the morning, is pure bliss

    on a more practical level… what’s making me very happy lately is baking great loaves of bread, with wild levain (heck, let me brag a little… :-)

    Ok, when do I get the knife?


  216. Ceiting says:

    I’m a burgeoning baker and was put off when I tried Ina Garten’s sour cream coffee cake. Happiness was googling for a better recipe, finding your recipe, making your recipe, loving your recipe and reading all the baking tips. Yes, i also sound like i’m sucking up but omg you’re helping me get so much better at baking!

  217. knitopia says:

    Getting the giggles with my husband makes me happy.

    I had to do a double-take at the name “Kyocera,” because that’s the manufacturer of my cell phone! I had no idea they made knives.

    Those breaded and fried lemon slices look so good.

  218. Memoria says:

    My girlfriend and her two daughters make me happy.

  219. Memoria says:

    Using my stand mixer makes me happy, too. Making homemade treats for the girls makes me happy, too.

  220. Nicole says:

    Oh there are so many reasons why I don’t need that knife. 1) I’m a klutz so I will probably drop it, 2) I’m a klutz so I will probably slice off all of my fingers, 3) I really like smacking garlic and might forget which knife I’m using, and I’d hate to have to pay your plane fare just so you could smack me like I’m garlic, and 4) I don’t like depriving pups of their food.
    But paper thin slices of lemons, tomatoes, and onions really make me happy! :)

  221. Adrienne says:

    Summertime at the river with my handsome boyfriend and our awesome dog:) Heaven…

  222. Whitney says:

    My amazing cat Lucy! I have had her for a year and a half and she is awesome. She is a gray tabby with such a little face! (sometimes ok most of the time I just refer to her as FACE). :)

  223. Renee says:

    Spending time with my family cand critters…that’s what makes me happy…….and All-clad

  224. cindy says:

    i have that same santoku knife! i got it for christmas from my mom a few years ago…

    and onto what makes me happy…as lame as it may sound, i am always super happy if i can do something for someone else that makes them happy. simple as that. also my dogs…they are happy makers.

  225. deb says:

    I am happy to walk outside and see the first star of the evening, in a clear darkening sky.

    I ALWAYS make a wish on the star. You know how to wish on a star, of course; you look up, see the star, and repeat the WHOLE verse (“Star light, star bright, firrt star I’ve seen tonight, I wish I may …” etc.) without losing your focus on the star. Then you can silently form the wish and resume walking.

    Star wishses, I think, should be pretty standard, long-term kind of wishes, never specific (because stars are ‘way too big and far away to get bogged down in details like raises and car payments).

    Most recently, I’ve been wishing for lifetime love for my son and his newly-announced fiancee. That’s the kind of wish that stars are good for.

  226. Kimmy says:

    I love my Shun knives, but I’ve been meaning to try the ceramic kind.

    Grocery shopping and cooking makes me happy. If I get stressed out and/or stressed, I go to a farmer’s market or a local grocery store with fresh produce and buy the beautiful veggies and meat to make something yummy.

  227. Eve says:

    one thing that makes me ridiculously happy is when my boyfriend cooks for me. it’s not just the fact that he makes me whatever i ask for; it’s that he lets me hang around in the kitchen and act as his assistant even though i’m a mess when it comes to cooking. he even lets me stir the curry.

  228. Jake Outlaw says:

    It’s been 5 years since I’ve graduated high school, jumping from job to job. Add a very wonderful relationship that lasted for over a year and a half but ended pretty badly for me and it wasn’t great the last year. I’ve always been in school, taking classes here and there but just 2 months ago I got over everything, made myself a big loaf of my own banana bread and spent 5 hours browsing what seemed like every college website known to man.

    One full stomach later and several glasses of milk I got up and knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and felt good about my decision. Nothing makes me happier right now then finally seeing the end of the tunnel that is college. I don’t hate college, I really enjoy having homework and going to classes, but it all felt meaningless without ever having a plan. Now I have a plan, a new outlook on life, 20 pounds lighter too (and getting lighter by the day) and I couldn’t be happier. I cook almost every day, usually fish because I love a nice tuna steak after a long day.

  229. Stephanie says:

    Wow, I can’t imagine you having time to wade through so many comments, but in the hopes that you are able to, I’d like to thank you for the beautiful blog. I always like to know how people find my blog, so, I’ll say that I found yours with a search for “Chinese dumpling recipes.” I’m hosting my cooking club, “From Scratch Saturdays,” this month and plan to use your recipe. You illustrated it so well!

    My current favorite, and only “real” chef’s knife is a Chroma Type 301 designed by F.A. Porsche. I’ve had it for about a year and I love it. In that spirit, I will say that having the right, high quality, earns respect, not-going-to-break-in-a-week tool makes me happy.

  230. Naomi H. says:

    What makes me happy?
    I think one of the most significant things in my life that currently makes me happy consistently is memories of my grandma Elpidia and food. Preferably together.

    Recently I’ve been thinking about walking the streets of southside San Antonio with grocery bags picking pecans from the ground. On a cool fall afternoon the sidewalks are lined with the little brown nuts. I love pecans because of my grandma, we would sit for hours just shelling and eating them and being together.

    In addition to her own pecan trees in the back yard she had fig trees, a tangerine tree, a pomegranate bush, and nopal cactus which she would harvest food from. I can only wish to live as sustainably on my own some day.

    I am happy reliving those moments in my memory of her now that she’s long passed.
    I think of her and smile when I harvest my dad’s figs and friend’s citrus. The only thing that I really wish I could have is a pecan tree, since here in Arizona there aren’t much because they require a lot of water to flourish.

  231. Hannah says:

    what makes me happy? besides sleep and helping others and cooking and family, i love my friends.
    i’m thinking specially of one of my friends, who just makes me LAUGH. he makes me feel kooky and giddy and special and always unbelievably HAPPY, and seriously, in high school, you just need a someone like that to swoop down & save you. he is amazing and i am so thankful he is my friend. plus my cat…she’s soft :)

  232. wing says:

    What makes me happy? Having found the love of my life when I was all of 17 (as was he). Saw him mixing ceramic glazes in art class and I knew instantly. That was 1973. This St Patrick’s day we will have our 30th anniversary and he is still an amazingly creative and thoughtful soulmate. Seeing him come into a room makes me happy. Is that too old fashioned?

  233. Traci says:

    The things that make me the happiest are my 8 month old daughter, the way snow looks perfect and pristine before it’s touched and spending time with my beloved fiance.

  234. Kathy says:

    One of the things that makes me happiest is spending time chopping, stirring, mixing, and hovering over a dish, then watching someone I love take a bite and smile. That warms me inside like almost nothing else.

  235. Shel says:

    Oh my! How exciting! Thanks so much for this awesome chance!

    Happy= cooking dinner every night. A well thought out week of healthy dinners that all come together as planned with loud, loud music playing.

    Oh, and winning a kick ass knife would go perfectly!

  236. Melanie Thurber says:

    For me, happy is Saturday mornings when all of my little ones climb into bed with their dad and me, and we just hang out and wake up very slowly.

  237. Louise says:

    A day at home. That’s it. That’s all it takes.

  238. Erin Phillips says:

    I am always happy when I find great places to eat, but bringing friends along makes me happier.

  239. Emma says:

    I am knitter and a college student, so I often knit at my on campus job. What makes me happy is when random people talk to me about my knitting–most people just compliment, but those who knit themselves or can share memories and stories about family members knitting are the best. My favorite was a guy who was in an all male knitting club in high school!

  240. Nicisme says:

    Something that is making me happy at the moment is snow. We got a whole dump of it and there’s more on the way. The country can’t cope, the schools are closed and none of the roads are driveable – I don’t care – I love it!

  241. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Coming home after a long trip makes me *really* happy. I love being back in my bed, with my pillow, in my shower and in my kitchen after a long time away. Makes me really appreciate what I have!

  242. Esther says:

    What excites me is using the best ingredients to cook or bake something great. What makes me happy is when it’s proven itself worthwhile, and makes other people happy.

  243. Susan Marie says:

    Happy is when I’m with my chicks, all of whom have grown and left the nest – and especially the grandchicks, who live 1100 miles away. The 4-year old granddaughter and I always get into the kitchen and bake something fun when we’re together. It’s that much more joyful because it doesn’t happen very often…

  244. kat says:

    Coming out of the shower, putting on perfume, putting on my flannel robe and climbing back into bed. Makes me feel cozy and happy.

  245. ML says:

    Sitting around a table full of homemade (by me!) food with all my friends, just laughing and eating for hours on end makes me so so so happy! It’s what my friends and I do best. :)
    I would loooove to win this beautiful knife. I’ve always wondered what ceramic knives are like!

  246. Abby says:

    I have never seen fried lemon slices. Anywhere. That is the coolest thing!

    What makes me happy? A clean house – as corny as that sounds. Sitting in the warm sun with my face turned toward the sky. Hearing my baby giggle – all laughter is infectious, but when a baby laughs your whole body tingles. Sharing an ice-cream cone with my husband when we’re down at the coast – it’s a tradition and it makes me feel at peace.

  247. Dianne says:

    I work in the financial services industry & am lucky to still be employed. I’ve come to realize that I can be happy every day – I really have everything that I need. Happy moments are a big hug from my husband of having my kitty Riley curl up in my lap for a snooze.

  248. Beth says:

    I have wondered about the practical utility of the white knives since seeing Ming Tsai use them on his PBS show. If I win I swear I will be SO careful and guard it with my life, etc, etc. :)

    I’m happy today about two things…first, my dear geriatric cat has started eating again after a hunger strike that I thought was going to lead to her demise. Secondly, I am gazing across the room at my lovely new iMac which will soon take its place on my desk and make all my computing dreams come true. :)

    Love the photos on your blog…you shoot food in such a way that the flavor molecules get embedded in the pixels.

  249. Lindsey says:

    One thing that makes me happy, is getting a manicure with a friend and going for coffee after. Nothing like a little girl time to make the world right again.

    That and shoes. New shoes always make me happy.

  250. Elisheva says:

    Re-reading all the “makes me happy” posts made me happy. But to add to everyone’s happiness, when making mayonnaise or aioli, make sure the egg yolks are at room temperature!!! Like about an hour out of the shell, as cold fat will just NOT emulsify. Sorry if this is too scientific, but “trust me ….”

  251. Maja says:

    Hi, Jen! Just wanted to tell you that i made your dumplings today, well, we both made them, my boyfriend and i, and they were great! Made the whole batch, so our freezer is now filled with dumplings, which makes me happy. ;) Since i presume one comment per drawing, you can not count this one as my what-makes-you-happy entry, i already posted that one yesterday. :) All the best to the three of you!

  252. Cathy says:

    I’m a college student currently applying to law school. Baking gives me an outlet for stress. When my friends open their little packages and see cookies or candies, their delight is what makes my day. So, that’s what makes me happy :)

  253. Angel S. says:

    Great question. I love it when I have made a good meal for my family and in turn they really appreciate it. It makes me happy when my kids or hubby say something like “OOH – can you make _____ again? I loved it”

  254. katie says:

    It sounds cliche but my children’s happiness makes me happy: knowing they are safe, healthy, and happy kids and that my wonderful husband and I are such a great parenting team makes me gloriously, deliriously happy. Thanks for asking!

  255. Amelia says:

    What makes me happy is (kinda sappy but mostly awesome….)

    Eating with my future husband, Max.

    I don’t care what it is I’m eating, but eating with him makes me the happiest person ever.
    Food + Cute boy = Amazing.

  256. Connie K says:

    It makes me happy when I have the time to relax in a comfy armchair with a good book and the sunshine shinning behind me

  257. mycookinghut says:

    Great knives collection!! I love the white one too!

  258. Taylor says:

    What makes me happy is seeing my mother happy. When she’s happy I’m happy. I think this knife would be a great gift for her or anyone.

  259. christina poon says:

    i design and sew ugly dolls for my friends based on their personalities. this strangely makes me and my friends very happy. ;)

  260. Regitze Joergensen says:

    That knife looks amazing!

    What makes me really happy in life are my friends. My best friends I’ve known since grade school and sadly, because we all lead busy lifes and it’s hard to make 5+ people’s calendar merge perfectly, we don’t see each other very often. It’s not even easy to meet with just one of them. However when we meet, it’s like no time has passed since our last meeting. No awkwardness, no sudden silences, conversation flows freely and time sneaks up on us too fast. It’s been much easier getting everyone together since we created an, almost, monthly food club. It makes me so happy knowing I have such amazing friends eventhough a lot of time can pass between our seeing each other .

  261. Katie Z says:

    What makes me happy is being with people who are happy. People who have a low tolerance for bull and a high tolerance for good food and conversation. I always feel a warm sense of gratification and peace when I’m able to laugh, catch up, and talk with others over a good meal.

    Oh and you know what pertains to knives and makes me happy? Watching my mom julienne and slice and dice and chiffonade the heck out of whatever she’s cooking. It seems to be a gene most Asian women have that didn’t get passed on to me… or maybe I’ll just have to sharpen my knives one day, gather a pile of vegetables and just practice the heck out of it!

    (I just wanted to also add in a non-suck up way that your pictures of snow and puppies really make me happy! Living in southern California and pup-less (as of now!), I get all excited and start daydreaming every time I see pictures of either!)

  262. Andrea S says:

    Going for a run just as the sun is coming up; there is a peaceful stillness and beauty to the beginning of a new day.

  263. Karyn says:

    I’m naturally upbeat anyways, so I appreciate so many things. The thing that makes me the happiest is that I really enjoy my life in general. Also, tonight I made the coffee ice cream that first saw on your site and MAN DID THAT MAKE ME HAPPY. Delicious! Life is good. Ice cream is good. Your blog is good. Thanks for sharing your life and your food :)

  264. peabody says:

    Rain. Rain makes me happy. Which is why it was a really good thing I moved to the Seattle area. Rain makes things cooler. It makes me want to snuggle (which makes me happy), read (again, love to do) and sit around sipping hot tea or hot chocolate (and how does cocoa not make people happy). I love that it washes away pollutents in the air. It makes me want to bake. It makes me want to crawl under a blanket and watch 80’s movies all day.
    Snow ties rain. Snow calms me down and excites me all at the same time. I feel extra alive when it snows. I can stand in it for hours while it just falls down on me.

  265. Collette says:

    My toddler laughing at/with me. We waited a really, really long time for him and his smiles can make me literally tear up from happiness. It’s sappy and cliched but true–so there it is!

  266. Geo.Ego says:

    Waking up on weekend mornings and realizing that the only responsibility today is to make my wife and children happy. Also: garlic, Firebug, and Sunny Day Real Estate.

  267. Marian says:

    There is one thing that just makes me feel so perfectly happy and content… that moment at night when I slip into bed next to my sleeping (and snoring) husband and he, while still asleep, turns around and flops his arm and leg around me and pulls me closer (and continues to snore without missing a beat). Moments like that makes me feel that all is right with the world.

    Working hard also makes me happy, especially when I’m so focused and concentrated on solving a particular problem that I lose all sense of time and exterior happenings. Something that makes me feel accomplished and that I got my brain juices churning for good. This is a feeling I miss in recent years and hope to reacquire as soon as possible.

  268. Katherine says:

    what makes me happy is getting snuggly in my giant lovesac beanbag with a good book!

    your blog is one of my favorites and your desserts look SO good. yum.

  269. Kath says:

    It makes me happy to have a great friend to talk and spend time with when everything seems to be in a rocky state, especially as college students getting antsy about the future. It’s much easier to get through all of this together and for that I am immensely grateful. Also, we finally got red frying pans this past Christmas to replace our crappy ones and they just brighten up the cupboard. :)

  270. JenJen says:

    My blissfully happy moment this weekend was going and digging for clams with my family and friends then helping my dad make home-made pasta, it only took 25 years for us to actually, finally do this, but the fact we have makes me estatic.

  271. Nan says:

    I’m also a cancer survivor. Just the fact I woke up this morning feeling well with a beautiful day ahead of me makes me very happy.

  272. Wend says:

    What makes me happy?
    Lying in the sunshine, at the top of a mountain, on the sholder of my guy.
    Feeding him something new, and watching his eyes go wide as he smiles.
    Knowing that some of my family has beaten their cancer, and that others are finally at peace. no pain.
    Cleaning, running, cooking, knitting, reading, bread, and sharing bread.

  273. Tasha says:

    When it’s cold outside (like it always is now that I live in Philadelphia), the thing that makes me happy is diving into the huge mound of blankets on my bed and defrosting from the cold.

    and a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. yes, whipped cream and marshmallows.

  274. DeeDee says:

    The sound of my two daughters (ages 14 and 9) giggling together.
    Spring! Lilacs! Sunshine!
    A chai with a couple shots of espresso.

  275. Sharon says:

    What makes me happy is when my boyfriend and I are enjoying breakfast together outside, which only happens when we’re on vacation. Now that we have a deck, I’m looking forward to starting it at home when it finally gets warm outside! Food + nature = happiness.

  276. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    I know that I should say that being in the bosom of my dear family and friends is what makes me happy- and it does. But, the thing that makes me truly feel alive is singing. It doesn’t matter if I’m on the concert stage or in the shower. My music isn’t just what I love to do. It is what makes the blood flow through my veins. It is so much a part of me that it seeps through my pores! If I stopped singing, I would wither and die.

  277. Courtney says:

    A good glass of wine and good company makes me happy!!!

  278. Madam Chow says:

    The older I get, the more I learn to find happiness in little things every day. But one of the things that makes me the most happy is blogging while my two pups sleep in my lap. They have that warm, musky dog smell about them, they snore, and every once in a while they yawn, blasting me with dog breath. Life doesn’t get much better than that! And, of course, I must share their pictures: Gus – and Daisy –

  279. jain says:

    what made me happy was your first pic, it drew me back to my past growing up in the sierras and skiing everyday. i love how you captured the first run of the day, brilliant sunshine, serenity, quiet and wanting to be the first down the fall line quietly singing to myself…

    what makes me happy now is the garden, and cooking with all my fresh fruit and citrus, which is what brought me to you post about the lemons~ fab idea and great pictorials, thanks or sharing.

  280. Priscilla says:

    I’m happy when my kids tell me that I packed a good lunch . . . and they mean it.

  281. Marilyn says:

    The most purely happy moments are lying in the sun with my kids or my cousins, telling stories and laughing. 100 % pleasure!

  282. Christine Mack says:

    What makes me happy? James (my stepson who is terminally ill) is doing great in school and healthy! My daughter just learned how to walk and my other one says Dada. And cooking for my family because they deserve it. Sorry that was so sickeningly sweet….

  283. Caitlyn says:

    Often it’s the little moments for me- like right now. Both my husband and little daughter are sick with the flu, but for the moment they’re both sound asleep. Ah, peace. This makes me happy.

  284. Haley says:

    I try to only surround myself with people who make me happy. It makes my life so easy!

  285. Dragana says:

    I am happy the most when my family is healthy (we have also been touched by cancer) and my kids are home from college and someone says something funny and we all have a hearty, deep in the gut laugh! Love your blog, Jen!

  286. Jesse says:

    That lemon and aioli looks fantabulous!!
    What makes me happy? A fantastic meal with friends of course!

  287. April in CT says:

    So much to be happy about, but the thing fresh on my mind is spending time with family. We live far away from them right now due to my hubbs being in the military, but we just spent the last two weeks visiting them. The amount of hours spent driving was grueling, but was all worth it when I think how happy I was to see them all. I’m so thankful for the family I already had and the wonderful husband who brought to me not only love, but an extended family.

    I’ll have to send your info about ceramic knives to my step mom! My dad got her a ceramic knife and she’s just plain nuts about how well it slices. I don’t think she knows the do’s and dont’s though so I know she’ll appreciate how to take care of it.

  288. krista says:

    when i first found out i was pregnant, my love interest and i went through some serious relationship re-working. we finally decided to surrender the fantasy and deal with the reality that we are two flawed individuals who really really love each other.
    and, although i know that ‘happily ever after’ is a facade, i must admit that i’m well on my way :-)

  289. Andrea says:

    I am right in the middle of taking the seven exams required to become a licensed architect and I just found out that I passed the third one! 3 for 3 baby!!! That makes me very happy!!!

  290. Margie says:

    Jenzie, I will break this beauty in my small kitchen. Please don’t send it to me, but forward it to the next in line should I be the winner.

    What makes me happy? So many things, too many to count or express, and some that may not make sense to anyone but me. But for now I will give you this:

    It was nice to read what is good in life from all of those that shared. The news services have us believing in ‘doom and gloom,’ and nothing else. It is wonderful to read the joys in others lives. We are blessed, but sometimes we need to take a breather and remind ourselves of our gifts.

    Thanks. You’ve spread joy by simply asking for our inventories.

  291. Janet says:

    Happy that it’s finally warm in south Georgia! We’ve had hard frost for three days this week. If that had continued, I’d be heading for ski country. As it is, I can now get back to my golf game (that sucks but I keep coming back for more).

  292. Sophie says:

    Watching the joy and concentration on my father’s face as he roasts coffee on his back porch in Seattle–and then going through the exact ritual that he goes through to brew that coffee every morning in my own kitchen in Colorado Springs. It’s my daily meditation on my family, myself, and what the day will hold.

  293. ikkinlala says:

    One of the things that makes me happy is music, whether I’m listening to it or playing it (and despite my lack of skill at playing it).

  294. Dave says:

    I will DEFINITELY be trying these lemon slices out this week! First time reader AND commenter here, and I couldn’t resist tossing my name in the hat! There are far too many things that make me happy to even begin to count, but the thing that makes me happiest, the thing that really gives me doggy-happy-feet, is cooking for my girlfriend. I’ve only recently (in the past two years or so) begun learning to cook for her.. I’ve always had an interest in cooking, but was never particularly good at anything more than scrambled eggs and hamburger helper. I was also VERY intimidated by the idea of cooking anything for her.. she’s a pretty talented chef (she refuses to be called such) who recently opened her third restaurant, so you might be able to understand why I was nervous. With the help of bloggers like you, and lots of wonderful photographs, I’ve been able to pull together some humdinger meals that thrilled us both.. every time it happens sends me just a bit higher. That’s all the happiness I really need.

  295. Marti J says:

    What makes me happy? Anything from a big glass of ice cold water on a hot afternoon, to a good workout, to hearing a favorite song.

    A few minutes ago, I got major jollies out of someone I met at church today, 6 inches shorter and seemed very humble, telling me his other email address (the first one didn’t work) is Made me laugh out loud. So today, it’s PEOPLE make me happy.

    I hope you’re happy, too.

  296. ruthie says:

    Lots of things make me happy.
    But soft, whiskery horses noses nuzzling my cheek ALWAYS, without fail, make me happy. :)

  297. Waneta says:

    Family makes me happy. I live about an hour from the rest of my family and I just love the time I can spend with them.
    I also love cooking with friends – a relaxing evening cooking with friends and a good glass of wine. : )
    Ok, chocolate too. Rich, dark chocolate that coats your mouth and slowly melts. Mmm!

  298. the other Dave says:

    Awareness makes me happy. No thoughts, no attachments. Seeing what is to be seen, hearing what is to be heard. Not thinking about the economy, war, tomorrow’s work, the bullsh1t I get from my boss… just BEING makes me happy.

    Thanks for your inspiring blog, website, photographs, and recipes. I cannot speak for others, but it means something to me. the other Dave

  299. Amy Esther says:

    This is my first time commenting on your blog, so let me first say how much I’ve been enjoying it! I really like how you show the successes and the occasional failures (it’s good to know I have company).

    And what makes me happy… I would say cooking dinner with my boyfriend. He used to be a chef in a restaurant, so he can practically cook with his eyes closed. But he’s patient and likes to go through and show me how to do things. Right now he’s teaching me how to flip the food in the pan, and he doesn’t mind when green beans go flying around the kitchen. It’s such a special, fun time… it definitely makes me happy!

  300. Hugo says:

    Been reading for a while, but I usually don’t comment sorry :-)

    What makes me happy is relaxing with friends without any worry, may it be in the swimming pool or next to the BBQ. It just soothes my mind and makes me happy for the whole week, nothing else can beat it :-)

  301. Jenn says:

    Right now the thing that makes me the happiest is weekly e-mail/photo updates from my best friend who is pregnant with her first child and 3500 km away.

  302. Beau says:

    I would really appreciate the knife, being that I am a college student who, when I am able to cook, am reduced to using any blunt knives I can get my hands on. When I cook I am thoroughly relaxed and, as a cook yourself, I am sure you can understand the frustration of a dull knife, and the awesomeness that is a sharp, sufficient knife. I really like your blog, especially because I learn so much from all the new techniques you use and outline. When I cannot cook, or do not have time, I look forward to reading your blog, as the step by step of most of your recipes can provide for me that cooking “fix”.

  303. Laura says:

    I would love to win this as I’m trying to build a great collection of kitchen items on a very very limited budget! One thing that makes me very, very happy: as a night owl, it’s unusual for me to wake up early in the morning feeling well-rested and ready to start the day. On the rare occasion that this happens, I love to hop out of bed, go and get a nice hot latte, and sit in a sunny spot in a cafe reading the morning paper. I don’t believe there is a more perfect way to start the day.

  304. Steph says:

    Oh, those translucent slices of lemon look mouthwatering on their own. Fried later? Yes please!

    Having a good relationship with my family makes me SO happy. I’ve been in and out of this house since I was 15 or so; intense family problems plagued us until three years ago, and until everything was fixed I had no relationship with my parents at all.
    Knowing that my brother is one of my best friends makes me happy. I just moved home after finishing undergrad a year early and he’s a freshman in a different city. Therefore, I don’t see him very often. But when we are both in my parents’ house we can laugh at completely inane things and talk all night. I miss him immensely.
    My mom and aunt also make me happy in that they are hilarious and have this great straight man / funny man dynamic – my aunt is the comic foil to my mom’s seriousness. It works so well.
    My dad makes me happy because he can be patient and wise but turn around make ridiculous faces at me, which I respond to with ugly faces of my own.
    Man, this is cheesy, but I can’t help feeling happy just thinking about this.

  305. Laura says:

    My bagle (half basset hound, half beagle) named Buddy makes me happy. During dark times last summer, he was the only reason I got out of bed. He saved my life. He makes me smile and laugh every day. He wags his tail when he’s happy (all the time) and snuggles under my chin to wake me up every day. His penchant for rolling in the grass reminds me to do the things that make me truly happy first, and not to worry so much about the mundane unimportant stuff.

    This was such a great idea. Thanks for extending the offer. I always enjoy reading your blog.

  306. Kathleen says:

    I sat here for a half hour, fingers ready on the keyboard.
    At first I wasn’t going to read the other responses.
    But I couldn’t come up with an answer, so I read.
    Everyone’s got a story. That’s what I saw.
    Everyone finds happiness in something.
    And I still couldn’t find what “thing” makes me happy.

    I don’t have “makes me happy moments”
    I am happy.
    It’s a choice
    It’s a state of being.
    that comes from within.

  307. Kathleen says:

    If I had to pick one thing…

    Giving. Giving brings added happiness.

  308. Julie says:

    Being in the front row of a Duran Duran Concert puts me on cloud nine!! I would use my knife while copping to “Hungry Like the Wolf”.

  309. Amy Lucas says:

    So…what makes me happy…I agree with Kathleen on GIVING. I truly enjoy Christmas more for finding the perfect gift for someone and not as much for the gifts I receive.

    But something completely ridiculous/inconsequential that makes me WAY more happy that it should…is freshly painted toe nails. I don’t know what it is about having freshly painted pretty toes that gives me such joy. I don’t always paint them the same color…sometimes I go crazy and paint different color polka dots on them…my husband laughs at me for it, but sometimes it is the simple pleasures in life that give us unexpected joy :)

    PS currently my shade is a vivid green :)

  310. Sil BsAs says:

    Eating chocolate icecream in bed watching a movie makes me happy.
    Now… try to save some money ’cause If I break the knife you must come down here ! (South America) no excuses!

  311. anne says:

    i think what makes me happiest is when everyone in my family is home again. my two older sisters and i are in the kitchen cooking as my parents relax outside in the living room watching television but occasionally barge in wanting to know what’s going on and we kick them out. and then when dinner is finally ready, we all set up the table and eat together.

  312. Sarah says:

    Perfectly poached eggs on top of warm, crusty bread with crispy slices of bacon – it is what makes me happy…and happier when happy.

  313. linda says:

    anything bacon! bacon slices, bacon crumbles, bacon slabs, bacon grease. mmm.

  314. tiptup says:

    a good cup of coffee makes me happy!

  315. Randi says:

    When with other people, I’m happiest when there is a lot of sharing and personal intimacy in a conversation. When you can really form bonds after a few strong conversations, I always feel great.

    By myself, I love late spring, early summer days laying in the grass in the sun. Napping in the park can make my whole week.

    Now you’re making me think of all kinds of things :) Like a great grocery store – strong produce and cheese section… sigh, LOVE good markets.

    oh yeah, and

  316. tammy says:

    what makes me happy? if I were less selfish it w/b loving others, but mostly it’s knowing that I’m loved. a kyocera knife would force growth, b/c I would need to love it, as it would likely not love me.

  317. Lori says:

    Stepping on the scale after working my ASS off (hopefully literally) and finding I have lost 3 or more pounds. YEAH!

    Oh, and finding a comment on my site from you. Now that would be exciting. Like the time Dorie Greenspan left a comment on my site about my whole wheat scallion pancakes. I did a happy dance!

  318. Kelly Dugan says:

    Oooooh how I want that knife!

    What makes me happy? Cooking for other people and having them enjoy my cooking. That makes me happy as a clam.

  319. Claudia D. says:

    I live in Quebec City, Canada, and I must say what makes me truly happy is to take long walks in the snow with my labrador (because yes, lucky me, I love cold weather–that is, as long as there’s hot chocolate when I come back home).

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I enjoy it immensely.

  320. Patty says:

    Happiness is reading an underline worthy, descriptive, lyrical, goose bump invoking sentence.

    For example, this sentence written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby:

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  321. Megan says:

    At Caltech it made me happy to get to play volleyball every day during preseason and first term. 2+ hours of athletic bliss, it felt fantastic to be that focused and intense.

    Nowadays, I’m older and more boring, and as it is raining today, the thing that is going to make me happiest is going home, snuggling up on the couch under a blanket with my pet rat, reading a good book (the newest Ender book, hooray!), and having a cup of hot tea and some cookies while I read and listen to the rain fall outside the window. Getting cozy and having a chance to read while it’s raining is one of my happiest places/moments to be in. :)

  322. Holly says:

    Oh, I hate to admit this, but I know that at times, I am the fun-sucker. The one who is down and can’t seem to lighten up. It is pathetic and aggravating because I know I have a good life and am very, very blessed. It just doesn’t always seem to be enough from getting down on myself anyway. I do think that half the battle (at least) is knowing that I can tend to have a negative bent and trying to be aware of it and not go too far. Funny enough, it isn’t the big things in life that make the difference with my moods and outlook though. It is the small things. The really funny part is that, while I am often tired and frustrated with my two little boys, they are also my best joy and comic relief. If you have ever watched a small toddler dance, well then you know what I mean. For me, being a mom is the happiest (and hardest) thing I’ve ever done.

    I just have to say thank you for making me think about this, even if I don’t win, reminding me again to focus in on what is really important was already totally worth it.

  323. Silvia says:

    Congratulations on your site!! I hope you keep posting for a loong time. The thing that makes me happy the most is when my VERY active two year old girl decides to take a long nap so that mama can use the free-time to cozy with her cooking books and blogs :-)

  324. nico says:

    Very good idea!! I love giveaways. I never try those ceramic knife, I had the filling they are kind of crap but now you have the possibility to probe me wrong.
    thanks and keep posting those beautiful pictures.

  325. cindy says:

    i work the corporate job at a law firm. and on certain days when my brain is fried and my spirits are low, what i need at that moment in time is a little inspiration and something beautiful to look at, something tasty to anticipate and drool over, a shopping list to draw up when i find the recipe i want to try out. food makes me happy and food blogs make me happier. yours, smitten kitchen’s, the pioneer woman cooks, tea and cookies, simply recipes, just to name a few. i love all your stories, your photos, your tantalizing treats promising me a happy belly and time with my family and puppy. so thank you for making the work days bearable, food bloggers of the world!

  326. Lauren says:

    What makes me happy? Err, your delicious-looking photographs of the desserts you make! I’m a full-time college student at the moment, so whenever I need a little respite from analyzing French Literature, this is my goto “happy place.” Since I’m a freshman, I have no kitchen (or kitchenette), and have to wait to cook and bake until I go home for breaks. I have an “artsy-fartsy” and “cooking” folder on my laptop, both of which have several of your cake recipes. For spring break I plan on going crazy in the kitchen! :D Thanks for posting such detailed instructions and very informative pictures, instead of just the finished product. It’s helpful to see the step-by-step approach. ^^

  327. MSWR says:

    What makes me happy: snuggling with my warm furry kitties on a cold night, with hot cocoa and a good book!

  328. Jaya says:

    Hi Jen,
    Your knife giveaway has ousted me from lurkdom. I hope that makes me an optimist..and not an opportunist!

    I derive some serious happiness from knowing that my happiness is not a conditional state anymore. It’s not something I associate with my body shape or size, it is not contingent on my bank balance (although my bank balance’s impact on my ability to buy great food does provide a happiness booster shot), and my happiness is definitely something that I can experience spontaneously and even by my lonesome. My happiness does not fluctuate with my GPA or the weather (which is beneficial when you live in Calgary) and actually has a non-numerical metric and lacks a lexicon to describe it, but I know it when I feel it.

    In reality, I know that I just described what my happiness is not, but I have no intention to limit where, when, how and what form it could take. I just hope that I can continue to find ways to share it with other people.

  329. Jen says:

    This is a great topic! Travelling makes me happy. It’s more than meeting new people and seeing or tasting new things, its more about what happens inside myself…. being able to gain a new outlook and a sense of adventure.

  330. carole says:

    those lemon slices look sooooooooooooooooo good! will have to try them!

  331. Louise says:

    Hi Jen! My home makes me happy. Home is where I know I will always find comfort,love and beautiful surroundings. My dog Girly could be a twin to your beautiful Kaweah. I wish she was a snuggler but alas it’s her way or the high-way! I adore your lifestyle and thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  332. Tara says:

    Can I say 3 things make me happy? I cant narrow it down any more than that!

    1. Travel. Learning new things and finding a little niche in the world that you have never been before. I love meeting different people and experiencing different things. Sometimes I am nervous or scared but I do it anyway. I also love little silent travel moments. I use these to lock the places I go into my existence. To have a feeling formulated that I can go back to when I want to remember that place. My current happy place is in Ecuador.

    2. Teaching. I will NEVER be a teacher, but I have loved tutuoring and TAing at my college. I love taking something crazy hard for someone else and breaking it down so they know what is going on. I have even had a few people change their major b/c of my lab! Awesome! Also I have a little sis who I try to keep ahead in the science area.

    3. Little things during the day. I made yogurt w/ raw milk. Sweet! I rearranged my room. Awesome! I went to a hole in the wall Pho place and it was deeelish, great! I had tea with friends, I am happy. I woke up before my alarm clack (and was actually well-rested). Take that! I see a child behaving well in the store. Lol, just the little things. Getting a sweet knife in the mail simply for sharing a little and maybe causing a few smiles? Righteous.


  333. Sue says:

    The smell of bacon or asian style pork belly cooking makes me oh so happy. Not being in a rush makes me happy as well!

  334. Sam says:

    Ha, Jen, that one’s an easy two-worder: doggy dreams!

  335. Joy says:

    Sharing books I love with the people I love, especially when done over coffee and cake.

  336. blackberry says:

    Making a pot of soup. Chicken carcass, home- canned beans, a carefully tended sofrito. Stirring together fry bread dough. Patiently dicing, spicing, frying and enticing two grown children and two teenage children to come home. One long winter day. Peace!

  337. Jess says:

    Baking, especially baking with my boyfriend. Some warm cookies, friends and a round of video games.

    Oh wait – that’s how I’m spending Saturday. Yay!

  338. Steph says:

    Dogs and food make me happy. Making food my dogs enjoy makes me happy. I’m chronically, progressively ill and the days I can’t get out of bed, and my dogs understand, and don’t mind laying with me, bring me tremendous peace. The days I can be up and around and make tasty treats for my dogs and they appreciate it and get so excited about it, make me incredibly happy.

    Your dog walking with a stick it it’s mouth makes me very happy, because clearly you have a happy dog, and happy dogs, make happy people! Awesome pictures.

  339. Theresa says:

    My favorite happy moment is coming home to my dog jumping all over me at the end of a day. Even if I have had a bad day the enthusiasm that she shows can’t help but make me smile.

  340. Mandy says:

    The lemons look gorgeous—and remind me of the fried dill pickles I got to try once in Louisiana (which have since showed up as one of the many fried options at the state fair in Virginia).

    Happy makers? Definitely my husband; also: when something I’ve baked turns out to be beautiful *and* delicious, seeing blooms on flowers that I’ve planted, knitting with fancy yarn, getting out and soaking up nature … lucky for me, there are too many to list.

    Jen, thanks for your blog (and for this contest). Continued ass-kicking and good health to you.

  341. Nick says:

    I love the mountains. I have a particular mountain range in mind but really, any one will do. Their towering presence gives a solace rivaled only by that of the sea. When I look up at them I wonder how many have looked and are looking at the same peak for whatever reason. Mountains also provide a challenge and, if climbable, also offer amazing rewards. But I could love a Kyocera as much as mountains!

  342. Barbara K. says:

    Happiness for me is sharing what makes me laugh and feel warm and giddy inside with people I love. Seeing them enjoy things (like a good, ovenwarm chocolate-cake or a silly movie, one of my self-made pieces of jewellery or a selfmade silk-painted scarf or really any piece that I made .. ) makes my heart open up and feel even bigger and more generous and cheerful than normal – a bit like i could hug the whole world and make it feel good.

    Happiness is also the blessed feeling of having my Mom and my Dad still with me, although they both had serious illnesses and my Dad is just recuperating from a colon cancer surgery. I can only hope to have them for a long time and to be able to fully enjoy the feeling of safety and warmth and loving they are giving me.

  343. Thomas D. P. says:

    Waking up in the morning, fully rested, with the sun in my face. Putting on some Scott Walker music (or some other fantastic music) and feeling the day could lead to anything. That gives me a great feeling of unexplainable happiness…

    That someone is willing to give away a nice kitchen knife to a stranger, just to hear about happiness, can also make me quite happy and confident in the goodness of humans : )

  344. Piper says:

    I love the seasons. I’ve almost had my fill of winter soups and stews….now I have my eyes turned toward the forthcoming spring asparagus and home-made hollandaise….wild-caught salmon with fresh dill and lemon….nice, thin slices of lemon. Hmmmm, I think that Kyocera would be perfect for that job!

  345. MysticMeg says:

    A moment of happiness is finding a “lucky penny”…How many people walked by and thought ..Oh well!..But I love to think of my grandmother and aunties warm faces as they exclaimed..”I Found One!!!” …and the pride I felt from them…when I exclaimed “I Found One”!!!!…Just the little things.

    Happiness does not come in big lumpy minutes…Just that ever so small moment when…Eurika!!! It jumps out for you!!!! As they warned us time and again …Happiness is fleeting…Enjoy when it happens!!

    On a personal note…I too love your blog. As a victim of the economy and and victim of corporate greed..True is the pot of gold (figuratively/not literally) at the end of the rainbow. My termination 20 days short of my 7 year pension was a blow to my being. This happened while I was out on a medical leave/injury at work situation. But only the strong survive…I too will be able to work another day.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win something…2009 has been a rough year for many of your readers.

  346. Kalpana says:

    What makes me happy? When I miss home (in India) and cook some food that tastes right out of my Mom’s hand.. When I hear the giggles and laughter of the neighbor’s kids playing outside.. When I get a splitting headache and there’s nice hot tea awaiting… reading a book.. listening to music..

    Above all, when there are rough days and at the end of each day I know that I have done my best with less whining – that gives me the utmost satisfaction and happiness! :)

  347. liloaznangel says:

    What makes me happy to be at home with my family. After living away from the dorms, I missed everyone, even my annoying little sister and teasing, over-protective brother. Its nice being able to cook with my mom once again and help my dad make those little fly fishing hooks. Little things like that that I can’t do away from home. (Oh and not having to share a shower stalls with over 20 other girls anymore is happiness too. Barely anyone ever cleaned the hair trap.)

  348. Angela says:

    My dog makes me happy! She lives with my parents since my apartment is strictly no pets (not even fish). I see her once a week, maybe once every other week. I love that she loves me unconditionally! And she lives a simple life of family, food and naps… which I also join in when I’m visiting home. I like that when I’m reading or otherwise ignoring her, she will come by and shove her head under my hand.

  349. Gretchen says:

    Figuring out something new – most recently AT skiing (well, almost) and macarons. And seeing my husband happy – most recently me going AT skiing in the back country with him and macarons. Although, winning that knife would make him *CRAZY HAPPY* – we have quite the collection of knives and, lucky me, he loves to use them!

  350. helen says:

    My own space. It makes me happy AND content.

    Those lemon slices look scrumptous, by the way.

  351. margaret says:

    happiness = the smell of onions frying in butter
    being up to my neck in cool water on a hot day
    hot chocolate while it’s snowing
    a good movie with an even better friend
    the smell of the pages of my favorite book
    my husband gently kissing me behind my ear
    rain on hot dirt
    eating a warm tomato freshly picked from the vine
    my son’s laugh
    my son’s toes
    my son’s curiosity
    my beautiful baby boy

  352. Shawna says:

    I am happy when others are happy. I don’t necessarily think that life is full of roses, but I’m happy when I do random acts of kindness, especially to people who look like maybe life has forgotten them, or maybe they have forgotten themselves you know? The sparkle that happens in their eyes, it makes a little knot in my throat and I want to hope that maybe somehow I helped make someone happy. That’s what makes me happy. That and the way my dogs dance.

  353. vaughn says:

    among the many things that make me happy: 27) a freshly-toasted english muffin with salted butter (i like lurpak for daily consumption) and honey; 39) people who do things well for the sake of doing them well; 71) correctly-brewed tea (tung ting oolong); 108) bluebottle coffee’s stand at the sf ferry building market.

  354. Holly says:

    I am truly happy when I remember my grandparents. There are so many things that remind me of them – baking the Nana cookies we would make together, chopping peanuts, seeing cardinals, smelling her perfume, seeing a man in a bowtie. I always smile to myself and my heart swells with love.

  355. Annalese says:

    Doing a dawn scuba dive. Being underwater in the pitch dark, no sound as the boats arent moving yet, sneaking up on sleeping fishies and sharks. It feels like you are an explorer on another planet. WAtching the sun rise underwater. Not having other incompetent divers stirring up your site. Feeling like you can fly if you are drifting in a current. And no one can talk to me underwater!!

  356. Kiki says:

    This one is easy, my dog Fifi! She is the sweetest, cuddliest, most joyfull little thing! She also loves food just about as much as anyone I know! She’s 7 lbs but eats like a truck driver. She is absolutley hands down( sorry Mom) the thing that makes me happiest!!

  357. Tatiana says:

    lately what makes me SO very happy is watching my dog Ayla run around and play. She was so sick from Christmas until the middle of January, and it turned out she has diabetes. She is responding so well to the insulin shots and now runs around like a puppy, you would never know what a sick girl she was. This not only makes me happy but extremely grateful as she is my best girl and I love her to pieces.

  358. susan says:

    family vacations are the bomb – when we can afford them!

    but on a regular basis, i would have to say saturday mornings. everyone’s caught up on sleep, no one’s crabby, it doesn’t matter if our 3 & 4 yr olds crowded into our bed, there’s no rushing off or being late or screaming. we even have a decent hot breakfast of some sort, a huge treat! it’s very calm, peaceful and HAPPY!

    didn’t know you could eat the pomegranate seeds either…duh! i learn so much here…luv it!

  359. Andrea says:

    I go to college in LA, but grew up in Davis, CA, a small cheekily liberal univ. town in NorCal. I’ve realized that what makes me happy (not the happiest, but happy) is being alone. In LA, it’s hard to ever genuinely be alone. Roommates, classmates, random strangers. I can walk around at 2 am in the morning and still see people wandering the streets. Mental and actual space is hard to find. So when I go home to Davis and run through the farm fields (yes, actual fields) by myself, or star watch at 11 pm (and actually see stars) with no one around me for at least a mile, well, that makes me really happy. I am able to step back and re-examine my life in the context of the galaxy or the space of the central valley. Being alone allows me to appreciate how insignificant my life is to the motions of the universe, and yet, also how lucky I am in my current position with the people who are around me. I find that I am really very happy to be who I am.

  360. becs says:

    Carving turns through the crowd at the ice rink on Wednesday nights, rocking my rented hockey skates like I was a teenage hotshot. There’s an almost hypnosis you get when you’re doing laps like that…it’s an awesome kind of losing yourself.

  361. Hee-Sun says:

    Hi Jen,

    I hope you’re having fun reading all the things that make people happy. I think we spend a disproportionate amount of our time complaining when there are even more things to be happy about, and this entry made me realize that–thank you.

    Now, to add my own bit of happiness to the lot: what makes me happy is doing little things that genuinely make other people happy. For example, I’ll remember that my roommate’s favorite apple is a Honeycrisp apple so if I see it in the grocery store, I’ll pick up a few for her and leave them on her desk with a note. Or, when I’m at home I’ll make a dish for my little sister with walnuts and cinnamon, because it is her favorite combination of flavors. I think what makes them most happy is not the food itself, but how it reminds them that I cared to remember the things that make them happy. So for me, what makes me most happy is letting someone else know that they are truly loved and cared for. I do this through food.

  362. Lesley says:

    Making a dish that my boyfriend or coworker loves eating. Getting things right at work.

  363. anh says:

    Oh my goodness, fried lemon slices with aoili…that sounds ridiculous! Love this post and your pictures as always. What interests me and makes me happy? Well, reading food blogs and trying out all kinds of wonderful recipes just like the one you have posted here =) Outside of the internet, my simple pleasures include dining out a new places, quiet talks at night with my husband, and last but not least listening to This American Life on NPR.

  364. Lisa says:

    Having my house clean and everything tidy and smelling clean – we have lots o animals so when I get this moment I relish it and swoon down to my toes!

  365. Jamie says:

    sunrises and sunsets make me happy, especially when you see it together with the people that you love.

  366. Ramya says:

    Going into a used bookstore and finding myself surrounded by books. I love the musky scent, the tingly feeling that I get in my stomach, and knowing that I could be a part of a book’s next journey. Fall also makes me happy. There is nothing better than crisp perfect weather with the wind blowing leaves all around you while you’re sipping on a delicious cup of coffee. Perfection.

  367. Cindy says:

    I’ve thought about this a lot over the last few days and have decided that the things that make me happy are the little things–spending time with my family and friends, good food, good conversation, great relationships! And I’d really love that knife–it sounds fabulous.

  368. Amy says:

    I think just spending time with my loved ones makes me the happiest of all, whether that be cooking them a meal that I know they will love, or sitting on the couch crocheting with my husband and dogs snuggled in close by! I love talking to friends and family but I really appreciate just being able to spend time with my husband and not have to say a word and then out of the blue he reaches over and pats my hand and gives me a sweet kiss!!
    I love lemons, I will have to give this a try–that juice and oil spattering scares me a little though!

  369. Nicole Jackson says:

    When my kids kiss me in front of their friends. When my husband holds my hand. When I see adorable little baby toesies. The smell of baby lotion. Orchids. Bewitched. German food. the sound and smell of new books. curling up in my bed in newly washed flannel sheets.

  370. Amy says:

    Cooking for friends and seeing them enjoy the food.

  371. della says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words. This is what makes me happy: supporting the livelihood of North Carolina potters, cooking fresh food, and hearing my husband and daughter ask at breakfast, “What are we having for dinner tonight?” So, my thousand words is a simple stir fry served in pottery from a wood fired North Carolina kiln, and enjoying the food with my family. I wish I could send you the picture.

  372. Silvius says:

    (Don’t let my e-mail weird yeh out- I live in the USA, I just like UK Yahoo! news).

    I’m not just saying this because it’s related, but what makes me happy is cooking. I love to create, chop, doing anything food/cooking related in my kitchen. Just standing and doing veg food prep for hours makes me happy, it’s so calming and lovely and makes me love that fact that I’m living so I can do it : ]

  373. Amelia says:

    Cooking while listening to bluegrass or A Prairie Home Companion. These are my ‘at-peace’ moments, and I live for them.

  374. Paula North says:

    I am most happy recently when I am holding my 17 month old and he fall asleeps on me. When he wakes up he looks at me with those sleepy eyes, rubs them with his chubby hands and gives me a smile like I am his whole world. Then five minutes later he is up and running around. I know these moments won’t last so I am treasuring them.

  375. Donna says:

    I am at my happiest when I know that I have brought comfort, help, joy, or all three to someone. You know that spine tingling breathless feeling when you have poured out your soul into a dessert or dish for your loved ones and they are just about to take their first bite. That feeling of immense satisfaction when your 5 year old looks over and says “Mommy, you are the best cook!” I work as a nurse in the ER and when certain patients are admitted, I sometimes visit them after work or the next day to check on them. Sometimes I’ll bring them a basket of teas or a phone card so they can call their loved ones (on patient’s family was out of the country in europe and her sister was in Cuba). What I do varies but that feeling of immense satisfaction knowing I have given someone hope in humanity is beyond words. The absolute surprise on their faces that someone cares. Or when a patients young children have been in the ER for hours and haven’t eaten , I will take them up to Tim Hortons or bring them something to eat. Sometimes people need reminding that they haven’t been forgotten and that there is love even for strangers.

  376. Bri says:

    Cleaning makes me happy. I *love* to clean. I especially love cleaning a really dirty floor, in fact I’ve spent hours just scrubbing it to perfection. I know I sound like a dirt stalker, but, well, I am. Messiness drives me bonkers. I’m not entirely insane though, running makes me happy as well. Unless it’s windy, I dislike using my mp3 player. The sound of my feet hitting the pavement and and just the sound of nature is wonderful.

  377. steph says:

    what makes me happy-> when people appreciate my cooking. i guess you know that warm, fuzzy feeling that makes you want to cook more stuff (even if sometimes it takes an awful lot of preparation).

  378. Katie says:

    Growing things makes me happy: planting vegetables from a seed, watching the plant grow and then eating the vegetables raw right off the plant. Also, going outside early in the morning at the beginning of spring when the sun is just starting to rise, plants are beginning to grow and birds are waking up, and the air is so freezing I can feel the icy coldness going down into my lungs when I breathe. And I like to just sit by myself somewhere quiet outside and contemplate things. Cleaning also makes me happy, strangely – it’s just incredibly satisfying when, after a bit of hard work, I can make something that was looking quite unkempt appear all shiny and new again.

    Ah, and stealing your dog would also be quite enjoyable…how does she feel about planes?

  379. Kristina R says:

    The thing that makes me happiest is being able to smoosh my face on my husband’s upper arm as we sleep. He works nights so we don’t get to do this very often.

  380. Anne K. says:

    Figure skating makes me happy. I love the feeling I land a difficult jump, and the rush of soaring through the air. I also love my family so much. I’m in college right now and 2,000 miles away from home. When I get to go home on break, I have so much more appreciation for the time I do get to spend with them.

  381. Culinarywannabe says:

    I am totally happy when some kind of appointment or other scheduled event gets canceled and you’re left with a whole afternoon/evening to yourself. Watching bad tv, a good (or cheap!) glass of wine, and ignoring the pile of laundry – is generally how I spend these kinds of times. Ohhh….I’m happy just thinking about it!

  382. Camila says:

    Peaceful, quiet companionship… or, lacking that, blasting music and dancing by myself. :D

  383. Karyn says:

    Waking up with my boyfriend on Saturday and Sunday mornings makes me so happy I could burst. Other than that, we never get to wake up together except when we’re on vacation and I miss him when we don’t get to wake up together.

  384. wei yann says:

    So many heartwarming and witty posts!!

    Hmm now for my turn:)

    What WILL make me happy is receiving a package and opening it up only to find a kyocera ceramic knife. Hee hee.

    On a more serious note, what makes me happy is having a good meal and a good laugh with my family (I don’t get to see my parents and sister often, they’re scattered across the globe). I miss the times when we were still under the same roof, just eating and laughing and sharing stories until everyone’s bottom starts to hurt from sitting for too long :)

    Thanks for sharing all your great great recipes!! I know I’ll come back to this site often:)

  385. Sarah C says:

    The security of God’s being in charge of my life . . . He handles it better than I do! And my dear husband, of course. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  386. Caleb says:

    Two things that make me happy:

    1. Cooking for my friends or family. I’m sure you feel the same way, that it is satisfying to know you’ve served something tasty to the loved ones.
    2. Solving problems by removing them instead engineering a solution. I can’t come up with a better way to describe it without fumbling a bunch of words. It comes up in web development all the time though. Example:
    Other Person: “Hey I can’t get this sidebar widget to work in WordPress.”
    Me: “Here is why you shouldn’t even have that sidebar widget.”

    I promise I wont go cutting aluminum cans or shoes with the awesome knife. Thanks for the giveaway!

  387. audra says:

    hmmm things that make me happy: cuddling snuggly with my boyfriend, our truly goofy German Shepherd (which are not a goofy breed), achieving that “lightbulb” moment when training a dog and their owner, and my ex-boss’s cat that slept with me every night I lived with my ex-boss in Boulder (it was a weird apprenticeship thing that ended up weighing NOT in my favor). So I guess technically, missing the cat makes me sad now, but remembering her makes me happy. Also, the fact that when I asked my boyfriend what makes me happy, he listed all of these things before I wrote them and he was right. :)

    Will you post an entry soon sharing what makes YOU happy? Though I suspect, just from reading your blog over the last few months, they might be along the same lines as those I listed above: those things that are simple, but inherently joyful even in simplicity. You seem the appreciative sort. Thanks for the contest!

  388. Danny Jo says:

    Grilling a nice ribeye seasoned with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper outside with a nice, cold beer in my hand. *sigh* yeah.

  389. Maggie says:

    When the weather changes from winter to spring and I go and get ice cream and a pedicure with my friends, that always makes me happy. Even just thinking about it now during the winter makes me happy!

  390. Amy says:

    Spending a stress-free, studying-free day at home with the sunshine pouring in just cooking, baking, eating, napping. Or seeing blooming cherry blossoms on a sunny spring day.

  391. Mary says:

    When I was growing up in New England my mom and I would buy several bushels of apples in the fall and spend an entire weekend making apple pies. She’d make the filling and I’d make the crust. Bottom crust, apples, top crust, bottom crust, apples, top crust. We could do 13 pies in one day. We’d freeze them and have them all winter long.

    I’ve been out of the house for a while now, but I still love apple pie, and on a trip to Lake Tahoe in November my fiance and I picked up a crate of beautiful, crisp apples and made a couple of pies. I carefully double bagged and boxed up a pie and FedEx’d it to my mom with a note saying “This Side Up.” Needless to say, she was shocked and thrilled when it arrived (right side up). She sent me a thank you note with a story that I had not heard before: when my brother and I were very young she’d tried to teach us how to make apple pies with the two of us standing on chairs so we could reach the counter and it had been such a disastrous mess that the next year she made no pies. Payback comes in strange ways, many years later.

    That made me happy.

  392. Irene Kartika says:

    Succesfully accomplish work, tasks, things, etc. that I thought would never be done makes me feel good, content and happy. But snuggling in my bed with a whole family (me, my hubby, my children and my dogs), while listening to the soft sound of rain, with hot chocolate drink around makes me super happy.

  393. Kristin says:

    Lots of things make me happy, but I’m very happy that my 14 year old daughter still talks to me & that my 12 year old son still likes to cuddle.

  394. Sandra says:

    Volunteering makes me happy. Doing something to make other people happy (or cheer them up when they’re sad) makes me happy. Also, seeing my neighborhood covered in snow, untouched by snow plows (mainly because they never plow our street), makes me feel warm and fuzzy. One of the reasons I read your blog is because of your gorgeous pictures of Colorado…especially when there’s snow :)

  395. Linda says:

    What makes me happy? Sitting on the beach with my hubby, with a good book and a mai tai!

  396. Christina says:

    What makes me happy? Well, today it’s my adoring black cat that loves to sit on my lap and purr while I’m at the computer. He, Marvin, my adoring and adorable cat, makes me happy…at least until he decides he’s had enough of my typing and will jump off my lap with an annoyed meow. :-)

    Love your blog…thanks for sharing with the internet.

  397. Aila D. says:

    I think the number one thing that makes me happy is my son’s laugh! After that, cooking almost anything (even if it’s going horribly!) and being in my garden. All of those things just brighten my day a bit. By the way, I love your pictures!

  398. magicfish says:

    There are just so many things that me happy….lots & lots of things – big and small. But right now what makes me happy is doing something for someone else that brings a smile to their face. And, of course, seeing my puppy when I come home after a long day…..there is just nothing like that sweet puppy hello.
    Thank you for your lovely, lovely blog Jen… do rock!!

  399. Linda says:

    Being able to tell the time of the year by wandering through the farmers’ market early Saturday mornings and looking at all the seasonal produce makes me happy.

  400. Jenn says:

    Many occurrences in this world make me happy, but one of the best is when it snows (which it doesn’t much around here). If it is at night, my boyfriend and I go walking, holding hands and watching the snow swirl around us. Once, it was around Christmas, so we walked up to the town square and strolled around the lights display. It was just us, the beautiful Christmas lights, and snow. It was perfect. And after our snow walk, we usually have some cocoa and snuggle under warm blankets. :)

  401. Shirley says:

    Days when I can finish the New York Times crossword puzzle (no cheating!) during organic chem class make me happy. So do writing, Whole Foods chocolate truffles, The Office, playing tennis in perfect weather, and waking up in the morning with no pressing agenda. :)

  402. Cess says:

    I love being in the kitchen with a glass of wine cooking, whether it be a simple meal or one that is more complicated I love it. All the more if I have my husband as sous chef..we have fun…then relaxing and eating what we made.

  403. Nancy says:

    My favorite thing in the whole world is seeing the smile on my doggy’s face when I tell him we’re going for a walk! I can be having a crappy day, but the sparkle in his eyes and the gosh-darn honest to goodness smile he has smeared across his face – not to mention the tail wagging craziness – is all I need to make everyday a great day!

  404. marcie says:

    Watching my boyfriends face when i make something he likes to eat! wooohooo also an organized pantry.

  405. Pammie says:

    1. When my 24 yo son calls to ask me how to cook something that I have cooked for him all his life and he wants to make for his fiance.

    2.When I lay down at night and my little dog wants in the bed with me and we lay there and play for a while before we both go to sleep.

  406. Erin McD says:

    Is it too schmaltzy to say that just thinking about what makes me happy makes me a winner? Yeah, I thought so.

    At any rate, the certain thing to put me right at happy is to be on my porch with a beverage and Mack, my Boston Terrier. As to what time of day works, either early morning so he can watch the kids go to school or late evening with the setting sun hitting us both. It makes me this blessed mix of content and happy that makes everything ok.

  407. Cassee says:

    What makes me happy.. is my dog Ruger… no matter how bad my day is.. he is always waiting with a happy tail for me.!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  408. Mai says:

    What makes me happy? My family- and concocting weird stuff I call “food trials” I see on blog spots and serving it to them w/ a smile of grand achievement. Then I sit back and watch in fascination as they wince, cry, whimper, and swallow the rancid globs down their throat. This is followed by an hour long of washing and cleaning all the food splatters and burnt pots and dishes that miraculously shown up and is oozing out of the sink.

    Yeah. I love my family. I also know they love me to death too. :)

    I can’t wait to get home everyday after work when I have just piled up a file cabinets worth of content full of new inspiring recipe I just gleaned from food blogs I happen to chance upon while surfing the net.

    And I know they will be waiting for me to make dinner (in my humble opinion). Yeah. I know I would be very sad if I didn’t have my family. yeah. I know I am forever blessed when I look at em.

  409. Roxie says:

    Oh man, I got here from foodgawker and I drooled all over your beef rolls!

    What makes me happy? Eating. Right now eating those beef rolls would make me the happiest person in the world.

    But seriously, other than eating? My happiest moment was probably the morning after my daughter was born after the drugs had worn off and I could see her in the sunlight, just holding her and coming to the realization that she was MINE.

  410. Val says:

    What makes me the most happy is hearing an honest laugh.

    The quick snort-laugh when caught by surprise..
    The sweet giggle of a child trying to tell you their best knock-knock joke..
    A great case of the poorly timed church giggles..
    The yells & whoops of someone too old to be sledding, but doing it anyway..
    Laughing out loud by yourself..
    Getting caught laughing out loud by yourself..

    You know, stuff like that.

  411. John says:

    This conversation with my 4 year old son:
    Son: Guess what Dad?
    Me: What?
    Son: I love you.
    Me: I love you too.
    Son: But I love you more than you love me.
    Me: Oh no you don’t.
    Son: Yes I do.
    Me: Nope.
    Son: Yes.
    Me: Nope.
    Son: Yes. ……

  412. Jinxy says:

    My 7 week old daughter’s first smile is my favorite thing in the world.

  413. Pegs says:

    What makes me happy?

    Not following instructions, the smell of my kitty’s belly, the way my husband still looks at me, my 7 year old nephew’s laugh, any song by Eva Cassidy, cookies in the oven, a clean car, emails from my best friend, movies that make me cry, laundry right out of the drier, scuba diving in a flat calm sea, making jewelry for my friends, that first sip of coffee in the morning, and being cancer free to enjoy all of these things for as long as I can.

    Great blog btw…

  414. Crystal says:

    The picture of Kaweah cracked me up — I have a year-old lab mix who loooooooves to eat and can look just as pitiful :) The way mine’s ears partially stick out to the sides and then flap up and down when she walks never fails to make me smile, and, when I first got her, she made me laugh daily during a sad time. And fall weather makes me feel like anything is possible, but we don’t get that too often in Florida!

  415. Brian says:

    It makes me happy to come home, open the door and see my kids are running at me arms open saying dadddyyyy. I also playing polly pockets, legos or whatever else the kids want to do especially when I realize I almost was “busy” doing something else and then I realize they asked me to play with them … what was I thinking when I almost didn’t – so I’m happy when I catch myself and go play. Of course reading your posts is a real treat and through your blog I’ve discovered others (thursday night smackdown etc.) that I would have otherwise never seen.

  416. Maria says:

    Sometimes, when I’m in my car driving, as opposed to sitting in traffic, a song will come on the radio (yes radio!) that just makes me feel sooooo happy. It’s never the same song, and not always one that reminds me of something from “back in the day”, but it usually has a great, thumping bass line and when I sing it at the top of my lungs sometimes I just crack up laughing because it feels so damn good!

  417. minh says:

    my most recent happy moment: i was THE last person to ride down the mountain at whistler/blackcomb one day. as i was waiting, patiently (which doesn’t happen often), for a friend to join; the groomers started coming down the mountain. when he showed i let him go ahead of me just so i could enjoy the “corduroy” by myself.


    i snowboard so know nothing about skiing. what is tele?

  418. Mei-lan says:

    I honestly have so many things that make me happy. I feel so blessed every day. I get so much strength from the love and support of my family and friends, and this is really where I find my strength. Even if I’m far away from them, I can still feel their love, and this is what keeps me motivated, even when things get hard. I also love the feeling of cold winter air against my cheeks during a brisk walk, the smell of freshly baked scones, the swirl of steam off my cup of tea that catches the morning sunlight as it floats upwards, talking to my friends in secluded corners of the old buildings around my college campus, singing to myself in my room as I do my work, playing with my adorable cat. All these beautiful little things, piling up every day, make me so happy to be alive.

    Just writing this actually made me feel really happy. Thanks a lot for the incentive~! This is such a good idea for a mood lift. <3

  419. Nuri says:

    Hearing from the boy that he’s going to be cooking dinner tonight… four hours ago. Boy just left for the store. I don’t think I’ll actually be happy again until that dinner touches my lips.

  420. Pikko says:

    I’m really happy when my kids are playing nicely with each other quietly. They’re toddlers and therefore naturally noisy and can fight as siblings tend to do. Sometimes though, they sit together drawing and sharing crayons, not arguing over who gets to use the green one or running screaming to me to say one touched the others’ paper. I just sit there and smile at them during these nice times.

  421. jenyu says:

    Thanks for the entries, everyone! Comments beyond this point are not counted in the drawing (what, you want to confuse my dog?!), but you are welcome to comment if you feel so moved. xxoo

  422. Anne says:

    I have Beets in the fridge that I forgot about. I can slice up some hearts for tonight’s salad.

  423. Odessa says:

    Hi Jen, I’ve always been a fan of your blog and thank you for all the great insights, photos, and recipes. You are truly inspiring. I wish I could be as positive as you and even though I am healthy and grateful for so much in my life I just can’t seem to be as positive as I’d like. Wish I could and I really try but I don’t wake up “raring to go” every morning. I guess some people are just built differently. Have you always been this positive?

  424. jenyu says:

    Odessa – that’s really kind of you to say. Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Perhaps it’s just a matter of telling yourself that there is a lot to look forward to each day? I wouldn’t ever want you to suffer and experience tragedy or hard times, but those things tend to make one (not all though) appreciate when things are just normal. For me, normal is fantastic compared to really really sick or really really sad or really really miserable. Have I always been this positive? Yup. I’ve been through a lot and yet I think life is great – and I work hard to keep it that way. Wishing you good vibes.

  425. Nicole says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t have thought of frying lemons. They look amazing! And with Aioli! Wow wow wow.

  426. jenyu says:

    Nicole – yes, I quite love these. Really delicious, but I try not to fry things too often ;) With the aioli is just perfection.

  427. good eats, good reads « a pear to remember says:

    […] […]

  428. Nicolle says:

    Now that the winter has come, can wait to go snowbording.

  429. Pat Lee says:

    I am so lucky because I know exactly what makes me happy.
    There is not enough space her to write it all but let me pass this little bit along.

    When I look in her eyes,
    When I catch a glimpse of her,
    When I haven’t seen her for several days come home opening the door and she looks up directly into my eyes holding her gaze locked with mine without saying a word its as if someone has turned on a magical faucet that is connected to my heart and all that is warm and good and beautiful in this world starts flowing directly my heart filling me with a warm wonderful feeling.

    Like wise what makes me sad is when I leave her it is as if my heart has a slow leak and all these things slowly drain away driving me back to her to be refilled again.

    When I make her happy,
    When I see her smile back at me,
    When she laughs
    When I get caught looking at her behind,
    When she brings me coffee because she wanted to,
    When I close my eyes and she is near and I inhale deeply bringing her scent deep into my lungs.
    When she reaches across me and brushes against me
    So many things make me happy but the simple answer is SHE makes me happy!

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