cookbooks, Cooking, nonfiction

November’s Happiness Project: Food and Gratitude

Time: // 7:09 a.m. Monday morning

The scene: // my little sisters are getting ready for school, Spongebob Squarepants is playing in the background, and of course, I’m drinking my second cup of coffee. It’s so nice and chilly outside, a little more than 50 degrees.

Spending October de-cluttering and time management was helpful. I culled and rearranged, repeating the cycle as often as I needed to. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re much better.

One of the things I’m focusing on this month is eating better. After years of being a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl, it’s time for me to have a more rounded, more diverse diet. Thanks to my boyfriend, who loves cuisine from all over the world, I’ve been getting out of my eating comfort zone. I want to step out of that zone even more, so I’ve checked out a number of cookbooks to find inspiration and new meals to make.


L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi. I reviewed this cookbook earlier this year and figured it was time to try some of the recipes out.

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck

The World’s Best Spicy Food: Where to find it and How to Make It by Lonely Planet

Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-To-Make Salads You Don’t Have to be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero

The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey – From Food Blog, to Food Truck, and Beyond by Marvin Gapultos

The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen

Joy the Baker by Joy Wilson

Momfuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi (Because everyone needs sweets once in a while.)

Not pictured: Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes For People who Totally Love Food by Jessica Merchant

It may seem like a lot of cookbooks, but it’s really not. I’ve already started browsing through most of them for meal ideas and there are so many recipes that I can’t wait to try. You can expect me to post my results throughout November.

Be Grateful

There are so many things going on in my life that it’s easy to panic and get stressed out. Instead, I want to enjoy and acknowledge the good around me. Every night, I’m writing down a list of things I’m grateful for while privately participating in #100HappyDays. I may not take a picture every day, but it’s brought a smile to my face several times.

What do you have planned for November?

15 thoughts on “November’s Happiness Project: Food and Gratitude”

  1. What an awesomely eclectic pile of cookbooks! Looking forward to your posts on the recipes you try. 🙂
    Love that you’re writing nightly lists of the thankful bits! It helps me so much. Even though it doesn’t make the sucky stuff disappear, it can help make the sucky stuff a little bit easier to take.

  2. I love your new blog design. So cute. Sorry I haven’t been by here in awhile. But you know how life gets.
    Time: 11:23am
    Place: At work in Santa Clarita. The weather is warmer but this morning it was freezing at 45 degrees.
    Drinking: Water.
    Loving: The idea of the #100HappyDays project and the cookbooks. LA Son has great reviews.
    Miss you and hope all is well.

  3. What an interesting array of cookbooks! I hope you post about some of the recipes you try. I finished my #100HappyDays and kind of miss it. The Estellagram theme for November is #Seethe Good and I’ve adopted it as my motto for the month, even if I’m not posting a picture daily. Hope things in your life settle down soon.

  4. Those are some yummy cookbooks! I love browsing through cookbooks but very rarely find something I can easily make or make with what I have at home. I will be waiting for your updates!

  5. I was in love with Thug Kitchen and then found out the authors are white. Not sure I like how that makes me feel about the sort of language they use and the image of the author they evoke. Sigh.

  6. Right now I’m just at the place where I’ve planned to make plans for November. 😉 My plans will definitely include decluttering and detoxing us from Halloween junk though! Joy the Baker is a favorite cookbook of mine but maybe not for that healthy eating idea. 🙂

  7. I’ve made a few of Joy the Baker’s recipes from her website and they turned out great, so I bet that cookbook is great. In a dangerous kind of way. I should be checking out Salad Samurai. I actually love salad…I just hate to make them. All that chopping…

  8. Good luck! I have found that recipe/meal planning has made a real difference. No excuses for eating a fatty meal when I have all the ingredients in the house for a healthful one.

  9. Greetings Vasilly,

    Many of these cookbooks look and sound wonderful! I’ve recently tried Adobo for the first (and second) time, and I loved it. I included a recipe in my blog post the other day, I was struck the by the notion that many of us (book bloggers) are “foodies”!

    “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
    ~Virginia Woolf

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