What makes life happy? Cherry blossoms, chocolate, friends and family. Okay, not all family 100% of the time! Still, family systems can provide tremendous love and support.
Isabel Laessig is the CEO of the expanding Sunday Supper empire. Isabel’s #SundaySupper Twitter chat is designed to entice families to gather around the dinner table. Everyone is encouraged to share family recipes and stories. Isabel’s blog, Family Foodie, focuses on food filled with love. Every recipe is accompanied by an anecdote about family. Meet Isabel in person and the love of family is palpable. Sampling treats at Isabel’s Food & Wine Conference in Florida is fantastic fun. But so is meeting Isabel!
Today is Isabel’s birthday. To honor the grande dame of Sunday Supper, Terri Truscello Miller of Love and Confections is throwing an online birthday bash.
Cherry Blossom Brownies are my contribution to the party. The fudgy brownies have a spectacular spicy kick. If you prefer your brownies sans spice, simply omit the spiced tea. Or substitute a sweeter tea.
Ninja Note: Cherry Blossom Brownies are gluten-free. 99.999 percent guaranteed to bring happiness to your gluten sensitive friends and family giddy happiness. See below for more happy-making ideas.
10 Tips On How-To Get Drunk With Happiness
Revert to Childhood: Swing, see-saw, slide at your neighborhood park. Or grab your favorite crayons and color! Click here for the wildly talented Cake Spy’s coloring book. P.s. It’s free!
Copy Cleopatra: All except for the getting bitten by the asp part, copy Cleopatra! Know that you are a queen. Luxuriate in candlelit bubble baths. Dive into a novel. (Even if there is a pile of laundry awaiting your attention.)
Karaoke ‘til You Croak: Or sing your heart out. Singing along with happy tunes, somehow allows a rosy look at the world. As Serbian poet, Dejan Stojanovic wrote, “There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky.”
Smell Serenity: Not kidding. Serenity, lavender and elevation are titles of essential oils. I was skeptical when my sister, Karen suggested oils could turn a case of the blues into “happys.” However, I now concede my sister was right…Karen also says frankincense applied to the face can reduce wrinkles. We’ll see. I’m on day 3…. If interested, you can contact Karen via her Gaijin Works Coaching business. (Gaijin is the Japanese word for foreigner.)
Time Outs with the Family: Put down the devices. Schedule date nights. Stare into the baby blues of your loved ones.
Let Your Heart Lead: Isabel glows with happiness. She is serving her community. Her mission to unite families around the Sunday Supper is an uplifting venture. (Isabel is now also promoting #WeekdaySuppers!)
Go Au Naturel: The Japanese honor the healing powers of nature. Tokyo is dotted with meticulously combed parks. (And Japanese folklore sparkles with Nature spirits.) Mother Nature provides soothing comfort to the crashing computer jangled senses. There are (free) oases in American concrete jungles, too. Think Central Park in NYC. Visit Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens in LA. (If you spin by, you may spot the Ninja Baker leading a tour.)
Dance Like No One Is Watching: Give in to toe-tapping music. Hug a tree. Howl at the moon. Spontaneous silly moments infuse life with joy. Don’t you think?
Tell the Dictator to Shut Up: Maybe you’re mind is kinder than mine. Often I need to shush the dictator voice. The one that insists my 1000 item to-do list must be completed today! Allowing myself breaks brings me back to work refreshed. If I lived in Japan, I’d be taking breaks during cherry blossom season all the time! In the meantime, munching on Cherry Blossom Brownies works. So does watching (the KGB pretending to be) The Americans on TV. Where are your happy places?
S-t-r-e-t-c-h for the Stars: Jumping outside my comfort zone is not comfortable. Yet the joyful benefits of freedom outweigh the pinch of pain. Sometimes this Ninja Baker gets shy meeting new people. However, without stretching past limits, I’d never have met inspiring people like today’s birthday girl Isabel Laessing. And all the good-hearted crew of Sunday Supper!
Snaps of spiced cherry blossom tea in a brownie. Specks of sweet cherry baking chips also flirt with the fudgy treat.
Gluten-free, kid-friendly and easy-to-make home run brownies!
- 1 brownie mix package
- (I used Glutino Gluten Free Pantry’s Double Chocolate Brownie)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 sakurambo cherry blossom tea bags, crushed
- ½ cup cherry baking chips
Preheat oven to 350°
Coat heart-shaped pans with baking spray.
Vigorously stir all the ingredients together.
Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Join me in celebrating Isabel's Birthday with all the delicious food and drinks her #SundaySupper family prepared!
- Birthday Cake Cocktails by Daily Dish Recipes
- Blueberry Lavender Mojitos by Amee's Savory Dish
- Caipirinha Colada by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventure
- Fig-Bourbon Fizz by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mocha Martini by Desserts Required
- Mocha Mudslide by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Plum and Thyme Champagne Cocktail by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Summer Fizzies by Momma's Meals
- 2-Ingredient Deviled Eggs by Shockingly Delicious
- Apple and Chorizo Crostini with Shallots and Basil by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Buffalo Chicken Wontons by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Burrata Caprese Crostini with Proscuitto by The Crumby Cupcake
- Chorizo and Kimchi Potato Pancakes from kimchi MOM
- Cotija and Roasted Corn Guacamole by Simply Healthy Family
- Gluten Free Basil Tomato Flatbread by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Salt Cod Fritters by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Chai Sweet Chili Chicken Flatbread by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Chorizo Eggs Salad by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Espetada (Portuguese Beef Skewers) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Grilled Salmon Rice Salad by Magnolia Days
- Sofrito Marinated Beef Skewers by Nik Snacks
- Steak with Red Wine Reduction and Blue Cheese by The Weekend Gourmet
- Angel Food Cake by Feeding Big
- Birthday Blondies by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Buttercream Icing by Whole Food | Real Families
- Chocolate Doughnuts with White and Chocolate Glaze by Grumpy's Honeybunch
- French Vanilla Eclair Cake by Love and Confections
- Homemade No-Churn Nutella Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cheesecake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Italian Cream Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Japanese Cherry Blossom Brownies and 10 Tips on How-To Get Drunk With Happiness by NinjaBaker
- Mint Chocolate Cream Pie by gotta get baked
- Pink Lemonade Cookies by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Queijadas de Sintra by Food Lust People Love
- Red Currant Cheesecake Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Summer Peach Cake by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Wishing you all the people and paths that make you drunk with happiness!
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.
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