Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
I’ve been looking forward to writing this post all week. I want to share with you guys all the things that are making me happy, keeping me sane, and everything we’ve been up to while hunkered down at home. I will say that it’s been a hard week, with some days being better than others. All in all, I’m really just trying to focus on creating amazing content for you guys. It’s truly what keeps me going and prevents me from stressing 24/7…though I’ve certainly had my moments of feeling scared and anxious.
But today’s post is about all the good things we have going on. Even though it’s a weird time, we still have so much good to celebrate as well. I’m going to share all of my very favorite things to do at home. What I personally am cooking. And yes, you guys, I’m also going to share my favorite loungewear basics with you all…as many of you have been asking on Instagram. So well it has been a hard couple of weeks, this post is our distraction!
Question: How have you all been passing the time and staying positive?
What have I been up to…well, thankfully I’m quarantined at home with a few of my favorite people. I don’t know what I would do without having my mom, dad, and little sister Asher by my side during this time. We might not sleep in the same house, but I will never take being neighbors with my family (we’re all on the same property) for granted again. It’s one of the greatest gifts. My brothers are a bit more spread out, with four of them in California, and my oldest brother back in Cleveland. So that’s a little hard, but everyone is staying in, staying connected through texts and Facetime, and most importantly, staying safe.
My days have been incredibly busy creating new recipes and working to share out Instagram stories for you guys. Have you been enjoying the daily step-by-step recipes on stories? I’ve been trying to develop new pantry staple recipes using the ingredients I have on hand. We’ve cut our grocery store trips down to once a week. We’re really only going when we absolutely need food. Which is very different from the norm of going daily. It’s also very hit or miss in terms of what the store will have. Thankfully we’ve been able to get everything we really need. How are the grocery stores for you guys? Are you still able to get most of your usual items?
With spring officially here…which I completely missed…but hey guys, it’s here…I’m finding it a bit of a struggle to create pantry recipes that are also springy too. I tried my best, and I have to say, I’m excited to see what you think of week’s upcoming recipes.
And with that, coming up this week…we’ll have a really fun Cuban inspired one skillet dinner, a fresh take on a simple flatbread, a new pantry pasta, the perfect slow cooker dinner, a colorful sweet potato dish, and finally, a fun cake that’s perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday. Lots of delicious (pantry style) recipes all coming your way.
Question: is there anything special you guys are looking for? Any ingredients you need to use up? Please let me know!!
Lastly, if you’re catching up on blog posts from the week, be sure to sign up for our daily newsletters. They’ll help you to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here, as well as fun content you’ll only get via email. And of course, if you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s # 9 on the favorite’s list).
I hope you enjoy this week’s Nine Favorite Things. I hope it can bring you a little joy and distraction during these very weird times we’re all experiencing. Have a wonderful, relaxed Sunday!
1. everything I am most thankful for right now.
In scary, uncertain times it can be hard to remember all the good things. But I’ve found a lot of comfort in focusing on the positive things that I do have. So, I thought I would share what I’m most thankful for right now…
- The fact that I do have my family so close and can see them every day.
- My mom. Yes, we both work together on HBH, but she’s been putting in some extra hours this week to help keep up with things. And even more importantly? She’s also been my personal therapist. So thankful to have her around and to be able to work with her so closely. It’s something I take for granted, but it’s truly such a blessing. Cheesy, but it’s so true.
- My cousins Maggie and Abby, who are behind the scenes HBH team members. They’ve been working overtime helping to keep up with all of the Instagram messages. I am so thankful for them and their hard work during these tough times.
- Being able to get outside every morning for a hike.
- My work. I know so many of you are unable to work during this time. I’m sure that’s got to be incredibly hard. I’m grateful that I work in a space that focuses on digital content and allows me to continue working during a very unusually difficult time for the world.
- Everyone out there still who’s working every single day to help us get our country back to normal. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, bankers, grocery store employees, farmers, package delivery drivers (and I realize I’m missing many more!). There are so many of you still out there working, helping, and risking a lot to do so. THANK YOU!
- Flowers. My dad brought home the above ranunculus after his grocery run and they brightened my week.
- YOU GUYS. I know this may sound odd, but continuing to create new recipes and share them with you all has really been keeping me going. I’m so happy that I can help to provide a distraction for many of you. I’m also thrilled that so many of you are finding comfort in cooking and baking. It truly is amazing.
Question: What are you all thankful for most right now?
2. all the best spring baking recipes.
Tip: for recipes that call for fresh berries, swap in frozen berries if you can’t get yours hands on fresh just yet.
3. work from home finds to create an inspiring space…
Bonus: bring spring inside with a mix of fresh flowers, plants, and dried flower too.
4. favorite questions of the week.
q: Best way to store a big knob if ginger?
a: I keep mine in the fridge for a few weeks. You can also cut the ginger into inch 1 inch knobs, peel, and then freeze. To use after freezing, simply grate the frozen ginger. It’s actually easier to grate frozen ginger than it is fresh.
q: What’s one of your biggest long term professional goals?
1. Growing the HBH team…this has been so hard for me, but it’s needed.
2. Creating an HBH show.
3. HBH products
q: How do you clean your cast iron?
a: Ah, my most asked question! My Staub cast iron is enamel coated and does not need to be seasoned before using. I don’t do anything special to clean them, that’s the beauty of cast iron…it’s easy! I simply rinse the skillet under warm water and wipe dry. If there happens to be baked-on food, I’ll rise with soapy water and use a gentle scrunch pad to release the food. Honestly, it’s so easy and I don’t ever stress about it.
And when I cook with seafood, I do the very same thing. But I always rinse with soapy water to ensure that I get the skillet extra clean and rid the pan of any seafood flavors.
Remember, with cast iron, every time you add oil to the pan you’re essentially seasoning it at the same time. As long as you’re cooking with oil, nothing should be sticking.
If you’d like even more info on cast iron pots, I did a post almost two years ago entitled My Favorite Cast Iron Cookware.
q: You can only choose 10 items for your bare pantry while under quarantine. you choose…?
a: Ok, but olive oil, salt, and pepper don’t count.
1. Pasta…but really all grains
2. Sun-dried tomatoes…but really all canned/jarred tomato products
3. Nuts…all of them
4. Beans…white + black
5. Coconut milk
6. Roasted red peppers
8. Curry paste….both Thai + Indian
9. Peanut butter
10. Chocolate…all the good kinds
Ok, I probably cheated a bit here…but this would be devastating for me!
Related: the quote inspiring me right now.
5. newest videos.
Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch…everyone’s favorite taco (using pantry staples too).
Kale Caesar Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas…plenty of flavor + color = all the good things to me.
6. ways to help give back and support small businesses.
In one week, Baby to Baby has distributed 1.5 million items to children impacted by COVID-19 around the country, but the need is growing exponentially. Help provide basic necessities to families who have no diapers, formula, or hygiene products for their children. Learn more and donate here.
You can still give blood, and hospitals need you to…
Blood banks around the country are concerned about a serious upcoming shortage, as scores of blood drives have had to be canceled. Though blood is not generally needed to treat symptoms of the Coronavirus, it’s still needed for everything else hospitals usually need blood for. There are still safe ways for people who don’t believe they’ve been exposed to the virus to donate blood. Click here to learn more.
Neighborhood social networking app Nextdoor has introduced two new features, Help Maps and Groups, to give people a way to better support one another during the coronavirus outbreak. The Help Map offers a way to coordinate aid between those in need, like the elderly and at-risk, and those willing to offer some form of assistance — like running errands or dropping off supplies, for example. Groups, meanwhile, allows smaller groups to network outside of the main feed.
If you want to help your local economy, consider having someone else do the cooking once or twice a week. The restaurant industry is likely to be one of those hardest hit economically. Here in Colorado Uber Eats is waiving their delivery fee. I’ve read that Uber Eats is doing the same in many states around the country. Check your Uber app to see how Uber is handling deliveries in your state.
Help out your local food pantry…
With virus-related closures driving many people out of work, many more families are going to need help. At the same time, demand is expected to grow and pantries are struggling with supply. Especially with shoppers buying up many of the groceries that are usually donated, such as dented cans and about-to-expire perishables.
Volunteer with Meals on Wheels…
Meals on Wheels delivers meals to older people who can’t leave their homes. They are anticipating an increased demand during the outbreak as we all know that seniors are especially susceptible. This is an organization that my mom and Asher volunteer with (up here it is called Mountain Meals). Unfortunately, as HBH has grown she hasn’t had as much time to help out, but what a great way to contribute!
7. a few links i am loving…
*Double the links again this week. Hoping you guys enjoy these!
Hallmark will air 27 original Christmas movies this weekend…I am all about this.
40 shows to binge while you’re social distancing…what are you watching.
a sixty-second way to feel good…if you need a quick boost.
The best workouts to stream…staying active is one of the best things we can do for ourselves right now.
I Have Been Working From Home for Years…this is how to do it successfully.
the Absolute Best Way to Cook Pasta…according to Too Many Tests.
6 Projects to Tackle at Home While You’re Social Distancing…need to do all of these.
A SoHo Loft Is Designed for Comfort and Creativity…love the cozy green room.
At home wellness ideas…really wanting to try a Melissa Wood workout at home.
The Newly Revamped Rosewood Little Dix Bay…please. take. me. here.
34 Design Shows to Watch now…because we have some time.
6 Kitchen Cabinet Options…all about the farmhouse cabinet.
11 Tips for Staying Sane Working From Home…create an environment that’s productive.
How to do an at home facial…need to do this with Asher tonight, she will love it.
11 New-to Me Brands I’m Adding to My Cart for Spring…love Entireworld for cozy basics.
92 Cooking Projects to Keep You Busy…and extremely well fed.
7 Celebs in their WFH Looks…loving Lucy Hale + Ashely Tisdale’s cozy looks.
4 easy dinners…that can be converted into a salad the next day.
Best fashion uniform…because everyone needs one
30 DIY Beauty Treatments…you Can Do in the Comfort of Your Home.
5 Tips to Have the Most Productive Day Ever…love these tips.
What to Wear for Zoom Meetings? Turtlenecks, of Course…all things cozy…all the time.
We Could All Use This Therapist’s Advice…if you need help finding comfort.
15 Hobbies You Can Start at Home…use this time to do something fun.
The Easiest Ways to Prioritize Self-Care Today…taking notes.
5 All Natural Ways to Beat Anxiety…I’m all about these.
The 20 Best Vintage Instagram Sellers…that are delivering to you.
7 design principles from Athena Calderone’s…inspiring me to redecorate a bit.
Ask an Expert…How to Get Buzz-Worthy Press Right Now, According to a Publicist.
A list of silver linings people have found while social distancing…lots of smiles in here.
8. my favorite cute, but cozy loungewear…
The upside of all this craziness? I get to wear my favorite kind of clothes…hoodies, leggings, and basically all the cozy things. Here are my favorite picks (a few of which I literally just ordered).
9. this week’s dinners…
Wednesday: Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon
Saturday Brunching: Berry and Cream Cheese Croissant French Toast Bake
Sunday Baking: Sweet and Salty Teddy Bear Snickerdoodles
Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.