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Things That Make Me Happy: #23-#26

January 21, 2010

For some reason, I feel compelled to make this edition of Things That Make Me Happy entirely about food. Because I love food.

23. Macaroni and Cheese.

Yesterday was National Cheese Lovers Day in this great land called America. I’m pretty sure it’s my new favoritest holiday on the planet. If you want to see the ULTIMATE LIST OF FOOD HOLIDAYS then you need to click here. Anyway, because it’s National Cheese Lovers Day and I am a lover of cheese, I decided I needed to drag my boyfriend to S’mac – the ultimate home of delicious macaroni and cheese. But not just any macaroni and cheese! This place has different varieties of mac and cheese ranging from Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese (which is regular mac and cheese but with hamburger in it) to Mediteranean Mac and Cheese (which is made with feta cheese, spinach and olives!) to Cajun Mac and Cheese (made with sausage and jalapenos, among other things) and tonight’s winner: Buffalo Mac and Cheese. Buffalo chicken with cheese and buffalo wing sauce.


Observe and be amazed:

24. Popcorn.

Did you know that January 19 was National Popcorn Day? How could I miss such an important day? I hang my head in shame. But honestly, folks, popcorn is basically my favorite food. I’ve been eating popcorn regularly since high school. When I lived with my parents, we had an air pop popcorn machine, which is an inexpensive way to make loads of popcorn. My dad would buy bulk bags of popcorn for a couple of dollars, and half a cup of popcorn would give you more than enough popcorn once it was air popped. Popcorn also has very low carbs (oddly enough, since corn itself is very high carb – I think the heat burns them away or something) so you can eat a tub full of air popped popcorn and it only has 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. I also love regular microwave popcorn – and even theater popcorn, though Erik and I don’t get food at the theater too often. I always get the 92% fat free popcorn, however, and I absolutely love Smart Balance popcorn. It always pops perfectly for me. Curling up on the couch with perfectly popped popcorn is probably my favorite thing to do on a Saturday night. I definitely wouldn’t mind having popcorn as my last meal.

25. Ice cream.

Can I admit something? I’m not a huge dessert person anymore. I’m really not big on cake anymore. There’s some too cloying about cake. I have a hard time stomaching it actually. I like cupcakes, but I’ve never been a cupcake aficionado. I like cookies, and I usually eat a couple at lunch (they don’t have too manyc carbs, maybe 20 grams for 2 cookies which isn’t so bad). But I love ice cream always. Any time of year I can have an ice cream cone and it will make me a happy camper, especially during the hot, humid summers in New York where all you want to do is duck into the nearest Tasti-D-Lite or Baskin Robbins. Ice cream doesn’t fill me up like other desserts do, so I can eat it and feel pleasantly full. My favorite flavor of ice cream, Raspberry Cheesecake, actually comes from an ice cream parlour in Eugene, Oregon, where I went to college, called Prince Pucklers. It’s dee-LISH!

26. Good Coffee.

One of my biggest beefs with New York City is the complete lack of good coffee. Maybe I am a spoiled Pacific Northwestener, but is really so hard to make a good cup of jo? I am beginning to to think it is. Most of the time I can barely stomach Starbucks coffee unless it’s heavily doused with sugar and cream (or chocolate and whipped cream as the case may  be). Dunkin Donuts coffee? Don’t even get me started. I thought Tim Hortons was going to be decent after a few reviews I heard, but nope: They suck too. Over the weekend Erik and I stumbled upon a coffee shop near Union Square called Think Coffee, which offered organic, free trade coffee in a cute coffeeshop with unfinished hardwood floors and a chalkboard menu that reminded me of coffeeshops in Oregon. I miss good coffee and have essentially given it up. When I was in college, I used to go this cafe called Espresso Roma down the block from campus. My friends and I would literally camp out for hours with our organic, free trade coffee that cost less than $2 a cup. It was like a second home. Espresso Roma is actually a chain, oddly enough, with franchises running throughout California, Oregon and Colorado. I occasionally get coffee when we go to brunch or the random Starbucks run. But my system is completely devoid of a caffeine addiction. And part of me is grateful to New York City for killing any urge of grabbing a morning coffee on my way to work. Think of all the money I’ve saved.

To see the other 22 things that make me happy, click here!

  1. January 21, 2010 10:52 AM

    Okay, first, how in the world did I miss Cheese Lover’s Day??? Wow. Second, I need to know where that mac & cheese place is…. I have to go there! 🙂

  2. January 21, 2010 12:11 PM

    Mac and cheese looks awesome! I love popcorn.

  3. January 21, 2010 1:09 PM

    I absolutely ADORE my French Vanilla Folgers coffee. SO freaking good. Do they have Folgers in the states or is it just Canada? (That might be a dumb question but I saw a commercial this morning where they said “waking CANADA up” or something for Folgers, so I thought maybe it was just in Canada.) I dunno.. Haha

    • January 21, 2010 1:18 PM

      Yes, we have Folgers. LOL. They probably just had their Canada ad agency do those commercials. My parents used Folgers for their instant coffee, and ground coffee beans for the drip coffee maker. I don’t know if I’ve ever had Folgers, but I know that I don’t like most “insta” coffee brands. I’ll recommend a couple of good coffee places in Portland and you can tell me what you think.

  4. January 21, 2010 4:24 PM

    Ohhhh man me and my girlfriends went out last week and ordered a “stinky mac & cheese” to share and it must’ve been with blue cheese or something but it was AMAZING!!

    • January 21, 2010 4:50 PM

      The Buffalo Chicken mac and cheese had the option of coming with bleu cheese but I turned it down because I think it’s gross. I thought about asking for ranch, but wasn’t sure how ranch and mac and cheese would mix. Maybe I’ll try it next time!

  5. January 21, 2010 6:35 PM

    AHHH! Mac and cheese! nomnomnom!

    I love the little half popped kernels at the bottom of the bowl, those are my fav =)

  6. January 21, 2010 10:38 PM

    Ahh, Mac n’ Cheese. It is so amazing. I just had some and it was delicious even though it was a microwave version by Amy’s Organic. But just so delicious! Cheese & pasta together? Yes please!

    I love all these random food holidays! 🙂

    Oh, and some times when I get a coffee and take that first sip I think to myself – my God, life is good. 🙂

  7. January 22, 2010 1:57 AM

    I LOVE macaroni and cheese. My mom makes the best baked mac and cheese. Ugh. I want some right now!

  8. Laura permalink
    January 24, 2010 7:12 PM

    oh, man, i TOTALLY celebrated cheese day with my kids at the library. i brought in 8 different cheeses and we tried them all. turns out, they love the laughing cow cheese and gouda, but HATE pepperjack and muenster. who knew?

    next time, i’ll tell you about pie day. 🙂

  9. January 25, 2010 6:23 PM

    I have been meaning to go to S’mac for over a year now! There used to be a Super Mac up the block from my work on 7th & 29th/30th but it closed down and I never did go :-/

    The buffalo mac and cheese sounds good – remind me to take my boyfriend there next time he’s in town because he loves both!

    I want to try this Think Coffee sometime, especially since it’s in Union Square, one of my favorite places!

    Thanks for sharing!

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