"What if the month of December were soothing instead of stressful?" That is a question posed in one of our December book picks, "Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year" and one that we are keeping top of mind as we prepare for this holiday season. Our goal is to slow down, cozy up and enjoy each moment. That first sip of a rich cup of hot cocoa (recipe by one of our favorite chefs, Carla Hall). The luxe feeling of our soft Zenergy Cotton Cashmere set on your skin. Now, more than ever, it's time to celebrate the little things in life. Wishing you a holiday season filled with Peace, Love and Chic!
The holiday season will look a bit different this year so we are embracing a more casual yet festive style with this head-to-toe camel look from our Zenergy line. It’s dressy enough for family zoom calls but comfortable enough for cozying up in front of the fireplace.
Love, happiness, peace – these are not final destinations. They are in every moment, every breath, everything. – Vironika Tugaleva
If you’ve got a snow storm headed your way, then it’s probably time to start making some hot cocoa. That’s why our drink of the month is Carla Hall’s “Snow Day Cocoa”, a slightly amped up version of your favorite winter drink. She recommends adding in some toasted cinnamon to the cocoa and then topping it off with a ginger-spiked whipped cream and a fresh twist of orange peel. These subtle little touches take a plain old cup of hot chocolate to the next level — and provide the perfect ending to a snow day!
Makes 1 cup
for the cocoa:
6 ounces milk
3 ounces dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 2-inch piece of fresh orange peel
for the whipped cream:
2 ounces heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Toast the ground cinnamon in a small saucepan for a few seconds, then add the milk, dark chocolate, and sugar. Whisk lightly over medium heat until combined and heated through. Pour into a mug.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks (this will happen very quickly, so don’t overwhip it or it’ll turn into butter!). Mix in the ginger and sugar until combined, then spoon it onto the hot cocoa and garnish with the fresh orange peel.
• Substitute almond or another plant-based milk for a delicious dairy-free version.
• If you want to make the cocoa even richer, pour about an ounce of heavy cream (or coconut cream, if you want to keep it vegan) into the bottom of the mug and add a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Whisk together until combined, then add the hot cocoa and stir well.
• Spice is nice! When you toast the cinnamon for just a few seconds in a warm saucepan, it helps it to “bloom” and release its essential oils. You can do the same thing with the ginger before you add it to the whipped cream as well!
Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton
What if the month of December were soothing instead of stressful? Now you can celebrate a new kind of holiday season—one where you radiate calm and cultivate delight. Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year leads you out of the darkness of winter and back to the enchantment of an authentic and attainable Christmas season filled with thoughtful gift-giving, and meaningful observations of annual traditions.
Covering the time period from late November to early January, this joyful guide embraces all the festive holiday build-up and then welcomes the new year in a holistic, nurturing way. Author Beth Kempton gently encourages you to prioritize your holiday hopes and take a slower, more mindful approach to your celebrations. Kempton also offers helpful suggestions for making the most of winter, and recommends using this quiet time to dream new dreams, set goals, and aspire toward a beautiful year ahead.
Filled with personal stories, tips, and advice for staying calm and connecting with others, Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year provides a cozy retreat from the pressure of striving for perfection. Instead of starting the New Year exhausted, in debt, and filled with regret, you will rejoice in the memories of the season feeling rested, rejuvenated, inspired, and calm.
Featuring 130 recipes with new variations on soulful favorites, this cookbook covers the culinary globe on an ingenious, delicious mission: to capture the international flavors of comfort.
For Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, food is a wonderful way to forge connections with and between people. In Carla’s Comfort Foods, she finds inspiration by going around the world in search of the universal home-cooked flavors of comfort. Spinning standbys into distinctive new recipes, she combines the beloved flavors of home with the most delectable, enticing spices and tastes of international cuisine. Carla starts with your essential recipe for perfect all-American burgers; from there, you can choose to do them up Persian-style with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, lime, and fragrant spices; or give them a Vietnamese twist with pickled veggies, scallions, ginger, and cilantro; or take your burgers to Morocco with gutsy spices, chiles, and feta cheese.
Full of Carla’s entertaining stories, the book shows how seasoning can transform any simple recipe. A comprehensive spice and flavor guide lets you chart your own course in the kitchen by turning your favorite go-to dish into a culinary trip around the world. In recipes that reflect her own vivacious personality, Carla takes you from Southern Chicken with Milk Gravy to West African Spicy- Sweet Chicken Stew; from German Double-Mustard Potato Salad to Moroccan Spice-Rubbed Beef Roast to Indian Chile, Pea, and Coconut Chutney; and from Southern Peach Cobbler to Greek Baklava.
From Nashville to Naples to Nigeria, nothing gathers friends and family around the table like the flavors of home. Now you can hug your friends and family with Carla’s incredibly flavorful takes on creamy soups and noodles, fragrant stews and dumplings, and mouthwatering pastries, pies, and tarts. Join Carla for a delicious journey!