Hygge: “(pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. It simply requires being present and recognizing a moment that feels so sweet, cozy, charming, special or nice that you just have to name the moment." There is not one word in the English language for hygge but it is basically a combination of coziness, happiness, familiarity, comfort, kinship, and simpleness.
Perfect for us wintery nations, I am surprised to only hear about this concept a few months ago. I am feeling very hygge-like during these cold months, really embracing my introversion and domestic side with lots of candles, blankets and warm mugs of tea. This drink is the coziest quilt and much needed right now. I'm having sleep problems currently. My nights go something like this: Read until my eyes are closing. Turn off the light and suddenly my brain is wide awake contemplating every thought that's ever happened in the universe. Lie suspended in a half dream and half conscious state for what feels like somewhere between minutes and years. Decide that time is an illusion. Fall asleep for real, have an anxious dream. Wake up at 4 am for no reason. Toss and turn. Go to the bathroom. Get hungry. Eat some crackers. Do a breathing exercise for 20 minutes that claims will make you “fall asleep within 60 seconds". Sigh loudly. Thoughts begin to float around; harmless at first but graduate to higher levels of frustration from sleep deprivation.
“I wonder if I'm closer to my birth or death at this very moment?" “Did I set my alarm? Let me check for the fifth time just to make sure." “...to fall asleep... you have to pretend to be asleep first..." “I now find George Bush goofy and sweet. Wtf?! That is what the world has come to." “Will I ever find a series of books I like more than Harry Potter?" “Why can't we all love each other and get along?" “And why must I wait 3 years between seasons of Sherlock!? And then it's only 3 episodes which I binge watch and then I'm doomed to wait another 3 years!!" “I always thought Belle from Beauty And The Beast was a strong female lead because she read books and didn't buy any of Gaston's ego-centric bullshit. But then she totally excuses all the beast's irate controlling behaviour. How is he even appealing to you Belle?! He's a dick and holding you captive! Stockholm syndrome much?! Just imagine THIS was a guy's reaction when you said no to dinner? He parkours the stairs, threatens her, then finishes by screaming that she should 'GO AHEAD AND STAAAARVE!!!'. Wow. Just wow."
My boyfriend choices growing up are really making sense now. Thank you Disney.
I've been trying to start an evening ritual because it's supposed to help you fall asleep. One piece of that for me is having a warm drink. Chamomile tea, golden milk or maybe this coffee-like yet caffeine free beverage. I love to add hawaij, a yemeni spice mix I found out about from Molly Yeh in her new cookbook. It's all the best warm spices, heavy on the cardamom and ginger. She also has the recipe on her blog for these coffee doughnuts. If you want to make it mocha-like, add a teaspoon or two of cacao powder. I used Dandy Blend to make this drink because it's delicious (roasted chicory and dandelion powder) but you can use just chicory powder if you like. Bonus: chicory is good for you and so is dandelion.
Chicory has a very similar flavour to coffee so feel free to add a spoonful to your regular coffee or latte for a more earthy flavour. New Orleans is familiar with this concept of adding chicory to coffee from their French influence (read more about it here). Cafe Du Monde serves a delicious cafe au lait with chicory to enjoy alongside their famous beignets (dipping is a must). And anything New Orleans loves, I love. It is one of my favourite cities in the entire world and they do all things with a sense of pride and authenticity.
Happy hygge life!
CHICORY ALMOND MILK LATTE
the feels: warming, frothy, + creamy
eat with: toast, shortbread cookies, chai sugar cookies, gingersnaps, bowl of popcorn
might like if you're into: a good book, chai, spooning, comfy sweaters, hugs, meditation, big scarves, journaling, colouring books
makes one large mug or two small || time: 5 minutes
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon Dandy Blend (you can substitute ground roasted chicory root and/or ground roasted dandelion root)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon to tablespoon honey, depending on personal taste
- 1/8 tsp natural vanilla extract
- optional: generous pinch of hawaij if you have it or just ground cardamom + cinnamon would work
- mocha variation: add 1-2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
- Add all ingredients to a small pot and place over medium heat. Whisk vigorously to create frothy creaminess. Pour into mug when hot and sprinkle with extra spices.