Celebrate birthdays, even when you’re not together.
I think a birthday without a cake is an absolute travesty, so I always make sure to bake someone a birthday cake if I find out no one else plans to. This year, even though my dad isn’t here with me, I baked his favorite carrot-pineapple cake in his honor. It has brought a nice celebratory energy into my home, and it brings me a little joy every time I see it on the counter (and of course it’s a treat to eat, too). ― Kristen Aiken, Senior Editor, Food & Style
A ridiculously good chapstick that works all year ’round.
During this insanely crazy time, I’m finding myself looking for small comforts. I say that only because I cannot afford anything else. In the Before Times (Feb. 2020), I found myself desperate for a new chapstick and picked up Vaseline Rosy Lips lip therapy at a gas station.
I am OBSESSED with the packaging and the chapstick itself. It doesn’t have a strong scent or a bright sheen and only leaves the thinnest layer of product. It’s perfect. It soothes my formerly dry lips and leaves them feeling insanely hydrated. I ran out of my first one in a month and quickly bought five more to keep them all around the house, so they’re never out of arm’s reach. ― Carly Ledbetter, Senior Reporter
A table pad that transforms any surface into a desk.
I’ve been using my dining room table as a desk while working from home, but I needed a mouse pad. When I went to buy one, I found this desk pad instead. It’s cute, brightens up the space and separates my “desk” from the rest of the table in a way I really like. I chose the light pink, but there are other colors and sizes — highly recommend! ― Ashley Rockman, Senior Relationships Editor
A chocolate cake that puts all other quarantine desserts to shame.
I broke down and just decided I needed a massive chocolate cake the other day. Ina Garten’s “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake” hit the spot. I added crumbled Oreos on top, just to ensure it was as decadent as possible. It was moist and rich and definitely hit the spot. This will be the recipe I go back to the next time I need a chocolate cake fix, which will probably be in 2022, given how satisfying this one was. ― Kate Palmer, Head of HuffPost Life
A quick pickling recipe that tastes like you got it from a specialty store.
I used a recipe for a quick pickle and cut up a bunch of jalapeños I thought I was going to use for spicy margaritas, before I realized I am only one person and don’t need eight jalapeños’ worth of spicy margaritas (at least, not all at once…). I used this recipe and have since put them in salads and on sandwiches, and eaten them straight out of the jar. So yummy. ― Jamie Feldman, Personal & Lifestyle Reporter
A mouthwatering challah recipe that will leave you with tons for the week.
While it seemed the rest of the world had their hand at making sourdough, I have always wanted to attempt challah. I lent my stand mixer to a friend who has been doing a lot more baking than me, so I made it by hand. Adeena Sussman’s recipe for olive oil and honey challah makes a lot of dough ― three loaves’ worth! So she recommends you make one into a pull-apart bread (delicious) and two into loaves. Now I have one loaf in the freezer, one in my stomach and one filled with cheese and other delicious things in the fridge. Win, win, win. ― Feldman
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