The “Danish coziness” philosophy is fast becoming the new “French living” in terms of aspirational lifestyle books and blogs. There are countless viral articles comparing the happiness levels of Americans versus Danes. Their homes are more homey; their people are more cheerful. It’s an attitude that defies definition, but there is a name for this slow-moving, stress-free mindset: hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”). Hygge values the idea of cherishing yourself: candlelight, bakeries, and dinner with friends; a celebration of experiences over possessions, as well as being kind to yourself and treasuring a sense of community.
How to Hygge by chef and author Signe Johansen is a fresh, informative, lighthearted, fully illustrated how-to guide to hygge. It’s a combination of recipes, helpful tips for cozy living at home, and cabin porn: essential elements of living the Danish way—which, incidentally, encourages a daily dose of “healthy hedonism.” Who can resist that?
Hygge (pronounced HYOO-guh), a Danish term loosely translated as a combination of coziness, kinship, and conviviality, is a way of life according to chef and food writer Johansen (Scandilicious and Secrets of Scandinavian Baking). Here she gives readers dozens of inspiring suggestions on how to incorporate hygge into their lives, homes and meals. Taking time out to enjoy the outdoors regardless of season, curling up with a cup of boozy hot chocolate, and creating a comfortable and uncluttered living space are sure to resonate with readers in these harried times. So will recipes for comforting dishesL whiskey-cured gravlax; coconut oatmeal porridge; roast cauliflower, spinach, and blue cheese salad with cherries and walnuts. The recipes are easy to prepare, but a handful, such as smoked venison on sourdough, can be challenging to source on this side of the Atlantic. In most cases, substitutes are offered. Most will also appeal to American palates, and many are playful, such as her Champagne and Haribo candy cocktail, which combines bubbly with peach liquor and gummi candy. Throughout, Johansen's tone is an embodiment of the philosophy: she encourages readers to appreciate the small moments, taking baby steps and savoring the ride rather than racing to the finish line. Readers interested in simplifying their homes and lives are sure to find plenty of practical recipes and suggestions here that they can implement immediately.