" If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of our true smile is an awakened mind. Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding. 
When I see someone smile, I know immediately that he or she is dwelling in awareness. 
Our smile will bring happiness to us and to those around us. Even if we spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in our family, nothing we buy could give them such happiness as the gift of our awareness, our smile. And this precious gift cost nothing. At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem:
I have lost my smile,
but don't worry.
The dandelion has it.
If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. You still have enough mindfulness to see that the smile is there. The dandelion is one member of your community of friends. It is there, quite faithful, keeping your smile for you. 
In fact, everything around you is keeping your smile for you. You don't need to feel isolated. You only have to open yourself to the support that is all around you, and in you. Like the friend who saw that her smile was being kept by the dandelion, you can breath in awareness, and your smile will return".  
                                                                                                                          Thach Nhat Nanh "Peace Is Every Step"

You would love these dandelion flower cookies. The dandelion is not an usual addition to a dish, yet with its honeylike taste and earthy texture, dandelion blossom makes for delicious cookies, muffins and cakes. The molasses and the dried apricots blend perfectly with all spices and dash of vanilla. Dandelion cookies with glass of milk or tea are the perfect treat for every part of the day. Fun to bake especially with your kids, they will certainly make you smile.

More about the dandelion flower here.

Dandelion Flower Cookies
(recipe from the book "Cooking with Flowers" By M. Bacher; makes about 16 normal sized cookies)


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 ( 1 stick) cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp.  molasses
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup dandelion petals
100gr. dried apricots, chopped in small dice


Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir to combine flour, oats, baking soda and allspice.
Beat butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla until smooth and light in colour. Add egg  and beat until fluffy incorporated.
Blend dry ingredients, dandelion petals and apricots into butter mixture and mix just enough so that any streak of flour disappear.
Scoop small bolls of batter 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies have spread but still flexible, about 12 minutes.

* The dandelion is generally considered safe in food; however some people may have allergic reactions  to it. Gather dandelion flowers from areas free of chemical treatments or fertilizer. Pick in a sunny part of the day, so the flower are fully open and prepare right away. Once picked, they do not last long. 

What keeps your smile for you these days?