Today my column is different, but in a good way, I think. First a bit of Cocke County Cuisine history. I started this column over two years ago.

I have featured great cooks from across our county, including children (the youngest cook was 7 years old), teenage cooks, cooking couples, mother/daughter cooks, men cooks, cooking friends, cooking trios, and cooks from the past.

We have covered the topics of canning, freezing, crock-pots, pressure cookers as well as recipes for sugar free, gluten free, high protein, low carbs and other healthy living recipes.

You have given me suggestions, and I have tried to cover each one. If my math is correct, we have shared almost 500 Cocke County Cuisine columns. Today I share with you my personal recipe for a happy new year.

Thank you for being my loyal readers; I have enjoyed every minute we have spent together. I wish for you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and absolutely lovely New Year!

My Recipe for a Happy New Year:

Love, love, love like there’s no tomorrow because we don’t know if there is.

Laugh a little louder, and smile more often.

Do not live with regret. Yesterday is gone. Don’t dwell on the “what ifs”.

Every day is a new day. Walk it with faith and confidence.

Be a giver, rarely a taker. It is more blessed to give.

Anxiety and stress are killers of beautiful souls. Let them go.

Don’t fret over things you can’t change. You are wasting valuable time.

Find something to believe in; I choose God.

Limit your tribe to people who believe in you. Grow steadfast friendships and honor them.

Find a cause, and make it happen.

Spend time with your family, and if they are not close by, love letters can happen every day.

Grow your faith.

Every now and then make yourself your number one priority. You are important, too!

If you say it, do it, and do it well. Your word is everything.

Only you can give yourself peace. It comes from within, so dig deep.

Do not judge others! Find the positive in everyone, and promote it.

Choose to be happy. It’s contagious!

Choose your words wisely. Once spoken, they can’t be taken back.

Never underestimate yourself. You’ve got the power!

Be patient, kind and humble. Do one good deed a day, and don’t tell anyone you did it.

And as 90% of my Golden Couples say, never go to bed angry at anyone.

If I can follow my advice, what a great New Year I will have! Enjoy!!!

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