A lush, yet light dessert that's much better if made a day ahead. Take a bit of fig on the tip of your fork, sweep it through the mascarpone and pop it into your partner's mouth. Mascarpone is a dense, creamy fresh cheese from Italy. If it isn't available, whip some heavy cream and flavor it with vanilla. Use organic ingredients if possible.
"The happiest people in the world interact about 7 hours a day," says Dan Buettner, author of Thrive. "They don't just wake up in the morning and schedule 7 hours of interaction. A lot of it happens to revolve around food and the rituals that surround food." Buettner circled the globe in search of the world's happiest populations -- he shares four tips with The Splendid Table.