Learn to dream again

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If you were a healthy, fairly well-adjusted child, you probably had lots of dreams for the future. You might have dreamed of being a professional athlete, or an actress, or a movie producer. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a mansion, an indoor swimming pool and a crew of servants (scary, I know). As you got a little older, your dreams may have evolved, and you may have had callings or goals more sophisticated or specific; maybe you wanted to be an entrepreneur, or a photojournalist, or move to a foreign country. By the time I was 12 or 13, I dreamed of being a writer.

But somewhere along the way, for many of us, disappointment, discouragement and distraction happen (by the way,”dis-” means “reversing force”). We lose sight of our dreams, and maybe we even lose the ability to dream. By the time I was 18 or 19, I decided writing was unrealistic and impractical, and I had college, boys and a number of other things on my mind. I didn’t have time to dream. Continue reading “Learn to dream again”

Warm winter squash + olive-oil fried chickpeas

warm winter squash + olive oil-fried chickpeas

I’m on a squash kick lately. It’s the season for pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and acorn squash, and since moving back to California, I’m happy to see that we have plenty in the produce aisle, despite a Mediterranean climate and July temperatures in November. I’m throwing it into curries, pureeing it into soups and dreaming of ways to make squash-style sweets. But my favorite way to prepare winter gourds is easy: throw them cubed into a hot pan with olive oil and onions. The result is rich, sweet and so much more than the sum of its parts. Continue reading “Warm winter squash + olive-oil fried chickpeas”

Coffee with almond-coconut cream & cardamom

coffee with almond coconut cream + cardamom

When I lived overseas, I noticed that cafés served tiny cups of coffee that would barely qualify as kid-size in the U.S. At first, it was a bit infuriating- where’s my half-gallon latte? But then I realized that, duh, just like super-size fries and giant plates of pasta at Cheesecake Factory, we overestimate portion size in America. So I became accustomed to having a tiny, strongly flavored drink in the afternoon, around 3 or 4 p.m. Continue reading “Coffee with almond-coconut cream & cardamom”