Life enthusiast, hummus addict, & California native. I blog about topics that run the gamut from spiritual perspective to salad. Because you’ve got to learn how to have faith, and you’ve also got to learn how to cook a decent meal. And you can screw up both those things, and still try again.
When it’s possible to run a business out of your purse, learn a foreign language on your phone, or become famous overnight on YouTube, the future seems like a menu of possibilities for those of a certain generation. As children, many of us were told to follow our dreams, which, as it turns out is both terrifying and wonderful. It can leave us paralyzed with indecision, or- in the best case scenario- it can motivate us to move forward and actually do it: venture into an intersection where faith meets action; where uncertainty about our abilities is eclipsed by a jolt of confidence that we can and will achieve what we want to.
Whether it’s starting a business, making a big move, or just giving up a conventional career to make your side gig your full-time gig, making the big leap into pursuing your passion at the expense of security can be scary. But there’s a greater challenge ahead on the Oregon trail of your following your dream: and that is remaining on the path, even when it begins to be an uphill climb, there’s a river bypass, your horses die, or your wagon wheels break. Your business may fail, you may run out of money, your submissions and auditions rejected. Challenges are almost always inevitable, especially if we want to do something great. Continue reading “When fulfilling your dream takes longer than you think it should”→
I’ve been abundantly blessed to live in not only one but two places where dates are grown and harvested: first in California, where I was born and currently live, and then in Morocco, where I spent three years teaching English. Dates have been experiencing a sort of renaissance lately, what with paleo-ites desperately looking for dessert that meets the stringent requirements of a caveman’s diet. I’m pretty sure a caveman might be especially tempted by dates, especially if he stuffed a tablespoon of tahini and a single roasted almond inside. Continue reading “Tahini + almond stuffed dates”→
I am not a creature of habit. I have one eating ritual every day, and that is drinking a hot coffee when I wake up. And the rest, I leave up to the routine of the day: what produce is in season, how my body feels, and what’s available at the tasting station at Trader Joe’s. One day I might eat an herb-filled omelette for breakfast, the next day half a gluten-free brownie. I thrive on the unexpected. And this week, what I craved was a big bowl of roasted winter citrus fruit, simple and clean with that slight salty/sweet bite you get from pulverizing citrus rind with heat and a little olive oil in the oven. Continue reading “Roasted winter citrus fruit”→
The big island of Hawaii is the state’s youngest island, and also its largest (duh). And like any (very) young thing, it continues to grow, edges creeping out in a live, molten lava flow that causes the island to gain ground a little bit each year. It is certainly not the state’s most well-known island- not like Maui, Oahu, or Kaui- and it does not conjure up the images we know from vintage film posters, postcards, and pop culture. The big island is vast, mountainous, and authentic, and it’s worth visiting for anyone who likes to explore. Continue reading “Starry skies, lava flow, & solitude: the big island of Hawaii”→
In 2017, I want to dwell in all the possibilities of what could be. Backpacking around New Zealand, micro-financing small businesses for women in third-world countries, learning to surf, heck, buying a really nice car. My dreams may go poof and disappear, or they may materialize in front of me. Regardless, I’m going there—and I’m not allowing “what if’s” or “but’s” to stand in my way. Continue reading “Resolutions for 2017”→
It’s December, and here in LA, we are in full swing of the season- holiday music jingles across the airwaves, I’m offered tiny mugs of cider and cookies at every turn (church, the shopping mall, Whole Foods), red, green and tinsel everything, and I’m feeling cozy, oddly romantic (I’m single), emotional (abnormal for me), and like I need to shop. Every. single. day. I’m wearing sparkly earrings, looking forward to the next Christmas party (one about every 48 hours), and planning a batch of spicy-sweet popcorn brittle, and browsing recipes for paleo eggnog. I’m watching Christmas movies, buying gifts for family (and let’s be real, me), and dreading the post-holiday abyss that is January while sipping my Starbucks peppermint mocha. It feels wonderfully chaotic, and also terribly and yet appealingly commercial. I’m overwhelmed, joy-filled, and stuffed. Explanation? It’s my first Christmas season in America in half a decade. Continue reading “With plenty or little: Christmas across the continents”→
‘Tis the season to feed and to be fed. Christmas and the surrounding holidays have got me thinking a lot about why we celebrate special occasions by feeding each other- our family, our friends, those we love, and maybe even those we don’t know particularly well. In the U.S. we don’t normally spend too much time in the kitchen, preparing, cooking, and plating labor-intensive dishes- but come November and December, we’re roasting 20 lb. turkeys, sugaring hundreds of tiny cookies, melting chocolate for ganache truffles, peeling apples for pie, and kneading all sorts of crusts and breads—all for the sake of others (okay, maybe we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor a little).
It’s an exceptional time of the year to be hospitable. But in other parts of the world, and in other cultures, hospitality is a year-round tradition, expectation, and joy. Since I’ve had the awesome opportunity to do a good bit of traveling to different countries, I’ve had the equally awesome opportunity to eat my way around the world, in the kitchens (and living room floors, and straw huts) of some of the most talented and generous cooks I’ve ever known. They’re not professionals, but their capacity to wow on an often limited budget is just as impressive as any restaurant chef—if not more. Here, a few of my favorite experiences… Continue reading “Feed your friends: 4 cultures of hospitality, grace & good eats”→
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”→
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”→