What a month it has been. My hosting server was hacked. My hosting account shut down (thrice!). My phone died. My computer faced its own set of confusion and woes. Any self-respecting California girl would throw up her hands, call it Mercury retrograde, and spend the rest of the day cuddling with crystals. Alas, Mercury is not retrograde and I happen to prefer my astrology not at all. (I knowwww! I used to be a yoga teacher and errythang! What happened to me?! That’s a story for another time.)
Because now, at the end of a week that was all about time learning it’s ok—like REALLY ok—to ask for help, I decided to throw up my hands and make these gorgeous little mini tarts.
They won’t remove malware on your hacked hosting account, they don’t know how to reboot the software on your sick little iPhone, and they damn well haven’t got a clue as to how to fix the enduring problem of race and class in America (listen to this, if you haven’t already), but they do have a way of soothing a ravaged soul.
It’s obvious when it’s time to throw out the cheese or when the eggs have gone bad. But other pantry staples like flour and spices can appear as good as the day you bought them. These ones are tricky. Many of us are eating expired foods! Here’s a helpful food expiration guide I found off Food52 that should help you decide when it’s time to dispose!
Dried Pasta Expiration: No more than 2 years. Store it in an airtight container to withstand 2 years. Toss it if the noodles look blotchy or discolored.
Whole-grain or milled rice Expiration: 6 months/forever Whole-grain rice deteriorates faster than milled (white) rice. To make whole-grain rice last longer than 6 months, stash it in the refrigerator or freezer. Milled rice can last a lifetime if stored properly in a cool, dry place and in an airtight container.
Canned goods Expiration: Up to 2 years. There’s no exact expiration date to when canned foods are edible or not, but they definitely lose their nutrients overtime. The rule of thumb is to throw out cans that are 2 years old. The natural chemicals of high-acid foods react with the container, causing changes to taste and texture.
Olive Oil Expiration: Up to 20 months There are three threats to olive oil: heat, light and air. Keep it in a dark-tinted glass or ceramic container with a pour top or tight-sealing cap.
Bread Crumbs Expiration: 6 months Since they’re dried, bread crumbs last longer than regular bread. Keep it in an airtight container, and if stored properly, they may even last longer than 6 months.
Find out how long spices, alcohol and other pantry items last here.
What fuels your creative spark: Beauty? Quiet? Noise? Mess? Neatness? And when do you feel most like yourself: Alone? In groups? With friends or family?
These are all questions that guide me when I’m feeling slightly off. Which happens. There are days, weeks, months, when my internal barometer of fineness feels entirely tweaked. Like someone came along and shook everything up, forcing me to look at the world in a different way.
In those moments, I do all I can to take a step back and ask myself the questions that bring me back to center. I also like to eat foods that ground me—savories that feel earthbound and steadying.
The heavy mineral content of sea veggies like nori and seeds like sesame help tremendously with this, as do an abundance of veggies. This sushi bowl offers it all. It’s packed with vibrant and hydrating veggies, alkalizing sea veggies and apple cider vinegar, the healthy fat of avocado and sesame seeds, and tons of spices to reignite any dulled spirits.
Green. Green is home, the lush carpeting of grass beneath my body as I am seven, twelve, dreaming of falling in love, eighteen, falling in love, twenty-three, heartbroken, twenty-five, grieving, earth holding me as I learn to know myself. Green keeps me sane, calms me from the inside out and the outside in.
Hence so many of the foods we consider most nourishing: Green juice. Salads. Seaweeds. Wheat grass. Sprouts. And now…Green Ice Cream. Let me tell you a little story.
The internet is a big place, a place where it’s easy to feel like a stranger—especially when you spend your “workday” interacting with people you don’t know on virtual social media platforms. No matter how many lols, likes, winky face kiss emojis, heart eye emojis, and comments you exchange, the fact remains: The people who populate your online world are exactly that, online.
So I’ve worked hard to carve out some green oases of connection with other bloggers. Last month, one of those friends—Beau Ciolino of the genius blog Probably This—made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He wanted to do a superfood dessert showdown.
Mango season often comes twice a year on Maui. Seasonality is confused in the islands—what fruits when, when the weather is sweet and constant like a faithful lover? But in the heat of July, mangos are usually dripping off trees all over the island, infusing the air around them with the heady scent of golden flesh.
Some of my favorite mango moments were mango pies and cobblers, which my friend Maria’s mother made with enthusiastic abandon, and mango chutney, which my friend Tara’s mother made as a remembrance of her Indian heritage. Of course there were pickled mangos and li hing mui mango and dried mango, too. And, obviously, the old eat-the-mango-whole-over-your-sink trick. We all knew to wash our faces well after that, so we wouldn’t get a rash from the sticky juice.
This freeze is excellent right out of the blender, like a thick smoothie—or modified as a granita or popsicle.
Click through to read more and for a mango-cutting tutorial! Start here.
My friend Sharon made this deliciously sweet and chocolatey Ice Cream Sandwich cake. This cake is layers of ice cream sandwiches, chocolate cookie crumbs and cool whip.
What you need:
6 ice cream sandwiches
3 cups cool whip
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
What to do:
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, with extra parchment to hang over the sides of the pan.
Arrange the ice cream sandwiches in bottom of pan, covering the bottom of the pan. Cut pieces of sandwich to fit in the empty spaces.
Spread half of the cool whip over the ice cream sandwiches and sprinkle with the crushed chocolate cookie crumbs.
Repeat the process with the rest of the ice cream sandwiches and spread top with the cool whip.
Press down gently as this will help the cool whip squash down the sides.
Use the remaining cool whip to cover the cake completely.
Cover the top with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least an hour until the cake is set.
Remove from freezer and lift parchment to remove the cake from the pan.
Smooth out the cool whip and make sure the whole cake is completely covered.
Garnish with chocolate cookie crumbs and chocolate sauce drizzle.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before cutting with a knife dipped in warm water.