Have you ever struggled to integrate new habits and practices into your daily life? Or beat yourself up for not being able to create a morning routine or make it to yoga on weeknights after work? Then this week’s Wellness Wendesday is for you!
I hope you’ll tune in to hear Barbara Biziou, author of The Joy of Rituals, talk about simple choices that lead to big changes, creating meaning and intention in everyday life, and how ancient spiritual practices can keep your life anchored in the modern world. Her book is fascinating, including the stories and context behind some of the rituals that have been passed down to us through the generations that we don’t think twice about. Continue reading
The first time I officially cooked for Charlie was on his birthday, a year ago to date.
There had been plenty of non-official cooking prior, back when we were friends and I would host a group for pulled brisket tacos or bring a bowl of succotash to the BBQ he was throwing for the 4th of July. For this first official meal though, I have virtually no recollection of what I made. And I mean virtually, as I usually hold this blog accountable for logging for the vast majority of things that come out of my kitchen and the significant moments they commemorate. But alas, for this significant moment, I’ve got nothing.
What I do remember is going to three different markets in preparation. First, to Murray’s to pick up Charlie’s favorite cheeses, then to Chelsea Market to get the finest cured meats in all the land, and finally to Lobster Place for oysters.
Since this was a mere three weeks into dating, I of course waited until he arrived to shuck the oysters so I could impress him with my masculine energy in the kitchen by popping each shell open with the ease of a beer bottle. This worked for about 5 minutes, until I severed one of my thumbs and had to reassure him that I was “toooootally FINE!” as blood poured down to my elbow. I taught him how to shuck the rest of the oysters while wrestling with my Bounty tourniquet, and he did so well, the job became permanently his. Continue reading
Earlier this year, when I did my 30 day detox and went off caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, I became something I never thought I would: a full-time tea drinker.
While red wine and raw chocolate chip cookies quickly became a mainstay in my diet again, coffee was something I was determined to kick to the curb for good. Tea just felt so much better on my system. My stomach no longer cried in protest every morning. And even though I still relied on a bit of green tea to pick me up after I migrated downstairs from my sleeping loft, it wasn’t enough caffeine that my body couldn’t cope without it.
So even though I get weird looks at my local hipster coffee shop (where I am presently sitting and writing this post) when I order a cup of Jasmine Ginger, and sometimes I miss the taste, I’m happy that I made the switch. And now that I have, I’ve been trying to take my tea game to the next level.
To find out what the tea equivalent is of single drips and cold brews, I turned to the woman The Times dubbed as the “Tea Guru of New York,” Miriam Novalle. During last week’s Wellness Wednesday hangout we got to talking about why green tea is every wellness warriors’ go-to, the perfect herbal cure for those winter colds, and how simple rituals around tea can help heal your mind, body, and spirit.
I realize that I’ve spent a good chunk of my time here this past year attempting to quinoa-fy things. It’s honest, important work. Especially if the fruits of your labor include quinoa fried rice and tabouli. But I can’t say that it’s always particularly challenging.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or Nathan Myhrvold) to swap out cooked rice or bulgar wheat for one of their healthier, gluten-free grain friends. So when I got back to New York this fall, I wanted to really experiment—to push my quinoafication to the next level. I wanted to make something crazy. Something like quinoa paella.
I’ve been dabbling in paella preparations since my early days in the kitchen. You can see the proof by way of a scallop and chorizo paella in my cookbook. The technique is fairly simple: you sauté rice in a mixture of aromatics—usually a sofrito of onions, peppers, and garlic—then cover the rice with stock and simmer uncovered until the grains are tender, the liquid is absorbed, and a delicious crust has formed around the edges of the pan.
This crispy, semi-burnt rice is called socarrat. It’s a bona fide delicacy in Spain and the true indicator of whether you cooked an authentic paella. It’s also the name of a Spanish restaurant chain in New York City that appropriately serves only paella. So it’s kind of a big deal.
My biggest worry when I first went to quinoafy my paella recipe is that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the socarrat. As I discovered during my Spring foray into quinoa pilafs, toasting the quinoa in the pan makes the liquid take even more time to absorb, meaning you have to cook the quinoa for longer in order to get the dry fluffy consistency you’re used to and not have the texture devolve into something Oliver Twist would never want seconds of. Continue reading
I’m so excited to have my first post up on the homepage of Mind Body Green! In it I’m talking about pointers for how to upgrade your grocery game to healthier options without spending beyond your means.
For people who are just learning to put down the Fruit Loops and start making their own scrambled eggs and granola from scratch, navigating the aisles of places like Whole Foods can be overwhelming. I get asked questions about how to make healthy eating more affordable in my cooking classes all the time. With impulse buying unnecessary grocery items and upgrading every purchase to organic and non-GMO, you can see why so many people think cooking this way is an expensive pursuit. So I hope you’ll pop over to MBG for all my tips on what’s actually worth the splurge. It’s all about priorities. Continue reading