I have so many ideas of where I want to go with this site and the ways I want to feed you. And I promise that none of them will be as terrible or tantrum-laden as life was the last time I turned two. Though I suppose, even on good only child behavior, the subtext will be the same. Hint: it involves attention.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this week on the time that’s passed since I bought this url. I reread my welcome post from two years ago and my first birthday entry from last April, and this most recent manifesto on why I love to cook – which is the first post where I really feel like I properly articulated the kind of food philosophy I stand for.
Blogging has been such a central part of my road to self-food discovery. It’s what helped me land a book deal when I was 23. And it was the book that gave me the push I needed to quit my day job and pursue creative, heart-centered work – to take the leap from my “should” to my “must.”
My friend Elle Luna wrote an amazing piece for Medium last week about the crossroads of Should and Must, and how she transitioned from life as a tech superstar to a solitary painter. The article is kind of a hyper articulate sequel to a conversation we had in San Miguel de Allende back in March, when I joined a group of fellow creative entrepreneurs from different industries (including Elle) to talk about our Musts, amongst other things.
I love Elle’s description of Must as “our instincts, cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us.” Whereas Should is dictated by the expectations of others, Must is what we do when we are alone with our most authentic self. And sometimes in order to find clarity on our Must, we have to be willing to regress to a more childlike place.
There was a lot of talk in Mexico about finding a “sandbox” – a safe place to experiment and get messy. In many ways, this site has been my sandbox for the last 24 months. And I’m so grateful for your willingness to let me channel my inner attention-hungry 2 year old in your presence – to write and cook at you, and occasionally end up with sriracha mayo all over my face.
When I first started Feed Me Phoebe, I was recovering from two break-ups, and my heart looked something like a cross between a block of Swiss cheese and a pile of semi-sweet potato mash. Even though I knew in my gut who I was and what kind of cooking I stood for, it was hard to articulate it with my heart being in such bad shape. So I kept writing from some place between my gut and my heart–my liver? Nah, too much bile–and cooking for my own comforts.
In the process, I went from being a quarter-life cook to a healthy chef — from tiptoeing around my gluten intolerance to being an evangelist of the healthy comfort food that helped me heal my body in the face of autoimmune disease. Playing around in my kitchen sandbox in this way, made me realize how much health is part of my Must.
Katie Couric recently said: “the single most powerful thing a person can do for their health is make food for themselves.” This is something I’ve always believed in my heart and my gut, even if I didn’t have the official report on “Why Frosted Mini Wheats Will Kill You” to prove it.
But living that mission every day is tough – even for me, someone who spends nearly every day in the kitchen! After a long day of cooking for other people, I am just as likely as anyone to fall victim to the convenience of Seamless Web and eat a disgusting amount of Pad Thai while watching The Voice.
So during this next year of FMP, I’m trying to find small ways to tweak my lifestyle – changes that will allow me to feel less guilty about my more hedonistic, Adam Levine loving behavior while still being true to my health. And I’m going to be bringing you into the conversation a lot more with my Wellness Wednesday series.
This healthy lemon tart was the first bite of sugar I had since ditching sweets along with alcohol and caffeine last month. It’s made with coconut oil instead of butter and raw honey instead of refined sugar. The crust is gluten and dairy-free. And the result tasted incredible, even if half a slice made me want to run around my apartment like a hyperactive toddler.
My experiment may involve some extremes – like last month’s detox – in order to find the middle ground. But I hope that by finding balance – through this lemon tart recipe and beyond – I’ll be able to help some of you take those baby steps towards living a happier, healthier life without losing all the things (like dessert) that make living so fun. Because what good is a sandbox if you can’t play in it?
Thank you for sticking with me through this journey. You feed me more than you could ever know.
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons (about ½ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides with oil or butter.
- In a small food processor, pulse the almond flour and the salt until combined. Add the oil and egg and pulse a few more times until a dough forms. Warning: it will be very sticky.
- Transfer the dough to the center of the tart pan. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or greased palms, press the dough out into an even crust, coming just ¼ to ½ an inch up the sides. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm an beginning to brown. Remove and let cool.
- Meanwhile, make the curd: in a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs and honey until smooth. Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the oil is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue cooking, whisking gently, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and continue whisking to avoid any clumps. Some people will strain the mixture at this point. But I’m too lazy.
- Transfer the curd to the cooked tart crust and smooth in an even layer with your spatula. Allow to cool so the filling sets and serve at room temperature. If you’re eating dairy, a little whipped cream can’t hurt.