Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are spending it with family and friends, fueling up on wholesome and nourishing food and conversation. In case you’re postponing your Thanksgiving celebration or looking for a last minute menu addition, I’ve got you covered today! We’re talking apples, specifically […]
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating and what it means to create: the various forms, mediums, styles, and expressions that creating can take. This past weekend, I went to see Cynthia Erivo sing at the Kennedy Center. Having seen her in the Color Purple last October in New York City, I knew I was in for a magical experience. Her voice, her presence on stage, her mastery of the audience transformed the hour and 15-minute concert into something majestic, something transcendent. Through her masterful artistry, she created a highly unique, highly intimate experience for the lucky few in the theater. It was otherworldly. But I know that it doesn’t just flow from her like honey: easy and sweet and fresh every morning. I know that to make it sound (and feel) like honey to our ears it takes hours –thousands upon thousands of hours—of broken notes, repetitive melodies, and “let’s try that again”s. To perfect your craft it takes grit, emotional muscle, hard work, and time.
What about nurturing your imperfect creator self? The self that will never be perfect but will always strive to be perfect? I think taking care of her is a little more complicated, a little more nuanced. She thrives on the 10,000 hours of practice but she’s also exhausted and frustrated and a little let down by the 10,000 hours of practice. How do we cultivate self-love through our creative endeavors? The inner voice must become softer, gentler, more gracious. We must retrain our brains to soothe our anxieties and frustrations, to be able to accept our failures as gifts that show us how we can improve rather than as evidence of our worthlessness.
I will be the first to admit that I am terrible (terrible!) to myself. My inner critic is loud and obnoxious and my inner drill sergeant doesn’t want to let me stop to care for myself. But self-care is so important, people. Here are some ways I am trying to care for myself so that I can become a little less rigid with my standards for myself and a little more accepting of the flaws and imperfections:
creating every day, no matter what: maybe it’s a new recipe that’s just beginning to take shape in my brain, maybe it’s painting a mandala while listening to a podcast, maybe it’s arranging a bouquet of flowers for my dining room table, maybe it’s writing a poem, maybe it’s cultivating a playlist for a friend— just doing something to nourish the parched creative spirit hiding in my soul.
Incense + candles + fresh cut flowers: I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP) and I’ve found that scattering sweet, soothing smells all over my house feels like a warm hug to my soul.
Listening to my body: what does my body want in this moment? Not what does my brain think I need, what am I craving? A big glass of almond milk and a black bean brownie at 10 am? Go for it. A long run in the mountain air followed by a hydrating smoothie? Let’s go. Trying to intuit what my body is telling me it needs is hard but it’s so important.
Snuggling with my dog: he’s been with me through a lot over the years and, it never fails, always makes me feel so loved and accepted for being just who I am. Also, he’s super fluffy and it’s kind of like snuggling with a giant stuffed animal?
Lavender Epson salt baths and clean sheets: lavender Epson salts feel like the height of luxury to me and clean sheets are the best vehicle for a good night’s sleep if you ask me.
Creating good food!
Speaking of which, here’s a scone!
Before moving to Hawaii, I had never had a persimmon before – I KNOW! What have I been missing out on all these years? The answer, it turns out, is a whole lot of deliciousness. So now, I am making up for it by incorporating them into bread, smoothies, salads, and scones. They taste slightly cinnamon-y to me which, for whatever reason, immediately makes them a “winter” fruit in my mind. I don’t know, there’s no real logic there.
These persimmon and pumpkin scones are the perfect winter breakfast. I like them warm with a little dollop of almond butter and a frothy cup of chai.
Persimmon Pumpkin Scones
A warm, wintery scone filled with flavor
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp sea salt I used pink himalayan sea salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 1/4 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
Add coconut cream to the dry mixture and mix with your fingers or a pastry blender to form a crumbly dough
Fold in the rest of the wet ingredients until just combined, do not over mix
Divide into 10 scones and place on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Plantains! Let’s talk about plantains (I almost went with “Let me explain plantains” here but you know *eye roll* cheesy). I was first introduced to plantains a number of years ago on a supremely epic surprise birthday trip to the Dominican Republic. The small, sleepy resort where […]
Sometimes you just need to spice things up a little bit. Dance around your kitchen to Janelle Monae and let the kitchen goddesses move through you, #amiright?
Well, maybe you’re a bit more methodical than I am when it comes to the kitchen but most nights you can find me standing on a chair, arm deep in the spice cabinet, searching for the ingredient that will spark a new creation while bobbing my head along to some jamzzz, y’all.
The other night I was all: “I want Mexican!”, “no! I want Mediterranean!”, “NO! I want Indian food!”, “I want it all!” Heaven help me, decisions are not my strong suit. I was craving some smooth, buttery hummus but also some refried beans and maybe a pile of naan? Hey, it happens.
Lucky for me and my hangry self, I had just cooked up a whole new batch of beans to freeze for later meals. So, while staring at those pearly black beans and wondering why in the world I had a whole bag of pecans in my cabinet, the kitchen goddesses whispered in my ear: black bean & pecan hummus.
I know, it’s crazy! This hummus is creamy + spicy + packed with protein and healthy fats! Serve it with crackers and veggies, slather it on sandwich bread with all the fixin’s, wrap it up in a tortilla as a dreamy alternative to refried beans, or eat it straight with a spoon. You do you.
Let’s get to it.
Black Bean & Pecan Hummus
Smooth, spicy hummus packed with healthy fats and protein.
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1.5 cups black beans (or one whole can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 tbsp tahini, optional
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, optional for spice factor
Process garlic cloves and pecans together in food processor or blender until ground
Add in the black beans, sea salt, cumin, cayenne and pulse to combine
Combine the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, and optional tahini in a small bowl. Once combined, stream into the food processor and blend until hummus is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking