Back in August my housemates and I trekked to Pasadena’s hidden gem, Coffee + Plants L.A.
As their name suggests the cafe has plenty of beautiful plants that you can admire or take home. There is a beautiful pastel themed garland that lets you know you’ve arrived. Have I written about how much I love plants? The name was a big draw for me to come and visit this spot. My boyfriend sweetly picked out a cactus for me when we left. I named the plant François and he is still happy and thriving.
But back to the cafe, it is a beautifully decorated space that feels like a garden thanks to the outdoor seating patio. They have seasonal flavors like cherry mocha, blue lavender latte, a salted caramel latte, and plenty of dairy-free milk options.
Oh my gourd, it’s officially fall festival season. Autumn calls for everything pumpkin spice y’all! seasonal flavor. My baking spirit happens to thrive during autumn so I made some pumpkin spice donuts. Here’s to (hopefully) some cooler temperatures and baking.
These are pretty simple to make and if you don’t have chickpea flour feel free to use almond flour. I know this because the recipe originally asks for almond flour, but I was out so I followed my impulse to use chickpea flour instead. Chickpea flour is so underrated and translates beautifully. It is a little bit denser than almond flour. Highly recommend baking with it!
The only trip I had taken this year was back in January. The trip was a Christmas gift that took us to the Mojave Desert and Big Bear. As I write this four months later – a lot has happened. A pandemic took place leading us to practice physical distancing. Some of us are restricted from traveling.
Social activities are not taking place. The truth is that people’s lives have been forever changed. We all anticipate for the day life goes back to normal. That is why I am sharing this trip, as a reminder to be grateful for all the simple things.
We stayed at an Apple Valley cabin amidst Joshua trees. Sipped some rosé, we drove to the nearest shopping center for quick Italian food. We held each other close at night, not realizing how lucky we were to be able to travel freely.
Opening your heart can be a simple experience, it does not have to be elaborate to have a meaningful effect.
Cue scene: An empty house with the exception of your canine kin, the sun casts it balmy glow atop the trees. The filtering light creates scattering golden hour giving you a bit of shade for respite. The simmering pot warms milk with spices, a light dusting of sugar, broken pieces of cacao. The heat melds all the ingredients together to create an “adult” version of hot cocoa. You pour the warm drink into your favorite mug and step back outside. As you sip you take in a moment of silence. Calming your mind, letting the bittersweet brew warm your body.
Some moments pass and the scene ends. Drifting from harmony and back toward the real world feels humbling. This is my cacao ceremony. Harbored between the day to day activities, it is my own ritual of happiness and awakening.
Currently I am practicing physical distancing, working from home, and only stepping outside my house for essential items – namely food. it is definitely becoming an odd “new normal” and while I miss being able to go out to the famers markets, the beach, or a botanical garden, I know that I am keeping myself and others safe by staying home and limiting interaction.
I believe food can create joy and bring communities together but while we are encouraged to stay home (unless you are an essential worker and I thank you whole heartedly for all you do), it may also mean we are turning to our own kitchens to cook. While I LOVE cooking and baking, until recently I didn’t always have the time to do so.
I’m joining this #UNitedWeEat challenge to show you an easy breakfast recipe using simple ingredients. A lot of people right now are worrying about how they’ll finance their next meal; this includes people like myself who may have an allergy or autoimmune condition. Going to the store (while wearing a mask and only touching items we need) has us focusing on ingredients that will create meals that are nourishing, convenient, and versatile.