Have I mentioned I’ve been busy? Ha. But really. Work is great. I’m learning and challenging myself every day. It’s a lot but I’m feeling like something big is happening and I’m ready to see where it takes me. I’m so lucky that I was able to turn the things I love already – food, design, writing – into something I love even more at Cava. It feels incredible to love what I do and who I work with every day. Remember where I was a year ago? Funny how long ago that seems and how different I feel. If I take a second to stop moving, I might even look back and realize I’m proud of myself.
Other than work, life is a little strange. I guess I haven’t figured out what it is right now and who I am. But I’ve learned to accept that’s ok. The one good thing about this though is timing. It’s spring. And allergies aside, I honestly walk out my door every day excited about the world. The fact that giant green leaves can grow back on cold trees and we can eat the most flavorful food that comes from the ground nearby. Sure, it’s cheesy, but these are some of my favorite solo moments recently. When I find a break to take a walk through the farmer’s market or read a magazine in the park (like actually read the articles too) or make a tomato sandwich with fresh ricotta. My moments.
Some big projects aside – wedding coordinating, filming a cooking show with Joey from NSYNC, redesigning my website – most of the things I’m doing outside of work aren’t very challenging I suppose. Might not have the headspace for it. (Although I totally just marathoned the entire Dawson’s Creek series again. So that’s something right?) But one thing that has been a fun challenge is learning to use my DSLR camera. I’ve been told it’s a powerful little guy and I’m slowly uncovering it’s potential. I’m learning the technical bits at work but I’m also just pushing myself to get out and use it. We all know that’s the only way I’m going to feel more comfortable with it. Make it a habit, try different lighting, actually learn what ISO means and when it has to be adjusted.
I guess one of the things I want myself to know is that even if I’m not blogging here or baking a cake regularly or keeping my apartment clean or going on several dates a week, I’m still being creative. It just doesn’t stop. It’s not a rut. It’s something new. It’s me changing and growing up and challenging myself. It’s happening at work now…with my team, with new projects, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s happening a little more quietly right now. On my mornings at the market and long walks around the city. As I’m learning more about ramps, morels, little gem, and growing herbs. As I slow roast garlic. As I edit photos while listening to Coasts. While helping a friend decorate her apartment. When I make a simple tomato sandwich.
Glitter type and denim jackets and glazed doughnuts…these are a few of my favorite things today. After a busy few weeks, and a few busy ones ahead, I’m looking forward to soaking up spring this weekend. Farmer’s market, iced coffee walks, reading in the park, a glass of rosé outside. It’s the best time of year! (minus the allergies)
When I was 11 I wrote in my journal that I was feeling very confused because I really liked my new boyfriend but I felt like it was overtaking my love for NSYNC. “I have one problem though. And this is VERY hard to say. I still LOVE NSYNC but I don’t know what to say. I just feel like I’m about to grow apart from 5 GREAT GUYS.” I was torn. How could I be obsessed with two things at once? Needless to say, a few days later, I wrote that I got my NSYNC love back and I was feeling great. And clearly I haven’t grown apart from those five guys yet, even with a handful of boyfriends along the way.
So I’ve been through this before. It’s a balancing act. I can spend all day with my job that I love and still make time for my blog (and my friends, and cooking, and yoga, and exploring, and dating) which I love too. I’m going to refocus on this balance this spring. It’s the most special thing to be able to choose to what and to whom you connect with. And to have multiple passions, well, aren’t I just lucky? Those things – spending mornings in the kitchen, long walks with my dad, learning more about photography for Cava projects, knowing the It’s Gonna Be Me dance after 14 years – those are me. Live, Work, Create. Let’s do it all.
This post is for my family. Mostly for my older brother who loves every banana. And is graciously letting me film My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone at his apartment.
It’s a week away and I’m a bit stressed out about it, honestly. Forget the whole spending a day with Joey thing (just trying not to think about that.) But I have a cook some complicated recipes on camera, which is new to me.
So I’m practicing a lot beforehand. Testing out the recipes, talking to my mom and aunts and uncles about how they make them. While I have so many nerves, I’m feeling more and more connected to the food I’m cooking. They’re recipes that mean something to me and my family. They so many memories attached to them. This is another reason this show means so much to me. It’s not just about Joey or making my tween dreams come true. This show is about everything that means something to me. Food and family and passions.
This banana cupcake recipe is like everything else I’m preparing for the show. Simple, sweet, and full of flavor memories. These might just be the cupcakes I bake for Joey next week!
One-Bowl Banana Cupcakes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with 24 paper cups.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs, oil, bananas, milk, and vanilla.
- Pour evenly into cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans half-way through, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on to a wire rack completely before frosting.
Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add in dulce de leche and vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.
It’s been fun being back on the blog this week…thanks for all of your support and sweet comments! There’s no sweeter to end a long week than with birthday celebrations. Good friends, heaps of pasta, hot pink nails, blow outs, bubbly. I feel so lucky to have such amazing people around me + such awesome internet pals who have stuck with me for five years. I’ve grown up so much on here since I was 22. And can’t imagine life differently. Merci beaucoup!
Have a great weekend, friends! Cheers! xo