Moroccan Bingo

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Try camel cheese
Go to a hammam
Tell Mitch he has nice pecs in Arabic

I had the good fortune to be able to travel to Morocco this summer with a few of my closest friends for an epic birthday party. The birthday girl herself devised Moroccan bingo, a way to immerse ourselves in all things truly Moroccan…and also make Mitch feel empowered by his pecs, I suppose. I certainly didn’t black out my card, but it did encourage me to have an unforgettable Moroccan experience. 

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Zen and the Art of Sourdough: A guide to the basics

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It smells sweet and creamy, leaving just a touch of sourness on the back of your tongue.

It looks delicate, like a down pillow waiting for your head to fall.

According to your hands, it feels warm and strong–powerful. According to you, it feels feels like reward and elation.

These are just a few of the sensations I’ve felt since beginning my sourdough journey. It’s one of those activities I’ve always wanted to try, but never seemed to have the time to start.

It all began with Bubbles, my sourdough starter. A starter is a culture of bacteria and yeast that ultimately gives life to bread. Yes, you could purchase active dry yeast from the supermarket, but that gives you just one breed of yeast with one flavor profile and set of behaviors. The beauty of sourdough is its variety–the colonies present in each starter differ based on the air, the flour, and even the baker’s microbiome. This diversity results in flavors and smells unique to each one. Learning this was enough to pique my interest–how would sourdough taste, if it lived with me?

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Pumpkin Banana Walnut Bread (No Added Sugar) and a trip to See Canyon

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Welcome to Fall, my friends.

In order to celebrate, I decided to dig up an old recipe that was once gifted to me. I tested a few adjustments just to celebrate the beauty of the season (and perhaps use up the rest of my can of pumpkin puree)–it turned out better than I imagined! The muffins have a light, spongy texture that contrasts well to the dense crunch of walnuts and carob. Adding apple cider from the local See Canyon Fruit Ranch offers just the right dash of sweetness, without the need for extra sugar. The recipe can also produce a wonderful loaf, which loves to be warmed and doused in a buttery spread or fruit compote.

Thank you to this lovely orchard, which inspired me to turn the oven back on in the spirit of the season. It’s only a few miles up See Canyon Road in Avila Beach, Calif. I left with apples, cider, almond brittle, and a few beautiful photos.

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Real connection, and why we fail at it

2016-01-17 11.43.59.jpg“Tell your partner your life story in 30 minutes.”

Two hours later, I knew him. I saw him from a different perspective–years deeper.

Two hours later, he knew me too.

I once stumbled upon the New York Times article “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This”. It was an intriguing title to say the least. It outlined the experience of one woman mimicking an experiment on interpersonal closeness. The original experiment used questions, ranging from superficial to probing, to see how close they could bring two strangers together.

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Curried Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut Crust (Vegetarian, Vegan/GF options)

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If the idea of a pie for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert excites you, then you simply must try this recipe. The combination of sweet potato and coconut gives the dish a rich, sweet flavor that seems decadent and dessert-like. The onion, curry and green beans make this pie diverse in both flavor and nutrients.

This recipe features whole-food ingredients and no added sugars. It is vegetable-dense and flavor-rich, contributing a hefty dose of beta carotene (for vitamin A), vitamin C and other antioxidants. A few simple recipe tweaks listed below can even make it gluten-free or vegan.
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How to soothe an upset stomach…by being a BRAT

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It’s Dead Week at Cal Poly, also known as the last week before final exams. The skies turn darker, Starbucks employees set up hourly barricades–and to be perfectly honest, the campus resembles one of the more grotesque scenes from The Walking Dead. Just as the undead plague spreads across post-apocalyptic America, so spreads a host of other unwelcome illnesses for us:

Cold
Flu
Fever
General disorientation

…and the stomach virus.

If you are one of the unfortunate few experiencing the pleasant sensations of sudden nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, you may want to consider adopting a short-term BRAT diet.

(Me.)

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