Cool Beans: Bean Salads to Unite Us All

Summer isn’t the most fun time for vegans to eat with their non-vegan friends. Cookouts and picnics tend to be all about grilled meats, leaving the vegans to pick at a pickle sandwich while others are piling their plates with hamburgers and mayonnaise-laden sides. In response to Bryn’s brilliant article, I’ve created a couple of bean salads that will please members of both camps and promote herbivore/carnivore unity. I recently tried them on my foolhardy test group of vegans and omnivores, and everyone was holding hands and singing “We Are the World” by dessert. But that might have had something to do with the sangria. Continue reading

Keeping Kids Safe Through a Heat Wave

Have you looked at a weather map lately? All across the country, things are hot and dry. It seems that a day or two after a heat wave starts, reports start coming in of children, pets, and the elderly succumbing to the heat. This past Saturday, just a mile away from my home, a toddler was rushed to the hospital after being rescued from an SUV that registered 124°F.  Continue reading

Stuffed Avocados

A word of warning: I’ve come down with a wicked bad case of hyperbole. It is seriously the worst thing to happen ever in the world to anyone ever. This food post, will, most unfortunately, not be immune from that terrible, life-altering condition. However, even with that limitation, I expect this post to be one of the best ever because it focuses on the most delicious food that anyone has ever eaten: avocado. Continue reading

Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

I read so many food blogs that spin these lovely tales of exploration and discovery. In them, the kitchens are always large and sunny, the food is always fresh and available, and the cook/writer is always cheerful and full of boundless optimism. That does not necessarily reflect the reality of my life. There you will find a tiny kitchen with far too little counter space, foods that should never expire and yet sometimes lost in the cabinets they do, and well, alright I do have boundless optimism. I am optimistic you follow me to the recipe. Continue reading

Smells Like Summer: Fragrances You Might Like To Try!

Let’s just say that the summer of 2012 is going to be, against a few or all odds, the very best summer of your life. I hope it is! And let’s just say you want a certain scent that says, “Yayyy summer” to you now, and reminds you of the good times when you smell it later. I’ve tried out a bunch of fragrances for you, and here are some you may feel like checking out!

Continue reading

We Try It: Venus Bikini Trimmer

A few weeks ago I lost my Venus razor so I hurried out to get a new one when I came across the Venus Goddess’ latest invention: a “bikini trimmer.” I considered my options carefully: I could either buy the razor and trimmer set with no extra blades (and for a little more money) or I could buy the traditional razor plus two replacement blades for the standard $12. Further consideration was given to the nice, warm summer weather we were having in Sydney so I decided to give the trimmer a try and forego the extra blades. Continue reading

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Christmas in New Zealand

I live in New Zealand. Yes that does mean I know a lot about sheep and I appeared in Lord of the Rings as an extra (one of these statements is actually true. I’ll leave it up to you to work out which one). It also means we celebrate Christmas in summer and this, my friends, is a strange but delightful mixture of Northern Hemisphere traditions  and the relaxed Kiwi summer lifestyle.

Continue reading

We Try It: Zoku Quick Pop Maker

In the dead of summer, what’s better than a nice, fresh, fruit juice popsicle? Making them at home is a great way to save calories and money, but also requires preparation (usually overnight). And I don’t know about you, but I’m too impatient for that, so every time I’ve been in a Williams-Sonoma this summer, I’ve been drawn to the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, which promises popsicles in 10 minutes. When my husband surprised me with one for my birthday, I couldn’t wait to start using it. The Zoku does not disappoint. Continue reading

Onscreen Summer

Summer is a sensual season. In this case I don’t define “sensual” as “sexual” (after all, I’m so hot I don’t want to be within three feet of someone else), but rather in a more fundamental way: it is a time where all the senses feel engaged. Mornings and evenings are glowing, interrupted by the blindingly bright midday sun. The occasional breeze feels cool and indulgent against sweat-drenched skin. Continue reading