Sunday Cortado 18


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Have to start somewhere…

Yesterday, Instagram gently reminded me that I started blogging in this space three years ago. Well, it feels like even more. Maybe, because I really have been blogging for longer or maybe because I’ve taken one of my longest hiatus yet. Why? Oh, you know the usual…

Figuring out my purpose, reconnecting with my why, feeling like I’ve already said all I can say. But, like any strong minded, passionate woman, that can never be true. I’ve went through more changes in the last five months than any other time I can remember, and I’m preparing myself for even more in the next couple of months. From where I’ll call home to what kind of career, I still don’t know. But, I got this. My space to write what my hands create and where my mind wonders.

My Whisk and Mat is still full of food, thoughts, and beliefs. Always open to the curious, the conversationalist, community.

~

I didn’t plan to get too serious this morning, but I woke to another alert on my phone. A debate often in my own mind what kind of world I have hope for.

Keeping cool with Ayurveda. Even a summer junkie like myself can get a little heated, just a little.

This reminds me of green version of shashuka. Yum.

A peanut free pad thai? Perfect idea for kids and those who don’t like nuts! (Those people do exist)

I made a chocolate zucchini bread not too long ago and got rave reviews even from the most apprehensive. Can I pull off a traditional one?

Smashed Cucumber Yogurt Salad. Nice twist to put on my weekly cucumber salad rotation.

I made my own recipe! Some modifications like extra butter, this blueberry crumble is still one of the easiest dessert out there.

This was an unplanned-I woke up like this-kind of post. Trying to take the “must” out of what I love to do!


Making Space This Spring

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I’m writing this to you on the Spring Equinox, full moon, and three months till my 3-0 birthday. This is no big deal, just making it big because I want to. And I can, because this is the place I share things that help me relate in the deepest way to all of you. So a quick thank you, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE NOW! And, we shall continue.

So, it is finally here. That little glimpse of hope for my people still hustling in this frigid (I’m dramatic, remember) cold weather. I don’t know about you, but I suffered in my usual fashion. With my move to New York, finishing up culinary school, and still not knowing what is to come next month (again, typical Yesi fashion), my urge to hibernate and not deal with it all has stronger than ever. But, I did. I pushed, then hibernated, drank a lot of wine, ate a lot of roasted vegetables, walked to places unknown, then hibernated some more. What happens when we ground, separate ourselves from the outside world even? We think, a a lot.

During the winter, I find myself secluded and internally focused more than ever. Makes sense. We have time to assess and prepare, to make ourselves feel comforted, whether from what we consume to our surroundings. We may eat a little more heavily (almost always seasonally acceptable), clutter our space to comfort or fit our every desire. If you are me, we hardly make it out. In general, it’s cold.

With daylight savings, it only served as a slight reminder. The time is coming to clear out. I don’t so much make a whole production like I used to. No kitchari, no juicing, no cleaning out closets or wiping down my whole place to smell like Method cleaner. We are doing what’s needed. When making space, I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be so grand, but what you see fit. Our needs, changes, and level of ability vary, so rather than go beyond my comfort to make space, I rather stay warm and open up to the not so comfortable that may take room.

Spring is three months, so I make three points. We are still in the beginning, so if you are looking to make changes, it’s okay to take your time…

  1. Make space in your surroundings.

    I tend to have extra blankets, candles, and sweaters lying around all winter long. I like to tackle one room or space at a time. One big clean can jumpstart a season of maintenance. And, while my closet doesn’t really need to be cleaned out (I literally left more that half my stuff behind), I will start folding up sweaters and knits. Leaving space for the simplicity of the warmer weather is one of my favorite to-dos. Don’t underestimate the power of a good T-shirt and jeans combo!

  2. When it comes to food, think GREEN.

    And I’m not talking juices or smoothies. Literally the market will have a theme of green leaves and more. We are still early for the bright reds and oranges of peppers, tomatoes, peaches, and strawberries (can you tell I”m a lover of summer), but we still have a good selection! Greens will naturally either help cleanse your system or give you the extra nutrition boost to go along with the blooming spring season. Like leaves growing away from the soil, I believe we slowly move forward from the grounding practices and earthy vegetables of winter.

  3. Move.

    Confession. This is my “obstacle” and if there is anything that might bring me slightly out of my comfort zone, it’s to move. It’s crazy how we get so accustomed to what we do most, and if you work a desk 9-5 job, you know what I mean. Whether you’re a runner, spinner, or power yogi, I believe these exercise help not just release toxins, but thought as well. You will be doing the mind and body justice to relieve what has been cooped up all winter longer.

So do we fill this Space? Use it? Let it be?

I say it’s all up to you, my dears. I look at this as a time to release, reset, and recharge. I also use each of these points as guide lines. Some are more important, even complicated, to me than others. With my lifestyle, I want to use the joint effort of greens and sweat to boost my energy and immunity to allow something new in. Whether job, friends, or adventure, I’m looking to fulFILL again. As seasons and time go by, the more I see and appreciate the uniqueness in us all. So the saying goes, “Do you, boo!”

Do it with all your heart and health.

Root

Gandules Guisado con Bollitas de Platano and quinoa

Gandules Guisado con Bollitas de Platano and quinoa

Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is responsible for your sense of safety and security on this earthly journey. The word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base.” 

The Chopra Center, The Root Chakra: Muladhara

Simply, the foundation.

To say I have been in survival mode for the past couple of months is dramatization of a strict routine ruled by weather and finances. Eat, sleep, and pay the rent. Every penny is counted (2.01 for a super small coffee), every minute is dedicated (can’t skimp on my 130 minutes of netflix a night), and I officially live by the bedtime feature on my phone (10:15pm reminder).

Writing this now, I even just realized that I cannot be alone on this. It’s the winter, none the less, we are cold and desperately trying not get sick. I mean, what if we actually had to take a SICK DAY? Nobody can afford those, anymore. Winter, you are something else. And New York too, goddamn, you’re tough.

During the last few weeks I’ve cried over a 9-5 survival job more than any grateful person should, counted just enough quarters to dry the last batch of laundry I could afford, learned how to set a mouse trap, and bring up the subways so effortlessly in everyday conversation with every other New Yorker. How quickly we get accustomed.

I’ve read books to go back. I go back to the days when Puerto Ricans fled to New York (Brooklyn to be exact) to have light, running water, and work. Go back when the Incas and Andeans who lost their land, but not their teachings. I also talk to my grandma. She tells me how easy it would be to make mofongo (after I buy a pilón, claro) and how she used to go to Prospect Park all the time, over 50 years ago….

That’s about the time, they were learning to survive to. From New Jersey, to New York, and back to New Jersey to raise a family and work their asses off. That’s where the foundation began. Merging Puerto Rico into an American way of life. My parents merging their Latin AND American values into our American Dream household. How I’ve been surviving? By trying to get to the root of where it all began.

I want the rice and beans to fill my protein deficient body, the bread to keep me full, the local squash and potatoes for that sweet nourishment I crave, sugar and coconut oil to for the cravings of my skin, classic salsa to keep my mind dancing when my body is too cold or tired to do so herself, and the New York spirit, because even when you have exhausted me, the reminder of fucking doing it, is still with there.

Rooting down with my culture and vegetables, surviving the winter months by keeping a roof over my head and my head out of the clouds, for once, I built my foundation. Lonely nights were filled with projects of dim lights and candles, perfect for cozy productivity in bed. Counting quarters taught me the value of accessible nourishing foods, not just for myself, but anyone who gets hungry. Subway rides gave me not space, but opportunity to go deeper, through the words of those before me.

This is how I root. Making my home in New York, with experiences I couldn’t have anywhere else, I dig my feet a little deeper, making sure I may extend my hunger, heart, arms, and mind ANYWHERE else, but with feet on the ground. In case you do need to go back to basics, the foundation will always be there.

Saturday Coquito

My holiday take on a Sunday Cortado…

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Wishing you the all the amazement and wonder next year, each season, everyday.

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Puerto Rican Coquito

Adapted from Daisy Cooks

  • 15 oz can unsweetened coconut cream

  • 14 oz can condensed milk

  • 12 oz can evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup or agave

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cloves or nutmeg

  • 2 cups rum

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Siempre,

~yesenia

Brooklyn Baby

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A long time coming. Not necessarily the Brooklyn part, but my move away from home, out of Jersey.

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For a while, I felt deeply out of place. If you asked me two years ago if I would consider even working in New York, my answer was “Hell. No.” I was a Jersey Girl. I had a car, I knew towns by their exits on the parkway, familiar with the east and west, laughed if you thought North and South Jersey were the same. I loved the dirty jersey beaches and was a frequent goer every summer with every car that I had. Until recently

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Things were destined to change, with unexpected turns and losses, I slowly started to give it all up. I became a commuter. I was not sure if my sanity and money was worth it, but I continued. I continued to hustle, I sold my car, I started adding extra days and nights in the city, only to be home a few nights for dinner and on Sundays where I hated leaving the house. I felt displaced.

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Boqueria, Forte Green, Brooklyn

Boqueria, Forte Green, Brooklyn

I fell in love with New York and everything it had to offer. Going to school for something I was passionate about, the Union Square Market at my finger tips a few days a week, the buildings, the freedom, the ultimate place to be single and not feel yourself being left out. You are always welcomed somewhere. That’s what I drew me into this city. I never felt so happy or fortunate to just be me, to be on my own.

With uncertainty, little sleep, and not enough money, I took the opportunity. Instead of my will to merge my two worlds, the one of suburban NJ and the city streets, I decided to make New York my home, and pretty lucky to say Brooklyn now.

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With every decision I have made, comes concerns and opinions of others. And, I guess that is why I kept this decision to myself. With only family and couple of friends to talk to about it with, even still I got every side mentioned to. And I moved the fuck along. Because, I not only learned a few years ago, but recently accepted, that my path is unique. It has not been done. Not the way I could do it.  I have taken much of what I learned in childhood and school, and pushed it away. I needed to create space to learn something new. 

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So I leave you with this. A sincere thank you and promise. Thank you for continuing to read this blog and follow My Whisk and Mat whether in New Jersey, Florida, or New York. For the unbelievable support.  Believing in my mission and being part of the journey. And a promise, to not give up. Even when things got so emotionally and physically impossible, I found a way to make it happen again. Blogging, creating, and sharing is part of what I love, and I knew I had to find a way back to it.

I moved to Brooklyn. I moved to New York City.

MI familia, gracias.

MI familia, gracias.

Pictures by Michele Vignola.  Photography badass and amazing friend. 







What A Peach Pie Means To Me

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Specifically this one. The one I made last Sunday, to celebrate the end of Summer, the end of the longest month of my life (exaggerating, but whatever), and also the beginning of a new practice. Does that all make sense? If not, that’s cool, because I have this whole post to get through.

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Somehow, I found the energy to even write this post, still dark from the early morning with just my lemon water in hand. I tried writing this many times at my job, that I’m actually starting to outgrow, even at night in the midst of an Anthony Bourdain’s, Parts Unknown episode. Somehow, after a 16 hour day in the city and four hours of sleep, I chose this morning. Wide eyed, somewhat tired, and motivated. That, my dears, is not a normal habit for myself, if we’re being honest.

You see, there was always a reason. Whether it wasn’t the right time or I wasn’t sure I could do it successfully, I pushed one of the many things I told myself I would do aside. Am I talking about pie or a real life event? It can go both ways. My world feels like it has been turned upside down in the last month. In order to mentally cope and most literally slow down (not an easy task when walking the streets of New York and taking six trains a day), I put away MANY of my Summer Goals. One of them, making a peach pie.

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This peach pie represented my biggest obstacle of the season, my biggest practice in life. I found the task intimidating, time consuming, and more intense than I’m used to. These are some of my obstacles when it comes to my biggest dreams. Maybe yours too. Could I make time to do this? Was it even necessary in a time when I “had to” focus on everything else presently going wrong? Why do I even want to do it?

Emotions were becoming mixed with reality and I couldn’t pull them apart.

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I wanted to end this month with something beautiful. A reminder of why I strive to do what I love, everyday. Even writing this post, ending a very busy week, I knew this is what I needed to do, right now at this very moment, at least.

This post was unplanned and thought through on a whim, just like the doctor visits, health scares, and new bills that lined up for me to figure out. I made this pie on my last free day I would have in two weeks. Sacrificing a few extra dollas, time with friends, and doing what I “should”, I chose to make a pie. I chose to follow my dream. I chose to end a time, a season, a relationship, that taught me how imperfect and bumpy this thing called life is always going to be.

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Yet, I’m not as intimidated. To just do it, is to make it possible.

I rolled out dough and made a beautiful crust. Not perfect, but beautiful. A filling made with the last of the season peaches, still sweet on their very own. With some practice and new adventures to come (a new job? homemade bread?!), who knows what exactly is next. Although, I do hope it’s delicious.

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I used Joy The Baker, Peach Blueberry Pie. No blueberries or corn starch. I recommend corn starch and patience. Something my family did not have. Still delicious and devoured.

P.S. It’s September. Fall is about to begin. I. Smell. Apple. Pie

Sunday Cortado 17

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I love summer rain.  I love the humidity or coolness (you just never know what you are going to get) that comes after.  I love both the thunder and stillness that happens as everyone tries to take cover.  Even the gloom, a calming effect to the usual upbeat excitement of the summer sun.  

During this dreary Sunday, I wanted to share what's been inspiring me.  Because, even on days like these, the love and hustle doesn't stop... in my eyes, it heightens.  Although, you may have the opportunity to take a little more time for yourself, dare I say, relax.  Go back into your book, reorganize your vision board, and maybe have that extra cortadito. 

~

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Learn that name.  Know that woman.  Changing the game in politics with humility, grace, morals, and strength, it's been amazing to watch.  In case if you are wondering if there are more, here are a few other progressive women to know. 

This one hit home for me in more ways than 1.  Young farmers and the food revolution of Puerto Rico.  This sparked MANY ideas.  

Top chefs working in our public schools is something I'm here for.  I was even excited to see one of my culinary instructors be mentioned. 

I need to see this ASAP! A tiny sustainable home in NYC, part of a UN and Yale project.  

Now that I'm diving into a chef world, I love to see what other chefs are loving and eating.  Healthy or not, it's pretty fascinating.  

This No-Bake Icebox Tres Leches seems like a fun (read easy) twist on my favorite cake.  

I finally read Bourdain's Don't Eat Before Reading This.  It all makes perfect sense!  And I'm proud to say I wasn't so far along. 

"I love the sheer weirdness of the kitchen life: the dreamers, the crackpots, the refugees, and the sociopaths with whom I continue to work;... Admittedly, it’s a life that grinds you down. Most of us who live and operate in the culinary underworld are in some fundamental way dysfunctional." 
 

 

Sunday Cortado 16

Augusta St, Elizabeth NJ

Augusta St, Elizabeth NJ

By the time I can get this too you all, I highly doubt it's "cortado" time, but it's Sunday, none the less.  As I write to you in a dimly lit kitchen, while the Florida sun is shining down, I can't help but give you a little bit of honesty.  I have been on a emotional rollercoaster.  Weekends to many, are a time to recharge, explore, and most likely to be spent with friends and family.  Mine as of late, and what I thought I accepted, is the hustle part 2. 

I wake up before 6am and put all my energy to get once step closer to my vision until sundown.  Cleansing, yoga, markets, kitchen, recipe, photography, and blog.  Yes, these are things I love, and I could never picture my life without, but I can't help but think what if I wanted what was "normal".  To go out with friends on a Saturday night, brunch or bbq on a Sunday, and spend time with a significant other, before another week begins.  

I found myself going into an anxious, doubtful, and exhausted hole.   Falling into an all too familiar space of loneliness, usually pretty dark and filled with fear.  What if I don't make it?  Will I sacrifice everything, for nothing? I've told myself it's part of the deal.  As a striving woman looking to make her WILDEST dreams come true, that space of loneliness is inevitable.  Right?

I was reminded last week it's not.  The depressed driven deaths of a few creative souls was a reminder to many.  Yes, we may all feel like this from time to time, it's just the extremities and how we deal that might separate us, but it doesn't have to.  As an introvert and one who rather read a story, then speak, reaching out can seem like the hardest thing to do.  But, here is my way of reaching out to you, with my honesty, hoping you feel the comfort of not feeling alone.  

I'm here for the connection.  For the shared journey.  

~

One that hit me pretty hard was Bourdain.  I do believe there is a strong connection when it comes to food and us, people.  

Families are being separated, all because they want to feel safe in our country.  That's. Not. Right.

Puerto Rico is the example of colonialism gone horribly wrong, and it's shamefully known.  So do you walk away or stay home.  Is your loyalty questioned?

Adobo.  Would you believe they questioned my Puerto Ricaness because I do not use adobo.  Rude. 

If you can make a good story out of enchiladas, I'm all for it.  

Food is therapy.  And, I plan to do a lot of it this summer.  Here's what to make in June

I leave you with this.  Reach out.  Speak out.  

 

 

Sunday Cortado 15: Siempre Con Amor

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Life lately has definentily been all over the place and unpredictable, and I'm just not talking about my own.  When I started Sunday Cortado, I wanted EVERYONE to feel connected.  There are wars on the fence, innocent children too common becoming victims, and history being made in the name of love.  How can you not feel something all the time?  

Even with all the shit and fear, is it still possible to feel that light?  The one that makes everyday doable and worth a little more.  Whether smiling and feeling love with another or with a passion still fiery inside you.  I ask you give it a chance, this thing called love... amor.  

If you fear you haven't yet felt it or don't have enough in you, like I sometimes do, maybe something as small as this cortado can help.  Because, I still believe in the simple things, and the ones we hold close us to enjoy them with.  

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1.  I've been working incredibly hard trying to create and bring together new content to share with you all.  Whether new recipes or pages OR news, I'm excited for the changes that lie ahead!

2.  Rekindling my love for Ayurveda through this fool-proof Idiots Guide.  I only just begun, and already started making connections I haven't seen before. 

3.  Flowers.  I have never been a flower kinda girl, and I say girl because it is the norm for girls to receive flowers for any occasion/reason.  That's cool and all... but they die.  So I never understood the point.   Although, I guess for that moment, the beauty is simply that... beauty.  

4.  These 70's NY photos.  One amazing point made, no-one is looking at their phones.

5.  I love women who empower women.  Nothing says empowerment like owning and knowing your body.  I've already tried the menstrual cup once, but I love this honest and positive review to inform even the most skeptical lady.  

6.  Speaking of empowering women, you can hate on me all you want, but she has the confidence, heart, and badass I will always need in my life.  

7.  A Kitchen Alter.  How have I not thought of this before?!  Where the therapy, joy, magic, dance, and even tears happen all at once. 

8.  The farmers market, because nothing there is nothing like mother earth working her own magic to make this world a little more beautiful . 

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siempre con amor,

~yesenia

Spring Cleaning, Your Way

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A confession before we begin...  1) Sorry, for the hiatus!  But, not really.  Sometimes we need a change or a break.  Mine was a change, and blogging was something that just didn't fit into what I was doing and trying to achieve.. for a bit. 2) I wanted a comeback - an informative post full of food facts, nutritional advice, and stories!  After I spent a few hours writing, I deleted it.  Because once again, things change.  And personally, this place of "change" is exactly where I'm at.  Let's begin.   

Spring has officially came and has decided to stay.  I could not be any more psyched!  Let's be real, I don't even love Spring, as my heart belongs to Summer. And that just means we are so much closer.  Heat and humidity, where you at?! 

During this season, our bodies can start to take a toll. Not only with the weather change, but the longer days, change of pace, or the sudden realization of all we need or want to do.  Winter hibernation is no longer an excuse.  So what should we really be doing?  Getting rid of all the stuff weighing us down! From some extra pounds, toxins, clutter and past bullshit.  Yes, I said it.  That bullshit. 

It's so easy to get caught up in unnecessary clutter.  We can even call it the excess that no longer serves us.  Whether it is extra weight from the winter to our unorganized thoughts and closets, I wanted to find a way to make it not so intimidating, rather something you want to get done.  Your own way of therapy.    

What it's going to come down to is CREATING SPACE.  In 3 areas, how I've been able to get it done, and make it my own.  

Create Space in Our Bodies

Anybody else dramatic about the cold?  Eating all the heavy comforting food, and maybe very well experienced in hibernation.  That would be me!  From all the winter's heavy foods and lack of movement there is an excess that needs to be rid of (toxins and weight) and a digestive system that needs to be reset.  By ingesting seasonal cleansing foods and igniting some inner fire, we can rid and make space for a new seasonal diet and a much lighter feeling.

~ Eat Seasonally.  Dandelions, spinach, sprouts, radishes, and asparagus are my favorite.  Play with recipes!  I found cooking to be my therapy as of late; even being able to make a simple nourishing plate beautiful.  Maybe you're not a big cook?  Find some local restaurants that specialize in seasonal and local fares.  Cleansing does not have to mean depriving! 

~Move!  Sweat!  I took a break from yoga, but as soon as I went back, I couldn't believe why I stopped in the first place.  It felt amazing (and scary) and I immediately felt a difference.  Keep your body moving and the rest of your systems and endorphins will follow!

Create Space in Our Minds

This one was tricky for me.  Food and health, I can write and talk about forever, and feel pretty confident about.  The mind?  Well working on myself alone, that was a challenge in itself.  Basically, I knew that I needed a change of mindset.  Whatever that has happened in the last few months, good or bad, had to take a backseat.  I needed to reevaluate what exactly it was that I wanted to feel and where I wanted to be for right now.  I needed space in my head, not for it to be filled with more ideas, but a clarity of what I was already doing for myself.   

~Get active! The past few months I've had every excuse to not get moving.  I stopped yoga and really became an expert in not leaving my house.  After getting out and going back, I decided to take advantage of this new lifestyle.  The "just do it attitude" came about, no contemplation.  I got rid of all the excuses in my head.  Time, money, and motivation.  Being active became my excuse to let go of those repetitive thoughts.  

~ Surrender.  Because the bullshit is going to keep on coming.  Honestly, I learned to feel it out and let it be.  I let go of things I could not change or handle.  From relationships lost to selling my car, I felt my world being turned upside down.  And it truly did.  Accepting what I had to do allowed me to be in the present.  Let go of the past and what could have been, do not worry about the future and what is unknown.  Be Here

Creating Space in Our Surroundings

Pick just one or two things.  No matter if you discard or reorganize, you will find yourself wanting to see less around you...more space.  I've had some very messy habits in the past.  Now I live to see clear surfaces.  Especially in my kitchen.  It became my canvas.  My space to work from scratch again and again.  

~Clean out your closet and drawers.  Donate or recycle!  Plenty of ways to discard guilt-free.

~Organize your pantry.  Or whatever it is that you use everyday.  A bookshelf?  Computer?  Make your space manageable again.

~Your relationships.  Friendships, family, or lovers, where might the space serve you?  I'm not even talking about completely letting go. It does not have to be all or nothing, which is something I'm. Still. Learning.  Keep in mind what it is you need out of them and what can you be without them?

Spring is 3 months long.  It's never too late.  Don't rush.  Work with what you got.  Small means can do great things.    

 

 

Sunday Cortado, 14

Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley

Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley

Happy New Year, my dears!  I wish I could have done an end of the year post, but internet service and life get's in the way.  As there hasn't been a Cortado in almost two months, and I even miss the one planned, we have some extra links and loves.  I think there may be a little bit for everyone here to enjoy.  Or, maybe just me? 

Enjoy this Cortadito, set a little different for my wide (but pretty predictable if you know me, and I think you all do) selection of interests and reads!

New York Lovin'

Help the homeless as these freezing temperatures hit for frequent New Yorkers. 

Otherwise, enjoy like some of these people who clearly aren't afraid of a good flurry.

Case for the Subway:  It helped build the city, now it's time for the city to help build it back.  

Latino History and Literature

Dare I say that Puerto Rico is a VISIBLE example of colonialism gone wrong.  Here is something for those who still dream.  

I'm on mission to get through the most influential literature by latinos (is this a college elective or book club? Sign me up) of my time.

My favorites so far?  Juniot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  And Drown and This Is How You Lose Her.  

Rights and Movements

Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.  Surprising statistics from a well known "progressive and liberal" city.  

How these celebrities are standing up and helping ALL WOMEN.  Time's Up!

Single people.  We still exist, now more than ever.  Don't underestimate us.  

Food and Health

5 Superfoods to Eat in 2018.  Or forever. 

Inflammation-Fighting Winter Vegetables.  Still yummy. 

Who want's to go out in this cold weather anyway?  What to Cook This January.    

2018 Intentions and Visions (Yes, I have them too)

Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. And practice.  A great way to look at the New Year using this Yoga Trifecta

Let's talk money and savings.  I had a scary revelation on my everyday Americano habit....

I always say, Rihanna as a singer, eh.  Rihanna as style and fashion bad ass, show me the way!

 

Sunday Cortado, 13: Feminist Fire

I have been reading and chatting with you guys over quite a few cortados now.  And let's be real, sometimes it's all about the goods.  The links to something new, thoughtful, questionable, even yummy. 

Today's cortado is brought to you by the women.  I found that most of the articles I have read and bookmarked had a theme, and it was too good to ignore.  

Now with all the accusations and confessions of sexual harassment and assault being brought to light, the little representation of women in political office, and the history of how we have been treated in EVERY part of the world, I knew I wanted to spread the world in my own way... in my own space 

We are woman of different color and culture, talents and beliefs.  Stick together and stick it to them.  I believe in using where you came from and who you were born to be to your greatest advantage no matter what is to be expected.  Lately, and even looking back as a woman, I've noticed commentaries from men are way too common, sarcastic, and inappropriate to ignore.  You may play it off as that's just how they are, but no, that's how we allowed it.  

Every time I read an article of woman strength, bond, leadership, I can't help but think in the words of Kendrick, "We gonna be aight."

~~~ 

The Life and Death of A Radical Sisterhood, the history and commentaries that were brought to light right in my favorite city, New York.

The UN plans are making steps to help climate change, and female focused initiatives are leading the way.  

Free speech and abortion. California, what you going to decide?

The 2018 World Economic Forum will be co-chaired by seven women - and zero men.  BAM! 

Lady Gaga and Joe Biden coming together to help sexually assaulted and abused woman.  Add this to the list on why I admire these people. 

I did love the movie Wonder Woman, but now I really love Wonder Woman

We have the first Hijab wearing Barbie, and she has an amazing story. 

More men are marrying up now to successful educated women.  Future feminist families to come?

Now let's unwind.  This woman wants others to feel... a little more comfortable when doing yoga. I can dig it. 

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Sunday Cortado, 12

Union Square Greenmarket, NYC

Union Square Greenmarket, NYC

Let's get cozy.  

I hope you are lucky enough to have a cortado or espresso in hand, with a chunky sweater, and fuzzy slippers.  These months are sometimes a bit trying, but contain the most beautiful moments and scenes I know.  

With a world so unpredictable and the weather that follows, how are you keeping inspired to just keep going?  To make it all worth it? Reading, Christmas movies, cooking, and cozy blankets, have been my therapy of choice.  The inspiration to share, connect, and constant talks with friends and family have been the push to keep it going.  

Not many, but definitely the standouts... Happy Sunday, my dears!

An Explanation on U.S. Mass Shootings, gives a harsh reality about our countries faults.  

Why They Didn't Stop The Harassment, because sadly looking the other way seemed like the only thing to do.  

An interview with Deb, from Smitten Kitchen and Ella, from Deliciously Ella.  If you are a food or wellness blogger, you may understand the anxiety in change and social media.  The common ground? Stay true, ya'll. 

Settling in Paris.  Kind of like vacationing like a local, but on a whole, pretty funny, level.  Take notes!

What to Cook This November.  It's warm and yummy. 

A moisturizer made out of your own blood.  Blood Cream.  I am intrigued.  

The time of year for boozy festivities, cheese platters, and very dry cold weather.  Activated charcoal, the supplement for detox and beauty this season?  

Baby, it's cold outside.  Let's treat ourselves to a jacket or two.  

 

Sunday Cortado, 11

Bite 22, NYC

Bite 22, NYC

What a week.  If you read my Cortado's often, you know I always have something to say.  For now, I am not so much speechless, but rather in thought.  But, here is a little something....

I never feel safer than when I walk the streets of New York.  A place, even state of mind, where you can be anyone and do anything.  Then reality hits, close to home, and you remember it's just another place and we are all human.  Let's not forget to reconnect, hold the elevator, hold the door, let the mothers and kids pass when you're in a "rush".  Sometimes we get lost in the hustle.  The streets are busy, but keep your head up and walk fierce.  We going places.

Culture cannot excuse racist insult, but here's a standpoint that hits close to home as a Hispanic American.  

Use your phone for this video!  A 360 on Latino NYC.

Lion King cast is out.  And it's a-mazing.

Minoi, the sister of my beloved coconut oil.  I wanna try! 

It's pumpkin pie season.  Let's get super Martha Stewart and make our pumpkin puree

Harissa Lentils and Roasted Veggies.  I need.   

Butternut Squash in my bourbon.  Let's be open to all possibilities in life. 

Burnt Butter.  I substituted NY local apples in this crumble.  Yum. 

Is it too early to start my Christmas List? Kitchen wants

Women Aren't Ruining Food.  Thank you very much!

 

 

Sunday Cortado, 10

Doughnut Plant, W 23 St

Doughnut Plant, W 23 St

The last couple of weeks have ranged from completely booked and overworked, to a complete mental break filled with baked goods, home cooked meals, organization, and day dreams.  Ya'll, your girl was tired. 

I think the point of this wellness thing (yes sometimes it's still a thing to me) is to learn it doesn't ALWAYS have to be that way.  In reality, it may seem we are constantly busy and overbooked, but at the end of the day (or week), our bodies deserve that break, our minds deserve that sanity, and our souls deserve that peace.  Ya hear me?  I wanted nothing more than to come back to writing, serving delicious new recipes and ideas.  Consistently brainstorming and wanting to share, I had no choice but to wait.  That my dears, is okay.  

Grab a coffee or cortado, and a donut if your lucky.  

At such a young age, I don't think it's necessary to separate.  If girls and boys want to work together through challenges and lessons, let them.

Food Inequality in Venezuela.  Quick video to show perspective of what's really going on. 

Helping your former student through a prison cell.  When your job is truly your passion and heart. 

I've really been into literature of the Hispanic Culture.  A story that allows you to look back into their history, relate to our own culture, and be proud of where we came from.  Drown did not disappoint. 

If your a woman in business, finance, or any type of male dominated work-force, please read.  The Moment that Made Me A Feminist.  

More important than ever for minorities to have a face in world of wellness.  Black Women and Wellness: What it means to be Well in 2017.

Inner Life of an Introvert.  Simple drawings to let you know what's really going on in our head.  We still love you!

Fall Kitchen Guide.  Bring this list with you to your nearest Home Goods.  They always know the way to my heart. 

One of my biggest dreams is to have a small gathering on a rustic table to serve amazing food in a creative ambiance.  How To Throw a Fall Party is pinned 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet on a Budget.  I can dig it. 

Chocolate Mint Matcha Cups.  I have matcha sitting in my cupboard and this seems like the only logical use for it right now. 

I'm still a believer and still a lover.  The 10th Anniversary of the Kale Salad, where has the time gone!

Sunday Cortado, 8

Chelsea, New York City

Chelsea, New York City

How do I put into words?  Sometimes it feels I say too much.  About the world, politics, and events that I educate myself through a lot and a lot of articles.  Other times it feels I don't say enough.  When shit happens in our world, and I can only express through a simple quote.  Not even.  

Between small talk with many people, it all came down to "life's short".  I just feel like there is so much more to it.  Life is unexpected, but nevertheless a gift.  Enjoy it, yes, but also, use it wisely.  Spread light and love, yes, but shed light on your rights as well.  Times aren't just crazy, they are challenging.  Challenging us to live with a greater heart.  

As the days go buy, and much busier than planned,  I find myself thinking and being told something must give.  Well, I can guarantee the first thing that comes to mind is my 9-5.  Truth, I've stopped doing a few things I loved and revolved other passions on my everyday obligation.  So much, that I now have this notion to complete it all.  Before, after, and every weekend. The days have definitely proved to be shorter, and everyday I think "do I have to do this?"  Write this blog? Test this recipe?  Create this product? 

While I write to you, drinking my espresso with almond milk, I know this is going to stay for now.  Because, I care.  So, maybe somebody else reading this does to.  

So you want to celebrate Columbus Day?  Let's educate instead.  Puerto Rico sheds light on American colonialism now more than ever.  

I think the connection with your mother is vital for every child.  Check out what's going on in this prison in Lima, Peru

I shower twice a day almost every day.  Excessive? Maybe.  But once a week?  And she looks amazing!

What's your gut type?!  Let's find out, compare, and talk about it, over a green juice. 

Even with the new, but not so new, concept of grass fed will not save our planet.  So appreciative of the way people are becoming more conscious of their meat and dairy consumption in general.

She was the first person to teach me how to make brown sugar and I'll let her do it all over again.

Guess what?  My detox is over.  Bacon Brussel Sprout Fried Rice.  Oh baby.  

When I travel, I love to explore the local markets and food vendors.  Of course LA, you are my dream, now I know exactly where to go.  First stop, Grand Central Market

 

Sunday Cortado, 7

Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport, Maine

What a week.  Catching up after a mini vacation is no joke for this girl.  It's straight from reality, to vacation, then a nap back into reality again.  In between all that are things happening, the world changing, and mind racing.  Or is that just me?

I'm struggling to find this balance, you know?  And a part of me wants to say "f*** balance!"  This is lifeI have never been one to put my belief in wellness to the side, but I must admit that meals are skipped, time with loved ones are being sacrificed, and I'm finding it very hard to keep motivated all week long.  

Then I sit down and write these Cortado's.  I gather everything I've read, articles I connected with, from events in the world, to the little things that I want to share. It's not much, but it puts me back in reality, at the same time, taking me away from it.  That's been my goal all along, to share and fight for a world that is so much more beautiful than we give it credit for.  Even if it feels like a whole different one sometimes.

Honestly, I don't have all the answers.  As of late, it's been a lot of, I don't know.  Could it be this transitional period? My cancerian emotions?  Who knows.  What I do know, is that I'm sticking to what I know I love to do.  Posts, recipes, beauty, adventure.  Somebody recently asked me if this is what I want.  My first answer was weak and full of excuses.  Asked me one more time.  I said I couldn't picture myself doing anything else.

~~~

If you know me, you know that family is one of my top priorities.  I called my grandma everyday until I knew she got in touch with her sisters, nephews, and nieces.  Not knowing if loved ones are safe for days seem unimaginable.  To know that the place you once called home has been wiped out and in dire need of help can hurt.  Here is what's happening in Puerto Rico and how to help.  

Even after great natural disasters, the beauty in how people come together is one advantage, if any.  Here quick look how Mexico came together after their earthquake.

Are girls smarter than boys? Who cares, give us the opportunities and watch us shine!

Happiness and Health.  But, where do you live?

Do you suffer from juicing guilt?  Here is why you might and how to solve it.  Someone help me though!

Are you into oils, serums, and toners? You need to read this!  It's all about the layers.

It is officially Detox Season!  As I wrote how to create your own, here is help creating your own detox meals. Inspiration, ya'll!

The Art of Fermenting.  My local farmer recommended me this book.  Some people just get me.

Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta and a Pear Galette.  I'm cold and ready for all of it.    

 

Sunday Cortado, 6

Union Square Green Market, NYC

Union Square Green Market, NYC

You guys, I really do believe the next couple of weeks are going to fly.  Changing leaves, apple pies, brisk mornings, and cold nights, all soon to come or already here.  I say I don't really care for the Fall, but truth be told, I'm kinda excited to use my oven again.  

My Whisk and Mat will be doing it's own changes the next couple of weeks as well.  I'm a little nervous and a lot overwhelmed.  I decided I need to go back to yoga, because that mixture can be scary.  With a transitional season, comes a new mind set, ideas, routines, even wardrobe!  With a New Moon this week, Wednesday Sept 20th, and I am going to make it the MOST....

DACA.  What it means for us and what it means for them.  And, why we all need to care. 

Ending the war on women's health... Who knew we would have to fight so hard for the rights of our hormones and lady parts. 

Ethnic cleansing.  This has been going on for generations in Myanmar.  If you can't get yourself to read the article, PLEASE watch this video.  

I drink almond milk for my health.  Now can we drink it with a better conscious? Milkadamia and free range trees

The Best Places for Vegans to Eat in ALL 50 STATES.  I'm not vegan, but I can appreciate a good plant-based meal. 

Part of my routine every morning are fresh juices and smoothies.  Whether you are a frequent juicer or not, here are some ingredients and recipes to help you start or look out for in the Fall.  

What to Cook in September.  The perfect guide and inspiration!

I am so not a soup person, but I know sniffle season is about to come.  This green noodle soup looks like perfection, and not just on a sick day!

A Peruvian Almuerzo.  Because when you give a healthy-living-wellness-loving Latina an idea to make herself and recreate her family's dishes, you take those ideas and run. Or give them to your dad to make...

WASTED, The Story Of Food Waste.  The perfect mix of Anthony Bourdain, fruits and vegetables, and saving mother earth.  I'm very into it. 

 

Sunday Cortado, 5

Mad Sq. Eats, 5th and Broadway, NYC

Mad Sq. Eats, 5th and Broadway, NYC

These weeks have been flying by.  Both in good ways and ways I wish they wouldn't.  Somehow life happens and it's during these transformation periods we wonder, "What the hell have I been doing?"

Seriously.  It doesn't even have to be so deep or thoughtful as I probably make it.  We can't all help but wonder how this summer has ended. I guess it really started to hit me this week.  Scarfs and chunky knit sweaters made their grand appearance most mornings and I sometimes find myself unable to fully enjoy the quiet nights on the patio.  I am officially making myself readily available to those with fire pits.  I will bring you wine and homemade cheese and fruit platters.  Please?

For myself, I really tried to think about what stood out for me this season.  While I am a firm believer of making the most out of the little things, sometimes you kinda want to shake it.  I went to new and local beaches, reconnected with a few friends I haven't seen or lost touch with, and ate pretty damn good.

I just thought I had timeee.  Time for the passion to explode, beauty to be created, and adventures to be taken.  So, I made a commitment.   I wanna bring a new kind of living to life.  Inclusive, connected, and unrestricted...

~~~ 

There are major disasters going on, everywhere.  Yes, I get upset and empathize, but it isn't until now, hitting places where I used to call home and with loved ones, I get nervous.  A lot of what if's.  For family and friends, please be safe and stay compassionate.

I've been try to cut plastic out of my life.  No more tubberware, but I can say giving up cheap razors may be the challenge.

I've heard rumors of the not so sustainable practices that go on in the palm fruit oil industry.  Here's a little more personal information and something to think about on your next beauty purchase. 

I bet you didn't know and sometimes I forget, but being an adult is hard.  Making friends is hard.  Why can't we just share our crayons and be bff!

Fall = Fashion.  At least that's what I've heard and learned.  So, help!

Fall also equals squash! This is one of my favorite quinoa salads to make.  Perfect mix of sweet and savory, perfect meal prep lunch...

Arugula Pesto Zucchini Noodle Bowls.  I'm not gonna lie though, if I'm gonna eat a bowl full of veggies, Italian meats just may give me that lovely life balance . 

As we say good bye to the peaches and blueberries, I would like to welcome other things.  Fig Jam seems fitting for this Fall season ahead.

I'm going to Maine!!! I've been reading so much about, but as soon as I saw this post, I knew it was meant to be.  Have any recommendations?  Things I MUST DO? Please let me know! I'm a newbie to road trips and mini travels, so I'm open.  

Don't get it twisted though.  I do plan on relaxing.  I am so over 4:45am wakeup calls...

 

 

 

Sunday Cortado, 4

Hudson River Park, NYC

Hudson River Park, NYC

Sometimes, I feel as if I live in my own world.  It was something I found out last year around November, election time.  Whether you are a blogger, health and wellness advocate, sport enthusiast, foodie, or political junkie, you most likely spend most your time researching and reading those topics.  You may even surround yourself with like minded networks of people, Instagram feeds, live or visit those places that just... get you.  

For example, myself, my Instagram is made up of food lovers, health and beauty brandsjunkies, feministas, with the occasional life of friends and family.  I work in the most diverse, fast paced, and accepting cities in the world and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I go to farmers markets where most people have a common belief and love for what local sustainable food/brands has to offer. 

In a way, I think I wanted to keep these Sunday Cortado's going as a way to share interests, educate (both you and I), and maybe learn how to relate to others somewhat better.  My fellow wellness warriors, family, and friends, what's on your mind?  What do wish others would know and see?  We are more than foodies, activists, aspiring artists, travelers.  We care, and that makes our own world a little greater, a little more connected. 

I was having dinner with my family the other day, and my father made a valid point.  You make a greater impact talking face to face with someone, than anything you read or say on the internet. Touché. 

Want to meet and talk with me?  I'm thinking of getting out more, hosting mini pop up events, and making appearances to yours!  If not, let's meet for a Cortado...

There are natural disasters impacting this country to the other side of the world.  Effects are devastating and it's hard to believe there are people now on survival mode and re-adjustmenting.  Please don't forget, we are human and must believe we can always help each other.      

As Summer transitions into Fall, not only does that effect our food and harvest, but body and skin! Summer is a time for protecting and hydrating that sun kissed skin.  Fall is a time for nurturing, nourishing, and revitalizing.  Here is a guide stepping into natural skincare.  

Sweet Treats Beauty is getting a makeover and expanding for the Fall!  Here is what is available now, but I'll make sure to keep you updated with new products to come.

Anyone retired perfumes and fragrances?  When I stepped into natural beauty, it was one of the first things I let go.  Chemicals, money, and strong scents made that very easy.  I think I'm ready to bring it back with this simple DIY

If I can make summer last in any way, it would be with food.  Let's pickle.

How delicious does this Creme Brûlée French Toast sound? I think they use this as a dessert, but with just a little fruit, I'm down for breakfast.  

Watermelon and candied pistachios?  I'll be having that until September 20th, thank you.