My beat mainly covers food, books, and travel.
How to Bake a Cake with a Toddler
Wash your hands, put on an apron and set out all your ingredients and equipment. Preheat the oven. Peek into the living room and see that there's a jacked-up three-year-old racing around at top speed, buzzing like a bee. Retreat into the kitchen quickly before he sees you.
Sift 2 cups of self-rising flour into your mixing bowl. Look up to find that you are being observed.
Finding space as an agnostic in India
As a little girl in India growing up in a Hindu household in the ’80s, I appreciated the beauty of Hindu symbolism; the ritual of lighting a lamp every evening at sundown so the goddess Lakshmi would bless the house; the sensory satisfaction of dipping my hands into a basket full of sweet-smelling rose petals; the delicious treats that festivals would bring. I looked forward to Deepavali—the festival of lights—every year, which arrived in a flurry of new clothes, sweets, and fireworks.
The wise words that changed my life
It was one of those Dublin summer days that don't make sense; the sun was hiding behind a dark grey cloud and the air felt muggy and oppressive. I was working as a nanny, and my youngest charge was complaining about the weather and trying to get out of going to nursery. I was only half-present; early that morning, I had checked my email and my sister had written to tell me that our beloved grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. At that time, I had no idea that it was already too late, bu...
What It Is Like To Live With Mental Illness In India
Rebecca Conway / AFP / Getty Images
Until very recently, if you attempted to commit suicide in India and survived, like I did, you would be met with the news that you could spend up to a year in prison for your failed attempt at taking your own life.
I had overdosed on sleeping pills, fully intending to die. I imagined I'd drift off to sleep forever, and it would be a blessed escape from the reality of my life. "Most of all", I wrote in my suicide note to my mother, "I am now going to be free...
How to Build An Indian Spice Cabinet
Indian cooking can seem complicated and convoluted to people who aren’t inherently familiar with it; all that grinding of various spice pastes—a dash of this, a smidgen of that. But the truth is that once you get the hang of a few basic spices, Indian cooking is as straightforward as any other cuisine.
New Food Trends for the New Year
It’s a brand new year, which means a number of things. New expectations, new resolutions, new color of the year, and, of course, new food trends. In 2017 we were obsessed with activated charcoal, bugs as snacks (I am so not kidding), vegan burgers (still an obsession in 2018, I’m pleased to note), local distilleries, and zero-waste cooking. Now with the release of 2018’s hot new food trends by Whole Foods and by the Specialty Foods Association, it’s clear to me that some of the trends on poin...
Indulge in Our Favorite Recipes for National Chocolate Cake Day
“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration.’”
―Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Four Young Females Who Have Reignited Poetry
Poetry is enjoying an upheaval on social media lately, and it's been incredible to watch. From the poets of Tumblr to the poets of Instagram, poetry is having a resurgence. At the head of this revival are the poets whose words are shared the most, and whose work is followed by tens of thousands of adoring fans.
As someone who is active on social media – particularly on Pinterest – I've followed this journey closely, and, I have to confess, pretty happily. Poetry is alive and is doing just fin...
How to Make Your Own Advent Calendars
It’s officially Christmas season! Bring on the eggnog, nutmeg, fruit cakes, and the decking of the halls with boughs of holly and the fa-la-la-la-la. Best of all, bring on the countdown! And, no, I’m not referring to the countdown to New Year’s Eve; I’m referring to the delicious countdown to Christmas! I am, of course, referring to advent calendars in all their delicious glory.
Orgasms Are Excruciating for Me — & I’m Not Alone
It was a feeling I’d never associated with sex; I’d just had an orgasm, and instead of being filled from top to toe with a rosy glow, I was in pain. I rolled over on my side, hands on my abdomen and winced. The pain — a painful cramping sensation that made me distressingly aware of my abdomen and my pelvis — was an entirely new one. I curled up in the fetal position and waited for it to dissipate, which it did after a while.
I had no idea what had just happened, and I certainly didn’t expect ...
Donate to the Best Animal Charities on Giving Tuesday
The holiday season — or what I like to call “the giving season” — is finally upon us (and so is Giving Tuesday on November 28). A lot of people are starting to think about which charities to support and which organizations to give to. I would like to make a case for what I consider the best animal charities.
Every Nanny Job I’ve Ever Had
Being a nanny wasn’t my wildest dream, but I found myself applying for multiple nanny jobs when I was nineteen.
The Best Fair Trade Brands for Tea and Coffee
Fair trade — a term that is touted around a lot — is the practice of paying producers in developing countries a fair price for their goods. In the past, goods bought in developing countries (such as cocoa, tea, coffee, and spices, to name a few) were bought at cheap prices; flown to developed countries; and packaged, branded, and sold to consumers at a whopping price, with buyers making huge profit margins. These exploitative practices followed by certain companies have come to light as the w...
Best Fair Trade Chocolate Brands: Sweet, Sustainable Treats to Eat
Chocolate! Almost everyone adores it the world over, and it’s easy to see why. Chocolate has the ability to put a smile on people’s faces. It has the power to delight and to tempt and to tantalize. But the story of chocolate is not a sweet one.
As the world’s demand for chocolate increases by the day, there are a number of things that are being done to satisfy that voracious need. This has led to a number of disastrous and debilitating consequences. The International Labour Organization (ILO)...
India’s Chikkis Are the Best Peanut Brittle You’ll Ever Eat
On a drizzly weekend afternoon, I was at the supermarket and frazzled as I shopped for the week ahead, leapfrogging over numbers, lists, and this-week-only deals, when, without warning, a woman standing behind me dropped a bag of powdered jaggery.
It fell to the floor and burst open, releasing a billowing cloud of brown sugar that fluttered into my hair, my skin, down my throat. I vaguely recall some consternation, but I was already gone, yanked back to my childhood and my grandmother's caver...