When I was around eight years old, I attended a birthday party for another young girl. There were tons of children at this party, but I had been sick earlier that week and had lost my voice. So there I was, silent and very very shy to begin with, and out comes the grandma of the house who puts her arm around me and leads me into her kitchen. We spent the day there, me wordless and grateful, and her sharing stories of her life and teaching me the deliciousness that is pavlova. She sent me home with a recipe that I made over and over for years, never forgetting that special day.
When I stumbled across the insanely tasty looking photo above, my heart fluttered a little and I knew that I had to share this pretty version with you. Be careful when you visit Eva’s blog – it’s a wonderland of gorgeousness and you won’t be able to pull yourself away. Make time for it.
& Viola Miniature Pavlovas
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 dozen organic pansies
2 dozen organic violas
6 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups whipped cream
pastry bag fitted with large open-star tip (optional)
To make the candied pansy & viola miniature pavlovas, start by candying the flowers. Lightly brush the petals of a flower with the egg whites. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over the flower until coated. Place on a wire rack to dry. Repeat this process until all of the flowers are candied. Allow to dry for 1 hour, or until the flowers feel crisp when poked.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, beat the 6 egg whites and salt until they begin to stiffen but aren’t dry. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time. Continue beating on high speed until the egg whites are shiny and thick, then fold in the vanilla extract and the corn starch.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now, you can either use a spatula to simply spread the meringue into small 4-inch discs, or you can do it with a pastry bag to create the spiral pattern. To do it with the pastry bag, scoop the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with the open-star tip and fold the top several times. Secure the folded top in place with a small clip. Starting at the outside edge, spiral your way towards the center as you apply pressure to the bag to make a 4-inch in diameter spiral. Repeat this until you have used all of the meringue. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to allow the pavlovas to cool slowly (this prevents cracking). Once cooled, remove the tray from the oven. To assemble, place the pavlova on the serving surface and spread a dollop of whipped cream on top of it. Place several of the candied pansies and violas on top of the cream and serve.
Summer has officially arrived, and with it, the need for treats that are as cool as they are tasty. When Mia, our in-house wild food foraging chef and general magic maker showed me this gorgeous recipe, I knew I had to share it with you.
This beauty is perfectly hydrating, lightly sweet, fit for even the fanciest company (or your children, minus the tequila!) and just a bit naughty.
With a few flourishes and your imagination, you can make these your own using this basic recipe.
Cucumber Mint-Lime Paletas
3 cups, seeded, peeled and roughly chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons (reserved)
1/4 cup raw, washed organic sugar
1 tablespoon honey or brown rice brown syrup (to prevent crystallization)
A few sprigs of fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon agar agar powder or Vegan Jel (to prevent rapid melting, but you may omit)
The zest and juice of 4 limes
1/4 of a small jalapeno, seeded (optional)
A pinch of salt
In a high speed food processor, blend the cucumbers, 2 tablespoons water, mint, lime juice and zest and jalapeño until smooth. Reserve in blender. Add a bit more water if you need to loosen the mixture.
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar, honey or rice bran syrup and dissolve over medium high heat. Once dissolved whisk in the agar or Vegan Jel rapidly until dissolved and bring to a boil, then turn off burner and remove from heat. Whisk to cool the mixture for a few minutes.
Pour the warm mixture into the food processor with the other ingredients and blend until very smooth. Pour immediately into molds and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before freezing to prevent crystallization.
The honey or rice bran syrup and agar agar prevent the paletas from crystallizing and melting too quickly and give an unctuous, slightly softer mouth-feel, but aren’t necessary if you prefer an icier pop. Cooling the mixture completely in the fridge before freezing is also key.
*Note: If you are using wooden or bamboo sticks (preferred), soak in water for at least 5 minutes first. This will prevent them from releasing from the paleta in the mold.
My favorite way to enjoy these paletas is with yogurt or dried fruit powder (crushed, dehydrated pineapple or tangerine is available at most natural markets) or cooling yogurt powder (available at specialty gourmet markets).
If you’d like to be ultra decadent (and you do!), drape your frozen wonders in an alcoholic film, finished with a sprinkle of habanero salt.
3/4 cups tequila or infused vodka or gin
2 grams of agar agar powder*
*Agar agar is a natural, seaweed-based thickening agent sold in most health food stores.
In a small saucepan, bring the alcohol and agar to boil over medium high heat, whisking rapidly. Boil for a minute. Once dissolved – and before it thickens, pour the alcohol mixture over a large flat plate or platter and swirl the plate gently so that you have an even, thin layer.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes and then cut the film with a sharp knife on the plate and gently lift the film pieces off. Place on top of your paleta and enjoy with a squeeze of lime and some good salt.
Get lost in Chef Mia Wasilevich’s world and visionary food at Wild Food Lab.
Today is a special day. It is a day of birthing, of breakthroughs, of leaping into the unknown. On July 31st of 2012, my sweet darling Talia Clementine danced into this world. She was tiny, a long and delicate creature who sang with the scent of cream pie filling and boiled baby potatoes fresh from the ground. She was vibrant with earthiness and the energy of soft and steady wind.
My baby girl has changed my world, sparked the kind of love you feel deep in the recesses of your gut, the kind that floods you and makes your head spin. The world has never felt so dizzy, so complicated, challenging and blissed out. It has not been the easiest year, but it has been the best.
This time last July came with another huge milestone. The morning after my daughter’s perfect entrance, I received an email. It was a newsletter from Spirit Beauty Lounge, announcing the launch of May Lindstrom Skin, not twelve hours after giving birth in our home, not twelve hours after experiencing the most physically and emotionally intense experience of my life.
In under a day, I presented to the world my first born child, and also the baby of an idea I had held for years – what was now May Lindstrom Skin, a passion project I had poured every cent I could claim to my name and every ounce of energy and love and perseverance into. That day, this day, one year ago… I felt full and proud and happy and scared and so incredibly overflowing with all of it. I was shaken to my core and now, 365 days later, I am still dancing in the ripple, cascading with the waves and eb and flow and joyous challenge that comes with growing this business, this grand dream of mine, while raising this beautiful child and striving to be fully present with her magic, to give her the mother that I have felt welling up inside me since I was very small.
Photos by Caitlin Van Horn
She is teaching me, sharing lessons simply through her existence. Not yet able to walk, my angel is testing gravity, pulling herself to standing and then letting go. She trusts in a way that is beautiful and poetic. So new. She is fresh and ancient all at once, her tiny body not nearly prepared to contain her majestic spirit.
Today, I ask you to join me in raising both of my babies. You hear over and over throughout your life “it takes a village”. And now that I am here, I know without a doubt, that this is true. I can give every bit of myself to sweet Talia, and she will still need the stories and wisdom and love of those around her to fully form her ultimate self. She will need challenges and obstacles, infinite exploration and floods of inspiration. She will need me, her loving father, our friends and the souls she chooses as years go by. She will need you.
When I launched with my first retailer one year ago, I had no idea what would happen. It was as much a mystery as parenting turned out to be. Spirit Demerson believed in my vision, in my mission to introduce beautiful, loving, self care rituals into the lives of women, and she sought out my tiny little line with full confidence that her loyal clients would embrace it, and me. And they did. The amazingly supportive online community began to take notice, bloggers picked up on what I was doing and the effects of my creations and started writing about it, sharing and getting their readers excited. More retailers came. Suddenly my emails became a series of personal communications with clients, exchanges so intimate and trusting that I would sit silently with them, eyes clouded over and heart bursting. Suddenly, this itty bitty dream was a real company, albeit still a tiny one that I continue to operate out of my private home studio, my baby girl playing at my ankles. I am here, in a place I wouldn’t have had the courage to even imagine on my own. I am so incredibly thankful for each of you reading, for joining in, for celebrating and helping me to rise up. I hope you will continue to share with me, and to let me share with you in this new space. I am wide open. Lets build stories together.
Happy birthday my sweet Talia Clementine. Mama loves you so very much.
After many years of dreaming, I am finally able to sit for a moment and breathe in what it feels like to be truly on the verge of something. It’s an incredibly powerful, exciting and admittedly intimidating time for me.
I started formulating potions and beauty treats as a little girl. To me, there has always been something magical about plants and flowers, clays and salts, oils and lovely scented gifts plucked straight from nature. I grew up deep in the countryside in northern Minnesota and the bounty the land fostered still holds me in a state of awe.
At eight years old, I had no qualms about gathering red mud from puddles after a rainfall and slathering myself head to toe as I fantasized Cleopatra and regal women all throughout history did. A shallow river ran through my yard and I would sit immersed in a “chair” I built of smooth stones piled into a current, streams trickling over my young shoulders. I told myself stories of luxurious rituals and loved the peace in these moments hidden away from my untamed older brothers pretending to be Ninja Turtles in the forest next to me.
I recognized even then the power of taking a time out to concoct a beautiful experience, to indulge my senses and delight in the joys of my own skin. To do something entirely for me at that age didn’t seem so novel – it seemed the most natural and purely instinctual thing to do.
Today, I have a blessed and busy life that is often as chaotic as it is wonderful and I am constantly reminding myself to carry on the rituals that feed the romance I have with my own self. When I make the time, I am a different woman.
I created this line to inspire other women (and men!) to claim their space, to seek out pleasure and to find that treat that makes them feel simply delicious. Without a doubt beauty comes from within and my hope is that May Lindstrom Skin ignites in you the stuff daydreams and little girl fantasies are made of…. Oh yes, and that includes gorgeous skin that simply glows with healthy radiance!