Macchiato Oatmeal: Swoon! (Meditation on Beauty)

In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind. —Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). 

Beauty sustains me the way foods sustains me. It’s something that I need, and in rich doses.  I drink in beauty like some folks pour heavy cream in their coffee; I envy those folks. Especially when heavy cream seems like the reason their blog is bigger than mine.   I find ways to make food luscious and creamy and comforting. Like this macchiato oatmeal.

Lucky for me, I see beauty everywhere. The arc of a basketball towards the net; the sides of a pot dribbled with milky rice water; an egg broken into the pan with twin yolks. I close my eyes and imagine the shorelines I’ve walked; the vistas I’ve seen. This sustains me.

I read once that comparison is the thief of joy (don’t remember where!), and perfectionism is the enemy of art (latter credit goes to Sylvia Plath if I’m not mistaken). I fall victim to both. These twin poles  of mind-matter keep me from updating this blog, or believing it’ll succeed. This is what leads me to (falsely) believe that heavy cream has anything to do with blog readers. But KIR right? It kinda does? Just a lil? Cause DAY-UM it’s so gooood. 

As you know from the last post, I’ve been plotting behind-the-scenes to re-shape the show/blog format and direction. Though I’m not writing here, I’m thinking actively about where this is all heading. What I’m doing vs. what I’m meant to be doing. Also the idea of simple being.

I’m obsessing over the details. The site needs a makeover. The vision needs focus. I don’t want to look tired and run down and low energy in my videos, even if that’s how I feel. Recipes? Top notch.

What’s really true is that I’m letting perfectionism get in the way.

Expect changes. Some I know. Some I don’t. Which is why I’ve held back from writing or posting. I’m not going to wait until it’s all hammered out; eccomi!

In honor of this projects’ guiding philosphy, (Keepin’ It Real) I’m sharing a video in a different format. You can tell that I’m tired in it. My eyes are sunken and I’m pushing to keep the energy positive and up. The recipe was too good to keep back, and why wait for perfection? Get it done!

I’m using the Tastemade App (available for free in the iTunes store) to create “Appisodes.” Stay tuned for more of these bite sized recipe bewts. (That’s a terrible way to spell the abbreviation of ‘beauties’). FREAK FLAG BE FLYIN’!

My time away was like a spring break party of beauty. And returning has been an adjustment. My body is like a car with 187,000 miles on it. When I ask it to take me places, it often breaks down and requires LOTSA maintenance. I’m ridiculously grateful that it takes me places at all. I remember being in bed, and bed alone. My body is the only way I can be here worshipping at Beauty’s altar.

To overindulge you with inspiration since I’ve been away, here are some things to check out if like me, you’re also fed by Beauty.

1. This interview between John O’Donohue and Krista Tippet on “The Inner Landscape of Beauty.”

2. My Pinterest board of Outdoor Eating Spaces or this one called, “Ghosts.”

3. Sorpano Noe Venable singing “Say A Prayer For Beauty” live in Berkeley. (Check out the studio version too. It’s awesome).

4. And anything written, photographed, or cooked up by the incredible Beth Kirby of Local Milk.  I save Beth’s posts for quiet moments when I’m alone with a cup of tea. She feeds the poet in me. Sadly, since gluten is out of my playbook, I can only swoon over her photos and not cook her recipes. But I’m not a recipe follower anyway, and that makes me feel better. Because DAY-UM, her recipes looks goood. 

Ch-ch-changes are comin’ — and so are holiday recipes that will bring you to the table again and again wanting more. In the meantime, hang tight. And let me know: how do you all handle the ecstasy and terror of change? What sustains you? What is beautiful in your life? Why do you need it?





  1. The oatmeal looks wonderful! I am rooting for you to feel better and find the right direction for the blog. Hang in there.

    • will do. thank you for reading and commenting.

  2. Hey, Ariyele – Great to have you back!!! This sounds like a wonderful way to have your coffee and oatmeal. Thanks for sharing it with us. And by the way, I can get all swoony over looking at beautiful colors, so having that oatmeal bowl on a bright placemat should confer lots of healing power. By tomorrow morning I’ll know for sure.

    • yay! thanks for reading. i think you might be 1 of 5 people who read this wall of text :)

  3. Your oatmeal sounds great! We will have it tomorrow morning. Beauty is all around us,we just don’t take the time to notice. Each day is a new beginning and you will find yourself starting over. Good things come to those who wait. Your health is important take all the time you need. We will wait if we need to but you are our sunshine. Changes can be difficult and they will make you stronger if you try. Get well soon. I miss your bubbly beauty.

    • this comment, and having you as a reader, mean the world. i’m always taking care of myself–it’s like a full time job! i’ve got some fun stuff for the holidays, and i can’t wait to share it with you. again, thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. I love this site! Your quirky happy personality make me feel better. You may just have to take some breaks but that is life, how much coffee and oatmeal do you use?

    Take care of yourself ..’

    • hi cathy! i use one cup decaf and 1 cup oats, but it can vary depending on the kind of oats you’re using. really, there’s no set ratio. it’s however you like your oatmeal. i encourage folks to experiment. if you like things sweeter, make it sweeter. if you want less cocoa, use less. more milky, go to town with the cream component. this recipe is very flex! i’ll be back soon and i’m grateful for your readership :)

  5. Just made it and has it right now….thank you for the recipe. It is easy to make and heavenly goooooood :)

    • so glad you liked it! stay tuned for more easy-to-make game changers at the holidays.

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