Summer Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Bacon and Pesto

Greetings from my remote office in Santa Barbara, friends!T-3 weeks to Logena2k17, and I’m psyched. A little nervous, a little stressed, but I’ve been chugging calcium-magnesium cocktails and doing a lot of yoga, so mostly just excited. Hallelujah.To be fair, I’m not as crazypants as I thought I would be at this point in wedding planning, and I suppose I mostly have my roommate and my badass wedding planner to thank for my relative sanity. That’s not to say I didn’t have a teensy freakout during my final dress fitting Thursday (Dear God, so. much. cleavage. Think Coco getting married…), or that I don’t have nightmares about running out of alcohol potential logistical errors, but these things are par for the wedding planning course, right? (Don’t answer that.)The only thing I’m really struggling with in the midst of...
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The Struggle is Real: 8 Easy Tips That Help Me Tame the Anxiety Beast

If you’re new here: Hi! My name is Serena, and I have anxiety.For the regulars: Hey, hey, heyyyyy. Let’s talk about my favorite subject!I had my first panic attack a little over eight years ago, and I’ve struggled with panic attacks and generalized anxiety ever since. Thanks to a wonderful (and endlessly patient) therapist, a lot of trial and error, and some fundamental lifestyle changes, I’ve slowwwwly gotten a handle on my anxiety, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a constant struggle.The past year has been a whirlwind of excitement and awesomeness (engagement, and book launch, and #dudediettour, oh my!), but along with all the fun, there’s been a lot of stress, sleeplessness, uncertainty, and travel, which wreaked some serious havoc on my brain and body....
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Casual Friday: Strawberry Scone Cookies

Happiest of Casual Fridays from Santa Barbara, friends and lovahhhs. It’s been a glorious week of vacation, and while I’ve been committed to being a lady who #sassybeachlunches/wedding plans, I’d never pass up my monthly chance to talk cookies and waste time on the Internet with you.You know how we roll—food first, then nonsense. Let’s do this.These sexy Strawberry Scone Cookies come to you courtesy of my talented friend Christina’s latest book Sweet & Simple. Christina writes one of my go-to blogs, Dessert For Two, and she’s one of the few people that’s capable of getting me excited about baking. All of her desserts are small batch, which is awesome if you’re baking for kicks and not a crowd. (Let’s be real, no good thing has ever come of being home alone with a tray...
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Fiesta Dogs with Street Corn Guacamole

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a huge sports fan. I’m just not very good at playing them, and I tend to get bored watching games/matches on TV.When it comes to watching sports, my general disinterest can probably be attributed to the fact that I simply don’t know the rules. I suppose I could learn them, but I’m old and lazy, and I already have so many interests and hobbies. (Like young adult novels and eye masking.) I almost got a handle on football one evening last fall and thought, “Ohhhhhh I get it now! This is fun!” But then I realized I was just drunk and enjoying my roommate’s company/explanation of why all these crazy men were chasing each other. At which point I screamed, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!!!” and...
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12 Sexy Summer Cocktails

Greetings from VEGASSSS, baby!Yes, friends, yours truly is bachelorette-ing in the “City of Lights” this weekend, and I am straight up giddy with excitement. GIDDY, I say! I may not be cut out for wedding planning, but I was born for a Vegas bachelorette, and I've been looking forward to this trip (extravaganza? palooza?) since my first visit to Vegas as a very precocious seven year-old. Sorry, I’m not sorry.I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love Vegas. And I’m shamelessly committing to a fabulously tacky celebration of my impending nuptials. I have a suitcase full of sequin bikinis and ensembles purchased from a sassy website called Lulus.com. (I searched “trashy bachelorette outfits,” and it was the first site that popped up. Bless you, Google.) I have the smartest, prettiest, most loveable group of bffs...
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Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Shrimp

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Chinese food.I’ve never been to China (although I did have a rather alarming chicken feet meal in Chinatown once), so I’m really referring to Americanized Chinese fare here, which is typically loaded with MSG. In case you’re not familiar with monosodium glutamate, it’s a flavor-enhancing additive that is truly delicious but also makes you feel like absolute crap. As discussed at length in The Dude Diet, many peeps experience the following short-term symptoms after consuming a large quantity of MSG: headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, and weakness.Long story short: MSG gives you the meat sweats.For whatever reason, I’m particularly sensitive to MSG and typically end up in the fetal position after a white carton feast feeling rather sweaty/heartburn-y (TMI?). But what really gets...
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Greek Yogurt Curried Chicken Salad

I honestly never thought I’d type this sentence, but…I’ve been exercising a lot lately.This is shocking, mostly because I’ve never been that into exercise. I’m decently coordinated, so I was okay at sports as a kid, but I didn’t really commit to or become great at anything except karate. And that was only because I quit every other athletic activity up to that point, and when I tried to drop my sensei, my mother decided it was time she put her foot down and refuse to let me be a “quitter.” Sooooo, I was the karate kid. (If you’re not picturing a 12-year-old Serena with a Winona pixie cut and braces screaming KIAI!!!! in a white suit…now you are. You’re welcome.)I was on the tennis team in high school, but during the other two seasons, I selected the least challenging options...
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Casual Friday: Frozen Basil Bellinis

Happiest of Casual Fridays, party people!! You know the drill—first we talk festive summer drinks, then we waste time on the Internets. Let’s have some fun, shall we?I’m extremely excited about today’s fancypants c-tail offering: Frozen Basil Bellinis. Like the majority of human women, I very much enjoy fruity frozen drinks during the sweatier months, but I’m not a fan of the crazy amount of refined sugar (and additives) hiding in most restaurant versions and store-bought mixes. So, in an effort to avoid the express train to Hangover/Bloat City, I often play frozen mixologist with my favorite booze, real fruit, and the occasional soft herb. Last year’s go-to was the Frozen Rosé Sangria from The Dude Diet, but this summer I’m all about the frozen champagne cocktails, and this basil Bellini is my favorite to date.This refreshing twist...
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10 No-Cook Recipes to Beat the Heat

There was a crazy heat wave in good old NYC last week, and I almost died.Am I being melodramatic? Obviously. But it was truly, madly, deeply terrible, and despite my best efforts to remain indoors—where it’s acceptable to practice air-conditioned nudism—I was forced to brave the "hot soup" several times for both professional and social purposes. (Cue teeny-tiny violins.)These 98-degree field trips reminded me that a few things that are unforgivable in extreme summer heat:Wearing jeans (I saw several New Yorkers on the street in jeans last week, and I was legitimately concerned for their mental health) or light colored silk garments (think about it). Walking faster than 3mph. It’s not safe. Drinking anything without ice. Holding hands. (This is actually my roommate’s rule that I re-learn the hard way every summer.) Turning on the oven.The latter is actually my...
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Easy Lamb Kofta (and a Giveaway!!!)

Huge thank you to Artisan Books, who partnered with me to bring you this badass giveaway! Truth: I don’t miss culinary school all that often.Just to state the obvious, I owe my career and possibly my relationship (would I have met my roommate if I hadn’t become a sassy Parisian??) to Le Cordon Bleu, so I’m all kinds of grateful for the experience/it will always hold a special place in my heart. But would I want to do that shiz all over again?NAH BRAH.I hate to burst anyone’s bubble here, but it’s hard to stop myself from laughing when people say it’s their dream to go to Le Cordon Bleu Paris one day “just for fun.” And that’s because I know they’re likely imagining it like I did before I arrived—days spent roasting chickens, drinking wine, and chopping onions à...
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