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I was at my friend AB’s apartment last week. I’d texted her from France that I had a bottle of rosé with her name on it, so Thursday I went over toting wine and a slew of other goodies to make dinner. A big salad, a hunk of cheese, a delicate pile of proscuitto. It doesn’t get much better. OH WAIT, except it does, because I’d also brought the final bit of a batch of ramp pesto I’d made the weekend prior. Oh MY god. Of all that is good on this earth. There are no words for ramp pesto.

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Anyway….post summery feast, glasses in hand, we moved into her bedroom. It was time for a good ol’ wardrobe review. Keep? Toss? It didn’t matter the outcome, it just felt so wonderful to be sprawled on a dear friend’s bed, engaging in deep conversation around the longevity of loud silk prints and whether she’d really (like really) ever wear that dress again. AB and I only met through work a few years ago and yet she’s become like a sister to me. Case and point: the closet review. You don’t invite just anyone to do that with you. And she really sealed the deal when she sent me home with a bunch of luxe goodies. Definitely sisterly territory.

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AB is one of five incredible women I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with post-college. Most began with a, “We should get dinner or drinks…you know, outside of work!” Get togethers separate from work set the stage for long, raw, often wine-fueled conversations. Those get togethers grew to heartfelt check in texts sent on the regular, and emails filled with things like “You need to read this!” or “Let’s go here!” or “We NEED to buy this” and then some. I love these girls with all of my heart. They are my New York family. In a city that can feel so incredibly lonely at times, despite the number of people, it helps to know I’ve got these little anchors planted up and down Manhattan, all over Brooklyn, and even into Queens.

Loneliness can hit me like a freight train. Actually, it seems to only hit like a freight train these days. I’ll be blissfully enjoying a Saturday morning at home, the remote all to myself, and then wham. My heart sinks, the fear of not finding a partner creeps in, and my head is swimming. The best way to pull myself out of this hole (in addition to picking myself up and getting moving), is texting one of these gals. Seconds later my phone will ping and that sinking heart is all warmed up again.

So about this coffee creamer. The original recipe was sent to me by one of these dear friends. She’s not a New York based anchor – we’ve got several states in between us. But she’s one of the best heart warmers I’ve got. I don’t keep paleo by any means, but this creamer is an absolute dream. Candidly I like to fill my coffee with a bit of milk and then top it with this cream, but you could do the same with any nut milk. And then enjoy it with a really, really good friend. xx Clara

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Vanilla Bean Paleo Coffee Creamer adapted from offbeat + inspired

Yields about 6 servings

  • 1 (14 oz.) can of full fat coconut milk
  • the seeds and pods of 2 vanilla beans
  • 3 teaspoons honey

Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla seeds and pods. Cover and steep for 1 hour.

Strain the vanilla-infused coconut milk into a food processor or blender (making sure that the bean pods are removed) and add the honey. Process until smooth. Serve immediately or store in fridge.

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  1. Laura

    That creamer sounds dreamy. Marriage changed my friendships. I eloped after 3 dates! It did not sit well with them and they would not share in my happiness. We have been married 15 years now while all my former girlfriends are divorced.

  2. I so get what you mean here, Clara. I’ve got friends that I’m sure are soulmates. I think I’d choose them over just about anyone. They get me through it. I’ve really been enjoying your personal posts lately. Sometimes, blogs can get annoying with all the beauty and perfection and whatnot. It’s nice to know that everybody goes through tough times. Lord knows I have!

    • Clara

      Hi Liza! I’m so glad, that means so much. I really enjoy writing them and am just so touched when it has a positive impact on my readers. We’re all in it together! xoxo Clara

  3. Allison

    Clara! My heart, my urban soul sister…you continue to be such a light in my life and I’ll be forever thankful our work brought us together. What wonderful words to read – as always – and what a perfect evening (one in a long string of many) was had. Big love to you. Always, AB

  4. Joel Ann

    Clara (and friends!) The creamer sounds amazing, and I really enjoy your blog. Thank you!
    As for girlfriends – as an “older” woman, I can’t tell you how important it is to keep those closer girlfriends close, be there for each other and no matter where you end up throughout your life, make the effort to hold on tight to those 4-5 friends. It gets crazy with work, spouse, kids and all the responsibilities, but those short “soul vacations” you get from conversations with each other can keep you YOU.

  5. Deanna

    Clara, As beautiful as a read this was, you left my mouth watering for this ramp pesto recipe. If it has your ultimate seal of approval, it’s got to be good. Would you mind sharing it? For the last two years, I’ve experimented with different recipes to make the most of the much hyped ramps. This spring’s effort – a Mario Batali spaghetti dish – was an absolute waste. I’d love to keep your pesto recipe for next year.

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