SMALL OFFERINGS OF BALI: CANANG SARI

If you've spent anytime in Bali, you've seen the small floral altars at the base of every entryway -- from surf shops to 5-star hotels, and tiny cafes to 9th century temples (see above photo), they're as ubiquitous as they are beautiful. Everyday while traveling there, I looked forward to seeing these offerings known as canang sari, noting the slight variations in materials and little differences in style.

BALI TRAVEL GUIDE PART 2

We spent a few days exploring and hanging out in Ubud, the former royal city of the island and still the cultural hub. There were markets galore, with beautiful local produce, flowers and temple gear to festoon the home shrine or bring to festivals. It was an enchanting city, if you can get past the many tourists and just get off the beaten path.

BALI TRAVEL GUIDE PART 1

With the smell of plumeria around every corner, tinkling xylophones, relaxed hospitality, delicious tropical food, a unique mish mash of Hinduism and a deep appreciation for nature, what's not to love? We deeply enjoyed our visit to Bali a few months ago, it was the honeymoon respite we had actually never been on.

EASY BLACK OUT SHEET CAKE WITH SPRINKLES

There's nothing on this earth that makes me feel more connected to my Brooklyn Grandma Ruthy than sitting down after a long day with a cup of coffee and a slice of chocolate cake. She didn't really discriminate -- any type was alright with her, from the Entenmanns on sale at Key Foods to the corner deli to the fancy versions my Dad sometimes procured in the city -- the only crucial detail was its presence. You couldn't turn in without a little coffee and cake (ok maybe another game of Gin rummy), it just wouldn't be right.

BLUEBERRY COCONUT CASHEW SMOOTHIES

The sun is showing its sweet self earlier and earlier in the morning and I couldn't be happier to greet the day. With warmer temperatures outside, I like to turn to cooler breakfasts. This blueberry coconut cashew smoothie is substantial enough to keep you going until lunch time and makes a refreshing afternoon treat. It's non-dairy and very simple to whizz up in the blender (or if you're in a pinch, a food processor will do the job just fine).