Good Ju Ju

Ju Ju means energy; the experience of positive and negative forces all around us that charge our lives and shape each unique day on this planet. You know Ju Ju. It’s that thing when you enter a space and get that “off” feeling in your gut telling you it’s time to leave, it’s the woman who smiled at you when you were crossing the street yesterday, the long, warm embrace of your loved ones, the sensation of sand between your toes walking on the shore. It’s the powerful stuff that we pick up on everywhere when we let our intuition take the reigns.

We can give it, receive it, create it, share it, leave it behind, pass it on; you can even give Ju Ju a good kneading like homemade yeast bread. We need good Ju Ju. We need bad Ju Ju too though. The polar forces help guide our decisions, steer our relationships, and challenge us to think about life in new, interesting ways. It’s a balancing act; I think the potential for both kinds of ju ju live in us at once and can be used to direct people when we least expect it. Some people call it vibe, at yoga you’ve probably heard it referred to as Prana… but whatever name you give it, you know that it’s some powerful stuff.

Despite the fact that each day I generally rise to the blessings of good health, supportive relationships, and an intentional purpose; my Ju Ju reserves can still get a little low from time to time. Life gets messy, our heads get fuzzy, and the spark within us can grow dim. When I need good Ju Ju, I call my Mom. She shares her wisdom and light and helps re-ignite my own to honor and pass on to others.

This week my Mom was flanked with a host of givers. I received more good Ju Ju than I knew how to process all at once. Surprise coverage from The Kitchn, Food52, FoodieCrush Magazine, Food In Jars, an interview feature with Kaileen Elise, and the positive affirmations from readers and friends have been a needed nudge. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your energy with me this week. If I could bottle it, seal it with wax, and send it right back to each of you ten-fold I would.

Too often we disregard the profound impact that our simple words, actions, and intentions can have on the world and one another. Don’t. Seriously. We carry each other; everyday we take turns by sharing our Ju Ju. Give it away and watch it grow.

 Chickpea Fritters with Tomato Jam 

Slightly adapted from Whole Food by Jude Blearau

Tomato Jam 

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crushed ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped and most of the seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over gentle heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar and cinnamon sticks and cook until reduced by half. Add tomatoes, sugar, cumin, and cloves. Cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes over gentle heat. Remove lid, increase heat, and stir for 5-8 minutes to thicken. Reduce heat again and let simmer until thick.


Chickpea Fritters 
  • 1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • olive oil, for frying
Pour soaked chickpeas into a strainer, rinse and drain. Put soaked chickpeas in a food processor with minced garlic. Pulse for about a minute. Add the spices and pulse for another minute until finely ground, then place in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped onion, herbs, and flour and eggs and use your hands to combine. Form the mixture into small patties about 1/2″ thick. I started out thinking these would be chickpea burgers, but with half a loaf of bread on hand and no intention of running to the store, these became open faced sandwiches. Oops.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom well. Place patties in the pan and cook over medium heat (with a gentle sizzle) for 5-7 minutes on each side. Jude warns “don’t rush the process, the insides take a while to cook.” Serve with grilled olive oil bread and tomato jam.
  1. Kaileen Elise

    Congrats on all the Happyolks coverage! You both deserve it. The site is mouthwateringly beautiful and the sentiment you share is filled with magic. Thanks for sharing a piece of your story on my blog. It was such a treat to feature you… here’s to more good juju! xo


  2. Dave

    Thanks for yet another sumptuous recipe… And thanks even more for the delicious words and sentiment. I’m glad the “law of conservation of JuJu” is still in effect. You have been giving us, your readers, ten-fold. You lift me up! And now I’m off to share the love.


  3. la domestique

    What a fantastic recipe! I love the flavors of August- concentrated with tomatoes and herbs. Congrats your big week. I totally believe in the power of good ju ju.


  4. sara

    all well deserved attention! love this post and I simply adore your writing. Keep it up, it is a pleasure to join you in this space!


  5. Melissa

    Congrats on all the attention! Your blog is great and you deserve the good juju :)


  6. Laken

    Here’s to more good ju ju and more recognition to those who truly deserve it.

    This is one of my favorite places on the internet and I’m glad that the rest of the world is getting in on it :)


  7. Maddie

    You deserve all the good juju that’s coming your way, my dear. Savor it!


  8. Pure2raw twins

    wow chickpea fritters look amazing – I want one now!!! and congrats on all the recognition!!! yay!


  9. Happyolks. » Boyte Creative (the blog)

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  10. Fresh and Foodie

    Congrats on all your positive ju ju! You do great work and all the praise is well deserved.

    I totally want to try this tomato jam — it looks absolutely fantastic.


  11. Maria @ A Platter of Figs

    Your recipes and your posts are so lovely that good Ju ju is well deserved. Congratulation!


  12. Dave

    Had the tomato jam last night…and LOVE it!!!


  13. Casey (The Hippie Health Nut)

    Beautiful post and beautiful food. :)


  14. Andi Teggart

    Kelsey – those chickpea frittatas look A-MAZING. I am going to have to try the recipe this weekend Yummmm! More importantly than your stunning photography and recipes, I appreciate your optimism and energy for life in every post. Thank you for YOU and your blog. Look forward to reading more! xoxo -Andi


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  16. the good soup

    Gorgeous words, photos, recipes. I love the way you told the recipe with your images and shared the juju through your words. Good juju drips from those tomatoes too. Actually, good juju washes out to touch my fingers whenever I visit your blog.


  17. Karen from Globetrotter Diaries

    wow what a wonderful post and a joy to read, paying the good ju ju forward :) Congratulations on the coverage– much deserved! and as always gorgeous and delicious photos


  18. Cookie and Kate

    I’m so glad your blog is getting the attention it deserves. Good Ju Ju abounds!


  19. Lindsay @ Rosemarried

    I love everything about this post. The recipe(s), the writing, the photos, the attitude. Everyone could use a little good Ju Ju. Thank you so much for sharing.


  20. Beth

    Your writing always stirs me deep down in my soul, little one! Tears of joy when I read the part about your mom… seems not so very long ago we were impatiently awaiting the arrival of your beautiful soul. You are more amazing than words can say and you are always an inspiration to me. I’m so proud of you. I love you to pieces! xoxoxo


  21. Marte Marie Forsberg

    I think you just made my day. This is exactly what I needed to hear;)


  22. ines

    looks yummy


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  24. Sheila

    Great post!! Glad your getting the coverage. Love reading your blog


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