Design

Four Things

The New Yorker asked five of the coolest television writers to pitch their left-field idea for a new series. Here’s Issa Rae, creator of the brilliant Insecure.

Are Avocados Good or Bad in Salad?

Writer Kelly Conaboy says avocados are bad in salad. Agree or disagree? Discuss.

Anya Holdstock

The other day, I met up with a friend, and she was glowing. She told me her secret was the Glossier illuminator (it totally melts into your skin) and placing it just so: on your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow.

Five Fun Things

Are you following any cool Instagram feeds these days? I’m digging Brazilian street artist Alex Senna, who creates black-and-white murals of everyday people on city buildings and walls. “I do get scared,” he told us, when we asked him about climbing high up to paint. But it’s worth it: “I’m always getting inspired by friends and family.”


How to Help After Hurricane Harvey

Finally, on a more serious note, here are a few local organizations helping with urgent supplies and meals for those affected by the hurricane, if you’d like to donate: the Texas Diaper Bank, the Houston Food Bank and the Corpus Christi Food Bank. We’ve made donations from Cup of Jo, and we’d love to know other organizations you’d recommend. Sending love and strength to anyone who needs it.

P.S. How to make a magazine cover.

(Avocado photo by Bon Appetit. Illuminator photo by Anya Holdstock/Instagram. Harvey rescue photo from the Texas National Guard.)

  1. Kim says...

    I love how people are worked up about avocados on salads. On many sides. Many sides.

  2. Munda says...

    I read ur blog all the time and was reading it this evening and u have a picture of my niece (the young lady with the towel (head wrap)on your post…… Thank you!!!

    • Kim says...

      She is beautiful!

  3. Amanda says...

    Hi Joanna & fellow readers-I am a HS principal here in Houston at a KIPP school. We have a fund to provide financial support, necessities and food for students & their families. 100% of proceeds go to the kids. If you’d like to take a look it’s at: kipphouston.org/donate. Thank you!

  4. AMG says...

    @corgisinfood has me rolling these days!

  5. June says...

    As someone who prefers salads without leafy greens (I feel like I’m always eating around the lettuce to get to the good stuff), I am team avocado 100%.

    • Wb says...

      Yep, it’s lovely to have a bit of the good fat to eat with all that fiberous indigestible material. Way better for the gut.

  6. Cassie says...

    V curious about the URL… need this Obama book…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha yes! we forgot to change the URL at the last minute. we were almost going to write about this new photo book by pete souza but decided to wait until closer to the november release date (the book looks amazing!) http://amzn.to/2gmnqxL

  7. Dena says...

    I hardly ever make salad without an avocado. The trick is to get a semi-solid one that’s not fully ripe. And as a Houstonian who survived Harvey, thank you for thinking of us!

  8. Joanna says...

    Thank you for your subtle, increased inclusion of non-white women on posts such as this. It’s not going unnoticed.

    • caroline says...

      Agreed!

    • Katrina says...

      This is my first time visiting Cup of Jo and I noticed and appreciated the diversity as well. Nicely done!

  9. Avocados belong in salad!

    On another note, I want to plug a group helping with the relief effort in Houston – Undies for Everyone. They provide underwear to low income students but are asking for donations of new underwear in all sizes. People who are displaced from natural disasters receive used clothing but never underwear, for obvious reasons. Having clean underwear provides a sense of dignity, not to mention better hygiene. I am in no way affiliated with this group, I just really like their cause.

    • Kara says...

      Thank you for telling us about this! I just donated what I could. I gave to the Texas Diaper Bank yesterday, so I guess all my philanthropic focus is on butts this week. #DrybuttsforHouston

  10. I haven’t bought avocados in a couple of weeks because they aren’t on sale, and my salad feels so sad and lonely… it’s just not the same.

  11. What if it’s an *avocado* salad? Those are delicious.

    And have you heard of @vogehousewindow on Instagram? Truly hilarious. People are too much sometimes. :D

  12. Haylie says...

    Kelly Conaboy is probably very nice, but this article is 1,000% insane. Avocado is the perfect ingredient in salads (especially kale). You have to stop thinking about it as, like, a crouton and start thinking about it as integral to the dressing: the smush is the *point* I’m willing to stake my reputation on this.

  13. Hannah says...

    I just had my lunch salad WITH avocado and it was DELICIOUS! So creamy and adds a good amount of healthy fat. I cannot believe people are against this!

  14. Caley says...

    Do you know which shade of the Glossier highlighter your friend recommends? I can never decide between the three!

    • Julie D says...

      I would say Quartz is the most neutral and natural looking shade, I love it! But Topaz is also fun and dramatic.

    • Lisa says...

      I have quartz and topaz, but I use the topaz more — it gives you a glowy warm look.

  15. Tiffany Troutman says...

    I don’t think I can be more obsessed with a person than I am with Issa Rae. I love her.

    • Kaitlin says...

      AGREED. She is a boss queen and I love Insecure.

  16. Natalia says...

    I agree, avocado in a salad is not good. it gets lost in all the leaves and other veggies and you don really get to appreciate its goodness! they are better off alone e.g with a little onion, vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil <3 or even just a little salt.

  17. Katie says...

    Was devastated to find that my favorite local natural highlighter is no longer being produced…so I just ordered my first Glossier product! Thanks for the timely suggestion!

  18. Kristen says...

    My great friend Kelly, who lives in Houston, has been out in Houston volunteering, and saw a need for donations of women’s hygiene products. These products seem to be something people don’t think of when donating, but they are desperately needed! Here is the link to the fundraiser she started, if anyone is interested in helping the ladies.

    https://www.facebook.com/donate/1686638741367233/

  19. Thanks for sharing the TX links. <3

  20. Marjorie Kelly says...

    A salad is not complete without an avocado … I didn’t know what I was missing until I added a few slices. Having said that I do have to admit that the avocado slices or chunks are the last ingredient to go in the salad before it hits the table. And … the avocado has to be the perfect ripe texture, or the experience is not quite that great.

  21. Samantha says...

    I personally prefer guacamole on salad, because then it also serves as the dressing. but AVOCADO ON EVERYTHING ALWAYS ALL THE TIME.
    the end.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  22. selby says...

    i just want to say how much i love your “fun things” posts. i get so excited when i see them (almost as excited as your friday “have a good weekend” posts). i feel like the content is so great it just brightens my day.

  23. Erin says...

    I love this blog and know that you guys would never intentionally offend anyone and, living in Houston, I certainly appreciate any way we can get help for those of us in need here in Texas but it seems insensitive to include us under the title “Five Fun Thing”.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry, that was an editing error! we actually talked a lot about this in the office yesterday — it was supposed to be four fun things, and the houston note was a fifth very serious note at the end. just corrected it now.

  24. Ali says...

    Avocado in a salad? Of course! Try quinoa, char grilled red onion and courgette, avocado, baby spinach leaves and some cilantro and mint tossed in an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing sweetened with a little pomegranate molasses or brown sugar. Serve with a slow roasted cumin crusted lamb shoulder – divine!

    • Carol says...

      Wow that sounds great!

    • Taylor says...

      It’s past midnight, I’m at work and my mouth is watering! That sounds delightful.

  25. Heidi says...

    Voting yes for avocados in salad. I think the mush factor is what makes them great… I like it when they get kind of get mushed up and coat the leaves- they become the dressing!

  26. Always love the links you send our way! Never heard of Glossier’s Illuminator but that portrait is GORGEOUS. Also, I love avocado in my salad and basically everywhere in my life. :)
    Have a good rest of the week!

    Joanne

  27. K says...

    In my house, avocados get to be two things:
    1) a baby’s first food
    2) guacamole

    I agree, no to salads!

  28. I love Petites Luxures on Instagram. They’re NSFW, but beautiful, romantic and sexy line drawings.

  29. Lisa says...

    I became obsessed with illuminator after reading this man repeller article http://www.manrepeller.com/2017/08/highlighter-makeup.html
    I don’t know if I have the same results (also – I’m not in my 20s like the author is, and no professionals were involved in the application of the make up) but I hope that one day I’ll achieve it. I think I got close this morning (my husband said I looked “glowy”) but I think that’s because I put too much sunscreen and it hadn’t all sunk in yet. Oh well

  30. laura says...

    funny thing is, where i come from avocado is seen as what it is – a fruit – and even though the taste is quite neutral it’s often eaten with sugar and a spoon. or used in smoothie, with milk, sugar or honey (rich, creamy and superb). i’ve struggled with the idea of avos on salads but now i’m ok with it. it’s quite great on poké bowls. i still can bring myself to eat it with salt sprinkled on top though.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so interesting, laura! where are you from? i’d love to try one with sugar.

    • Sabrina says...

      Funny that’s the way my Filipino friends in Hawaii eat it…avocado sprinkled of sugar and whole milk, almost like a smoothie…

  31. I like avacados in salad. though I have to admit sometimes they get yucky. Only best if you are going to eat the salad right away.

  32. No no no, wrong. Perfectly ripe avocados in salads are amazing.

    Avocado for president!

  33. I made a donation to the spca of TX, there are so many displaced animals. I heard when the boats came to rescue people, there wasn’t enough space for their pets. :( Horrifying!

  34. Jessica says...

    Joanna – the picture of the salad that you put in this post – where is it from? It looks absolutely delish and I’d love to make it!

  35. I’m really excited to get my hands on the Glossier highlighters. I’ve read a few fair skinned bloggers like myself rave about it and it’s difficult to find products appropriate for my skin tone so I feel like I NEED to try it! ;)

    Nicolette

  36. I just watched Brene Brown’s instagram plea. She’s involved in Undies For Everyone. TX needs clean, new underwear for people of all ages and sizes. It is about dignity as well as health. Let’s send feminine hygiene products, too, while we’re at it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, this is such smart advice. thank you.

  37. Jess says...

    I’m here to say that Issa Rae is A GODDESS. If you’re not watching ‘Insecure’, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. It’s the greatest thing to happen to tv in the past 10 years. WATCH IT.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      AGREED.

  38. Avigail says...

    Saying no to avocado on salad is heresy. I won’t hear this!! It’s not even wet as they describe! Or smushy! Heresy! It’s creamy and soft! I say the opposite, it’s not a salad without an avocado! I will buy 2 for $5 when they’re out of season knowing all I can salvage is 1 or 2 cubes of semi green goodness when the rest is black and spoiled JUST BECAUSE my salad must have avocado. I even venture to say I waste hundreds of dollars a year doing this! Avocado must must must must have salad.

    I could
    Stop… now but I can’t. Avocado pairs well with the crunch of croutons or nuts, it tastes awesome with creamy dressing or bacon or BBQ chicken. It even works with those salads with fruit (okay those are awful but I will eat them just to eat the avocado). And personally this article was offensive because the writer had the audacity to say it’s good on TOAST. Of course it is, it’s an avocado! It’s good on everything but seriously sir/ma’am/alien….. you’re okay with avocado toast but not avocado as a salad ingredient…? Shame on you.

    • Avigail says...

      Lol salad must have avocado… gosh in my crazy avocado rampage I got all wild with my comments.

    • Celeste says...

      It’s so creamy it’s a great replacement for dress ing! I think feta cheese on a salad is the worst :)

    • Alyssa Max says...

      this may be the best internet comment i’ve ever read. i applaud you.

    • Ali says...

      I agree! no contest – avocado in salad is the only way….. :-)

    • Anne says...

      Hear Hear! Agreed on all of that! AVOCADO IS GOOD ON EVERYTHING!!!

  39. Also! Lots of dogs are displaced by Harvey. Most of the adoptable dogs in the Texas area have been moved to other shelters, even on both coasts, to clear space for the evacuated dogs. If you’ve been on the fence about adopting a shelter dog, now is the perfect time to do it.

    • Dawn says...

      Yes! Even just fostering or donating food & supplies is helpful to local shelter or nonprofit rescues. I’m in Dallas and cats & dogs are on way.

    • Jess says...

      Today I donated to Best Friends Animal Society. They have a fund specifically for disaster relief and they’re currently coordinating the rescue of animals. Their website also has a long list of affiliated, credible animal rescue organizations that require donations to assist with animal rescue in Texas. I urge everyone to make a donation!!!

  40. tracey says...

    I totally thought Kelly’s take on avocados was one of the left field idea pitches. It isn’t but it should be. It is so left field and completely incorrect.

    Pitch failed.

  41. Jeannie says...

    I want to like the Glossier products and highlighter, but they use plastics in their make up womp womp! Check out their ingredients list. A great very similar alternative is RMS Beauty’s highlighters (comes in a few shades).

    • I love the RMS one and highly recommend it. Sephora now carries it if you can wait for the Thanksgiving sales.

    • JLT says...

      Hi Jeannie,
      Can you tell me more? Which are the plastics ingredients?

  42. Rae says...

    I’m going out on a lonely limb here; I don’t like avocados. At all.

    LEAST of all in a salad where they taint all the other ingredients. They’re smushy and I don’t like it.

    Don’t tell me you make the best guac, or avocado whatever. I’ve tried enough avocado which-ever-ways to know I’m not going to like yours.

    While I’m out here, I’ll also admit to not liking mayo. It’s just a weird, cold texture that ruins everything.

    • Em says...

      Is this a texture or a taste thing? My mom hates avocado not because she thinks they taste bad, but because she says it feels like chewing on a stick of butter.

    • Rae says...

      @Em – I think it’s the waxy feeling it leaves in my mouth. I love butter! And I’ve got nothing against bananas. Also, avocado has a very nondescript flavour. It’s really just a mushy/ waxy vehicle for other flavours.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m (currently) with you. I have completely gone off avocado in pregnancy, after eating it daily. Even the slightest hint makes me gag. And yes – in salads they get EVERYWHERE

  43. Jen says...

    Wow that street art! Something is very moving to me about it. Just the focus on regular people I think.

  44. dana says...

    Just a reminder that all of the animal shelters in Houston are struggling too. Organizations like Houston Pets Alive are local and are doing good work helping furry family members that are loved and in trouble. http://www.houstonpetsalive.org/

  45. For instagram feeds….is it totally uncool to plug my own? I’m an artist and am currently doing an artist residency at Bryant Park. @ramblingsketcher, if you’re interested! (I blog a bit at ramblingsketcher.com)

    Also, @frncscricart for awesome sketches of people on the metro, @caycezavagliastudio for textile art, @sixstreetunder for photography.

  46. Hillary F. says...

    Issa Rae, Glossier Haloscope and Avocado are three of the best reasons to keep going in this crazy, crazy world.

    • This comment. Yes. I want to be Issa Rae. Also! Avocado is important for salads! If mixed right, with a little salt and pepper, it creates its own “dressing” for the salad. You don’t even need to dress it. Scrumptious.

  47. Love avocado, but agree it’s not generally good in salads. Not really because of the mush factor, but because the weight of it is generally out of whack with the rest of the salad ingredients, e.g. lettuce.

    • KS says...

      Thanks for sharing kim! I’ve been stranded in NYC for a week and hoping to get back home to Houston today. I’ve been so inspired by everyone helping in any way they can & will be reaching out to these organizations to see what I can do. – ks x

  48. Mary says...

    Just donated to the diaper bank. Thank you, CoJ team xo

  49. This post exemplifies why I love Cup of Jo. It’s the perfect mix of humanity, humor and beauty tips! Thank you Joanna and team! Truly….it’s my favorite. xo

  50. Love Issa Rae.

    • Jen says...

      +1!

    • Sandra says...

      Me too…and I would SO watch the show she pitched!

  51. Kate says...

    My mom makes the most delicious salads using avocado. She makes her own vinaigrette and mashes some avocado into it to create a creamy, acidic, avocado dressing. Instead of the mush the writer complains of, you get delicious creamy dressing that coats every leaf. She only makes these salads on special occasions and they even compete with the other decadent dishes of thanksgiving and Christmas!

    • ALI says...

      Gurrrrrl now this I could get down with. I like avo (a lot) but agree it has no place in salads! That said…… as a dressing? I’m interested! Any chance you would share your Mom’s recipe? The thought of a salad competing with other Christmas dishes has me intrigued!

    • Jill says...

      GENIUS.

  52. Emily says...

    On behalf of everyone, I’d like to publicly and personally apologize to my friend, the avocado. With all the hate spewing in this world, I’d like to remind you you are loved. You are always welcome. Always invited. There will always be a place for you at the table, whether on toast or in a salad … or best of all, in my belly.

    • Sasha says...

      Emily :)
      I love you too avocado!

  53. Barbara says...

    If the avocados in your salad are “mush” then you have put an over-ripe avocado in your salad. Stop doing that. Mushy avocadoes are guacamole. Soft, tender, yielding avocadoes are perfectly ripe and delicious and belong in a salad. That is all.

    • Ally says...

      So wise! Agreed.

  54. Emily says...

    Yes!!! Avocados are my favorite part of salads!
    Thank you for the hurricane help links.

  55. Lily says...

    Thanks for mentioning Houston. This blog is so good at covering a mix of important things and fun stuff and life and all its ups and downs. I appreciate that.

  56. Rachel Simmons says...

    Avocado is never bad. Anywhere. Ever.

    • Carrie says...

      Agreed!

    • mimi says...

      My favorite!

  57. Johanna says...

    Avocados in salad are foul. Period. That is all.