What Works Today May Not Work Tomorrow

 

How are you? Right now I’m fine. But I need a more robust emotional/mental tool belt these days. Being compassionate with ourselves–all cooped up and stressed out and un-showered and less-groomed and parenting all-the-damn-time and cooking three-meals-a-day–is pretty darn important. The most useful tool frankly is remembering that the feelings–however intense and hard–will pass.

 

I’ve had more moments of not wanting to cook and being irritated at the mundane effort it all takes, the weight of the widespread trauma and suffering in the world, or just the exhaustion of daily technical challenges that suck my soul dry. So I’m digging a little deeper, by paying attention when I do something that makes me feel better. . . sometimes the usual walk around the block, a few deep breaths, or a handful of chocolate chips does the trick. Sometimes facing the fear or frustration head-on, like diving into yet another tutorial on Zoom webinars, actually restores some sense of peace. I don’t want to be afraid of any of it, of the new systems I have to learn and I don’t want to expect to get it right all the time. Some days Zoom feels like a gift, some days like overcooked four-day-old Brussels Sprouts!

 

One thing I have loved is recording more videos for you all–quick 30 second Tuesday Tips evolved into far more frequent ones when self-isolation first started. Longer how-to videos on everything from the best pie dough technique to quick lunches  to spiced cauliflower steaks and my beloved Kaiserschmarren.

 

 

 

Most of these videos have been posted on Instagram but they are now all collected on a Vimeo channel. If you need a little entertainment or inspiration or distraction check it out and subscribe so you’ll see the new ones as they post. Maybe something will make you a laugh or give you an idea for dinner or make you feel a little less alone.

 

Love to you all!

 

 

No More Clumping Cheese: The Carbonara Principle for Mac ‘n Cheese

Do you need to make a quick lunch/dinner for kids or anyone? Still in the clothes you slept in? Back/neck aching from sitting in the most un-ergonomically sound position with your laptop? Stomach growling loud enough you think you have to  mute yourself on Zoom?

 

This isn’t a saucy mac and cheese but delicious and faster than homemade mac and cheese and basically as fast as boxed. You apply the pasta carbonara principle to create a light creamy sauce that smoothly incorporates the cheese using no cream or milk at all (neither of which I have at the moment).

 

In this version I used:

 

one egg and one leftover egg white (because my husband’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 1 egg and 1 egg yolk) but you should use 2 whole eggs if you have them

about 2/3 – 1 cup grated cheese (mostly Parm, a little sharp cheddar)

lots of freshly ground black pepper

large clove of minced garlic

some fresh herbs

1 lb pasta

 

You whisk everything but the pasta together in a bowl. Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted water. Scoop out about 1/3 -2/3 cup cooking water just before you drain pasta.  Put the pasta back in the pot. Add the egg mixture to the pasta along with 1/3 cup (to start) of the hot cooking water and stir like mad for a few seconds. Add more cooking water if too thick. If thin seeming put back on a low burner for a few seconds and stir as the egg in the sauce thickens a bit.

 

Et Voila! No clumping cheese, silky sauce, happy tummy!

 

P.S. You could add a glug of olive oil or some butter for even more luscious results.