Make This Now

I’m back!  If anything, this series is making me really aware of how many good things we cook.  When you’re doing the post-work marathon of going to the gym, cooking dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up dinner and fitting in Season 5 of GoT before Season 6 starts (we made it, phew!), you don’t exactly have time to breathe to really appreciate how good what you cooked for dinner (hopefully) is.  Even if it’s just the same vegan mac and cheese you’ve made like 100x, take a minute to appreciate how glorious it is!

Garlic Mac n Cheese


I forgot how good this recipe was until Joey suggested we make it this week, but it is really really good.  And if you like saucy mac and cheese, this one is for you!

I was admittedly and wholeheartedly obsessed with this recipe last summer.  Like made it once a week and was embarrassed to admit to Joey that I had put it on our meal plan AGAIN obsessed.  Good thing he was totally okay with it because it’s LOADED with his favorite ingredient: nutritional yeast.  Yeah, we’ve been over this.  If you roast the garlic ahead of time, this meal takes all of 20 minutes to make.  And look, I know VEGAN mac and CHEESE is an oxymoron, but vegan or not, I would (and maybe have…) spoon this sauce directly into my mouth because it is so flavorful and cheese-like.  I mean Grandma’s mac and cheese is still #1, but this comes right after.

Simple Flaky Crab Cakes


Colorado isn’t exactly known for its seafood, but turns out, if you get good crab from Slidell, Louisiana (I got it at Whole Foods, but my aunt lives there!), you can make the most incredible crab cakes.

Okay, even though we ate these during Game of Thrones and I should have been completely distracted and not even realized I was eating, these were too good to ever ignore.  There was very little “filler” ingredients so these mostly tasted like crab, which IMHO, is EXACTLY what crab cakes should taste like! That herby sauce on top was the perfect compliment, but let’s be real, the actual crab cakes were the star of the show.  I can’t take any cooking credit on these, but Joey made it seem effortless and food cooked by other people always tastes the best.

One-Bowl Banana Nut Bread


Joey asked me to make banana bread a few months back and look, there’s like a million different banana bread recipes on the internet but this vegan version was the PERFECT combo of sweet banana, bold vanilla flavor and occasional bites of walnut.

I am so bad at freezer food.  So so bad.  I know the freezer is a great place to store food for when you just don’t feel like cooking and can pull out a container of red beans and rice and that sounds so great, IN THEORY, but in reality, defrosting something for dinner never sounds exciting to me.  Because my dinner life is either A) cooking something fresh or B) going out to eat.  Ain’t nothing in between (except the occasional pizza delivery).  But, the exception to this rule is frozen baked goods.  This is where chocolate chips cookies, the best sandwich rolls and banana bread muffins live.  They love it in there!  This particular banana bread freezes BEAUTIFULLY and I’ve been pulling out a few at a time to defrost in the fridge and be devoured as snacks.

Pro Tip: smother in peanut butter and reach a new level of snack nirvana.

Happy Eating and Weekend-ing to you all!  I’m super excited because I’m headed to New Orleans!!!  My mom is already there and Joey and I haven’t been there together since October 2013, so my heart is probably going to explode from happiness.  New Orleans is a place to say yes to everything and I plan on doing just that!

Book Review: Station Eleven

Our monthly book club met last night and I finished this book on my lunch break because I enjoy procrastination.  I don’t think I’ve ever cut it that close, but it wasn’t for lack of enjoyment as much as it’s because I’ve been watching too much TV lately.  But I finished and then I vowed to cut back on TV this summer.  More reading on the front porch to come!

Station Eleven

A quick aside: this author’s name is Emily St. John Mandel?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen St. in a name before — is that a thing??

Anyway.  The basic premise of this book is that 99% of the population has been wiped about by the Georgia Flu and all that’s left are small communities of people that weren’t infected and are now surviving in a world that has devolved to a very primitive state.  The main character (or is she??) is a girl named Kirsten, who’s part of a traveling symphony that performs music and Shakespeare for the surviving communities.  There’s also a dangerous prophet in their midst.  And all the characters are connected by a character who (SPOILER) dies in the opening pages.

I’ll be honest, I hit 70% on this book and was worried because it didn’t seem we were near a climax, let alone any sort of conclusion, but things actually wrapped up pretty well and I ended up really enjoying this one.  Actually, I kind of wanted more of it!  Post-pandemic novels are so interesting because the author can take the plot in SO MANY directions and there are SO MANY things to consider but I thought Mandel did a fairly good job keeping it both focused and thought-provoking.

There were characters I wish had gotten more attention, but for the most part, everyone was well developed and realistically portrayed.  I’m always so blown away by the discussion at book club and last night’s meeting was no exception.  We talked a lot about human nature and the way different aspects of it were depicted by the characters.  Breaking News: human nature isn’t always pretty.  Another huge topic of conversation was what it would be like living without all the luxuries we’ve come to expect in life.  A world without iPhones?? Noooooo!

I could keep going because there was just so many layers to this book, but I’ll just let those thoughts roll around in my own head and let you read it for yourself 🙂

What are you reading right now?

Do you like post-apocalyptic/sci-fi lit?

Could you survive in a world without technology?