Cooking Light

I can’t remember when my Mom first subscribed to Cooking Light, but her pile of ripped out recipe pages has been a fixture in our home for as long as I can remember.  When I received the news that the magazine was folding, my mind flashed back on so many small moments.  My mom sorting through her pile for dinner inspiration, me snapping a picture as I pulled the newest addition from the mailbox outside Joey and I’s first solo apartment, suggesting a subscription to my mother-in-law, many holiday meals based on recipes from the CL archive and far too many weeknight dinners that kept us fed both literally and creatively.  Would I be who I am without this magazine?

I’m not sure I can express how much this magazine has given me, from techniques, to tips, to recipes that I know I’ll cook for the rest of my life.  It has, of course, given me many flops.  Dinners that felt very cooking light and left me wanting twice as much sauce or seasoning as listed, but it has given me far more successes that kept me passionate about cooking and a believer in food that is both delicious and good for you.  As I flipped open the final issue, I felt a sadness so deep.  When I posted a picture of it on Instagram, I got responses from friends and family, whom I didn’t even know were subscribers, that let me know they were sad too.  This is a heartbreaking goodbye to a magazine that meant a lot to a lot of people.

I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes here, as a tribute and I hope, if you’re a Cooking Light enthusiast as well, you’ll share yours.  If we all keep cooking these recipes, Cooking Light won’t ever really be gone.

Simple Flaky Crab Cakes

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Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese and Walnut Cavatappi

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Beet Wellingtons

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Black Eyed Peas and Cornmeal Dumplings

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Butter-Roasted Carrots

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Fettuccine with Tomato-Cream Sauce

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Cranberry-Almond Broccoli Salad

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Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

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Grainy Mustard Brussels Sprouts

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Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp & Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

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Winter Salad with Roasted Beets & Citrus Reduction Dressing

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Salted Caramel Brownies

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Hasselback Apples

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Weekend Things

Hi and Happy Thanksgiving Week!  That’s a thing, right??  We’re a mere three days away from my favorite holiday of the year and I’m here to tell you this is the most relaxed I’ve felt about it in many many years.  I’m making all of two dishes (one for each gathering), I haven’t been obsessing over the timing of making those two dishes and until a few days ago when my mom texted me her menu, I hadn’t even wondered what she was making.  Who am I??  But for real, it feels good to loosen my grip on Thanksgiving.  It’ll all be fine.

But back to this weekend, which felt so relaxed, so without obligations and so perfect.

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I am one of the rare weirdos who doesn’t mind the time change.  The sun already being down when you get home from work just makes it feel so right to immediately change into your sweats, cook up a warm comforting meal and hunker down on the couch.  Plus, have you seen a November sunset??  STUNNING.  But what I HATE about the time change is that post-work dog walking has become increasingly difficult.  Even when I just speed walk Andi around the block, my anxiety is on high alert mode.  This is all to say, we left work a bit early, walked our pup while there was still light and this is much preferable.

Later on, we took ourselves to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? and while the story is really interesting and Melissa McCarthy totally pulls off a non-comedic role, I just found it semi-boring.  Still, settling into an old lumpy seat in an old lumpy theater next to my old lumpy husband surrounded by other people who love movies enough to leave their home and do the same, makes my heart so happy.  Also, I maybe snuck in my own bag of popcorn 😛

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Saturday we woke up early but got out of bed leisurely — Joey was reading and I was maybe just cuddling our dog, ha! — then made our way to the kitchen for Pumpkin Pancakes with coffee and bacon.  After, Joey and his mom took our leaves to the recycling and I hit the grocery store.  With the only two real agenda items checked off, we spent the rest of the day reading, watching Atlanta (we just started Season 1!) and getting a random spark of organizational energy?  I re-worked our hallway shelves to include our small book collection and I’m seriously so happy about it!

Ended the night with what I’d call a disastrous Pad Thai and what Joey would probably just call dinner and the first Fantastic Beasts film, which we wanted a refresh on before seeing the new one.  I find if I ignore the bigger plot picture — why does there have to be a connection to the Harry Potter world at all and why can’t it just be about Newt Scamander having to track down all the creatures that escaped from his case?? — all the bits of magic are just DELIGHTFUL!

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Sunday morning we went to breakfast at Devil’s Food and even though they didn’t have the pumpkin pancakes I wanted and I ordered a short rib hash that came with over medium eggs that somehow contained no yolks (????), it felt so nice and cozy in there.  I got a haircut at 11 and my hairdresser brought in her 2-month-old Chihuahua-Pomeranian ball of fluff and it was beyond cute.  If you thought getting your hair done was already self-care, try doing it while holding a puppy!

I stopped by my parents’ on my way home (Mom was making stuffing!), read/cried over the final issue of Cooking Light and went to Sunday afternoon yoga, then we made a quiche (with Parmesan zucchini fries and a maple-mustard dipping sauce) for dinner and it only took something like 40 minutes longer than the directions said.  Also, I totally bought a frozen pie dough because sometimes you just need a dinner shortcut.  We made it through most of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (because Joey just finished the book!) and we were mostly baffled about why they set The Burrow on fire?!

I hope you have a lovely and laid-back Thanksgiving!