the moral of the story

Omelettes




I like my omelettes a little crisp and lacey, almost an eggy snowflake, folded over cheese and greens. With an extra grind of salt on top. 

I like the sameness of omelette making. The technique might vary, but in the end, you always get an omelette. 
Or hopefully you do. 

I talked to a friend today, I told him how much the transience of life has been scaring me lately. 
Change. 
And he looked at me and said simply, "That's the way it's always been."
He's right. 
But I can't shake the fact that most of the people I know now, I probably wont know in five years. 
Despite the aches and bruises, the same/dullness of school, that guy who never called me, the cruel thing she said, the times I cried in the shower, and all the breaking aching disappointments of growing up and living more, I love this now. 


I love these people and laughing until crying with them, the dreaminess of Friday afternoons, my neighborhood grocery store, the fact that I live above a doughnut shop, running in the quiet neighborhoods around the university, coffee shops and conversations that roll and unwind endlessly... 
These are things worth remembering. 
These are things to love. 

But five years from now it wont really matter. 
So I look forward and smile. 
Hopefully by then I'll be writing better songs and living in Brooklyn, with an apartment full of plants and twinkle lights. 
And it will be better




But five years from now, no matter the location, no matter who I still know, or who I am. 
I will still be making omelettes. 
They're the perfect comfort food for when you are hungry and maybe a little lonely and need a hot meal. 

Omelettes: a meal for every now and every future. 

XOXO
m

L'Omelette
from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

2 or 3 eggs
Big pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Beat the eggs and seasonings in the mixing bowl for 20 to 30 seconds until the whites and yolks are just blended.

1 tablespoon butter
An omelette pan 7 inches in diamete at the bottom

Place the butter in the pan and set over very high heat. As the butter melts, tilt the pan in all directions to film the sides. When you see that the foam has almost subsided in the pan and the butter is on the point of coloirng (indicating it's hot enough), pour in the eggs. It is of utmost importance in this method that the butter be the correct temperature.

Let the eggs settle in the pan for 2 or 3 seconds to form a film of coagulated egg in the bottom of the pan.
Giving the handle of the pan with both hands, thumbs on top, and immmediately begin jerking the pan vigorously and roughly toward you at an even, 20-degree angle over the heat, one jerk per second.
It is the sharp pull of the pan toward you which throws the eggs against the far lip of the pan, then back over its bottom surface. You must have the courage to be rough or the eggs will not loosen themselves from the bottom of the pan. After several jerks, the eggs will begin to thicken. (A filling goes in at this point, if using.)
Then increase the angle of the pan slightly, which will force the egg mass to roll over on itself with each jerk at teh far lip of the pan.
As sson as the omelette has shaped up, hold it in the angle of the pan to brown the bottom a pale golden color, but onlya second or two, for the eggs must not overcook. The center of the omelette should remina soft and creamy. If the omelette has not formed neatly, push it with the back of your fork.

Turn omelette onto a plate and rub the top witha bit of butter and serve as soon as possible.


Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl


I keep comparing myself to who I was two years ago. 



Because when I was 18, I was pretty certain I knew what was up. 
I knew what I liked, and what I didn't. 
And I had a certain way of being and speaking and seeing. 
I thought I knew myself. 
Now two years have passed and I'm different. 


Go figure. 



And the only reason this is exciting is because I've surprised myself. 
I mean, actually really surprised myself. 

I've done a lot of things I never thought I would do or could do or was even capable of doing. 

I think I'm braver. 
I think I'm also quite a bit dumber, but maybe that's the tradeoff for being "vulnerable" or "impulsive." 
I now appreciate Taylor Swift, who I was definitely too much of a snob for at 18. 
I've gotten better about saying thank you. 
I now have a very long list of things I've learned since 18 called "Life Lessons." 
It has some absolute PEARLS of wisdom on it such as, "Always keep tums on hand" and "Save money." 



Whatever. 

However, what brought about these scintillating ruminations, is that at 18, other than Taylor Swift, I had absolutely no interest in cheesecake or cheesecake related edibles. 

Oh how the tables have turned. 

These are raspberry goat cheese brownies. Basically cheesecake's cousin. 
And they are really fucking good, especially when frozen. 

What I am trying to tell you is, you don't have to wait two years to become the new, improved you.
 You can start right now. 
With these crazy cheesecake cousin brownies. 


"To change one's life; start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions."
                                              - William James

You're welcome. 

XOXO 

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl


via thekitchn.com



Makes about 30 small brownie squares
Raspberries
2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed
2 tablespoons brandy or Kirsch
Brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Heat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan (or any 3-quart dish, like the gratin dish I use here) with butter or baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the brandy or Kirsch. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with hand beaters, or by hand with a heavy whisk) beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, butter, egg, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely set. The top will be just turning light brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Store at room temperature, well-covered. The flavor and texture of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.

Lighter-Than-Air-Chocolate Cake


Hello Beloveds, 
Yesterday was my birthday. 
I’m 20. 


Now is such a difficult and strange time, and the past several months have had me all achey and breakey. Growing pains. 
Somehow, yesterday, the sky was tremendous and blue and I felt this delight and calm settle over me. I don’t know if it was the weather, or the fact that I was very tired, or just because I’m no longer a teen. 
But I was so happy. 
I am still so happy. 

A friend asked me what my intention for being 20 is. I told her, I said, "Gratitude and forgiveness. And I want to write better songs." 

That’s all. 

The future is strange and dark. No one, no one, no one knows what is coming next. And yet, somehow yesterday, under that blue sky, I felt a lightness and freedom that I have not felt for a very, very long time. 

It’s all going to come out in the wash, falling down and picking myself up again, with a song in my throat, I go forward. 

We go forward together. 

Thank you thank you thank you. 



Lighter-Than-Air-Flourless-Chocolate-Cake
via SmittenKitchen.com 

My mother baked me this incredible cake. It’s like eating a chocolate cloud. And gluten free! 

To make four cake layers:
12 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
6 tablespoons water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder

For filling: 
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier* or Rum of Some Kind or Other 

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 9-inch circular cake pans and line bottoms of circles with a piece of parchment paper.
Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.
Beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Fold in melted chocolate until blended. Beat whites with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks (you will need an enormous bowl for 12 egg whites).
Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Spread batter evenly over four baking pans and bake until puffed and top is dry to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating cakes between racks to ensure they bake evenly. Transfer pans to cooling racks and if necessary, loosen edges with a knife.
Sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers and place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the pans. Place a baking sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. Place layers in the freezer for about an hour, until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.
Make filling: Beat cream with powdered sugar and Grand Marnier with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks.
Fill and stck cake: Bring first cake layer out of the freezer and arrange on platter, cocoa side down. Spread one-quarter of filling evenly over the cake. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat this process until all layers and whipped cream are used.
Keep cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Two hours should be more than enough to assure that the layers are no longer frozen.
Dark chocolate grated into curls with a vegetable peeler makes for an excellent garnish.
* You can substitute the following for Grand Marnier: 4 tablespoons Cognac and 1 teaspoon vanilla; 4 tablespoons cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla; or 4 teaspoons instant-espresso powder or instant-coffee granules dissolved in 4 teaspoons water plus 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Peas and Shells Alfredo

I write you from a distinctly uncool coffee shop. I'm people watching and admiring the faint outline of a sign that used to say OYSTERS. 

I feel quiet. 

I love it when you know that Life is Happening, and things are exciting. 
Life is Happening is events: the party where you meet someone new, or a conversation that changes you, or a new job or move. 
When Life is Happening it feels like the gears of a watch are clicking into place. 



You can almost hear it. 

I used to believe that the exciting, crazy "Life is Happening" moments, are when you become who you are, and know what you're about. 

Now I think, that maybe those moments are just the product of the quiet, thoughtful days where nothing is really going on. The days when you're quietly and slowly figuring out how to make the dial of your watch click forward on your own. 



I made this pasta with some of the people I love the most. 
We had a round of toasts and then ate and laughed together. 
I realized then, that maybe, becoming the person you want to be, can be as simple as eating the meal you want to eat, with the people you want to eat it with. 



Maybe I'm all wrong. 

But I swear, this pasta made me feel like all the gears in all my watches were clicking into place. 


Peas and Shells Alfredo
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman 

Yield: serves 2 generously or 4 petitely. (We made extra, so about a pound of pasta.) 

Salt to taste
1/2 pound dried small pasta shells
1 cup fresh shelled peas (about 1 pound in the pod, but we used canned peas because we're lazy)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cooking according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, and set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together. 

Dry out the pasta pot and pour in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, and cook it until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with freshly ground black pepper, add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth, then toss in the drained pasta and peas. Cook the pasta in sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen the sauce. 

Divide the pasta among bowls. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and the flat-leaf parsley. 

Note: We also added the meat of one rotisserie chicken, mushrooms and some shredded spinach. For extra goodness.