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5 MINUTE DRIZZLE SAUCE i.e. becoming a kitchen goddess

Now that your knives are all freshly sharpened, it’s time to get saucy – 5 minute drizzle sauce-y to be exact! Don’t be frightened my comrade in cooking, I only set the fire alarm off THREE times while making dinner this week and zero of those times were while making this delicious, perfect, precociously simple sauce.

We will get to the sauce in a minute but let’s just take a moment to raise a glass and call “setting off the fire alarm less times than you did last week” a win. CHEERS ALL AROUND!

Okay, so this sauce…it’s life-changing. No, no, really. It is wickedly simple, wildly customizable (like, you literally can’t feck it up), and it goes with EVERYTHINNNNNNG.

Yo, again, no joke.

I put it over some chicken (my very first!) (and, no, no one got food poisoning) and mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon!) and it was a lot of “OH MY GOD, LAUREN YOU MADE THIS?!” and several “Jesus this is good.”

So…there’s that.

You can spice this sauce up by adding in a pinch of cumin, coriander, or saffron. Or give it a bit of an herbaceous note, add in two tablespoons of herbs like basil, chives, or cilantro at the last minute.

I’ve made this sauce several times since – storing various varieties in small, glass Ball jars in the fridge – and we’ve been using it on everything. Pasta, rice, chicken, fish – you name it. It is basically a warm vinaigrette and, while that may sound simple to some, it was legit life changing to moi. 

5 MINUTE DRIZZLE SAUCE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook.
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When oil is warm, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens (about a minute or two)
  3. TIP: If the onions start to color, turn the heat down
  4. Once onions have softened, stir in 2 Tbsp of water, lemon juice, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Maintain the heat so it bubbles gently for a minute or two.
  5. Taste, adjust seasoning to preference, and serve.


 

BLOGGING BREAK what it was, why I took it, & why it saved my sanity

pc: aimée mendez

Last summer I took a blogging sabbatical. I know that sounds dramatic and not actual accurate because I don’t think you can take a sabbatical if you aren’t a university professor, but go with me on this…

I took a sabbatical because I began to hate blogging.

It’s hard being on the internet, man. It is a weird place, sometimes a truly wonderful place, but sometimes a mean and ugly and troll-y and psychologically damaging place. I would compare myself to people I didn’t know, would never met, and who weren’t even in the same INDUSTRY as me. I would get envious of people’s lives and I didn’t know the first thing about them. It was insane and dumb and negative and draining…and let’s be honest, we get drained by enough shit daily and I didn’t really want to put up with it any more.

I stopped posting on LaurenKelp.com, barely posted on my Instagram, deleted my Facebook, alerted my clients, and even put an away message on my email that said I was breaking up with blogging so take me off your press list please & thank you. It was delightful.

Ooh, all the free time! I didn’t style everything I touched, I left my phone in my purse on coffee dates and dinners out to new, cool, very ‘grammable spots. I took vacations and didn’t post a single photo. And the kicker – ready for it –  I deleted Instagram off my phone for weeks at a time AND DIDN’T MISS IT. It was bliss, pure bliss.

I re-learned that my worth wasn’t about a GD ‘like,’ and I really, really learned it. I stopped shopping because I didn’t feel this weird pressure to ‘dress like a blogger.’ I wore my hair in scrunchies because that is what felt right in the moment, I didn’t stress about a perpetually well styled home or the latest collection of anything. Basically, I allowed myself to stop caring so much.

I gave myself permission to chill the fuck out. And it was the single best thing I have done for myself in my adult life. That and invest in the box set of Harry Potter DVDs. and marring Griffin. Okay, well it’s high on a short list of very amazing adult things to be proud of.

Okay, so you are blogging again…what changed?

Honestly, I realized that I was doing something I liked (being creative) but on someone else’s terms. I thought that being a “blogger” meant that I had to style photos a certain way, dress well, or buy things that I could get an affiliate kickback from. I changed what I wrote about to get more likes and views, and totally let the “algorithm” become the driving voice. Am I proud of that? Absolutely not, but to be real with you…it was incredibly easy to lose sight of why I started.

You get given so much “free” stuff, get to go on so many “free” dinners or events, and get treated like this weird demi-celebrity that, honestly, you get kind of caught up in it. Who doesn’t love getting boxes & boxes of “free” product. Who doesn’t love free dinners, cutting lines, and press trips to cool places? No one. Absolutely no one doesn’t love that. It’s easy to get drunk on this weird micro-celebrity sense of power  and you lose sight of the reason why you put yourself out on the internet in the first place.

BUT NO MORE I SAY! NO MORE!

You want to know what changed? I decided that I loved being creative and the pro sides of the internet community were bigger than the weird negative shit that I let creep in and take over. So, I decided to take blogging back. I decided to put boundaries up, lay down perimeters, and instate a little personal manifesto. How is that for being determined and dramatic?

If you made it this far, I seriously commend the shit out of you. Thank you, it was a long-winded road, but you packed your windbreaker and I appreciate that.

Now, to see the next chapter of LK click this lovely little link to take you to the second installment of the “does she have a breakdown or has she always been this way?” story.…it’s a good one #nospoilers

SHE’S BACK and apparently cooking 2,000 recipes

I know you’ve been laying awake at night, tossing and turning asking yourself, “where oh wherrrre has my favorite blog gone?” No, you smart, saucy reader you, no, you’ve been too busy trying to eat right, have a good career, be social, balance work and personal life, work out, be involved in social change, read, fight the patriarchy, and watch all the Netflix, and all that other stuff on your never ending to-do list. I get it, 2017 was a do00ozie of a year and maybe you are a better person than I am, but it made me pull back and take stock of who I am, what matters, and frankly…what doesn’t.

So…I stopped blogging. For more on all that, read this – it will explain everything.

Over my little blogging sabbatical one of the things I realized was that I LOVE COMMUNITY. I mean, I really love it. It has informed cross-country moves, is a central point to G and my marriage, and has broken my heart and saved my life too many times to count. One of my favorite ways of creating and building community is to…drum roll please…HAVE A DINNER PARTY. Who is surprised?

You know what you need at a dinner party (usually, but I think in Europe this is optional)? FOOD!

Know what I really, severally didn’t like doing? COOKING!

I am not good at it. I don’t have any confidence in the kitchen and, truthfully, I have a weird relationship with food so finding shit that I can eat and not feel icky afterward is harder than finding a reason to watch POIROT on the BBC. Sidenote: I got in a dark place about a year ago and pretended to be an Anglophile and watched everything on the BBC, including Poirot. Yes, as in Hercule Poirot, as in the leading character in Agatha Christie’s detective novels. Yes they made a show out of it (several, I am sure) and YES I WATCHED MORE THAN ONE SEASON. Judge away. It was a dark time.

But, I digress…

Here is the deal, I love having people over, I love entertaining, I love having people at my dinner table for hours on end, talking about anything and everything, with the sound of laughter, witty banter, and the clinking of wine glasses filling my house. It fills me up, warms my soul, and nurtures everything good inside me. Do you see the problem yet? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK.

I have been a vegetarian for a decade, avoided dairy at all costs, I have turned my back on gluten…while in FRANCE (ultimate sacrifice), and I have even tried on the whole “I’m just not a drinker” hat (which was my personal hell. You try going through a Chicago winter sober…it’s Brothers K material)

The truth is, I want to love food. And it’s not that I don’t love food (gahd my thighs are a dead ringer for that) but I want to love good food. I want to cook good food. Food that makes your belly warm and your heart happy. Food that brings people together and keeps them there well after the plates are cleared. I want to know how to heal my body through food without having to buy a million supplements.

In a world where everything comes in a box or is sold as “ready in under 30!” I want to be the anti-30 minute dinner. Not that anything is innately wrong with quick and easy dinners, it’s just that when everything in your life is so fast and immediate and easily available sometimes it’s nice to take a dang minute and make something with your own two hands…even if you don’t know what you are doing. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing!

So, with that little rally cry, I have decided to get over my fear of cooking and teach myself how to cook. So here officially starts my journey it teaching myself how to cook by working through my personal OG cookbook, How to Cook Everything (10th edition) by Mark Bittman. If you don’t know it, you should. It’s like the cooking lessons you always wanted to have with your Grandmother growing up or all those cooking lessons you wanted to take but never did. I like to think of this book as the guiding voice in my head in the whole “don’t burn the house down” cooking thing.

CLIFF NOTES:
  • Stopped blogging, but started again
  • Decided to teach myself how to cook, because I love to entertain and want to do it more because I truly believe in the power of community through food — especially in today’s…situation
  • Emailed Mark Bittman, and yes, he is okay with this and no, it’s not a Julie & Julia thing. It’s way better because this isn’t about cooking for cookings sake, it’s about food as a medium for community.

Right, now that we are all caught up…ready to start learning how to cook? Let’s pray that we don’t burn the house down!

APPARENTLY KNIFE SHARPENING IS IMPORTANT *and how to not feel murder-y while doing it*

Don’t let the title fool you – if you have never sharpened a knife before (like moi) you will more than likely feel murder-y on your first attempt. No, not “murder-y” like you want to kill someone, but “murder-y” like if you’ve seen any action/thriller/non-romcom movie in the fast five years, there is usually some guy who sharpens a knife and that creep ends up being all murder-y and stab-y later on — that’s what I mean…naturally. 

ANYWAY…let me back up

Today marks the journey of teaching myself how to cook (if you don’t get it, read this) and what a better place to start then the beginning?

Chapter One of How to Cook Everythingà la, lauren’s life for the next while) talks all about kitchen basics. What pots and pans to invest in, where to save your money, what tools you actually need, and which ones are just going to take up space in your drawer. It’s a very helpful chapter if you want to learn to be comfortable in your kitchen.

There is also a bit in there about knife sharpening with a very helpful graphic that, if I am being honest, totally freaked me out. I have seen chefs and home chefs use that little Harry Potter wand to sharpen knives (you know what I am talking about, it’s that rod-like thing that sits in your knife block that you never use) and have always looked away because it seems like the fastest way to lose a finger and I just haven’t been mentally prepared enough to see that. But apparently, it is important and easy, and so…I set out to learn. After reading his instructions a million times, several failed attempts, and a Lagunita’s IPA later – I have officially become semi-competent at sharpening our knives. In fact, I felt so embolden by my success, I recorded a rather terrible iPhone video…but hey, a win is a win and I WILL TAKE IT. Also, Lagunitas IPA’s are strong!

We all know that cooking with dull knives is no bueno, so take it from me, it’s time to sharpen those babies up. G and I got our knife set as a wedding present and haven’t sharpened them once…we’ve been married for five years (whoops). 

This was ridiculously easy, made me feel like I was auditioning for Top Chef, and absolutely no fingers were harmed in the process. Not bad for someone who called the steel a Harry Potter wand a minute ago, huh?

HOW TO SHARPEN A KNIFE WITH A STEEL:

1 – Hold your steel out in front of you at about a 45 degree angle

2 – Hold your knife at a 15 degree angle towards you and pull across the top of the steel, pulling the blade from base to tip.

3 – Repeat on the other side of the knife across the bottom of the steel. Alternate pulling the blade across the top and bottom of the steel five or six times.

NOTE: Remember to always pull towards you and maintain a consistent 15 degree angle

See what I mean? Freakishly easy…