Giving Thanks

Give your thanks to the autumn season and all the thanksgiving dinners (in Canada). I made thanksgiving dinner not once, but TWICE! Perhaps I watched too much of The Chef Show on Netflix… But it was so great to reconnect with family and friends (while following COVID-19 precautions: limit your social bubble and keep indoor gatherings small) – and for this, I am extremely grateful.

Here are some of the recipes I “followed”. Peep the outcome in the photos above 👀

Stuffing: (10/10) I skipped the eggs but it still came out delicious!

Mashed potatoes: (8/10) I added parsley, dill, and parmesan for more flavour.

Zucchini, eggplant, tomato gratin: (9/10) I thought this dish would be quite bland – plain roasted vegetables – but it actually turned out great!

Italian roasted cauliflower: (11/10) Yummm…Don’t underestimate cauliflower 👅

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on most people’s mental health, mine included. If anything, thanksgiving has taught me the value of reconnecting with family and friends. If you are ever feeling down, reach out to a friend or family member, whether it is meeting them at a local park (safely) or scheduling a Facetime call. Give thanks to the people who mean the most to you, or make them a wholesome meal to express your gratitude. Just be sure to follow the COVID protocols specific to your location while doing so. Here are the BC guidelines for my BC peeps. Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! 🥳

dinner is served: mac n cheese

mac n cheese. SketchBook. 2019

maccover

I hated the Kraft dinner stuff growing up so I always assumed that mac and cheese tasted bad…Until this year. One of my friends makes some of the best mac and cheese, and I have been converted ever since. This recipe from The Chunky Chef (https://www.thechunkychef.com/family-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/) is pretty similar to one my friend made.

Me being me though, and I never follow recipes exactly, I made my own adjustments. If you like flavour, texture, and food that is not bland, (no one asked asked but here it is 💁‍♀️) here are some ways to elevate your mac and cheese:

How to make mac and cheese less of a gooey mess: add BREADCRUMBS. In a low heat dry pan, toast those bad boys until they are golden brown. I smother my noodles with this stuff. It’s so good!

How to make it healthier: substitute half or all the cheese with nutritional yeast. You can do without that extra calories for very little change in flavour.

How to make mac and cheese more umami: add shrimp and/or pan fried mushrooms. I made this once, and the mushrooms add so much flavour. The shrimp gives the dish more texture.

macncheese

Dinner is served! Enjoy y’all. 👩‍🍳