Asparagus Gratin & Staying Home
These are tough times my friends.
Staying inside, not seeing friends, not going to restaurants and gyms; not going to work; and just not socializing has been a real challenge for many, especially me, who is a social butterfly (at least that's what my teachers told my mother when I was in school: "Stacey doesn't stop talking in class.....she is a social butterfly").
I am feeling edgy (more so than usual), and worried about the future of my friends who own small businesses.....retail, hospitality and the restaurant industry will take so long to come back to life, and many of my favorite places may never re-open.
I have made so many friends in the restaurant community. Chefs, bartenders, servers and PR people, it is has become a big part of my life.
Remember, NYC and NJ are the hardest hit areas in the country right now, with many communities being hot spots for this virus, stressing our healthcare industry, not to mention our delivery people and grocery workers.
The "STAY HOME" message seems to be helping, but for how long?
So, what have I been doing during this quarantine period?
I have been doing my best to comply with the rules (I am a rule follower, believe it or not!).
I go to the post office and supermarket once a week, as necessary. I wear a mask, and don't touch my face. I wash my hands as much as possible. My hands are cracking and bleeding from dryness.
I've been spending my quarantine days trying to help others.
Leaving food and treats on friends' porches, waving from a distance.....Hopefully, inspiring people to be better cooks by posting my goofy instagram live stories and cooking demos with easy quarantine meals.,
And donating to restaurant GoFundMe pages who really need us right now.
I am just thinking out loud, checking in........hoping you are all doing ok.
So many of my friends are delivering meals to hospitals from their restaurants or sewing masks and donating them........I know a lot of great people!
We are all making concessions and sacrifices right now, trying not to waste food, and cutting back on the things we take for granted.
I appreciate you all very much, and the blog and instagram has been keeping me sane. My friends are the best!
Cooking simple home cooked meals makes me happy, and I hope it does for you too.
Spring is here (technically), so if you can find some asparagus, I recommend you prepare them this way.
It doesn't get better than this!
1 big bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed (I love the medium to fat ones best)
Lay the asparagus in a baking dish or on a baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine:
1 garlic clove, shaved on a mircoplane
handful of seasoned breadcrumbs (panko are best)
a tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese (or more)
a drizzle of olive oil
kosher salt & pepper
some lemon zest
Pour this oily breadcrumb mixture over the asparagus, and drizzle some more olive oil all over the asparagus.
Roast in a 400F for about 20 minutes.
Stay healthy, and positive.
Hang in there friends.