I’m not going to deliver my annual monologue on how heaviness and happiness so uniquely join forces in June. Moving on, moving up, stepping up, growing up, graduating, saying goodbye again and again, you know the drill. In fact, I think I’ve come to appreciate the amped up end-of-the-school-year craziness (I laughed out loud at this parent’s lament) because it is so much easier for me to focus on busy work than emotional work, if you know what I’m saying. I’m like the mom version of Dory: Just keep swimming….just keep moving, just keep moving…cooking, working, moving. (P.S. OMG: TWO DAYS TIL DORY!) To that end: Three recipes that might help you get to the finish line.
1. HEALTHY PRE-FINALS BREAKFAST: Avocado Toasts. This is the first year that my 14-year-old has started to stay up later than me studying. It’s also her first year taking Regents — New York’s standardized tests — which happen tomorrow and Friday. There’s not much I can do to help her in terms of Earth Science and Algebra, but I can make sure she gets a healthy breakfast before the test tomorrow. When I asked her what she wanted, this is what she requested: Smashed Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast with Sea Salt and Cherry Tomatoes. I think I’ll have the same. (Related: Breakfast-of-Champions options.)
2. PARTY GO-TO: Last-Minute Yogurt Cake. Let me guess: Baseball season is over, and there’s a party. Piano recital is on Sunday…and there’s a party. The kindergarteners are “stepping up” to first grade…and there’s a party! Hey, listen. I wrote the book on celebrating — literally — but even I’ll concede, it’s a lot! My advice: Sign up for beverage duty for as many as you can, and bake this easy, delicious yogurt cake if another parent was quicker and smarter than you were.
3. EASY MIDWEEK DINNER: Honey-Butter Shrimp (Shown Up Top)
Because when don’t we need a new easy weeknight dinner in the arsenal? This is basically a riff on the grilled sweet-and-spicy version, but I modified it for two reasons: 1) I didn’t feel like breaking out the grill 2) Personal market research shows that identifying something as “Honey Butter” Shrimp yields higher consumption rates than any recipe with the word “Spicy” in it. Don’t forget to drizzle the sauce on top. I served this family-style at the table with crusty bread and asparagus.
3 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and dried thoroughly
freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together the honey and Sriracha. Add butter and olive oil to a large deep-sided skillet set over medium heat. As soon as butter has melted, add shrimp to the pan and turn heat to medium-high. Wait about one minute before tossing. Cook another minute until shrimp is almost cooked through, then drizzle in honey-Sriracha sauce, tossing until it gets slightly thick and coats the shrimp. Scrape everything onto a platter — making sure you drizzle all the juices on top — and shower with pepper and sea salt.
Congratulations to all the graduates out there!