Greetings, DALS family. I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve gotten the nicest notes since I launched the PPP series, and I wanted you to know a) how grateful I am for this community and b) how therapeutic it is for me to produce helpful (read: distracting) content, however Groundhog Day that content is beginning to sound. On that note, yesterday I went for a run; Abby did some soccer drills against an abandoned wall at school; Andy listened to an episode of The Rewatchables; Phoebe watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with her friends on Netflix Party. In the late afternoon, I tried to make homemade wonton wrappers so we could have kale-tofu dumplings for dinner, but it was kind of an F as the kids would say. The wrappers stuck together and I only ended up using about half as many as I made. (I blame my impatience, not the nice lady on the video.) Here are three things to think about cooking or doing today…
Project: Sweet & Savory Crepes
Crepes were one of the first things I learned how to make when I was a kid — if you call thinning out the Aunt Jemima mix with water “making” my own crepes. I liked to roll up them up with bacon and dip in syrup. My kids prefer the more traditional strawberry-and-Nutella and ham-and-cheese combos, both of which we managed to have ingredients for yesterday.
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted (plus up to 2-3 T more for greasing pan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Suggested toppings: Strawberries & Nutella; Ham & Cheddar; Lemon Juice & Powdered Sugar; Spinach & Parm
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk together water, milk, eggs, and melted butter. Add salt and flour and whisk until smooth and combined.
Add another pat of butter to pan. When it’s melted and gets a little brown, add about 1/3 cup of batter to the skillet, tilting it so the batter covers the surface in as thin a layer as possible. Once tiny bubbles appear — about 2 minutes — flip and finish cooking, another minute or so.
Remove from pan, spread Nutella in the middle, top with strawberries and powdered sugar, and fold as shown up top. (I wrapped the first one in parchment paper to make it handheld, but that is unnecessarily fussy. You can just as easily enjoy with a knife and a fork.)
Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to the pan as you go.
Note: If you are making one with cheese, sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese on top after the first flip so it melts. Remove from pan and add ham or sautéed spinach or whatever else.
Pantry: Sesame Tofu Bowl with Greens
Granted, this is not the best example of a meal you can scrape together from the bins in the pantry, but it is significantly lower in the carb department, and can make use of frozen vegetables and those pre-baked tofu packages you can find everywhere (and that last forever in your fridge). The bowl you are looking at here is Tofu with Chard in a Sweet Chili Glaze, a recipe I developed for my next book, but the basic formula is the same for any bowl. Here’s what you can do for a dinner for 4:
Heat olive oil and a dash of sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cubed pre-baked tofu (2 packages of 7-ounce baked tofu), and cook until crispy and brown. Stir in about 3 tablespoons minced onion or shallot, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Move to one side of the pan and add large bunch of greens, or a bag of frozen green beans, spinach or kale (greens should be thawed and squeezed of as much liquid as possible in a colander). Toss together until warmed through. Remove to a shallow bowl and drizzle with about 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or to taste. Top with Sriracha and scallions and sesame seeds, if you have them.
To stretch out, you can serve with rice and noodles, too.
Purpose: Recording for Posterity
I’m tempted to start one of those giant calendars so I can dramatically X off every day of quarantine. Phoebe, my 18-year-old, has started her own version of this with the 1 Second Everyday App. She chooses a single moment in each day that feels defining. Her video is only 14 seconds long, but already I think it’s a masterpiece. PS: She promises a list of her favorite books for the 8- to 12-year-old set next week. I’m writing it here to hold both of us accountable! (In the meantime, parents of young kids, remember this?)
Stay safe, stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.