Exploring a New Culinary Idea (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

I can be a bitter person but I generally don’t enjoy bitter foods. However, I cooked pork for the first time in months after receiving in a subscription meat box I ordered, and had a flash of inspiration that a honey-mustard sauce was needed. I only recently learned that the yellow in mustard is from the inside of the mustard seed, so I ground up some mustard seeds in my mortar and pestle and added vinegar, salt, honey, avocado oil and pepper flakes. I then emulsified the entire mixture in my blender and added it to my pork, spinach and rice dish.

The meal had an bitter flavor but it was a pleasing sharpness rather than a blunt bitterness that can overpower all the other flavors. I’m still amazed by the fact that the reason spicy mustard looks the way is does is because it made of crushed seeds. My mind never questioned why it looked the way it did before! What’s your latest culinary creation?

Enjoying Self-Depreciating Humor (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

My emotions have been rough the last few days; there is a point of anxiety I sometimes reach where I have to take some time for self-care before plunging back into action, otherwise, I will make rash decisions without thinking them through. Television and movies have been a traditional escape for me, but I find I cannot handle anything too serious right now. Because of this, a new delight has been watching episodes of the show “Nailed It!” on Netflix. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard.

My favorite moment each episode is the split screen between the dessert masterpiece and the ubiquitously failed attempt the home cook has produced. I like people who can laugh at themselves, and most of the contestants are good sports. The host slips in observant narration that moves beyond the farce at times and keeps me entertained. What’s your latest TV binge?

Clean Mint Chocolate Milkshake (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

I was craving mint chocolate and I know better than to purchase it unless I want to have all of it eaten in one sitting. I wasn’t sure how the recipe I created would taste as the addition of banana seemed like it might throw off the flavor, but it was one of the best milkshakes I’ve made in months. It reminded me of mint chocolate chip ice cream. If you use a plant-based milk, make sure it is one that is higher in fat as I think it is needed to balance the peppermint and chocolate.

Ingredients (Makes 1 serving)

1 frozen banana. broken into chunks

4 ice cubes

1 date

1/8 tsp of peppermint extract

2 TBS cocoa powder

1.5 cups of milk (I used lactose-free whole milk)

Add the ingredients to a blender in the order I listed them (in other words, the milk goes in last). Blend until mixed, about 30 seconds in a Vitamix. Enjoy!