During this long holiday weekend, I thought it would be fun to drop in and share some of my current obsessions.
Mac & Cheese
I don’t know what has happened to me. I never used to make mac and cheese, but these past few months I’m nuts for it (cashews specifically). I keep trying new recipes (here and here), and I have found my definitive favorite – the Ethiopian-style mac and cheese from Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian. It has that rich, creamy cheesiness you expect with mac and cheese, but with an added layer of spiciness from berbere and paprika along with all of those wonderful flavors in niter kibbeh. And as luck would have it, David loves it too. He tends to not be a fan of mac and cheese, but this version is an exception.
After making it for dinner one night with sautéed greens, I repurposed the leftovers the next day in a Homegrown Smoker-style burrito along with Beyond Meat that I grilled in my grill pan and tossed with barbecue sauce. I know it’s nothing to look at, but that thing was crazy good.
I’m not sure if a mac and cheese recipe will be in Kittee’s upcoming Ethiopian cookbook, but since this cook zine has been discontinued, I hope so! Until then, I’ve heard great things about her Southern-style macaroni and cheese.
Real Dandelion Necklace by Ural Nature
I recently treated myself to a necklace I’ve had on my Etsy wish list for literally years – this real dandelion in crystal resin. The artist, Mariya Bogatyreva, is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Russia. She plucks the flowers and other plants she uses in her work from the Ural Mountains in the area where she lives. The necklace is a marvel, just imagining how the delicate seeds were preserved and not crushed.
I have always been a fan of dandelions, and I remember at a young age being disenchanted with the idea that they were considered weeds. (One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.) Plus, as a long-time fan of wishes, I especially like the idea that I always have a chance to make a wish and manifest the future that I want. I interviewed the artist on Friday on Feelgood Style if you’re interested in reading more about her process.
Little Free Libraries
Have you seen these Little Free Libraries? They are so cute! I first discovered one in Madison a couple of years ago painted very colorfully in front of someone’s house. They’re basically small structures that people fill with books, and then passersby are invited to take a book, leave a book, or both. The only requirement is that the structures can withstand whatever weather issues may appear in that area in the form of rain or snow. Otherwise, individuals can make them in whatever form they like – sometimes just something simple and utilitarian and others times people personalize them. (There was an issue in Kansas recently, in which a little boy was forced to remove his library from his yard because of city ordinances.)
This one is in front of a house, and it looks like a British phone booth. Plus, David found this book inside on time travel. A coincidence? Who can say?
This one is in front of a church, and the little library is made to resemble the church’s own steeple.
I think it would be fun on a road-trip to try and see as many of these little libraries as one could manage along the way. The little libraries are registered on the Little Free Library website, and you can see if there are any in your area. There are little libraries all over the world!
Celebrating 8 Wonderful Years!
Finally, I also celebrated 8 years of marriage to that guy with the time travel book! Yay! Iowa isn’t overflowing in fine dining establishments that cater to vegans, and so went casual and took our anniversary celebration on the road to the Quad Cities for a cheeseless pizza at Crust with roasted potatoes, artichoke hearts, and wild mushrooms along with a side of garlicky truffle fries (hold the aioli). I feel so lucky getting to spend my life with him.
What are your current obsessions?