Mother of Cheeses

I felt so guilty about all of my recent culinary slacking that the moment I hit publish on my last post I entered the kitchen, fists clenched in determination, and have just now emerged, seconds ago: tired, dirty, victorious, and slightly over-full of dairy. It's like when (4-YEAR-OLD SPOILER) Daenerys walks out of the funeral pyre except I'm wearing yoga pants and there's a half-eaten cake on my shoulder. What did I accomplish?

1. I made a simple but very tasty spaghetti dish. It reinforced a lesson I have learned many times, which is that pasta + tomatoes + basil + cheese = TRIUMPH.

I even sprung for the extra fancy cheese, thus ensuring that the dish was sufficiently buffalo-flavored.

You can practically taste the horns.

2. Unsatisfied with merely purchasing a slightly exotic cheese, I made my own paneer. You may recall that my last experiment with cheesecloth went terrifically awry. This one was…better?

Very elegant.

Okay, perhaps cheeseclothwork is not my forte. But if you do watch the video, please note that no one seems to be hollering "Pick me uuuuuuuuuuuuuup, Mommy" at Simon Majumdar for the entirety of the process.

It's possible that they removed that in post.

3. I made my own naan. You may recall that my last experiment with cooking on an open flame went terrifically awry.


4. I PULLED IT TOGETHER, NAAN-WISE, and added Tandoori Chicken, Saag Paneer, and Chili, Cilantro, and Mint Raita Dip.

This was delicious and also the most effort I have exerted on anything since probably 2012 or so. 

5. I realized my mistake w/r/t dairy products and purchased some delicious, dependable burrata for a Burrata and Peach Salad.

The Week of the Dairy Dollop

6. I made a chocolate cake!

It did sink quite a bit in the middle, which makes it look like it should be filled with ice cream, a mistake I am only now comprehending.

Why didn't I fill it with ice creeeeeeeeeam?

I also finished reading Middlemarch! Haaaaaaaaaaaaa, just kidding, obviously, I do still need time to sleep and be whined at by children and obsess over the exact right proportion of cedar fragrance to honey fragrance in a soy wax candle. BUT I did discover that the 1994 BBC version is streaming on Amazon. So, good news! We can all stop wondering how long it will take me to read 800 pages and start wondering how long it will take me to watch a nine-hour miniseries.

What do you want now, an amusing picture of children? Don't you think I've done enough this week? Fine. I did try to give Ivy and the chocolate cake the holding-up-the-Tower-of-Pisa-with-one-finger treatment, with approximately homemade-paneer-level results.

Hee. Look at her eat that giant cake!

And also, because I'm a giver who cannot stop giving, here is a little Valentines throwback from the Smiley Sisters to get this happy weekend started right: