Lyndsay Sung ended 2014 on a high note. She had a happy family, a successful baking blog called Coco Cake Land, a large and devoted following on Instagram — where she posted photos of the whimsical, adorable cakes she baked for friends and family — and a brand-new book deal. She and her pink KitchenAid mixer were ready to take over the world, one cute cake at a time.
Then, in January, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is only 38 years old.
If you’ve ever had a picky eater in the family, you know first-hand just how frustrating mealtime can be. Figuring out how to get around those food aversions and make mealtime an enjoyable experience can prove trickier than walking a tightrope.
Sometimes I feel a little guilty. Because I work from home, I can have nachos for dinner every night if I want, while I send my husband off to work with something a little more sensible and microwaveable. (Note: This doesn’t happen.) We save our nacho-fests for nights when we’re together (preferably also in the company of some good beers and a good baseball game); for regular weeknight meals, Dan gets his Tex-Mex fix with these chicken enchiladas.
“Shying away from the typical tomato or wine based steamed mussel recipe? This one features tequila and lime and it as easy as 1..2..3 to prepare! Serve right away with some crusty Italian bread to soak up the juice.”
To me, vegetable broth has always been a tricky thing. Of course you can make your own, but what if you just want to pick some up at the grocery store? Unlike chicken broth, which clearly needs to taste like chicken, just what should vegetable broth taste like? Out of all the available brands, which one is the best?
For reasons I cannot — for once, I mean, good riddance — articulate, I spent half the summer, the half I was gestating this tiny moppet, with a nonstop craving for broccoli cheddar soup, something I’d never actually eaten before. I think a comment got it started and even though I can no longer find it, I’ll never forgive it. Sure, I had heard of the soup, but it always seemed to be in that category of foods it was better not to investigate. I mean, just consider all of the ways our lives have been ruined by finding how ridiculous brown butter and sea salt flakes are in crispy treats, or what happens when you make saltine crack into an ice cream sandwich, or butter in tomato sauce. I didn’t want to know why a cheddar cheese soup base was an obsession of so many people.
But once it got in my head, no amount of earnest effort could distract me for long. So, I got to Googling and mashed up several well-rated recipes with overlapped ingredients and brought to the table that night something that was basically a rich cheese sauce with a few flecks of broccoli — i.e. almost cruelly delicious but seriously, if I want a cheese sauce, I promise, I will always just make one. (Regardless, we all slurped it up.)
When my daughter was born, it seemed like an age would pass before I’d have to worry about childproofing. That tiny, immobile munchkin on the play mat was going to stay like that for seven years while we caught up on sleep and became perfect parents. Then — and only then — she would move on to being a walking, reaching little person.
My baby did not get the memo, apparently, because now we have a curious 14-month-old on the verge of discovering that the knobs under the kitchen sink are portals to a trove of forbidden treasure. The time had come to disappoint her instincts, and relieve my anxieties. Here’s how I childproofed my kitchen.
My husband, Dan, would eat a cheeseburger pretty much every day of the week if I let him. This is not conjecture; it’s an established fact. It’s his desert-island food, and should we ever be stuck on a magical cheeseburger-filled desert island, he’s free to eat as many as he wants, as often as he wants.