People manage stress differently: Some overeat, others dip into the liquor cabinet, I bake, which is what I did over the weekend as the deadline for my cookbook drew near and I didn’t know what to do with my nerves. I fixated on a single recipe from the desserts chapter, an Apple Carrot Bundt Cake, that despite having been tested and approved multiple times, was suddenly “all wrong.”
I threw myself into reworking the cake with the sort of obsession more appropriately directed toward cancer research or the global warming crisis. By day two and on my third makeover (or cakeover, as it was) Mr. Mom’s Kitchen edged into my lair near the KitchenAid mixer to find me wild eyed and elbow deep in batter. He suggested, not gently, that it was time to put down the pastry flour.
Eventually I did, and the cake was a success, better than the original: moist, tender, wholesome. Best of all, the process seemed to calm me enough that I was finally able to sit down and edit the book one last time. Yesterday, after several deep breaths, I pushed the “send” button on an email, book copy attached, to my editor at Chronicle Books.The last handful of anxiety-racked days aside, writing a cookbook has been practically, nearly, wholly delightful. I’ve been wowed by friends who stepped up to pitch in: Claire, Jane, and Pam, my talented, trustworthy recipe testers, Alison, who read every page in the few spare minutes she has each day, and my intern Kate, who helped with research and recipe analysis despite having two little ones underfoot. Thanks ladies!
I also want to pass along one teensy recipe — So Simple Deviled Eggs — that I’ve found myself making more than any other single dish in the cookbook. I figured you might like it too.
When I was a kid, deviled eggs were kind of a big deal. They came out for big summer picnics and adult birthday parties accompanied by a lot of fan fare, “oohhh, they’ve got deviled eggs.” As I grew into a teenager and learned about things like calories and carbs, I stopped eating them because they were deemed “fattening.” Funny thing is, done by my method, they are neither time consuming nor unhealthy. They are in fact, quite wholesome.
Consider the duo of deviled beauties in the photo above. Once the eggs are boiled, you can knock those out in two minutes, tops. The pair of them, which I make with light mayo, weigh in at less than 100 calories and about 2 ½ grams of saturated fat. Give them to your kids for an afternoon snack and it will nourish and fill them up far better than anything you’ll find in any of those “100 Calorie” snack bags.
My cookbook includes a “how to” on hard boiling eggs, which is so dependable, I’m thinking of having it patented. You’ll have to use your own method for today’s deviled egg recipe … I’m keeping mum until my book’s published.
So Simple Deviled Eggs
Start with a hard boiled, peeled egg. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the cooked yolk, and put into a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise, a small pinch of salt, and a couple of turns with a pepper grinder. Mash with a fork until creamy. Fill the cavity of each egg half with the yolk mixture. Top with a dash of paprika or a pinch of fresh, minced chives.