Food That Cures Melancholy

We went to his study for coffee, a jolly room full of books and trophies and untidiness and comfort. I made up my mind that if I ever got rid of this business and had a house of my own, I would create just such a room.

-John Buchman

Sometimes we experience these sudden moments of melancholy and we don’t quite have a reason. Some days we wake up feeling that way and other times it sort of creeps up on us as we go about our day. There’s usually little we can do to change the mood in those cases; but, I have found what helps me get over the times melancholy strikes, is sitting down with some form of food that either reminds me of a happy time or a moment from my childhood or even just food that I haven’t eaten in a while but absolutely love.

It’s really quite funny how an aroma or a flavor can instantly lighten your mood and get you excited. I think that’s what really cures my melancholy moments: an aroma or a taste of something that either brings me back to a certain time or reminds me of something that makes me smile. Everyone has that something that makes their whole day better; for me it’s Bailey (my adorable kitty) and certain dishes that make the whole world melt away, leaving me in a state of pure comfort and joy.

On the menu today is a rich, creamy main dish that will make you forget all your worries and make you feel warm and cozy as well as a dessert that will lift the spirits of just about anyone out there!

Comforting Linguine Alfredo:

1 lb linguine

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1.5 cups half & half

1/4 cup Chardonnay wine

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced Italian flat-leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot until al dente; drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large saucepan and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute in the butter until it starts to pick up color.
  • Add the chardonnay and reduce until most of the liquid is cooked off. Add the half and half, and reduce heat to medium-low, stir frequently. Do not let the sauce boil. Cook the sauce until slightly thickened, add the Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted into the half and half. Continue to cook until the sauce is thick and smooth. Make sure you do not let the sauce come to a boil at any point in the cooking process.
  • Once the sauce is ready, remove from heat and add the parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Toss the sauce with the linguine.
  • Enjoy and let your melancholy mood melt away with eat creamy bite!

Tiramisu in the form of a cupcake:

1/3 cup fresh brewed espresso

2 tbsp rum

1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

6 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup icing sugar

A handful of shaved dark chocolate

Method:

  • Cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 350 F, make sure your rack is in the center of the oven. In a large bowl beat eggs until they are foamy. While continuing to beat the eggs, add 1 cup of sugar gradually in a steady stream, without stopping add in 1 tbsp rum and continue to beat the eggs until pale and shiny.
  • Into a separate bowl sift together the flour and salt. Then fold one third of the sifted flour into the egg mixture; repeat this step twice until all the flour is folded into the egg mixture. Carefully fold in the melted butter and divide the batter among lined muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are lightly golden around the edges (insert toothpick into center of each cupcake to test doneness. If toothpick comes out clean, cupcakes are done). Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When they are cooled brush each cupcake with a good amount of the espresso glaze.
  • Espresso Glaze: Stir 2 tbsp of sugar into the hot espresso. Add 1 tbsp of rum and stir. Refrigerate until cooled.
  • Espresso Icing: In a medium bowl combine the mascarpone, the rest of the espresso glaze, and icing sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until the icing is stiff. Using a piping bag with a round nozzle or a small off-set spatula or even a butter knife, ice each cupcake with the icing. Sprinkle each cupcake with a generous about of shaved dark chocolate.
  • Indulge.

How can anyone be sad and gloomy after such a richly soothing and sinfully delicious meal? They can’t!

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