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February 2015

Twist that Dish: Every Day’s Valentine’s Day Special

Beet-Salad-SLR

In Eric Carlyle’s classic children’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” the insatiable insect devours pages and pages of food. (Check out an awesome video of Carlyle reading the book here.) I always thought of the caterpillar going “crunch, crunch, crunch” as it fed itself, but maybe I have “crunches” on my mind—time crunches. All working parents face them. There’s never enough time to get to work, to get the groceries, to get the meal on the table, to have dinner, to get to bed.

And speaking of appetites, what about romance? What time is there for romance? Valentine’s Day is here, and the fine folks at Kraft, who are sponsoring this post, asked me to “Twist that Dish,” and come up with a clever new way to make a recipe easier and better. I know a twist that would improve the lives of working parents: the time-shift twist.

This year, Valentine’s Day is on a weekend, so there isn’t as much time pressure (theoretically, that is, for kid activities on the weekends sometimes take up more time than work itself), and things like strawberry cake and chocolate fondue can be considered. This recipe, though will save you time any day of the week, so there’s no need to wait for Valentine’s Day to make loving dinner for two. With the time-shift twist, you can do it whenever you feel like it.

Here’s what you do: When you are making breakfast, of say, bacon and eggs, cook a two extra slices of bacon and set them aside. Take one or two large beets, and put them in a pot of water, and bring them to a boil. The beets will cook while you are eating breakfast and getting out the door. Later, when you come home from work, you can sprinkle the bacon on a beet, arugula, and goat-cheese salad, and you have an easy, almost instantaneous, romantic dinner. The full recipe is here.