When I thought about the prompt of cozy, while having food on the brain as I have this month, the first thing that came to mind was mac & cheese. When it comes to cozy comfort food, this is by far my favorite dish of all. As a kid, this fabulous treat typically came in a blue box that contained pasta and a bit of powdered orange cheese-like substance. The result was always pure magic and I would never shrug off a bowl of that same stuff today at all! But, as an adult, I discovered that when someone makes this dish with just the right blend of real cheeses, it levels up and becomes true cuisine. This particular version is certainly not vegan, but it is entirely gluten free. Thanks to a little magic provided by red lentils. This, with a few special spices added, turns this dish into a restaurant quality treat with much higher fiber and a fraction of the fat. I’ve no idea how Philippe does it, as I can’t cook a thing, but he promised to reveal his secrets very soon. So, stay tuned!
You’ve probably guessed by now that my entire love affair with autumn is mostly due to the menu. During the spring and summer months, I’m told that these foods are “too heavy” which I’ve never understood. But a chill in the air suddenly makes all those silly rules fade away and the cheese gets to return to its rightful place in my diet. Which is basically, whenever humanly possible. Thankfully, Philippe is also a master at portion control so we can enjoy our decadent hibernation with just an extra five to ten pounds, easily shed when my diet gets restricted again in the spring. I’ve no idea if taking on those extra pounds in the colder months is necessary, since I’m not, in fact, a hibernating bear. But why not, I say! Bears shouldn’t get to have all the fun. And with just a little bit of self control it’s possible to be a bit crazy and indulge without too many naughty consequences. So, I’m a huge proponent for doing just that!
I’ve never thought of living life in moderation as a bad or boring thing. To me it’s all about keeping that lovely balance. I can dash forward down some crazy path or eat the most insanely rich meal, and then, fall back into normal habits totally satisfied. Inside, of course, my inner child is giggling with devilish glee, knowing he got his way in that moment just before. And that’s really enough to keep me feeling like I’m still living life to the fullest. In fact, I’ve found that following rather simple routines makes those moments of reckless abandonment all the more exciting. If I were allowed to have cheese every day, it would cease to be so amazing. And though I paint each and every day, there are some days when I try painting a something I’ve never tried before. Though every fiber of my being is screaming, “choose something else!”, I go for it, just to see what might happen. And that’s all part of the fun. Even if you suddenly end up with just a fork and a bit of mac & cheese.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Yellow Ochre, Red Rose Deep, Leaf Green, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!