Stay with me on this one…

After 7 days of self-isolation, I have had the time for forced reflection. Before we made the decision (my husband has an underlying health issue), I headed off to the grocery store. I am not going to lie; it was stress inducing. I wasn’t even sure what to buy. Overwhelmed, I was guided by what others were buying.

Seeing the shelves nearly empty (my anxiety level went through the roof), I spotted a few bags of dried garbanzo beans, split peas, lima beans, cranberry beans, lentils, brown rice, white rice, and Arborio rice (risotto will be on the menu). I have been eating a low carb diet since June, but I want to be prepared, so I added them to my shopping cart.

Walking through the store (keeping a safe social distance and wiping my hands) I found myself checking the expiration dates on almond milk, contemplating freezer space, and now relying on frozen vegetables rather than fresh. Nuts, smoked oysters, sardines, tuna and anchovies also seemed like a good option. Extra coffee, oats, polenta, and eggs seemed to make sense too.

Now I am trying to come up with creative ways to cook wisely, without sacrificing taste or presentation. I believe eating is, and should be, a gratifying experience. How a dish looks, smells, and taste elevates eating. My new mantra, “focus on the things that I have control over today.” Cooking and eating well, for me, falls into that category.

Enjoy. Stay Safe.


Open-Faced Anchovy Sandwich with Balsamic & Arugula

  • Author: Ronda Carman
  • Yield: 2 1x


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups arugula
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tomatoes
12-inch baguette
12 oil-packed anchovies


Heat the oven to broil. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the rack with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add the arugula, toss well, ensuring all of the arugula is coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

In a small bowl mix the ricotta, thyme, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Set aside.

Slice each tomato into thin slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared wire rack. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place on the center rack of the oven and broil until lightly browned, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the baguette into two 6-inch lengths, then slice each one in half lengthwise. Place in the oven, cut side up, and toast for just a minute or two, just long enough to warm and lightly brown.

When the bread and tomatoes are done, top each piece of baguette with a quarter of the ricotta, then arrange 3 tomato slices over each. Top each with a quarter of the arugula, then 3 anchovies. Eat immediately.

  • Category: lunch
  • Cuisine: sandwich

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