Good morning! Hope you are all healthy and staying somewhat sane. Yesterday I decided I needed a day of nonstop productivity. I know we’re supposed to be giving ourselves more leeway on things and practicing self-care and all that, but after living with myself for this many decades, I know that manic bursts of getting sh*t done is my most effective form of self-care. I dealt with two things that had been sitting on my to-do list for way too long, prepared for an interview I’m doing today, wrapped up two freelance jobs (one small, one large), and in between went for a short run. In other news: Phoebe made a batch of World Peace cookies yesterday and they were insane. That will serve as today’s “Project” because I have two “Pantry” recipes for you below…have a great day, even if it means taking three naps.

Pantry: Broiled Caesar

I’ve always been wary of searing or blasting conventional salad greens, but yesterday, when I found myself staring at a depressingly boring plastic bag of three romaine hearts I remembered Eric Ripert’s post on instagram. He “basted” romaine hearts (cut horizontally, like above) with a Caesar-like dressing (this is the one I used) then sprinkled a few tablespoons of Parm on top before broiling for 5 minutes. You can watch his video for more detailed instructions, but it really is that easy. I served it with extra dressing (and some roast chicken ???? ).

Pantry: Mushroom Toasts

Does it make me a certain kind of woman that I have come to look forward to surprising my husband with a hot lunch while he’s working? Or is it just an another example where Act of Love = Self-Care? Does it matter? Yesterday’s surprise was this mushroom toast. We had a container of mixed mushrooms (maitake, shiitake, enoki) but you can use any kind. Chop them finely — stems and all — then saute in garlic-infused olive oil until they are crispy and have lost most of their moisture. Then add a tablespoon or two of chopped red onion, plus salt and pepper, to the pan, cook for another few minutes. Toss in a bowl with a few dashes of sherry or red wine vinegar. (Just a teaspoon probably will do. Taste it as you go.) Sprinkle two slices of bread with Parm then broil until cheese has melted and crusts are golden. Top with mushrooms and chives or any fresh herb. Makes two toasts.

Purpose: Dear Class of 2020

Guys, I think Barack Obama reads my blog. How else do you explain his decision to deliver a commencement speech to the entire class of 2020 along with Michelle only the day after I mentioned how depressed I was to miss my senior’s graduation? Not kidding that this was the best news I’ve gotten all week. It’s a one-hour special airing on every major network, and you can find more information here. Mark your calendars: Saturday, May 16, 8:00pm ET/PT, 7:00 CT/MT. We are going to make a day of it.

Stay safe, stay home.

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at