Monday, September 29, 2008

Parmesan Crisps: Good Things

As I write this, the economy is collapsing, our presidential hopefuls are becoming increasingly venomous, the 2008 New York Mets are embarking on a not-entirely unexpected early vacation, and Earth is getting used to the absence of one Mr. Paul Newman, who will henceforth be lighting up the Great Beyond with those beautiful baby blues.

How was everyone else’s weekend?

In all seriousness, mine was good, but it’s getting a little tougher to remain optimistic in the face of bigger, badder issues. Between 24-hour news channels and the internet’s constant flow of depressing information, catastrophes are being hurtled at us more frequently, and the accompanying commentary is louder and nastier than ever before. Good times.

Howevah, sweet readers, to quote Martha, there’re bunches of good things out there, too. Like:
  • Fall!
  • Apples!
  • Sweet Potatoes!
  • The Office is back, with no writers’ strike looming.
  • Between Brady/Vicky’s thoroughly unlikeable brown team and Jerry/Coleen’s there-are-lives-at-stake-here yellow team, The Biggest Loser has suddenly become strangely compelling.
  • Football has returned, and in a stunning turn of events, the Bills are 4-0.
  • For the first time in a century, the Cubs have an honest-to-god shot at winning the World Series.
  • You’re pretty!
  • Americans have united over money: we don’t want Wall Street to get any more.
  • The Comics Curmudgeon!
  • Money origami animals!
  • The Pope likes the environment!
  • Hilariously, 27-year-old Christina Aguilera is releasing a “Greatest Hits” CD.
  • Ludicrously, 15-year-old Miley Cyrus is publishing an autobiography.
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist actually looks pretty good.
  • Tina Fey is sparking SNL to their best-rated season in years.
  • Facebook’s new layout is growing on me.
  • Everyone I know is pregnant. (You should check, just to make sure.)
  • Polar bears remain awesome.
  • Parmesan Crisps!
About that last one: if you’re making soup (particularly a tomato-based one), you’re gonna wanna eat these. The recipe is ridiculously simple, and the results are akin to a giant, all-natural parmesan cracker. Plus, for a measly 22 calories a shot, they’ll sate your cheese craving without you having to resort to gobs of cheddar.

One note: for this particular recipe, I used mid-range pre-grated cheese. Freshly-grated will probably cook differently, because of its density and thickness. If you go that route, I might start at a lower temperature and check the crisps’ progress every few minutes.

In the meantime – enjoy. In times like these, you gotta somehow.

Parmesan Crisps
Makes 1 parmesan crisp

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Empty the parmesan on the paper in a small mound. Then, flatten the cheese until it forms a disc about ¼” thick. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, checking once at 8 minutes (just in case).

3) Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with soup, or eat on its own.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
22 calories, 1.4 g fat, $0.17

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese: 22 calories, 1.4 g fat, $0.17


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