The upcoming solar eclipse is apparently apt to amp up your sense of curiosity and ambition, use it to your advantagein the kitchen. 

By Darcy Lenz
August 09, 2017
Naoyuki Noda/Getty Images

Some, if not most, people look at the upcoming solar eclipse, occurring on August 21st, as a cool phenomenon of nature… this is normal. However, because my mom (our casual family astrologer) has printed enough round charts with lines running through them and explained every aspect of my being—fairly accurately—with them, I can’t really look at any occurrence relating to the cosmic abyss above without immediately wondering: OK, how is this going to f*ck with my life? 

Being that this particular solar eclipse is something of a big deal—it’s our nation’s first total solar eclipse since 1979 and the first to cross the entire country, coast to coast, since 1918—I was actually surprised that she hadn’t already reached out to explain what it would mean for me by the time I texted her to ask for myself this morning. (See, she usually let’s me know if something is coming up that I need to be conscious of, especially wary of.) I take it from her response that she’s only ever going to hit me with celestial guidance if something potentially disastrous is looming over me, which is fine, that seems like the most pertinent info. 

Anyway, the gist of this eclipse situation is that—beyond there being a brief moment when the sun is completely blacked out by the moon—this kickoff of a new moon cycle is a moment of momentous energy. As my mom noted (while telling me to just go read the numerous articles she’d already posted on her Facebook about it), the eclipse will impact each person differently based on your astrological sign, but the overarching theme of this particular solar eclipse (because of a bunch of details about planets and angles that are more than I care to understand) is a mighty amount of energy for personal growth, exploration, curiosity, ambition, and adventurous change for all. OK, for most. So yeehaw!

So what do you say we take that go-get-‘em energy and get into the kitchen. Because where else would you go when the stars are on your side?? Branch out, take a chance, taste a new food, make a new recipe, attempt some dishes that await beyond the boundaries of your typical culinary comfort zone. Here are 8 ideas to get you started. 

1. Sous Vide Barbecue Pork

Sous Vide Barbecue Pork image

Photo: Daniel Agee; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Mark Driskill

Step outside the box and stay inside for your next barbecue dinner with this incredible sous vide take on BBQ. While it’s certainly not a challenging recipe, it does require that you branch out in your cooking technique—adding new skills (and equipment) to your arsenal. Go forth, you’re not scared of a few food-grade plastic baggies, especially not when it means achieving some of the most succulent pork of your life. Hell, might as well go for the Sous Vide Potato Salad and Vacuum Sealed Slaw while you’re at it. This is your destiny. 

2. Spicy Tuna Ceviche

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Unless, of course, allowing raw fish to cook itself is your destiny. Again, not a difficult dish, but ceviche is one of those delicious things that folks are often intimidated to make at home. Don’t be. It’s your moment to shine—shine as bright as the vibrant sushi-grade tuna before you. And really, all you have to do is make sure you start with great, fresh fish, stir in a handful of other ingredients, then sit back and wait until it’s time for you to impress the pants off of whoever… with the homemade ceviche you casually whipped up like it’s nothing, because YOU ARE A CULINARY GODDESS/GOD. 

3. Sticky Cinnamon Roll Babka Buns

Sticky Cinnamon Roll Babka Buns image

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

OK, I’m not going to sit here and continue with my “this looks impressive, but it’s really not hard” spiel on this one. These sweet rolls require some time/effort—but there’s no denying, they are impressive. If you’re craving an ambitious baking adventure while you’ve got some celestial wind beneath your wings, this cinnamon roll-babka hybrid is the recipe for you.

It’s like I always say—self discovery begins when you’re elbow-deep in Nutella. 

4. Popcorn Lobster with Creamy Lager-Mustard Sauce

Popcorn Lobster with Creamy Lager-Mustard Sauce image

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Adam Dolge; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson

This scrumptious snack offers double the exhilaration and growth, as it requires you to both address a living lobster AND deep-fry (that same lobster). What a time to be alive (unless you’re the lobster). #SolarEclipse2017


5. Chocolate Pasta 

Photo: Sara Tane; Styling: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm 

Making homemade fresh pasta is a kitchen adventure everyone should embark upon at least once, and these black-as-the-moon-blocking-out-the-sun-on-August-21st noodles go next-level, as they are actually made to be served as dessert. Yep, coated in a boozy raspberry and white chocolate sauce or topped simply with a dollop of vanilla mascarpone cream, this decadently delicious pasta is all kinds of weird and the perfect treat for when you’re feeling especially open-minded. But hey, if sweet fettuccine isn’t your thing, just make classic fresh pasta noodles instead. 

6. Eggplant Pappardelle

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Margaret Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis 

Alternatively, you could go all anti-pasta with this wowing veggie noodle dish. It’s not happening by the comfort of your spiralizer, folks… no, zoodles are for you’re old self, you’re dealing with eggplant, a nightshade. You’re toeing a dangerous line, but you ain’t scared—you’re ready. Ready to let go of fear, ready for replacing your glutenous carbs with with something other than zucchini. You have the power (i.e. a veggie peeler)!

7. Savory Sage and Thyme Brioche Loaves

Savory Sage and Thyme Brioche Loaves image

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Is bread-making calling your name? Go get some duck fat and listen. 

8. Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwiches with Horseradish sauce

Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce image

Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Cat Steele

If there was ever gonna be a moment to challenge Arby’s superiority, this would be it. Channel your innermost Leo energy (making this up, but it sounds right) and get out there and show ‘em just WHO has the meats. Bonus: Making this recipe also means you're making our Perfect Roasted Beef Tenderloin… how fortuitous.