What Is Your Current Hyper-Fixation Meal?

By: Jen Shoop

Do you go through phases of brief, intense obsession with certain dishes? I am absolutely this way — but my husband could not be more different. He hates repeating meals (save for leftovers; we typically eat the same dinner twice in a row to reduce his cooking load) and is hell-bent on diversifying not only the cuisines but proteins we eat from day to day. (A week of all poultry is hell for him!)

Me? I’m deep into a bizarre but delicious breakfast of cottage cheese (Good Culture brand only), everything bagel seasoning, and raspberries harvested from Mr. Magpie’s garden. I know it sounds strange: garlic seasoning alongside fruit? But it works. A great combination of savory, umami, sweet, and it’s filling enough that a small ramekin keeps me happy until lunchtime. I also love the cottage cheese with EB seasoning and cucumbers for a later-in-the-day snack.

Other hyper-fixations I’ve had in the recent past: chicken caesar salad wraps (I generally avoid wraps like the plague, as they bespeak bad corporate catering, but fell in love with one from a local spot and could not stop ordering it), chicken pho ga soup with a ton of lime, sriracha, and Thai basil mixed in, and broccoli rabe dressed with red pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil, and pecorino romano. This last dish can hardly be called a “temporary” fling — I’ve been obsessed with it for years. If rabe is on the menu, I will order it. There is a local pizza joint that has a broccoli rabe and sausage pizza and I have a very difficult time ordering anything else but this combo.

What’s your current hyper-fixation meal? The weirder the better. Please share in the comments!


+My Grub Street style food diary. I know you loved this post — should I do another soon?

+What do you eat for lunch?

+Some of our favorite restaurants in the DC area here. To this I would add a Bob’s Shanghai 66, a no-frills, fast-casual Chinese restaurant out in Rockville that Landon took me to this week for a little midweek lunch date. It was SO, so good.

+Some of our favorite kitchen gear.

If you want more Magpie, you can subscribe to my Magpie Email Digest for a weekly roundup of top essays, musings, conversations, and finds!

Shopping Break.

+All the hype about these pants! I ordered a pair to try…

+Also ordered this fun dress. I am such a dress girl.

+But I also discovered the perfect LBD. I own a sleeveless version of this dress in a hot pink and it is SO FLATTERING. The fit is divine. Somehow 25% off and fully stocked!

+OO this variegated knit sweater from Sezane!!!

+I polled my Magpies for the best dry shampoo and so, so many of you (hands down) raved about Living Proof. I ordered myself some – cannot wait to try!

+Speaking of new beauty, a few of you had raved about UBeauty’s Lip Plasma, and the team over there just reached out and offered to send me a few colors to try. I cannot wait!!! Will write a review as soon as I receive and test.

+Cute sticky notes for lunch box love notes!

+It may seem early, but these little tree decorations are a good thing to buy now and sock away for Thanksgiving. The brown ones would totally work on a fall tablescape, too!

+This bag was sold out in the navy suede until late October so I picked in the chocolate raisin color. I’ve been looking for a good slouchy bucket bag for fall and love the buckle on this one.

+Ordered some of these fill-in-the-blank thank you note cards for my children. 10% off with code MAGPIE10.

+I’ve given these prayer bowls to a few children for Baptisms/First Communions — so sweet. These custom embroidered pieces are also sweet.

+Cute fall kicks, under $50.

+Attractive, inexpensive curtain rods for a DIY situation.

+Placemats above are Proper Table. Still in constant use in my house, a year in.

+Dramatic tweed dress for a special occasion this fall.

+ICYMI: I wrote two mini reviews on pieces I am loving from Dorsey, and on my Adidas Sambas.

+Again, this is early (!), but I love these legging sets from Lila + Hayes for my girl. I’ve bought her several sets each year and it’s just such an easy uniform for weekends. Comfortable for her, but cute! The patterns are amazing. They always do great holiday patterns.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

26 thoughts on “What Is Your Current Hyper-Fixation Meal?

  1. Hear me out: eggplant sautéed with anchovies for fifteen minutes. Can be used over greens topped with pistachios, feta, avocado, and pickled veggies to astonishing effect, or put on a toast.

    1. OMG – this sounds next level. I love sauteed anchovies in a dish like this — kind of melt into a delicious umami flavor.

      Thank you!

  2. I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to food I prepare myself. Mostly out of pure laziness and a desire for quick, efficient grocery trips! I end up eating the same massive salad and roasted veggies nearly nightly and when I travel, I actually crave the consistency. One of the few perks to being a single gal who doesn’t have to consider a partner’s desires 🙂

    I’m curious what the local spots are that you mention, if you’re willing to share! xx

      1. PS – oops! Sorry I missed the second part of your comment. The caesar salad wrap was actually from Organic Butcher in Bethesda! They offer a limited range of prepared sandwiches and I couldn’t stop…!


  3. My breakfast has been basically the same for the last 3-4 years. Yikes! I used to eat an egg/veggie scramble but during my second pregnancy the thought of eggs first thing in the morning was…unappetizing. Toast sounded much better! And toast it has been ever since. I eat it with TJs almond butter on one slice and fancy salted butter and jam or marmalade on the other. Sometimes I have a few berries or a clementine with it. The weird part is that I make it in the oven with the broiler. I keep meaning to buy a toaster but we have a v small kitchen and are selective about what sits on the counter. But after this long it seems safe to say it’s a good investment 😉 I also love to make scones and muffins, so I’ll rotate those in occasionally.

    1. Yum – delicious! This is funny, because this is sort of what my FIL eats every morning (and has for years) but on an English muffin. One side has peanut butter and the other side has butter and zaatar. I love your (and his) variety-style toast breakfast!


  4. I am like your husband in needing variety, but I’m less fussy with breakfast…most days at the moment I have bircher muesli with Puhoi Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit – pineapple or strawberries usually. I am obsessed with a new (to me) cookbook though! Jamie Oliver’s Five Ingredients Mediterranean has so many delicious, simple recipes, I’m cooking from there directly at least twice a week at the moment but it’s great for inspiration also. Generally I am obsessed with Mediterranean food – if I were ever put in the difficult situation of only being able to eat one cuisine for the rest of my life that would be my choice.

    1. Oo, love the sound of that muesli morning situation! Delightful. Thanks for the cookbook rec! I have to say, I cringed for a second at the name Jamie Oliver because I owned one of his cookbooks way back, in my early 20s, and I felt that the cookbook left out a lot of important details / was loose on measurements at a time when I really needed the instruction. Like, now I’d have a better sense for how much garlic, oil, salt, etc to put in there, but he’d use approximations like “glug of olive oil.” I ruined several dinners under the impression I knew what I was doing loosely following his recipes. I remember one in particular – I was trying to impress Landon and it was absolutely inedible. AHHH! But. I’ve grown and I feel I’d be better equipped this go around. Ha. Not that you asked, but the name just triggers that memory!!


  5. Two things I’m craving frequently! I also have a toddler, so it’s helpful that these can be made quickly.

    One: a grilled turkey and sharp white cheddar (thickly sliced) sandwich with a hefty slather of tangy Dijon (love that you love vinegars and mustards too!). On toasted Dave’s Killer Bread (sprouted grain is slightly sweet with a great nuttiness). In mid summer it was amazing with a few tomato slices thrown in!

    Two: a toasted peanut butter and jam. Such a comfort food too! I use Whole Foods’ non-organic peanut butter (it’s salty and slightly chunky) and a strawberry jam with big pieces of strawberry. Same bread as above – Mmm!

    1. Elizabeth – oh my gosh, “the hefty slather of tangy Dijon”?! Pure poetry. I need this sandwich immediately. Thank you!

      In case you or anyone else does not know this, you can buy enormous jars of Bonne Maman jam at Costco for $9 or $10. We always buy several because we go through so much jam in our house and I love Bonne Maman!


  6. A hot pressed sandwich with mozzarella, pesto, and pepperoncini. I’ve been eating it a couple of times a week since the spring, and haven’t gotten sick of it yet! I use the baguette or sourdough boule from Bread Alley- they supply a few well known restaurants in DC including Le Diplómate.

  7. Good Culture – just the best. I’m a total meal repeater and on a cottage cheese and toast kick. I’ve been loving a slice of toasted sourdough with a smear of good culture cottage cheese on top + drizzle of honey. Weird, but so good!

    1. Val – you and I are cut from the same cloth. Totally agree with your review of Good Culture, of course, but my mouth was watering reading about your toast and honey formula. I think it’s sort of similar to my HFM (hyper-fixation meal) in that you get the tang and savoriness PLUS a little pop of something sweet.


  8. Love Ramekins! We have been on a homemade egg mcmuffin kick at our house, with everyone choosing preferred cheese (sharp cheddar, pimento cheese) and slather of butter or jam or for my husband a dash of hot sauce. For simple before school prep- we cook a single egg in a ramekin in the microwave. Fits an English muffin perfectly and easy for small hands to hold.

  9. I tend to hyper-fixate on food too but am trying to limit that only to breakfast this year (oatmeal). I’ve been loving Asian pears and seckel pears from the dupont farmer’s market every afternoon while they’re in season.

    One of my favorites from the past that you inspired was whole fat fage greek yogurt, Michelle’s almond butter granola (particularly before canola oil was used), berries, and local honey… I would immediately replace the oatmeal with this in a heartbeat but am currently minimizing dairy for health reasons.

    Would love another food diary post and am appreciate of the Chinese rec… we still haven’t found a go to spot in the area so am excited to try it.

    1. Oh good!! Let me know what you think. Go for dim sum! They are known for their soup dumplings, which were great, but weren’t in fact my favorite dish. It doesn’t sound particularly novel or anything, but I went crazy over their Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles with Pork. Wow! Just had leftovers last night and my mouth is watering thinking about it.


  10. It may not be a current hyper-fixation, but does seem strange to others. I always serve a little side pitcher of evaporated milk with cake to pour over the slice. It’s my equivalent of what syrup is to a pancake. The creamy room temp milk seeps into the cake beautifully and makes it so moist and delicious. It was my godmother who introduced me to this as a little girl. She was English, but I’m uncertain if that is/was an English tradition, but now cannot have cake any other way. It also reminds me of her every time I do making it even more special.

    1. Anne, I can get behind this idea! It’s like tres leches cake (well, 1/3 of it, haha!)

      My brother and I were at a bakery once and I was shocked to see him pour his espresso shot on a slice of chocolate cake. But the result was so delicious! It added that extra complexity to the cake.

      1. Ooh Mia, sounds amazing. Love! I have an expresso machine and will be trying this next time we have chocolate cake. Thank you so much for sharing.

Previous Article

Next Article