Latest Mixtape:

Shop the TK market: Tee + Vinyl Bundle

tee_bundle Buy it now

Spaghetti with Lemony Anchovy Sauce and My Big Takeaway from Alt Summit

I had recently fallen into a rabbit hole called Alt Summit (if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I was tweeting up a storm about everything I was learning). I’ve crawled out from under white dresses, sparkles, stationary and balloons to tell you a story about embracing who you are. Not who you project out there, but who you really are, and might sometimes be embarrassed to admit to yourself. This blog post was supposed to a recap of what I’ve learned. And while I’m sure I’ll share bits and pieces here and there, this has turned into something else. A lengthier something else (plus a recipe for weeknight Spaghetti with Lemony Anchovy Sauce, so at least there’s something tasty for you to look forward to once you get to the end).

I had the pleasure of listening to a keynote speech by Gretchen Rubin, whose book, The Happiness Project, was inspired by her personal search for leading a happier life. I have not read the book, but her speech stayed with me. Part of it addressed a crucial need for accepting yourself. According to Gretchen, we all have an idea of who we want to be. Maybe you want to be an entertainer, or a Jill-of-All-Trades. Maybe you want to be an amazing cook or musician. Maybe you want to love high heels. Or you want to enjoy traveling. You might have spent a lot of time in your life trying to do these things. And maybe at some point, some of them made you happy.

But maybe you actually hate playing music or can’t stand the stress of traveling. It might be hard to admit, even to yourself, that this is the case. It’s painful, maybe even embarrassing. But being happy starts with being yourself 100%.

I’ve been thinking about this. What are the things I’ve been telling myself I am that I am not? And has this self deception actually had a negative effect on my happiness?

Are there things about yourself that you refuse to admit…even to yourself? Do you wish you could just come out and say them? Own them, even if they might not be cool, socially acceptable or morally bruising?

Since we’re being honest here, I’m going to tell you two things I recently admitted to myself that I’ve finally started to more openly share with people. I hate baseball (and American football, for that matter). And I don’t really like movies much (I’m really, really picky when it comes to spending 2 + hours sitting and watching something). I know that well rounded people should cheer on their home team and want to go see the Muppet Movie over Christmas. But you know what? I don’t! And I’m totally cool with it. I’d rather go for a long walk in the park, or take on a complicated cooking project. Or write. I think that, for a long time, I kind of didn’t want to admit this. Not even to myself.

But once I started talking about it, it felt like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I told Matt never to invite me to a baseball game. And now I’m pretty straightforward about it with all of our friends. It feels pretty great. I don’t have to feel guilty about it and I don’t have to make up excuses for myself or for other people.

Being honest with other people starts with being honest with yourself and whether or not it means you might be happier, I think it’s a better way to live. It was refreshing to listen to Gretchen’s talk. Even though there were points she made that I didn’t agree with, I’m glad I walked away from the conference with something really poignant. Being yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be better; it’s about accepting the things that make you unique and flying that flag proud.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been increasingly sharing more personal stuff with our readers. Whether it’s talking about family, my friends, hard transitions, awesome accomplishments, or scary new endevours, I’m glad that here, I’ve been totally myself. But sometimes I hold stuff back. Sometimes I’m a little scared to put something out there. But here’s another thing I learned at the conference that I’m going to keep telling myself over and over: you guys are here for a reason. And you want us to do well! You want my recipes to turn out well in your kitchen, and you want to play Matt’s mixtapes at your next party. The best days are still ahead, you guys.

Did you attend Alt? Did you follow the chatter on Twitter? Or have you just been thinking about this subject yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. xo

Spaghetti with Lemony Anchovy Sauce
adapted from Falling Cloudberries
*serves 2 as a main course, 3-4 as a first course

I know I haven’t talked much about this recipe, but truly, it’s a working woman/man kind of meal. It consists of a few simple ingredients, so be sure to make them good. Make your own pasta, or seek out the homemade stuff from your favorite grocer. Get the good anchovies. Use freshly ground black pepper. And don’t skimp on the butter. Don’t go crazy on the salt, as anchovies tend to be pretty salty already, but add some if you think the dish needs it.

fresh homemade pasta (preferably, spaghetti or capellini)
5 tablespoons of butter
8 anchovy fillets in oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
grated lemon zest from 1/2 of a lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon

finely chopped fresh basil, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the drained anchovies to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir the anchovies into the butter until they break apart.
2. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then remove from the heat.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fresh pasta and cook until just cooked through (this should only take a few minutes if you are using fresh pasta). Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
4. Put the spaghetti in a large bowl. Add the anchovy sauce and the remaining butter, along with just a tablespoon or so of cooking water. Toss the pasta until the sauce coats it. Serve the pasta with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper, basil (if using) and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.

Musical Pairings: Twilight Singers – She Loves You + Spaghetti with Lemony Anchovy Sauce

There’s more on the Turntable.

Print this recipe

Posted by Kasey

KaseyProfileSunspot

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • http://blog.muffinegg.com/ Rachel

    This post comes along at an opportune time for me. I’m starting to realize that a lot of my struggles come from not accepting and embracing who I am. I really want to throw myself headlong into something that I’m passionate about but I can’t quite figure out what that is.
    You’re lucky to have come to those realizations and it really shows in your blog. You’re writing is wonderful and it seems like your identity really comes through.

  • Michelle

    I really liked The Happiness Project and found it full of awesome gems of wisdom.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Good to know, Michelle! I may need to check it out myself.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Rachel. I think if there’s something out there that you are REALLY passionate about, you should definitely throw yourself into it. But, I think it’s ok to still be looking for that one thing you really care about. I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving comments. It means a lot to know that you think my identity comes through my writing! xo

  • http://twitter.com/drewhatton Drew Hatton

    What I love about sharing life via social media is that we can choose which little morsels to reveal on our own schedule, without bursting the whole emotional piñata all at once. There’s no “right” way to share insight into how we think and feel, and I think that allows a more empowered vulnerability.

    I’m thrilled you got to hear Gretchin Rubin speak; she’s long been a hero of mine! And yes, we DO want you to do well!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://brooklyngalley.com/ Diana

    I didn’t attend Alt Summit but was following Design*Sponge’s tweets and your tweets about it. It seems like such a great event with great comradery. Definitely considering attending next year!

  • http://www.beyondtheplate.net/ Danielle

    I followed your tweets on and off (glad that the white dress hunt worked out btw!) and I could tell that you were having a ball of a time :) Your reflections about being honest with oneself really resonates because it’s something I’m constantly trying to be aware of. I don’t like being taken for granted or preached at, so when I discover these patterns in my friendships it’s been hard to draw the line and stop associating with people who treat me that way, but so liberating!

    I dislike American football and baseball too, and as for movies, perhaps you just need to know what you like to watch :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Umm, you just totally made my day!! I totally agree is that the best part of social media is that you can share as much or as little as YOU decide. It’s totally empowering. I will need to check out more stuff by Gretchen because I just recently became familiar with her work. Also, thanks so much for tweeting photos of your creative twists on Pairings Box recipes. It means SO much to us!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Hi Diana! I can’t emphasize enough what an awesome event it was. I learned so much (about blogging, relationships, books…life?!) Anyways, I’m glad you were able to follow along. It’s good to know my tweets were well-received :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Danielle: the white dress was a success! I was so glad I picked up the one I did as I was the only one wearing it :) A friendship that only creates negative energy around you isn’t a friendship worth fostering, in my opinion. I’m glad to know you dislike football and baseball, too! I knew I’d be taking a hit on that one from many people, but it’s all about honesty, right? Re: movies. There are some movies that I have watched that are absolutely FANTASTIC. They have changed my perspective, my life. I think you are right that it’s all about WHAT I watch. I try to gravitate towards things that I know will make me think, ponder, and look at life through a different colored lens. xo

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Danielle: the white dress was a success! I was so glad I picked up the one I did as I was the only one wearing it :) A friendship that only creates negative energy around you isn’t a friendship worth fostering, in my opinion. I’m glad to know you dislike football and baseball, too! I knew I’d be taking a hit on that one from many people, but it’s all about honesty, right? Re: movies. There are some movies that I have watched that are absolutely FANTASTIC. They have changed my perspective, my life. I think you are right that it’s all about WHAT I watch. I try to gravitate towards things that I know will make me think, ponder, and look at life through a different colored lens. xo

  • Anonymous

    Not only do I love this post, but I also love the recipe! It looks perfect.

    …and I don’t like movies either. or TV. People are often pretty shocked by that but I just feel like I have better things to do with my time!

    SOOO great meeting you at ALT, Kasey!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    It was so great to meet you in person!! Love to hear from others who share my feelings about movies and television (I think it comes with the territory of being a busybody!) So glad we found each other via Twitter…love following your blog!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    It was so great to meet you in person!! Love to hear from others who share my feelings about movies and television (I think it comes with the territory of being a busybody!) So glad we found each other via Twitter…love following your blog!

  • http://www.ladomestique.com Jess O’Toole

    I wanted so badly to attend ALT, but since I couldn’t, it’s wonderful to learn a bit from posts like this one. Thanks for sharing your big takeaway. As I mature, I think figuring out how to be honest with myself and others is my biggest challenge.

  • http://www.dramaticpancake.com/ Dramatic Pancake

    Such an insightful post, and a beautiful dish! I think being honest with ourselves is something we all continually struggle with to some degree, but I do believe that people tend to react well when we are honest — even if its about traits/opinions we don’t consider all that desirable. Fly the flag proud, right? Btw, I don’t like baseball, either. :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Jess, it would have been so lovely to meet you there! I think as we get older, we also get a clearer sense of the fact that we are not perfect (something we don’t think so much about when we are young!). I think the important thing to remember is that we all struggle with these things together :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you, Kathryn! I agree that people do tend to react well to honesty…baseball haters unite :)

  • http://happyolks.com/ Kelsey

    I think you’re great. I’ve totally enjoyed your more personal, vulnerable posts. Keep ‘em coming. In the spirit of self-disclosure: I hate capers and halloween. ;)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    OMG, I love it. I kinda hate Halloween sometimes, too. I actually used to LOVE Halloween and then I got kinda sick of it. I predict that when I have a kid, I’ll start to absolutely love it again. It’s also Matt’s bday, so from that perspective, I love it :) I think you’re great, too! xo

  • http://twitter.com/zenguin guinevere de la mare

    Love this post, Kasey! And I’m so glad you still wanted to be my friend after I told you I could totally relate to Gretchen Rubin hating music…

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thanks, Guinevere! I am SO glad we met at Alt. I’m really looking forward to hanging out back in SF. And, I totally don’t judge you for not really liking music that much! Maybe it’s kinda like me and movies…once you discover something great, you enjoy it more than you initially expected…

  • http://cookieandkate.com/ Cookie and Kate

    Oh boy, I think there are several things about myself that I am not yet ready to confront and certainly not ready to accept. All in due time. I’m finally learning to accept that I do not enjoy large crowds and loud noises, so that’s something. I really enjoyed following your Alt experience through twitter. Thank you for sharing what you learned along the way!

  • Heidi

    Kasey, you already know I’m a big fan so it was awesome to finally hook up and meet you in person at Alt. You in all your white dress and black fishnet coutureness. Seriously, keep writing about what moves, motivates and inspires you. Our authenticity is the most important thing we can give our readers and ourselves. Can’t wait to meet up with you again at some point. XO

  • http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    This looks so simple yet delicious. I don’t cook much with anchovies, but I do love the flavor and saltiness.

  • http://www.athoughtforfood.net/ Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Oh you know just what I like. I’m kind of an anchovy nut… will eat them in any way, shape, or form… but my favorite is with pasta, tossed with some lemon zest and some peas and maybe a little cheese.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    You and I would obviously be friends. Your pasta description sounds right up my ally!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you, Brandon!

  • MikeVFMK

    Love this pasta! The perfect recipe to guide us through the rest of the winter. Cheers.

  • Mikriki

    The pasta sounds great, but I have to say, I call BS on all these happiness gurus, including the one you cite. What’s wrong with a little melancholia? It’s kind of like love: If you need to try that hard…. something’s wrong.

  • Chispas

    Wow! Just discovered anchovies. Yum! Will be fun experimenting. Oh and even when you don’t think you’ll enjoy a certain activity or food, it can be fun to compromise and go along with it once in a while, unless really distasteful for you. That’s how I found anchovies after all.

Get the pairings box:A curated food and music discovery experience

6 Month Gift Subscription Subscribe

In season now:

Shop the TK market: Cookbook From A Box

cookbooklead Buy it now

Latest Feature:

Latest Pairings Box:

Recently on the turntable:

See all Stories from the Turntable > >

Recently in the kitchen:

See all Stories from the Kitchen > >