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Boundary Building Brown Butter Sauce

Solve some boundary problems with garlic

Co-Dependent Cooks

Boundary Building Brown Butter Sauce

Boundary Building Brown Butter Sauce

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In my life, everything relates to food, and my boundary problems significantly impact my diet. My idea of healthy eating is low-carb, moderate protein and healthy fats. My family loves pizza, cookies, soda, and buffalo wings. For years, instead of doing what worked for me, I became a chameleon and ate their favorite foods.

Conversely, when I really needed a hand in the kitchen, I refused to ask my family for help. My teenager doesn't know how to wash a dish, and it's because I don't ask him to. Instead, I do the chores all by myself and then grow angry and resentful.

Most Common Types Of Boundary Problems

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend have written multiple books on boundaries, so this is a high-level, big picture summary of the four most common boundary problems:

  1. Compliants say "Yes" to the bad. People who struggle with this type of boundary are chameleons who melt into the needs and demands of others.
  2. Avoidants say "No" to the good. These folks refuse to ask for or accept help. They build strong walls to protect their authentic selves and isolate behind the walls when they are hurt.
  3. Controllers don't respect other people's boundaries, and controllers come in two types - aggressive or manipulative. Controllers are often aggressive.
  4. Non-responsives don't hear the needs of others. They are often critical of others or hyper-focused on themselves.

I am a compliant avoider.

Building New Boundaries

By far, learning how to set boundaries has been the most challenging yet rewarding part of my recovery. I'm much better at saying "No." Accepting help is still a work in progress.

So, how does this relate to butter? Setting boundaries on what I eat is a regular focus for me. Before recovery, I would have never made a dish that my family wouldn't enjoy with me. Now, I make this amazing sauce often.

The Best Brown Butter Sauce EVER


  • 1 Stick of Butter (real butter, not oleo, or margarine)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons of FRESH sage, chopped or rosemary (Sage is my favorite.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Optional - 1 small shallot thinly sliced (Best used on days when you really need help setting boundaries.)

Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and melt on medium-low heat. Let the butter simmer, stirring occasionally until the butter starts to brown.

Browned butter is life changing. Just keep an eye on it because black butter is bad and burnt garlic is worse.

I drizzle this butter over steamed butternut squash, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. It is also great on turkey or chicken. It's so good, that I have been known to eat it plain straight from the saucepan. Plus, butter is healthy. Per Dr. Axe, butter is:

  • An excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Rich with manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium, a powerful antioxidant
  • A perfect blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats
  • Is a source of good cholesterol



Pam is the author of two books: Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and Find Your True Colors In 12 Steps. She's also a contributing editor for Reach Out Recovery. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.

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