Hello there! I have been thinking about my “weekly distraction” column, and wanted to share a few thoughts. First of all, it’s become one of my most popular posts of the week. A lot of you have asked me to continue with these roundups post COVID-19 and I’m absolutely on board for that. The thing I probably love most about blogging is creating these sort of “favorite thing lists.” There’s a fun element of discovery and sharing that I really enjoy. That being said, I wanted to rename it. I tend to overthink things and get hung up on tiny details, but I don’t like the idea of being “distracting” right now! So going forward (and on Mondays, but yesterday’s post was more important!), this column will now be “this week’s good things” instead. Very original, I know.
With that… welcome to this week’s good things. Per usual it’s just a fun list of things I’m loving, things that made me smile… I hope they do the same for you! I laughed because this week’s list is very food heavy. Very, very food heavy. (And it goes without saying: I hope you are all doing well and taking good care of yourselves. Tell me how you’re feeling/doing in the comments if you feel like it.)
This Week’s Good Things 6.9.20
My newest form of self-care has been gardening. My mom would be so proud (though maybe a bit annoyed, I text her daily for help!). I’ve started harvesting a few of the herbs from my Aerogarden (I will write a post about it, but both basils have grown SO fast), and outside I’ve planted tomatoes, lavender, some flowers, and a baby eggplant (that one is definitely more of an experiment!). I think maybe catnip for Tyrion is next? It’s been really fun, it’s SO nice spending time outside, working with my hands keeps me off of my phone, and I’m extremely excited to be able to enjoy (and probably give all my friends) fresh, home-grown tomatoes in a few months.
One last thing before we get to it! Today is June 9th and it’s the primary election in Georgia, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Besides the presidential primary, its for municipal appointments and local congressional elections. These are the people who are passing the laws that can help stop oppression. Please, please get out and vote if you live in one of those states: it’s the best thing you can do to impact change.
Rom Com Pods!
THE MOST EXCITING NEWS!!!! I am having such a proud friend moment. Rom Com Pods is a new fiction podcast created in part by one of my very best friends (and Bad on Paper co-host) Becca Freeman! Becca and our other friend Rachael have worked tirelessly at this for the past four months and the end result is SO GOOD. If you are craving a little escape, this is the perfect thing and the first episode dropped today. I have been lucky enough to get little glimpses along the way (they worked SO hard at this!!!) and it is fantastic and so fun. The quality is incredible. It’s so professional and polished; you’d think a massive team with years of experience produced it. Nope, this was their first try! Each season will be 6 episodes long, and each episode is around 30 minutes or so.
In this week’s episode of Bad on Paper (coming Weds) I get to interview Becca and Rachael about the creation process (it was so interesting!) but in the meantime run over and listen, ASAP!
A Bake Sale for Good!
Lani Halliday (above!) is the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a (Brooklyn-based!) gluten-free cake and pastry company! I first learned about her via Erica + Claire’s amazing newsletter, when they linked to her bake sale for a cause! She is selling her famous Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies online! A limited number of boxes are available on her site. All profits are going to directly to Food Issues Group (FIG): a Brooklyn-based chef-led relief collective, feeding folx in New York City who are facing food insecurity. I can’t think of a better sweet treat or pick-me-up to gift yourself (guilty: I ordered myself a box!) or a pal who maybe needs a little day-brightener. Unrelated: I’ve never had miso and chocolate together, but the combination sounds divine?
OK so media consumption was down a bit for obvious reasons. And it’s been so nice out so I’ve been outside as much as possible, reading, or workingon my “garden.” I did a lot of rewatching of Gossip Girl, and also White Collar but we’ve already discussed that. I also finished Defending Jacob which was absolutely heartbreaking.
BUT if you want something cute and fun, I absolutely loved The Baker and the Beauty (originally a wildy popular Israeli show, I watched the US version!). It’s about a man working for his family bakery (the baker), who meets Noa Hamilton (a beautiful mogul/celebrity). Their worlds collide and his whole life changes. We’ve talked about this on the podcast; Becca and I are both big fans of the “famous person meets non-famous person” trope. Some of the episodes drag on a little bit but it’s cute and funny and I LOVED the finale – it made me cry. I really hope it will be back for a second season!
Pasta Lovers Diary
My incredibly smart and talented friend Emily Fedner (she runs the Food Lover’s Diary instagram account which is a must-follow IMO!) has just released an e-cookbook, Pasta Lovers Diary! It’s only $15 and PACKED with recipes (whether you want to make your own pasta or use store bought!) AND (inspired by Gary He’s incredible Eater article), she is donating 15% of the proceeds to the Undocu Workers Fund.
Emily is a human ray of sunshine and so incredibly talented and as a fellow pasta lover, I cannot wait to dive into her new book!!!!
The best olive oil ever.
I joked on twitter.. is this going to be the year I get really into fancy olive oil? Maybe! My friend Hitha connected me to the team at Brightland. In her words, “she liked it so much she invested it,” which is just a goals statement in general. At the time of the email, I could have cared less about olive oil but said yes as Hitha is my friend and has great taste.
The brand sent me a bottle of their Awake varietal and I was like “ooh, this is pretty,” but didn’t really think much more about it. But once I actually opened the olive oil, I was like WHOA THIS IS HEAVEN. I use it sparingly as it’s pretty expensive (It’s $37 for about 14 oz.) I will 1,000% be buying this with my own money when I finish this bottle). But I don’t cook with it, so far I’ve just been putting it on my veggies and salads. I’m excited to put it on pasta next. But right now my favorite combo is heirloom tomatoes, sliced burrata (I found both at Mekelburg’s in Brooklyn if you are local and having a hard time finding fresh tomatoes), and a bit of sea salt. It’s the best thing I’ve ever tried.
Bread, Beautiful Bread.
I may be ready to jump on the bread-baking train a reader pointed me in the direction of Bryan Ford, aka @artisanbryan. His instagram page is full of drool worthy photos of bread and now I’ve gone and ordered his cookbook. He’s Honduran, born in the Bronx, is from NOLA, and now resides in Miami. Sourdough. Can I do this? I am nervous and not entirely sure. We shall see! If all else fails, it’s a beautiful book and I can just stare at the pictures. Regardless, I love following Bryan and I love his blog, too – there are tons and tons of recipes over there as well.
Tell me something good in the comments?