Friday Eating & Reading


What we’re eating and reading this week:

The Zebra Cookies! Have they taken over your instagram feed like they’ve taken over mine? Well either way, they should be on your holiday to-bake list, whether it’s for the swap, the office party, or a weekend activity with the kids that checks the Holiday Baking Project box. I had to hand these over to Andy for his office party, but there’s another batch in my very near future.

Have a sentimental attachment to a New York restaurant? I’ll bet this guy has drawn it. (#greatgift)

The New York Times’ 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2018. I’m all over the Francese.

When your mom is not just a Tiger Mother, but theeee Tiger mother. (Why does it make me so happy to read that Amy Chua is addicted to TV.)

Read of the Week: Ariel Levy profiles Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Can you imagine how delicious this Moose Mountain Coffee Cake would be on Christmas morning with a great cup of coffee?

I’m on the “The Impossible Job” podcast talkin’ — what else? — family and food.

Can someone please make me a persimmons parfait?

Book report: I think I’m the only one who didn’t love The Witch Elm (it’s gotten nothing but excellent reviews so ask around before you rule it out entirely) but I loved every word of Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming; And for graphic novel fans: Killing and Dying, a collection of stories that are quietly, beautifully haunting. It’s one I’ll re-read often.

Under the category of Vegetarian Comfort Food: Five-ingredient Green Curry.

I’m the Expert. But my Kids Love My Husband’s Cooking. (“If I wanted [my kids] to remember my cooking, I had to slow down, I had to repeat, I had to make food that they could count on. Like their daddy did with pasta.” I love Amanda Hesser so much. And now I really want to try that pasta.)

As you guys know, I’ve been helping out over at Cup of Jo, so I want to send you over there for a few fun things: Here’s 21 Completely Subjective Rules for Raising Teenage Girls (by me) and here’s the the companion story for Boys by Catherine Newman.

Also on Cup of Jo: Why I Keep Running (Even Though I Dread it.)

Lastly, I’m announcing the winner of the giveaway on Monday, December 17! Still time to check out my holiday gift guide and enter in the comment sections.

Have a great weekend.

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16 Comments

Ruth

I’m about 200 pages in to the Witch Elm and am feeling like it’s….OK. I’ve never read her before but I know a lot of people love her. At this point, I’m committed but it’s MUCH slower than I’d like!

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Ali

I didn’t like the Witch Elm either! I so wanted to like it but I just couldn’t root for a single character. I loved all of her other books though.

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Jennifer

Oh my gosh! Jenny, I still love you, but… Witch Elm is my favorite read of 2018 (except, to be honest, Emily Miller’s translation of The Odyssey). My 2017 favorite read was Salt Fat Acid Heat…

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Jenny

I know, it’s a controversial opinion! I’m sorry! It’s my first Tana French, and at least I know not to give up on her. I know she’s the master. If you have thoughts on another one of her books that will 100% sell me on her, please let me know. I want to love her!

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Jennifer

I’d recommend Faithful Place–although it is also unsettling in terms of who to root for, who to root against. Are you watching My Brilliant Friend? I’m not, but I loved the series of novels on which the show is based. A number of my friends gave up, depressed because all the characters are so flawed. But on my view that’s a strength. (Not to get off-topic, but kind of like Madame Bovary or Crime & Punishment). But let’s talk about something more relevant–can’t wait to make those zebra cookies, even if I’m normally the most pathetic cookie-baker in my extended family!

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Ali

You should start with the first book In the Woods. While they don’t have to be read in chronological order, each book takes a character from the previous book and makes them the focus. They’re all really good, although Broken Harbor was my least favorite.

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Barb

In the Woods, for sure. Has been my favorite book for years. But, I’m with you on the Witch Elm – I’ve been halfway through for months and not sure I’ll finish it.

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Barb

In the Woods, for sure. Has been my favorite book for years. But, I’m with you on the Witch Elm – I’ve been halfway through for months and not sure I’ll finish it.

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Amy

Loved that article with Amanda Hesser! I struggle with the same thing – remaking recipes enough that my kids can depend on them; not the my-kids-eat-obscure-seafood part 😉

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Lyndsee

Yeeeeeah, the Witch Elm was my not-favorite. I did finish it, and I’m glad I did. Tana French can write the hell out of a twist ending. But the first 200 pages just dragged. Still love In the Woods the most.

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Jane

Gotta chime in here in re: The Witch Elm. It’s sitting next to me, and I have NOT yet started it yet, but based on how much I loved her other novels (even those that moved much more slowly), I know I will love it. Should you be in the mood for some really excellent thriller type novels, I cannot recommend Sharon Bolton (sometimes S.J. Bolton) enough. She has spoiled me for all future thriller/crime novelists.

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Natalie

The Witch Elm. Uuuuggghhhhh. It’s an 18-disc audiobook. They don’t find the skull until disc 7 or 8. Toby is the worst. I just couldn’t. I gave up.

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Katie

Hi from Alexandria, VA…I love Tana French and was so excited for The Witch Elm…and I also did not love it. Not sure why…I have loved every other one. None of my friends have read it yet, so I have not heard any other feedback yet.
In the same sort of writing style, I loved Missing, Presumed, by Susie Steiner.
Happy Holidays!

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Michael

Hello Jenny! I just wanted to say thank you for your Zebra Cookies recommendation. I made them yesterday and they turned out perfect. My kids loved these cookies very much!

Merry Christmas, Jenny!

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