What we’re reading and eating (and buying and watching and listening to) this week:
A few weeks ago, we did what we’ve been meaning to do for about five years: We tore down some upper kitchen cabinets (that served mostly to collect mugs and jars we never used), installed open shelving, and re-tiled our backsplash. It took about 48 hours and not a whole lot of money, and the space feels completely transformed. We’ve been on a serious purging binge lately — making daily trips to goodwill bins, cleaning out our horrendous dungeon-basement (complete with tag sale!) — and the goal is to have only what we need on a daily basis on those shelves. Six dinner plates, six salad plates, six bowls, six highballs, and six tumblers. Here’s to the easy upgrade and here’s to simplifying.
Have you seen Smitten Kitchen’s new book? Drop Biscuits with “Everything Bagel” spice, Perfect Blueberry Muffins (they are perfect, I made them), Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel, and, the best, a mix-and-match party cake builder. It’s signature Deb from beginning to end.
On a five-hour drive to Rochester last month, I finally listened to every episode of the Dirty John podcast. Though it I thought it fell short of S-Town, it was all soap-opery and the narrator had the best noir-ish voice, and it was kind of perfect for a binge-podcast situation.
Or even better: A reverse advent calendar. (Thanks, Julie!)
Raising a Teenager (& annotated by a teenager)
Next time I roast some pork, I am so serving the coconut plantains from this menu alongside it.
Two movie winners last week with Phoebe (15 years old): 1) Say Anything: shocked and delighted that it completely holds up almost 30 years later and 2) Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, in theaters now. I might propose to Saiorse Ronan.
If my kids ate polenta and/or mushrooms, I’d make this Polenta with Mushrooms once a week.
I had no idea that the famous General Tso’s Tofu Sub from No.7 Sub has been around so long. (Looks like a project, but I’m still determined to recreate at home.)
I’m reading Picture of Dorian Gray because it’s one of those books that Phoebe has read seventeen times and, in spite of my English B.A., I have not read once. (I’ve said this before, but I highly recommend reading what your kids are reading and loving, if for no other reason than it’s something to talk about at the dinner table.)
The only feed that gets me to momentarily forget the head-spinning headlines.
I linked to this kale salad in my Thanksgiving round-up, but it’s so good I wanted to make sure you didn’t think it was only for Thanksgiving. (You can use Parm in place of nutritional yeast if you’re not interested in making it vegan. But please note: Having nutritional yeast on hand ups your game in the popcorn department.)
Dreamy Ramen with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
All I want for Christmas? Doug Jones in the Senate. (C’mon Alabama!)
WHERE DO YOU EAT IN ROCHESTER?! I really must know.
Hillary – I’m not the best one to ask. I was there for my daughter’s cross-country meet, and was in and out in under 18 hours (arrived at 6:00 on a Friday, left by noon the next day); On Friday, we met for a team dinner at the Geneseo Brewery’s restaurant — it was exactly what you’d expect, good beer & pub food, and perfect for that kind of an event. The only other place I went was Starbucks. 🙂
I was hoping you had spent days investigating the culinary options of Roc and could tell me all the secrets. If/when that happens, let us know!
Thank you for the sub recipe!! I got to write a review when they first opened and it was amazing! [Breakfast Sandwiches at No. 7 Sub http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/01/the-mad-scientist-is-back-at-work-breakfast-s.html%5D
I agree with Phoebe, Say Anything is still awesome. I watch it often. LLOYD FOREVER
Alabamian here that’s excited to vote for Doug Jones! I live in one of the city suburbs, and there are a ton of Doug Jones yard signs in my neighborhood. I know it’s a state-wide election, but that’s giving me cautious optimism!
Our family lives in central Alabama, and my little boy counts the Doug Jones signs we see on every car trip, shouting out, “DOUG JONES!” each time he spots one. There are so many people here writing postcards to voters, canvassing, and phone banking to make this happen. We are hopeful!
Me too, Katie! Mobile resident here, and very hopeful for this election!
Also got my BA in English, also never read Dorian Gray until recently. Pretty good, right? Albeit so dreary. I enjoyed it.
Curious. If you now only have 6 sets of dishes, what do you do when you entertain?
I have a set of 10, but I keep the extras stored away so we only use the ones displayed.
Wish I’d read the comments (first time I might have said that in a while…..)
Do you find 10 is enough or do you have to supplement with disposables? We host our families a couple times a year – feels silly to keep enough dishes for it but tacky to use paper…..might need to get over that though.
Seriously. What would I do this year without Chill Wildlife?
I love the idea of having just your daily use dishes but what do you do for dinner parties? Store away another full set, use disposable, ??? Doing a huge purge on our kitchen too and curious about this area.
Julie Van Rosendaal is the best, so excited to see her recognized here!
Jenny! Love your round ups. The URL for the shelving doesn’t work – could you repost it? I love that shelving!
Sorry about that — it was working on my end, but I re-linked it, so hopefully works for you now?
Those shelves look gorgeous! I love a good purge; it’s life changing.
I hope you enjoy “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” I find Wilde to be a bit challenging at first (and I’m a nerdy English type, too) but he’s such a good read. (I luckily got to go hang out at his gravesite a few weeks ago — a must-see if you ever find yourself in Paris!)
Another Alabamaian here! And we’re trying!!!
I am late reading your post. Thank you for sharing the article about raising a teenager. I am and I so needed it this morning. I felt such relief in reading it.
I love your kitchen shelving! It looks fantastic! Do you like your marble countertops? Have they wear worn well?
We just had the exact same tiling put in our kitchen. I love it!
The end of every year is the good time to purge my kitchen- decided throw something I keep for a long time but never use it. Kinda difficult to give up habbit keep something just because maybe I will need it in the future but finally never use it.
All I want for Christmas? of Doug Jones in the Senate is good choice for my weekend, I am impressed with this name (actually everything related Christmas 🙂 )