Can we go to Target?
Errand friends, asking for help & a quick trip to Philly
Are you good at asking for help? I am not. Despite overwhelming evidence that asking for help is you know, helpful, it usually doesn’t cross my mind until my stress levels have gotten quite high. Yesterday, I was on a mission to get gift bags for tomorrow’s 5th birthday festivities (very exciting) and the craft store near me didn’t have what I was looking for. I didn’t have much time to figure out an alternative before heading to the theater with Julia and Julianne to see Into the Woods (so good, would absolutely recommend). In our group chat, I mentioned that I needed to go to Target at some point and was feeling overwhelmed. Just like magic, they immediately offered to help and even found a Target near the theater so we could go after the show en route to dinner. We wandered the aisles and made both necessary and unnecessary purchases. Target is a fun place to wander and it was immensely helpful in a way I can’t fully articulate. Sometimes we get caught up in what we can do by ourselves, but we don’t need to do everything by ourselves.
Tomorrow we’re celebrating five years of This Needs Hot Sauce with a happy hour at Philomena’s. TNHS has only gotten better with your help and with the help of very smart people who did things like design a logo, help me incorporate my business, and more. On Thursday, this year’s gift guide will arrive in your inboxes featuring my recommendations and some from friends with excellent taste and I can’t wait to share it. Here’s last year’s if you want to get a head start on your shopping (I don’t repeat entries but I still love and use everything from last year).
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Now, let’s dive in.
Something to cook:
I hosted Julia and Julianne for Bachelor in Paradise and I made pasta with arrabbiata sauce from Our Pantry, which is a new company featuring sauces from talented women chefs. They sent me the sauces to try and it was one of the best jarred sauces I’ve ever had. I didn’t add anything besides cheese and a little olive oil, per their instructions, and it was so flavorful. The packaging is beautiful and it’s made with yellow cherry tomatoes. I used fusili corti pasta from Trader Joes and made a simple salad to go with it. We were scraping the pan for the last bites.
Every few months I remember English muffins exist and honestly thank goodness. I grabbed some and have used them for avocado toast, egg sandwiches with sriracha and mayo, and just with butter and salt.
I have many thoughts on popcorn seasonings and I made a big bowl with butter, nutritional yeast, and this Red Clay seasoning. Dale and I could not stop eating it.
The fall/winter fruit selection is not my favorite so lately I’ve been putting frozen mango in my oatmeal. The key is adding the mango at the end of the cooking so it is still slightly cold. It’s a burst of freshness on a November morning.
Something to order:
Clare invited Frida and I to Philly to celebrate her birthday and we had a blast! I went for one night because I’ve been traveling so much lately and Philly is truly so easy to get to. We took the train down on Friday and grabbed lunch at Pizzeria Vetri near our AirBnb. The eggplant pizza was so good and the rectangular one is a good size for three people.
For the big birthday dinner, we went to Pietramala, a vegan byo that was so good. The menu isn’t online and changes often. We had delicious focaccia, salad with ginger dressing, rigatoni with gochujang, fried lion’s mane mushrooms, smokey polenta, and more. I’d definitely go back and the service was really relaxed and set the tone. We ended the night at Stir where they were playing songs from 2011 and also Midnights, which was everything we needed.
The next day, we met Sandra for breakfast at Spread, which was good! I don’t know if it’s a true Montreal bagel (I’ve never been to Canada) but they’re made in wood burning oven and the everything bagel is well seasoned on both sides, which is hard to find. It hit the spot.
Back in New York, we got a post theater meal at Lighthouse (support their composter campaign here). We saw the matinee which allows you eat after and not be rushed. We got all of the usual favorites: mussels, a chilled red, and fries plus whipped feta and fantastic roasted cauliflower.
Something to read:
School lunches should be free but it’s great that a universal free lunch ballot measure passed easily in Colorado
The word wellness is quite fraught but I do appreciate that this list is quite inclusive
Michael Hobbes of Maintenance Phase has a new podcast all about airport books. As a former Malcom Gladwell reader, the episode on Outliers was a must listen.
I am absolutely here for the Lohanissance and can’t wait to watch her new Christmas movie. She looks so happy and healthy and I am forever rooting for her.
Turns out sand is more powerful than engineers: After years of planning and millions in public spending, the Coney Island ferry stop is dead.
I’m going to ask you all a question in Thursday’s gift guide so I’ll save it for then! If you’re new and want to say hi, please pop over to our intro thread so we can get to know each other! And if you’re in New York, hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow!