Four Years Cubicle Free
A work anniversary, cherry tomato pasta, and sunny Fridays
I hit a major work anniversary last week, marking four years since I left my old job and decided to give writing and freelancing a try (In 2014, I had a #cubiclefreesummer and it’s guided me ever since). The anniversary happened to coincide with a day where I was in a horrible mood, feeling all kinds of doubt about my career choices and success. Sometimes that’s how it goes, especially as an entrepreneur. The highs are high and the lows are low. I feel very lucky to have a solid support system and the gift of another day to keep trying and keep working. I want to thank you for reading this newsletter, which will turn five later this year, and for being part of this journey.
Even though I’m my own boss, I’m really bad at taking vacations, but I’m doing it next week! Dale and I are headed to Key West and there will be no newsletters. I’ll share some vacation updates on Instagram and I’m looking forward to mostly unplugging.
In Thursday’s newsletter, I’ll be writing more about my career and some other anniversaries (LMK if you have questions) and I’ll be kicking off a fun Thursday series at the end of the month (it involves shopping).
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to cook:
Every few months I remember how good English muffins are (they were a major early pandemic favorite). This week, I made so many egg sandwiches, with aged cheddar, avocado and sriracha mayo. I also topped them with peanut butter and jam, and refried beans with egg and avocado. I only have one left and will be buying more.
I had some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used and and the answer was obvious: cherry tomato pasta. I added a can of cannellini beans, which nestled perfectly into the shells and made it a heartier dish. I also topped it with some breadcrumbs in addition to parmesan cheese for an extra crunch.
Frozen dumplings have also been on repeat over here! I pan fry them with some vegetables (frozen work great).
Erica and I cooked up a springtime meal prep feast yesterday and had a lot of fun. I had the tempeh fried rice for dinner last night, spring vegetable frittata for breakfast, and lunch will be sesame noodles with a side of miso cauliflower. Meal prep is a game changer for busy weeks. Our next class is all about knife skills!
Passover starts this Friday and I’m excited to celebrate with my family and friends. I’m bringing a double batch of this (I add sprinkles too) and if you’re looking for Passover menu inspiration, last year’s is here and we’re repeating a lot of it this year.
Something to order:
Hitha and I finally met IRL (check out her Instagram and newsletter, #5SmartReads if you don’t already). We grabbed coffee at Peaky Barista and took a walk in Central Park. Peaky Barista smelled like cinnamon sugar and I will back to try their baked goods.
Julia, Julianne and I tried out Common Mollies, the new bar in the old Mat Torrey’s space (it’s named for a type of fish, the owners also own Minnows). They did a great job updating the space—it’s cozy and spacious with some booths and even an electric fireplace. They make good cocktails too and it would be a good spot for groups.
Teal was in town and we took advantage of Friday’s glorious weather with a long walk and then happy hour oysters at Mermaid Oyster Bar. The wait for a table was about an hour so we walked around in the meantime and waited to Julia and Leah to meet us. Get oysters and the old bay fries, oysters are $1.25 until 6:30. For dinner, Erika met us and we went to Rafele, which was decent Italian with a last minute reservation (not a must visit by any means but handy in a pinch and they had a good wine list). The West Village was so lively—the energy of a sunny Friday can’t be beat.
We had an early birthday dinner for Teal at Top Quality and ordered so much of the menu! Their salsas are really good and I love the halloumi tacos, the esquites, and of course, the cocktails. The meat eaters loved the chicken mole and we had one more drink at their downstairs speakeasy, Lower Quality. We also ran into Amber and Julio, which was so much fun.
Something to read:
Want more where this came from? I share additional reads in Thursday’s newsletter for paid subscribers.
Mike shared this great article about challah making: What I wish I could go back in time to tell pandemic bakers about bread
I shared my challah recipe (it’s a good one).
When will Hollywood stop ignoring romance novels Bookstores need to do a better job about this too (I noticed this twice last week). Romance often only has a shelf or two despite being a huge part of the industry.
Support the Etsy Boycott, which starts today and goes through April 18th.
Food media is brutal: Food52 lays off 20 people in company restructuring
A chocolate mousse recipe inspired by Chez Janou
The new state budget legalized to go cocktails for the next three years (still with the vague “substantial food” requirement). Here’s what else is in the budget.
Hitha shared this article, about how Mindy Kaling makes so many tv shows with such a lean team. I’m ready for the next season of Never Have I Ever.
If you made it this far, you deserve a treat. Here are some of your favorite ways to treat yourself. Remember, you deserve it.
Erica has a TJ’s treat I need to try: Re: treats— Quentin and I picked up the cookie ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe’s (Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches) this weekend and were extremely impressed with them. They’re texturally perfect—The cookie has the same chew as the ice cream— rare for a cookie sando IMO. Joe’s done it again :) they’re definitely going into the *treat yoself* lineup.
Madison shared a delightful springtime treat: I live in Milwaukee, WI and I’m a HUGE fan of your newsletter. My favorite way to treat myself is to go to the local Milwaukee coffee company called Colectivo and order their Lavender Honey Latte. I especially love it in spring because it reminds me of the warmth of the sun and the smell and flavor of flowers in the air. The best part is that I know I’m supporting a local business so my purchase goes right back into the community I love.
I’ll be back with more questions after my break, but in the meantime, I’m always happy to hear from you with comments, questions, and requests for future issues. You can hit reply and your message goes directly to me.
Have a great week and happy Passover or Easter if you’re celebrating.