If you're reading this, get some water
Pesto, after school snacks, and a solo date.
Quick announcement: If you’re reading this and live in New York, I hope you’ll come to the Cyclones game on August 5th at 7 pm! I’m really excited to have snacks/watch fireworks and also baseball with you and if 50 people come, we all get free hats! Tickets are $15 and please tell your friends! It’s a family friendly outing and I know some people are coming solo, we are a welcoming crew!
No matter where you’re reading this, drink some water while you do! It has been hot! I did so much cooking in the past week and it was a little exhausting. Erica and I are working on a project I will share soon and we’ve been cooking a bunch. There’s more shooting and cooking this week and then we’ll move on to the next step. That meant my meals outside of this project were pretty simple, cooked by someone else…or leftovers!
Thursday’s newsletter will feature an interview with Sarah Thomas, a sommelier turned children’s book author. Her new book, Kalamata's Kitchen: Taste Buds in Harmony is enjoyable for all ages! Paid subscribers get the full interview (it’s a good one) and lend crucial support to this newsletter.
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to cook:
Julia’s birthday fell on Bachelorette Monday so I cooked a special dinner. I got assorted ravioli from Savino’s (the seasonal pesto ravioli was excellent) and made a salad with a simple balsamic viniagrette, cherry tomatoes, cheese, and almonds and garlic bread. We also made aperol spritzes, a tribute to Julia and Hillary’s recent Italy trip, and I made brownies (from a box, I added flakey salt and chocolate chips) which I served with the Haagen Dazs vanilla Erica brought. It’s still work to host 6 people for dinner but these shortcuts made it doable for a Monday night and it was a lot of fun.
We had some leftover basil from one of our shooting days and I used it to make pesto in my newly repaired Vitamix (my blender canister exploded in June and the company repaired it since it was under warranty). I was kind of nervous to use it again but it was fine and did not explode. Anyway, my pesto has no measurements but I used basil, olive oil, almonds, and parmesan cheese and added a bit of lemon juice and salt. Blend it up until it’s smooth and adjust to your taste (I absolutely love the pesto making scene in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat). Blender pesto is less romantic but it’s what we got. I thinned it out with some pasta water to get the right consistency and started the new season of Virgin River.
For breakfast this weekend, I made a shakshuka inspired egg situation. I warmed up some frozen spinach, added some Rao’s marinara and then cracked two eggs in the pan. I covered the pan until the whites were set and then topped the whole thing with feta. Toast for dipping is not optional.
Something to order:
Emily and I met up at the Butler coffee shop in Soho which is a lot bigger than the Williamsburg one. It’s got Wifi and lots of seating (and a handy water bottle refilling spout for hot days).
Dale and I picked up a square pie from Ops for dinner last week and it really hit the spot. It’s definitely their biggest pie which is ideal for leftovers.
After doing a lot of cooking on Thursday, I took myself for a solo dinner at Lighthouse. I sat at the bar with a glass of pet nat, mussels, and this fantastic book and for a brief moment, all was right in the world. If you’re not in the practice of solo dates, I highly recommend. No one will look at you and think you’re weird! It’s all good.
We had Julia’s birthday party at Tuffet in their backyard and it was lovely! I’ve hosted many happy hours there and the backyard is beautiful. Julia got a few cheese platters for everyone and each one was slightly different, which was such a nice touch. We brought an oreo cheesecake from Fortunato Brothers which is always cause for celebration.
Yesterday, Dylan, Julia, Julianne, Ian and I got brunch at Gran Torino, which I had never been to. The crispy potatoes are a necessary appetizer and the space has lots of indoor and outdoor seating. I got a caprese sandwich on focaccia.
We celebrated Erica’s birthday at her apartment. Quentin made cocktails and a fruit plate and ordered Fornino pizza, which was really good (I’ve also heard they have great GF pizza).
Something to read:
I share more reads in the Thursday newsletter for your midweek entertainment.
Teen Vogue’s nepo babies (I remember reading about them).
If you’re curious, I wrote about how free food works
Now, let’s talk about snacks, which we love at every age!
Em is a fellow string cheese fan: String cheese is seriously a go-to snack for me. Also, pita chips, rice cakes with honey and almond butter, olives- and recently my partner and I have been really into Grippos (local to us) pretzel loops- they’re a super dark, super salted pretzel. So good. We crave them whenever we watch a show before bed.
Julianne and I are on a quest for pretzel goldfish: My favorite snack was (besides pickles, of course!), a bag of goldfish and pretzels. The combination is absolutely perfect, I often crave it today. If you want to be extra cute about it, see if they still make goldfish pretzels! Then you have two kinds of fish swimming in a bag together! It's perfection.
Michelle has such fun after school snack memories: Two childhood snacks that popped into my head - Calbee Shrimp Chips - I still love these and buy them whenever I go to the Asian market! I remember always having these at birthday parties, etc. ONLY this brand will do. I tried another brand recently (damn supply chain shortages!) and the bag is still languishing uneaten because they just don't taste the same.
I had to do some googling to find this next one - Handi-Snacks! I was not a big fan of cheese or dairy as a kid, but there's just something about this fake cheese-food spread! And the little red stick! Apparently Ritz still makes these but I am pretty sure when I was a kid they were made by Kraft, so I had to search for this vintage photo.
When I think back to my diet in high school, I don't know how I survived. I ate SO MUCH junk! The sheer number of Vita lemon teas and Mango Madness Snapples I drank! I would regularly eat Tomato Pretz and Maltesers (a million times better than Whoppers, just facts) after hockey practice. So nutritious.
This week, I’d love to hear how you’re hydrating lately! I was influenced by Natalie to try Nuun hydration tablets and they’re been really helpful in this heat (I like the lemon lime and orange flavors the best, it’s like gatorade but not sweet). What are you drinking to stay hydrated? Reply to this email or leave a comment and I’ll share the answers next week.