Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stuff I Like: Recipes + Reading/Watching/Listening

If you like to cook on a regular basis you probably have a favorite few recipes for easy, foolproof weeknight meals, right? I'm going to share two of mine. First: Mark Bittman’s Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish. This takes no time to make and is utterly delicious. As he claims, it’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or stuffed into tacos. I usually serve the shrimp over rice and pair it with steamed or roasted broccoli. It's great for a quick weeknight or a weekend date night meal. It's one of the few recipes that I pretty much make as written.

For a vegetarian option I give you Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw. I've been making this one for years and don't remember if I just found it online or if someone (Kate?) suggested it to me. It's easy, inexpensive and really delicious. Don't skip the chipotle hot sauce! I even add it in with the mashed beans. This recipe is great as written but I add the feta in on top of the beans while the tacos are cooking, then fold and flip. The feta gets slightly melty and it makes for better all over cheese ratio. I sometimes make this slaw instead of the one in the recipe but either one works.

This is nothing new but my favorite show to watch when I just want to stare at the TV and not have to follow a plot is Esquire network's The Getaway. There are only two seasons and they've been re-running them but they're also OnDemand if you have cable. If not, all the episodes are on the website. My absolutely favorite is Seth and Josh Meyer's in Amsterdam because those boys are charming AF. I think I've watched that one three or four times. Stop judging me. I also really like David Koechner In Dublin, Eve in Kingston, Rashida Jones in London, and Josh Gad in NYC.  There are a few dud episodes (hi, Adam Pally) but on the whole it’s a great show and if you one day hope to travel the world like me you’ll love seeing the insider tips from locals.

I'm not reading anything new since last week so I thought I'd compile a list of the very excellent recommendations you guys gave me for novels set during WWII:

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (I’ve read this! Pilcher is my favorite comfort-read author.)
The Night Watch and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (I've read The Little Stranger so I'm excited about The Night Watch. Ooh, gothic.)

So appreciated! And, despite my negative review of Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, I can highly recommend a few of her earlier books, specifically To Say Nothing of the Dog and Doomsday Book. Both are about time travel...sort of. (They involve time traveling Oxford historians, so it's sci-fi but in the most bookish way.) She's an excellent writer and her early stuff is definitely worth checking out.

S-Town!! I was absolutely going to talk about something that wasn't a podcast this week but then I started into S-Town and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. Are you listening to this? It's from the creators of Serial and it's bonkers. I'm only a few episodes in so please, no spoilers. It's incredibly compelling and disturbing and completely fascinating. Definitely give it a listen!


  1. Those tacos are one of my favorite lazy dinners! Smitten Kitchen mentioned using a can of Goya black bean soup with some of the liquid drained off instead of the bean ingredients, so now I do that instead because I am very lazy on weeknights and I love that stupid soup. I have had that shrimp recipe saved for years, but I have never actually made it... I will have to finally try it one of these days.

    1. Ooh, what a good idea! I'll have to try the Goya soup next time.

  2. OMG! I totally forgot that S-Town dropped this week. Thank you for the reminder.

    There goes my weekend ...

  3. Have you ever tried Travel Man with Richard Ayoade? You can sometimes catch them on YouTube. My favorites are with Noel Fielding and Mel from Great British Bake Off. And I listened to all of the S-Town yesterday--so good and don't judge.

  4. I especially love the recipes! I love knowing what people's go-to's are!

  5. Thanks for the shrimp recipe - it was right on time for last night's dinner :)


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