It's Turtle Time! Ramona is still celebrating her birthday with her 30+ closest friends (aren't YOU popular, 'Mons.) Bethenny and Ramona talk shit on Heather behind her back and it's not that they're not valid ("Holla!", "Hey Mama!", etc.) but it's as equally annoying to talk shit about someone for the quirky things they say as it is to say the quirky things in the first place. Anyway, Carole and Bethenny rehash the come to Jesus that Bethenny had with SonJa in Atlantic City. SonJa speaks to a Swami Priestess about her vortex of energy. SonJa thanks Bethenny for their come to Jesus, but in her confessional, SonJa says Bethenny's projecting. The biggest takeaway here is Bethenny's forest green nail color, which is ON POINT.
Ooooh, Dr. Amador! Ooooh a flashback to that terrible boat trip Bethenny and Jason took! Bethenny starts out by complaining about how hard the talk show was (cry me a river), then they get into some good therapy talk about trust and being guarded, and then Bethenny says she's going to meet up with her stepfather who she hasn't seen in some time. Her reasoning for it is that she wants her daughter to have family on Bethenny's side of the family, whether that family is positive or negative. ABORT, ABORT. If someone's negative, no, you do not want them part of your life. Family for family's sake isn't a good reason, Beth.
And we're back!
Carole reveals she fell in love with boxing while watching a Jack Johnson documentary while taking testosterone. I kind of can't with this woman. Anyway, Carole, Lu, and Kristen watch a boxing match and Kristen gets a boxer's sweat on her leg. Ramona shows up and we find out that Bethenny's not coming because she has her kid that night. Kristen digs at Bethenny, saying that Bethenny's not making an effort and if Kristen can get childcare for her two kids then why can't Bethenny with her one? I...don't think that was the point, Kristen. I think it was Bethenny's, like, assigned night with her daughter. You're comparing apples and oranges there. More boxing. Yawn. The ladies head out for post-fight drinks. Kristen orders tea and Ramona orders steamed greens beans. The real fight begins, as Lu and Carole argue about Adam, Carole's new boyfriend/Lu's chef/Lu's niece's ex-boyfriend. What's the population on the island of Manhattan? Aren't there enough men to go around?
And we're back!
Bethenny's at a restaurant in Miami and immediately starts giving the waiter shit. SHUUUUUT UUUUP. Bethenny catches up with an old friend and starts telling stories about how her stepfather beat her mom and also once got into some kind of altercation with her (Bethenny.) And this is a person you want your daughter to know? BETHENNY. NO.
Back in NYC, Dorinda and Ramona meet up for a workout. Minus s-e-x, Dorinda hasn't worked out in years. Ramona makes fat jokes about Dorinda's boyfriend John, but then in her confessional says she believes John's not in it for the right reasons. We find out John doesn't live in Manhattan. Does this mean he lives in...Jersey? Quelle horror! Anyway, I do agree with Ramona--John seems terrible.
Back in Miami, the ladies hit up Art Basel, where Lu's daughter has a piece of art showing. Victoria is all grown up and pounding champagne. Yes, good practice for the future, Vic. Bethenny and Lu talk about how Bethenny hasn't been showing up to events. As suspected, Bethenny says her priority is to spend every moment she can with her daughter. Seriously, the other ladies can suck it on that point. Bethenny spends $3 to feed a hobo clown an ice cream sandwich and it's legitimately the most disgusting thing I've seen in a long time.
And we're back!
SonJa has a personal training session in her bathroom. Is SonJa a hoarder? She has shit EVERYWHERE.
Commercial break and an ad for Odd Mom Out. Are we going to watch this? I think yes.
And we're back!
Possibly Carole has finally started to write her book...or not. Adam calls from Nicaragua and they talk about honey and the weather. Seriously, that's it. Yawn.
Bethenny meets up with her stepfather and they rehash the past and talk about what an awful person her mother was and how awful her childhood was, what with threats of mafia violence and her stepfather beating her mother. Then shit gets really sad as Bethenny's stepfather says he's mad because Bethenny hasn't talked to him in over 20 years. Umm, exqueeze me? Bethenny, RUN. RUN FAR AWAY. Seriously stop wasting your time even talking to this sack of shit.
And we're back!
Bethenny and her awful stepfather continue their fight and I want to reach through my tv and strangle this guy, who seems like he wants some kind of medal for going to visit 14-year-old Bethenny in boarding school "three or four times a year." THIS GUY. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Well, joke's on me, I guess, because Bethenny and the stepfather hug it out and Bethenny thinks the talk went well. HOOOOKAY.
Next time on the Real Housewives of New York, LuAnn wants to stick Ramona's head in a bowl of caviar. That caviar is a GARNISH!
We begin amid a fight! Already? EXCELLENT. Everyone's mad at SonJa because she won't let anyone in her house as she packs for Atlantic City. A lot of "Lady Morgan" is being thrown around by Heather. Dorinda and Kristen are annoyed but hoooo boy, Heather is HOT. Ramona meets these three on the street; turns out she was allowed to come in and use SonJa's terlet, but then was given the boot as well. Finally the limo arrives and the ladies, abandoning their suitcases in the street, escape the rain and start searching the limo high and low for a bottle opener. Yes, please, get these broads a cocktail, stat. Bethenny arrives (late, apparently; who knows what time they were supposed to leave originally) and apologizes profusely for being late. Now, listen. Heather seems rightfully mad at SonJa. It's raining and you're being forced to stand outside with your luggage while the trip's hostess does whatever inside her dry apartment? Yeah, I'd be pissed too. But being mad at Bethenny as well seemed a little misplaced. It sounds as though Beth called to let people know she'd be late, which is more than can be said for SonJa. Not to mention, SonJa was later arriving at the limo than Bethenny. So WhoTF cares at this point that Bethenny is late! Anyway, some SkinnyGirl margs are opened and the ladies begin their journey to AC. Lucky for us, the fighting continues (I think Heather needs a snack...maybe?) and Ramona finally shuts the shit down, saying she wants a nice, chill birthday. YES PLEASE FOR ONCE EVERYONE LISTEN TO RAMONA.
Bethenny has to pee, but unfortunately there's no bucket around, so the limo has to make a stop on the side of the road so Beth can cop a squat. Oh, yay, flashback to Bethenny pissing in a bucket! Ramona tried to pee on the side of the road, but couldn't. Get Ramona a glass of warm water!
And we're back!
We have officially entered the Garden State! Praise be! The ladies are staying at the Borgata and Bethenny has kindly sent ahead an array of SkinnyGirl treats. I AM ROLLING MY EYES. I am assuming all the SkinnyGirl merch is part of her contract this season, but I am wearying of it and quickly.
There's some talk of farts, Heather floods her bathroom, and Carole and Lu arrive before finally, it's time to go out. Carole is sporting bunny ears. Kristen is wearing two different colored shoes and is, I must say, rocking it. Kristen, please put that on your blog! (I also like, btw, how Kristen compares AC to a bat mitzvah in Manhattan, basically saying she'd never wear two different shoes to a bat mitzvah in NYC, but in AC, who cares? I agree. I'm afraid of teenage Jewish girls too, Kristen.)
Oh good someone (Bethenny) brings up everyone (mainly Heather) being late for dinner. It's LateGate, guys! The finally do arrive at dinner, order a metric ton of alcohol (GOOD, YES, KEEP THIS UP) and then Bethenny gets mad at a "shot" Carole took at her for comparing Lu to a European, when she's really from Connecticut. Really? WhoTF cares, Beth? Bethenny then starts laying into SonJa and...
Commercial break...Coming up next, SonJa's vagina!...
And we're back!
Bethenny suggests SonJa take a Xanax, SonJa starts crying, Bethenny feels really bad, SonJa cries and eats edamame, SonJa claims she works in PR, finally Lu tells them all to STFU.
And it's time for tequila shots! Nothing goes with sushi quite like tequila, I must say.
Lu awkwardly tells Ramona she likes her better now that she's not with Mario anymore. Too soon, Lu, too soon.
The ladies finish dinner and head off to the blackjack tables. Carole pops up wearing a tuxedo t-shirt with boobs. I am horrified.
After winning some and losing some, the ladies go to da club where Ramona pets Carole's boobs, SonJa tries to make out with Lu, and then Lu appoints herself SonJa's Snatch Guard. Half a night in AC and we're already throwing around snatch, huh? Okay.
Oh great, more tense conversation between Bethenny and SonJa.
And we're back!
Oh wait, it's just to see Carole laying down in a muppet sweater getting her makeup done and talking about hickeys. Let's move on.
Real Housewives of OC is coming back June 8th! YAY!
And we're back in AC!
SonJa's drunk and Dorinda draws the short straw (by way of everyone else ditching her) and is charged with taking SonJa to bed. SonJa rambles that she was a model in the UAE, she's an artist, she partied with JFK, Jr. and Madonna.
The next morning, the ladies gather for brunch. By some kind of gift from god, SonJa looks great. SonJa goes to Bethenny's to have a sober come to Jesus. SonJa admits that maybe some of the vitamins she takes don't react well with alcohol. MKAY. Through their whole exchange, I do have to give it to Bethenny for keeping it together and bringing all of SonJa's shit to the forefront. I've not been Bethenny's biggest fan this go-around, but I liked her calling SonJa out. It seems to me what Bethenny is saying is falling on deaf ears for SonJa, though, and in her confessional, SonJa says Bethenny is projecting, so there you go.
Next time on the RHONY, there are clowns and abundance candles and Lu comparing Carole to SonJa and OH NO SHE DI'IN'T.
Hey, did you know, it's Mother's Day weekend? Mother's Day weekend, guys. THE WEEKEND OF THE MOTHERS.
Okay, so admittedly, Mother's Day is not a huge deal to me. It's one of two days a year I allow myself to eat donuts, so that's fun, but other than that I pretty much just like to be left alone (so no different than any other day of the year.)
This year, après-donuts, I am going to go to yoga (mamaste) and then to Mexican food brunch with my two faves. I bought two different bottles of rosé today, so maybe I'll bust into one of those. The possibilities are endless. (Actually not really, as I have a job interview at 9am Monday.)
Tomorrow we're going to the farmers' market and then to the fair. I am not the hugest fair-going person, but I like this one because it's on the smaller side and it's early enough in the season that it's not disgustingly hot outside yet. We'll check out the car show (Chris's favorite thing on the planet), the baby animals (no one's favorite thing), try to coerce LG onto some rides (seriously no one's favorite thing), and after half an hour, we'll probably flee to the nearest beer-monger.
Tonight we're making these pizza rolls. Tomorrow is fair food. Sunday is clams and pasta. Monday is burgers. Tuesday is chili. Wednesday is TBD. Thursday is also TBD, but I imagine I'll have Chris grill up some chicken thighs when he grills burgers on Monday and then I'll make a few sides to go with them that day. Speaking of sides, anyone make any good side dishes lately? I am in a salad rut (I KNOOOOOOW) and need some inspiration. This cucumber and avocado salad looks good (I'd use Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of mayo), as well as this grilled Greek panzanella salad. Ooooh, and this: roasted red peppers with anchovies, garlic, and goat cheese.
'Tis the season...
...to update my closet. I bought a few of these shirts on MamaBub's recommendation. They should arrive tomorrow and when they do, I'll report back. I am also trying one of these tank tops. As much as I'd like to buy nicer things that will last a long time, the truth is I am terrible on my clothes. I literally had to take the last white t-shirt I bought and throw it in the trash the first day I wore it because I spilled coffee on it. So now I'm just like, fuck it. I'll spend $12 on a t-shirt and if I ruin it right away (likely), then who cares?
I have a couple pairs of shorts (Gap boyfriend shorts are my favorite, but I am laughing/crying at the fact that anyone can wear them rolled. NOT ON THESE THIGHS) and a couple maxi dresses. If the shirts/tank work out, I'll buy a few more in different color/patterns and a new pair of boyfriend shorts. I could also use a new pair of sandals, as I haven't bought any (minus my Birks) in a couple years. I was just perusing Target, my favorite place for cute summer sandals, and everything on there looked horrifyingly '90s, so that's not great, Bob.
I'm finding that spending most of my time with a 4-year-old is really great for my improv skills. There's a lot of character work ("I'm a dog!", "I'm a cat!") and today we worked on accents. (Not that accents are necessary for improv, but they certainly help when playing a character.) Today LG ate some bread and she said, "This is a tasty orange!" and I was like, "Is it juicy and delicious?" That's basically improv in a nutshell. Yes, I will go on this bread-as-orange journey with you. LET'S DO IT.
I decided to brave another week with the RHONY recapping! I am watching and writing (and pausing) as I go, so I am going to tackle this recap scene-by-scene. I want to make sure the recapping is done while the show is fresh in my mind! Onward, to the Housewives...
Bethenny & SonJa
We begin with SonJa and Bethenny, who are meeting downtown, which as you know, is practically like driving to New Jersey when you live uptown. (Listen, I've been to NYC a time or two (two; I've been there twice) and I know traffic is terrible and riding the subway is beneath you (literally?) but seriously stop with this.) SonJa and Bethenny discuss business-y things like SonJa's "international fashion/lifestyle brand," including something about "perfume hair" and bankruptcy. Bethenny is wearing a very cute white blouse with an undone bow tie and I really dig it. I've been contemplating bringing back the lady necktie, so I may need to pull the trigger on this. The most important thing learned at this meeting is that SonJa will swallow for a black Amex card. NOTED.
Dorinda & Lu
Next up, Dorinda and Lu meet on the upper east side for a little pedi-pedi. Lu's wearing a gigantic gold necklace that I must have immediately. Beth and Lu are are two-for-two on neckwear this episode. Dorinda and Lu rehash the two events that Dorinda was not invited to--Bethenny's birthday party and Lu's ladies' night party, which Dorinda's bf, John, showed up to and which Dorinda is upset about.
Carole & Kristen
These two meet up for "healthy" drinks and oysters and Carole mentions she's seeing Luann's "nice" chef, Adam. Kristen's necklace in her confessional...I may possibly dig it.
And we're back!
These two squeeze some lemons and talk about Noel (Lu's son) possibly telling Luann about Carole and Adam. Am I to understand that Noel knows about Carole and Adam, then? How would that happen? Are Adam and Noel in the same grade in school or what?
SonJa & Ramona
Ramona shows up at SonJa's with a bottle of Ramona Pinot Grigio in tow. One of SonJa's interns (I assume) lurks awkwardly in the background as SonJa invites Ramona to Atlantic City for Ramona's birthday. There will be gambling! Cute boys! Dancing! And all of a sudden, I am seeing visions of the Sex And The City episode where they go to Atlantic City for Charlotte's birthday, so let's pretend cast this, shall we? Ramona = Charlotte. SonJa = Samantha. Dorinda = Miranda. Carole = Carrie.
Dorinda & her annoying daughter
Dorinda's daughter gives her more shit for stupid stuff like books and nails, but then she starts talking about punctuation and okay, maybe she's not so bad. Dorinda reveals she is throwing a party for the ladies and their gents, so that they can all meet her gent, and Dorinda's daughter starts talking shit on Dorinda's boyfriend. Dammit, I may be coming around to this girl after all. Dorinda compares Bethenny to an onion, so that's fun.
We're not going to watch Kandi's Ski Trip, are we?
And we're back!
You guys, Kristen started a blog. Can you feel the earth move by the sheer magnitude of my eye roll just now? I don't even want to dignify this with more words. In a nutshell: She prances in the street while one of her interns takes a photo of her wearing Last Night's Outfit (also her blog name) with an iPhone ("Maybe one day'll we'll get a real camera," Kristen says. "I'm better with an iPhone," an intern says.) Police officers and other pedestrians watch on and laugh at the spectacle. MOVING ON.
SonJa & Bethenny
SonJa and Bethenny meet up at SonJa Morgan HQ. I am surprised to see her "international brand" actually has a logo and some sketches, so that is fairly impressive conspiring we most recently only had a prototype toaster. SonJa's CEO and VP can't disclose what they're doing or who they're selling to, but trust that they are doing "a lot of things" and are "in talks." The CEO and the VP proceed to school Bethenny on how business works. I actually cannot believe they are speaking to her the way they are. The whole exchange is ultimately a complete letdown for me, as Bethenny didn't take every one of those insane people to task.
It's the night of Dorinda's party! Ramona is the first to arrive and feels under-dressed and sad to be attending the party solo. Lu shows up next and, then Kristen and her awful husband and his awful hat. SonJa brings a 24-year-old and Ramona gets mad that SonJa doesn't say hello to her right away. That seems weird. Who cares? We see Heather's husband before we see Heather and I am not sure about that guy. Sweetheart for sure! But there's just...something.
Anyway, there's some talk among Lu, Heather, and SonJa about SonJa's "showroom" and I really don't care. YAWN.
Oh good, Carole is here! Carole and Lu have a sit-down about Carole's dating Adam, which turns out, Lu knows about because Adam used to date Lu's niece and Adam called Lu's niece today to tell her he was seeing Carole and then Lu's niece called Lu and told her. Jesus Christ with all this. It all sounds like yapping dogs.
Heather finds Kristen and her awful husband with his awful hat and they rehash Bethenny's birthday. There's talk of "letting is go." No one seems to be letting it go.
People feel-up Ramona and she does push-ups. Is this party over yet? There's more yapping from the ladies and Lu gets annoyed at drunk SonJa, as if that is a new thing we're seeing.
And we're back!
I normally don't watch these stupid little 30-second snippets that are supposed to be lighthearted or whatever, but since I am recapping the show, I will do it. Kristen suggests Ramona take a page from SonJa's book and date a younger man. Ramona says why bother when she has a hand.
And we're back!
There's more yapping about SonJa not greeting Ramona immediately. They hug and make up. SonJa flirts with a group of gross men. Considering how Dorinda's bf acts towards SonJa, maybe his is not gay after all. Ew, then he smacks Kristen's ass/leg region. I am unimpressed. Looks like Bethenny wasn't invited or couldn't make it to this party; I am sure she'll call many meetings to discuss this with the ladies.
And that's it for tonight! Next week is Atlantic City and I cannot wait!
You know I'm a sucker for a prompt/answering questions...Thanks MamaBub for this!
What we're eating this week
Tacos, pizza, brats (super healthy stuff, guys), cobb salad, sambal chicken skewers (except with pork), buffalo turkey lettuce wraps, and lots of other vegetables and salad. 'Tis the season for salads and grilling. I also bought more strawberries and heavy whipping cream and angel food cake, so that's happening this weekend.
What I’m reminiscing about
Our Hawaii trip from last year! Man, that was fun.
What I’m loving
Orphan Black! Everyone go watch this now. So good, and not just because the main character is named Sarah.
What I’ve been up to
We planted the garden a few weeks ago, hallelujah! We also participated in the MS Walk last weekend and got recognized as the third top fundraising team, BOOM. Other than that, I've just been working out (trying new things like barre, woof that was hard), hanging out with LG ($5 bounce house holla!), improv-ing, playdating with EBJ and Katie, cooking, eating, reading. The usual.
What I’m dreading
I'll agree with MamaBub on this one--the HEAT. Ugh. We just got our AC fixed, though (it broke last July), so hallelujah on that point, too.
What I’m working on
Finding a job.
What I’m excited about
It feels like it should be sad to not have a thing I am excited about, but truly, I am excited for a chill weekend hanging out with my two faves.
What I’m watching/reading
Watching: Orphan Black (obvs), Outlander, RHONY, Mad Men, and I must admit, I am right this second watching Botched on E! It's...pretty fucking good. Reading: The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty.
What I’m listening to
You know I love my podcasts. I listed to a Fresh Air interview today with two of the women who'd been kidnapped by Ariel Castro. How they lived through that and then are living after that is beyond me. Amazing women.
What I’m wearing
Leggings, t-shirt, glasses. The height of style and beauty, right here.
What I’m doing this weekend
The farmers' market in our town opens tomorrow, so we're planning to bike to that. Yoga on Sunday morning. That's it. Weekends are for resting. And eating.
What I’m looking forward to next month
My dad is taking improv 101 and his graduation class is in a few weeks. Definitely looking forward to that!
The Real Housewives of New York City is back and while I'm sure there are a ton of recaps out there, I thought, you know what the Internet needs? More RHONY recaps! Even though we're already four episodes in, I figured I'd start recapping it anyway. Or maybe this will be my only recap on the subject! Stay tuned.
To get us in the groove, I thought I'd do a little profile on each of our characters. A Where Are They Now?, of sorts. Or a Who Are They At All?, in the case of the newest 'wife, Dorinda.
The Countess has long been a favorite housewife of mine. I don't know what it is about her that just really speaks to me, but I find her learned elegance to be delightful. Also, the previews for this season kept showing her, obviously hungover as shit, saying, "Be cool. Don't be, like, uncool." I can't wait for that episode so I can see what kind of quasi-French, Johnny Depp-looking pirate elicited that kind of eloquent speech from Lu.
Sexy J SonJa
As a counterpoint to Lu, SonJa is probably my least favorite housewife. I used to find her silly and fun but now she's just, like, I don't know, gossiping with her facialist and bossing around her "interns." The fact that I have to put " " around interns--interns--just goes to show how much I think SonJa's "international brand" is bullshit. I have a feeling I am going to be using a lot of " " when describing SonJa. Then again, SonJa brought her own purse beers to Lu's party and poured one into a wine glass, so maybe she's not all bad.
Ramona Pinto Grigio
Okay, so Ramona's crazy, but I do feel bad for her, obviously. At least we can be assured that there will be no awkward massage scenes between her and Mario in our future, so, silver lining. Ramona does look fantastic, though, and has already apologized to someone for her behavior. I am not sure in seven seasons of this show that she's apologized so quickly, if at all. I am also enjoying her distancing herself from SonJa, but if the distance with SonJa is more Dorinda, then I dunno.
DORINDAAAAAAA. I don't really have much to say about this broad except that I wish Bravo would stop showing her spoiled, rude, affected daughter on tv. Yes, your mom is on tv. Yes, you by association might also get to be on tv occasionally. This is does not mean you get to act like a wang and call your mom a "chubby chaser" on national television. You are not the housewife, darling (Luann voice). A note about Dorinda's boyfriend, btw. Uhh, he's a gay man, right? Also it was very weird and uncomfortable when she said in the most recent episode that she hates when he orders her food at a restaurant because he always orders the wrong thing. Umm, tell him to shove it and order your own food? What was that about? (I guess I had more to say about this Dorindaaaaaaa than I thought.)
I feel like Heather is a divisive housewife, but I have liked her since she went toe-to-toe with Ramona in her first season and also when she basically told Kristen to buck it up in Montana last season. Judging from how Bethenny acted towards Heather at the dinner with the two of them and Lu, I can pretty much guarantee I'll continue to be on team Heather. Heather is just trying to move the plot along and Bethenny is shutting it down. To quote Lu, NOT COOL.
Bethenny used to be by faaaar my favorite housewife, possibly ever. I was so excited to see her come back this season. But you guys, can I have take-backsies? She's being awful already. AWFUL. I feel for her going through a divorce and everything--especially because in watching her spinoff show, it appeared that her husband was a very not-nice person; granted she seemed not great herself, but still. However, listen B, a) owning a home in the Hamptons, b) owning a home in SOHO that you're renovating, and c) staying in presidential suites in NYC does not make you "homeless." STAAAAHP with the homeless crap. Also, everything within a 20 foot radius of her being an ad for SkinnyGirl? Over it.
I usually love Carole, but she is starting off slow for me this season. She is being catty in a not-usual-Carole kind of way that I am not finding super funny. That said, in the most recent episode, we found that took some kind of drug-laced gummy bear and puked on a date with a young cute guy, so maybe she's starting to pick up the pace a bit. ALSO, when she mentioned that her husband's cousin died right before her husband, did you also get the impression that Bethenny had no idea the cousin was JFK, Jr.? A Carole v. Bethenny situation could be fun.
There is literally no discernible reason I can find for Kristen to be on this show. Congratulations, your daughter is walking. I am so glad we wasted air time for that last season. Now please go.
And that's all I got! I may or may not be back last week to talk more shit on these fine, fine ladies.
The garden is planted; I spent $7 at the strawberry stand two days ago and haven't a strawberry left to show for it; Chris can barely breathe and a super helpful gal at the hair salon told him that if he'd just eat local honey, he wouldn't have allergies anymore. Hey guys, IT MUST BE SPRING! Here's some food we've been eating recently (items you won't see: honey, strawberries.)
So like a year ago, I heard on America's Test Kitchen two Israeli cookbook authors (Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi) say that we (Americans?) don't generally use herbs in our salads and that we can and should make entire salads primarily out of herbs. Challenge accepted! I made this out of baby greens (spinach, mache, swiss chard), basil leaves, and mint leaves. It was...really fragrant. But delicious! LG wouldn't eat it, though, which was fiiiiiine with me.
Okay, so this is not exactly spring-like, but it's easy and tasty. I buy a package of gnocchi from the pasta aisle, toss it with a can of cannellini beans, a can of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, and a shitton of greens (5oz. of arugula here.) In this case, I also added pre-cooked meatballs (Aidell's), but have done sausage in the past or just omitted meat altogether. Just simmer for awhile, season to taste with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flake, and basil/oregano/Italian seasoning. BOOM.
One of the best meals Chris ever made me when we first started dating was a blackened salmon Caesar salad. We now make some variation of this salad fairly often--blacked chicken breasts, any kind of blackened fish or shrimp, etc. This time we did tri-tip and I made my own Caesar dressing for the first time. I followed Hillary's recipe for the dressing, although I must admit to omitting the beans, but only because I wasn't putting beans in the salad and didn't want to open a can.
Last night was falafel night here. I don't have a recipe for the falafel, so I busted out my Jewish Cooking cookbook and found that the recipe for falafels was way too involved for me. First of all it used dried chickpeas. Nooooooope. But, I used the same spices that the recipe called for (coriander, cardamom, cumin) and added a little tumeric and crushed red pepper flake. The recipe also called for bulgur, which I didn't have, so I used couscous instead. Basically, I stuck a can of chickpeas, almost an entire bunch of parsley, cooked couscous, spices, and lemon juice in a food processor and blended it all up. I contemplated baking them for the health factor, but instead fried them up like a real 'Merican.
What are you cooking recently?
Not a lot to say about the books I read this past quarter, but here they are.
Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
Everyone loved this book; I thought it was just okay. I kept waiting for it to get really good and it never seemed to get really good. It was mostly just predictable.
The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner
This was cute, as I believe all Jennifer Weiner books to be. Easy, fun read.
The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins
Holly got me this for my birthday and told me it was being talked up as this year's Gone Girl. I liked it! I liked the pacing and thought it had a good little twist. Maybe not quite as twist-y as Gone Girl, but still good.
Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
I enjoyed this very much; favorite book of the year so far. I loved hearing about Amy's entrance into comedy, especially her time studying improv and starting the UCB theatre. The owner of the comedy club where I perform studied at UCB, so it was cool to read her experiences and then compare to how/what I've learned/am learning about improv. I also loved her take on parenting small children AND doing what you love, i.e.: comedy. And I loved to hear that she wasn't cast on SNL 'til she was 29. There's hope for me yet.
Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
Everyone hated this book or couldn't get into it, but I thought it was super fun. This is the second book I've read by this author (the first being What Alice Forgot), so I will read more by her.
What have you read lately?
I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but the contract at my job ended last month, so it's just me and LG here Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We are keeping her in school Mondays and Fridays, which is nice for two reasons: 1.) Chris has Mondays off, so Monday is officially Monday Funday for the two of us, and 2.) ALONE TIME FOR ME.
The other days of the week, LG and I have been doing library storytime, the park, or getting together with EBJ and K-Dubs. While I am trying to keep us busy, I am a little...lacking for activities. I hate to say I'm bored, because I'm a big believer that only boring people are bored, but damn, I am sort of running out of things to do. I am still on the job hunt, so I have to do that every day, but if nothing new is posted, then applying for jobs (or, not applying for jobs, as it were) doesn't take a lot of time. Plus, applying for jobs isn't really a kid-friendly activity. So, I dunno. Outside of the library and park, we've been spending a lot of time cooking, riding trikes outside, etc., and then Chris gets home and saves us, so I suppose we've been finding stuff to do, it's just the same stuff every day.
If anyone has any insight on letter/number worksheets for the almost-four-year-old set, do let me know, though. I guess it couldn't hurt to continue to hone her spelling/reading/whatever skills since she's now only in school twice a week.
Is everyone watching The Americans? Please tell me everyone is watching The Americans. They are KILLING it this season. I don't think I've been this invested in a show since Homeland season 1, which has been fun. I tend to get confused with the plot-lines of a lot of shows (the final few seasons of Sons Of Anarchy come to mind), so while I am into a lot of shows, I am not as invested as I could be. But The Americans, while a spy drama (so you'd think it'd be super confusing), is easy to keep up with. Occasionally I am like, Wait, what's going on?, but mostly, I can understand everything, which makes focusing on the actual point on the show (the marriage of Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys's characters) that much more enjoyable. WATCH THIS PLS & THX.
I am also enjoying all my Bravo shows immensely. Vanderpump Rules was great. I am looking forward to the Bev Hills reunion starting tonight. Shahs is completely ridiculous. And NYC comes back next week and both Bethenny and Lu are back this season. THE COUNTESS, YES. I am also finally getting into Southern Charm and am watching the newest season of Newlyweds: The First Year. Oh, and Blood, Sweat, and Heels. Lots of Bravo.
Other shows I am excited to see: Mad Men (talk about a show I am very invested in; what will I do when it's over?) and Outlander.
Sigh, I just love TV.
I got a random mini-issue of Eating Well in with my Better Homes & Gardens this month and I am trying three new recipes from it this week. Last night I made pinto bean stew with jalapeno dumplings and it was tasty. I will note that I did mine on the stovetop, not slow-cooker (I used canned beans, not dried), I added pork to mine, and I doubled the salt.
I had a pitiful showing in February (LG was sick, I was sick, we went out of town), with only 16 miles, but March was much better (54 miles.) I haven't been keeping up with my daily yoga, which I am certainly going to try to bring back in April. It's just such a nice way to start the day.
She turns four in 20 days. I didn't authorize this; where should I send my letter of complaint?
Last time we talked, I was thinking of ditching The Momo Show, which I did in fact do. Too political for my liking.
I gave Comedy Bang Bang, Improv4humans, and Indoor Kids a chance, but none of them stuck.
I tried The Moth and Risk--they're both keepers and have made it into the rotation.
I am totally into Totally Beverages And Sometimes Hot Sauce (how is a beverage podcast entertaining? I don't know, but it is.)
Chris and I listened to all the available episodes of Invisibilia when we drove home from Oregon earlier this month. RECOMMEND.
I am newly into a podcast called The Blaze, all about Beverly Hills, 90210. (Beverly Hills, 90210 is incidentally, a show that was left off my Top TV shows list, which was a completely egregious error on my part. I should add it in posthumously.)
Garden season is nearly upon us. I started peppers (bells, serranos, jalapenos, anaheims, and habaneros) from seed, so I hope they do well. I will hopefully sweet-talk EBJ into giving me some of her tomato plants, which always do well. And that's it! I am saying fuqit to trying anything new. I try something new each year and each year I am disappointed. My cucumbers are always lumpy and sometimes bitter and my zucchinis haven't been doing well in years past. So, I will grow the two items that are important to us and then spend a whopping $1 on pounds and pounds of zuccs and cukes at the farmstand and be done with it.
Sort of garden related, we re-did our front area, so now it's not the ugliest house on the block.
I wish I had a true before, i.e.: all the shit that the previous owners just threw into the ground seemingly without planning, but oh well. We've been slowly ripping it out over the years, anyway. Imagine a lot of overgrown crap that makes no sense and looks terrible.
And those are all my updates. C'est fini.
Stolen from Hillary. Feel free to steal for all your blogging needs. (I just went to comment on some blogs and it seems that none of us have been posting much, so get on it. I'm talking to you Holly, MamaBub, Raven, et. al. XOXO.)
The highlight of my week... Installing new lights in our kitchen, FINALLY. It makes me happy whenever I go in there. Also, today's playdate with EBJ and K Dubs was pretty fun, especially when Katie tried to hug LG goodbye and LG ran away from her. The manners on this kid, honestly.
The low point of my week... Waking up this morning with a raging headache. Lack of sleep hangovers are some serious bullshit.
The best book/article I read... I've been reading Yes Please (Amy Poehler) and enjoying it quite a bit. Yesterday afternoon I'd read the part about how the Upright Citizen's Brigade theatre's theme is "Don't Think" and last night at improv I saw a shirt on someone that just said Don't Think on the back and I was like, Hey, I know what that means!
This week's workouts... Consisted of a lot of walking to the dreaded playground.
The best money I spent... I checked my bank account this morning and found that the winery charged us for our next wine shipment, so even if it's not in my hands yet, it's still a good purchase. Also, new lights for the kitchen!
My plans this weekend... Tomorrow LG goes to school, which means my weekend officially begins. I'll go to yoga in the morning and we'll probably make pizza for dinner. Saturday morning, I am going to a yoga class featuring a DJ, which should be fun. Sunday is brunch/lunch with the ladies. Monday funday (Chris's day off and LG's other school day, so an extension of the weekend) is still up in the air. Hopefully something fun with my bae. (I just said bae, how hip am I, guys?)
What about you all--what's new?