So technically the end of August is the appropriate time to start any and all Halloween/autumn talk (I think I made up that rule, but it feels right), so I’ll respect that and wait. Just know that I’m inwardly filling up with joy in anticipation of the best time of the year. Here’s what went down this month!
I made a list of some of my favourite summer vacation-y movies that I like to watch to pass the ungodly slow summer hours.
I read and reviewed the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (the woman who wrote Wild).
We had a small party for July 4th and it was the best. Here’s what I made and loved: Panzanella Salad with Fresh Mozzarella (I used the How Sweet Eats recipe, but added mozzarella and omitted the corn and avocado - I also made the croutons the Ree Drummond way, because that’s the tastiest way), Spinach Bacon & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms (because they’re so delicious I want to scream), I used bell peppers as the bowls for holding the ranch for the vegetables, Slow Cooker Ribs, Eggplant Lasagna (I can’t remember the recipe I used, but it was pretty basic), Peanut Butter & Nutella Cheesecake Bars (this was the second time I’ve made these and it’s a perfect dessert to make a night or two before so that it can really set up), Blueberry Lemon Bread, and a charcuterie board (which is like assembling food art & I love it).
My favourite fruit/vegetable season is the end of summer mainly because of the fresh tomatoes and corn, so I can’t wait to try some of these corn dishes available in NYC right now. Although I don’t know how any of them are going to compete with the corn gnocchi at Park Avenue Summer. (I just looked and there’s also a sweet corn agnolotti with black summer truffles on the menu now too, so things just got interesting.)
Jenn sent me a link to this lovely poem Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo that I just love.
I went for lunch at the cafe at Lilia in Brooklyn and it was ONLY AVERAGE. So that was disappointing. Maybe I ordered badly? I got the prosciutto, parmigiano butter, balsamic mustard sandwich - and even though it looks great (love whole grain mustard), it was really just too bready and not very flavourful.
I saw Midsommar (by the same guy who did Hereditary last year) and I really liked it. Some parts are just unnecessarily graphic (and the slow motion shots of this stuff are insane to watch), but the plot was great. Love an original movie.
Watched the entirety of Champions on Netflix and it really bums me out that it got cancelled, it was a really fun show.
Made this chocolate chunk coconut banana bread and it was goooooood.
So excited to hear that there will be three more seasons of Big Mouth!
Do you remember experiencing or hearing about the ride Kongfrontation at Universal Studios in Florida? I’ve only ever heard of it, but it seems like it was probably the best ride that ever existed at that park. I hate how most rides these days are just 3D screens with no real interaction or animatronics, it’s bullshit.
Fucking obsessed with this strawberry lemonade kombucha that’s apparently only available at Trader Joe’s. I thought their gingerade was the best flavour, but now I have to reassess everything. (Also tried the “watermelon wonder” but it’s pure trash.)
Some songs that I can’t stop listening to: You Need To Calm Down by Taylor Swift, Blow Your Mind by Dua Lipa, Everybody by Elliphant feat. Azealia Banks, Boys by Lizzo, Let Me Go by Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & watt, Doin’ Time by Lana Del Ray, We Were Young by Petit Biscuit feat. JP Cooper, Calma (Remix) by Pedro Capo & Farruko
I refuse to shut up about how great the (square bottle) nail polishes are at Urban Outfitters. They’ve been consistently great for years. I’ve been wearing their neon pink Hot Tub off and on for at least five years, and they keep putting out wicked new colours. There’s almost always a 3 for $10 deal and recently I got Coffee Creamer, Sun Bunny & Optic White and they’re BEAUTIFUL.
It’s currently Restaurant Week again (it’s on until August 16th), so of course I went back to The Dutch for their beautiful wagyu steak tartare. I also had the corn cappelletti with chanterelle mushrooms and marjoram that was heavenly.
There’s a deal with ClassPass where you can use the service for free for two weeks, so I tried it and it’s not that great. It’s just too expensive to justify having it when I already have a monthly gym membership somewhere else. I did try an aqua cycling class through Aqua Studio during the free trial and it was… only okay. I mean, it’s fun and great to be in the salt water, but it wasn’t all that challenging as a workout.
I wasn’t planning on buying it, but I tried it, loved it, so had to buy it: Glossier’s Brow Flick. I’m still learning how to use it properly, but so far I’m really into it. It inspired this eyebrow products video that I posted last week.
I saw Toy Story 4 and I really hope this is the final one they make because the ending was so good. That’s all I’ll say. Quality series of movies, right here.
Some friends of mine recently opened up a small, late night food place called Foodstruck in Astoria and the food is really good. They’ve just opened, so they’re still figuring out their hours but I think they’re catering to the late night crowd, especially servers/bartenders who get off work late. Check out some of the food specials from this past week.
My too-kind friend Irene got us a housewarming gift of a Diptyque candle (in eucalyptus) and somehow it’s still going after three months of daily use, which is incredible. Do not look up how expensive this candle is.
I watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and really liked it! Especially the hot tub scene. But let’s not get into it. I double-checked to make sure they’re both over 21 and they are, so all’s good.
Made this pappardelle pasta with mushroom ragu when Nathan was out of town (I like to get my mushroom recipes in when he’s gone) and it’s definitely going on my favourite-dinner-recipes list.
I ate at Misi in Brooklyn because I’ve wanted to go for ages and the pasta was solid as hell, I’d definitely go back. We had the charred peppers, marjoram, and whipped ricotta crostini, the corzetti with marinated sungold (peeled) tomatoes, garlic, pecorino & summer herbs (have you ever eaten a PEELED tomato? It almost feels wrong. The good kind of wrong), the strangozzi with pork sugo, nutmeg and parmigiana and for dessert we had the strawberries and cream gelato (it was a special that night) and the espresso gelato. Everything was so crazy good. The service was fantastic and the space is huge. Is it better than Lilia or L'Artusi (pasta-wise)? Ugh, that's such a hard question. It's really good. I'll have to revisit to get more intel to make a final decision on that.
I went to Coney Island with Irene and it was great, as it always should be.
I visited the Profundo Day Club (mainly to get my ass in a pool) earlier this month, and I highly doubt that I’ll return. Mostly because even though the pool was nice (small, but nice) and refreshing, the blaring house music in the middle of the day was a little excessive. There’s also a disco ball above the pool itself. And a unicorn floatie that drifts around the water. And waitresses who shoot sparklers off when someone buys a bottle of liquor. It’s… not for me, let’s say. And the cheapest pass was $70 (tax included), which is waaaay too expensive for Queens. Let’s be real.
There’s a new season of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and the Martin Short episode is just lovely. It almost killed me when he was talking about when he bought his house and said, “We bought it in 1986” even though his wife passed away years ago. Am I being ridiculous in thinking that him using the word “we” is so sad and sweet and nice? Or maybe that’s a normal thing to say and I’d melt at anything to come out of his mouth. And while it was a good episode, I got so fucking sick of all the filler shots of coffee being brewed, coffee being poured into a cup, beans being tossed in a can, flowers sitting in vases - for fuck sake JUST TALK TO MARTIN SHORT AND SHOW ME THAT. Annoying as hell.
Nathan and I started watching season three of Stranger Things and… it’s not good? We saw all of the first season, which was pretty good. Attempted season two and never finished it because it became boring. And last week, we watched the first couple episodes of season three and I think we’ve silently agreed on just stopping it altogether. And look, I’m happy other people like it, but it’s just not for me. Demogorgons are too close to being dragons, maybe that’s why I can’t care about them?
I like to go to at least one baseball game each season, so I went to a Mets game last weekend and got this beauty that was the giveaway (below) since it was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
I mean, there was even a promo video for it. How amazing is that?
Honestly, this bobblehead makes me so happy for some reason. I love going to Citi Field especially ‘cause the food is always so good. We got the filet mignon steak sandwich from the aptly named Pat LaFrieda’s Original Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich, incredible fries from Box Frites, souvenir cups & drinks from Effen Vodka Bar, mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz, and chips & queso with ginger lime margaritas from Cantina.
Two new things that I’m going to start doing:
1. Buying less things off of Amazon. If there’s an alternative, independently run company that I can find the item at (and if the price isn’t wildly more expensive) then I’ll shop there instead. Every new thing I hear about Amazon makes me shudder, and I hate that it’s become my default place for me to buy anything.
2. If a store/restaurant is cashless (ie. credit cards only), then I’ll refuse to shop there. It’s insane that this isn’t illegal everywhere yet. I’m so sick of it and cash should be accepted everywhere, it’s nuts that I even need to say that. (I was excited to have lunch at Ole & Steen in Union Square for lunch the other day, but they’re “cashfree” so fuck them!)
Some things that I’m looking forward to doing this month: I’ve already sent in my email requesting tickets for Saturday Night Live (you can only request tickets during the entire month of August), I can’t wait to see Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark with Layla, there’s a tomato gelato that I want to try that sounds either awful or life-affirming, going on our anniversary trip at the end of the month, excited for a Canyon Creek caesar salad with Harmeet, planning on going to the CNE with my mom (haven’t done this in years), going to two weddings (!!) and I love weddings, being in a pool with Marla and a bunch of our kids, and taking advantage of a few more Restaurant Week specials. Excited for the last month of trash weather!
If you’re some kind of monster who loves reading these monthly roundups, you can find last month’s over here.