Summer is finally half over!
One more filthy month to go before the best time of the year! Here were the highlights of July:
So you know how much I love the banana pudding from Magnolia already, but what you don't know is that it's probably my favourite summer dessert to make and bring to parties because people go fucking nuts for it. So for July 4th this year I made it, but I also bought some Coffee Crisp chocolate bars to Canadian it up (if you're in the U.S. then you can buy them in the international foods section at Bed Bath & Beyond), then dumped those bars into a food processor to make a COFFEE CRISP CRUMBLE TO GO ATOP THE BANANA PUDDING. And it was heaven.
I ate some of the best fish tacos in NYC at Tacoway Beach in Rockaway near the beach. They're crazy simple but so good, I try to get them once a year so I never grow sick of them. Tip: definitely skip the black bean tacos AND the elote because they are both wildly unpleasing.
I made this Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Spinach Cream Sauce but full disclosure: I bought the sweet potato gnocchi already put together at Trader Joe's, and then just made the sauce from the recipe and it still tasted amazing. There's something I'll never like about buying frozen food from Trader Joe's (I feel like I haven't completely given up on life yet?), but this gnocchi is the exception (this and their cauliflower pizza crust). Will definitely be keeping this one in the food rotation because it was delicious as hell.
I read two books this month and I refuse to stop saying that out loud to people, but I guess I have to move on since it's August soon, so that sucks. The Simpsons one I read was great and the Ijeoma Oluo one was even better!
I did start to read Steve Martin's Born Standing Up and wow was it dull. Don't get me wrong, I think Steve Martin is great. But I read about half of it before collapsing in extreme dissatisfaction. IT'S SO BORING. Why do people think that it's such a good book? Famous comedians will gleefully prattle on about how great it is to one another, which is why I wanted to read it in the first place, so this just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I was going to just suck it up and keep going until I asked Nathan if it got any better and he very politely told me that it did not. Can someone tell me why it's supposed to be so good? It shoulda been called Bore Standing Up! Okay, that's not a good joke, I know, but it's better than WHAT'S GOING ON INSIDE THIS BOOK.
I tried the frozen Irish coffee at Passage in Astoria finally and... it was great! Duh.
I watched Hannah Gadsby's Nanette on Netflix and didn't really care for it for the first half. The only reason I kept watching was because a friend of mine echoed the same thoughts of the beginning not being good but it getting good the second half. And she was completely right because the second half was powerful as hell. My real thoughts are just a general annoyance at people who plainly say, "It isn't standup." And maybe my opinion on this matters in no way since I'm not a comedian, but it just bothers me that there's this weird line of what standup should or shouldn't be, as if the idea of anything more being said with no punchline isn't worthy enough for the untouchable standup stage. She's a comedian! She said jokes! She also had more to say, which is great. Especially with what's going on in the world right now, it seems weird to purposely not want to comment on that and focus solely on what a comedian "is supposed to do." That idea just seems strange to me.
Nathan and I went to a wedding and it was fun and we looked great. Proof!
I saw a bunch of movies.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (in theatres) - I mean, a Macarena joke made me laugh so it obviously wasn't a good movie, but some of the kids had a good time so that makes it a success.
Can't Buy Me Love (Netflix) - I'd never seen it and it's a terrible eighties movie so I kind of needed to all of a sudden. Also it was on a list of things leaving Netflix in August so I suddenly felt the urge to grab on tightly before letting it go off into the distance? That's normal?
Girls Trip (HBOGO) - I have no idea why the urge to see this movie happened inside of me. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. Not good, but not horrendous.
Ibiza (Netflix) - I guess I've been having real moments lately where I've just been missing certain groups of friends and watching these ridiculous movies puts me at ease a bit maybe? I don't know, let's not analyze it. Oh! The music from this one was really great, though. Also, Gillian Jacobs' eyes are so ginormous, I'm always shocked that men aren't looking for a woman with huge eyes instead of a huge ass or boobs, makes no fucking sense to me. Her eyes are insane!
Obvious Child (Netflix) - Jenny Slate can do no wrong and of course this movie was great. Other than all the cringe-inducing standup scenes (that are supposed to be cringe-inducing, I'm assuming), it was just a nice movie. The music from this one was pretty great, too.
I tried the new Crispy Chicken at Swiss Chalet and it was really tasty because of course it was, anything fried is most likely amazing. It's funny to me that they're not just calling it fried chicken. Obviously it's purposeful too, like they're thinking that if they did call it fried chicken it'd sound too Americanized or something. That's definitely something they thought. "No, calling it Crispy Chicken just makes it seem healthier, like it was just slightly dunked into hot, frying oil and not, like, submerged for hours."
I've had an iPhone 5 for three years and the battery had gone completely to shit (ie. dying at 80%) a few weeks ago, so I took it to Mobile Klinik (outside of Wal-Mart on the first floor of Square One in Mississauga) and they replaced the battery for me within an hour and it only cost me $60 and now it's been working amazingly. They were super nice and it came with a one year warranty, so definitely keep this in mind if you're ever in need of their services.
The only thing I've ever eaten at Dominique Ansel Kitchen was the burrata soft serve ice cream from a few years ago, but I stopped by recently and had the cold pear yogurt and hot toasted granola and maaaaaaan why can't the version I make at home taste as good as theirs. WHY.
A friend told me about this great site Zaful that has gorgeous swimsuits for crazy cheap and are actually good quality. Are you even kidding me with how gorgeous those marbled ones look?!
Tried the soft serve at Tom's Dairy Freeze in Etobicoke finally and it was goooooood because all ice cream is good.
I went to see the Scarborough Bluffs with Marla and some of my nieces and it's such a beautiful place. So glad we went.
It's Restaurant Week in New York right now (it actually lasts a few weeks), so I'm hoping to eat at some places I've always wanted to go to. So far I've only gone to Astor Court inside the St. Regis hotel, but it was so, so good. Here's what I had.