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The Best Thing I've Cooked in Our (New!) Kitchen This Year

We moved again—but this time for keeps.
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Well, we finally did it! After searching for months (and making seven offers...), Jonah and I bought a house in Portland. While we still have dreams of building our own home some day, we are so happy to have found a house to call our "home" for the foreseeable future. Over the past seven years, Jonah and I have shared six apartments, so having a place of our own to truly grow our roots feels surreal, and insurmountable. While my strategy with apartments has always been to move in as quickly as possible (we usually have art on the walls within 24 hours), I'm trying to remind myself to slow down this time around. We have a lot of work to do—all of which we're doing ourselves, with the exception of gas and electrical (open call for tips on tiling and wallpaper). Still, I'm trying to design thoughtfully and enjoy the process and our new neighborhood. I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks but, until then, I'll be enjoying all of the firsts of many: the first meal in our new kitchen, first room painted, first time meeting neighbors, first walk with Toast to our local coffee shop, first time sleeping not in our guest room (tbd on that one). Here are a few of the things I've been loving during this chaotic week:

1

Derek DelGaudio's Hulu special is hard to describe because it's unlike anything I've ever seen. At its most basic, the show is a recording of the one-man, autobiographical magic show DelGaudio performed in New York between 2016 and 2017... but it really feels like magic. Before each performance, DelGaudio invites the audience to select cards that each contain a single descriptor, beginning "I am..." then proceeds to engage the audience in his performance, referring to them as their self-designated modifiers, a Reflection, Teacher, Artist, Unicorn, Leader, Nobody. In between stories about his childhood, DelGaudio challenges and cracks open these descriptors and invites wonder that transcended the stage into our living room. All I can say is: Just watch it. 

2

'Sylvie's Love' is a love letter—to New York, to jazz, to the 1950s. In it, Sylvie (played by Tessa Thompson of "West World") falls in love with a man at the record store where she works, but when he leaves to go on tour with his jazz band, she stays to pursue her responsibilities and career in New York, though she never forgets the summer they spent together (if you're getting feminist 'The Notebook' vibes, you're absolutely right). The movie is heart-wrenching, beautifully shot, and exactly the rom-com I needed right now. (Thank you to Janecia, the reader who recommended it to me!) 

3
Mojo Meatballs and a very hopeful Toast

Mojo Meatballs and a very hopeful Toast

A few weeks ago, Emily mentioned to me (then subsequently wrote about) the "Mojo Meatballs" her friend Cristina had made eight times in quarantine. (I mean, how's that for a recommendation?) As I was checking out at the grocery store, a clerk asked me what I was making and what I planned on serving them with, and convinced me to fry my own plantains—a combination that resulted in one of Jonah's and my favorite meals in recent memory. The whole recipe comes together quickly (it took less time than our rice cooker did to make white rice), with minimal cleanup. Oh, and don't skip the red onions—we almost did, but the caramelized red onions, which bake alongside the meatballs, make the dish! 

Addition from 2/1/2020 at 10:30 AM: A Cuban-American reader and chef, Kathleen Casanova, reached out to me this morning about the "Mojo Meatballs" I shared above. While delicious, Kathleen shared that the Mojo sauce in the recipe above barely resembles traditional Cuban Mojo (as the recipe description states). I asked if I could share what she wrote so we can all learn: 

*Cuban* mojo isn’t spicy...but mojo is found all over the Caribbean/Latin America and there are many versions. Canarians have been immigrating to Cuba for centuries, so there’s lots of influence. [Linked here] is a traditional mojo sauce with a bit of context from iCuban on how to change it up depending on the application. I think the one Molly makes is more similar to Canadrian Mojo Verde.

P.S. I also made the Thai Red Curry soup Kelly recommended last week (with this local-to-Portland red curry) and it is fantastic.

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1. Seven ways to update a living room on a budget.  

2. Are dream jobs really worth the hype?

3. "Thank you for commenting on my pregnant body." (Made me laugh!)

4. Animals interrupting wildlife photographers.

5. Such a smart idea

6. Jonah sent me this artist's Instagram—I have no idea where he found it, but I love it. 

By the way... Did anyone else watch Sundance this weekend?? What were your favorites?

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