The Homemade Condiment I'm Putting On Literally Everything - Cupcakes & Cashmere

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The Homemade Condiment I'm Putting On Literally Everything

Plus the indulgent purchase that's become my new favorite thing.
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I've wanted a Peloton for years, but it wasn't until two months ago that I finally panic-ordered one with the money we had saved for our wedding's flower budget. At the time, the "shelter in place" order was going to be lifted on April 20, but when Michael Barbaro told me it would likely be much longer, it was all the justification I needed to hit "Purchase." Since it arrived last week, I've felt my mood lift every time I attend one of Cody's "Groove" rides or Robin Arzon's Tabata rides that hurt so much (in a good way) I can barely think about anything else. As much as I like the idea of a "Live" class, which now take place in the instructors' homes, I find myself drawn to the rides that took place months ago, when the studio was still packed with sweaty strangers. The bike is expensive, and far from the only way to feel that endorphin high—I feel a similar one when I dance to Obé classes—but has become something I look forward to every single evening, adding some much-needed structure to my day. I asked yesterday on Instagram for your favorite classes (Robin's Lizzo ride won by a landslide), but would love to hear more in the comments, if you have them! Here's what else I'm loving this week: 

1

Dani Shapiro's memoir, Hourglass, was one of my favorite books I read last year. In it, she reflects on the transformation of her marriage over the past eighteen years through short scenes interspersed with quotes. It's poetic, and as someone who usually hates poetry (I'm sorry, I've tried!), I was surprised to find how much I loved every page. The entire time I read Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation, I couldn't help but compare it to Hourglass. It's also written in fragments (which makes it easy to finish in a day), and presents seemingly random moments that together paint the picture of a full, flawed marriage. Once you read it, listen to her interview on the podcast First Draft, about her unique writing process. 

P.S., I wrote this post last week, and then the NYT recommended Dept. of Speculation as a book you can finish in a day yesterday! That's what fate is, right?

2

It's official: Chili Crisp is the unofficial condiment of quarantine (Exhibit A and B). It first came into my life when my order of Kismet Rotisserie arrived with a small, leaky jar of the ambrosia, but since re-ordering it a few times, I've taken to making it myself and putting it on everything. I have it over my eggs each morning, and last night, I served smashed potatoes over sour cream with a schmear of Crisp. I've even entertained the idea of putting it on vanilla ice cream... The version I make is a Frankenstein of a few, based on what I have on hand, using this method to put it all together:

4 small shallots, thinly sliced or chopped
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 heads of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup neutral oil (sometimes with some sesame oil mixed in)
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey

P.S., If you don't want to make your own, I love Fly By Jing's Chili Crisp and Dumpling Sauces

3

Fact: I will watch anything that has older, Irish Jonah, I mean, Domhnall Gleeson in it. He's in some of my very favorite shows and movies—Ex Machina, About Time, Brooklyn, Black Mirror—so it took very little convincing for me to try the new HBO show, RUN, which just released its fifth episode last night. It's far from a perfect show, but it is intriguing. In it, Billy (played by Gleeson) and his college girlfriend Ruby (Merritt Wever) make a pact to get on the 5 PM train from New York to Chicago as soon as one texts, "Run." As the show goes on, we learn bits and pieces about their relationship, what they're each running from, and where they're headed—it's the exact amount of mystery my quarantine brain can handle.

4

Ever since discovering the magic of Bolognese last week, I've been literally craving more. It was so wholly satisfying I could eat it every night (and yes, it pairs very well with Chili Crisp). The only problem is that I like to save red meat for special occasions, for reasons tied to its environmental impact, so I had a hard time repeating it. Enter: Vegetarian bolognese. The base here uses a tofu scramble, plus lots of mushrooms and tomatoes. Paired with fresh tagliatelle and topped with tons of Parmesan, it was almost (almost!) as satisfying. 

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1. I've been doing Amanda Kloots' 4 minute "dancer arm" workout everyday, but maybe it's time for some "dancer abs"?? 

2. My friend Noemie is launching her brand, Frecious, blended, packaged fruits and vegetables online, with a Kickstarter benefitting the LA Food Bank! Support her here

3. How cool are these online courses for learning how to make shoes?? (After coming across it, I asked their founder Amanda about a code, and she's generously offering 40% off any course with the promo code "CUPCAKESANDCASHMERE"! Thank you, Amanda!)

4. Like Netflix Party, but Vemos is for a variety of streaming sites.

5. Ever since reading Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, I've been obsessed with the Upper West Side building she lived in, The Apthorp—this is its Harlem cousin.

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