Is there anything more satisfying than starting a Monday morning knowing you're fully food-prepped for the week? Last night, I made a huge batch of quinoa, chimichurri (which I love since it can double as a sauce on protein and a dressing), broke down a rotisserie chicken, and chopped vegetables to roast or sauté each night. While I don't have any set recipe plan, I'm planning on making grain bowls (see below!) and salads for lunch and dinner each day, which will free me up in the evenings for stress-free drinks and concerts with friends and post-dinner walks.
If you're looking for some peace and quiet in Los Angeles... check out some of the spots novelist Reif Larsen visited in his own quest for Zen in the City of Traffic—the city is full of secret oases. Just consider the Peace Awareness Labyrinth, which is home to an ancient form of meditation, or the Japanese Garden at The Huntington. Speaking of the Huntington, their corpse flower is about to bloom—an incredibly rare event, if you're able to go this weekend to smell the 'Lil' Stinker' (thanks to Skylar for the head's up!).
And if you're looking for some fun... A few years ago, I went to a SoFar Sounds concert in New York where Sammy Miller and the Congregation played. Though the big band (they call themselves 'joyful jazz') was an odd fit for the small New York space, they filled the room with so much sound and infectious happy energy that by the end of their first song, the entire room was gleefully clapping along, myself included (here's a video of that performance). This Tuesday, they're playing at another unexpected venue, this time in L.A., a mall right in the heart of Hollywood (and it's free!). I'm planning on going Tuesday and to their performance in Santa Barbara in September... but I highly recommend you check them out, even if you can't make it! Their music is fantastic, but I think it translates best in person and video. (As Jonah said, since we're jamming to them right now, "How could you not love this music??")
After reading about Emily's trip to Portland, I felt so inspired by her photo of Tusk's grain bowl that I did my best to emulate it based on the picture, with a few modifications for a lazy Sunday meal:
Tusk-Inspired Grain Bowl
Serves 2, with some leftovers
2 cups freshly cooked quinoa
Olive oil, for cooking
6 ounces Tree Oyster Mushrooms, or any mushroom
8 baby tomatoes
Salt, as desired
2 Persian cucumbers, cut into spears then halved
1/4 cup homemade chimichurri
Hummus or avocado (optional)
How to make it:
1. Divide the warm, freshly cooked quinoa between two single-serving bowls. Bring water to a boil, then add the eggs. Lower boil to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes, exactly. At that point, drain the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to stop them from cooking further—this creates the perfect soft boil (you're looking for a bright, runny yolk!).
2. In a small sauté pan, add a glug of olive oil. When shimmering, add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and some salt. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and the tomatoes have burst, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Layer the cucumbers over the quinoa, then divide the mushrooms and tomatoes, and halve and add a soft-boiled egg to each bowl, nestled in the vegetables. Sprinkle liberally with Za'atar seasoning, and add spoonfuls of chimichurri over the cucumbers. Enjoy with hummus, avocado, and any additional protein as desired—so simple, and so delicious!
P.S., We finished it off with Jonah's Brown Butter Cinnamon Ice Cream (which was a finalist in a Food52 recipe contest years ago!) and it was dee-licious.
The thing about goop is you either love it or hate it (full disclosure: I happen to love it). Though I'm not necessarily using crystal eggs to recharge my sexual energy anytime soon (though, if it works for you, go for it?), I love their weeknight recipes, curated beauty selection, city guides, and podcast. Regardless of which camp you belong to, I highly recommend reading the cover article of this weekend's New York Times Magazine, "How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million." It offers a unique behind the scenes to the G.P. behind goop, is hilarious, and full of poignant insights, like this line: The minute the phrase “having it all” lost favor among women, wellness came in to pick up the pieces. The writer, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who writes some of my favorite profiles, does an impressive job of pointing out goop's eccentricities, while also acknowledging their accomplishments. You can read it here!
So I know I'm late to the game here, but have you seen The Sinner? I tried watching it last year, but only really dove into it this weekend—and then binged it. I can't remember being so entirely engulfed in a show since Season 4 of Dexter (Trinity killer, anyone?), probably because it has equally dark twists and a plot that hooked me from the first episode. In it, Cora Tannetti (played by Jessica Biel), is a seemingly normal mom who suddenly gets up from a beach day with her husband and son, and stabs a stranger to death. The entire series aims at uncovering the motivation behind the seemingly senseless murder—if there even is one. Season 2 starts August 1st, and like True Detective, follows an entirely different crime, with some of the same characters.
I recently listened to the Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona playlist for the first time in years and was reminded of how good it is! It's the perfect thing to put on for an easy night at home cooking dinner, and reminded me of some of my other favorite movie playlists. My tops include: Marie Antoinette, Pride and Prejudice, Pulp Fiction (mostly for this scene), You've Got Mail, and (I can't believe I'm admitting this publicly) Chocolat, which is possibly my most-played album since it's been my go-to when I need to focus for over ten years. Love me some Rachel Portman. What are some of your favorites?