Writing this on the tale-end of the world's longest cold (which, if you've been watching Emily's Insta Stories, you know she's been fighting as well!). After making it through a busy and exciting week that included a big photoshoot for the Shop (catch the behind the scenes in the highlights here, and look out for a post coming soon), I spent most of the weekend in bed recovering. If anyone has any killer cold remedies, I am all ears—I'd love to hear what you do to feel better, especially since I have some upcoming trip plans. This Friday, I'm driving home to Reno, where my mom and I will be leaving from, for a five-day cattle drive. We're riding horses to bring cows from east Nevada to west Nevada for the Reno Rodeo. I've never done anything similar before, and haven't been on a horse in about ten years, but I'm excited for a completely new-to-me experience. Yee-haw!
Really, there's only one thing worth doing this week if you live in California, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, and New Mexico: vote! Tomorrow are the primaries in these states, and California is a particularly closely-watched state, as it's an integral part of Democrats regaining the House in November (whether you want or don't want that to happen). Remember, you can't take a phone into the polling booth, but you can take your sample ballot—take some time to go through each candidate and issue and mark your vote so you're prepared tomorrow to vote towards what you believe in. Here's more information on how and where to vote in California.
And for New York readers...When I lived in the city, I attended two shows from the acting group, Third Rail Projects: Then She Fell, and The Grand Paradise. Both shows are all-immersive (think of the popular show, at the McKittrick Hotel, Sleep No More, but with far fewer people). The performances are almost impossible to describe, but you follow the actors around an interactive set, and every person has a completely different experience—it's amazing. They have a new limited show at The Macallan Speakeasy going on all summer. Sign up here—and if you go, please let me know how it is so I can live vicariously!
Since Jonah and I were both down for the count with colds this weekend, we stuck to comforting meals that are as easy as it gets to make (and clean). On Saturday, we made a big batch of Tom Kha Gai (I originally shared my recipe here), which we then froze for easy weeknight dinner. Sunday night, we made one of my favorite childhood comfort foods, "The Best Worst Chicken." In retrospect, it's surprising my mom ever cooked this—as a classically trained cook who adores Alice Waters, she always cooked with 'real' foods, opting to make everything from scratch. But my family has fully embraced this recipe, which fully embraces the packaged food aisles—and I love it for that. With just four ingredients, it sounds disgusting, but bake some chicken in Lipton's French onion mix, apricot jam, Teriyaki sauce and you've got the most succulent, delicious, fresh-out-of-the-oven comfort food imaginable. Trust me. Here's the recipe, exactly how my mom dictated it to me over the phone my first year out of college.
Note: You may notice that I've run the gamut from vegan to pescatarian to "pescatarian, but sometimes I eat chicken when I'm sick." I'm still figuring out what works best for me—but if you do try the "Best Worst Chicken" with a meat alternative like tofu, let me know!
Speaking of cooking with whole foods (kind of)... this weekend, I picked up Michael Pollan's latest book, How to Change Your Mind. This time around, instead of writing about the consequences of food choices, he's writing about psychedelics and the increasing societal acceptance around them. The same way The Omnivore's Dilemma shined a new light on food and agriculture over ten years ago, Pollan's new book addresses the under-the-radar world of hallucinogenics, as treatment for depression, addiction, and even cancer—or simply changing the way you think for a few hours. Whether you feel like you'd be perfectly suited for Woodstock with Timothy Leary, or would rather stick to red wine, it's an interesting read. For a micro-dose, I mean teaser, check out his interview in Rolling Stone and his interview on Fresh Air.
Ever since falling back in love with Laura Dern during Big Little Lies last year, I'll watch pretty much anything she's in—but she's rarely in the starring role, usually playing the trusty best friend or nurturing mom. Last night, the HBO film The Tale came out (on 'On Demand;' it airs on television tomorrow night), with Dern as the rare protagonist, in a haunting and difficult-to-watch role. Trigger warning for those who have experienced sexual abuse: The film is a semi-autobiographical retelling of the director, Jennifer Fox's, experiences reevaluating the "relationship" she had with a man when she was 13-years-old.
It's been a long time since I've purchased a tabloid, but then this weekend I saw the Us Weekly cover with "Jennifer Aniston—Secretly Pregnant with Brad's Baby!" and took the bait, because who hasn't been secretly rooting for this to happen since 2004? (And because when you're sick, all bets are off.) But the real reason I haven't been purchasing tabloids, is because I don't need to since listening to Josh Duboff and Julie Miller's podcast with Vanity Fair, In the Limelight. I've only listened to a few episodes, mostly around the royal wedding, because the quality sometimes sounds like they're recording the entire thing on walkie-talkies, but it's packed with great celeb gossip that's the perfect tone for a traffic-filled drive home from work. Though, I should add, nothing holds a torch to my favorite pop culture podcast, Still Processing.