Things I Read This Week: April 7, 2017


How was your week? I woke up to snow this morning, so I’m hiding out with a book and coffee until it melts. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, so if you’re a history nerd like me, you should watch CBC’s 360 documentary, narrated by Peter Mansbridge. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Kitchn – How To Make a Cheese Danish for a Crowd
How amazing does this danish look? I’m visiting family next week and can’t wait to make this for brunch on Easter Sunday.

Wired – An Aircraft Design That’ll Make You Love the Middle Seat. No Joke
I’m six feet tall and mildly claustrophobic, so unless I’m traveling with two other friends in my row, I always book an aisle seat to avoid hours of anxiety and battles over the armrest. This new, wider middle seat design looks like a great concept and I hope to see it on planes in the near future — I’ll probably still choose an aisle seat, but at least I won’t feel so badly for the person in the middle!

Vice – Life After Betraying the Hells Angels
A fascinating glimpse into how the witness protection program changes someone’s life.

Food & Wine – 98-Year-Old Man Bakes Over 144 Apple Pies to Honor His Late Wife
“Everything [Leo Keller] bakes, he gives away for free. He whips up baked goods for the sick, for fellow widowers and widows, and even provides baked goods for funeral receptions. ‘To see the smile on their face. That’s worth all the money in the world. Nobody can buy that,’ Keller, whose caregiver occasionally helps make the baked goods, commented. ‘That smile means so much to me.'”

Munchies – These 3 Dudes Drove 1,000 Miles to Try the Only McDonald’s Pizza in America
I remember eating McDonald’s pizza as a kid and being less-than-impressed — after my friend’s “Make Your Own Pizza Party” at Pizza Hut in 1993, every other chain restaurant pizza paled in comparison — so I don’t know if I would spend two days traveling to West Virginia to try it again. How far would you drive for a taste of vintage McDonald’s menu items? I wonder if they also still carry the Arch Deluxe

Things I Read This Week: March 31, 2017


How was your week? It snowed in Toronto last night, so spring continues to let me down. Might have to put my tips to jazz up a regular weekend to good use again this week. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Apartment Therapy – Unusual Exterior Paint Color Combos That Actually Look Really Great
Somehow the all-black house above manages to steer clear of any easy comparisons to the Addams Family Mansion. I also love the New Orleans rowhouse with rainbow fishscale siding. Which one is your favourite?

Vulture – Why Bones Was One of the Most Interesting Love Stories on TV
I spent a semester in university marathoning every available season of Bones — at that time, this meant speeding through 8 seasons, or 165 episodes — while studying for exams and writing papers. Whether or not this was a valuable use of my time remains to be seen, but I can still hum the theme song from memory, and that has to count for something, right?

Entertainment Tonight – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast Reunites for 20th Anniversary
Speaking of David Boreanaz, can you believe it’s been 20 years since Buffy first appeared in our lives? I’m long overdue for a rewatch.

Food & Wine – Food Safety Experts Are Not Pleased with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cookbooks
Spoiler alert: it’s because her meat recipes don’t include a final cooking temperature, which could put people at risk of consuming undercooked meat and contracting food poisoning. But Gwyneth’s not alone; few cookbooks include this type of information, relying instead on visual or tactile clues (“roast until juices run clear” and the like) to indicate when a dish is done. Point is, if you’re worried about salmonella, you should become familiar with recommended food temperatures and invest in an instant-read kitchen thermometer to make sure your food is cooked properly, rather that relying solely on instructions.

Extra Crispy – Why Snoozing Actually Makes You Lose Sleep
You’ve heard it before, but here it is again: hitting snooze in the morning is bad for you. I say this as someone who sets half a dozen staggered alarms every morning and gets up long after the last one has been silenced. Maybe it’s time for a sleep schedule, or even going back to using an alarm clock instead of my phone. What about you? Do you have any tips to avoid oversnoozing in the morning?

Things I Read This Week: March 24, 2017

How was your week? Listen, I know what you’re thinking: “Sarah, you just posted about carrot cake a couple of weeks ago.” And you’re not wrong. But hear me out! First of all, this is carrot bread. And second of all … okay, fine. You’re right. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Smitten Kitchen – Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil
Look, if you love carrot bread, you love it, and if you hate it, you should move on to one of the other links in this post. I promise* to lay off the carrot-based baked goods in the future.

Vulture – The Year of Living Publicly
You’ve probably seen this profile of Jenny Slate posted all over the Internet — I guess the Chris Evans connection makes this story pretty juicy — but you should read it because Jenny Slate seems like a hilarious, genuinely nice person. Another good read: Chris Evans Fights Back (the title makes it sound like he and Jenny are fighting, but really it’s just about being a superhero).

Food & Wine – How Your Instagram Posts Created a New Starbucks Drink
It’s satisfying to see a brand listen to customers and move so quickly to put a popular “secret” item on the menu to offer a consistent experience, like Starbucks did with the Cold Buster, though I’m still on the fence about steamed lemonade. Has anyone tried this drink yet? Did you like it?

Washington Post – SNL to Finish a Record-Shattering Season by Doing Something It’s Never Done Before
Beginning on April 15th, SNL will go live coast-to-coast for its final 4 episodes of the season, airing live at 11:30pm ET/8:30pm PT. As someone who watched SNL religiously during the Will Ferrell years before completely abandoning it for over a decade, I think that the show’s sudden resurgence in popularity is fascinating. Will you be watching these episodes live in your time zone?

Science of Us – There’s a Psychological Explanation for Why Tetris Is So Addicting
Did you know individual Tetris pieces are called Tetrominoes? Isn’t that just the best?

*note: promise not binding.

How to Make Any Regular Weekend Feel Like a Holiday

Last Monday was the first day of spring, which seems hard to believe given the negative temperatures and bare trees in Toronto this week. This, combined with the fact that there are no long weekends in March this year, has made it difficult to really, truly enjoy weekends. Sure, the days are getting longer, but it’s freezing and I can’t sit on a patio. Sure, I could stay home and binge-watch a Netflix series, but I want real, “thank goodness Monday is a holiday”-type R&R. What’s a girl to do?

Frigid, rainy weather be damned: with a little imagination, any weekend can become a long weekend, regardless of whether or not Monday is a work day. Here’s how I plan to spend my faux-long weekend:

Continue reading “How to Make Any Regular Weekend Feel Like a Holiday”

Things I Read This Week: March 17, 2017,c_limit/smoked-salmon-breakfast-salad-with-crispbread.jpg

How was your week? Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Remember: stay away from green beer (gross) and don’t say “St. Patty’s Day” — it’s Paddy, derived from the Irish Pádraig, not patty, which is what you put in a burger. Okay, now go have fun! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad with Crispbread
I was going to lead with Molly Yeh’s wonderful-looking Mint Coconut Chocolate Cake, but I had to at least try to pretend that we’re eating healthy this week. Maybe this salad for breakfast and cake for lunch and dinner? Seems balanced enough to me …

Slate – Watch the First Trailer for Coco, Pixar’s “Love Letter to Mexico”
I’m so ready to ugly-cry during this movie. Coco is out November 22nd!

Food & Wine – The Crucial Reason Why Honey Nut Cheerios’ Mascot is Missing
Have you noticed that Buzz has vanished from Cheerios packaging? I wondered about this during a recent trip to the grocery store. Turns out that the new packaging is part of a General Mills campaign to raise awareness about disappearing bee colonies. They’re giving away bee-friendly wildflower seeds to help #BringBackTheBees — you can sign up for free seeds every Monday to do your part!

The New York Times – The ‘H-Bomb’ Fizzles: The Harvard Brand Takes a Hit
Am I the only one whose fascination with Ivy League schools is derived from multiple viewings of Gilmore Girls and Legally Blonde? I didn’t think so. Another interesting read: Are Final Clubs Too Exclusive for Harvard?

The Guardian – Charli XCX: the mixtape mystery and a pop career in flux
Chances are, you know Charli XCX even if you’ve never head of her (good luck getting her hook on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” out of your head now that I’ve brought it up). Like Kesha, JoJo, and many other pop stars before her, she’s been absent from the charts as a lead artist for years now due to — what else? — a dispute with her label. If “Dreamer,” the lead track off her new mixtape Number 1 Angel, is any indication of what her delayed third album has in store, then we’re in for a treat if and when Atlantic releases it. #FreeCharli

Five Pie Recipes to Try on Pi Day

It’s March 14th, aka 3/14 or 3.14, and you know that that means — Pi Day! Seeing as so much of the East Coast is housebound due to a blizzard, it’s a great day to tackle a pie project, because pie is a) delicious, and b) a great way to pass the time when you’re stuck indoors. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite savoury and sweet pie recipes, most of which can be made using pantry ingredients and won’t require a trip to the grocery store:

Continue reading “Five Pie Recipes to Try on Pi Day”

Things I Read This Week: March 10, 2017

How was your week? I’m visiting my parents for the weekend, which means lots of good meals and a visit to my favourite flea market with my dad on Sunday morning. Can’t complain! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Food & Wine – Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
I see this cake in my immediate future. Mainly because I need this cake in my immediate future.

Bustle – Here’s How The Women’s Strike Affected The Workday
Some stats on how the Day Without a Woman affected Wednesday’s workday across various industries. Also: How Men Failed the Women’s Strike Before it Even Started.

Glamour – Chrissy Teigen Opens Up for the First Time About Her Postpartum Depression
A million emoji praise hands for Chrissy Teigen’s essay about dealing with anxiety and depression after the birth of her first child. This is an important discussion and I’m glad Queen Chrissy is joining the conversation!

The New York Times – Opinion: White Resentment on the Night Shift at Walmart
Tracie McMillan is a food writer who went undercover at Walmart and Applebee’s to study the American food supply chain for her book, The American Way of Eating. Like J.D. Vance’s excellent Hillbilly Elegy, which the NYT selected as one of their 6 books to help understand the current political climate in America, McMillan’s opinion piece gives us a glimpse of why things went the way they did in November. I don’t think we’ll ever stop looking for answers, but this is a start.

Vulture – The One Scene That Got William Daniels to Play Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World
Raise your hand if you grew up in ABC TGIF’s Boy Meets World era and wished Mr. Feeny was the principal at your school. (Also, raise your hand if you’re now getting ready to re-watch all 7 seasons of this show as soon as you’re done catching up on Riverdale …)

Things I Read This Week: March 3, 2017

How was your week? This post is up bright and early because we’re going on a mini-road trip to Syracuse today to watch some sports and hang out for the weekend. I have a lengthy list of bars and coffee shops to try and I am READY. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Kitchn – 17 Favorite Trader Joe’s Products That Our Readers Love
“What do you want to do in Syracuse when we’re not watching sports?” “Trader Joe’s.” “And?” “Target.” “And?” “Any place they sell craft beers.” It’s going to be a great weekend. If you have any Trader Joe’s must-buys, leave them in the comments below!

Food & Wine – Around the World in 17 Breakfast Sandwiches
Your plans for the weekend should involve a croque-madame, a French classic that involves ham, cheese, egg, bread, and tons of butter. There’s no better Saturday morning meal!

Bon Appetit – What It’s Like to Be Rihanna’s Personal Chef
Doesn’t this job sound amazing and also extremely scary? What if Rihanna didn’t like my croque-madame? But it seems like Debbie Solomon is killing it: “That [certain and elegant] demeanor is likely one of the reasons Solomon has been so successful at her wildly unpredictable job: She gets what the perks are, but she understands the stakes, too.”

Fortune – Meet the Only Woman Who Knows the Oscar Winners Before You Do
I read this article on Sunday morning, a few hours before the Oscars. I thought it was interesting to know more about how the results are administered, but I never thought this background information would become so relevant. YIKES. To echo a million thought pieces on the subject: Moonlight deserved better.

The Atlantic – How Will History Remember Your Lifetime?
This is cool. Apparently, I’ve never lived in a world without Macintosh computers; I became a teenager the same year Can’t Hardly Wait was released; and at this moment, my life can be divided into two halves: before and after the International Space Station. #thisis31

Five Pancake Recipes to Try on Pancake Tuesday

Happy Pancake Tuesday! Today is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. For those who celebrate Easter, this is the last day of indulgence before the period of fasting known as Lent begins. It’s also a great opportunity to eat pancakes for dinner in the middle of the week (as if I needed an excuse). I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite pancake recipes, ranging from classic to totally indulgent: Continue reading “Five Pancake Recipes to Try on Pancake Tuesday”