I’m guessing a lot of people are going to start heading out for vacations/staycations today and tomorrow, so let’s just have a fun open thread. What have you read recently that you adore? What shows are bingeworthy? Have you made any great new recipes? Or — do you have any amazing summer recipes to share? (I may need an easy pie recipe if someone has any to recommend…)
For my own $.02…
- This salmon and couscous salad from the NYT was delicious and unexpected — it was a hit with the whole family. (It’s a gift link so you should be able to read without a subscription.)
- Korean beef rice bowls from Stealth Health
- Chicken pesto rice bake from Stay Fit Mom (and we’re trying her chicken gnocchi bowls tonight)
- This one is new(ish) to us, but I recommend if you enjoy egg salad (or voluminous chopped eggs) — “egg loaves” look disgusting to me but are soooo much easier to use for chopped eggs. I’m not sure where our recipe is from, but this one from The Typical Mom looks similar to ours.
- Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal from Lillie Eats and Tells — another weird but good recipe. We had a super (super) (SUPER) old banana so I tried this baked oatmeal recipe. I would not think the riced cauliflower would work, but it’s good and adds a ton of volume. (If you don’t have the recommended pan size, go down instead of up — the second time we made it we actually cooked it in a the large oblong Snapware.)
- This Easy Enchilada Sauce from Budget Bytes is a definite recommend — super easy and so tasty. We used it with this recipe for Beefy Cheesy burritos, another good recipe.
Previous favorites we have on repeat:
- Sriracha salmon bowls from Emily Mariko — they are SO delicious! (This PopSugar article has the link and the original video.)
- Quinoa huevos rancheros bowls from Skinnytaste
- Hummus chicken (Our recipe is from an old O magazine article but this one from Gimme Some Oven looks similar.)
- Low-carb fish taco bowls from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Just a side dish, but if you have a bunch of kale, this massaged kale salad from Skinnytaste is amazing.
Books I’ve loved that I would recommend…
I tend to read a lot of romance books in my free time… I get the best recommendations from the Fated Mates podcast; I highly recommend them. (I tried to read some that sounded interesting from TikTok reviews and, um, NO… Finding a reviewer your trust is so important!!)
- All the Ali Hazelwood books — her latest is Love, Theoretically, all about love between a theoretical physicist and experimental physicist.
- I’ve loved most of Kate Canterbury’s stuff, particularly In a Jam and The Worst Guy.
- Partners in Crime (Alisha Rai) was fun — an accountant and a lawyer basically get kidnapped.
- I read most of the Bedwyn Saga (Balough — I skipped around in #4 a lot) and most of the Highland Brides series. (Sands — I’ve only read 1-8.)
- Some of my all-time favorites remain Kresley Cole’s paranormal IAD series (17 books, start with #2 — this is also the series that inspired the first season of Fated Mates), all of Tessa Dare, and Annika Martin’s billionaire series — all incredibly bingeable and lots of fun.
Audiobooks I’d recommend
If you’re driving, I’ll add a few audiobooks I liked… Check your local library — I find a ton of great audiobooks for free there!
- A Caribbean Heiress in Paris — the story is great, and I loved all of the narrator’s accents.
- Love on the Brain (Ali Hazelwood) — the books are funny but it felt like the narrator added to it.
- In general I love Jennifer Crusie on audiobook because the bedroom scenes aren’t overly spicy — Welcome to Temptation is particularly delightful.
- Fight Club
- Dark Money
Shows we’ve loved…
We’re in a bit of a slump right now, so we’re rewatching The X-Files (on Hulu) with out eldest son. It has held up generally well, although we keep having to explain the early ’90s technology to our kiddo. Dana Scully’s suits are amazing, and her character is so awesome that it’s clear to see why The Scully Effect became a thing. (Here’s a whole report from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender & Media.)
More older shows we’ve recently watched:
- What We Do in the Shadows (We hadn’t seen it before!)
- Ghosts (both the US and UK versions; highly recommend both)
- We absolutely loved Star Trek: Strange New Worlds last year, but we’re waiting until the new season is near the end before we re-up our Paramount subscription.
- both White Lotus seasons
How about you all?