Stuff I’ve Been Cooking, Reading, Watching, Etc.

April 7, 2020

Since people are cooking more, reading more, and watching more, I thought I would share a weekly update of what I’ve been up to. I did start working from home full-time last week (the week before) was our “spring break”), and my kids sort of started back to remote school, but then there was a pause in schooling (I know, very confusing). I am lucky because my kids are teenagers, so they are not as high-maintenance as young children. But it still has been a busy and tough week, so I understand that many people feel like they are busier than ever. But if you are looking for distractions from the crazy world, I hope these suggestions on how to fill the time are helpful.

What I’ve been cooking:

  • Black Bean Soup (with Cilantro Lime Rice): Who would have thought that this would be one of the most successful things I have made since we began staying home? Both of my sons like this soup because you can use it to create your own Chipotle-like burrito. My oldest even learned how to make rice in the Instant Pot, so he could make more. A couple of friends also made it and loved it. So, thanks to Iowa Girl Eats for this great recipe. Her site is full of gluten-free recipes that you will like even if, like me, you aren’t gluten free!

What I’ve been reading:

  • Rules of Magic: Both of my book clubs decided to read this book recently. Love a two for one! This book is the prequal to Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, which was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. It’s a story of witch siblings and a family curse that spells doom for anyone they love. Hoffman writes beautifully, and if you enjoy a little magical realism, I think you will enjoy this book.

Here’s what I’m watching:

  • Little Fires Everywhere: Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington star in this new Hulu series based on the novel by Celeste Ng. I really enjoyed the book and decided now was the time to get my Hulu subscription back. (Can you imagine how much business these streaming services are getting right now?!?) Anyway, I am enjoying the series so far. I’ve seen four episodes and have four to go. Reese plays a pretty typical role for her, basically Tracy Flick all grown up. But Kerry Washington really has the juicy role playing a single mom who lives a bohemian life as an artist but sacrifices for her daughter’s well-being.
  • A Simple Favor: This movies starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick is available for free on Amazon Prime. It’s a dark comedy about two moms who meet through their kids school. Kendrick plays the perfect mom, who runs every bake sale and vlogs about it, and Lively plays the terrible mom, who cares more about her career than her kid. Lively’s character goes missing and Kendrick’s character becomes obsessed with finding her. Anna Kendrick, who stars in the Pitch Perfect movies, is delightful as always.

And what I’m listening to:

  • The History Chicks: The tagline for this podcast is “Any resemblance to a boring history lesson is purely coincidental.” But this podcast is far from boring. These two friends from Kansas City (shout out to my fellow Missourians!) go in depth about all the women of history you should have learned about! As a librarian, I appreciate that they not only summarize all of their research in an entertaining and educational way, but they always end with a list of recommended books, movies, websites and more.

I am always open to book, movie, TV, and podcast suggestions!

Take care everyone. Stay safe (and at home, if you can)!

Wrap Up

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