Somethings + Nothings: January 5, 2018

This might be the first weekend in two years that we have no plans.  Maybe a slight exaggeration and maybe not - 2016 was all travel and new jobs and house-searching and 2017 was chock full of home-ownership and wedding planning and new (used) car shopping and now, BANG - it's 2018 and the schedule is clear and we can all breath again.  So that's pretty great.  Looking forward to a lengthy period with minimal plans, if we can stretch it into that.  Some reads for your lazy downtime this weekend.

If you've still got your Christmas tree up (we do!), here are some green disposal methods you can use when you decide it has seen it's last good day - a note for Southern California that we are still under a burn ban so a bonfire is not the right move in our locale.

If you've got 15 minutes and you live in Philadelphia, have been to Philadelphia, or in any way have a dog in the cheesesteak fight, please watch this video from Bon Appetit in which their reporter eats 16 (SIXTEEN!) cheesesteaks in one day and picks a winner.  I'm posting this mainly because I was shouting at Andy in The Happy Rooster one week ago about how the winner was also my favorite cheesesteak and this article has made me feel extremely validated.  That being said, I definitely want to check out Woodrow's.  Has anyone had this and can they report back to me?

Did you catch yesterday's post about our first stop in Talloires at Lake Annecy on our honeymoon?  It's one of our most favorite places on planet Earth, and the post contains some of my favorite photos we took on the trip.  Check it out.

For those of you living under the oppression of the #bombcyclone right now and looking to occupy your time in the kitchen, check out this Serious Eats article about how cold weather changes the chemistry in your baking.  Judge with your eyes and disregard the recipe timings!

Apparently all American households require men to take out the trash, no matter what side of the political or gender-confirming aisles we land on.  I'm ashamed to admit we adhere to this standard in our household too and I even sometimes shout "that's a man job!" at Andy when it smells like trash in the house and he hasn't taken it out yet.  I can't even remember what I did before he moved in but I'm sure conservatives would tell you it involved crying. (JK conservatives - I don't believe you are one unified mass with cartoonish values).

We went to a family tamale Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve this year and I decided on the spot that tamales are Mexico's pierogi based on the sheer amount of labor that goes into creating a dish that is then wolfed down within seconds.   All hail the dumpling, in whatever form it occurs.

Shake off 2017 and start your 2018 with this uplifting and inspiring #TedTalk by an actor who decided he was going to stop defining his worth by how much of a "man" he was, and to stop letting outside forces define his gender standards.  Cheers to the allies.  Everyone get on board.

Do you know what I never ever think about?  If I'm a good coworker or not.  I think about if I'm good at my job, or a good boss, or a good employee, but I never think about creating a generally good work environment and not being a problem to everyone.  So, for 2018, I'm going to put these tips from The Everygirl into effect - particularly putting quality into my conversations, which is something I tend to breeze over on the quest for efficiency.

Earlier this week I mentioned the Julian calendar versus the Gregorian calendar with little explanation, and then I found this article on them, when the switch occurred in the United States, and how we had to drop 11 days off 1752 in order to get on track with the rest of the world.  I love stories that remind us how so many of the structures we live by aren't innate so much as they are just agreed upon paradigms.

In a discussion with my Mom and sister earlier this week they talked about a soup my grandmother used to make that got buried somewhere in my memory graveyard until the words were mentioned again - we called it "noodle bubble soup" and once my Mom started explaining how "noodle bubbles" are made, I realized they were just spaetzle.  Such a revelation and a good reminder to use the spaetzle maker I was gifted last Christmas straight out of Stuttgart.  And in a flash of kismet, Molly Yeh made some spaetzle with cheese and hot dogs this week.  Everything is coming up dough balls.

I have previously mentioned my deep and abiding love for paprika, and here is a quick run down of the different types of this spice and what you can do with each one.  Hot tip: there is more interesting paprika out there than what you're getting at the grocery store.

Last but definitely not least, I'm real into the burgeoning food blog Cardamom and Tea.  For New Year healthy eating inspiration, check out her post on new ideas for quick toasts featuring vegetables and fresh ingredients.  She's the cutest, and her flavors are right up my alley at the moment.

-- Addie

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