This new series takes you behind-the-scenes into the "creative diets" of our staff. Each week, one of us will share a list of five things that grabbed our attention or inspired us creatively that week.
This week's list is from our Content Creator, Blake Blackmon. These are the things Blake would share with you over coffee this week if she could. (We're diving in with you, too!)
ONE: A Really Tasty Newsletter
The NYT Cooking Newsletter is a newsletter I consume twice a week. The first time when it comes at the start of the week to serve as grocery inspiration, and the second time midweek when it gives fresh ideas as to how to deal with the hodgepodge of ingredients I have left. Subscribe and create a free account on NYT Cooking to get access to most of their recipes.
Two strong recipe recommendations to start with: 1. Midnight Pasta. Do NOT fear the anchovies, trust me!! They melt and mingle with the other ingredients to create a salty, savory sauce you will want to consume again and again. 2. A Really Really Good Stew. I’ve made and recommended this stew many times. It’s flavorful, easy and you will crave it. I recommend this harissa paste, and don’t skimp!
TWO: Flowers That Last Longer than a Week
I recently received a dried flower bouquet for Christmas and it has brought me so much joy! I love having fresh flowers and plants around, but it’s amazing how lovely and long-lasting a dried bouquet is. It’s also nice that I don’t have to worry about watering or killing it; a very low stakes high reward scenario. Mine is from Anthropologie and no longer in stock but you can also find pretty dried blooms at Etsy, Terrain and Afloral.
THREE: This Unreal Artist
I discovered Hannah Jenson’s work via The Jealous Curator and promptly spent an hour on her Instagram gawking. Her art form is so unique. She layers anywhere between 40-70 layers of paint on plywood boards and carves meticulous designs with a lino cutter. The process is extremely satisfying to watch and her work is stunning.
FOUR: The Book I Can’t Put Down
New year, new reading list! I thought I was setting myself up for failure by beginning the year with a longer than normal book, but in 3 days I found myself halfway through “A Little Life” By Hanya Yanagihara. The character development is superb, and I feel invested in every character’s life. The way Yanagihara writes about friendship, trauma and the passing of time is as jarring as it is stunning and has left me breathless and inspired.
If you’re looking to start your reading list on a similar but less lengthy note, you can’t go wrong with “Normal People” by Sally Rooney. Like “A Little Life”, it’s a stunning dive into relationships and character development in direct, poignant prose. A quick, delightful read.
FIVE: A Free Online Yale Class on How to be Happy
As we all know, 2020 was HARD. I couldn’t believe this Yale course was free, and jumped to complete it. It delves deep and not only picks apart the ways in which we are wrong about the things that will make us happy, but provides resources and habits to combat our natural incorrect biases.