Beaned.

So there comes a time when your pantry is a little bare, your wallet's a little lean, and you've probably eaten more midnight pizza than you're willing to admit to the world. But your stomach's making weird hungry sounds and it's up to you to do something about that. 

The answer is a can of beans. In this particular case, doctored black beans. Beans with hot sauce and butter, topped with a velvety egg. This is the kind of thing they could sell at Sqirl for brunch for probably $12. You can make it for literally any meal for like $4. 

Here's what you'll need for creamy black beans with a seven-minute egg: 

Recipe inspired by Orangette, scaled down for like 2ish meals, depending on the topping situation...

  • 1 can black beans (I like Goya and Trader Joe's, but not organic TJ's)
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons butter
  • Hot sauce (I've been using Cholula lately)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg, for a seven-minute egg
  • Optionally, literally any toppings you think could be good. For me this has included: feta, kale, roasted sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, swiss chard, zucchini, etc. 
  1. Drop the entire contents of the can of beans into a small saucepan over medium heat. Do not rinse the beans. Trust me.
  2. Cut in the butter. Add maybe 10-ish shakes of the hot sauce? You do you. Add minced garlic. Stir, stir, stir. 
  3. Bring the beans to a simmer, then turn down heat just enough to keep a gentle simmer happening. Stir occasionally over the next 30 minutes or so. It won't hurt them to go longer, so take it easy.
  4. While the beans are doing their thing, get your toppings—if using—prepped. Usually for me this involves a quick saute of vegetables in some olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Get ready for your seven-minute egg making. With 10-15 minutes left on the beans, pull out another saucepan and fill it up with just enough water to cover an egg. Bring the water to a boil. When it starts boiling, lower your egg into the pan (I like to use a slotted spoon for this), set your timer for seven minutes, and let it be. It will sound like it is going to break. It probably won't. As soon as the timer goes off, pull the egg out with that slotted spoon, and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process. (Weird note: my eggs tend to take something like 6.5 minutes to get to the runny-yolk consistency I prefer, so you may have to try this a few times to figure out what you like/what your kitchen equipment foists upon you.) When the egg's cooled enough to comfortably handle, peel off the shell. 
  6. Bowl assembly time! We like one-bowl meals around here. Grab your favorite bowl, drop in some beans (I usually want just about half of the saucepan—this stuff sticks to your ribs), throw in your random toppings, if using, and top with that egg. Add more of whatever feels right—salt, pepper, hot sauce. 
  7. Enjoy. Wait. Cut through the middle of the egg. Watch that yolk ooze all yellow. Now enjoy. 

 

Fire and ice.

In recent years, Iceland has more or less become the Tulum of the North. There has been a lot of press, a rapid increase in tourism, and probably at least five people you follow on Instagram have visited. And for good reason. Iceland is an otherworldly place: windswept, bare, somehow covered in both ice and lava. It has endured financial crises and erupting volcanoes and seems to have emerged more desirable. I wanted to see if for myself. And so, in September, I visited Iceland with my friends Natalie and Yanyi. Here's the rundown.

WHERE WE STAYED We ended up renting beds at a highly recommended hostel called Kex. We stayed in a six-person room with a rotating cast of friendly dudes taking up the other bunks (Hi, heartbroken Maximilliano! Good chat). It's a beautiful space—the lobby is all dark wood and clinking coffee spoons and giant windows—and the rooms and bathrooms were tidy. It was also a very busy space, with concerts throughout the day and night, which was really cool, except for when you were trying to sleep. I appreciated the social atmosphere when around midnight one night, a British kid came tearing through the hallways shouting about Northern Lights and about 10 of us went outside to see the sky shimmering. However, I hadn't stayed in a hostel since my junior year of college and I think I've officially reached the "too-old-for-this" stage. I know, I'm boring. If I were to do it again, I'd split a (reasonably-priced, beautiful) Airbnb like this one or this one with pals. 

WHAT WE DID Oh my gosh, so much. So much in four days. Outside of Reykjavik, we ended up relying on tours to get us where we needed to go. This suited our needs and our time for the most part—our Golden Circle tour especially—but I think next time we would all opt for renting a car. Having a little more flexibility and comfort while exploring would have been welcome. Here's what we did:

Wandered Reykjavik. To my New York brain, it's itty-bitty. So tiny. Yet with a population of 120,000, it's also home to more than a third of the total Icelandic population. They pack in a lot of good stuff, though, and it's so worth taking the time to meander in and out of cafes and shops. 

Visited the Golden Circle and the Secret Lagoon with these guys. This was a small, excellent tour, and a really great idea for a first full day. It includes four official stops—Pingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss, and the Secret Lagoon—and a few other surprises and detours, seemingly up to the driver's discretion. Let me break it down:

Pingvellir National Park. This is the site of the first ever parliament. It might sounds strange, but you can feel it. The cliffs are as craggy as you could possibly hope for; you will see a rainbow; and, if it's anything like the day we were there, the weather will change every five seconds just to add some gravitas.

GeysirGeysir. Geyser. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. You know. The incredible geothermal energy causes eruptions of boiling water that reach up to 70 meters (or more than 200 feet). I convinced my friends to climb up a hill behind the crowd to see what we could see. This was a very good idea, mud and all. Also worth noting: to feed your tired self after a bit of a hike, the tourist center's lamb stew is actually great. 

Gullfoss. Meaning "Golden Falls." No other word for it but "mighty." This waterfall is giant and crushing and you get why there are a whole bunch of origin stories for it's names. Worth standing by and just taking in the sound. And then maybe taking a selfie.

The Secret Lagoon. This geothermal pool may have been the highlight of the trip for me. Imagine: you're sitting in a perfectly hot water, holding a cold beer, with warm mist rising up, and cool, soft rain coming down. It was bliss. This was our last stop before we returned to Reykjavik. My nap on the bus ride back was incredible. 

ICELANDIC HORSES. Obviously the other highlight. We were firmly instructed not to refer to them as ponies, despite their size. I understood this eventually, considering how violently they were jockeying for the bread we brought them. Since I had really wanted to go horseback riding, but couldn't fit it in, this was the next best thing. 

Snorkeled in Silfra with this crewMy friend Natalie and I decided that it would be amazing to snorkel in 34℉ water between two tectonic plates. It was! It was also crazy. We were picked up in the early morning and driven back to Pingvellir, where Silfra—the fissure between the North American and Eurasian continental plates—is located. We suited up (three layers: long underwear, a body-shaped sleeping bag underlayer, and a drysuit, plus gloves, a hood, a mask, and a snorkel) and we marched down to the water. We swam along the fissure, and then were able to float around in a lagoon, taking in the bluest, clearest water I've ever seen and witnessing how the earth was shifting. Pretty incredible. 

South Shore Adventure with these folks. This was not our most favorite day, unfortunately, despite the amazing things we saw. In the interest of full disclosure here, we had horrible weather, spent most of the day soaked to the bone, on a giant bus filled with other people who were also soaked to the bone. Not quite a recipe for success. That said, super beautiful. 

Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. It was kind of frightening to see how far this glacier had seemed to recede, but what a view. That glacier blue is almost glowy, and seems to make the green of the surrounding hills glow, too. 

Vik and the Black Sand Beaches. I was super excited to visit this. It was windy in a way that seemed likely to blow you away, the sky was thunderous, the black rock and black sand and black sea were imposing as all get out. And then there were sheep grazing on the hillside. Why not. We had a quick, warm, very Icelandic lunch in the tiny town of Vik and attempted to dry off.

Skógar Folk Museum. I wish we could have spent some more time at this little museum. A really fascinating collection of artifacts—from a fishing boat to traditional dress to old manuscripts—make this one of those unexpectedly great stops, especially if you're a nerd like me. It's curated with care, but not necessarily with finesse, so it kind of feels like your grandmother's house, if your grandmother was a very tidy hoarder. Doilies included. Outside, they had a few different buildings including a chapel and turf farm houses, which seemed to me like Hobbit-huts. In other words, expect my change-of-address card any day now. 

Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Oh, look more waterfalls! I was really cold at this point. There are not many pictures. (Note, though: You can walk behind Seljalandsfoss. Always say yes to walking behind a waterfall.) 

Hallgrímskirka at sunset. While the most famous church in Iceland is worth a visit for a lot of reasons—the amazing expressionist architecture, for one—I think this view takes the cake. We visited twice: once on our first rainy day wandering Reykjavik, and once, on our one beautiful day, right as the sun was setting. It was stunning.  

WHAT WE ATE. So, due to the general lack of resources (besides, you know, fish and lamb) Iceland is not exactly known for its rich and varied cuisine (though that's changing). Still, we had some great meals that really hit the spot after days out exploring. 

For fish and chips, look no further than the very straightforwardly named Icelandic Fish and Chips. They serve fresh-caught, well-fried fish and very good sides (we really liked the roasted potatoes). They have a very friendly waitstaff and a very chill environment. After dinner, you can go check out the lava rocks at the Volcano Museum next door. 

We were told that going to Baejarins Beztu Pylsur for an Icelandic hot dog was non-negotiable. When we asked what exactly went on the hot dog when you got it "with everything," they just said, "It's better if you don't know." It was delicious. 

After a rainy day, we headed to Noodle Station with a motley crew of roommates. We brought the spicy sorta-pho (this was debated) back to the hostel, and the group of us took our time chatting and enjoying. Good food and pretty reasonably priced for Reykjavik.

I spent a leisurely afternoon sipping a cup of coffee and writing at Reykjavik Roasters. Go, make yourself comfortable. Everyone is lovely. The coffee is great. 

Soup in a bread bowl. It will soothe your soul (and won't empty your pockets). Find it at Svarta Kaffid 

Our hostel, Kex, killed it at breakfast time—think skyr and dried fruit and muesli and fresh bread and butter and...—but on our last night, we decided to eat dinner there as well. I got a chorizo dish that I still think about fondly. 

So, there you have it. It's an amazing, contradictory place: barren and overrun with tourists, beautiful landscapes and awful weather. On one hand I can't wait to go back—to see all that I missed, to soak in the Blue Lagoon, to rent a little car and drive the Ring Road. On the other hand, I can wait, and should wait. I want to see what Iceland is like in 10 years, 20 years. When it has stopped being the subject of a trend piece in Sunday Styles, when they've stopped having to build new hotels on every block, and when there has been more of a chance for a collective, national deep breath. They have good air for gulping after all. 

September.

Well. As you might assume from the lack of posts, September was a bit of a doozy.

So, let's listen to something to lighten the mood.

There is a lot I can't wait to tell you about. Like my first solo vacation to Amsterdam. Like a trip with friends to Iceland. Like the fact my hair is shorter than it has been since high school and, you know, ah! Like a college reunion in Cape Cod. Like rewatching Friday Night Lights. Like the start of my 25th year. 

More to come. 

Find your beach.

Here's the thing about summer: it's not actually the blissed-out, sun-filled, margarita-spiked season we are led to believe it is. 

Don't get me wrong: I love summer. I love wearing sundresses and sunglasses and sandals. I love glasses of wine on fire escapes and frozen negronis with friends. I love that I brought a bag of stone fruit back from the farmer's market on a Saturday and had eaten the whole damn thing by Tuesday. I love that it means vacations and adventures. I love the cool air on the subway. I love that feeling when you get back from the beach, sun-tired and sunscreened and sandy, when you get to shower, soak up some aloe, and slip into next-to-nothing for dinner. 

I don't love that this summer, I haven't caught my breath enought to enjoy it. There are not as many quiet moments when you're trying to make summer be everything you think it should be, everything you believe summer should live up to. 

So rereading this amazing essay from Zadie Smith came at exactly the right time. 

There is some stress in that constant pursuit of "happiness," isn't there? That's what I've been feeling this summer, I think. An attempt to make my summer the ideal, bright, hashtag-worthy season of my dreams. That's exhausting. Summer isn't supposed to be a competition, another thing to strive for. It's supposed to give you a break. So that's what I'm doing in August. Finding my beach. Even if that means sitting in front of my window fan in my skivvies, watching Gilmore Girls. 

 

Salt in my eye, the ocean's daughter.

Have you guys seen the trailer for Suffragette yet? Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan (two of my favorite actors because duh.) star in a movie about the fight for the right to vote in England. 

The trailer is incredible—a group of my favorite ladies is already set to go see it when it comes out in October. But almost more than the trailer, I was completely struck by its haunting cover of 'Landslide,' and had to know more about the songstress. A little research led me to Robyn Sherwell, who has one of the loveliest voices I've heard in awhile. "Islander," one of her (very good) originals is set to end up on all my playlists for the foreseeable future. 

Breath catching.

What a past few weeks. I feel like I hit the ground running when I got back to NY after Seattle, and I've not quite had a chance to catch my breath. Not really, at least. The 4th of July was a whirlwind weekend of karaoke and BLTs and rooftops with new and old friends. This past weekend, I lucked into my first trip to the Hamptons and laid in the sun and swam and actually read an issue of The New Yorker cover to cover, flying contentedly solo amongst some coupled-up pals. I can't believe that summer is nearly half-over already. There's still so much to do before September.

Some links and likes from the interwebs:

A goofy read before my Hamptons trip: "True Life: I'm a Rich Kid." 

And a very, very important counterpoint: What's it like to be poor at an Ivy League School? 

The enduring power of American Girl dolls. 

The prettiest perfume.

Are you Type A-

Indoor greenery guide.

Just discovered the brand L'Autre Chose and I'm a little smitten (especially shoes!)

New Instagram love. (via Miss Moss

Ass of our denim dreams.

The stunning Alice Gao's beauty uniform

Long live the humble radish.

<3 u forever, Justin Vernon.

Tavi talks Poetry

Yes way.

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful week and weekend even sans a link round up. Wink. The Supreme Court news on Friday had me on the verge of happy tears basically all day long, and I was so glad to celebrate it with some friends this weekend (including drinking a bottle of rose and talking about everything). Saturday proved gray and rainy and the perfect weather for catching up (finally) on Orange is the New Black and cups of tea. Hope your week is off to a great start. 

So it turns out that you miss a whole lot when you're offline for more than a week. Here's another longer-than-normal link round up for your perusal: 

How much should you be exercising?

My kind of humor.

Female filmmakers. With a side of Meryl.

I would welcome these sounds

This is a wedding dress collection I can get behind. 

Yes Way Rose and their refrigerator

Stepped up my pajama game and I feel really good about it.

How often do you say thank you

What's your #1? Mine is currently this luminizer

Handy for all those museum galas you go to. 

Best beach waves tutorial like ever? 

On good taste.

Praise the Lorde, as always. 

Have a good start to the week.

The the.

Happy Sunday, pals!

Found this little piece of wonder art roaming around Crown Heights last weekend, and of course could only think of The Man on the Dump, which is what I wrote my thesis on, and where this little blog here got its name. This week was a long one, but as I write this, I'm on a plane heading west towards Seattle and the islands just past to see my family and walk on driftwood. More of an update on that will come soon!

A very long list from around the interwebs:

My Disappearing Fiance.

Custom furniture in a Snap.

Super lovely ceramics.

Perfect black and white summer ensemble.

Speaking of summer uniforms: espadrilles.

Carolina Herrera is a class-act. 

Women in Tech. 

An important question to ask about gender: How do you know? 

If I didn't have a stack of unread New Yorkers a few stories high, I would be all over this

A village covered in ivy. 

My favorite bookstore in Tokyo

I finally read Kitchen Confidential, and this was a great follow-up. 

Cambridge Satchel Company is having a giant sale. You should probably #treatyoself. (This is my pick.)

Have a beautiful weekend.

Big blue.

Happy Sunday, all.

This week, I went to a wonderful friend's poetry reading, attended a Purity Ring concert, had a sweet dinner at Saraghina with another friend, cleaned all the things, hung out in Prospect Park, and have successfully (?) caught up on this season of The Bachelorette. Feeling very good heading into this week, which is supposed to be another beautiful one. What are you up to this week? 

Some links for some late Sunday reading:

I want this Bishop's life.

These seem like the perfect kick-around summer shoe

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie

A week dedicated to my favorite cocktail? Okay.

There is no such thing as too much Zadie

God bless the matriarchy (and these beautiful photos).

An interview with one of my favorite new brands.

"Cheap Wine Sucks: A Manifesto

Also: I got to talk to Judy Blume.

Have a good one.

Solid & Striped.

Have you guys heard of the swimwear brand Solid & Striped? This sorta-new-to-me (thanks, H!) company launched in 2012 out of Water Mill, NY. They focus on making high-quality swimsuits in classic cuts. Which more or less means that I would like one of each, please.

I was reminded of the brand while I read the most recent issue of Vogue this past weekend. Model Hilary Rhoda and her former-hockey-player husband Sean Avery have teamed up with the company to design, as Vogue says, "a limited-edition eight-piece collection of his-and-hers maillots, along with hoodie ponchos and unisex oxfords." Hoodie ponchos aside, I'm excited to see what this duo puts forth. In her everyday style, Rhoda is known for consistently hitting that sweet spot between elegant and tomboyish. And, come to think of it, that's exactly what I look for in my swimwear. 

According to Vogue, the collaboration was supposed to launch Memorial Day weekend, but it's still on its way according to the site. No harm done though—Solid & Striped's own collection is pretty much perfect. Any suits catch your eye? 

(As always, a click will take you to the source.) 

 

Other swimwear brands doing great things right now: Bikyni (for reasonably priced basics), Boys and Arrows (for some seriously sexy but offbeat suits), and Marysia (very ladylike maillots). 

Enjoy the deep dive. 

In bloom.

Happy rainy Sunday, pals.

Sorry for the slight delay in getting this weekly round up posted—though this Sunday thing is kind of working for me, I have to admit. The week at work was a whirlwind due to a major conference—more on that later—so internet-ing? It didn't really happen. But this weekend was one of the loveliest I've had in awhile, starting on Friday with my friend and coworkers tacos-and-mezcal birthday celebration, ending with tonight's summer thunderstorm (which I couldn't help but keep the windows open for), and a trip to the Rockaways in between. Hope yours was just as lovely. 

Around the interwebs this week:

So, when can I move in

Helpful career tips for leaning in, being superwoman, having it all, etc. 

RIP G.O.A.T goat. 

These skivvies, please. 

This girl is killing the summer dress game. 

Speaking of, can't wait for Sezane's next collection, launching next Sunday.

Amy Schumer + The Bachelorette = Yes

How to revive stale bread. (Just tried it on my Bread Alone nine-grain from last weekend.)

I think Lupita has got the red carpet thing down.  

Have a good start to your week.

People in strange plumage.

I spent as much of this first sort-of-summer weekend as I could outside in the park, on long walks or—at the very least—with the windows wide open, white curtains billowing. After a long winter of hibernation (which the whole city buys into), it's funny to witness an almost desperate mass grasp for green space and fresh air. 

In his Paris Review interview, E.B. White explained: 

It's true that you have to look a bit harder for "nature" in New York, but it really isn't too hard to find: a ladybug crawled out of my bag of farmer's market spinach and onto my hand on Saturday morning (lucky!); my shoulders (and one thigh, of course) are pink with sun; the wind blew so strongly that we couldn't keep candles lit, and when I got in the shower last night, I had both grass and sand on the bottom of my feet. 

With his keen eye for it, E.B. White knows this even better than I do. And that's one of the reasons I return to his collection of essays every summer—when the city is greenest, most alive—and White knows how to say it best. 

Shadowy.

You made it!

Happy long weekend, pals. I have no plans whatsoever, besides being outside as much as I can and probably drinking rose. There will maybe be a dinner party? Perhaps a trip to the beach? Possibly a rooftop BBQ? Nice to have some maybes over these next three days. What are you up to this weekend?

Some good things around the internet:

Speaking of rose—I loved this list on Man Repeller and these tips on Cup of Jo. 

Fair trade for the global garment industry. 

Karl Lagerfeld's grocery store and Georgia O'Keefe's home.

Judy Bloom knows all your secrets.

My kind of summer dinner. (Relatedly, this weird trick for figuring out if your steak is done.)

Myrtle's Independent Women. 

Laura Nolte has such a cool job.

Can't wait to twirl around in this dress

Have a good one! x

Blue skies.

Happy weekend!

I'm heading up to New Haven (yes, again) to see my baby brother's graduate from college. It'll be the first time my whole family has been in the same place since Christmas, and I'm excited to see them, and hopefully stuff my face with a New Haven slice or three. Hope you have a celebratory weekend, too!

Around the internet this week:

Did fancy hats kill Marie Antoinette?

Unearthing a medieval hospital in Paris.

Feminist writers on their favorite moments in Mad Men. (My mom and I are dying to watch the finale this Sunday but we don't know where!)

The Of A Kind ladies have a radio show!

Cara Delevignes' aesthetician knows a thing or two

(And on that note, the pseudoscience of beauty products.)

Anna Wintour "is, on some very basic level, a real nerd."

Recreating the cosmos.

Raise a glass this weekend! x