My Instagram feed has become a parade of people I know displaying their hidden talents. I had no idea so many of them could make focaccia bread! Or cross stitch! Or build furniture! And while it’s been wonderful to watch, it’s also inspired me to try to find my own.
After crashing and burning at friendship bracelets, failing miserably at French braids and making my boyfriend ingest a truly awful fried rice made with apple chicken sausage, I’ve finally figured out what MY hidden quarantine talent, or “quaranTALENT,” if you paid attention to my headline — is.
Shockingly, it’s not TikTok (although I definitely think it’s hers), or baking banana bread (we know how that turned out), cutting my hair (have yet to attempt), or even tie dying sweats.
Here is what it is: BAKING COOKIES.
I am actually really freakin good at this? I have made mostly chocolate chip (my preferred cookie), some gluten free with choccy bits and most recently, a vegan oatmeal chocolate chip recipe from the NYT cooking app that used a banana instead of butter or eggs. And they’ve all been delicious.
I really did not bake cookies often before this? The last time I recall making some was for my boyfriend in college and I burned them.
I am much more of a cook (fried rice aside) than a baker because cooking = playing and baking = rules.
Plus, baking is really just chemistry and I failed chem in high school. Shoutout Doctor Kasparian, C Block!
However, I have found calming magic in the methodical baking of cookies. I get a lot of pleasure from mixing and then forming the sticky little dough balls in my hands, then smooshing them a little on to the crinkly parchment paper resting atop my cookie sheet. My brain gets calm knowing you can basically put anything in a cookie — chocolate chips, peanut butter, sprinkles, shredded coconut, pretzels, etc… and it will turn out okay.
I like the way they smell.
I like that if they are a lil lumpy it’s okay.
I like that they take 10 mins to bake.
I like the way they look sitting in the Tupperware that I have now coined my “cookie container.”
I enjoy this process so much I have even briefly flirted with the thought of purchasing a cookie jar. Is that gauche? Just look at this gorgeous one from Williams Sonoma and tell me I’m wrong!
What’s your quarantalent? Do you have one? Do you WISH you had one? What would it be? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be here, looking at cookie recipes.
I tried to bake banana bread today. Chrissy Teigen’s recipe. I had been looking forward to it all week and even braved the store to buy some brown-ish bananas. But because I was too excited and didn’t remember to check, I hadn’t noticed that my roommate and I didn’t have a bundt pan to bake it in….or really any proper pan to bake it in. She has an 8×8 brownie tin and tbh it kind of sucks.
The other half of this bad news black and white cookie is that our oven doesn’t heat evenly and I have also found that the temp drops while cooking!
So basically my beloved, vanilla pudding, chocolate chip Chrissy recipe was 75% perfectly baked with a circle of raw banana bread dough in the middle.
That’s kind of how life has felt recently.
We have so many good things and then there’s just this sinister center, spoiling it all. You can delete Twitter, you can avoid Apple News, you can walk from Studio City to Silverlake and fill your Uggs with blood blisters but you can’t outrun the bad news of what’s happening in this life, right now, all over the world.
I texted my best friend Andrew this morning and told him about my bread.
“Honestly, I’ve had that happen before and my advice to you is just…eat the cooked outside and move on,” he said.
This morning it felt overwhelming and exhausting and discouraging to still be quarantining with absolutely no signs of things going back to our regular pace of life. Also, a deli in LA that has been around longer than I have been alive, is closing officially and for some reason that news really sunk me because as a Jew, and as a person who loves delis — I hate seeing good places I went to with my grandparents close.
But after a lot of crying this morning (bc bread and deli and also quarantine) I have decided starting this today, I am going to try to take to heart the words of my best friend — not just in regards to my banana bread (I did eat the cooked portion and it WAS divine. Thank u Chrissy!) but to all aspects of this life and this sucky situation.
I will eat around it.
I will consume the good parts while acknowledging that yes, the under-baked glop did ruin my perfect thing, but that I’ve still got to move on.
There are other breads to bake. And if I don’t feel like baking, fuck it! There are a ton of local bakeries that need help right now and I’ve got the funds. I can find joy in my favorite things in other ways.
Plus, it wasn’t a total loss. It was also a learning experience. I now know I need to buy a bundt tin so like…if anyone can show me a small business that sells bakeware it would bring me joy to give them my coins.
Everything sucks and the world feels horrible but there’s a good 75% that’s still edible and yummy and full of things to enjoy like watching the movie Charade or taking a bath surrounded by scented candles, eating pasta with lots of cheese, or walking all the way to the top of the hill to get a gorgeous view of the valley.
One day all of this will be over.
P.S. LESS DEPRESSING POSTS ON THE WAY SOON I SWEAR!!!
As an aspiring VSCO girl, I recently found myself on the internet, surfing for stickers for my Hydro Flask.
If you don’t know what a VSCO girl is, it’s a trend born from extremely online teens (mainly from TikTok) who have created the persona of a girl who edits photos with the VSCO app, wears a lot of scrunchies, oversized tees, makes friendship bracelets, wants to save the turtles by drinking exclusively from non-plastic straws and drinks from a Hydro Flask.
Oh, and she says “and I oop!” and “Sksksk” for some reason.
I don’t feel like doing more research as to why. I am incredibly old.
They slap stickers on their water bottles.
Because I want to be one of them, I went searching for some suitable stickers to adorn my flask. It led me down a rabbit hole of some truly insane art. This is what I found exclusively on Red Bubble because I didn’t feel like mining Etsy:
SIDE NOTE: Trends aside, Hydro Flasks are actually really great water bottles. I have kept ice in my water for HOURS without it melting. I’m very impressed.
If you have no idea what they are, they’re basically pimple-fighting bandaids that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’ve likely seen them on your cool little cousin’s face via Instagram story.
I like them a lot because when I wear them, I don’t pick at spots on my face, which I’m prone to doing–thereby avoiding a large ugly scab!
If you’re anything like me (a 26 year old who still gets acne) then at some point you’ve probably tried them out. You were standing in line at Sephora or Urban Outfitters and saw pimple patches in the impulse buys and thought, “eh…what hell?”
Then you went home and after a few days of sticking shit to your face, were like wtf this doesn’t work.
However, if you’re actually insane like me, you’ve wasted a shit ton of money tried so many of them you now know what DOES work and want to share the wealth.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
These were the first pimple patches I ever tried because my actual goddess Rio Viera-Newton said they were good and her word is typically bible. These are good for sucking the gross stuff out of a mostly surface level pimple. They do best on a flat space like a forehead, front of the chin or cheek. They come in a variety of sizes but they aren’t very flexible and if you have a zit that’s on an angular part or anything curved, it’s not going to stay put.
While these are awkward size wise (they only come in one size), I find that they tend to stick to the contours of your face better than some others. While these aren’t my first choice for cystic spots (deep, painful ones that won’t pop) these are pretty good at reducing inflammation. Plus, they’re sold at Sephora so you don’t have to bother with online ordering bullshit.
If you suffer from the occasional cystic, painful, deep, never popping pimple…. These are the fucking BEST!!!!!! They are outfitted with little “needles” (not actual needles, it’s like little pointy edges) that penetrate your spots, allowing the acne medicine to go deeper into the afflicted area. I slap this puppy on right when I feel trouble emerging and seriously it’s better in like a day or two. Reduces redness, size, pain…everything. I would NOT use this on a white head or a more surface level pimple because it can be drying to the area/over kill.
The only annoying thing about Acropass is that I can really only find it on SokoGlam or very occasionally at Riley Rose (in store and online) so it’s smart to have a back stock of these otherwise you’re going to pay that $$$$ overnight shipping.
BIG fan of Mighty Patch. BIG fan. You can get these in a bunch of sizes and they even sell sheets now so you can cut them yourself if you desire a particular shape. They are soooo thin and invisible you can wear them under makeup if you want or just out alone and people will really have to squint really hard at your face to see where you have one on. They’re not super effective on deep spots, but they WILL work on most things from white heads to like proper pimples that you think will pop by E.O.D.
Cutest packaging award goes to Starface. Starface was created by Julie Schott aka who I wish I was on Instagram/in life. These little yellow star pimple patches are so friendly looking you can’t help but look forward to getting a spot so you can slap one on. They’re thin and their star shape makes them adhere easily to any contour on your face and stay put. What I REALLY like about these is how hydrating they are. I’ll be honest, they don’t do much in the reducing inflammation department but they will hydrate your spot if you’ve been picking at it or if whatever you’ve been using to combat it is drying you out.
I think they’re super adorable and wear them out into the world. However, both Kate and I have separately done this and different people have told us “Oh…you have a little mustard on your face.”
If you’ve never tried a pimple patch before and you have acne (or a spot), consider it. They’re way better looking than that gross clay stuff that’s supposed to dry it out but never works. Promise.
I made these brownies and my sister said they were the best she ever tasted. Don’t read the comments that say they take like 20 mins to bake. They take about 40. They’re SUPER fudgey.
I recently discovered that the majority of my friends don’t know what kugel is. It’s a sweet (or savory) Jewish noodle (and sometimes potato) casserole. My gentile boyfriend likened it to flan (he’s wrong though). Regardless, I would love to try this Molly Yeh cardamom and apple kugel recipe to enjoy when I break the fast post Yom Kippur. FYI you can eat kugel hot OR cold.
“Snack Break” is Lately’s new interview series where we chat with people we think are interesting for about as long as it takes you to finish your work snack. Our first in the series is with The Broke Yolk founder and friend of Lately, Tori Hyndman.
Tori Hyndman is one of the funniest people on the internet.
She’s the creative force behind The Broke Yolk, the most entertaining food and lifestyle blog that you’re not reading yet, but need to be.
Hyndman does it all from suburban food tours to easy recipes to snarky side comments that will have you howling. Her voice is that of your best friend who also knows how to whip up the perfect hash AND make a mean martini. She’s who you want in your kitchen but also who you want in your phone to call when you’ve drunk texted your ex on the way to get 2am pizza.
Lately was lucky enough to ask our longtime internet friend a few questions. Check them out below!
So, why did you start The Broke Yolk?
TBY: I started The Broke Yolk because I was getting tired of Twitter being the only place I could write/scream into the void. I do some writing at work but I don’t have the ability to drone on about non-dairy milks or deliberately call out the guy who I hooked up with last Halloween. I think I just wanted a new place to talk about food and what I’m cooking. And I wanted to be creative and try my hand at graphic design and work on my website skills.
Who is inspiring you rn?
TBY: I am a fan of women doing cool things in the food and restaurant space – Molly Yeh makes me want to be happy and bake cakes. Ina Garten makes me feel like I can roast a bird, luxuriate and order custom shirts and not feel bad about it. My mom is a great cook who taught me to use an obscene amount of garlic and I will forever thank her for that. I like Alison Roman’s red-orange nails.
Not Bobby Flay he sucks.
LOL. I know you’re also obsessed with the Bon Appetit staff. A lot of people on the internet are these days. I sadly am not. Please explain this to me!!
TBY: I am not “obsessed.” I did have an unhealthy crush on a human employed by the magazine and slid into DMs more than once but I have moved on and am better for it.
People love BA, especially the Test Kitchen crew, because the content is centered around beautiful people making delicious food while they hanging out with (what appears to be) their friends. The newer verticals like Basicallyand Healthyishare doing a good job of meeting Millennials and Gen Z where they are and what they want out of cooking/feeding themselves.
Mostly I think people like BA because the Test Kitchen people are hot and are all individually micro-influencers. Personally, I think they’re all sleeping with each other.
What’s YOUR best cooking advice, Toe?
TBY: Wolfgang Puck told me to learn how to make one thing really well (I didn’t think that was great advice, but it’s my only chance to say that Wolfgang Puck gave me cooking advice, so take it haters).
Okay then to make it more relatable, what’s your worst cooking mistake?
Sometimes I leave the oven/a burner on which is scary I guess because we could die. Other than that, and the time I accidentally dropped all of my ravioli down the garbage disposal when draining the water, I like to roll with the punches.
You currently live in D.C….where are your favorite places to eat?
TBY: Depends on the occasion and who’s buying but I love Le Diplomate. It’s a Steven Starr restaurant (Philly-based restaurateur) so I feel a kinship to my cheesesteak brethren when I eat there. Regardless, everything is so yummy.
Must-gets are the oysters (seafood tower if you’re not paying), the gougères, which are these little airy bread-cheese puffs of heaven, the warm shrimp salad, the mushroom tart, roast chicken, crème brûlée— it’s all so good.
What would your last meal be?
TBY: Probably shake shack ☹
Give me three people (living or dead) that you would love to eat a meal with.
TBY: I always get nervous with these questions because I don’t think I want to eat a meal with three strangers??? I would be so nervous. Picking people I know seems weird unless they are dead relatives or something.
Can I bring a friend? If so, it would be Friend, Mindy Kaling, and BJ Novak because I mostly just want to see how Mindy and BJ vibe in real life. Is there tension? Does he listen or smile when she speaks? I need to know.
I’m not cooking (because what if it’s bad). We can order in some fancy takeout and I’ll bring wine and a dessert from a nice bakery.
I will also make note of how much BJ tips the delivery guy.
I can’t believe I am the friend you are bringing to dinner with Mindy and BJ! Thanks! But if it was just us, where would you take me?
TBY: In D.C. I would take you to this place called Little Sesame for lunch. It’s a yummy hummus shop and it’s so good and decorated all cute. For dinner we could do Compass Rose or Iron Gate for nice ambience and good cocktails. There’s a cool vegan restaurant called Fancy Radish we could go to because I haven’t tried it yet!
You’re on your way to becoming an influencer. What food or beverage brand would you want to sponsor you?
TBY: Eggland’s Best needs a hot young face and I am up for the challenge.
Let’s say you come out with a cookbook. What are you going to name it?
TBY: Eggs n’ stuff. Cooking with Friends (your anxiety and depression). I’m still brainstorming.
Also, you are my only friend who makes martinis and I love that about you. Tell me what got you into this?
TBY: My mom is my martini inspiration! [Queen Jag] loves dirty vodka martinis (exclusively Ketel One) and taught me how to make one. I do strictly vodka over gin, extra dirty, and I LOVE a blue cheese stuffed olive.
My mom always says, “no vermouth” when she orders them, but honestly, I can’t tell the difference. You can get buzzed off one drink which makes ‘Tini Time classy and economical!
If the whole internet isn’t reading The Broke Yolk by now, they SHOULD. What are some things you want your new readers (and old readers I guess) to take away from your posts? Besides laughing at all your incredible asides, of course.
TBY: I want them to learn that you do not need to be cool or hot or good at cooking to make food and have fun with it (I am however all of those things so I see where this can get confusing). I want them to allow themselves to feel feelings and not feel guilty about whatever they’re putting in their mouths (I want to allow myself that too).
What post should they start with?
TBY: I’ve only been posting for about a year and I’ve only posted like 10 times…but I worked really hard on the one about my hometown’s weird eating spots. It was fun to write when I was hiding from my family at my parent’s house over the holidays and I came out of it with an appreciation for the strange, but also extremely normal, place I grew up.
I also love the Glossary page (does that count as a post?) because I say wild things and I want to continue to say wild things and play with language and abbreviation and acronyms so I like the idea of having a resource for my readers to learn a little more about me and why I say the things I say.
Maybe you know (or maybe you have a life) but Billie Eilish unfollowed YouTuber Tana Mongeau on Instagram and it ruined her existence day.
She even made a vlog about it.
I don’t know anything about Mongeau other than the fact that I think she got married to one of the Paul brothers (the one who didn’t take a video of a dead body). However, I respect the level of extra she is being over this unfollow.
Billie Eilish is a queen. Unfollowing Mongeau is like revoking her stamp of approval. She is officially no longer “cool” by music prodigy/baggy clothes wearing/green haired, William Eyelash’s standards.
Damn. That must feel cold ASF.
Luckily, there are really only a few celebs I would lose my lunch over if they unfollowed me.
***Please note, none of these people currently follow me (and probably never will!)****
Chrissy unfollowing me would be a deep personal burn I would never heal from. I feel like we like/talk about a lot of the same things??? Don’t reject me Chrissy! We have the same face shape and I use your pics for hair inspo!!!
She doesn’t have an Instagram because she’s 3 years old but IF SHE DID (or in the future) if she ever followed and then UNFOLLOWED me, I would throw myself off a cliff. She is my favorite celebrity baby!!!!
This is a personal rejection I would not be able to face.
People would have to hide sharp objects from me if this happened.
Honestly, I would understand if she unfollowed me. She’s such a fucking queen. But if she unfollowed me it would disappoint my mom and my grandma a lot lol.
Genuinely love her social media presence and would cry if she and her multiple layers of black and white clothing and accessories clicked “unfollow.”
Let’s be real, him FOLLOWING me would send me into a tailspin.
These photos came out a week ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since.
Yes, I’ve seen THOSE iconic photos of Princess Diana (bike shorts and oversized sweaters, baseball caps and riding boots) sporting around London, but they never impacted me the way THESE photos of Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) do.
She looks at once both fresh and refined. I’m not much for pearl earrings but her sporty elegance speaks to the essence of bygone East Coast royalty, her long blond hair tousled in the wind like she’s god damned Caroline Bessette-Kennedy.
This look, this VIBE is the central feature of my fall vision board.
I want it all.
I want to live inside those photos. I want to be it. MAKE ME THAT!
Although I 100% plan on stealing any collegiate-looking crewneck sweater of my boyfriend’s, I also recently acquired a UCSB crewneck that I will be wearing/living in all of fall because it is also quite cozy-making. Did I go there? No! That is not the point!! My Chicago school’s sweaters are expensive as fuck, kind of ugly, and don’t have cute initials. No offense. Go Blue Demons!
In order to be sporty chic, I also need sneakers. I currently own one pair of dusty pink New Balance (and by dusty I mean caked in the dust of Beachwood/Runyon Canyons) and one pair of sky blue Vans. This will not do. So far I really like these Adidas that I made people vote for on the Lately Instagram and Hailey is actually wearing THESE in the pics, but I’m not crazy about them.
I really need to buy some taller socks. After being CYBER BULLIED by my friends for wearing white socks on Instagram, it will feel insanely validating to wear tall ones with pride. If I wanted to be really sporty I would go with these, but realistically I will go with something more like this because I love color options and polka dots are cute.
It is 100 degrees today in Los Angeles and I’ve been peeping fall blazers. Currently I have my eye on this one. Perfect for when I venture to a gorgeous apple orchard/horse show/cobble stone street or some shit back east
I’m on the lookout for cowboy boots but I still really haven’t cracked how to wear them without it feeling like a costume! Comment below if you have good advice! Also looking for riding boots.
Jeans wise….Madewell all the way, you can’t convince me otherwise. I recently tried on Levi Wedgies or whatever the hell and they were terrible. As far as I’m concerned, there are no other jeans for me. I’m not saying this because I used to work there. Madewell has the best jeans, hands down and their fall fit will be out soon.
I’m pretty covered in the way of baseball caps and I think I’ll just stick with subtle little gold hoops in my ears.
Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio + a pizza bagel that you made yourself with jarred tomato sauce, an onion bagel, TJ’s shredded mozzarella and some dried basil + a face mask + You’ve Got Mail
Dry Creek Chenin Blanc + a salad you made with the end of your lettuce, a lot of Persian cucumber slices, a leftover half of browning avocado, TJ’s jasmine rice and some Chinese dressing + a really hot bath
The cloyingly sweet, orange-hued hot seasonal beverage that ushers in autumn earlier and earlier every year, has never been my Buxie (not Starbs or ‘Bux, mind you) drink of choice.
I own a pair of Uggs and multiple Kylie Lip Kits but when it comes to coffee, I’m relatively tame. An iced almond milk (or oat if you have it) latte please. Hot, if it’s below 50 degrees outside.
Black, if I’m hungover.
When I saw that Starbucks had released a seasonal cold brew, my interest was piqued. Cold brew tastes like jet fuel to me (in a fun way) and I wondered how they were going to add pumpkin spiciness to that. I texted my best friend Andrew about it and he told me to “shut my mouth.”
I meditated on the idea of this coffee concoction for a day or so. I talked to other friends about it, none of which had tried it–but suggested I do…for science.
What tipped me over the edge was the fact that Andrew (aforementioned friend) later tried it and LIKED it. Armed with the knowledge that he and I like almost all the same things, I entered Starbucks this morning and ordered one.
First surprise: The drink itself is a light brown color, topped with an orange-y foam that is sprinkled with cinnamon.
It’s more like a nitro cold brew than an actual cold brew with ice and stuff.
Second surprise: It’s not very sweet. It’s a neutral taste with a hint of pumpkin.
It’s more milky than coffee. I wish it was more coffee-forward. Also, as someone who only drinks alternative milks (LOL THERE IS NO DENYING MY BASIC-NESS IT PERMEATES ME) I am worried about how this will effect my tummy/skin.
Third (not-so) surprise: I don’t like it.
I wish it was sweeter!! Which is weird for me, someone who isn’t huge on sweet coffee drinks. It’s like a pumpkin milk but not in a dessert-y way. That’s the best way to sum it up. I could see this being the milk left behind after a bowl of pumpkin granola. Kind of bland and not nearly as cold as I would like it to be with a smattering of scent and flavor.
1/5 stars. Would not drink it from a cereal bowl or a Buxie cup.
Very glad I only opted for a “tall.”
Venmo me for this quality research…I’ll be grabbing an iced latte to go around noon.