Celebrities

  • Cooking 

    I used to think I loved baking, but that I wasn’t that into cooking. A gorgeously decorated cake piled high with fresh buttercream, or a pie with the most perfect flaky crust—those were the bakes I dreamt of making. I didn’t think cooking was awful—I just didn’t crave it the way I did baking. Every single episode of The Great British Baking Show has made me cry, and not just because it’s the most wholesome competition show ever. I’m just really invested in how a bake turns out.

    But a girl can’t survive on baking alone. Cooking is a necessity. And after a few years of doing it grudgingly, I decided I needed to get excited about making dinner. So, I put Chrissy Teigen’s first cookbook on my wedding registry, and someone bought it for me. I wanted it because, based on her social media persona, I thought it might make cooking a little more fun. I made a few recipes, I realized I wasn’t dreading making dinner anymore. Then I made a few more. After a few months of this, I was expanding into other cookbooks. I was actually getting really excited to make dinner and try out a new recipe.

    I think it was a combination of using celebrity cookbooks, realizing a cookbook is just another book but about food, and that there are some tricks to cooking that make it more fun, that helped me find a new love in cooking. And now, I don’t even need to hear a celebrity endorsement to want a cookbook! Here are just some of the celebrity cookbooks that used their famous faces to make me love cooking.  

    11.16 CravingsCRAVINGS: RECIPES FOR ALL THE FOOD YOU WANT TO EAT
    By Chrissy Teigen
    (2016) 

    The one that started it all. Teigen is funny and relatable, despite her fame. And these recipes are seriously good. I’ve liked every one I’ve tried, which is a pretty good track record. And if you don’t trust my opinions, trust the fact that it’s got 4.7 stars on Amazon. Recipes to try: the cheesy jalapeño bacon cornbread is the perfect side for any chili recipe, and the sweet potato gnocchi is life-changing.  

     

    11.16 Antoni in the KitchenANTONI IN THE KITCHEN
    By Antoni Porowski
    (2019) 

    This might be the only cookbook I’ve ever preordered. As soon as I learned Antoni was publishing a cookbook, I hit purchase. On TV, he’s got such a laid-back approach to food, making it accessible and fun for people who’ve never cooked for themselves. Eating shouldn’t be stressful, even if you’re making something new and complex. Food should be enjoyed, and it should be enjoyed with those you love. Recipe to try: there’s a pasta recipe with lemon, fennel, and sausage in here that made my husband propose to me again.  

     

    11.16 Magnolia TableMAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING
    By Joanna Gaines
    (2018) 

    Let’s be realistic. We all sort of wish we were Joanna Gaines. The woman has made a career out of having great taste and working hard, and I think that’s something we can all aspire to. Her cookbook is filled with really well-done basics, and some fun recipes with more complexity. But all of them are sure to fill your belly and make you happy. Recipes to try: her biscuits are perfectly buttery and delicious, and her white cheddar bisque is like eating fondue but in soup form.  

     

    11.16 Cravings Hungry for MoreCRAVINGS. HUNGRY FOR MORE
    By Chrissy Teigen
    (2018) 

    She’s back! With another incredible cookbook, Chrissy Teigen has really made her mark on the world of food. I can’t choose a favorite between her two cookbooks, because both are filled with all kinds of interesting and delicious foods. Recipe to try: The blueberry pancakes in this book have cream cheese bombs in them, which make them well worth waking up early for. 

     

    Bonus tip: If you prep every single possible ingredient before starting the actual cooking process, your feelings about cooking might change. Except when making pasta. Start the pasta cooking first, always. But seriously, put all your spices into little bowls, chop the herbs, measure out the broths and stocks. It makes everything go smoothly, and you’ll feel like you have your own cooking show.

     
  • Audiobook

    With so many good books coming out each year, it can be easy to feel pressured to only read the latest releases – after all, there is always a new, buzzy book to read. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still read (or re-read!) the classics. My favorite way to rediscover a classic is by approaching it in a new way – on audio! Luckily, there are tons of new audiobooks coming out each year with *famous* narrators and cool productions. Here are some favorite children’s books with audios worth seeking out.

    5.20 Phantom TollboothTHE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH 
    By Norton Juster
    Narrated by Rainn Wilson
    (2019)

    THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH is the story of Milo, a little boy who is bored by everything. Then one day, a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room and, because there’s nothing else to do, he drives through it and into a world where everything seems different. This contemporary classic, first published in 1961, is a beloved and imaginative novel that is only enriched by Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight from THE OFFICE, and his captivating narration. This book is a little odd, but in a way that children and adults can admire.

     

    5.20 CharlotteCHARLOTTE’S WEB 
    By E.B. White
    Narrated by Meryl Streep with a full cast
    (2020)

    Does Charlotte’s Web really need an introduction? This perennial favorite tells the story of Wilbur – a runt pig destined to become the famer’s Christmas dinner. In a bid to save his life, Wilbur’s best friend, a spider named Charlotte, constructs elaborate webs lauding Wilbur’s virtues. This new audiobook is nothing short of magical with a full cast of characters (including local favorite Kirby Heyborne as Wilbur) and narration by the incomparable Meryl Streep. This new version is a perfect way to rediscover this terrific, radiant, humble book.

     

    5.20 AliceALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND 
    By Lewis Carroll
    Narrated by Jim Dale
    (2008)

    I’ve written on this blog before about my love for ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Lewis Carroll’s whimsical masterpiece is an absurd one filled with nonsense and enough humor to make it enjoyable. This classic gets the Jim Dale treatment, who brings the same incredible knack for characterization and magic that he brought to the beloved HARRY POTTER audiobooks. He recounts Alice’s tumble down the rabbit hole into a magical world that is unlike anything she’s ever seen. If you’ve never read ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, now is the time – and be sure to start with this book on CD.

     

    5.20 MatildaMATILDA
    Available on Overdrive 
    By Roald Dahl
    Narrated by Kate Winslet
    (2013)

    Is there any better book than MATILDA? In fact, is there any book character better than Matilda? The incredible Kate Winslet brings them both to life alongside all the other famous characters in this Roald Dahl classic. Never has Miss Honey seemed so sweet or Miss Trunchbull felt so villainous and never has Matilda’s triumph over the terrible adults in her life felt so well-earned. Share this remarkable retelling widely.

     

    5.20 The Mouse and the MotorcycleTHE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE 
    By Beverly Cleary
    Narrated by B.D. Wong
    (2007)

    Did you forget how much you love Ralph S. Mouse? Now is the time to remind yourself. B.D. Wong, a prolific actor, who I personally know best for his voicework as Li Shang in Disney’s 1998 MULAN, narrates this classic children’s novel about an adventurous mouse who befriends a young boy visiting the hotel where he lives. Wong brings the humorous antics of Ralph S. Mouse to life.