Discover more from Downtime by Alisha Ramos
Weekend Recs #15: Tell-alls, tahini zucchini cake, and a new take on Taylor Swift
Plus: What ever happened to personal taste?
If this email cuts off, you can view the web version here.
This is Weekend Recs, a weekly send of ideas and diversions for your downtime. Not subscribed yet? Here you go:
First, a big thanks to and message from our presenting sponsor, Autocamp, who’s unlocked this full issue for all our free subscribers:
Get outside in style: Cozy campfires. Fall foliage. It's time for a weekend getaway in nature. AutoCamp makes it easy with luxury glamping accommodations like custom Airstream suites and cabins at sites from the Catskills to Joshua Tree. Get 20% off any property: code DT20
Editorial note: Alisha is on maternity leave. How exciting! In the meantime, Downtime is edited by Aliza Abarbanel.
Four ideas for your weekend…
I just finished food media legend Ruth Reichl’s dishy memoir about her tenure as Gourmet’s editor in chief from 1999–2009, and I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. The book is essentially a warmly written time capsule chronicling the rise of modern food culture and the last opulent days of print media. (As a former Bon Appetit editor myself, some of it almost hit too close to home.) A must read for anyone who likes reading about media glamor, New York, or food.
Have an Olivia Rodrigo dance party
Her new album GUTS dropped this week, and it’s a belt-it-out, laugh-cry on the floor, dance party of a second album. It’s been a long time since I was a teenager, but 30 seconds of belting out love is embarassing has me right back in that state of mind. As this great Pitchfork review attests, the vibe is Avril meets Kelly Clarkson meets Blondie meets Lorde—a great addition to the great tradition of rocker girl anthems and ballads, perfect for belting out in your car.
🧀 Recipes to cook right now
Tahini Praline-y Zucchini Cake. Like if zucchini bread got a spiced, extra moist makeover.
Chilled Tomato Soba Noodles. A bowl of slurpable noodles swimming in a tomato broth spiked with ginger and scallion seems like the perfect way to soak up every last juicy bite of tomato season. Store the broth and noodles separately for meal prep.
Suspiciously Cheesy Salad Dressing. Make a big batch of this tangy sweet, very creamy nutritional yeast-enriched salad dressing to jazz up a week of salads and grain bowls.
📊 A Goodreads follow up
Shout out to readers Melanie and Rachel for recommending StoryGraph as a GoodReads alternative after guest writershared an article on frustrations with the website in last week’s newsletter. I’ve been checking it out this week and I’m a fan! There’s personalized recs, community reading challenges, and cute graphs to track your reads. You can even import your GoodReads history. If you’d like to follow me on the app, my username is @alizarae
What paid subscribers got this week: An audio author chat with Alisha and Marisa Metlzer on her juicy new book Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss's Glossier. Check out a sneak peek, available to everyone, here.
If you’ve been enjoying Downtime, consider becoming a paid subscriber for many more perks, like the full version of every Friday newsletter, bonus posts, access to the comments, and more!
A grab bag of links and reads worth sharing with the group chat.
Listening to Taylor Swift in Prison [New Yorker]
If you read one thing this week, make it this incredibly written piece. I cried, and I’m not even a Swiftie.
“There was, in her voice, something intuitively pleasant and genuine and good, something that implies happiness or at least the possibility of happiness. When I listened to her music, I felt that I was still part of the world I had left behind.”
What Ever Happened to Having Taste? (Washington Post)
A case against trends and for personal style, exemplified by Jenna Lyons and The Real Housewives.
The Art of Being a Morning Person (Even if You’re Actually Not One) [New York Times] *gift link*
As a chronic Night Owl, I loved these tips on making the early hours less painful.
Beyoncé’s Birthday Renaissance Show Celebrated the Depths of Black Womanhood (Los Angeles Times)
On the collective joy of seeing Beyoncé, aging, and womanhood.
The Office 10 [The Cut]
A very funny exploration of how scarcity and proximity combine to create low-stakes work crushes.
🌼 More fun internet fluff…
Coveting this chic and cozy cardigan for fall layering. // How to write an impactful thank you card. // A genius sustainable baking hack. // An inspiring mini doc for farmers’ market lovers // What it’s like to run a trendy tinned fish brand. // A cute way to practice daily affirmations. // A genius hack for supporting hanging houseplants. // Make a big batch of universal, freeze-able curry paste and call it meal prep. // Emma Stone’s new movie is here, and you've never seen her in a role like this. // A new newsletter about style in real life from the Cut’s former senior fashion writer. // I want to eat all these rare fruits! // A baking project for leopard print lovers. // My favorite cooking album right now. //
Hope you have a joy-filled weekend! 🍓 x Aliza
Downtime by Alisha Ramos is a reader-supported publication. Consider becoming a paid subscriber to support my work.