Design

Four Fun Things

West Village by Nicole Franzen

Walks are the best — like exercise and meditation you can squeeze in anywhere. Says the always hilarious David Sedaris, “I was traveling when I got my Fitbit, and because the tingle [of reaching 10,000 steps] feels so good, not just as a sensation but also as a mark of accomplishment, I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area, wondering which of the many people around me will die first, and of what.”

Steamed broccoli by Sarah Jampel

Food writer Jenny Rosenstrach and her husband Andy Ward have a handy dinner formula for parents this summer: “________ + Side of Broccoli = Healthy Enough.” So, go ahead and dish out mac n cheese or hot dogs, as long as you have that virtuous veg sitting pretty on the side. Here’s a yummy steamed version, if you’re interested.

Doen daisy blouse

The fashion print of the season is daisies! Digging these six pieces: blouse, tee, tie-front shirt, skirt, flare dress and mini dress. Wouldn’t they be pretty for summer evenings and trips?

Alex Williams and Toby

If you’d like a last-minute Father’s day gift, how about a magazine or newspaper subscription? Say, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Outside or the local paper. Bonus: Pair with an indulgent food he wishes could eat every day (Alex goes nuts for beef jerky or hot fudge).

P.S. More fun things, including Aidy Bryant being awesome and a website dedicated to dad jokes.

(Top photo by Nicole Franzen. Broccoli photo by Julia Gartland for Food52. Blouse photo by Dôen. Bottom photo of Toby and Alex.)

  1. Ceciel says...

    A. Toby’s eyebrows are amazing.
    B. Shout to local papers—gotta keep good local journalism alive
    C. Broccoli + will make me feel like the best mom this summer
    D. Was visiting my old stomping grounds in Cobble Hill this week and we had a blast at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. What a treat for both kids and parents!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love this comment! :) and we used to say he had jack nicholson eyebrows as a baby!

    • Tori says...

      This looks so good, I need to make it soon! It is very similar to the crispy Brussels sprouts recipe from the What’s Gaby Cooking book…if you like Brussels Sprouts, try it! I will never make Brussels sprouts any other way again.

  2. Kelly says...

    i wholeheartedly support the blank and broccoli formula but expand it to include leftover fruit from breakfast, the carrots I chopped up 2 days ago, or a microwaved sweet potato….really anything that counts as healthy!

    somedays, tbh, it’s frozen sweet potato fries. And sometimes (ahem last night) i counted tomato sauce on pasta with frozen meatballs as my ‘healthy’ element.

  3. Jenna says...

    Yes to the ease of broccoli! I used to always roast it and then I steamed it to, you know, shake things up, and now we can’t get enough. So weird how vegetables seem to make a come back or be on trend.

    I just wanted to share a super easy rice recipe that my 6 year old daughter lives for – balsamic rice, curry power, some salt and a handful of currants. Put it in a pot and boil it all together. I was surprised as anyone when she ate platefuls but there is something about the combination that is so satisfying and comforting. That with some steamed broccoli and roasted chicken thighs is the easiest and tastiest quick meal on rotation at our house.

  4. Kimberly says...

    The only vegetable my kid will eat without a fuss is broccoli. So almost every night it’s ___+ broccoli. He’s growing and is healthy. Must be working!

  5. Anna says...

    Last night I made a roasted veg dish with broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini and onion. My four year old wanted nothing but the broccoli…? I guess she reads Jenny’s blog.

    Chop all veg into bite size pieces and toss with salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic granules, and Balsamic glaze. Bake 45 min at 375. Finish with more glaze and salt, and a tiny bit of water if it looks dry.

    You can use different vegetables (cauliflower? peppers?), or add different seasonings, such as cayenne, honey, paprika, herbs, etc. Yum.

  6. Emily says...

    Amazingly, my young kids will eat Annie’s mac and cheese with spinach or broccoli in it. But, the green stuff has to be chopped up super duper fine (so that the green bits are kind of hidden away in the shells). Whatever it takes!

  7. Tania says...

    That daisy DOEN blouse. Want! Need! Brings me back to 7th grade when we would draw daisies and sunflowers all over our notes and fold them up like triangles.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      triangle notes are one of life’s simple pleasures. thank you for the reminder. <3

  8. Broccoli is always a great idea. I love broccoli.

    And I am also ‘addicted’ to walking. Not just because hitting the 10K steps, but it really gives me a great feeling. I feel so relaxed and positive after my walk.

  9. K says...

    Frozen broccoli from Trader Joe’s for the win! Cheap, easy, and good! I always make sure to have a couple bags in the freezer for when I’m out of fresh veggies or on a time crunch.

  10. Kristin says...

    I was coaching track this May, along with teaching middle school and trying to keep up with my kids’ spring activities. One night I served my kids cereal….and broccoli. I thought I had hit a new low, but turns out I was using a food writer’s formula. For the win!

    • Rae says...

      Ha! I so appreciate that you shared this Kristin. We have all been there…

  11. Mims says...

    my vision challenged sister got my father a magazine subscription one year for the Economist by just checking one of those boxes on a subscription card. After a month or so, he quizzically asked her why she got him a years worth of Ebony magazine.

    • Kim says...

      Ha ha! As someone who always had Ebony in the house during my childhood, this cracks me up.

  12. Kate says...

    I actually really hate daisies. Is that weird?

    But the reason that I’m commenting is to ask if maybe each of the main writers at CoJ could do a personal birthday gift guide. I love the holiday ones so much, but my birthday is this month and I have no idea what to ask for. I’d love to know what all of you are longing for!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a fun idea! thank you, kate xoxo

    • C says...

      Something I’ve loved lately is folks who ask for donations to organizations for their birthday. I recently donated to one that was a home for older dogs to live out their lives. I love this. Happy Birthday!

    • Sasha L says...

      I keep a Pinterest board with ideas for my birthday (other people’s too, on another board). I think of things throughout the year and pin them. Then I have an answer when someone asks me what I’d like – good for other gift giving occasions too. My husband really appreciates the help.

  13. Sarah says...

    Pizza + roasted broccoli. It’s what’s for dinner.

  14. Julie says...

    No one makes me laugh harder than David Sedaris. If you haven’t read his latest, Calypso, it’s the perfect book for the beach/commute/post stressful work day decompressing. One of my favorite quotes: “I told myself that one day I would buy a beach house and that it would be everyone’s, as long as they followed my draconian rules and never stopped thanking me for it.”

    • Laura C. says...

      Thank you! I spotted someone on IG reading that book, but not being American, I did not know the author. The book is found only in English, but the quote has made me laugh, and its Kindle version is not expensive! Thank you for the suggestion Julie!

    • YES! Fellow Sedaris-lover Julie here. :) His audiobooks are amazing — wouldn’t everything be more interesting if he were narrating our days?

    • Vero says...

      I love David Sedaris so much. After 8 years of post secondary I didn’t want to touch a book, and it was his books that got me back into reading. The story about the taxidermy shop….. I’ll have to read Calypso!

    • Julie says...

      Ha! I love the idea of him narrating my life, but he’d be so sarcastically observant that I’d end up running away. Too real!

    • Kelly says...

      hahaha, as a beach house owner who has a love/hate relationship with having guests there, i feel so seen!

  15. Colleen says...

    Thanks for all the sizes and prices for the daisy duds!

  16. Roxana says...

    I love daises. They’re such sweet, unpretentious and hearty flowers.

    I’m diggin’ that cute tee. Also, the link for the wrap dress goes straight to Old Navy’s homepage (just an FYI ;). I found the dress, though, and it’s cute!

  17. Denise says...

    beef jerkey & hot fudge together? Hmmm…. I wonder if that’s similar to chocolate dipped bacon. Might be excellent. Also, really pretty daisy dresses.

  18. Jessica says...

    OK, yes, the “Anything plus broccoli” idea is good… IN WINTER!
    It’s summer! You can slice tomatoes and just salt them and they’ll be amazing! Same with a perfect summer cucumber! Zucchini can go on your grill beside the hot dogs without even slicing them – call it a zucchini dog and it’s all good! Steam green beans instead!
    As a produce person, this sort of advice makes me want to swear like a sailor. Why advise people to eat something that – while good – is not at all in season and is actually harder to prepare than what the season has to offer?
    I get it, intellectually. Broccoli is always there, and it has that halo of health from being crunchy and dark green.
    but…
    BUT….
    IT. IS. SUMMER!

    • Katie says...

      We’re still a month out from farmers markets in my northern climate, and that’ll still be early stuff like radishes. So still living off other places’ produce here! Garden-fresh tomatoes sound amazing, though…

    • Sara says...

      👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    • C says...

      But we grow broccoli in the summer…and it’s actually at it’s best then because there is nothing better then fresh broccoli except, of course for fresh anything!

    • Hilary says...

      haha as a non-broccoli fan, I agree with you. Our fave summer sides are cucumber/tomato salad or sliced tomato with EVOO and salt and pepper.

  19. Charlotte K says...

    The “anything plus broccoli” idea is pure genius. I should know, I’ve been doing that for years!! ;-0

    You have, however, inspired me to make mac and cheese.

    I enjoy all vegetables, but I have a love for broccoli that knows no bounds.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha same! as long as there are frozen peas somewhere on the plate, i feel like my work is done :)

    • K says...

      I always think, “when my kids tell the neighbors what they’re eating for dinner, will I be mortified?” Anytime there’s something green beside a pile of junk, I feel pretty good!

    • Roxana says...

      I laughed out loud when I read that! I do the exact same thing.

      My 5 year old daughter last night asked me in a chipper voice “What are we having for dinner?” I started to tell her, and when she knew I was about to say “. . .and broccoli,” she interrupted me and loudly pleaded “Please don’t say broccoleeee! Mama, please no more brocoleeeee!” Sorry, kid.

      I need to put peas back into the rotation. They like peas. I forgot about peas.

      Haha! :)

    • Katie says...

      My easy, go-to, I don’t want to think about it dinner: a box of mac and cheese mixed with broccoli and a can of tuna topped with a little hot sauce. My husband even likes it.