Design

Have a Delicious Weekend.

fudgy brownies

What are you up to this weekend? We have a neighborhood block party with a bouncy castle and face painting. The boys are so excited. For the potluck dinner, we’re contributing cheesy pasta, fudgy brownies and a punch bowl of Aperol spritzes. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

An American Marriage might be the best book I’ve read all year. A beautifully written page-turner.

Gardening could be the hobby that helps you live to 100.

I love these rugs (we have this one in our bedroom) — and they’re offering 20% off for CoJ readers with code COJ20.

Why I like going to a bar alone.”

Have you ever been to the Michigan sand dunes? We went there when I was growing up, and they’re amazing. (New York Times)

40 favorite interview questions.

I tried saying ‘Cheers’… it didn’t work out.” Hahaha.

A cloud wall.

The Modern Love trailer looks great (and star-studded).

What ‘I love you’ feels like.

Remembering New York’s most spectacular restaurant.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Sarah on a restaurant surprise: “I always pay for the car behind me at toll booths. Is there anything more soul-crushing than a toll booth? Imagining the smile from the recipient is 100% worth the few dollars it costs me.”

Says Lili on what’s your wagon-wheel coffee table: “My Scottish boyfriend loves soccer. When we moved in together, he had a million (six) jerseys hanging from the windowsill of our apartment. It was not a great look, to put it mildly, so for Christmas, I bought him the coolest jersey I could find and framed it. Now we have two framed jerseys on the wall and none flapping in the wind. His team might be Liverpool, but the jerseys might as well say compromise because it’s the team we are both playing on.”

(Photo of fudgy brownies by James Ransom for Food52. Gardening and interview links via Swissmiss.)

  1. fly won says...

    Made the brownies yesterday. Delicious!

  2. Hillary says...

    I just finished An American Marriage. It’s incredible – maybe the most heartbreaking love story that I’ve ever read.

  3. Have you been to Pictured Rocks and the Grand Sable Dunes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?
    As a Michigander and lover of nature and all the pristine water of Michigan, I can tell you it’s even more wonderful than Sleeping Bear. Worth a trip, and always sort of shocking to me that it is in the Midwest.

  4. Yulia says...

    I love Eric Kim’s Food52 pieces about moments spent alone. His interior world is delightfully rich.

    I will not be deterred from drinking in a bar alone just because I’m a woman–probably gotta find the right bar, but several women in the comments section of Eric’s article show it’s totally a thing!

    Joanna–did you see he posted a recipe from Cup of Jo? I was just browsing his archives and stumbled across it!

    https://food52.com/blog/24425-trader-joes-hacks-cup-of-jo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we are internet friends! was so happy he posted that :)

  5. Ellie says...

    The ‘cheers’ thing made me laugh. As a Brit I say it all the time. Because I can. But! It’s the same for us! We brits can’t get away with some American slang. I sometimes liked to exclaim “Dude!” when a friend said it did something shocking. It sounds ridiculous with my Scottish accent. And it took a dear American friend telling me to stay in my lane for me to cut it out!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “And it took a dear American friend telling me to stay in my lane for me to cut it out!” = hahaha

  6. Emily C. says...

    One time I went to a bar alone on a work trip in San Francisco, and the old man next to me was kind and just seemed like he needed to chat, so I indulged him even though I’d rather have been reading. He ends up confessing to me that as a teenager he accidentally hit and killed a neighborhood woman with his car while he was on his paper route, and how he still feels awful about it. It was just a terrible accident, and he didn’t face any legal repercussions. He had been holding it in for decades and had never told a soul. Until I went to a bar alone.

  7. I too would love to go to a bar alone, but as a woman it’s so hard. How old do we need to get before men leave us alone to enjoy our solitude?

    • Maiz says...

      Yes, and I’m jealous. I hope to sit alone and write in a bar with a nice single malt… when I’m 80. I kept thinking “male privilege, male privilege” through that article.

  8. Joy says...

    Thanks for the rug recommendation! I’ve been looking for a new area rug for my living room. Is the one you have in your bedroom soft? Would you want to sit on it with your kids? I love the dark colors – perfect for a home with two toddlers!

  9. Jena Miller says...

    As many have said in the comments, I always appreciate COJ recommendations on everything from books to bags! I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately so when I saw An American Marriage recommended here with such a declaration (favorite ALL YEAR!? wow!), I decided to pick up a copy this weekend. Saturday morning found me in my favorite local bookstore where I was chatting with the owner among the shelves. She saw what was in my hand and mentioned, “oh, that was on Cup of Jo yesterday”. I went to check out and she also mentioned she had seen it on COJ the day before. After the bookstore, we walked down to the farmers market and our favorite produce stand noticed what was in my hand as we were picking out tomatoes and commented: “Let me know how that one is when you finish, I saw it on Cup of Jo yesterday”. Oh my! COJ readers are truly the women who power the world! Hope you have a wonderful week :) I’m looking forward to cozy evenings with my new book.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that’s amazing, wow! makes me so happy :) thank you so much for sharing, jena.

  10. Alice says...

    Tested those brownies yesterday: they are GOOD.

  11. Meg says...

    I read Kamila Shamsies “Home Fire” because of the rec on CoJ – I don´t know who of you it was anymore but thank you so much! (What a book!!! I have already given it away 3 times (once in German :) Please keep bringing on those book recommendations!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so glad!!!

  12. Lucy says...

    The cheers article made me laugh! We say it all the time in New Zealand, but I have found it doesn’t have the same effect overseas.

  13. Lindsay says...

    This is so random and unrelated but please tell me someone else has seen Alex’s doppelgänger in the IKEA sleep commercial?? While binge watching this weekend, I thought about it every time it came on!

  14. T says...

    Does anyone have any tips on selling a used rug? Ours is in great condition but I just want to change things up

    • ANDREA says...

      FB Marketplace or Apt Deco

    • Sandra says...

      Do you belong to any Facebook buy/sell groups? Those seem to work great, especially if the rug is from a smoke/pet-free home. Unfortunately you will most likely get a fraction of what you paid for it, but better than nothing!

    • Maiz says...

      Maybe David Coggins wants it. :)

  15. Emily says...

    Thank you for posting the beautiful piece about Windows on the World–what a perfect tribute to New Yorkers and to that time in the city. <3

    • Libbynan says...

      About two weeks after 9/11 the married couple who were the WSJ wine critics wrote a column about the Windows on the World employees who died. It may be the best thing ever written about that horrible tragedy. The one you gave us is a close second. We tend to forget the ordinary, average people whose lives are lost or damaged when immense events occur. We want to focus on the “scale” and not the detail. Really, it’s the detail that’s important.

  16. An American Marriage was a book club favorite! I listened to the Audible version and it was fantastic!

    • Listened to it too! Really enjoyed it.

  17. Anna says...

    Yay, Michigan! I live a mile from the lake and go there all the time – we love it here so much. It feels magical to have such blue waters in the midwest!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a beautiful place to live!

  18. JK says...

    I was about to post the same comment! Kudos to the CoJ team for making this decision!!

  19. Lynn says...

    Please report back on the popularity of the punch bowl! As a former college freshman, over half my lifetime ago, I’m forever a hard pass on a punch bowl unless I know like EVERYONE at the party. I’ve been wondering if my paranoia is common or not.

    • Sandra says...

      Same here!

  20. Kim says...

    COJ fans- there are limited edition John Derain pieces at Target this weekend for their twenty years of style event.

  21. changel says...

    that cloud wall is Constable’s cloud studies, hung at the Yale Center for British Art, a museum that’s free and open to the public. they’re even more spectacular and calming in person, as clouds float over the filtered skylights above the painting and subtly shift the lighting and mood as you contemplate them…. Highly recommended day trip from NYC!

    • MinZ says...

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Sadie says...

    That “Cheers” thing is my LIFE as an American in England. I keep hoping someday it will sound natural. Three years has not done it.

    Ditto for “Ta,” “Mate,” and “That’s pants.”

  23. T says...

    Thank you for the brownie recipe! My 3-year-old daughter has been asking me to make brownies and I told her we would this weekend. Now I don’t have to spend time recipe-searching!

    Last week, we made chocolate chip cookies and saved most of the dough in the fridge & freezer, and then baked a few each night, so we had freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It was great! On several occasions I ate a few bites of cookie dough during naps.

  24. Anna says...

    I didn’t know there are places in the world where you don’t say ‘Cheers’ instead of ‘thanks’. Every day is an education!

  25. K says...

    I have very few memories of dining out as a kid, but one of them is the time my family ate at Windows of the World (at the World Trade Center). My dad had to borrow a jacket and I ordered a Shirley Temple. It all felt so fancy and special – I remember it so clearly. The restaurant was one of the first things that came to mind on 9/11 So glad to learn more about it, the people that it consisted of, and see some photos. What a special place, what a loss…

  26. Stella Ray says...

    I have visited northern michigan (the pinky ;) and the sleeping bear dunes every summer since I was six (15 years!!) Such wonderful memories playing in the sand with my cousins. And that WATER… never gets old <3

  27. Abby says...

    American Marriage was so disappointing! Every person I’ve talked to about it felt the same…why the buzz? The conclusion in particular. I put it down and felt totally flat.

    • jenn says...

      Same.

  28. Camellia Corbin says...

    That editorial about Windows made me openly weep: a welcome release after one hell of a year, thus far. Thank you.

  29. Virginia says...

    Hahaha I was saying to my husband just yesterday that I wish I could say “cheers!” Then I imagined it going just like that

  30. Courtney says...

    An American Marriage was so powerful. I still think about it 8 months later!

  31. Joaquina says...

    The “cheers” blogpost was funny and I could see how that would go wrong in the States. I say “cheers” as a thank you upon receiving my drink but perhaps because I am middle aged, I just do not care if I look awkward doing so. It is one of the few benefits of aging!

    Thank you for mentioning “An American Marriage”, a beautifully written and intriguing novel. I implore any current fiction fan to read “American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson.

  32. Liz says...

    I read an american marriage on vacation a couple of weeks ago and it is an INCREDIBLE book. Absolutely loved it and enthusiastically recommend.

  33. Tracey says...

    Aussie here. We say cheers ALL. THE. TIME. See also: no worries – and yeah-nah! (Which means yes I have considered that, my answer is no). We do not however, say g’day – very few, very Aussie folks can pull this off and I’ve felt that creeping shame when I’ve tried it on.

  34. Jessica says...

    My parents were married atop one of the Sleeping Bear Dunes in 1975, with my mom’s Old English Sheepdog as her flower girl. She wore platform sandals and a long floaty dress in a watercolor blue, gray and violet floral, and my dad wore a denim tuxedo and a stellar mustache. I think it had to have been the dreamiest, most seventies wedding ever.

  35. grace says...

    Omg! I started An American Marriage a few days ago and yes! What a beautiful book so far! My subway commute has been very fast these past few days :)

  36. Deanna says...

    I’ve lived in either New Zealand or England for the last almost 5 years, and just recently I’ve found myself responding with cheers. I don’t realize what phrases I’ve picked up until they’re out of my mouth and I get the weird side eye look.

  37. Malena says...

    HUGE HUGE BRAVA to the CoJ team for linking the American Marriage book to an independent bookstore instead of Amazon. I understand the Amazon Affiliates program, but respect you so much more Joanna because of a decision like this.

    • K. says...

      So the going to the bar alone thing is something my friend and I have discussed a kot because its an enjoyable part of the lives of many of our friends and lovers and we feel unable to do it. What’s the difference between us and them? They’re all male and we’re female. We feel that bars are just spaces which it’s impossible spaces to imagine navigating in bodies gendered as female whilst our male counterparts get the benefits of this unique form of alone time/meeting people/language practice (we were language students back in the day). Anyway this is just the conclusion our conversations have come to, maybe it’s just our mental blocks…

    • Shirley says...

      I second this comment, as a former bookseller at an indie bookstore that closed after 80 years of business. Thank you!

    • Emily says...

      I really wish everyone would lay off Joanna about Amazon. A positive about Amazon is all the reviews –written by book lovers, not critics. It is so easy to find a book somewhere else on the web other than Amazon if you have an interest in buying a book CupofJo reccomends –or go to a bookstore. I get the complaints about Amazon, and agree, but just by clicking the link she provides, they get credit. I for one am not opposed because this is how they pay for their blog! If you come to this blog, then you obviously love it, so I don’t get all the unnecessary bashing. Malena, you are not really bashing, but I’ve seen others who have recently. Sorry to comment on your comment, but it’s the one most convenient vs. searching through the blog : )

    • Anonygirl says...

      Same. I’m trying to avoid Amazon as much as possible these days, especially for books. Some things (non-book items) are just cheaper and sometimes it’s just easier to pop over to Amazon and grab what I need in one fell swoop. But 99% of the time, I try to support indie bookstores, Etsy shops, and local businesses.

    • Lauren E. says...

      YES! Came here to say the same. Thank you a thousand times over. I love my local bookstore.

  38. Sarah says...

    Yay! How exciting to see my reader comment selected. I highly encourage paying for the person behind you at the toll booth. I’ve always received a smile and a wave and a million warm fuzzies.

    • Lili says...

      Dude same! Honored to be seen and heard!

  39. AN says...

    About “Why I like going to a bar alone”…just yesterday, I came across the most wonderful thing–reframing “solitude”, which so many of us fear, to “making friends with yourself”. Right on, Eric.

  40. Elizabeth R says...

    For the spritz link, how many drinks do they make?

  41. Lana says...

    Hahah! The wagon wheel comments were all so funny! My husband and brother-in-law have a terrible habit of collecting soda cans, beer cans, pint glasses and Snapple bottles with the Chicago Bears embalm on them and then proudly displaying them around the house. They buy them for each other and gift them like fine wine with the promise to never open it because “someday it’s going to be worth something!”. So it’s not at all uncommon to see a full soda can sitting on a side table right next to the family portrait, and the other day I saw a text on my husbands phone from his brother. It was a picture of Chicago Bear’s beer can and the text said, “Man, wouldn’t this look so great on the mantle!?!?” It drives me and my sister-in-law INSANE but it’s also hysterically funny. Just as long as we aren’t the gift recipients.

  42. Holly says...

    HOT PRIEST!!!!!! (Re: Modern Love trailer)

    • Becca says...

      I yelled the same thing when I saw the trailer! Seeing his face again made me remember how much I’m still not over that show. *ugly sob*

  43. Mary says...

    More details on the Today Show segment please! (Saw it on your instagram stories) Excited to see it. Let us know when it will air!

    • Laura Gilmore says...

      I dm’ed her asking the same thing after I saw the story and she said October 2! Looking forward to it.