“You’ll be spending a lot of time at home,” said the fortune teller.
Here are a few things that infused time with substance during quar. None of these things are really that deep, aside from Battlestar, of course.
Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)
Look. I fully consumed the miniseries and main series sometime after watching Star Wars and…let’s just say I’m not about to put a resistance bumper sticker on my car. On the contrary, a BSG 75 decal is in my shopping cart. BSG takes the space opera genre to an entirely new and palatable place. It’s deep on a relatable level but not too deep that the fandom is full of purists. The actors are great, the CGI is super cringe, and the suspense is real. Two words: space papi. [Official SYFY page]
Korean dramas, especially Goblin and CLOY
I’ve been watching k-dramas since I started college and I’m so happy to say they’ve only gotten better since then. Two absolutely life-changing dramas are Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (informally known as Goblin) and Crash Landing on You. The essence of Goblin is half fantasy, half pretty people, half everlasting love, and half an OST that melts your soul. That’s right, you get 200% substance with this one. [Watch Goblin on Viki]
With CLOY, you’ll have to get over the realism of the premise (since there’s no reality to this dramatization of a North meets South Korean love story), but all of its characters are ones you’ll come to root for…aside from baddies, obvs. With both of these shows, my heart was beating like when I fell in love for the first time. I’m so thankful for these two series! [Watch CLOY on Netflix]
Simple living vlog channels
There’s an entirely peaceful corner of YouTube where drama ceases to exist and real life happens, whether you show your face or not. It’s like ASMR meets hushed tones meets minimalism meets cute mess. I’m not sure what to call these kinds of YT channels, but most that I’ve subscribed to are Korean and Japanese, though not all. Here are some favorites…
The Purple Palace
Everyday Pleasures recipe book
Online creative Emily Ryu, in collaboration with her talented graphic designer, created this beautiful book of simple and healthy recipes. I downloaded the condensed PDF version but I’m tempted to get a hardcopy of future titles because I love the tactile experience of books. The recipes that I’ve tried so far have been delicious and super simple. My favorites are the alternative-to-Levain cookies and the spinach and artichoke hummus.
One unexpected effect of this book is that it forces you to reframe your pantry and grocery lists. Also, as a highly visual person, all presentations of the recipes once finished are so so visually satisfying. [Everyday Pleasures ebook version] [Emily Ryu on IG]
I’m pretty sure the two original reasons that my partner bought an Instant Pot for us were because I needed a larger and more convenient alternative to my then two-quart slow cooker and because we needed a better rice cooker. I can safely say that our six-quart Instant Pot Duo has not seen this much love and use as it has during quarantine. We use it for rice, yogurt, and a smattering of different meals obtained from an IP cookbook we picked up at Barnes & Noble a couple of years ago.
We have our go-to favorite recipes from both this particular cookbook and found online…should I plan a future post to share some of those? (Yes, I will.) More importantly, the ease of use afforded by its functions gives even those who loathe cooking (like me) the confidence to prepare something that seemed like it took hours. [Instant Pot purchased from Amazon] [similar Authorized IP cookbook on Amazon]
Breville Bambino Plus
As someone who has worked remotely even before the pandemic, coffee shops and communal working spaces where the organizational hierarchy has no hold are of great comfort when I need a change of scenery. Slapping my laptop on a table at a coffee shop provides an excuse for the following: leaving the house while still being productive, dressing in something other than sweats, interacting with other grown humans, and having a handcrafted espresso beverage.
During this ongoing pandemic, I’ve avoided going into and staying seated at my favorite coffee shops because social distancing is the best way to keep us all safe. So aside from limited drive-thru runs when applicable, I’d resorted to crafting my own makeshift lattes with our Aeropress and just having iced drinks because I didn’t have a way to quickly steam milk.
That got really old really quickly, and by the beginning of September, I’d purchased a Breville Bambino Plus semi-automatic espresso machine under the guise of a combined one-year-wedding-anniversary present to us. By this time, there’s no doubt that its value to us has paid itself off and I also get to embody a pseudo-barista while looking uncute and getting nothing done because depression.
But still! One of the best purchases for espresso enthusiasts who don’t want to faff around too much with milk steaming and who are also limited on counter space. [Bambino Plus purchased from the Breville site]
From here on out, I’ll highlight some favorites from each month. Let me know if you have any suggestions of things to try…products, movies or shows, recipes. Will you be looking into anything from my quar list?
Also, this post contains no affiliate links. Amazon alternatives are encouraged.