This piece was first featured in our TNI newsletter, which you can sign up for here to get exclusive content, nutrition tips, giveaways, and much more.
If you’re new here, the “We Do Stuff!” section of the newsletter is where we pool together the most interesting happenings from our recent lives and overshare them as attractively as possible.
We’ll proceed in alphabetical order, meaning you’re about to find yourself in the middle of a big-ole cat story.
Cambria’s Birthday: A Catty Affair
Regardless of whether or not we all forgot to wish Nutrition Writer Cambria a happy birthday until the day was almost over—we totally did—she made the most of it in a pretty awesome way.
“Went to a cat cafe last night called Whiskers & Wine,” she reported the day after, adding, “There are tons of kittens roaming around that you get to play with while you drink.”
Weirder than goat yoga? Meh, who are we to judge? (We’ll put it to you, though.)
What must have felt like the ultimate therapy session—who knows the confessions those cats have heard—was followed up by a “heaping plate of spaghetti carbonara” (nice) and a Honey Mama’s Birthday Cake Truffle Bar (extremely nice), Cambria explained.
We love the unapologetic use of cat puns on the Whiskers & Wine site (“open meow!”), the fact that they’re helping the little buddies find homes, and of course, we’re happy that our faithful and totally non-catty writer Cambria enjoyed herself.
Caleb, Our Faithful Texan, Does Ribs
They weren’t just any ribs, mind you, but a succulent, even sultry rack of homemade St. Louis Spareribs that “Impressed all my (three) friends!” in Caleb’s words.
Feign modesty all you want, you frustratingly likable person.
Anyway, after receiving the meat from Crowd Cow—who sells legendary heritage pork ribs that you can’t find in the grocery store, by the way—Managing Editor Caleb channeled his inner Salt Bae, shellacking the ribs with wave after wave of delicious seasonings, including:
- Onion powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Himalayan Salt
He then lovingly swaddled this absolute unit of a rack of ribs in tinfoil while whispering sweet affirmations to it, proceeding to cook the ribs at 300 degrees for 3 hours.
“The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and had just the right amount of spiciness,” he explained as I cried on the inside from several states away.
Points for using Crowd Cow, more points for dry rub, and all the points for bringing that hot, hot heat, baby! This is the way!
Dr. Jenny Destabilizes the Thai Superfood Economy
Jaunting from her home in England to Thailand (across the… other pond?) like it’s no big deal, our medical editor Dr. Jenny obviously wins “coolest thing” for this month’s newsletter.
Because, like, Thailand. Come on.
But instead of gawking at beautiful vistas while blocking foot traffic like most tourists, Jenny—a pediatrician—squadded up with a close colleague of hers (an Adolescent medicine doctor) to “Indulge in every tropical fruit like mangosteen, longan, and everything else I can’t get back in England!” she said.
As she listed them, she even gave us a breakdown on the impressive nutritional profiles of these and the other superfruits she has been touring—leave it to a doctor to keep antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds front of mind whilst on vacation (er, holiday).
Last we heard, she was mustering up the courage to try durian, the “king of fruits” that she referred to as a “stink bomb.”
We’re pulling for you, Dr. Jenny! Triggered with envy, but hey—still pulling for you.
Tim Somehow Nails French Onion Soup
I’ve no idea where the hankering came from (hey there, Lead Writer Tim here), but only homemade French onion soup would do.
Considering the extent of my “culinary career” has been trying to please the palates of two now toddler-aged kids without making “chicky nuggies” every night (shoutout to Serenity Kids for the assist), I tempered my usual overconfidence with a dash of self-awareness—aka, backup dinners for the wife and kids.
One grocery delivery later—I’m never going back in, change my mind—and I had everything I needed for French onion soup, which, according to the Food Network recipe I used, included the following:
- A literal stick (½ cup) of butter
- 4 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- Salt and peps
- 1 cup of red wine
- 3 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts of beef broth
- 1 sliced baguette
- ½ pound of grated gruyere
(If you’re interested in the actual steps, check out the recipe link above!)
I diced, simmered, and dusted my way through the steps with all the confidence of a master chef as my wife—who had to explain to me where our broiler was—rolled her eyes in the background.
But raw overconfidence prevailed in the end, as not only did I absolutely get down on two bowls of delicious French onion soup, but even the kids availed themselves of a bowl when the cheese-drenched baguette entered the equation!