Five Things I Learned From Francesca This Weekend

Totally casual magazine-reading outfit (dress by Cleobella)

On Friday afternoon, I arrived at Francesca’s house for a little kid-free staycation only to find her triumphantly reducing some apricots to make a pork chop sauce. “I just invented this dish!” she declared. “It’s SO DELICIOUS!”

We exclaimed over and over about the particular combination of flavors – how unexpected! how delightful! – and snapped a couple of pics, because clearly I would need to post about this unexpectedly delightful new dish.

Then we wanted to check how long the pork chops needed to cook for, and – as I do surprisingly often – I found myself searching for the information I was seeking on my own site. (You can actually search for anything, no matter how obscure, on my site, and you will probably find it. Go ahead, try. Related: I am a dinosaur.)

2009. Tiny. Little. Babies.

…And what did we discover when we did this? That I have written this post already. Nine years ago, to be specific, when Francesca discovered this unexpectedly delightful combination for the first time, and then made it for me. For the first time.

We have now reached the point in the aging process were we begin recycling ourselves.

In addition to that uplifting bon mot, here are a few more things I discovered over the past three or so days.

Trader Joe’s Dolmas In A Can. Holy CRAP, these are delicious. I like dolmas (oil-soaked grape leaves stuffed with rice and various other things) very, very much, and have eaten them many, many times…and yet never have I ever had dolmas that I’ve liked more than the ones that Francesca bought in a can at Trader Joe’s, and then served me straight out of that can, with a fork.

I know that this does not make sense, but there you have it.

cacao powder honey and boiling water coffee substitute

A cocoa drink that is currently replacing coffee in my life. When Francesca first presented this sort of watery/sort of sweet/sort of bitter beverage to me and told me that I would love it so much that I would likely end up preferring it to coffee for that morning energy boost, I did not believe her, because obviously. I didn’t even like this drink the first time I tried it. And yet here I am three days later, having lived coffee-free (!!!) and utterly obsessed from that first sip.

Francesca’s Bizarrely Addictive Cocoa

  • 6-8 oz boiling water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon organic unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw organic honey
  • Splash of half and half

Stir the second and third ingredients into the first until nicely dissolved, then splash over a little cream (or coconut milk). 

norma Kamari high cut lime green suit

The extremely flattering properties of a very, very high-cut Norma Kamali one-piece. I have always avoided high-cut bathing suits because I feel like they draw attention to the part I do not want attention drawn to (my nonexistent waist, basically). But this weekend I borrowed Francesca’s neon green one…and turns out, you know what you get when you wear a super-high-cut suit? A WAIST.

That the very best friends are friends who know that you need a jacket that says “Strip Club Veteran” on the back of it. Francesca gave me this 2 Chainz creation (from his now-defunct clothing line) awhile back for no especially good reason other than that she simply didn’t wear it much, and it has now – somewhat inevitably, albeit perhaps problematically – become a key component of my signature look. I even wore it to a 1969-themed costume party…because when you’re wearing this jacket, what’s someone going to do: Say it’s a bad idea?

strip club veteran patch army jacket


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