ALLISON GARCIA, DIGITAL EDITOR
“Nailed It!” is the most delightful show on Netflix, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t watched it yet. It’s a show that poses this question: What would happen if regular people participated in a professional-level baking competition? The stakes are low, the designs are elaborate and the resulting cakes turn out anywhere from monstrous to inedible. The hosts – comedian Nicole Byer and French chocolatier Jacques Torres – make for an unexpectedly silly pairing. They poke fun at the candidates while still keeping the show positive and reminding them, “Hey, you created something, and even if it’s horrible, you should be proud.” The newest season features pairs competing, which is a nice twist. I watched it in my kitchen while baking lemon-frosted carrot cake cupcakes. Here’s the recipe as a bonus recommendation.
LINDSEY ANDERSON, SENIOR CULTURE EDITOR
Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favorite living authors. And his new book – the first he’s written since winning a Nobel Prize – 100% lives up to the hype. It’s called Klara and the Sun and it’s about an android who’s been programmed to recognize and react to kindness. Just know that if you decide to buy it, you should probably also pick up a box of tissues, or two, while you’re out.
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CHRIS DROSNER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
I’m a big fan of Russian imperial stouts and of Sheboygan’s 3 Sheeps Brewing, so I had high expectations for their recently released take on the style, called Tenebrous. And this beer hits all the right notes. It starts with a sweet, mochalike aroma that’s distinctly 3 Sheeps-ish but not particularly Russian imperial stout-ish, but a sip brings home all the dark-chocolate roastiness, dark fruit and robust bitterness a good, thick RIS needs.
ANN CHRISTENSON, SENIOR DINING EDITOR
Bon Appetit saved me this week with a super-easy, incredibly flavorful lamb meatball recipe. Who has ground lamb in their freezer? Well, I did. And I needed to use it. The balls are a simple mix of ground meat, spices, parsley, panko breadcrumbs and olive oil. There’s also a mint-golden raisin pesto recipe to go with them that is so worth making. Serve the meatballs with plain yogurt and rice and voila, dinner is served.
ARCHER PARQUETTE, MANAGING EDITOR
This 1981 bestselling novel by Umberto Eco follows a series of murders in an Italian monastery in 1327 over the course of seven days. The text is replete with allusions and divergences and slow discussions about heresies and whether or not Jesus laughed. Maybe you’re thinking, “That sounds awful, Archer. Screw you for suggesting it.” Fair enough – it’s not for everyone. But maybe give it a shot. I think it’s engrossing and thought-provoking.