Friday Five: Slow-Cooker Dump Dinners and Tom Hanks to the Rescue

I’ll be honest: this was a tough past week. I’m guessing my thyroid was feeling a bit overworked, because I spent much of the week feeling super-fatigued, complete with brain fog and a pervasive sense of sadness. Not fun! (A week of full-on cloudiness and rain didn’t help much, either.) All you can do sometimes is just be easy on yourself and hope that OK is enough for now. And watch funny videos, take a few shortcuts and perhaps even revel in some new clothes. Here’s what brightened up my week…how about yours?

Twin Peaks. I am SO VERY EXCITED for the new season of Twin Peaks coming next year! To gear up, I decided to do a leisurely re-watch of the original show. It’s funny to see, years later, how almost quaint it is at moments — though at the time it was so very fresh and different. But how amazingly influential! (Also: Agent Dale Cooper is forever in my book. What an ideal man!) It will be interesting to see how David Lynch takes advantage of the cable network environment to continue his saga.

Steve Jobs. These days after the Budge goes down for the night, I tend to watch TV shows because you get the pleasure of a complete story in less time than a movie. But recently I watched the Steve Jobs biopic on HBO and found myself really drawn in by it, mostly because Michael Fassbender’s performance (as well as Kate Winslet’s) is so very, very compelling. He looks nothing like Steve Jobs, but is so convincing as him anyway: he gets the voice, mannerisms and body language just about perfect, I think. I think the movie is a bit overwritten, the dramatic structure overdetermined, and honestly I could not care less about Steve Jobs as a public figure in a way — but the film was a compelling character study.

A new skirt you unexpectedly love. I picked up an outfit from Fabletics — a jacket, tank and skirt affair — thinking I’d likely return the skirt, which is a quilted black mini. (Here’s a similar one from ASOS.) And of course, I ended up falling in love with the skirt! I’m not usually a fan of quilted things — so bougie Chanel-y! — but the quilting is nice and small-scale, so it feels fresh and less ‘In Living Color back-up dancer redux.’ (Although, I admit, that is an awesome fashion concept, if anyone wants it!) Maybe I’ll do a show-and-tell kind of post next week, but I’ll just say for now that it was a nice surprising addition, the kind of thing you didn’t know you needed until you actually got it!

Slow-cooker “dump dinners.” I have to admit, this week was so hard that no amount of meal planning could save me — I was just too, too tired at the end of a workday to manage much in terms of culinary exertion. So this cookbook of so-called dump dinners for slow cookers saved me. We made a “chicken pot pie stew” and it was hearty, filling and yummy. Basically you toss two cans of cream of chicken soup, four chicken breasts, a bag of frozen peas and carrots, a chopped onion or two, 4 peeled and chopped potatoes, and a chickken bouillon cube into a slow cooker. Slow-cook on low for about 6 hours and — bam! — stew! (I added half a bag of cooked egg noodles at the end, which made it even more filling.) Not the healthiest, but someone you just need creamy comfort food.

Tom Hanks on SNL. Sometimes you just have to thank the Internet for existing, if only to provide funny videos to watch. These two SNL videos with Tom Hanks just really made me laugh. I actually could write a whole treatise on how the ‘Black Jeopardy’ skit is actually an interesting take on the intersection of race and class in America, and how quietly subversive it is for our current political climate. But honesty, it’s just funny!

And just in time for Halloween…this is just pure silliness:

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