Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Make Cadillac Nachos, Watch “Empire” & Listen To Podcasts

Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a list of awesome things to do this weekend!


  • Department Of Speculation by Jenny Offil: I want to push a copy of Jenny Offil’s transcendent, slim and revelatory Department Of Speculation into everyone’s hands. Everyone can benefit from this book. It’s the simple story of a dissolution of a marriage, but it’s really so much more, and every sentence is a tiny, sparkly gem that you want to tuck into your pocket and carry with you forever. — Megan
  • The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami: Because I love saving you money and expanding your literary horizons, it is my duty to report that Haruki Murakami’s novel The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is for sale on the Kindle store for $2.99. That’s a huge bargain. It’s a lot of book! And, it’s a really, really good book! If you’ve never read Murakami before, and have been intimidated by his subject matter, this is a perfect introduction. Get in there. Read. it. — Megan
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante:Lots of people talk a lot of smart things about Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels, which tell the story of a complicated friendship between two women, Elena and Lila.  Here, this is a smart take from Jia Tolentino at Jezebel. I am slowly working my way through the first book, and will probably traipse to a bookstore and buy the other two this weekend, if I am suddenly possessed to finish the rest. Here’s the first one, My Brilliant Friend, which is ALSO on sale for the Kindle for $2.99. That’s less than a fancy coffee. Just buy it. Tell me what you think. I intend on telling you all what I think after I make it through the trilogy. – Megan


  • “The Imitation Game” (in theaters): I saw “The Imitation Game” this weekend, and anyone who hasn’t seen it should get themselves to see it asap. The movie tells the story of Alan Turing, who invented what would become the modern-day computer and who, with the help of fellow mathematicians, cracked the code used in Nazi communications to help Britain save thousands of lives in World War II. Based on the trailer, I wasn’t expecting a very emotional movie, but it turned out to be a heartbreaker. – Claire
  • ”Empire” and “Jane The Virgin”: Here’s where I recommend a couple of shows that are currently on air, but fell under my radar and deserve attention.”Empire” is soapy, campy high drama and features Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard and it’s just so arch and dramatic and the outfits! Just watch it. Also, watch “Jane The Virgin,” for soap and camp and all the goopy-eyed romance you can stomach. Gina Rodriguez won that Golden Globe for a reason, people. — Megan
  • “Part of Me” (iTunes): If you’re looking to get yourself excited for Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show, watch her documentary, “Part of Me.” It’s corny at times but touches on some really heavy stuff in her life, and I’m not exactly diehard Katy fan, but by the end of it I was all emotional and worked up on her behalf. All the concert footage in it doesn’t hurt either! — Claire


  • Podcasts: Even though I have mixed feelings about “Serial” as a thing, it has reignited my love for soothing public radio voices. I have been diving into the rough and tumble seas of the podcast world, and come up with a couple of good ones. If you care about Southern food and its history, listen to Gravy. If you care about NPR, listen to Invisibilia, which covers all the stuff that’s “invisible,” like thoughts and feelings and expectations. If you care about how your longform journalism sausage gets made, the Longform podcast is full of really meaty interviews with writers. That’s so many things! You could spend all weekend doing nothing but listening to podcasts. – Megan
  • Ne-Yo, Non-Fiction: I like Ne-Yo. He is like The-Dream, but less leery and sexual, sorta. He has a new album out, so if you like your R&B smooth and dance and like the kind of R&B you listened to in high school, like Jagged Edge and 112, then try this out. —Megan


  • Peanut Butter Cup Martini: I tried a peanut cocktail last week that basically just tasted like a dessert, and I can’t remember exactly what was in it, but this peanut butter cup martini looks even more delicious. Make yourself a few during the big game – who says you can only drink light beer during the Super Bowl? — Claire
  • Nachos: There is a bar near me in Williamsburg called The Commodore that is dive-y, with really good food, nice drinks, and a back patio that perpetually smells like chlorine. It is a wonderful place. They also have the best nachos I have ever had. Imagine my delight when I found this recipe for their very nachos, from their chef, on Saveur. I will be making these this weekend for the Super Bowl, and will also maybe make them once a week because they are really, really that good. —Megan
  • Vegan Whole Wheat Waffles: I’ve heard of people making protein pancakes, but healthy waffles? That one’s all new to me. I like to try easy recipes on the weekend because they make me feel a disproportionate sense of accomplishment (“I made this with my own hands! On a day off!”) that totally tops the diner breakfast home fries I eat roughly every other Sunday. If you’re looking for a cozy weekend breakfast that’s actually good for you, try making these vegan whole wheat waffles and chia berry sauce. – Claire