Since I first wrote up my 30 before 30 list and hung it on my fridge back in June, I have made it a third of the way toward accomplishing goals #9 and #10: Cook 30 new recipes and read 30 new books before my 30th birthday. Here are those recipes and books, for the record, and in case anyone’s interested in checking them out!
I’ve rated the recipes on a scale of one to five stars:
* = yuck, ** = meh, *** = okay but nothing special, **** = pretty good, will probably make again, ***** = yum, yum, delish, will definitely make again
- Greek chicken stew with cauliflower and olives from NYT Cooking ****
- One Pot Red Lentil Chili from Minimalist Baker *****
- Poulet a la creme from Sur La Table ***
- Asian lettuce wraps from allrecipes.com*****
- Pork tenderloin steaks with wilted cabbage and apples from the Food Network ***
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal from Cookie and Kate ****
- Creamy tomato basil tortellini from TipHero *****
- Cajun Chicken Pasta from allrecipes.com *****
- Shakshuka from Tori Avey *****
- Salmon Alfredo Pasta from RecipeTin Eats *****
Books I’ve read since making my 30 before 30 list:
- Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad. Read this if… you read The Great Gatsby in high school and found yourself thinking, “Every character in this book is a dysfunctional hot mess but I can’t look away and I don’t even know why I like this book but I kind of do.” (I should point out that you will find more punkrockers than roaring twenties speakeasiers in Goon Squad.)
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah. Read this if… you want to dive into complicated questions about race, culture, and identity while reading the work of an author who writes so beautifully that you’ll almost feel disappointed when you get to the last page.
- Malcolm Gladwell, Blink. Read this if… You like learning more about what drives human behavior and this fascinatingly weird world.
- Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican. Read this if… you love beautiful memoirs that read almost like fiction.
- Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake. Read this if… you’re wrestling with questions about identity, or you’re interested in stories about immigration, coming of age, navigating multiple cultures, and finding oneself.
- Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men. Read this if… you’re into fantasy, fairy tales for grown-ups, and/or funny phrases in Scottish accents.
- Terry Pratchett, The Shepherd’s Crown. Read this if… you liked The Wee Free Men and want to find out what happens next. (It’s not quite as good, though.)
- Lois Lowry, The Giver. Read this if… you like dystopian novels that make you think. This book is basically Brave New World for kids.
- Jean Kwok, Girl in Translation. Read this if… you like stories about immigration, coming of age, and overcoming challenges. The last couple of chapters will have you cheering out loud, then holding your breath, and then feeling all the feels.
- Ngugi wa Thiongo, A Grain of Wheat. Read this if… you want to know more about African history and literature because it was woefully neglected in your high school curriculum.