October 2010

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Some days you need a little bit of comfort food and today was one of those days. I found this simple and yummy recipe for the classic staple egg salad. This sandwich will forever remind me of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Each Tuesday, Mitch would faithfully bring Morrie his favorite sandwich, egg salad of course. Morrie would immediately dig in and speak with mouthfuls of the stuff while bits of it spewed from his lips. He made no effort to contain his energetic zeal. I love this small showcase of Morrie’s passionate attitude. He squeezed the life out of everything he did and enjoyed it to the fullest, whether it was eating a sandwich or teaching sociology to a classroom full of college kids. If you’re looking for a good book that will warm your heart, give Tuesdays with Morrie a whirl.

Morrie’s Egg Salad

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt [or use mayonnaise if you prefer the flavor]
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Palmful of chopped chives
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 piece of whole grain bread, toasted

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, now mash with a fork. Stir in the chives. Place a scoop of egg salad on bed of spinach on toast and there you have it!

[recipe adapted from 101 cookbooks]


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We’ve been so very lucky with the weather this fall. It’s been wonderful to stroll outside and soak it in, all while fending off the impending doom of winter for another day. We’ve had an October full of gorgeous, bright, sunny days with just the right amount of chill in the air. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I won’t have to bundle up for Halloween festivities. Temperature for Saturday looks like highs in the low 60s and partly sunny, perfect for a night out on the town.

I love the bright bursts of color dotted throughout the trees in my hometown. The country air is sweet and the storybook views are breathtaking.

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Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year, is only four days away. This year I’m dressing up as Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, white pleather jacket and all [in case you need a visual, check this out]. In honor of Mr. Rooney ["ROOONEY!"], I decided to whip up some coconut macaroons, a.k.a. macarooneys. These crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside coconutty wonders were the perfect light bite to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although they look pretty fancy, don’t be deterred, they were a snap to make.

Edward Macarooneys

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • one 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, cold water, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium-high het, stirring to dissovle the sugar.

In a medium bowl, combine the syrup with the bag of shredded coconut and let cool. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites and vanilla until foamy and thick; stir into the coconut mixture. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto each of 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden [about 15 minutes], switching the pans halfway through. Let cool completely on racks.

[Recipe courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine]

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I’m so not a morning person. It’s a constant battle for me to get out of my comfy, warm bed in the wee hours… I’m always craving just five more minutes. I wish I could be more like my dad. He practically tap dances out of bed and bounds down to the kitchen for his breakfast [I wouldn't be surprised if he slid down the banister on the way]. We are polar opposites on the morning person spectrum. He is the lovable, slap-happy, on cloud-9 type, whereas I’m more of the grumbling, eyes glazed over, running into the doorway, living dead type.

That being said, I think there is hope for me. There are some mornings when I’m actually excited to leave my bed, and this was one of those mornings. Around 7 AM [!!] before my workday began, I resisted the urge to crawl back into bed and, instead, headed to the Green City Market.

The Green City Market [on the south end of Lincoln Park] is one of many perks of living in the city. I love being able to hop on a bus and ten short minutes later arrive at a bustling tented village teeming with families, farmers, chefs, and delicious offerings. Everywhere you look there is something tasty: baskets overflowing with delicious, crisp apples – quarts of bright, juicy tomatoes. There are stands where you can buy fresh maple crepes and cinnamon apple tartlets. You also never know who you may run into – a number of Chicago’s famous chefs [like Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat] love to stock up on seasonal goods for their restaurants at this very market.

Breakfast shown below, an apple-cheese danish from Bennison’s [plus a sprig of rosemary on top] with some cranberries.

Not quite a morning person yet, but I’m getting there.

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[d.a.e.s.]

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This weekend I got to spend some much-needed quality time with my sister who surprised me with a birthday visit. We had a lovely ladies weekend from start to finish: we got mani/pedis, we ate delicious meals, we sipped some wine, and, of course, we shopped ’til we dropped.

One of my favorite finds was this Itsy Bitsy Bag for just $18 from Francesca’s Collections on Halsted. I love the snazzy gold chain-link strap and the go anywhere, ready for anything crossbody style. Although teeny, it’s just big enough to hold the essentials. The funny thing is, I must have been subconsciously looking for a similar version of this $228 wonder I’d been fawning over from Marc by Marc Jacobs. Can you point out the pricier find?

Aside from the gold chain, you’d have to do a double take to tell these two apart. They even share the trademark Marc by Marc Jacobs turnlock, and yet the one on the left was a staggering $210 cheaper [almost enough for this pretty retro KitchenAid Mixer in a mod shade like pistachio].

I also snagged these little gold bow earrings for a mere $12 [also at Francesca's Collections] that suspiciously mirror these pricier Marc by Marc Jacobs studs [$38]:

[the look...

... for less]

Without meaning to, I landed two charming copycats for a fraction of the price.

PS: I also picked up this pretty bauble from Mint Julep on Armitage [bad news: that location is closing, good news: everything is 20% off, plus their Southport store is alive and well]

Have a lucky day everyone!

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Yippie! Today is my birthday! I know I sound like a twelve year old but birthdays have always been celebrated as a special day in my family. Every birthday growing up, we’d wake up and scurry downstairs to see the kitchen decorated with a big “Happy Birthday” banner and find the kitchen table set with the special birthday tablecloth. We’d eat cake for breakfast and bring giant frosted cookie cakes to school to share with everyone. It was the best.

For the first time ever, this year my birthday has morphed into a birthday :week: ! I celebrated with my family this past weekend while I was home [complete with not one, but two cakes], last night Vince + I went out to dinner, then this weekend my sister planned a surprise visit to Chicago. Maybe everyone feels bad for me because I’m inching towards my late-twenties [which, I know isn't old but it sure feels old]. So tonight I have a work event that I’m looking forward to, and after that am planning on meeting up with some friends in from out of town.

Last night my honey, ahem, + I …

[honey {+honeycomb} purchased at patterson fruit farm in chesterland, oh]

… went to the most amazing restaurant: Browntrout at 4111 N. Lincoln [North Center neighborhood]. The place was perfect for a quiet date night. Dimly lit, good crowd, wonderful service, and best of all – delicious food. Browntrout has a great thing going. They specialize in sustainable, locally farmed, and organic dishes. While I don’t necessarily go out of my way to find restaurants like this, it’s always a major plus when I end up at one.

We opted to have our server pair each dish with a drink, a first for both of us. I was impressed by how well each drink and dish complimented one another; it made each bite taste even better. We shared the Pommes Frites [w/three dipping sauces incl. gruyere fondue...heaven). I had the Wild Burgundy Snails, I can't remember the name of the fish I had for dinner and it's not listed on the site.. eep.. but I think it was bass, yum, and for dessert I had the Butterscotch Creme Brulee. Vince had the Illinois Corn Risotto, Idaho Golden Trout, and Fallen Chocolate Souffle. They pretty much had to roll us out of there.

[ready to dig into the trout]

[bass {i think} w. saffron sauce]

We really enjoyed ourselves. Browntrout, we’ll surely see you again soon.

Thank you loved ones for a star-studded 26th,

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1. sequin studio sweatshirt $168 in heather stone [my wardrobe-go-to, the sweatshirt, all dressed up!]

2. wool bell skirt $79.50 in henna [this feminine skirt is flirty yet office-appropriate. i love the unique silhouette and unexpected pop of color.]

3. alecia suede platform peep toes [was $265] now $198 inĀ  pumice stone [i've had my eye on these since their debut several months ago - gorgeous]

4. braided chain-and-pearl necklace $118 [i never spend this much on costume jewelry but this is just too pretty to ignore]

Oh no, they’ve gone and done it again. If you’ve haven’t checked out the J.Crew Fall 2010 collection yet, go go go. I’m absolutely smitten and want every.single.thing [a girl can dream...].

If there’s one thing J.Crew does well, it’s make high-quality essential pieces that stand the test of time. Their collections consistently range from super affordable [$10 cotton tanks] to obscenely luxurious [$1,200 wool poncho - yikes] but there’s a sweet spot for everyone, no matter how much, or little, extra moola you have to spend. This fall I’ll be doing lots more browsing than buying but it’s still fun to window shop!

[bonus: 20% off women's apparel orders of $150+. use code shopfall.]


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I’m pretty excited. I received the new iPhone as a gift and I love it. I haven’t experienced the issues with dropped calls [yet] that everyone’s been talking about but there will surely be issues with reception. Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to AT&T’s patchy [that's putting it mildly] service. Rumors are swirling that Verizon will be picking up the iPhone in January but that particular rumor has been around since the birth of the iPhone several years ago. Who knows when that change will take place, I hope soon, but ideally it will be two years from now right around the time my contract is up.

I once took a tour at the Merchandise Mart and we rode in an elevator about a mile underground. I legitimately had better reception [meaning: two bars] a mile underground than I did at my apartment in metropolitan Chicago [zero bars]. Someone at AT&T please explain this to me.

[photo via we heart it]

To all the ironies of technology,

Z

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I love taking pictures. There is nothing better than having once-in-a-lifetime memories captured forever. I recently invested in a new camera and put it to work on my trip home this weekend. This will, without a doubt, become my new obsessive hobby [it already has].

By the way, fellow Chicagoans, if you’re on the market for a new camera or just want to poke around a camera shop, I highly recommend Wolf Camera at Clybourn + Sheffield. Ask for Josh M., he was so very helpful and honest. In a word, my experience was fantastic. I’ll be back for some of the [free!] classes that came with my camera purchase.

Here are some of my favorites:

[vintage dior blazer that my brother used to wear in middle school. it fits perfectly and is coming home with me. thanks evan!]

[brigham our trusty, cheese-loving chocolate lab]

[beautiful birthday cake a few days early]

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