Thursday, June 26, 2014

The perfect meal...every time.

My husband and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary on Tuesday and enjoyed a delicious dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants, Fire and Wine , located in downtown Glen Ellyn. After a leisurely long dinner we walked a block down to Blackberry Market where we shared an amazing blackberry brownie and latte. I cannot say enough good about the food at these two places. If you are ever in the area please check them out!
This Grilled Romaine Salad (we always split it ) is the best I have ever had.

I am a pizza nut, so though there are countless mouthwatering dinner options I almost always get the Sopressata Pizza. Spicy, garlicky, onions, cheese and all on the perfect pizza crust.

The Blackberry Brownie is not only huge (you can share and still have left overs) but it is delicious. I am not usually a huge fruit and dessert fan, but this brownie is one of the exception. Also, coffee from Blackberry Market is always a good idea.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

5 frivolous facts about me

1. I love how old clocks look-my house is full of them and I don't care if they work or not.

2. I have a thing for decorating with beautiful old books. The colors, textures and designs of them are breathtaking and one-of-a-kind.  
3. I would always choose a bath over a shower.
4. I adore pasta
5. I wish where I lived allowed you to push the envelope with fashion choices, but alas there is none of that taking place here.
**I would enjoy hearing five frivolous facts about any of my readers. Comment below if you are willing to share. **

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Current Favorite: Izze Drinks

image taken from here

I have always enjoyed Izze drinks and pounced at them whenever a person served them at a special gather. However, the price point seemed a little too steep for me to justify purchasing them for an every day drink. Recently however, on my first trip to Costco with a friend, I discovered them for sale in huge packs at a reasonable price. I bought a pack and am entirely addicted now. (addicted=considering a Costco membership for the purchasing of Izzes alone) The combination of being pregnant and it being Summer makes the enjoyment of a special (pregnancy safe) drink in the evening even more desirous.  Any flavors I just have to try?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My thoughts on air conditioning

Air conditioning probably seems a strange topic to talk about. It has been on my mind lately since we just had ac installed in our home. And though we have only lived in this house (and therefore without ac ) for about a year I have become aware of some of the absolutely wonderful things not having air conditioning has given me.

   Our house is positioned in such a way that pleasant breezes are easily found. I live with the windows open as often as possible and now find comfort in the sounds of the world around me. People opening and shutting their car doors, lawn mowers, kids chatting, or screaming or giggling about who knows what, the sound of birds, wind, cars driving past, feet walking...there are countless sounds outside and something amazingly tranquil about letting those sounds waft into your home. There is a world happening and far too often when we shut our windows all we are left to hear and think about is our own little lives.
   Only a handful of people use their front porches where I live. WHY?!  My guess would be that from the vantage point of an ac filled house the front porch might seem a little sticky and hot. I get that feeling-that ac induced belief that anywhere without ac is misery incarnate. Without the lure of ac the front porch quickly becomes another room in the house. Few things feel as luxurious as sitting on a porch. And I really mean just sitting there. It feels like vacation (probably because the only time many of us do it, and when I say do it I mean fully take in the pleasure of it) is on vacation. Shame on us. Porches should be used as often as possible, especially because the more we are outside without defined agendas the more we actually interact with the humans we live by. But I will try not to get on that soap box right now.
  I have learned to appreciate how open windows force both self awareness and awareness of others.  I have heard my neighbor chatting away on a business phone call, a baby boy crying as his mother attempts to rock him to sleep in their backyard, college students screaming late in the night over some crazy dare...and it reminds me that people are living lives around me. I know this sounds obvious but how often do you stop and think about the people going about their day to day in the house next door to you, or across the street from you? I rarely use to think about it. Now I see it as a win when I am reminded of lives being lived around me. It connects me with them even though I am in a separate house. I like sharing the contentment of my neighbors as she gently sings to herself while looking over her flower garden, or the bond I feel with every mother wrangling her children out of the car, attempting to get to music lessons on time. The sounds remind me of how human we all are.
   The reality that I can hear others forces the truth that others can hear me as well.  How do I sound? Did everyone just hear me yell at my daughter about that silly thing? Do our house sounds lift others' spirits or make them cringe? It is good to reminded that the world can see you and the choices you make. Be they wonderful or horrible, be they selfless or selfish....we like to pretend we can insulate our lives enough that only when we want to be seen and observed we can be. I mean who wants to be the mom seen crying over the hurdles of the day, or the person gossiping about so and so-no we like to come outside polished, put together and near perfect. And we aren't. I am thankful not having ac has taught me a bit more about myself and the people I live by. Now go open up some windows.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taste of Wheaton

And a good time was had by all.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Delicious Iced Latte

Make it. Drink it. Love it.

Ingredients: Milk, ice, espresso, sweetened condense milk

1. Fill cup with ice and pour in milk
2. Put a large tablespoon (more or less depending on taste) over the ice and milk. Stir all together.

3. Pull your espresso shot(s)

4. Add to the drink, marvel at the beauty of espresso and creamy milk. Add a straw and sip.

So good, so simple. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Frittata, Frittata, Frittata

I am enjoying the types of dishes found in this new cookbook my sister has given me. Too many times I find cookbooks that seem to be writing recipes for a demographic I have never met. I live in a world where there are (almost) constantly three small ones asking something of me, so to be able to read a recipe and execute it is about all I can do.  Recipes that require reading through it 5 times before being able to grasp what I am suppose to do (let alone have the budget to purchase the ingredients)  puzzle and shock me. Who, besides the Marthas of the world have time for that? NOT ME!

 Thankfully this recipe book is straight forward and simple. We love that right?! After making it today I was thrilled to discover it is super fast, easy to adjust to your specific likings and delicious. (we devoured the whole thing) Triple win. I have taken a few liberties with the recipe and will include my notes alongside the original.

Taken from "Dinner, A Love Story" by Jenny Rosenstrach

Total time: 25 minutes
everything prepped and ready to go

1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chopped onion or shallots ( I used half of a yellow onion and it worked wonderfully)
salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced into "coins" like thick potato chips ( I used small golden potatoes since my grocery store had no time I will cook them in two batches because the potatoes were one of our favorite parts and I want to amp them up)
8-10 grape tomatoes, chopped (I sliced them in half and squished them when cooking)
1 garlic clove, minced (the recipe does not tell when to add this, so I added it with the tomatoes)
2 cups washed and roughly chopped fresh spinach ( I used fresh basil...heavenly!)
4 eggs ( I always add one or two extra eggs when making dishes like this because I feel like it adds more fluff and rounds it out better)
1/3 cup crumbled feta, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 Tbs chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives ( my chives had gone bad by the time I got to making this so I omitted the herbs)

Preheat the broiler. In a cast-iron (or ovenproof) skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt and pepper and cook about 1 minute.

Push onions to the side of the pan and add the potatoes in a single layer. ( I would recommend removing the onions at this point and added them back when you place the tomatoes in. I burnt mine a bit due to me wanting my potatoes really crisp. ) Cook another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy and mostly cooked through. Add tomatoes ( and garlic and onions-if you removed them) and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the spinach to the pan and stir until the leaves wilt.

time to add the extra cheese and pop it under the broiler

Whisk together the eggs, cheese and herbs in a small bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir lightly to make sure the spinach and potatoes are evenly distributed. Let cook without stirring for about 2 minutes. When the eggs are mostly cooked around the edges, sprinkle more cheese on top and transfer to the oven. Broil for 1-2 minutes (sounds is perfect!!) until eggs are cooked on top and cheese is slightly golden. Serve cut into pizza-like wedges.
finished...and smelling so insanely good!
Please let me know if you try this and what modifications you make. Enjoy!