February 12, 2011

Orange Crush

Since moving to Wicker Park, I have become obsessed with Olivia's Market on Wabansia and Damen. It is the cutest neighborhood shop with charming orange awnings and floral arrangements in the windows. This is my "go to" place to swing by right after going to Dailey Method. That's exactly the routine that I performed today. Leave Dailey Method, walk to Olivia's, and then walk out in 10 minutes containing a dark chocolate Vosges bar (today I choose a Red Fire Bar with chipotle chillies and cinnamon flavored dark chocolate), a floral arrangement of some sort (I choose fresh white Spider Mums) and some snacks and cheese. I fulfilled all of my requirements for the day, passing up the wine section since I knew my parents were coming down to give Doug and I the gifts that some people had brought us last weekend for our engagement party (some of which included wine). I love cute shops like this that keep the neighborhood charm in tact, sorry, Jewel-Osco on the corner of Milwaukee, but you loose in this category. I love the strip of Damen stores and the shops around the corners, like Olivia's. They make me love where I live more and more. Today during my visit, the lady at the register told me the new dark chocolate in stock. I actually found that flattering that she remembered me! I'd advise you stop on into this market and take a few minutes to browse the unique treats that line the shelves. You'll find something special that you love. Plus, how many shops in town offer flowers AND wine and chocolates? It's like my MECCA!

Check out their website.

Enjoy your Saturday,

February 10, 2011

Be Mine

How adorable is Kate Spade. Seriously, I'm obsessed with her new valentines. I don't really like Valentine's Day, but I think that if it's done in a way that is quirky and different, it can be quite charming and fun. I was watching Modern Family last night when Jay (Ed O'Neil) tries to trick his wife, not only does it not work, but she sniffed out his whole plan, and flipped his trick on himself sealing the deal with "I WIN!" I love it. That's something I'd say. Doug and I don't, by any means, do elaborate things for Valentine's Day, but we do have our own tradition of breakfast for dinner and a HUGE bouquet of white flowers to my desk at work {wink wink}. No I'm kidding, I don't care about flowers as much as good food {if you know me at all, this is not surprising}. Speaking of which, our tradition offers excellent meals at a lower price usually. feel free to share our tradition. I had to share these Kate Spade e-Valentines. They are fun. I have the perfect friend (bridesmaid Kim to be exact) who would particularly like the "More than Coffee" Valentine. Ironically, it's her boyfriend that may need the "Bacon to My Eggs" card, given previous Halloween costumes! I love it (they were bacon & eggs). Cheers!


February 9, 2011

Eggplant Sandwiches

I have had eggplants sitting in my fridge for about 1 1/2 weeks now, and one of my biggest pet peeves is when I leave good healthy ingredients in the fridge, so I had to use them. I was so excited to cook when I was on the bus home with Molly. Per our usual routine, we sprinted our asses off from the 56 bus to the 70 bus that was sitting at a red light. I was cooking my experimental eggplant sandwiches while waiting for my friend Liz to stop by with her husband Mark. This turned out to be hearty, delicious, and actually very healthy.

a few slices whole wheat bread (seeduction bread from Whole Foods is best)
1 tomato, sliced into disks
A few slices of mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese you have in your fridge)
1 eggplant
4 tablespoons of tomatillo salsa verde (or basically anything you'd like to spread on the sandwich, just cilantro is fine, but I wanted to use some of this that Doug had made for the Superbowl party we attended on Sunday) MIXED with Greek yogurt (about 2 tablespoons) to make a thick paste
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the eggplant into thin disks & cover with PAM or with EVOO, salt & pepper. Bake for 10 minutes on one side, take out the disks, flip them onto the other side, and then stick them back in the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes. They will be brown and totally delicious. Layer the eggplant onto the sandwich with slices of tomato, and the special sauce. I threw the sandwich in the oven because it hadn't cooled down yet (microwave could work too). Doug even liked it even though he "isn't a huge eggplant person." That makes me happy. Enjoy!

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

I have been feeling like I'm eating like a trucker the past few days and was compelled to open up my "Power Foods" book that I read about from Whole Living (Martha Stewart's healthy step child-that woman is a genius for the various facets of topics that she dabbles in, including weddings, eating healthy & unhealthy for that matter, crafts, pets, you name it). I enjoyed a fresh papaya endive crab salad with a ginger lime dressing. I love shopping for new veggies and ingredients at Whole Foods. I love grocery stores. I always have. Ingredients are below. Give this a whirl. I know it sounds like a strange mixture of ingredients, but don't be shy. It's very fresh tasting! I made this along with the second run at the risotto style barley (which came out twice as good as the first time when I left the cauliflower in the oven 5 minutes longer and also toasted the barley for 5 minutes longer before cooking it).

3 radishes sliced thinly
2 endives pitted and sliced in thin strips
1/2 a papaya, insides scooped out and sliced into chunks
1 can white crab
salt & pepper
2 limes
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 tiny pinch truvia
1 teaspoon grated ginger

Squeeze limes into a bowl. Add in oil and sugar. Whisk. Add in ginger. Then add in all sliced ingredients and toss, mixing in the crab. ENJOY!

February 6, 2011

Engagement Party

{the Goldstein + Malcolm families}

{Cindy, Gary, Jon, Michelle}

{My Wedding Party: Kate, Katie, Annie, Michelle, Jolyn, Kim}

Date: Saturday, February 5
Location: Hub 51 Green Room
Attendees: family, bridesmaids & some close friends.

Miso Glazed Salmon Rolls
Garden Beet Roll
Tuna and Thai Basil Roll
Almond Dip
Pork Mini Tacos
Fish Tacos with Baja Rub
Crab Cakes with Mustard Sauce
Mongolian Style Lamb Chops
Duck Burgers with Spicy Mustard
Vegetarian Burger
Carrot Mini Cakes
Chocolate Brownies with Cream
Butterscotch Pudding Minis

This past weekend, my parents came down to hang out, meet Doug's parents (which went really well!). We went to Sepia for dinner and then Hub 51 Green Room for the engagement party. It was a drunken time with some of the most fantastic people that I know. Thank you everyone, for coming.


Snowtorious BIG

I barely remember a snow day when I was younger, certainly don't remember having a snow day since I have worked in the city, so this past is definitely one to remember. Tuesday night of this past week, we experienced THUNDERSNOW, which was pretty amusing to me (but nothing compared to Doug or mostly any male figure that I know, who found this pretty awesome for an unknown reason) and blizzard like conditions. On top of the storm, I was sick last week and no food sounded good except for cookies, I made pumpkin cookies (they are barely cookies because they are so healthy) for munch on last night and while I worked from home Wednesday and Thursday in bunny slippers like Val Kilmer from Real Genius. Recipe below. Enjoy and stay warm!

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I used Whole Foods sugar with zero calories)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, non fat
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the pumpkin, sugar and applesauce. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to the pumpkin, mixing well. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until done.

Merci Beaucoup

I'm starting from current time, and then working my way back to the events from this past week. At this moment, I'm still drunk and sitting on my couch eating Almond Butter and Rice Cakes. I am planning to head back to bed after the engagement party success last night. What a great time with fantastic people. First order of business at 7:30am, is to rush order personalized stationery/thank you cards. I created ours from TinyPrints. What a cute site. I want them to arrive as soon as possible since, despite my efforts to disallow it, my friends are all so nice that many brought gifts last night. So thoughtful & most wine or chocolate. I started eating some of the chocolate while at my party. Classy.

{I feel very lucky to have such nice people in my life.}

I think it's important to always have a had written note for gifts. So I'm going to do my best to get thank yous out this week if at all possible. Our cards are simple, fresh and non-corny (exactly what I was going for). Also, I couldn't really do a monogram of any sort, as I am not a Malcolm yet. I was considering hand making them, but sadly enough, would rather pay someone else to do it at this point. I looked on a bunch of sites, and TinyPrints seemed to have the best prices. Despite the Martha Stewart Wedding "Idea of the Day" email I received this morning for my daily wedding related suggestion, I'm in no mood to carve out my own fricking rubber stamp with my family initials on it to complete DIY invitations. Sorry for partying Martha. I love you still but just don't have the time for that.

Cheers & THANK YOU for those who joined last night at HUB. You are the BEST.