Category Archives: food

food

On The Grid

October 9, 2016

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The nice thing about being new to a city is that you’re forced out of your comfort zone – whether you like it or not. Everything is new. Restaurants, bars, neighborhoods. You have to relearn everything. You have to find a new go-to pizza place, a favorite coffee shop for studying, a no-brainer Thai place.. you know, the important things.

We’re still in the trenches of finding these forever favorite places, but believe us, we’ve been doing our research. For pizza, so far we’ve tried Black Sheep, Pizza Luce and Punch.. none of which were mind blowing (sorry Minneapolians), we were so spoiled with pizza in Chicago. (Miss you, Coalfire).

Luckily for us, we’ve met a lot of people who love to recommend their favorite bars and restaurants. I have a running list of places to go, which is great. I also came across this website called On The Grid, which has guides for basically all cities, Minneapolis being one of them. The website breaks it down by neighborhoods and recommends restaurants, shops, museums, etc.

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And of course I took at peek at the places it recommends in Chicago. Whoof was that painful. I’ve been missing Chi so, so much. I felt like a sad ex-girlfriend while I was looking at the Chicago guide. It’s like looking at an exes Facebook page.. you know it will only make you more sad but you do it anyways. Or like listening to sad music when you’re already bummed.. Why do we do that to ourselves?screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-5-42-24-pm

 

Missing Chicago is hard, but it definitely helps to be somewhere that has so many great things to offer. There is no shortage of good food or alcohol. Just yesterday we went to Tattersall Distillery and it was incredible.

Hopefully this helps any of you who are exploring a new city as well, or if you just need some new spots in the city you’ve always been in.

xox, e

food

Let’s Talk About Groceries

March 22, 2016

It’s so interesting to know what other people buy for groceries, what there go-to snacks and meals are for the week. I’m that creep in the grocery line that sneakily glances into other people’s carts to see what they’re buying. Anyone else?

I recently came across this video showing how different people would spend $100 on groceries. It’s fascinating!! Don’t you think? The college student who spends $50 on pizza pockets.. hilarious!! Too real.

Since I’m so interested in this I thought that some of you might be too and might want to know how Sam and I buy groceries for the week.

Usually, we go grocery shopping for the week on Sundays and our go-to place is Trader Joe’s. I make a very detailed list (#Virgo) of the food we need for the week. I plan it on 5 days of breakfast for both of us, 5 days of lunches for both of us and about 4 nights for dinner (we usually go on a date night one day during the week and eat out on Friday and Saturday). Without fail, our grocery total usually ends up being between $65-$75.

Here are the usual suspects on our grocery lists (we are creatures of habit and typically eat the same meals from week to week, changing it up occasionally for dinners):a6832de0-1d57-4cd1-95c7-9ec11710f343

PRODUCE:
Bananas
Frozen fuit (for smoothies)
Broccoli
Cauliflower (we love roasting these with garlic + olive oil)
Green beans
Spinach/some sort of leafy green (perfect for smoothies + salads for lunch)
Beets (my fave! Sam, not so much)
avocado (we make guacamole at least once a week)
lime
lemon (I’m so into lemon + hot water right now)
Sweet potatoes
apples
grapes
Black beans

MEAT/DAIRY:
Chicken breasts (I usually make shredded chicken in the crock pot every week)
Sausage (we love the spicy Andouille sausage from TJs)
Ground turkey
Eggs
Soy milk
Cheddar cheese (Unexpected Cheddar from TJs is the best)
Soy creamer (my fave for coffee)

OTHER:
Some type of cereal or oatmeal (gltuen-free, usually)
Gluten-free crackers
Tortilla chips
Corn tortillas
Pico di gallo
Almonds
Cashews
Quinoa
Lara Bars (my favorite afternoon treat)5c08f541-48f5-412f-9def-6241e2ad821f

Obviously this changes a bit from week to week, but the list above are our go-to’s! You also might notice that most everything we buy is gluten-free. This is a relatively new thing. I’m trying to eat less gluten to see if it helps with my energy and overall mood. I’ve been inspired to change my eating habits thanks to this INCREDIBLE book I’m reading, The Mood Cure. I’m going to talk more in-detail about the book soon!

The good thing about Trader Joe’s is that there are SO MANY gluten-free items, and they make them very clear on the packaging. They also have a list of all their gluten-free options on their website.

So tell me, are you obsessed with other people’s weekly grocery shopping too?! What are your staples for the week?

XO, E

food / travel

My Favorite Chicago Coffee Shops

January 21, 2016

Best Coffee in Chicago

 

It’s here friends. The cold tundra that is Chicago has arrived and we’re all wondering why we live in such a place (this photo explains the feeling exactly). For those of you brave enough to leave your cozy apartments within the next two months, I’ve rounded up my favorite Chicago coffee shops. Bundle up and head to these gems, they’re so worth it!

Chicago Coffee Guide

  • The Coffee Studio: My favorite spot in Andersonville. Also, BONUS, there’s a really great colorful wall across the stress for ideal photo opportunitiesFullSizeRender
  • The Perfect Cup: This spot is extra cozy. Keep in mind that the wifi isn’t great here. BUT they do have board games! So bring a friend to play a game, or a book to keep you company while you sip on a delicious coffee.
  • The Grind Cafe: This is a new favorite spot of mine. I’ve only been to The Grind for a quick cup of joe in the morning, but it’s so cozy and I can’t wait to bring my laptop here and hang out for a few hours. If you’re in Lincoln Square you’ve gotta check it out.FullSizeRender-2
  • Heritage Bicycles: Where can you go to get your bike repaired AND get a delicious cup of coffee? Heritage! Or, if you’re bike-less like me, you simply go for the sweet vibes and yummy drinks.
  • Osmium: This is a pretty cool spot on Belmont. The art on the walls is reason enough to go to Osmium. It’s so funky and cool.
  • Next Door: Perfect if you’re trying to get some work done and need a bit of inspiration. There are always young people in here working on some sort of project. ND is extra cool because they offer a bunch of FREE classes. The crepes are amazing and they often have free live music on Friday nights. I can’t say enough good things about Next Door!
  • Floriole: What isn’t there to love about Floriole? Their pastries are everything. If you can, either get a seat in front by the huge windows (there are always dogs walking by) or grab a seat in the back. They have a huge window into the kitchen so you can see the pastry chefs at work. yum yum yum.

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  • Asado: Specifically the Pick Wick location in the Loop. This teeny shop is located at the end of an alley that was used as a horse stable before the Chicago Fire. So cool!_MG_3074
  • La Colombe: Such good vibes and coffee at La Colombe. There are multiple locations, but I think my favorite is in the West Loop.Sprudge-Eric-Perez-BT_Pilsen-6-740x494
  • Bow Truss: The inside of the Bow Truss shops are just plan COOL. And the coffee is amazing. Win Win.

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  • Intelligentsia: Probably the most well-known Chicago coffee shop. I frequent the Broadway location most often, but the Logan Square spot looks super cool. Get a latte, Sam swears by them.
  • Dollop: Specifically the one in the Loop. They have crazy yummy drinks, like a s’more mocha  and vanilla nut lattes. A lovely pick-me-up! Especially if you’re in the hustle of the loop.

What are some of your favorite coffee shop, friends? I’d love to know! Feed into my coffee addition!

xx

food

The Best Brunch Spots in Chicago

August 18, 2015

the best brunch spots in chicago

 

Is there anything better than weekend brunch? The answer is yes – weekend brunch in Chicago. Chi is doing it so right with all of its incredible brunch options. There are so many places in this big city to get your eggs and bloody mary’s, so I thought I would create a list of the best brunch that I’ve had in Chicago. Happy Brunching!

Over Easy (Ravenswood): I have to mention Over Easy first because it’s the brunch spot that I go to most often and honestly my favorite. Located in the northern neighborhood of Ravenswood, Over Easy provides an extensive menu with so much variety. Every week there are 4-5 specials, one of which is always a special benedict. The best thing to get at Over Easy? Without a doubt is the Sassy Eggs. It’s potato, egg + guacamole goodness. A few things to know about Over Easy – There will most likely be a wait and you’ll have to wait outside (although there is complimentary coffee while you wait) and there are no espresso drinks on the menu, so go to Starbucks beforehand if you need a latte fix. Trust me, this place is SO GOOOOD.

The Bongo Room (Uptown & Wicker Park): The Bongo Room is a pretty well known spot, and for good reasons! If you go to the Uptown location, try to sit outside. The back patio is lined with a fence of plants and flowers. Also if you can, get there right when they open at 9, otherwise you’ll be waiting for a table for a while. Anything from the “sweet” section of the menu is incredible. The tea selection is also really great with options like Toasted Almond. So much yum!

Summer House (Lincoln Park): This is the spot to go with a bunch of girlfriends and take photos. Seriously, this space is so pretty and airy. I want my home to look like it! If you can, try to sit in the Vitamin D room. The ceiling is made of glass and the light it lets in is so great. The menu is a knockout as well. The Morning Sandwiches are really good and they have a full bakery with endless sweets. I recommend taking a cookie to go.

Big Jones (Andersonville): Delicious Southern cooking in the Swedish neighborhood Andersonville. Oh my Goodness. Firstly, get a latte. It’s one of the best lattes I’ve had. Secondly, when you go on the weekends, you’re given complimentary beignets. Is there anything better? No. For the main dish, I think the corn griddle cakes are incredible and Sam recommends the Gumbo Ya-Ya.

Tre Kronor (Albany Park): Albany Park might not be the most convenient spot to get to, but trust me, Tre Kronor is sooo worth it. Tre Kronor is traditional Swedish breakfast with menu items like Pannekaker, Swedish pancakes with lingon berries. The restaurant itself is nestled inside a two story home, making it so warm and inviting. Make sure to get the raspberry danish and latte to start! And after your meal, visit the Sweden Shop next door! It’s my second favorite part about going to Tre Kronor (after the danishes).

Homeslice (Lincoln Park): Normally I would not recommend a pizza place for brunch, but Homeslice brunch kills it. First things first, your bloody mary is served with a tiny slice of pizza on top. Incredible. If you are craving a sweet, indulgent breakfast, order the french toast sticks. They’re served with ice cream making them brunch and dessert all in one. If you aren’t feeling so decadent, I recommend the pulled pork hash. The menu isn’t extensive, but the bloody mary alone makes this place worth it.

The Publican (West Loop): A somewhat classy, German farmhouse is how I would describe The Publican. There’s a lot of meats and cheeses on the menu, and it’s oh-so good. It has to be if it’s located in the West Loop, right? Most of the seating is communal, so get a coffee, the crab scramble and make friends with the people sitting next to you.

xx

food

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

November 6, 2014

Hi friends.
There is nothing I love more than baking cookies on chilly weekends. And since the first snowfall in Chicago took place on Friday evening (not very appreciated because of Halloween costumes with not enough fabric), I thought this was the perfect time to bake some cookies. 
I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies and they were oh-so-good.

 

 

Oh, that’s weird. Someone ate a cookie and ruined the photo. I wonder who did that…

 

Here are some tips I have for making these cookies perfection:
  • The recipe calls for one cup of chocolate chips, but I would suggest adding closer to a cup and a half. There can never be too many chocolate chips
  • Use wax paper to line the cookie sheet. This is really a tip when baking basically anything. The recipe calls for an un-greased cookie sheet. But I’m telling you, wax paper makes your life sooo much easier. Trust me.
  • The recipe calls for about a 12 minute bake time, depending on the size of the cookie. I found this to be accurate. The cookies still looked a bit doughy when I took them out of the oven, but they continued cooking after I took them out and they ended up being perfect. Really chewy and not at all dry. Take the cookies out even though they don’t look done!

 

Have you done any baking recently??
xo, E

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food

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

August 13, 2014

For the past few weeks, I’ve been in a great routine of baking on Sundays. For me, baking is such a stress-reliever but since the start of summer I put it on hold. It’s definitely not ideal to be inside, in a kitchen, with the oven on when it’s 80 degrees outside and everyone is at the beach. But, I’ve REALLY missed it and so this past Sunday I decided to make these yummy Raspberry Lemon Muffins to have for breakfast throughout the week.
Raspberries are hands-down my favorite fruit, so any baked good that incorporates them is a winner in my book. The raspberries make these muffins really moist and delicious. The only thing that I would do differently with these is to use less lemon zest. I got a bit carried away with the lemons and did about a tablespoon of zest instead of a teaspoon. Definitely stick to the smaller amount. Lemon zest goes a long way, and too much of it can cause an overpowering tart flavor really quickly. Other than that, this recipe is really simple and really yummy!

 

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

 

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients
  3. Ina medium bowl, mix together the egg, milk, butter and lemon zest
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a large spatula, quickly combine the ingredients being very careful not to over mix. Stop mixing as soon as the all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  5. the batter will be thick and lumpy. Fold in the raspberries.
  6. Spoon the batter into the greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full.Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and spring back when touched. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing then from the tin.
Happy baking!
xo, E