Sunday, May 8, 2011


Picture taken from Tomato Mountain Farm Facebook Page
So over the past year or so I've been reading all sort of books and websites and watching documentaries about where our food comes from.  All of this has led me to really think about what we are eating and it's prompted me to kind of revise what kinds of food we buy and where we get our food from... as well as baning certain 'fast food' for a more slow food approach.  Like I said, it's not the easiest method of getting food on your table but at least you know a little bit about your food... and we are hoping to get to know those who are growing it.  What a concept!

Mr. D and I have joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  We've chosen Tomato Mountain Farm and have had one delivery.  And I am so excited about it! The picture above is courtesy Tomato Mountain Farm's Facebook page... and gives you a good idea of what was delivered.  Although, it doesn't come close to the amount of spinach we got!  Our delivery came very late at night so my plans on taking all these great pictures was crushed due to it being almost midnight.  But this is one reason I really liked them... they deliver right to our door!  A lot of CSA's have a weekly pick up site, which is also great but having them deliver really works nicely for us.

This batch included, Spinach, Bok Choi, Hakurei Turnips, Head Lettuce, Red Russian Kale.  We were a little overwhelmed with a few of the items but have put all of them to good use.  Success!  Right now, because the weather is still cool, there are a lot of cold weather veggies and greens.  Which is find by me... that's the point! Tonight we sauteed turnips, kale, onions and some spices to have as a side dish with pulled pork (which was not local by any means... baby steps!).  It was delish!  Turnips... delicious?  Yep, they sure are!

As the bounty grows and changes I'll be sharing pics along with any great recipes we come across in quest to eat great food!


Saturday, May 7, 2011


The past few weeks have been so crazy!  I don't really have any good excuse for it but the cats wake us up early (at some point this is where we will include going to the gym), Mr. D eventually feeds them while i'm getting ready, we go to work (work has been nice and busy... YAY!)... the going to work could include me taking day trips to St. Louis which makes for a very long day and this part of the day always involves a long drive for the husband, work our butts off, I get home, feed the cats and clean up, Mr. D calls and says he's coming home so I start to get dinner ready, wash dishes, we eat, clean up (again!), sit and talk and play with kittens and then it's time for bed.  There is so little time for anything else.  So pile on other things like plan a vacation... with plenty of drama cause we can't do anything the 'traditional' way (we are going to Sonoma in 20 days... let the count down begin!  But had some issues with the person we were going to rent from... I think we are finally all settled now.) and look for a new condo (i'm obsessive and when I get an idea in my head that's all I focus on until it is done) and there is so little little time to do anything else!

I'm living for the weekends!  Which start on Friday evening, but the tired sets on real fast so really Saturday is our day to enjoy... but it goes by so quickly too!  So the plan for this weekend is... NOTHING.

Cause I'm going Crazy...

I hope you had a nice week and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mama's out there!  And Happy Birthday (or belated Birthday) to all of my May birthday friends and family.  I have all the cards addressed but no stamps... uggh!  I'm terrible.  I just stare at the calendar in disbelief at how may lives there are to celebrate in May.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Here's this weeks song... complements of Mr. D who found it.  And well, I love it!  I think lots of people give Beyonce a hard time because shes a 'diva' but I have to say... the woman can sing!  She has joined Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign and this video is a piece of her contribution.   I'm digging it!  It's fun and full of energy and catchy... which is the important part.

Here is a link to the original which is also fun to watch, old school dancing... too funny!

It's already Thursday... I can't believe how quickly this week has flown by.  I'm looking forward to the weekend.  We will be trying a couple new restaurants and other than that I think we will be pretty lazy.  Maybe I'll get my act together and I'll make something yummy!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My mother has been scolding me on my lack of posting so here's what we've been up to!!

We had a nice weekend full of visitors, yummy food and good ol' fashion sight seeing.  I have a feeling the Chicago skyline is something I will never tire of.  We did lots of walking... showing off our neighborhood.  Friday night consisted of wine tasting at Bin Wine Cafe paired with small plates and desert at iCream... this great little ice cream shop where they make the ice cream before your eyes, with the help of a little liquid nitrogen.

Saturday was filled with a trip to the Green City Market (I talked about it last weekend but when we tried to go we found out that in the winter and early spring months it's only open every other weekend).  It was a good opportunity to show off Lincoln Park so we hopped in the car for the market.  Everyone warned me that it wasn't very big and it will be much better in the summer... I was pleasantly surprised!  There were quite a few booths and I think Mr. D and I have found the CSA that we'd like to go with.  They deliver right to your door, which is really great for us!  After the market we took a little drive by the lake and because it was so nice there were quite a few people out and about.  We had lunch at Cipollina Deli... which was our first time there (I love getting to explore a new city!).  And then it was off to downtown!  The plan was take the El downtown and to explore a little more (which = more walking!).  We took a tour of my office, walked around Millennium Park and down the crazy packed streets of Michigan Ave.  I'd love to say that we walked all the way back home but by that time we were pooped!  Cabbed it back to the house and let me just say that I took a very long nap (apologies to our visitors)!

That evening it was off to another new restaurant named Sono Wood Fired.  (Mr. D found this list of all the hot spots in town right now so we've got reservations booked through June... Sono was one of them.)  Again, lots of food... we got apps and salads, pizzas and drinks.  It was great, I totally recommend it! 

Sunday was pretty low key... we knew a lot would be closed so we decided to have a late breakfast and see were the rest of the day took us.  Brunch at Toast (hello mango pancakes... I could eat those every day!).   A walk around the neighborhood, a stroll past our local church and then a drive around Wrigleyville... on a game day!  Pretty much the last thing we did was eat more food (as if we didn't eat enough this weekend?).  We'd heard good things about Nick's Pit Stop so we tried their sandwiches... and they were just ok.  I think we will be back for a whole chicken another time...

It was a fun weekend and the weather cooperated for the most part.  We hope the parents had a good time... but I'm convinced that Mom D's favorite part was meeting her grand kittens!  She was ready to pack Grizzy Poo in her suit case... I made sure to check that all luggage was free of fur balls before we left the condo.

Hope all of you had a nice weekend!



Lions and Grizzies and Loonies, OH MY!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


These cats get us up so early... it's kind of annoying on the weekends.  We are feeding them twice a day so they know when it's time to eat... well they kind of know when its time.  They let us know when when they are hungry and it's usually about 45 minutes before meal time.  On the weekends we just want to sleep in a little bit but it just doesn't seem to be happening.

Today Mr. D gets up to feed them, I'm also awake (it's tough to sleep with kittens meowing as loud as they can and climbing on youf head and chasing each other around the room like psychopaths) and at this point neither of us were going back to sleep (it's like 6:45, on a Saturday!).  So you know what... we went to the gym!  I was super proud of us and actually really surprised.  Now we can check that off the list for today.  After the gym we get home and of course I'm hungry.  But I'm still so proud of us so I think... I should reward myself.  With pancakes!

And that's how I negate my entire work out.  Blueberry buttermilk pancakes.

Sweets will be the end of me...

Here's the recipe I used.  I didn't make any substitutions,  but I didn't have exactly fresh ingredients... old eggs (which from what I've been reading about baking aged eggs can be a good thing) and really old buttermilk... that still smelled like buttermilk!  Lol!  So I used it and they were delish!  The perfect combination of sweet and sour, they were super fluffy (don't over mix!).  And the blueberries add a nice pop of juicy fruit goodness.  I often just jump into cooking with out thinking about it so we didn't have any syrup.  Mr. D likes naked pancakes, I settled on a little agave nectar.  Add a little fake bacon and second helping and bye bye workout!  

Unhealthy tip... use butter to grease your skillet... makes perfectly brown cakes.

Hope you all have had a great Saturday morning!


Friday, April 15, 2011


TGIF everyone!  I'm exhausted after a long week of work but i'm looking forward to some of our weekend activities.  We plan on going to the Gardens, checking out the Green City Market and trying a new fancy restaurant.  

I must say that I've really enjoyed getting back to work.  It's nice to be in such an active city, there are people everywhere and I feel stupid saying it but it's really invigorating!  

In the spirit of payday, here is a song that I find to be catchy.  I like this guys voice and the song is simple and just good.  I'm pretty sure Mr. D and I originally saw him on Conan... 

I was listing to the song on this post and I got a little sad... well a lot sad.  I think that's one of the reasons I really like music... it can bring out a lot of emotion at times (happy and sad).  I miss our big guy.  


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Their cuteness is tough to deny. 

Their orneriness is not!  Looney got in there herself... she's so bad!


And I couldn't be happier!  There are a few things that I've noticed that makes me really think that I can look forward to warmer weather (good riddance winter!) .

  1. Pretty flowers poking out of the ground and green buds on the trees.
  2. Ladies wearing dresses, with out tights!
  3. And the sun... it's out and it's out all day long!  (If that makes any sense...)
Don't you just love spring?  I'd say for the past 5 years spent in St. Louis we've really not had a spring... maybe a week and then it was HOT!  

I've heard that Chicagoans live for the summers so I'm really looking forward to that experience... hopefully all the summertime activities will provide for some good blogging!  This weekend we will be taking a little trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  I was given two tickets for this weekend so I hope the nice weather continues so we can enjoy it!  


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I have decided to publicly admit that my 'no fast food' pact screeched to a halt last Thursday.  It was my choice to eat it but it was really for the best... you don't want a really loud grumbling coming from your tummy during a client meeting.

15 months and 7 days.  I'm very proud of that number!

And I blame the client (as well as me being human and needing to eat lunch)... why couldn't they have ordered from a local sandwich shop?

Mr. D is still going strong.  And I'm back on the no fast food wagon!



I've been making our own pizza for I don't know, maybe two years now.  Before, we were big pizza order-er's (and then we made a pact to not eat fast food for a year and a lot of pizza places were on that list)... but we found out that making a pizza is super simple. But there is one kitchen gadget that could have made my life so much easier.  A rolling pin!  You know what I've been using... a wine bottle.  Seriously?  I've been wondering which came first... wine or pizza, and I'm pretty sure that it's the wine because it's just a matter of time before you realize that the wine bottle is a great way to roll out flour and watter and then add some veggies, sauce and dairy and you've got a delicious meal.

Before my job started I went on a shopping spree... getting clothes, new shoes, a bag, a Chicago card... all the things I'll need for my new life as a new member of Chicago's working force.  But I think my absolute favorite purchase had nothing to do with preparing for work... it was my new rolling pin!!!  Now pizza is super easy to make and all I have to do is drink the wine.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?  For now I'd have to say mine is the rolling pin... but I sure do like my ice cream maker...


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Do you ever do random things at the weirdest times?

This morning I have an early flight to St. Louis... just a day trip to meet the rest of my coworkers.  I'm getting ready (well before I am usually up), putting on a little makeup (got to look my best) and all of the sudden I am washing my makeup brushes.  Seriously?  Why in the world would I decide to do that so early in the morning (and I'm talking 4:45 early)?

But I suppose, now they are clean and I won't have to worry about it.

Funny things about yesterday.
1. My office is casual!!!!  Jeans casual... and that makes me extremely happy.  That was one thing I really liked about the other firm I was talking to.

2.  My boss and I were locked out of the office for a good part of the morning... we got keys later that day.

3.  I forget how tired working makes you!!! (have I mentioned that already?)  I just wanted to go to sleep when I got home yesterday.

Funny thing about today

1.  My flight was just cancelled.  Awesome.


2.  I can now say that I've seen the Shamu Southwest plane!  Only seen... not flown in.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Well, I'd like to say that it feels so great to be back at work.  Things were a little slow today but that's how it goes on your first day right?  I highly suggest everyone take a 6 month sabbatical.  It will make you LOVE to work again.  Surely everyone else gets in funk and thinks man... I wish I didn't have to work.  Well after about 6 months of no working and just talking to your cats for most of the day... a day at work is fantastic!

I took the 'El' home today and it was pretty packed... after the first stop I was able to snag a seat which was pretty awesome.  Everyone was reading on their way home.  The lady next to me was reading out loud.  So weird!!  It was more like a mumble, I didn't know what she was really saying but she was definitely making noises that sounded like she was humming the words to her book.  I'm sure I will be running into all sorts of characters during my new adventure...

Today I went to eat here... it was yummy!  I'm so excited to be downtown!!  The city is so alive...

A couple things I liked about today.

  • My walk to and from the train.  I think it will be even better when the weather is nice.  And when I start making some money, could be dangerous because all of the great stores!
  • The office I am working in is really beautiful.  I'll have to sneak a couple of pictures... they did a great job designing and building.
  • The feeling of being inspired... I hope it lasts!  I think being around all these people, in this large city, with this new exciting job is just really helping me want to do great things.  (There is going to be so much to do so I hope it doesn't get overwhelming...)
  • Coming home to the kitties... 'cause I missed them today!
  • I liked that I forgot how tired you can be after working all day... it will make spending the weekend with Mr. D that much more special.  


Saturday, March 26, 2011


So to speak...

This weeks music is kind of a theme for the remainder of my sabbatical.  I have been HIRED!!!!  I start on Monday and well... time is running out to get all the things on the 'the list' done.  It's already Saturday... YIKES!

Well, I'm sure all would like to hear more about the job... I was actually offered two positions and I say this because it's crazy to me after all of this time I have two great offers within days of each other... making my decision super difficult.  But I've decided and will be working for a firm who's headquarters is in St. Louis.  It is their plan to expand the business in the Chicago market and my experience and, well my relationship with St. Louis makes me a perfect candidate to help them grow their business here in CHI-town.  I couldn't be more excited as it's been a long few months.  I'm nervous, excited, scared, inspired... and just ready to get started!

I'll try and keep you all updated as to the progress of things and anything interesting I come across in my day to day.  This is the adventure that I've been waiting to get started!



Recently I've been addicted to watching documentaries.  I've watched some that were horrible... that I had to turn off after 5 minutes and others that I can watch over and over again.

It's sometimes frustrating, you know often watching a documentary you are really only hearing one side of the story but lets be honest... I'm most likely not going to agree with that side anyways!  I think I've been taught that knowing the full story can help you make more informed decisions... yada yada... It's not my intention to be preachy so...

Here are a few documentaries that I've found really interesting!

The September Issue - A look into all the work involved in the publication of the September Issue of Vouge... the leading trend setter in the fashion industry.  You hear all sorts of things about Anna Wintour (did you see or read The Devil Wears Prada?) and well... you get to hear her side and see it.  I thought it was very interesting...

Food Inc. - I have watched so many of these films... and my friends are probably sick of hearing about our food industry from me... but I can't help but be moved by these documentaries.  I feel like they are helping to bring to light some big issues that may be easily hidden from people... people who deserve to know what they are eating and feeding their families and where their food comes from.  Again being preachy but this is something I feel really strongly about and hope to keep learning more and educating myself so I can make decisions that I feel are right for my health and the health of my family. (End rant... but let me know if you are interested because there are tons of other great films and books out there!)

Cocaine Cowboys - CRAZY story about the rise of the cocaine trade and the violence it brought to Miami in the late 70's and 80's... about the connection to Columbia and how it all worked (in great detail) and how Miami was built and benefited because of the drug money.  And it also talks about how it all crashed down.  But the tales are just incredible... and the way the people talk about it is almost sickening... romanticizing about all the drugs, the money and greed and the death of so many people.  A film we've watched numerous times...

Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room - Mr. D and I agree that no matter how many times we've seen this we can always watch it again.  I think the idea that this actually happened is unreal.  And that they were able to get away with this fake business is just... it's insane.  And the all the money... billions of dollars.  I feel like every time I watch it I learn a little bit more about these large business and their interesting ways of disguising the books and their connection to the government all while touting deregulation.  I shouldn't judge but it should sicken you, if you are any sort of human being... lol!

Visual Acoustics - This documentary is for the architects, designers and photographers out there that have studied so many modern buildings and their photographs.  It is about the life work of Julius Shulman, a photographer who's known as the worlds greatest architectural photographer.  His photos helped popularize Modern architecture in America and his images have really become pieces of art in the eyes of many.   

Hope you will watch some of these when you have some time to spare...



I've been a bad blogger lately... and I blame it on the New Orleans trip (and a few other things that I hope to reveal shortly).  And this is me putting an end to all of these posts!!!!

Below are a few pictures from our last day (which was packed full of a couple really awesome activities).  Let's see... Marching in Box of Wine Parade, where we saw some really awesome costumes (by this point I'm starting to wonder if the locals own any normal clothing...).  Big Berth made her mark and had lots of folks in the parade and watching the parade laughing... dying laughing really!  We kept saying... "We've got a missin' person!".  After walking all the way though the St. Charles parade route we were taken to an office building where a friend of our host was throwing a little get together.  We were treated to some great homemade food and drinks and I have to say the highlight of that day was being invited to enjoy their grand stand.  We were able to see two great parades... Bacchus and Endymion.  What an experience to be able to watch the parade on eye level with all of the floats.  It was really fantastic!

So thats it... it was a trip I don't think I will ever forget.

Now... moving on to a different subject FINALLY!  (I really need to find a way to edit down photos... it's so tough!!)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


For pics of day two read more!!


Read more and see pictures of our first Mardi Gras experience!


As I said before, Mr. D and I took a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  It was such a great time... we were able to be a part of a party like no other... all thanks to our great hosts who have called NOLA home for 20 years. The locals Mardi Gras is the way do do it if you are going to visit. And now I'll just the the madness speak for itself (with a little narration, I may need to explain myself at times!).

Read more and see pictures!

Monday, March 14, 2011


                                                               Galoshes and Skirt Print - By Jen Hewett

All the ladies I see walking around Chicago sport some kind of rain boots... paired with warm sock inserts in the winter time.  Hunter's Wellingtons seem to be the rain boot of choice here... I think I need to pick myself up a pair so I can fit in to the fashion scene. And the rain is on it's way so I'd better get some soon!

I saw this adorable print inspired by the fashionable trend which you can find on Jen Hewett's Etsy shop... along with some cute other prints!


Thursday, March 10, 2011


We heard so much music while in NOLA.  There are musicians around every corner... and in every Mardi Gras parade.  If we would have stayed longer it would have been fun to bar hop on Frenchmen Street and listen to all the bands.  Another trip I suppose.

I hope to post pics today or tomorrow of our trip... there are lots to sort through!  

Hope you enjoy the music.  We sure did...


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This week we got back from an exhausting vacation!  We took a 'little' road trip from Chicago to St. Louis to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras with some friends.  Total driving time was probably about 16 hours give or take, driven in less than 24 hours.  It was a great time but we are happy to be home and back into our regular sleeping patterns!  I thought I'd take a couple of posts to talk about our trip.

First things first.  Food!  I hate to say it but we didn't really have any mind blowing food... usually on vacay we seek out some yummy eats and then rave about it later but that just didn't happen in NOLA.  I'm kind of bummed about that but I guess it gives us something to go back for.  BUT... we did stop in Memphis on the long drive and found some BBQ that definitely rivals my fav St. Louis BBQ.  It's called Tom's BarBQ and Deli and it was fantastic!

I went with my usual the pulled pork sandwich and it did not disappoint!  The rest of the group got the Rib Tips (which I believe is what was featured on Triple D).  We must not have looked like locals becuase the guy at the counter started chattin' it up with us and we ended up with what he called a sampler (more like another couple meals) of their Ribs, Bologna (also known as the Tennessee Round Steak, marinated-dry-rubbed-thick sliced-bologna) and Strawberry Shortcake.  The Bologna was good!  But the Ribs were the best I've ever had.  Needless to say by the time we walked (or waddled?) out of there we were STUFFED!

I would definitely return and suggest if you are in Memphis to check it out!

So I have to say that was the best meal of the trip... a lot of the places we went in NOLA seemed more touristy than anything.  But I guess we weren't there for the food... we were there for the party!  More on that later...


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today I had a little meeting with the Knoll reps at the Merchandise Mart.  It was just a little meet and greet set up by my very sweet previous employers.  It was nice to meet some new people and to get out and about for awhile.  Since I knew that I was going to be downtown I planned to go to a couple of places that I knew I'd have easy access to. Nordstrom Rack... hello cheap designer clothes!  H&M... because I needed some 80's fashion and Toga undergarments for our quickly approaching trip to New Orleans (the most famous US city for the days and days of Mardi Gras celebration).  I was happy to find that H&M was just adjacent to Rack.  Easy peasy.  The trouble came when I realized I didn't know where I was.  I pretty much knew how to get to these places just by my memory of previous trips but I had no idea how to find one of the big things I was looking for.  A Sprint store.  I'm pretty sure I walked around for a hour, easy (and probably in circles), trying to figure out what direction I was going and what street I needed to be on.

Soon enough I found it (and was able to purchase the power cord that I needed because one of our little monsters bit through my other perfectly fine one) but oh man are my feet tired!  It's one of those times when you just want to fall to the ground kicking and screaming like you are 4 years old again saying to the friendly looking woman in front of you, "CAARRRRRY MEEEEEE!!!!!!" (Remember you are using your best whiny baby voice.)

I didn't end up doing that but I was so close...

And I eventually found my way home but had to stand the whole train ride 'cause it was rush hour.  Don't feel too bad... it's only 4 stops!


Monday, February 28, 2011


Last night we watched Man On Wire instead of the Academy Awards.  Such a long and drawn out award show (aren't they all).  None the less I'm totally interested in what everyone was wearing.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Photo Credit:
Jason Merritt  John Shearer • Steve Granitz  John Shearer
Mila in Elie Saab • Andrew in a classic tux and bow tie • Gwyneth in Calvin Klein • Amy in  L’Wren Scott

And now to my absolute favorites!  Cate Blanchett's gown was just stunning.  It is totally different but so lovely and she wears it very well.  My second fav is Mandy Moore's gown... if I were to go back in time to my wedding dress shopping days I'm pretty sure I'd pick this gown.  So beautiful!

Photo Credit:
Frazer Harrison  Kevork Djansezian
Cate in Givenchy Couture • Mandy in Monique Lhuillier

To see more Oscar fashion click here!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


This morning, lets say late morning as I got started around 10:45, I decided it would be a good idea to make doughnut holes.  Once I set my mind on something I can't seem to let it go... drives Mr. D crazy.  Who makes doughnuts for lunch!?  I've made doughnuts with my mom a couple of years ago but she has all the right equipment so I searched for a super simple recipe... and Google chatted her a bunch of questions.

By 11:30 we had some super fresh homemade doughnut holes.  Delish!  Now this is a truly simple recipe with fantastic results.

I modified the recipe that I found here to make...

Cinnamon Sugary Buttermilk Doughnut Holes

1/3 c. sugar (plus more to coat)
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Oil for frying


In a bowl mix some sugar and cinnamon to coat your doughnut holes, set aside.  

Combine all ingredients until just moistened.  Fill a deep pot, about 3/4" full with oil.  Heat oil to 375°.  Oil your hands and a spoon and roll the sticky dough into about 1/2" to 3/4" balls (they will puff up when fried).  Place balls into hot oil and cook until golden.  Flip and finish other side until nice and golden.  Place doughnut holes on a plate lined with paper towels.  Let drain for just a few seconds and roll in your cinnamon sugar mixture.  

Eat warm and enjoy!


Thursday, February 24, 2011


Another song that gets stuck in my head.  I heart... and could listen to it over and over!  I love Matt Costa's voice.  This song is pretty poppy sounding but his most recent album has this vintage quality to it (Beatles vibe maybe?).  Anyways, hope you enjoy.

(p.s. I recently watched Get Him to the Greek and I like it!  Definitely not as funny one of my all time fav's Forgetting Sarah Marshall but had some pretty good laugh out loud - raunchy humor - funny moments.)  


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I'm loving this piece of outdoor furniture!  A human bird house / hammock / lounger... really neat-o!  I can just hear the birds chirping and feel a slight breeze, while taking a little nap in the back yard.  

Not so sure I'm up for being suspended above a creek but hey, to each their own!

And I love this idea.  I could see this at a fancy resort with servers delivering cocktails in pineapples with umbrellas in them.

Speaking of pineapples... I think I'll go have a snack!

(Photo credit:  Not sure who took these photos but the company who makes these is named Dedon and this lounger can be found here!)


Monday, February 21, 2011


A few years ago (after many cocktails with a couple friend of ours) I took to calling Valentine's Day our "Day of Love".  Totally ridiculous but still so much less commercial than V-Day! Typically we don't really do anything big for this holiday... we seem to buy things when we want them and lets be honest... shouldn't you show that you love others every time you see them?  I mean a daily supply of diamond earrings and bracelets would be nice but not exactly fiscally responsible (if diamonds are your thing). But this year I really wanted to something sweet for my love.  And the quickest way to a mans heart is his stomach right?  So I planned a fantastic dinner.

I had informed Mr. D of our dinner plans but he didn't know the menu.  It was planned for Monday, February 14th but like you read earlier... something came up and my time was a bit consumed with other things.  And cooking all day long wasn't exactly possible.  The menu was as follows...

Handcrafted Mushroom Ravioli with a Roasted Tomato Coulis
Roasted Asparagus with a Pistachio Yogurt Sauce (I served the asparagus warm...)
Buttery Bread Sticks and Aioli (Totally skeptical of eating raw eggs... YUM... and no food poisoning!)
     and for desert
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Chocolate Gelato

Can I just say that it was fantastic!!!!  Everything was made from scratch and I will also say that it took for freaking ever!  I think I cooked from 8:00 in the morning to close to 8:00 at night.  I took a mini break to eat a hot dog for lunch and I did forget one crucial desert ingredient at the store so we took a break to walk to the market.  Mr. D was on kitty patrol keeping them occupied so he was pretty clueless as to what was going on.  I think at one point he guessed I was making some sort of Indian dish... so it was fun I was able to keep him guessing.  By the time I needed to make the ravioli I had printed off the recipe and he was super hungry!  We were both ready to eat the food as we had been smelling all of the yummy flavors all day.  It really was so good and we even had some left overs to munch on the next day.  And we have desert for the rest of the week for sure... the gelato is TO DIE FOR!  It has the best recipe so if you are looking for a chocolate sweet treat and you have an ice cream maker... this is the recipe to try.


I wish I could have taken process photos of the whole thing but that would have just been way too much to handle!

So when you cook all day... do you want to eat the goodness or are you just sick of looking at it?



Sorry about the lack of blogging!  I have an adorable excuse and it involves two of the sweetest kittens!

Mr. D and I have adopted two kittens.  We found a great 'no kill' shelter really close to our condo.  They have a great facility where the kitties and puppies have their own rooms instead of being locked in cages.  The kitties are separated by age and temperament and get to roam free playing and lounging in baskets and on wall shelves or in sun spots (yep they get natural light through the front windows!).  They screen every person who wants to adopt, which some may find intrusive but I think it's a fantastic idea (you must bring every person who lives in your household to meet the animal).  It's really a great place and I am proud to have adopted from such them.  They have a great group of volunteers and staff and I'm just so envious and proud of what they are doing.  According to the PAWS Chicago website, in 2011 around 4,400 homeless pets will be adopted from their facility. And since their founding in 1997 the annual amount of euthanized homeless cats and dogs in Chicago has dropped by over 50 percent... keep it up PAWS!

Our kittens have been spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and were handled by loving pet people.

So they have been keeping me busy the past week... big time.  Oh how I forgot what it was like to have crazy animals in the house.  But it really is wonderful and they've brought a smile to both of our faces.

Please meet Luna (who is about 5-1/2 months and about 5 lbs) and Grizz (who is around 5 months and about 3-1/2 lbs).

Luna (aka Loony Tune cause she is insane) has definitely established that she is the big sister.  She will hunt Grizz like he is a bird!  We are still trying to get them accustomed to one another but I think we are about there.  She is super playful and loves to climb things.  She also loves to bury herself under the covers... crazy!  We got Luna on Sunday the 13th.  

Grizz is our sweet little guy (aka Grizzy Poo).  He is a small little man but I have a feeling he will grow to be a nice and healthy kitty because he's got a great appetite.  He is so sweet and loves to play with string.  He gets mad that his big sister gets him so easily but he's snuck up on her a few times so she will take him seriously.  Grizz was welcomed to the family on Wednesday the 16th.  


Thursday, February 10, 2011


For some reason this song reminds me of summer time and warmer weather. Something I'm wishing for right now! I don't know that I've ever been this cold while not on top of a big ol' Colorado mountain. Well, enjoy the music... I cannot believe it's Thursday! Where does the time go?

I know, the video is a little weird... what can I say.

Did I mention that it is cold and wished I was walking around Chicago's busy summertime streets finding fantastic deals on vintage furniture and artwork, stopping to pet sweet puppies here and there all while giggling at Mr. D's witty remarks about all the 'hipsters' in the neighborhood?   I picture myself wearing this gorgeous yellow sculpted blouse and belt from Anthropologie... paired with skinny jeans and boots.  'Cause that's what the kids are wearing these days!

Yes... I'm going to turn up the heat in the house... 


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Hello, my friends call me V and I am addicted to sweets.

Yesterday (while making a delicious dinner of stuffed peppers and chorizo), I decided it was time to make Raspberry Marshmallows.  YUM!  The last few months have definitely been defined by the many batches of marshmallows that I've made (successfully I might add!) and well, it's time to switch it up a bit.  Raspberry was just the flavor!  I found the recipe from the Not So Humble Pie Blog.  My success in the marshmallow world is all thanks to Martha's no-nonsense recipe which can be found here.  It is seriously so simple and the perfect little sweet treat!

I had some time before Mr. D got home so I decided to get everything out and get the process started.  I am a habitual skimmer when it comes to reading recipes.  Which often leads to some pretty thoughtful solutions to problems that could have been avoided if I'd have actually read the short recipe.  I had one little problem that arose from my skimming and it has to do with that little rascal know as a raspberry seed.  They are sneaky little suckers and can be really annoying when stuck in your teeth!

To see more of the process and MacGyver like solutions (that may or may not work)...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Image taken from Wikipedia 

Don't ask me why... or how... but I found this List of spells in Harry Potter, awesome!  We are pretty big fans over here so no making fun!

Expelliarmus, the disarming charm is my least favorite... they use it all the time and it never seems to work that well for any of them.  Let's mix it up Harry!  Voldemort totally knows that is your go-to...

It's so funny what you can find out there on the interweb.