October 28, 2010

Last night I made a favorite in our home…Veggie Fajitas. It was extra exciting and drool worthy because I added Cilantro-Lime Rice and Homemade Guacamole with oven baked tortilla chips. It was ridiculously good. It took some work but I love to just put on some good music and sing while I cook. It’s very therapeutic. I spend a lot of time watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks. Because of this I have collected a lot of information in my head so when I make a meal like last night I just get creative. I don’t follow a recipe, I just experiment as I go. Heres a vague outline of what I created:

Fajitas: Saute garlic, green peppers, mushrooms, onions in EVOO. Season with chili powder, ground cumin, salt & pepper to taste. Finish with a squeeze of lime and a handful of cilantro.

Cilantro-Lime Rice: Prepare long grain white or brown rice. Mix in a handful of cilantro and squeeze of lime. Super easy!

Guacamole: Mix together avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro. Season with salt and a squeeze of lime.

Tortilla chips: Brush tortillas with EVOO. Cut into fours. Lay flat on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in 425 for 10 mins. I actually forgot about the chips so they got a little burnt on the edges but still edible.

I love a meal like this because each component calls for similar ingredients which allows you to really get a lot from each item you buy. I also used the leftover fajita veggies to make a couple of breakfast burritos this morning. Tasty! And I made extra rice which I will be turning into fried rice for tonight’s dinner. Double duty ingredients are the best!

I also made a glazed lemon cake for dessert. Why? Because I wanted to. 🙂

Take care everyone!!

Currently listening to: Laura Marling

(perfect for these gray, cool, reflective days of Fall)


Comfort Food

October 27, 2010

So yesterday was quite great and productive from start to finish. The Mr. worked on music. I wrote letters, organized photos, and made a yummy new meal. With the gray skies and gusty cool wind I knew I wanted to make something comforting and warm for supper. I was missing a few things and I really did not want to walk to the market in the wind. So I really had to get creative with pantry staples. I made a vegetable pot pie casserole. Instead of a pie crust I made heart-shaped biscuits. It was really a throw-in-what-I-have, learn-as-I-go type of meal. I started with a saute of onion and mushrooms. I added a roux of butter and flour and used it to thicken a can of veg stock. I let it boil and simmer until it reduced enough to make a semi thick gravy. I then mixed in frozen veggies. I would have liked to use only fresh veggies but frozen mixed veg was all I had and it did the trick. I made biscuits from a traditional recipe and placed them atop the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30. I had one huge baking potato that I used for whipped potato. It was the perfect portion size for the two of us with a little leftover for lunch. SO good! A comfort food success!

I’m hoping today is just as lovely as yesterday with less wind.

Currently listening to: Slate Culture Gabfest podcast



Hiding out…

October 26, 2010

Wow this midwest storm is a doozy. The Mr. and I are very fortunate that we were able to stay safely inside today. It’s so windy! It comes in gusts and rattles the windows. I feel guilty for saying this but…its been a very lovely day. We both retreated to our creative spaces and enjoyed some time creating. I also made a yummy loaf of vegan banana bread.

But enough about today, I really want to let you know what I did last night! My absolute favorite food blog is Smitten Kitchen. Sometimes I spend hours just going through her archive. Her photography is exquisite. She makes you want to try every recipe. I saw this particular post for spaghetti with cheese and pepper and drooled. I made it last night along with some roasted asparagus and french bread. It was divine! Simple and delicious. My husband is the kind of person that prefers tons of red sauce on his pasta so I was expecting him to be disappointed but I was so wrong. He loved it and ended up eating two big portions. Since this is so simple I recommend that you use good quality ingredients. You will not be sorry.

After dinner we took the train to see a special screening of the new documentary Look At What The Light Did Now which chronicles the making of Feist’s last album “The Reminder”. It was really beautifully shot and interesting. If you are even the slightest Feist fan or lover of collaborative art you must see it. After the film we were surprised to find out that the director was there. He did a mini Q & A. So cool!

Stay warm and safe!

Currently listening to: Lacrymosa Her voice transports you to another place.



October 22, 2010

Oh what a day I had. It was pretty monumental. So earlier this week I happened to see that Target was bringing the fabulous Giada De Laurentiis to downtown Chicago. She was doing a cooking demo and a cookbook signing to promote their new renovations. I REALLY wanted to go. I was going back and forth all week whether I should or not. I have a tendency to talk myself out of things for no good reason…not one of my best qualities. My husband on the other hand is always up for a challenge and adventure so he encouraged me to get up early and go. We both had the day off so he tagged along. (He was such a great sport standing in line with me and holding my heavy camera) The huge part of the whole deal was that Target was giving away 500 free copies of her latest cookbook Giada At Home. We got there early enough to be well within the 500 which meant I got a free book and I was fortunate enough to meet Giada and have her sign it. We also got to watch her do a cooking demo. I use the word ‘watch’ lightly because our position in line really only allowed me to see her head but I could still hear everything. It was so special. I can honestly say that watching her on the Food Network over the years has inspired and motivated me to cook. She has such an approachable style that makes you want to try her recipes. I was thrilled to have the chance to tell her what an inspiration she has been for me. She was so sweet and so beautiful! It was a magical moment.

Giada for Mayor: Pasta for Everyone

That is me talking to Giada!! I was so frazzled in the moment I didn’t think to turn back and look at the camera.

After waiting in line for hours we were SO hungry! So we went to get sandwiches at Potbelly. It was so perfect and yummy! I got the vegetarian: mushrooms, swiss, provolone on wheat.

We decided that since we had the day to ourselves we would explore downtown. We walked to the famous “bean” and the Crown Fountain. I have been coming to Chicago visiting family since I was little yet I have never been to the “bean” until today. It was very cool. Although we live here now, we spent the day snapping photos like tourist. We had a blast.

Another memorable day in this fabulous city with my fabulous husband!



October 20, 2010

So I have been noticeably gone for a while. Well I’m back. We have lived in Chicago for 3 months now and we are madly in love. It really feels like home. I’ve been experimenting more than ever with food and trying new restaurants. Sadly I get so excited to eat the deliciousness that I often forget to photograph. Here are some photos that I have taken of things I’ve been cooking up lately.

Eggs scrambled with tomato & spinach with toasted Multi-grain bread.

Bean enchiladas with fresh salsa

Cauliflower & potato curry

Noodle stir fry

Levi jeans just launched a new project that connects creative women across the world. It’s a community for creative support and discussion. I created a profile this week and encourage you to do the same. And of course you should connect with me. Its really fun and inspiring.

Shape Whats to Come


Today’s soundtrack: Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast