V-day

February 15, 2011

Hi everyone. I hope you had a warm and loving Valentine’s day. I really dislike it when people say that Valentine’s day means nothing but a holiday for greeting cards. To me its a day to bring our focus to the present and allow us to take stock of whats most important. I spent a lot of the day thinking about how much I love my friends, family, and all the little animals in my life. It’s easy to forget that love does not require money or things. And if it does than maybe that’s not love at all. This year Trent and I agreed no gifts. We didn’t even do cards (which is rare because I’m kind of a card fanatic). We considered Saturday to be our V-day celebration since Trent works late during the week. He met me at the train when I got off work and we walked to a restaurant in our neighborhood. It was low-key, burgers (mine veggie of course) and beer. It was fantastic. We gobbled it up before I even thought to take a photo. After dinner we really wanted to see Blue Valentine. I’ve been waiting to see that film for over a year. But it was sold out so we ended up going to a book store, walked around talking about all the books on our to-read list, and bought a gift for our nephew’s upcoming birthday. It was such a simple, quiet night just how we like it.

Although we said no gifts and we officially celebrated love day on saturday, Trent surprised me with these beautiful flowers and my favorite wine.

I wanted to surprise him with something special so after reading this post on one of my favorite blogs Secret Pocket I decided to make Trent homemade peanut butter cups from a recipe I had been wanting to try for a while. They were not easy to make and certainly not the prettiest things but still really good and rich. Trent’s reaction: “WOW, how will I ever eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup again?!”

I got the sweetest surprise in the mail yesterday. There was a card with no return address in a bright pink envelope. I opened it up and it was a funny, sweet card signed ‘Menard’ (our cat). Of course I can spot my mom’s handwriting from a mile away so I knew she had addressed and sent it but I was a little surprised because she doesn’t really get into cards. So after a little investigative work she confessed that it was actually picked out and purchased my step-dad. My family knows how much I adore my cat. I thought it was so thoughtful to pick out such a card but I wasnt too surprised because my step-dad Ted happens to be one of the most thoughtful, wonderful men you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. Officially he is my step father but in my heart he is my dad. Because I am me, I had to have Menard pose with the card for a quick photo. Poor cat!

In the spirit of the day, let me get mushy here and say thank you to all of my readers. I am always surprised when people comment or I read the stats and see that more and more people are reading. Thank you!

In other news, we survived the Chicago Blizzard of 2011. And yes that deserves capital letters. We are now experiencing a warm up and melt down. Its beautiful and soggy. I am getting closer and closer to returning to the beach and I could not be happier.

I took this photo last Wednesday. It’s the building across the alley from us and I was shocked at the size of this icicle.

Remarkably this monster is now gone. A sure sign that we are warming up for spring.

Did you watch the Grammy’s? I am still elated that Arcade Fire won. Their album “The Suburbs” has been in heavy rotation on my iPod and I am so happy that their brilliance was rewarded and recognized.

Have a good week!

Fajitas!

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)

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.

 

Lunches and…

May 28, 2010

Hello. I hope everyone is well. This is a quick blog but I will try to be back again soon. I have tried some new items lately and I cant wait to blog about them. We are now seriously counting down for the big move. Time is going so fast and we are so excited!!

I have had a couple really great lunches lately and I thought I would share.

The BEST Chinese food I have had in a very long time. Broccoli in Garlic Sauce with steamed rice from a small place downtown. So good that I had to go back a few days later and get it again.

Salad with veggies and Roasted Veggie Soup with a Tazo peach tea enjoyed outside in the sunshine. The perfect, most delightful lunch.

and…

Rusty! He is the doggie of my in-laws and we got to visit him recently. He is so sweet and funny.

Trent and Rusty. So cute!

(source)

I have been listening to a lot of Laura Marling lately. She is amazing!

Weekly Beauties…

May 3, 2010

There are a lot of little beauties that have made me very happy in the past week and I would like to share them with you:

This band

Silversun Pickups!

Trent has loved this band for a while now. I listened but nothing ever clicked until this week. I am now fully obsessed with them. Their music is intense and really exceptional. Their album “Swoon” has been on serious repeat.

I had lunch with my good friend Abby today. We chose Indian food and it was so delicious. I was happy to have lots of leftovers to enjoy for dinner.

Pineapple makes me very happy. It is now in season and so heavenly.

I eat so many pineapples in the summer that I have my own system of cutting them in record time. Fresh is always better than the pre-cut.

I cannot wait to wear these dresses!

Recent very lucky garage sale finds:

Great condition, my size, only $2!

Perfect for my new Chicago kitchen!

Vintage Clutch only 50 cents!

I love unique pottery

I found this fabric last week. I’ve been making it into very cool crafts.

Best cat ever. He always makes me happy.

Have a lovely week! Good luck with finals to my school friends!

Vampire Weekend in Ohio!

March 30, 2010

Last night T and I went on a little 3 hour road trip to Columbus Ohio to see one of my favorite bands Vampire Weekend. It turned out to be a really great evening. The indie bands we love never come to our area so we are forced to go to them. We love going to new cities and seeing shows at different venues. Last night’s show was at Lifestyle Communities Pavillion. This is a great place in what seems to be a really great community of art and music. Before the show we had  a very lovely dinner at a bar called Press Grill. It was small and dark with tasty inexpensive food and excellent service.

View of the city from my car window

I had an open-faced veggie sandwich and onion rings. SO GOOD!

One of my onion rings was heart-shaped!

T and I shared this insanely rich and yummy chocolate cake.

I really liked this yellow wall. haha

Vampire Weekend!!

The show was great. The sound was great. I had a blast singing and dancing to every song. The trip was a total success!

Annie

July 8, 2009

So this is my first blog on here and I’m still navigating my way thru it all. I thought I would start with a video of a genius artist that constantly has me in a state of awe and inspiration. Annie Clark of St. Vincent is a gem. She reminds me to exercise the creative being inside.