Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chicago Lately...

end of summer through most of fall...
fall fall fall
Fall in Chicago is well celebrated. Can't you see why?
fall
frida
My Halloween costume - Frida Kahlo! She is one of my favorite artists and I am constantly inspired by her work and words. This was my ode to her. 
shake shack fall
We have a Shake Shack in Chicago! I fully understand what all the hype is about. It's conveniently located next to a movie theater, so every time I want to see a movie, I'll just have to go to Shake Shack too. 
clark
halloween halloween
I was Rosie the Riveter for work Halloween - didn't want to scare the young children with my Frida unibrow. 
wrigley
Ended this summer with a Cubs game - I'm walking distance from Wrigley Field, so it was about time I checked out a game. 
buckingham fountain
Buckingham Fountain
wrigley fall
calligraphy
Art exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center
kate spade
simple words to live by at Kate Spade
belle jasmine
Halloween throwbacks to my childhood

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Caprese Tomato Kale Soup

Caprese Tomato Spinach SoupSoup season is upon us! So I'm kicking it off with flavors that are reminiscent of a summer staple (because I'm just not over that it's over) - Caprese Salad. This is a tomato based soup made hearty and healthy with kale - topped off with fresh mozzarella and basil. Yummm. 

Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

32 oz. Fire Roasted Tomatoes
16oz grape tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
10oz bag kale, stems removed
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella
Fresh basil

1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.
3. Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes and grape tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.
4. Add the stock and kale, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. (You can puree part of the soup to thicken it)
5. Serve with mozzarella and basil. 
Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Sunday, November 16, 2014

back to San Francisco

...ended the trip in San Francisco, one of my favorite cites EVER
fillmore
Since this was trip #4 to SF, we wanted to explore uncharted territory (for us). Checked out the Fillmore District - lots of great shops, plus a park with a view.
Hayes Valley
Hayes Valley - a little gem of a neighborhood, I HIGHLY recommend spending a whole day here. All independent, local shops - plus there is an entire bakery devoted to bread pudding?!
Hayes Valley fillmore
Hayes // pre-Indian food
Hayes Valley Hayes Valley SF
my mother in her favorite city
Hayes Valley SF Hayes Valley
Hayes Valley SF
One day I will live in you, California. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sonoma & Napa

now onto California wine country...
pumpkins
Sonoma and Napa really get into the Autumn spirit, even if the leaves never change. 
napa
view from Sterling Vineyards
fall
grapes pom
oakville grocery
Must eat: Oakville Grocery! Best sandwiches and salads - perfect for grabbing and picnicking with some wine. I need to recreate these sandwiches soon...
peju
Peju Winery - beautiful tasting room, art and sculptures throughout the property
bouchon
How could we not stop of Bouchon Bakery? My nails even matched. Not pictured: chocolate dipped French macaroons. Yountville, where Bouchon is (as well as French Laundry and Ad Hoc) is a very impressive/neat area to explore. 
peju
peju napa pejusunflowers sunflowers
fall
If you're visiting: The downtowns of both Sonoma and Napa are very charming/historic, but I gotta say I was most impressed with Healdsburg - it has so many great shops, galleries and restaurants.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mixtape Monday: What I am Listening to and Why

Currently on rotation:

1. Fade Away - Susanne Sundfør (This song is spectacular, makes me want to dance all over the place. Can't wait for the new album.)

2. Heart - HAERTS (I have been waiting 2 long years for this album to come out, and it was worth it.)

3. I'm Callin' - Tennis (I think I like this band more now than ever, loving their new 70's vibe.)

4. Pray to God (feat. HAIM) - Calvin Harris (great running song)

5. Got Love - Tove Lo (another good song for the gym)

6. Another White Dash (birthday version) - Butterfly Boucher

7. Another Drug Deal of the Heart - The New Pornographers (such a true phrase)

8. Higher - Lila Ices

9. Be the One - HAERTS

10. Black Lemons - Generationals (80's to the max)

11. Wide Eyes - The New Pornographers

12. First Time Caller - White Lies

13. Continuum - Young & Sick (for fans of: Washed Out and iamamiwhoami)

14. Let Go - Saint Savior

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lemon Chicken and Israeli Couscous

Lemon Chicken and Israeli Couscous Lemon Chicken and Israeli Couscous
There's something about an aromatic Middle Eastern stew that is so comforting. Maybe it's my wanderlust to go back to Morocco, or perhaps it has something to do with a past life...

This dish is not that difficult to make and has that stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Lemon and turmeric take the place of spiciness, making it all the more flavorful. 

Lemon Chicken and Israeli Couscous
adapted from this recipe
 extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 lb cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 strips lemon peel (2 inches each), or more
Pinch of turmeric
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 lb frozen peas, thawed

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add couscous, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and return skillet to heat.
2. Cook chicken, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, reserving drippings in skillet.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, lemon peel, and turmeric, and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Return chicken to skillet. Add wine, and cook for 4 minutes. Add stock, salt, and couscous, and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender and chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in peas, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Serves 6
Lemon Chicken and Israeli Couscous
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