Flaming Orange Peel

Yesterday was much better than Tuesday. I still had a ton of stuff to do but I took a more relaxed approach to it and all was good.

This is a pretty long post so if you are only going to read one section I highly recommend the “Happy Hour” section. I’m just so impressed by the bartender!

Breakfast

I was determine to have a good morning so I stopped at Starbucks before I stepped foot in the office.

Can anyone translate the “chicken scratch” on my cup?

(answer: I ordered a grande half pump, skim milk, pumpkin spice latte)

I wasn’t sure if the latte itself would start my day on a happy note so I paired it with a Pumpkin Scone. I really enjoy the combination of these two so it’s no surprise that it totally hit the spot.

Lunch

Ceres was calling my name. The Wednesday’s specials are drool worthy.

Chicken Tortilla Soup: no cilantro, cheddar cheese, crisply tortilla

Loaded Veggie Salad: broccoli, carrots, pea pod, cucumber, celery, cauliflower, red pepper, mixed greens with a raspberry vinaigrette

Happy Hour

I needed to do some shopping at Whole Foods after work. I could spend hours looking at all the goodness Whole Foods has to offer. However, my husband does not have the same enthusiasm when it comes to grocery shopping so I dropped him off at the Bar next door. I look forward to Whole Foods and P looks forward to reading his kindle while having a cocktail. It works for us;)

After I was done with my shopping I met him at the bar, Binny’s. We ordered a cheese, almond and bread platter. I can’t remember the name of the cheese but it was dreamy. I commented to the husband that it’s been along time since we had some really good cheese!

I wasn’t sure what to order for my cocktail so I asked the bartender to make me a cocktail of his choice. I knew I didn’t have to worry what he would bring me because he is by far the most knowledgeable bartender I’ve ever met! He not only knows a lot about all kinds of alcohol but he takes pride in the drinks he makes.

He chose a vodka old fashioned using Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka. Once the drink was completed he brought it over to me and then lite an orange peel on fired and threw it in the drink.

It was so cool and I thought it was just for show until I took my first drink. The fired up orange peel gave the drink a bit of caramelized flavor. Another thing it did was give the cocktail an amazing aroma. This was the first cocktail in my life (and I’ve had a few;)) that stimulated multiple senses; taste and smell. I’m telling you this bartender is something special when it comes to making cocktails!


On the way home we spotted a TV show, titled Ride Along, being filmed in Manny’s Deli.

Dinner

Quick, simple, cheap and tasty just how I like my dinners at home!

Steamed some baby carrots, asparagus and corn. Mixed the veggies in with rice and topped it with soy sauce and Cholula hot sauce.

Dessert

Yet again simple and tasty! Barney butter and Trappist Pomegranate Jelly on a hot dog bun.

I’ve been dehydrated lately so throughout the night I sipped on my big jar of water. Whenever I drink water out of this glass it reminds me of my dad. When I was little the only glass he would ever drink water out of was a big ball jar:)


Project Food Blog

Just a reminder that voting ends today. Even if you don’t want to vote please check out my submission here. I think it sums up me and my blog perfectly!

Question:

Have you ever been really impressed with a bartender? Where were you and how did they impress you?

Dog Tired

Work has been crazy busy these last couple months. This lead me to make poor food choices and sit on my butt all day long (aka, no exercise). I really need to learn how to avoid stress eating!

I’m determined to turn things around so I’ve started packing my lunches the night before my work day.
Lunch
Today’s lunch bag consisted of banana, sandwich thin and Barney Butter.

What else would you do with these ingredients but make a banana peanut butter dog:)
Dinner
Patrick and I stopped at Ceres for a cocktail before heading home. I had a raspberry vodka with a sugar free red bull:
About mid-way through my cocktail my stomach started to grumble and I was instantly in a bad mood. I’m one of those girls that gets really pissy when I don’t have food in my stomach.
First up, cup of the best tasting chicken tortilla soup:
The soup was so good that after my husband had a bite he ordered a bowl for himself. YUM!
A salad was featured on the daily specials menu and it had my name written all over it.
Ingredients:
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pea pod
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Red pepper
  • Mixed greens
  • Blue cheese
  • Raspberry vinaigrette
I loved that all the veggies were cut up into bite size pieces. It’s just like I make my salads at home but better because I didn’t have to do any chopping:)
All mixed up:
Delicious and just what I needed!
Exercise
When I got home I put on my running shoes and went for a training run. I’m training for a 5K taking place in October. The run went really well which I attribute to the salad and cool fall weather.
Now, I’m off to use my foam roller to work out some soreness and take a cue from my pup and hit the hay!
Question:
What type of weather do you prefer to exercise in?
Fall is the perfect weather for me!

BLACKHAWKS WIN!!!

I spent the evening watching this:
Chicago Blackhawks Hockey!!! This series has been difficult for me to watch. I’m a competitive person and I really wanted Chicago to win this win. I can’t even begin to explain how much anxiety I’ve had watching all these play off games! But in the end, all the anxiety is worth it cause the boys have won it all!!!
As I sit here typing this post I’m surrounding by sights and sounds of the hockey win. I look outside my window and see buildings lite up with red lights and “Hawks” outlined in high rise windows. I can hear people screaming with joy and car horns blaring in the city.
The scene at Wrigley was crazy. Tons of people flooded the streets when the Hawks won:
All those red dots in the middle of the picture are of people in the street:) I’m getting so old. I would rather sit on my couch and celebrate by blogging and taking pictures of my TV than heading out in the crowds. Oh well, I did enough crowded parties in my younger years:)
I’m so proud of the boys and can’t wait until they are back in their city!
Breakfast
My favorite oatmeal from Caribou. Maple crunch:

Iced Northern Lights Vanilla Latte:

Lunch
My lunch time consisted of going to Target and spending more money than I should have. This is an issue that I always seem to have whenever I step foot into that store. I just love it!
Walking back to the office I stopped at Subway and picked up a spicy italian sandwich:

Veggies, yum:

Happy Hour
Patrick and I stopped in Ceres to have a cocktail. I had my usual raspberry vodka and lemonade:

Dinner
We had dinner delivered to us tonight because I wasn’t about to miss one second of the game due to cooking or anything else for that matter.
I wanted something Chicagoy (yes I know that is not a word). Deep dish pizza from Giordano’s was in order:
My plate with a slice of pizza and a bit of pasta:
I had 2 pieces of this deep dish pepperoni pizza. These slices are so big that I really only needed to eat 1 but I was starving!

Baked mostaccioli as a side dish…holy carbs!

The humans in the house were getting a treat tonight so it was only fair that the furry creatures in the house got one as well. We’ve found (the hard way, don’t ask) that pizza doesn’t sit well in their stomachs so we got them bully sticks:

Both humans and furry creatures are sitting happy in this home in Chicago:)

Question:
Do you ever find yourself getting anxiety over sporting events you aren’t participating in?

Crazy People …

And this time I’m not the crazy person! Tuesday’s bus ride into work was an interesting one. A woman on the bus was letting everyone know some fact’s (according to her) that she thought we should know. According to the crazy lady:

  • Angelina Jolie is just like Drew Peterson. She should be in jail because she steals peoples babies.
  • The government has no right to take and give away babies they find in dumpsters. They have a duty to find the babies mother and give the child back.

Those above statements ARE NOT from me, they are those of a “crazy” woman on the bus. She had all kinds of stuff to educate us on but those are the 2 that stuck with me. Public transportation is definitely not for everyone, you have to put up with a lot of stuff sometimes.

On to my Tuesday activities and eats:

As with any other workday I needed some caffeine in the morning. It was so hot out I couldn’t even think about consuming a hot coffee and we were out of iced coffee so I opted for a Dr. Pepper:


Lunch

My husband and I had a lunch date today which started off with a Farmers Market visit! We got some purple potato, leafy greens and cheese. I have to tell you the cheese at this years Farmers Market is amazing. It is so good that I’m going to do a separate post telling you all about it!

After shopping we decided to try out a new (to us) place. It was located down this alley:

Roly Poly which specializes in Rolled Sandwiches, Soups and Salads:

They have many options for hot or cold rolled sandwiches. I opted for the Roll Your Own option. I filled out the form to let the kitchen know how I would like my sandwich:

My sandwich contents:
  • White tortilla
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Provolone cheese
  • Smoked turkey
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Green pepper
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Delicious and filling!

We shared a Asian Pear Green Tea Snapple to drink:

Happy Hour

I new I was going to meet my husband for drinks after work so I made sure to bring a bottle of water. This way I could keep hydrated while drinking my cocktail:

The husband and I met at our place, Ceres, and I ordered a raspberry vodka with lemonade:

Those of you who enjoy cocktails must try this drink. It is the perfect summer cocktail!

Dinner

While waiting for our dinner to arrive I snacked on some of the pickles I bought last week at the Farmers Market:

And the main dish was a burrito from Flaco’s Taco’s:

I really do think I’m addicted to this place. I just love the burrito and taco’s they make. I could eat them everyday but that is not good for my wallet or waistline!

Question:

What type of water bottle do you have and would you recommend it for me to purchase?

I really need to purchase a water bottle. I don’t want a plastic one and I don’t like that the sigg bottles have such a small opening. I feel I wouldn’t be able to clean it. Looking forward to recommendations from all of you!

Not Your Typical Tuesday – Chicago Farmers Market

This morning was a typical Tuesday morning. Wake up after hitting the snooze about 5 times which always makes me late but I will never learn. Fight my husband for space in the bathroom. After throwing my weight around in the bathroom it’s off to fight my husband for space in the closet. We really should get a routine down so our morning are less hectic, what do you think? lol!

Walk the dogs, wait for the bus, get on the bus and deal with all the things that annoy me while riding the bus. Get off the bus and walk to work where I will be sitting in a cube for 8 hours. But wait, this Tuesday was different! As I was walking to work I spotted tents set up in a plaza:
Finally, after a very long winter, the Chicago Farmers Market in the loop are open for business! I don’t think I can even put into words how excited I was to see such a wonderful sight. It’s amazing how seeing some fruits, veggies and flowers can turn my Tuesday around!
My first purchases this year were some Rhubarb (which I have no idea what to do with) and Italian Garlic!
I was very happy to see one of my favorite stands. They sell all kinds of great canned items. I picked up a jar of dill pickles that I may or may not have opened the moment I bought them.
I also purchased some cheese:

Breakfast

I packed my breakfast today but once I got to work I decided I wanted something different. It was pretty cold and windy out so I needed something warm. I opted for a 1/2 cup of hash browns:

With, my favorite, Salsa Del Sol Jalapeno Hot Sauce:

Snack
My mid-afternoon snack ended up being what I had packed for my breakfast. Pineapple Chobani or as my husband says Cho-body. Cause you know Chobani makes Cho-body look and feel good! Okay, I will stop with the silliness!

Topped with some fantastic tasting granola:


Love this combination. The yogurt and granola are so filling!

Lunch

After shopping at the farmer’s market I stopped by one of my favorite sandwich joints, Potbelly’s. I ordered a Turkey with lettuce, onions, extra pickle, oil and hot peppers on my sandwich:

I don’t usually include oil on my sandwich but this time around I forgot to tell them to hold the oil. I will not make this mistake again. I didn’t like the taste or the greasiness the oil gave, my otherwise perfect, sandwich.
Happy Hour
My go to summer drink, Raspberry Vodka and Lemonade:
While enjoying my cocktail I had a half bowl of buffalo chicken soup:

Dinner
Started out really healthy with some lettuce, sunflower seeds, carrots and a vinaigrette dressing:

After the salad the health factor went downhill. A couple boneless buffalo wings were consumed:
As well as a couple slices of pizza with peperoni and green olive toppings:

What a busy day! One of those days where you do a ton but it feels like you accomplished nothing:(
Blog at ya later!
Question:
What do you make with Rhubarb?
I’ve never had rhubarb and don’t know the first thing in preparing it. Any recommendations would be fantastic!