24 January 2012

The Bagel

Ever since I was a little gal, my family has been practicing the art of dining at Jewish delis. One of our all-time-favorites is The Bagel on Broadway, with its fast moving servers, stainless steel tables, and red vinyl booths. When I was younger, I'd often order the corned beef hash with fried eggs and hot cocoa. My tastes haven't evolved much, though occasionally I stray for a lox platter with an everything bagel and cream cheese. Oh, and instead of the cocoa, I'm drinking coffee.

bagel lox Lox, cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, cream cheese, everything bagel, pickles, and coffee. 
Because, to put it simply,  I want my breath to smell as terrible as possible before noon. 

The atmosphere hasn't changed a bit over the years, the place looks and feels the same. In a time and place where restaurants come and go with the seasons, I have to say it's almost a relief that places like the Bagel not only exist, but persist to offer classic dishes, quickly, in a no-nonsense manner, and always with a side of pickles. calry bagel I've had the pleasure of eating here twice in the last month with sorority sisters from Knox, and let me tell you, it is such a treat to be able to share old traditions with new friends. Not to mention, we all grew up eating here and can now continue to dine in each others' company. Most recently, I ate with Carly, and it was an absolute blast. We were laughing non-stop! And after, we popped into Hanig's Footwear for wool socks, and left the store with discounted Hunter wellies for $30, because they were the display shoes - naturally, we loved the deal. hunter wellies

23 January 2012


For New Years Eve, the ladies of the Holiday Inn graciously hosted a party in our new digs. It was the first time we had a large gathering of guests, and my first time throwing a bash in my adult apartment! Naturally, I went overboard with food-prep and last minute shopping, but am glad to say I only had one major meltdown before the countdown. All in all, it was a great night. Thanks to the folks who dropped by to ring in the new year with us!!
the spread: ikea meatballs, spinach dip, booze, roasted zucchini dip,
tortilla chips, bacon wrapped dates, bruschetta, brownies

R1-01174-009A Waka Waka in the living room

R1-01174-005A Maya, the hostess with the mostess!!
R1-01174-003A Rachel, Ben, Matt, and some random photobombing dude
R1-01174-013A Spencer and Rohan killing it at DIY Karaoke in the living room.
R1-01174-007AClare, Lynnette of make-space, and Meghan
R1-01174-011A Ben and Rachel
R1-01174-004AR1-01174-010ADe Soto Bros in fine form
R1-01174-002AMoriah of Moriah's Midwest documenting the party
R1-01174-006AThe Royal Couple

22 January 2012

Summer Corn Chowder

I made this chowder last summer with fresh corn from the farmer's market, and loved it so much, that I made it twice. What's great about this recipe is that it is one of those soups that gets better overnight in the fridge, and tastes good both cold and hot. It combines lovely fresh summer flavors with a bit of spice from the hot peppers. Well into the thick of winter, I could use a bowl of this right about now.

 This recipe, like most of the ones I try, popped up in my googlereader. It's from the food52blog, which is a blog composed entirely of reader submissions. Each week, readers contribute their recipes, and then the recipes are voted on. The winning recipe is the recipe of the week, hence the name food52. Food52 recently released a cookbook made up of their winning recipes over the course of a year, check it out!

And now, without further ado, I give you Summer Corn Chowder!
  ingredients Ingredients serves 6
6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into half inch pieces
1 small onion
1 medium poblano, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 medium boiling potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground all spice
pinch of sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
1 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Cooking instructions
1) Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs at about half their depth. Then, using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the bowl to release all the "milk"; set aside.

2) In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.

3) Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeƱo and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, allspice, sugar, bay leaf and the reserved corn kernels and their "milk" and stir well. Cook over moderate heat until mixture begins to sizzle.

4) Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cream and milk and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon and parsley.

Note: This soup is labor intensive to prep, it's a lot of cutting/seeding/peeling/shucking, etc. I suggest doing this with a partner, so that you don't get too exhausted! It can also be made vegetarian by simply excluding the bacon and sauteeing the vegetables in olive oil rather than bacon fat.

shuckingcorn off cobsoup and melon Bon appetite!!

21 January 2012

2012 Goals


cook my way through a cook book
eat all of the food i buy // consume less
read one book per month
drink more water
get into a yoga routine
start painting again
go to synagogue once a month
slow down // lower stress levels
eat out less
see a movie once a month
tackle small tasks immediately rather than procrastinate

write one film review per month
write one restaurant review per month
post one recipe per month
post one outfit post per week
guestblog for other bloggers
host guest bloggers on edie and andy
increase readership
make business cards

visit family in california
visit greta in boston
visit adam in iowa city
visit lexie and kelly in galesburg
visit friends in nyc
visit friends in kcmo
take a trip with spencer
visit a state i have never been to

write more letters
send more care packages
continue round robin with kappas

13 January 2012

what is a week-end??

Finally caught up with pop-culture, twitter, AND tumblr and started to watch Downton Abbey.

I don't regret this decision for the following reasons: 1) Titanic; 2) Sexual Tension; 3) British Accents; 4) Maggie Smith; 5) Textiles; 6) "Modesty"; 7) It's a fancy soap opera!; 8) The Laura Linney; intro 9)Mr. Bates, whom we refer to as "Masturbates"; 10) Banter from the servants

 I know what I will be doing this "week-end". Catching up on Downton Abbey!

Tabitha's Sloppy Joes

Last night I had the pleasure of making Tabitha's Sloppy Joes. After seeing her post last week, the idea of eating homemade sloppy joes was planted in my head like Inception, and I just couldn't shake it. So after work, Spencer and I make an expedition in the snow to get the ingredients for what might be one of my new favorite recipes. I like my SJ's sweet, so I added an extra tablespoon of brown sugar. With a slice of cheese on top, this delicious sandwich had me traveling back to the lunch counter at Maid Rite in Galesburg.

 Thanks for sharing Tabitha!! And keep the amazing food posts coming!

11 January 2012

2011 A Year in Review

Upon entering 2012, I thought it'd be good to revisit my 2011 New Years resolutions and goals, just to see how many of them I was able to accomplish.

With regard to my Career and Education Goals, on paper, you could say I failed miserably. I did not take the GRE, apply to graduate school, apply for a job in Pittsburgh, or put together my Real World audition tape. I know, how tragic. In reality, I developed contacts and connections in the local art scene that are incredibly important to me, and in the long run have made my life here in Chicago feel more rooted. Additionally, my time as a temp paid off - after over a year of hard work, I was offered a full-time position at the Art Institute of Chicago!! While grad school is still in the back of my mind, I'm pretty content with where I am right now, and I'm looking forward to growing and learning in my new role at the museum.

Holy mole did I put a lot of things on this list.
- I did in fact re-do my room, only to move out shortly after the project was completed. Was it worth it? YES, 100%. And knowing that I was able to achieve a majority of it without anyone else's help (or funding) was incredibly empowering!
- I am pretty sure I was able to read a book a month, if not completely on a rigid schedule. I even blogged about some of them!!
-As far as snail-mail goes, I'd say I made a pretty decent pen-pal in 2011. I even did a fun holiday mailing, which based on the positive feedback, I think I'm going to try to do annually!
-The blog has done really well this year! My goal to be more diligent with my entries paid off, I doubled my blog posts this past year! I also bought my domain! But the best part definitely would have to be the amazing people I have met through Edie and Andy, and the meet-ups I've been able to attend. Readers and bloggers, you rock!
-Go to the beach in a bikini, I know, what a strange goal. I remember buying my first bikini being a rite of passage for me as a teenager, but over the course of the last few years I've been relying heavily on one-pieces and cut-offs as a way of covering up. After some reflection, I realized, I'm only 23! And I'm tiny! So for the first time in years, I bought myself a new bikini that I rocked the entire time in I was in Cuba!! And I looked fabulous.

Going away to college resulted in my losing touch with some close girlfriends from high school. And following college graduation, I fell out of touch with some gals from college! I've been in touch with my lady friends, and am happy to say we are still amicable!

-I visited Adolfo in Germany.
-I visited my friends in Kansas City.
-I visited friends in NYC.

While I didn't achieve every goal on the list, I feel as though I accomplished so much in the last year. I took over my room, did a major closet overhaul, and kept up the blog. I started writing restaurant reviews, writing and photographing with Randolph Street Market, and contributing to make-space. I moved out, got a tattoo, was offered a job at a museum I love, and am dating a boy that makes me really happy!! 2011 was a complete success, and I'm so lucky for all of the opportunities I have had, the friends I have made, and the places I have gone.


05 January 2012

An Object of Beauty

Last month I read Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty. As a self-proclaimed-art-affcionado, a long time fan of name-dropping artists and galleries, and a lover of books with pictures (see: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and my entire career as an art history major) - it should come as no surprise that I adored this book. Lacey Yaeger the protagonist is both heroic and pathetic all wrapped into one, but let's not summarize or generalize here. Steve Martin creates a character inside of a somewhat realistic depiction of the expanding art world from the 90's to present day, always shrouding the conflicts and triumphs in a blanket of wit and humor. Names and characters come and go mirroring trends in the art world. Place is just as much a part of this story as the people in it - New York City, and the definitive art neighborhoods within, Uptown galleries versus the Downtown scene. Where you are is just as important as who you are. And when factors in just as much as well, as Lacey deals with the aftermath of very real current events including 9/11 and the collapse of Wall Street in 2008.

If you have a moment, love art, and possess a sense of humor, you will truly love this book. Not to mention, there are lovely color reproductions to tantalize you...

04 January 2012

Highlights from The Publican

Back in the fall, I had the pleasure of dining at The Publican to celebrate my sister's 25th birthday. I brought my camera and snapped some shots of what we had, though of course these photos are backlogged. But I'm a firm believer of the motto better late than never - so it's about time I share photographs of these delicacies with you.
mari publican Nestled into the industrial setting of Chicago's meatpacking district, this place is where you go for delicious meats and charcuterie - so it's go big or go home. If you're in Chicago and looking for a serious meal where you know exactly where your meat and produce are coming from, come to the Publican. The servings are family style, big, hearty, and completely for sharing. The dining room is open, and the long group tables promote fluidity in conversation. The woodwork is beautiful rustic craft, and if I have the opportunity to dine here again, I'm for sure requesting one of the private booths. As far as the food goes, I'd say my favorites hands down were the oysters, the prosciutto platter, and the pork belly.
eggfries_prosciutto oysters publican steaks

03 January 2012

art on the walls

art walls After living in our apartment for two months, we finally installed some of our framed art. In honor of the new year, we also hosted our first party, which was a total hit. It was great having friends over, though I was not anticipating the serious dance party that erupted post-countdown. What a treat to have a place for friends to eat, drink, and be merry. Not to mention how much I loved overhearing party guests talk about what a cute apartment we had!! :D smiles all around.

 Kudos to my roommates :)

02 January 2012