29 February 2012

TONIGHT: AN EVENING WITH DON HERTZFELDT AT THE MUSIC BOX THEATER


The Music Box Theater will be screening a new film by Don Hertzfeldt as well as selections from his collection of work. I was first introduced to Hertzfeldt's work back in my intro to art class in high school. The first thing we watched was the Rejected series, a 10 minute collection of his work that had been rejected after being submitted for use in the commercial market. It had me squealing with childlike laughter and delight. In fact, my sister and I occasionally find ourselves quoting from the weird black humor clips, lines like "My spoon is too big" and "MY ANUS IS BLEEDING!!!!" I know, what freaks we are.

When I found out that my favorite theater was going to be screening his work AND holding a Q&A, I asked Spencer if he wanted to go, only to discover that he too LOVES Don Hertzfeldt. This guy continues to amaze and surprise me! So tonight is yet again another date night at the Music Box.

And now, without further ado, I give you: Rejected.


If you're interested in attending this event, tickets are $15, and available here.

28 February 2012

The Art of Dining, Part I: Subterranean Break Room

Anthony approached me with the idea to "eat our way through the museum" back in July of 2011. When he first told me what he wanted to do, I couldn't help but think of the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar, eating his way through all sorts of beautiful delicacies. Like the Caterpillar, we started small, and worked our way up to the grandiose.

We began in the basement break-room of my office building, which is connected to Allerton, the first and oldest building of our museum complex. The building has five floors, and it's confusing because there are two lower levels. The break-room is easily missed and often neglected because it is in the lowest part of the building. I worked here for three months before realizing that it was even down there. And to my dismay, there were vending machines, two microwaves, a giant fridge, and a cabinet full of condiments. This was quite a discovery!

Anthony and I are both big believers in the concept of bringing your own lunch to work, because 1) it saves money, and 2) our lunches tend to be better than on-the-go lunches in the Loop anyways. In the office, I'm actually known for bringing meals in jars (see: polenta, pasta, soups of every variety, beans, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, etc). It took my coworkers a while to get used to it, and I'm happy to say that it has gone from being a novelty to being "normal".

Part of the gimmick of this plan was that we had to eat something in every location - that said, we hit the vending machines to supplement what we had brought ourselves. anthony vending 
big burger vending machine
taquitos Anthony opted for taquitos, and I settled on my all-time-favorite, Flaming Hot Cheetohs. Shout out to all my 2010 AIC Intern converts! While Anthony microwaved, we rummaged through drawers, only to discover this:
condiment drawer A cabinet full of generic ketchup and mustard. I felt like we stumbled upon a treasure trove. If I ever need condiments, I know exactly where to go, not to mention this is a lifetime supply of it. lunchtime For lunch I brought cold pizza. I love cold pizza. I rarely get to eat it because between Spencer and I, there is never any pizza leftover. But here we have cold pizza, Flaming Hot Cheetohs, Fage Greek yogurt, farmer's market cherries, nectarines, and plums. I tried a taquito. It was really weird. I don't really nosh on things like that, so it was an experience. peaches These photographs were taken before the break-room was renovated. There was something incredibly retro about this space at the time. The old worn-in brown vinyl booths felt dated, but the space was cozy. The faded posters from previous exhibitions added color, but not much, given they had lost a lot of their color. The florescent lights gave everything an unnatural glow, but the space was quiet and comfy. They have since remodeled the break-room, and I have yet to check it out. But once in a while, I do find myself wandering down there thinking about how badly I would love to eat Flaming Hots, but often settling for Chex-mix since it's more "work appropriate" given that it doesn't stain my fingers atomic red.

27 February 2012

The Art of Dining, an Introduction

Back in July, Anthony, a friend and co-worker approached me with a concept for Edie and Andy, that combined my love of lunch with my love of art. Well... sort of. At the time we began this project, we were both working at the Art Institute of Chicago as temps, and to spice up our daily routines, we embarked on a project in which we would "eat our way through the museum". The project was conceptualized all by Anthony, and  had four stops along the way, beginning with the subterranean break room in the lower-level of my office building, and working our way up vertically to Terzo Piano for a glamorous lunch with gorgeous views of the city.

I like to think of it as a sort of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives but all contained within a single museum complex with much better hair and less of that thing that involves wearing sunglasses on the back of my head. I will be posting content for this project over the course of the next few days, so as Ira Glass would say, "Stay with us."

terzo piano portrait

Happy Monday Y'all

Spencer just emailed me this - and I can't really share it with anyone at work, but holy cow, I have to share it with SOMEONE. My boyfriend has perfectly combined my undying love of Titanic and my Siamese cat, Franki into what might be the best thing I've seen on the Internet in weeks. If this doesn't turn into a meme instantly, then nothing is sacred.

titanictitanic

 If you are interested in seeing what else Spencer is working on, check out his tumblr and blog.

24 February 2012

Farewell Facebook


I recently made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account. I sent the following email to all of the family and friends whose contact information I have on file.

I've been thinking about leaving Facebook for a while and for a number of reasons. I'm not using it in a way that is productive. I find that I spend hours and hours going through photographs and pages of people I hardly know, becoming overwhelmed with emotions including regret, jealously, remorse, and sadness. I wonder if I'm living up to my potential, if I'm supposed to be engaged, or working a different job, calling into question my own happiness and very existence. I know, right? Facebook was making me have a partial identity crisis in addition to being a giant waste-of-time.

That said, I'm keeping the blog and the Twitter up and running. I'm hoping that my time on the Internet will decrease, and that I will start to become a more active person. I'd like to grow as a photographer, learn to cook new things, and begin to think about some serious long-term goals for myself. I'm looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me, and I hope that all of my friends and readers will continue to follow me and show the tremendous support that they have in the past! xoxo

21 February 2012

Meal in a Muffin

Inspired by my friend Kate's new food blog,  Little Kate on the Prairie, I've decided to try sharing more recipes over here on Edie and Andy. Last week she posted a charming recipe for filling and hearty muffins that looked absolutely scrumptious! In response, I thought I'd share my family's version of a similar recipe. I tinkered with it a bit today, subbing in flax-seed for the wheat germ, banana for the oil, and chocolate chips for the dreaded raisins, but I know that the original is just as good as the modifications I made today.

meal in a muffin

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut
1 large apple, quartered and cored
1/2 cup vegetable oil OR 1 banana
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins OR 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
3 tbsp wheat germ OR 3 tbsp toasted flax seed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

1) Preheat oven to 375°. Shred carrot & apple in food processor. Set aside.
2) Process oil, eggs, sugar & vanilla with the metal blade until well blended, about 30 seconds.
3) Scrape down bowl and add carrot, apple & remaining ingredients. Pulse until just combined, 6-8 times. Do not overprocess.
4) Divide the batter among greased muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (about 20 minutes.)

Eat fresh from the oven, and spread with your favorite topping. Right now I'm big on mascarpone cheese and Earth Balance butter substitute!! Enjoy!

Yield: 12 muffins.

20 February 2012

Polenta Bolognese

Though we haven't been having the coldest of winters, I still find myself craving yummy hearty winter dishes. For dinner last Friday, I decided to whip up one of my all-time favorite dishes - bolognese sauce from the Joy of Cooking. Traditionally, this dish is served over spaghetti, but I thought that it would be fun to try it over a bowl of freshly stewed polenta. Davanti Enoteca has something similar to this on their menu, and they prep it at the table, stirring the hot tomatoey sauce into the steaming creamy polenta on top of a wooden board.

I couldn't have been happier with the way this mean turned out, and was really proud of myself for coming up with a new take on a classic dish. The polenta came out perfect, mainly due to the amount of attention I spent stirring it - or maybe due to the addition of mascarpone and parmesan cheese right at the end. If you like Italian food, and classic homestyle meals, then try this sauce! It's good on everything, and gets better after sitting overnight in the fridge.

Buon Appetito!

polenta bolognese

Bolognese Pasta Sauce a la Joy of Cooking 

1 package dry mushrooms
1 cup butter
3/4 cup lean ham, bacon, or pancetta
3/4 cup chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups chopped lean beef
1 small can tomato paste
3 strips of lemon peel
a few pinches of nutmeg
3 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1) Reconstitute the dried mushrooms in hot water. Bring water to a boil, then let the mushrooms stand for 20 minutes. Separate the mushrooms from the liquid, but be sure to save the liquid. Chop the mushrooms.
2) While the mushrooms are being reconstituted, chop the onion and carrot.
3) Melt the butter in a large pan, and sautee the carrot and onion until soft. Add the bacon.
4) Once the bacon, carrot, and onion are mixed and cooked, add the mushrooms and the beef. Turn the beef over until it begins to brown.
5) Once the beef is brown, add the mushroom liquid, the tomato paste, nutmeg, lemon peel, beef stock, and white wine.
6) Partially cover and simmer slowly for one hour.
7) After an hour, remove lemon peel, and just before serving, stir in the whipping cream.
8) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9) Serve over pasta or polenta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and enjoy!!
  sautee in butter mushrooms beef and veggies

17 February 2012

Secret Screening at the Music Box Theater

On Wednesday I received a rather charming email from the Music Box Theater offering me two free tickets to see a movie. I thought to myself, free tickets, what's the catch? Obviously, since there's no such thing in a free lunch, there's no such thing as a free movie... and the catch was that the movie screening was a complete SURPRISE. The only hints were that it is an Oscar nominee, and that the film has yet to screen in Chicago. Naturally, being the curious cat that I am, I took the bait.

Before the movie, Spencer and I participated in my ritual of grabbing a snack at Julius Meinl. We noshed on their sandwiches, and I opted to try something new - a German bologna, pickle, and mustard aioli sandwich with a cream of turkey soup. While I wasn't crazy about the soup, I LOVED the sandwich. It was crispy, flavorful, and simple. I'm of the mentality that even with the most basic of ingredients, the key to a good sandwich is all in the crispiness, freshness, and flavor of the bread. And a perk for me, was that I told the waiter I didn't love the soup, gave him a pointer on how I would've done it different, and he comped it for me! Let it be known my fellow foodies and consumers, giving good and useful feedback can equal free food!
  Chai tea at Julius Meinl chai tea with cinnamon at Julius Meinl

We headed to the mystery movie after dinner, and settled into our seats. We talked for half an hour, I kept glancing at my watch, anxious to find out what it is we were about to see!
  Secret screening at the Music Box!

Just after 7:30, the general manager came onto the stage to unveil the big surprise... and to my surprise, a majority of the film buffs in the crowd had done their research and figured out that the film we were about to see was Monsieur Lazhar - a foreign film that has already won a slew of awards.

The film takes place in Montreal, and is entirely in French. The story opens up to the classroom of 11 and 12 year old students whose world has been rocked to the core following the suicide of their beloved teacher, Martine. The film sheds light on the way in which humans deal with grief and mourning in a public and contemporary space of the structured school environment - showing how the teachers, students, and parents cope on very different levels. While students embrace the grief, many of the parents stifle it. And then to spice things up, a replacement teacher arrives in time to establish stability, assert change, and encourage healing and mourning, all while correcting grammar and getting all of the students to fall in love with him! Monsieur Lazhar was filmed beautifully, and deals with the difficult subject matter of death and suicide with grace and poise. Though the story was dense and poignant, moments of lightness and humor interject at all of the right times. I really enjoyed this film, and was pleasantly surprised to be invited to be one of the first viewers to see it.

   

If you're looking for an amazing and compelling movie, I highly suggest giving this one a try. It will be playing at the Music Box in March. And once again. thank you to my favorite theater, the Music Box. You made last night wonderful!
 

16 February 2012

Knox Turns 175 and Dinner at Belly Shack

My dear Alma Mater Knox College turned 175 yesterday, and to celebrate, I donned an outfit of purple and gold. I also had lunch with Ben who graduated from Knox with me, and we went to an alumni event after work at the Green Eye in Logan Square. Though I didn't quite have the right energy level for the alumni event, it was great to run into other alumni from our graduating class, as well as meet some new people. I've come to the conclusion that no matter what, any conversation can be turned into a conversation about Downton Abbey.
Purple and Gold for Knox
button-up: darling vintage // corduroys: levi's // flats: salvation army // watch: swatch 

After Shirley Temples and lots of small talk, a group of us headed next door to Belly Shack. Belly Shack is Bill Kim's second restaurant - and given my supreme and undying love of Urban Belly, it's a shock that I still hadn't stopped in to try some of the street food inspired dishes. I ordered the hot dog, which was delicious. He didn't really reinvent the wheel with this, but the sausage was delicious, and the flavor profile worked. It was topped with crunchy fried ramen, fresh and garlicky kimchi, and a homemade asian inspired ketchup/mustard combination. The fries had fresh herbs, and a yummy Asian-inspired creamy dipping sauce that I couldn't get enough of. Dinner at Belly Shack Nights like last night remind me that I live in a really amazing city, full of great people and really solid restaurants. I'm lucky to live in a place where so many Knox College alumni live - our network has a great home-base here in Chicago. And I live walking distance from so many great restaurants like Belly Shack. There's nothing like a good meal and good people to remind me of how darn lucky I am to be here!!

15 February 2012

Valentines Day Date

Yesterday night, Spencer and I went out on our first Valentine's date! I made reservations for an early dinner at La Sardine, a homey French bistro in the West Loop. Though they didn't have their Tuesday night prix-fixe special, their menu and service were in fine form. We sat down to a quiet relaxed dinner, beginning with the Lyonnaise salad - a plate of butter lettuce, homemade croutons, big hunks of bacon, a lemon vinaigrette topped with a poached egg. For the second course, we dug into steak frites, cooked to perfection and topped with a house herb butter the most gorgeous shade of green. The servings were generous, but we saved room for creme brulee, topped with fresh berries and a heart made of confectioner's sugar.

The dinner was absolutely perfect, and I couldn't have asked for a better person to share a meal with. Thanks Spencer, you're true blue!
  Lyonnaise salad at La Sardine Steak frites at La Sardine I highly suggest paying La Sardine a visit. Their prix-fixe on Tuesdays is $27.50, and comes with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. And if you like oysters, they do a dollar oyster night on Fridays. Come to La Sardine, for a rich and hearty, home-cooked French meal in a cozy, warm, and welcoming space. It's one of my favorite spots in Chicago, and great for dates!

14 February 2012

Cinema Love

In honor of Valentine's Day, I want to share with you my favorite on-screen couples to date. I genuinely believe in all of these couples, not just for the stories they depict, but for the believability of their on-screen chemistry. Though some of these couples end up with a happy ending, most don't. They are human, just like us, and their relationships go through the same strains and challenges that we face as well. Though most of us have not survived a sinking ship or had our memories erased, these larger-than-life struggles are metaphors for the obstacles that each of us must overcome to find happiness in our lives.

 I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day! xoxo

11 February 2012

WANT: Chuck Close Tee-Shirt

wantwant2 

 Isn't this Cluck Close shirt just darling?? 
As an art lover and fashionista, this shirt is just begging to work its way into my wardrobe.

10 February 2012

Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie DATE NIGHT

photo-7

Tonight was nothing short of perfect. Spencer met me at work, we took the train up to the Landmark to pick up our movie tickets, and then headed over to Reckless Records where we simultaneously waited in line AND shopped for records. I picked up the Washed Out EP on vinyl, and Il Postino, Happenstance, and The Godfather on VHS. He waited in line, and geeked out over getting to meet his heros. After the meet & greet, we went back to the theater, settled into our seats and munched on popcorn while laughing and cringing at the show. There was an hour long Q&A, which is the longest Q&A I have ever been too - they seriously answered every question, and then some. But it was really fun, and the place was full of dudes in plaid who had a lot of very weird and specific questions. We finished up the night over at the Boiler Room, over giant slices of pepperoni prizza. It was fabulous.

I'm proud to say that I just took "dinner and a movie" to a new level - and it felt great to see how truly happy Spencer was. Here's to more perfect nights like this!

09 February 2012

Tonight: Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie



Tonight Spencer and I are headed to the Landmark Theater for a special screening of Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. And the best part is, Tim and Eric will be there LIVE for a discussion following the show! And after the show, we are headed off for a slice of "prizza" at the Boiler Room by my house! Spencer is so excited that he's been making Tim and Eric inspired art. I'm excited to see him so happy! Let's just say that scoring tickets to this has earned me major brownie points in the girlfriend department. ;)

07 February 2012

04 February 2012

Top Six Picks: January 2012

sweater soup downton

1) Red cardigan from J.Crew via source
I bought a red cardigan in Italy three years ago, that I literally loved to pieces. I wore holes in the elbows, and by the time i was through with it, it was ragged and lifeless. I've spent the last two years on a quest for a red cardi to match up to the last, and finally, I found my dream sweater sifting through the winter sale racks at J.Crew. It's kind of hard not to love this thing to pieces all over again.

2) Homemade chicken broth and homemade chicken noodle soup via source
I heard that making your own chicken broth is the easiest thing in the world, and honestly, IT IS. I've been making bi-weekly batches of this stuff, and storing it in my freezer for future soups and stews. I've used it in chicken noodle soup and minestrone, both of which turned out heavenly. Simple, solid ingredients in your kitchen, a few hours of stewing, and voila, you have golden delicious broth for meals to come!

3) Downton Abbey via source
Simply put, I've jumped on the bandwagon and am addicted to Downton Abbey along with everyone else in the blogosphere. I'm surprised I hadn't watched it sooner, given it begins with the sinking of The Titanic and my love of glorified soap operas. The clothes are fabulous, Maggie Smith's deadpan delivery is to die for, and the drama never ends. Not to mention the intro song is perpetually stuck in my head. All I have to say is, "Welcome to Downton Abbey" is the new "Welcome to the O.C., bitch."socks todd dots


4) Smartwool Socks via source
I've been loving my Hunter Wellies over the course of the last year, but the fleece socks weren't quite keeping my feet warm enough. My roommate Kathy has been swearing by Smartwools since I met her years ago, and after wearing them all winter, I am too. These babies keep your feet warm AND dry. Oh, and they last forever. So before you balk at the $17 price tag, tell yourself this is an investment worth making.

5) The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret via source
David Cross was on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me a few weeks ago, in addition to having a small blurb in the New Yorker - both of which mention his latest project, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. The episodes are short and absurd, as they chronicle a crazy two week period in which Todd Margaret manages to make chaos out of thin air, and damage just about everything he touches in his business trip to England. I'm not going to lie, it took me a couple of episodes to get into it, but I definitely urge you to check this show out!


6) Damien Hirst at Gagosian Galleries / Dots via source
And last, but not least, Damien Hirst's shows of his dot paintings simultaneously filling all 11 of Larry Gagosian's galleries worldwide. This series of shows has been getting crazy hype and mad reviews for how controversial it is to have paintings of "nothing" filling all eleven galleries, for incredibly high price points. The art world is both enthralled and pissed, and I'm loving watching this unfold. Personally, I like them and I find the concept to be funny. And along with the controversy of this show, comes an increasing trend that I like to call "Dots". Dots are everywhere - in fashion, in advertising, even food (see, the macaron trend).

m