Sunday, February 28, 2010

Veggie Noodle Bowl

My house was void of many essential items so Patrick and I headed to the grocery store first thing this morning. Nothing to exciting was purchased but I did discover my local grocery is now carrying Chobani yogurt!

Once we were home I put away all the groceries while Patrick took out the recycling. We both pick up around the condo a bit before we settled on the couch to watch the Gold medal hockey game. I'm bummed the US didn't win but it was a great game to watch! I bet the Canadian guys at Hugo's were extremely happy with the outcome!

Dinner tonight was something I've never made before. A veggie noodle bowl that both my husband and I really liked. This recipe can be changed up depending on what types of veggies and spices you add to the mix. I tried to use up the veggies that were looking kind of sad in my fridge.

Here is a look at the final product:


  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic, minced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Orange pepper, sliced
  • Celery, sliced
  • Broccoli, cut
  • Cauliflower, cut
  • Frozen snow peas
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tbs. soy sauce
  • 12 oz. fettuccine

1. In a wok (or large skillet), heat 1 tbs. sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add all vegetables except snow peas and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add chili powder, cayenne pepper, pepper flakes and brown sugar, stir until evenly mixed.

2. Add 1 cup water, chicken broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer 25 minutes.

3. Add in snow peas and continue simmering 5 minutes.

4. While the veggies are cooking, cook fettuccine in separate pan according to package directions. Place serving of fettuccine in bowl and top with the hot broth and vegetables.

This was a fantastic meal and I would like to thank the blog Simply Life for providing me with the idea!

While I was busy cooking my husband made me a cocktail. Malibu rum + fruit punch:

Once dinner was eaten and the kitchen cleaned up we settled down and watched a movie, The Invention of Lying. The movie had funny parts but all around it wasn't one of my favorites.

This little guy decided to take a nap during the movie. Guess it didn't hold his interest!

Well, I'm going to follow his lead and get some shut eye.

Blog at ya later!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chicago Restaurant Week: Hugo's Frog Bar / Friday Eats

For some reason I was starving Friday morning. I ate dinner Thursday night and was well hydrated so I have no idea why I was so hungry.


1/2 a piece of french toast, plain:

Slice of sausage and cheese quiche with hot sauce:

And, a cup of coffee/hot cocoa:


I was actually shocked that I forgot all about lunch. I didn't realize I forgot to eat until after my workout. I couldn't understand why I had a headache and felt light headed after my run. I think the no food + run pretty much explains those symptoms.


Spicy beef jerky:


My husband and I had our last restaurant week meal planned at Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House. I had never been to this restaurant but heard ton's of good things about it. We arrived on time for our 8:00 PM reservation, only to have to wait 45 minutes for our table. Needless to say I wasn't to happy about the wait but thankfully we were seated at a very nice table so that cheered me up a bit. I can understand a 5 to 10 minute wait, when reservations are made, but anything over that is ridiculous!

Once seated I ordered a much needed drink. A split of White Star champagne:

My first course was a salad with a fantastic vinaigrette. I was so excited by my leafy greens that I didn't even attempt to take a picture. Oh well, I'm sure it won't be the last time I eat a salad.

Second course was a petite fillet with broccoli on the side:

I ate about 3/4 of the steak and brought the leftovers home to the dogs. They LOVED it!

Asparagus with butter on the side was ordered for the two of us to share:

The table next to us was very entertaining. The entire table was filled with people from Canada. They were very proud of country and broke out in the national anthem more times than I can count. I will admit it was a little odd to hear a bunch of grown men break out in song (a lot) in a nice restaurant. They were passing around a hockey jersey, allowing the men at the table to try it on. And, as pictured below, waving a flag around the restaurant:

They were having a ton of fun! Which is what everyone should be doing on a Friday night:)

I was really looking forward to the Key Lime pie being offered for dessert. Unfortunately, it was sold out by the time we were ordering dessert. So, we ordered this HUGE ice cream concoction:

I think this thing weighed about 2 pounds! I had a small piece and was done.


After dinner we stopped at Luxbar which is across the street from Hugo's. We grabbed a table situated in front of a television so we could watch the end of the hockey game. This was a nice bar with a fun cocktail list!

I ended up ordering a lemonhead martini. It tasted like a traditional lemon drop martini but had crushed lemonhead candies around the rim.

The rim was a fun touch and the best part of the cocktail!


Have you ever had a strange experience while at a nice restaurant?

I will say it was strange to have grown men break out in song. However, one of the strangest experiences was eating on the dining patio one Thursday night. We were enjoying our dinner when all of a sudden a guy dances into the middle of the intersection (in Chicago) and starts doing headstands! I couldn't believe it. Oddly enough the singing and headstands happened less than a block from each other:)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicago Restaurant Week - Hub 51 Lunch

As you know, or maybe you don't, Chicago is in the midst of it's restaurant week. For those of you who aren't familiar with restaurant week, over 170 of Chicago's top restaurants. The cool thing is you get a 3-course Prix Fixe meal and it will only cost you $22 for lunch and $32 for Dinner. This is quite the deal for a lot of the restaurants featured in this years week!

Patrick and I never go out for large fancy lunches. We usually stick around the work cafeteria or most of the time we just eat at our desks:( Well not yesterday! I took advantage of RW and made reservations for HUB 51 a place we have both wanted to check out.

HUB 51 offers great American cuisine with fresh California influences (per their web page) and I agree.

This restaurant has a really cool vibe. It has an industrial feel with a level of sophistication that makes this a really fun place to be. The space is large and it appears as though the restaurant can turn into a club as well. This would be really nice for those cold Chicago nights. You can get dinner at Hub 51 and stay until the clubin' starts! Don't even have to leave the building, perfection!

Obviously I didn't get to experience the club feel because it was lunch time. But I do see a return visit in the future:)

Here is a look at the menu created for Restaurant Week. We were told that it included their favorite items.

Once we were seated at our table, the friendly waitress brought us a bottle of water for the table. The bottle was a very cute touch!

My first course included a new favorite of mine, Brussels Sprouts. However, I have never had brussels sprouts prepared in this way. Brussels Sprout Salad - medjool dates, almonds, manchego cheese, mustard vinaigrette. This was dance on the ceiling good! I was craving this salad about 2 hours after I ate it. I need to figure out how to make it!

My second course was All - Natural Braised Chicken Tacos - simmered with jalapenos, roasted tomato salsa. Tilt your head to the right and you might get a little bit of an idea what this meal looked like. Had a bit of camera issues:(

In case you had trouble with the rotating head technique below is a close up of the chicken. It was so tender and good but it could have used more spice to it. However, the spice issue was taken care of when I put some of the salsa on the taco! YUM!

I had to show a close up picture of the corn tortillas. They were delicious and you could even see kernels of corn in them. I loved that!

The third course won my heart and taste buds over! It is impossible for me to explain how great this dessert was. I am a HUGE butterscotch fan so when I saw that one of my options for dessert was the Butterscotch Pot De Creme Mini with Caramel sauce, it was a no brainer. I knew it would be good but this was CRAZY GOOD!!! It was a butterscotch creme topped with a thin layer of caramel sauce, in the caramel sauce was a sprinkling of sea salt. The perfect mixture of sweet and salt!

My husband is lucky he got to me first because this little piece of heaven won me over completely!

As you can see I had an amazing lunch. And you know what, the service was excellent as well. HUB 51 is a big winner on my blog!

fyi...all the photos were taken with my phone so I apologize for the not so great photography.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Light Breakfast = BIG lunch

I'm pleased to say that Wednesday morning was not as hectic as Tuesday. Still wasn't a "happy go lucky" type of morning but it was better, which is a start:) One day I will get a grasp of this morning thing!


This morning I needed to eat light. I knew my husband and I were going to have a large lunch so I wanted to make sure I wasn't to full to enjoy it.

Started off with a much needed coffee/cocoa combination.

The fruit this morning looked amazing fresh. I grabbed some pineapple and melon.

1/2 hard boiled egg for some protein.


My husband and I have been having a great time during Chicago's Restaurant Week. For lunch today we decided on Hub 51 and it couldn't have been better. This lunch was to good and deserves a post of its own so I'm going to make ya'll wait for it:) Don't worry, it will be posted tomorrow so you won't have to wait long.

Happy Hour

After work I stopped at a bar to have a raspberry vodka mixed with sugar free red bull! It was very tasty but I may be cursing the red bull later tonight when I can't get to sleep:(

I'm very excited for Thursday night dinner. My husband and I are going to go to a much talked about restaurant. Details will be shared with all my readers:)


Today was my 2nd workout in the 2nd week of the couch to 5K program. Which starts off with a brisk 5 minute walk then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 25 minutes.

Today's workout was a bit challenging for me but I got through it and felt great after!


To try and win a MaraNatha Nut Butter Trial Pack go to the below link:

Blog at ya later!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Craving the Veggies!

Oh what a morning. When will I ever learn to be a morning person, I hope it is sooner rather than later. I was so comfortable in my bed that I slept through the alarm clock which meant this morning was rush, rush, rush. One thing is for certain, rushing around in the morning does not put me in the greatest mood.


I want to thank everyone for their coffee suggestions. I tried one of them today and it was a success! I filled 2/3 of a cup with coffee and 1/3 with hot cocoa. It was SO good!

My breakfast food consisted of scrambled eggs with hot sauce. So good!


My husband and I went to a fast food asian restaurant in downtown Chicago. The place served ridiculously large servings of food, I couldn't even eat 1/4 of what they gave me! The food was good for a fast food restaurant but not the best. Next time I want chinese food I will wait and go to Tamarind!


After work we headed to our after work spot, Ceres, for dinner. I started off with a cup of buffalo chicken soup.

The main dish was split between the 2 of us. It was a pasta with chicken and melted cheese. I wasn't sure what to expect from this dish when I ordered it but it was really good!

I was craving veggies in a BAD way! Now looking back at my eats for the day it is no wonder, I had not 1 veggie all day long. Crazy!

Fantastic salad with a bunch of different lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and an aged balsamic vinegar. Crazy good!

I sure hope Wednesday morning starts off better than this morning!

Blog at ya later!

Roasted Spicy Broccoli

I just realized I never told how to make the Spicy Broccoli from the 5 course meal I cooked for my husband. I must share because this recipe is a gift from the veggie gods! I say this because my husband (who hates vegetables) really likes this dish. He doesn't just tolerate this dish, he genuinely likes this dish!

Spicy Broccoli


  • Broccoli florets

  • Red pepper cut up

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Olive oil

  • Garlic minced

  • Lemon juice

Combined all ingredient's in large bowl and toss with hands.

Place contents of bowl on a pan and put into 400 degree preheated oven. Roast for about 15 minutes, stir and continue to roast for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

Plate up the veggies and enjoy!

This is seriously the easiest and tastiest veggie dish. I love pretty much all veggies but you have no idea how happy it makes me that my husband (veggie hater) loves this dish!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cocktails make cleaning fun!

Sunday was a much more productive day than Saturday. I did a bunch of laundry, washed dishes, cleaned out some cabinets, walked the dogs, cooked dinner and packed my work bags for the week. I feel so accomplished, I just love it when I feel accomplished. What a great feeling!

While I was in the midst of doing laundry and cleaning the cabinets my husband made me a cocktail. I'm now a firm believe that cocktails make cleaning fun! Captain Morgan and Diet Coke. It's my go to drink!

It was time to make dinner. The thing is we really don't have much food in the kitchen but I'm trying to empty our food cabinets so I have to be creative. I opted to try a pasta sauerkraut dish. It actually turned out really good and I'm excited to try out the leftovers. When I make it again I might add some polish sausage to get a little protein in.

Pasta Sauerkraut Goodness
  • Mini farfalle pasta
  • Butter
  • Sauerkraut
  • Brown sugar
  • White pepper
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic powder

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  2. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in large skillet over medium heat add onion cook until tender.
  3. Stir in 2 teaspoons brown sugar and cook for a few seconds until sugar has melted.
  4. Stir in sauerkraut, pasta, and white pepper, gently tossing to distribute ingredients evenly; continue to cook until heated thoroughly.

Dessert was some butterscotch pudding with light cool whip on top!

As I'm typing this I'm watching Sinbad (who is actually funny) comedy show with my husband. A nice end to the weekend:)

Hope everyone out in the blog world had a great weekend!


Have you ever been experimental with a recipe? If yes, what did you make and how did it turn out? (feel free to link in the comments)

Lazy Saturdays = Busy Sundays

My Saturday was not as productive as I had hoped. But I did get a couple things checked off my to-do list so that is something. It also means today is going to be filled with chores. I wish I had more time during the week to get stuff around the house done but I just don't. Which means I have to get crackin' on the weekends.

Currently have the dish washer running, load of laundry going, dog's walked, lunch served and blog entry going:) Things are getting done!

Let's take a look at yesterday's evening eats.

Thanks to my dad I was able to snack on this beef jerky he sent me. My favorite jerky, it is so good!

Salad with romaine hearts, carrots, cabbage, Parmesan cheese and lite ceasar dressing.

Remember this Runza recipe. Well we took the leftover meat and made sandwiches with mustard for lunch. This was really good but next time I will have to use the griddler to make it even better!

Dessert was some butterscotch (YUM!!!) pudding with some light cool whip on top.

It has been such a long time since I've had pudding. It was wonderful! Even better, my husband doesn't like it so that means more for me;)

Blog at ya later!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coffee, Magazines and Tots!

Happy Saturday everyone! I just love Saturday's, the entire day ahead of me to do whatever I want. The possibilities are endless:)

I'm just taking it easy today. Here is a look at what I would like to accomplish today:
  • Go through magazines
  • Bake cake
  • Clean kitchen
  • Couple loads of laundry
All these tasks are totally doable.

So far I've started off my day with a cup of coffee with vanilla, milk and cinnamon.

In my favorite mug:)

For lunch, my husband and I shared a plate of Lawry's spiced tator tots, dipped in spicy BBQ sauce:

When I was taking the tots out of the oven I actually singed my eyelashes, and I can't afford to lose the little amount of lashes I have. I think the universe was telling me I shouldn't be making tator tots;)

I do believe a salad will be in my future, I'm craving vegetables in a bad way!

Right now I'm trying to plow through this stack of magazines. Then I have another stack I need to work through. I'm a bit of a magazine junkie!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


What do you have planned for today?

I'm going to cross things off my to-do list!