Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Firkin & Pheasant

One night a couple weeks ago Patrick (aka ... the husband) and I ventured to our old stomping grounds, Lincoln Park. We both used to live in this area about 5 years ago so it was fun walking around seeing how our old "hood" has changed.

One change we both loved was the addition of Firkin & Pheasant.

We walked inside and immediately knew this was our kind of place. The food looked excellent, great service, friendly staff and the feeling of the place was extremely comfortable. Plus they have 12 HDTVs throughout the Pub which makes for great sports viewing!

I started off with a raspberry Stoli and lemonade. We lucked out because on the day we were here Stoli drinks were on special for 4 bucks!

x 3:


We both decided to get an appetizer to munch on while we sipped our cocktails.

I knew exactly what I wanted, deviled eggs. I was so happy to see them on the menu because I had been craving them for awhile. Deviled eggs were always a staple at our family holiday parties when I was a kid.

These babies did not disappoint:

Patrick was SO excited to see Scotch Eggs on the menu. He kept saying how good they were so I had to take a bite. They were good but a little to "heavy" for me.

Hard boiled eggs wrapped in savory sausage and breaded panko crumbs then flash fried - served with sweet mango chutney.


We were enjoying ourselves so much so we decided to eat dinner.

I had a salad with vinaigrette dressing. Twas very good!

Patrick ordered a side of chili. He said it was pretty good but was much better after a hit of Tabasco:

We opted to split the burger and fries:

The waffle fries were good and even better dipped in BBQ sauce.

Everything about the burger was delicious. It was so juicy and the cheese was a perfect addition:

I will be going back to this place, for sure!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cookiehead Cookies !

I have to start off this post with an apology. See I've been enjoying some really great tasting cookies and haven't shared them with all of you. Not only are the cookies kind to my taste buds but they are filled with some healthy ingredients!

Remember when I ran my first 5K back in May. As mentioned in that post one of the highlights of the race was being able to try these cookies:

To be honest, I wasn't all that excited to try the cookies when I first saw them. The reason being I've tried many healthy cookies and they've never really been all that great. But, when I saw how many people were crowded around the cookie display I knew I had to try them.

I'm SO glad I did! YUM!!!

I was able to take a box of the Belgian Chocolate Chunk cookies home:

Cookiehead Cookies!

I was extremely impressed that I could read ALL of the ingredients!

The cookies are smaller in size:

but packed with pieces of Dark Chocolate:

See, look at the size of the chocolate chunks!!! I think this is a cookie kids would really enjoy and parents would enjoy giving them to their kids:)

The inside of the cookie is filled with a bunch of healthy, great tasting ingredients:

I really liked these cookies but what impressed me the most was that my husband really liked the cookies! This was both good and bad. I'm happy he liked them because it is far better for him than Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies. I'm not all that thrilled he likes them because it means I will have to share them:(

Now I need to head out and buy another box. I was told I could purchase them at Whole Foods in the Chicago area. If I can find them I will most likely try out some of the other flavors they offer!

If you are a cookie lover and looking for something a bit healthier you MUST check out their website: Cookiehead Cookies !


Have you tried these cookies before? If yes, what did you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stress : How to Deal?

Wow, this last week was one big stress fest! So many things going on and so little time to get them all done. But I'm a firm believer in better to be busy than have nothing to do at all.

I've been a person prone to stress. Even when I was younger people would tell me I was stressed and I would deny it until I was blue in the face. To me, stress meant you couldn't handle what was going on in your life and if I couldn't handle what was going on in my life I was a failure. So in my young mind someone telling me I was stressed meant they were calling me a failure. Which would stress me out even more, sometimes I wonder how I made it through my early years:)

I've come to realize over the many years of my life that having stress does not mean I'm a failure in anyway. It simply means I need to take a step back, breath and look at what is really important in my life. I can guarantee you that 9 times out of 10 the stress I'm feeling has nothing to do with what I think is really important in my life.

Listed below are a couple of ways to help conquer the "stress-monster":

Tame your stress - easier said than done. Get away from whatever is causing you stress, Is it work, than go for a walk on your lunch break. Try doing Yoga to calm yourself down.

Get support - Support is so important when dealing with stress. It's nice to have someone around who can help out when times get rough. Reach out to family or friends, if you don't have any near by than pick up a phone or use the internet to connect with people.

Get enough sleep - This is just an all around good rule to live by. Sleep is so important to so many aspects of our lives and stress is definitely one of them. You are never going to release the stress-monster if you are sleep deprived and cranky. Trust me on this one, getting enough sleep is something I really need to work on.

Pet time - Out of this entire list the 1 thing that always helps bring my stress levels down is my dog, Cappy. His sweet domineer and his willingness to cuddle with me for hours probably has something to do with it. Dogs are filled with unconditional love and are always SO happy to see you. (just typing this last part lifted a bit of stress off my shoulders:))

Stress = Eating

Yep, whenever stress is introduced into my life an eating binge is soon to follow. I find the entire process of eating relaxing and soothing so of course I'm going to want to chow down when I'm stressed. I do know this isn't the healthiest way to deal, but when you are knee deep in stress you will do anything (well almost) to relieve that feeling.

Listed below are a couple ways to help conquer stress eating:

Have a hunger reality check - Before shoving food in your mouth ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if this is the stress-monster rearing it's ugly head. If it is truly hunger pick something healthy to eat. If it is the stress-monster than put the food down and drink some water or something else that will keep you busy until the food urge calms down.

Take away temptation - It is easy to remove food temptations from your kitchen but it's not so easy avoiding all the delivery options and restaurants on every corner. One way to help out with this is to carry snacks in your bag so you won't be so tempted to stop in the fast food joint. Throw out those delivery menus and pack your fridge and cabinets with easy to prepare/grab items. You will be more tempted to call out for delivery if you are staring down a 30 min meal prep/cook time.

Don't deprive yourself - So important!!! If you really, really, really want a burger and fries than eat a burger and fries. Just do it in moderation.

Snack healthy - Always have healthy snacks available to eat. Whether it is carrying Lara bars in your purse or having veggies cut up and ready to consume. Always have healthy options ready to grab when the stress-munchies come on full force.

The above list are all things I need to think about when stress consumes my life. I would love to hear what everyone out in the blog world does to help them reduce stress. So....


What tips do you have to help reduce stress?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


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!


My favorite oatmeal from Caribou. Maple crunch:

Iced Northern Lights Vanilla Latte:


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:


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:)


Do you ever find yourself getting anxiety over sporting events you aren't participating in?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Road Trip!

A normal Saturday for me is waking up early to take the dogs out to "do their business". Come inside watch a little TV and than take a nap. Wake up again and with the help of my husband decide what we are going to do for the rest of the day.

Today was a little different. I was woken up around 8:30 am, by my husband, saying he wanted to be on the road in an hour. I of course didn't understand what he was saying but than it hit me ... we were going on a road trip! Not just any road trip but a road trip to see our Detroit parents!!! However, I still needed to pack all my stuff for the weekend and this is not an easy task for un-caffeinated Tracey:)

Thank goodness my husband made me an iced coffee with milk and vanilla flavoring:


After packing we ventured out in the rain to pick up our rental car. We got our badass Nissan (just kidding, totally not badass) car home, packed the car and headed to Detroit. The one thing I really need while driving is good music and we had a good and random selection. Shakira, The Crow, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Buddy Guy and a bunch of other types of music.


A couple hours into the trip I needed some more caffeine so we stopped at Starbucks!


My typical Skinny Vanilla Latte:


I ate half of this sausage sandwich:


Oh yeah, this was a fancy Starbucks, it had a drive thru:


5 hours after leaving Chicago we reached our destination and with that we treated ourselves to some Coke and PM (scroll to the bottom to read Patricks memories of this cocktail):


The dogs were also treated to some goodies, bully sticks:


After our treats we let the dogs loose in the back yard. Solera couldn't control himself with all the space, he was "rolling on his back" happy:


Once he saw us I think he was wondering why we weren't on the grass joining him!


All done, lets go chase some rabbits!


While Solera was running and rolling throughout the yard, Cappy took his time smelling every square inch. Cappy likes to get to know his surroundings before he starts letting loose and rolling around in them:


It makes me SO happy to see the dogs enjoying a yard. They are both city dogs so this is a real treat for them!


Friday night my friend ML introduced me to a new beer:


Framboise Lambic. It was so good I bought some to have over the weekend.


I'm not a beer drinker at all. Give me a martini, wine, champagne or a mixed cocktail and I'll have it down in no time flat. But, beer, not my thing.

However, this beer is very good. Might have something to do with the fact that my husband served it to me in a wine glass, I kid. The raspberry flavor really comes out in this beverage.


Foamy and delicious:


Whenever we come to Detroit it is mandatory that we get a Jet's Pizza. This is my husbands favorite pizza of all time!


Spicy pepperoni with a cajun crust:


So cheesy and so good!


Let's chat a bit about the crust. I'm not a crust girl. I go directly for the meat and cheese and leave the crust on the plate. I mean, why fill up on bread when I can fill my belly with spicy meat and gooey cheese. Well, this crust has taught me that I should not treat all crust the same. One word for this crust, Delicious! Perfect texture and the cajun seasoning added a nice to kick. Yum!


I snacked on 2 of the extra hot boneless chicken wings:


The best part of the entire meal was saved for last. Salad with green peppers, onion and black olives.


OMG ... Love! So simple yet so good:


My Saturday was fantastic! Hope everyone out in blog land had a good one as well:)

Patrick Memories of the PM and Coke Cocktail:

"When I was little, Thursday night marked the beginning of the weekend. This was my Dad's influence, a man who enjoys extending every occasion, whatever its size (he now celebrates his birthday for a full month). My brothers and I would all watch as he unpacked his briefcase -- waiting to see if he brought out a small brown paper bag. If he did, it meant that the chicken my Mom had cooking would go back in the fridge, pizza would be ordered, and my brothers and I could each get an ice-cold Coke from the mini-fridge in our kitchen (all very exciting for us boys). For in this bag was a pint of PM (formally "Pleasant Moments") -- a low-end whiskey which my parents would mix with Coke and sip over conversation as we waited for the pizza to arrive. Tracey and I recreated this occasion when we reached my parents' place, this weekend. Although this time, we joined them in their cocktail and conversation as we waited for pizza, our "boys" got bully sticks instead of Coke (much more to their taste), and PM was no longer available by the pint at the local liquor store. Instead, I had to buy a fifth. Which cost $7.50. Which should give you an idea of both the financial state in which I grew up and what I mean by "low-end whiskey." It was fun, but I don't think Tracey's going to be requesting another..."