Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meatyballs !?!

I can't wait until the day that work doesn't consume my thoughts and my time both day and night. Not only will I have a better work life balance and be a happier person all around but my blog will be much more interesting!


Starbucks grande skinny vanilla latte:


I've been a fan of Chef Foss' food and humor for some time now. When I heard that he was moving on from his gig at Lockwood and starting a food truck featuring meatballs, I was excited.

My husband and I have been stalking following his twitter account to see where the food truck would be parked. We were not very successful, either the truck was too far away or he was sold out of sandwiches by the time we go to the truck.

This all changed on Monday. We finally tracked the Meatyballs Mobile down:

Ordered 2 sandwiches to split.

The first sandwich was the Meatyballs. I always like to try the food named after the restaurant (or in this case, food truck)!

However, this was not the sandwich we were expecting. We were expecting meatballs with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese - YUM!!! Instead we got the meatballs with mushrooms, shallots and 4 cheese sauce.

I don't like mushrooms so this sandwich didn't taste all that great to me. I found it kind of bland but it would have been good with tomato sauce or BBQ sauce.

The second sandwich was the Thai'd Turkey Balls - Coconut Milk, Chili Sauce, Lemongrass. This sandwich was very tasty and the chili sauce gave it a really nice flavor.

Looking forward to going back and taking a bite out of the BBQ Pork Balls!

After our ball themed lunch my husband decided to get a shoe shine.

The shoe shiner actually lit Patrick's shoes on fire, totally crazy! Can you see it?


We have no food in our house so we went to Flo & Santos. I just love all the exposed brick in this place:

Crispin cider to drink:

Sauerkraut and Canadian bacon pizza:

Flo & Santo's has become one of my favorite places for thin crust pizza. So flavorful and I really like all the different types of toppings.


Have you ever eaten out of a food truck? If not, would you?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkins in the Park 5K

A couple weeks ago I signed up for my second 5K, Pumpkins in the Park. This was definitely a race the entire family could take part in. It was so cute seeing the kids running around in their Halloween costumes and running in the CLIF Kid Spooky Sprints. There was also a tent where kids (and adults) could decorate a pumpkin to take home with them. Good times had by all!

The Run

This was a hard one for me for multiple reasons. We were running on a trail which I'm not used to and it was packed. The trail was not only packed by runner and walkers but strollers, double strollers and dogs.

I always wondered why a lot of the races didn't allow dogs to run and now I know why. About 8 minutes into the race an owner lost control of her dog and I tripped over him. Normally I wouldn't be upset but this owner didn't say sorry and gave me a look to suggest I did something wrong. I have 2 dogs and if I chose to take them on a 5K race I would make sure to stay to the side and not weave in and out of all the people like this owner was doing. Okay my bitch fest is over;)

I put the "tripping" episode behind me and ran on. I wasn't able to train prior to this race so my only goal was to beat my PR. Due to some of the race conditions I didn't think it would happen but I'm happy to say that I did beat my PR!!!

Sorry about the lack of pictures but I will make up for it in a couple weeks when I do my 3rd 5K race, Hot Chocolate!


Is anyone else going to be running or walking Hot Chocolate in Chicago? Did you do any running this weekend?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Machine Pesto

My husband talks a lot.

He amazes me with all the information he has in his brain and it's great that he wants to share his knowledge with others. However, sometimes my brain can't take it and I have to tune him out (sorry, Patrick, I love you!).

With that said, he has more than a couple stories that are impossible to tune out. One of those stories has to do with his love for Pesto. He has fond memories of visiting his grandma's house, in Tennessee, when he was little. As a little boy he remembers watching his grandma's "male friend" make fresh pesto and how wonderful it tasted. P has mentioned, multiple times, that that was the best pesto ever and nothing has compared to it ... until now.

Start with cleaned and dried fresh basil:

3 cloves fresh garlic:

Small handful of pine nuts:

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese:

Start chopping the basil and garlic:

add pine nuts and continue chopping (at this point you will thanking your good knife or cursing at your not-so-good knife):

add grated cheese and, yep, chop away (no blender or food processor allowed):

All ingredients should be chopped to oblivion and formed into a pesto brick:

Mix in a small amount of good olive oil:

Add to pasta and you will be enjoying a fantastic dish of pesto pasta!

Yep, I've been able to recreate a dish from my husbands past. He says it tastes just as good as his memories.

However, part of his admission may have to do with the fact that he watched me working away and he has to live me with:) Either way, I'll take the compliment!
Have you ever prepared pesto from scrach?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ding, Ding, Ding ... We have a winner!

Monday was Columbus day so I had the day off work. Love 3 day weekends but hate having to cram 5 days of work in a 4 day work week. Oh well, I'll take a 3 day weekend anytime!

I had some time so I made Patrick and I Last Minute Lasagna that I found on the Real Simple website. I love Real Simple recipes because they are, well, real simple to make;)

Not only is this dish easy to make but it tastes good AND is a cinch to clean up. Ding, ding, ding ... we have a winner!

I pretty much followed the recipe except I added broccoli in place of the spinach and added less cheese to cut down the fat content.

My plate:

On the side we had a piece of Texas Toast which was crunchy, cheesy and garlicky!

The lasagna was so good.

This dish is definitely a crowd please and will be making more appearances in my kitchen.

Next time I'm going to try and health it up a bit by using whole wheat pasta, reduced fat cheese and loading it up with more veggies. I will for sure let everyone know how the healthier version turns out.


Have you ever made a dish featured on the Real Simple website or in the magazine?

Monday, October 11, 2010

What a Great Day...

yesterday was. Can you guess why?

First off it was a great date, 10-10-10, very cool.

Second, it was the Chicago Marathon.

Ariel view of the finish line (from a bit of a distance):

Chicago's finest, helping to make sure everything went smoothly:

Loved the huge screens set-up so everyone could see what was going on:

A whole lot of people cheering for all the amazing runners. Makes me happy to see the people of Chicago (my city!) being so supportive:

The biggest reason Sunday was such a great day is because it marked the 1 year anniversary of Patrick and I getting married.

We decided to have a low key anniversary. We started off by cheering on the marathoners and then went to one of my favorite breakfast spots in Chicago, Bongo Room.

Started off with the best iced vanilla latte:

My breakfast appetizer (I'm allowed an appetizer, it was a celebration) was 1 Pumpkin Spice Pancake topped with browned butter & dark brown sugar cream mouse topped with sweetened glazed toasted pecans. It was delicious!

My main dish was an omelet with broccoli, Canadian bacon and smoked aged white cheddar. Very good, I was shocked at how good the broccoli tasted in the omelet. The sides were multi-grain toast and potatoes. However, I did not eat the potatoes because they tasted strange to me.

Even though I didn't like the potatoes, I left the Bongo Room feeling very happy!


Most people engrave their wedding bands with something romantic like never to part, love always, together forever but, not us. See, we bonded over many late nights eating Tombstone pizza and tater tots. So when it came time to engrave our bands we couldn't think of anything better than: Tombstone & Tater Tots.

We had to celebrate our first anniversary with nothing other than...


& Tater Tots:

accompanied by ketchup and BBQ sauce for dipping:

Champagne for sipping:

1st anniversary meal recap: Tombstone, tater tots and champagne - cause that's how we roll;)

Oh yeah, and a salad so we could get some sort of veggie in:)

Our first year of marriage has been full of adventure. Can't wait to see what the years ahead of us have to bring.

I'm so lucky to have found my best friend and husband all in one!


What did you do Sunday 10.10.10?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chili Soup for Fall

Tuesday was such a hectic day and all I wanted to do was shut down my computer and go home. When I have days like this I like to focus on my work and get as much done as possible. Not only does it give me a sense of accomplishment but keeping busy makes the day flyby!


I woke up really dehydrated and all I wanted to eat for breakfast was fruit. I scoped out all my options and the watermelon was practically screaming my name. It was just what my body needed.


Patrick and I ventured out to a new (to us) restaurant named Avanti Caffe. The website states that the restaurant is, " Authentic Italian Cuisine in a European Atmosphere" and I would have to agree. I love the authentic Italian feel of all the food offered.

Avanti Caffe serves a variety of different items including: coffee, latte, smoothies, salads, homemade pasta, soup, calzone, pizza, hot sandwiches, subs, panini, dessert and multiple breakfast items. This is a place you will be seeing on VCC again:)

I had the Chicken & Mozzarella grilled panini which was baked boneless chicken breast w/melted mozzarella cheese. Every single ingredient was so fresh and the sandwich was HUGE! It was close to being a foot long so I hate half for lunch and saved the rest for later.

On the side P and I split the pasta salad:


Patrick had to work late so I hurried home to get my run in ( a short 2 miles) before dark. Once I finished my run I started to make a fast, simple and tasty dinner.

I decided on chili garlic bread and what I will call, Chili Soup:

Chili Soup

In the mix:
  • Canned beans
  • Tomato juice
  • Corn
  • Celery
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  1. Chop celery.
  2. Put beans, tomato juice, corn, celery and spices in pot.
  3. Let cook for 30 minutes. (you can cook for less than 30 min. I just like to let all the flavors combine)
Great meal to make after a long day at work because it's SO easy!


Key Lime pie from a local restaurant.

The pie was good but I didn't care for the whipped cream topping. It left a strange coating in my mouth. No worries, I just scrapped off the cream and ate the crust and filling:)

Tuesday was a day of really tasty eats! If only everyday could taste this good.


What food do you tend to grab when you are feeling dehydrated?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rewind: Saturday - Football, Family, Food

I know it's Tuesday but I realize I forgot to post about my Saturday. I had such a good day that I wanted to share it with all of you!


I wanted to try something different than my usual low fat vanilla latte so I chose the Northern Light Turtle latte from Caribou. It was good but tasted too much like dessert for my morning pick me up:

Panera power sandwich: Bread, egg, ham and cheese. This is my favorite "fast food" breakfast sandwich. I can taste all the ingredients individually and when all the flavors mix together it makes an amazing breakfast sandwich.


Saturday's in my house are dedicated to college football. This Saturday was fun because we had family over to enjoy the Michigan vs. Indiana game.

Before our guests arrived I put together a veggie tray full off carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and peppers.

To dip the veggies I made some low fat ranch dip:

I think everyone liked the veggies. I know I did!

My plate x 4:

What is a football game without a beer? I drank 2 Magners Irish Cider beers. If you like cider beer and haven't had Magners, you must try it!

Cappy & Solera

The dogs go CRAZY when we have guest over. They get SO excited to have new people to play with! They jump on and bark at our guests to welcome them. Not the most welcoming situation for a lot of people but it's better than being peed on when you walk in the door. I won't mention which dog, Solera, but one of them used to get way to excited and not be able to control his bladder. Thank goodness that phase is over with!

To give our guest a break we gave the dogs their favorite treat, Bully Sticks:

Give the dogs one of these and nothing else in the world exists. It's all about the Bully Stick:


After Michigan won the game we ordered some Chinese food from Tamarind.

This place has good food but the Customer Service sucks. After I placed the order for delivery I received a call telling us we ordered to much food so they had to charge us more for delivery. We ordered 3 meals and egg rolls, I don't think that is an excessive amount of food. It wasn't the fact that they charged us more money for delivery (although that didn't make me happy) it was the way they handled the situation that makes me think they need to take a customer service class.

We most likely will not be getting Tamarind food anymore which really stinks because the food is really good!

My plate: I ended up eating half the egg roll, a little bit of noodles and some broccoli dish over rice.

Patrick made me a Jeff Lewis martini to enjoy with my meal. I think one of the reasons I married P was because he can make a great martini:)
I drank half.


Leftover s'mores pizza!

Solera sitting by our feet in hopes of catching any bit of food that might fall off our plate:

and Cappy getting depressed as our guests started to leave. He was hoping they would stay all night so he could curl up in their laps and sleep!

Good people, good conversation, good food and happy dogs - Couldn't have asked for a better Saturday!


How do you like to spend your Saturdays?