Quite possibly the best combination to date. It’s basically like working out while drinking…
Adorably edible…I really wanted to nosh the United Kingdom.
Saturday morning at Eleven City Diner.
When we lived in the South Loop, this Jewish deli was a hands-down favorite, a regular in our breakfast rotation (the lox platters are the stuff of dreams).
When I was pregnant with Wells, I craved milkshakes in the dead of winter. So on my walk home from work I would swing by Eleven City and grab a chocolate shake, hoping that the miles-long walk would somehow counter balance the calories.
And two years ago, when we moved out of the city, Fitz got up extra early to grab breakfast to go at this particular diner. We sat at bar stools in our condo, with our five-week-old in a Boppy Newborn Lounger, surrounded by mountains of moving boxes. As our very last meal as Chicagoans, it was a fabulous send off.
So it all felt very cool to take our son there for the first time today.
I have been to so many grocery stores. It seems that I keep buying massive amounts of the same things: chicken broth, butter (salted, unsalted), and herbs.
Anyway, Thanksgiving prep started last night.
Fitz made Neiman Marcus cookies (yes, I know it’s an urban legend but I also know that the cookies are DELICIOUS). Those are going to be parting gifts to our guests.
Yesterday I chopped up all the crusty bread for my two varietals of stuffing. Today I need to wash and pre-chop as much as possible (Hello, Type A). I will be making lobster bisque that will go into the slow cooker to simmer. And at some point, I hope to outline a simple schedule for what time food should go in, come out, and stay warm.
Two new table cloths are being washed and pressed, and napkins are being counted and set aside. HomeGoods literally brought the goods in the form of Tommy Bahama candles (a favorite of mine), so the house will smell like festive cheer.
I will rearrange furniture and attempt to toddler-proof (there will be three almost-2-year-olds running game). I will pre-set two dining tables that seat 13. Fitz is selecting the wine and picking up that specific beer for my dad.
My fridge is overflowing.
My counters are cluttered.
Crumbs are everywhere.
And I’ve decided to let go of the stress and just be excited.
Dose Market: Festive!
This was my first time dosing…but I hope it won’t be my last. I sipped salted-caramel drinking chocolate with homemade marshmallows and toffee bits. Wells nibbled pretzels with stone-ground mustard and zesty salsa. Beer cheese spread was purchased, as was cocoa chili heirloom salami and Stu’s Kitchen Bloody Mary Mix. I was delighted to find that the cold fried chicken with pickled slaw was actually really tasty, and at one point I announced that I wanted to “Nosh the entire market.”
Out of pure coincidence, our pals, Todd and Nicole, were exhibiting their health-focused and business-snacks-gone-cool concept: Snack It To Me! (How great is that name?!)Todd is a certified personal trainer and after reviewing clients’ food journals and hearing complaints of “I don’t know what to eat,” or “nothing healthy is convenient,” he created a healthy, weekly snack service, delivered straight to one’s office. They are city-based right now, so we grabbed a few boxes of snacks for Fitz to keep on hand out here in suburbia. Please check them out if you are so inclined…they are tremendously kind, cool people with a nifty + healthy vision.
Now that our heat is ON (this has been running through my head all day), we are chowing down on Chop Shop sandwiches and cheering on the Bears. I threw off all my fancy clothes in favor of a shearling-lined sweatshirt and Uggs. Couch + comfort = SUNDAY
I used to work with this dude back in my corporate real estate days. Whenever a holiday, special occasion, or random Tuesday arose, this dude would walk into the office toting a messenger bag on one arm while balancing trays of treats and snacks with the other.
"It’s from my girlfriend," he would explain, setting out the trays for co-workers to indulge. "She loves cooking, baking, and making all of this stuff."
Girlfriend had a flair with food + presentation. I’m talking homemade cinnamon chips paired with an assortment of sweet and savory salsas, chocolate dipped biscotti and caramel coated pretzels, towers of whoopie pies with buttercream fillings, Christmas cookies that were painstakingly decorated with silver sprinkles and gold-dust icing.
It was cool to see something so simple (snacks!) prepared with such love. Funny how when the passion is right there, you can literally see the difference in effort and execution. Plus who doesn’t love free delicious food in the middle of the day?!
I should mention that I eventually met Girlfriend when she came into our office one day to show off her very cute and very new puppy. She was pleasant and sweet and our exchange was simple as that.
Time has passed.
I had a baby, moved, and peaced-out on that job.
Life has moved on.
Around the blogosphere (through reblogging, blog-hopping, blog name-dropping, blog hyperlinking, etc) I’ve heard rumblings of this cool (online) shop called Waiting on Martha.
Hmmm…I thought, Cute name. I should check that out.
And when I finally clicked on a link and pulled up the website, there she was…Girlfriend! She opened her own business and runs an online shop with corresponding lifestyle blog. Oh, and obviously her name is not Girlfriend- it’s Mandy Kellogg Rye. She married that dude I worked with, moved to Atlanta, and when I finally put all of this together…
I was just so freaking happy for her. We’re not friends, nor even acquaintances, but there is just something really lovely about seeing someone chase a dream into reality.
Nice work, Martha.
“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Because I love all her stuff, here’s the lovely Donna Hay and three of her takes on the ultimate indulgence:
So beautifully said and so artfully arranged.
© Madeleine Hill
Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures: F&W contributor Andrew Zimmern shares his grandmother’s delicious weekend-breakfast recipe. “This pancake grows up the sides of the pan and forms an amazing, thick, crêpe-y pancake just yearning to be filled with all of your favorite ingredients,” he says.
Recipe: German Breakfast Pancake
THIS MUST BE MADE.
EL Ideas *
The Lobby *
Longman & Eagle
North Pond *
* New to 2014 Michelin guide
** Elevated from last year’s one-star rating
Time to make some reservations…