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Entries in Fun (31)

Wednesday
Sep152010

I'd Like to Have a Private Chef

My friends Andrea & Lisa came over for cooking classes a couple of weeks ago (and are doing it again tonight!!), but I'd like to have one full time!  Wouldn't that be nice?  My poor husband does almost all of the cooking, so I have really looked forward to our cooking lessons with chef Brian Merel.

I'd like to have a few dishes in my back pocket that I can whip up, aside from macaroni & cheese (homemade!).  We accomplished that with our first menu of Garlic Rubbed Bruschetta, Cipriani Pasta with Fresh Vegetables and Molten Chocolate Cake.

Our fresh, delicious ingredients. And chocolate

Brian is awesome, let me just get that out of the way.  We had so much fun with him and learned a ton, particularly when it came to knife skills and the proper way to cut certain things.

 

I am always amazed when there is more than one pot going on at the same time.  I tend to get stressed out when I have multiple pots and pans and elements that all need to be prepared at the same time.  But we learned to always get pasta and sauces out of the way first, so we started with those.

We dumped almost 1/4th cup of salt into our boiling water.  That, and tossing it with quality olive oil, made the plain pasta good enough to eat on its own!  Any one of us could be seen grabbing noodles here and there throughout the lesson.  Yum!

Now, check out the garlic & shallots sizzling in the olive oil. Swoon! 

Our other sauce was a triple berry number that eventually ended up accompanying the chocolate cakes.  This stuff was like crack.

Andrea and I have made this dish again since then (we cooked for the guys last weekend - lucky men!) and were too afraid to try OPA!-ing the brandy, so we just left that element out. 

OPA!

Now that our sauces were happily simmering away on the stove, we got down to business with the bruschetta.  Here is a tip that I didn't know before our lesson: Use Roma tomatoes for bruschetta as they are less juicy than other varieties!

We mixed a simple combination of roma tomatoes, garlic, shallots and fresh basil (from our urban flower box garden!), splashed with red wine vinegar and olive oil.  So easy and SO delicious!

Paired with a light pinot, chosen for the bottle more than anything else.  So cute! 

Then it was time to finish off the Cipriani sauce - we tossed in freshly sauteed zucchini and squash and mixed in cream.

Then tossed it all together with the pasta and warmed back up. 

Now to my favorite dessert - what we called Warm Runny Chocolate Cake in my Muirfield days - Molten Chocolate Cake!  Baking is a pretty exact science, so this was the only time we actually measured things out.  I am always so impressed when people can cook without paying attention to the recipe!

We should have made 6.  They were perfect! 

Brian even finished up and served us our dessert as we chowed down on the rest of our meal.  Of course, Derby had to get in on the action!  Not-so-patiently waiting for someone to drop something, anything!

 

 

And the best part?!  Andrea and I get to do it all over again tonight with our new friend T!  We met her through my girl Snappy, so you might know her as Wrigley-T on her blog :)  Can't wait to share the results of it with you!

Thanks again, Brian! 

Tuesday
Aug312010

A Fun Friday!

What a busy, yet fun, weekend!  I decided to document my Friday in pictures.

I had a great designer chat lunch at EATT with my friend Mark, who is an awesome architect and my Revit master.  We talked business and fun & hope to work on some projects together in the near future. 

He found it entertaining that I was taking a picture of my food, so he took a picture of me taking a picture of my delicious Egg Salad.  I love and appreciate creatively designed presentation, and that alone will make me want to come back to EATT again.  It's also in our work neighborhood, so that doesn't hurt.  

 

I then reconnected with a friend that I hadn't seen in YEARS.  We met during our study abroad in Lyon, France and a few years ago found each other again on Facebook.  He is in town looking for a job and we serendipitously chatted the other day and realized that we needed to get together!  For awhile there, I honestly felt like it was 2000, because it was like it was yesterday that we were having coffee and shopping in Vieux Lyon.  

 

We then went shopping, as I wanted to find a creative, fun baby gift for my friend.  Just something little, as she is due in a few months and was in town for the weekend.  How these Lincoln Park boutiques try to get away with charging $35 for a scrap of cotton, I'll never know...so I decided to take matter into my own hands! Ultimately, we weren't able to meet up, so I'll post more about my DIY Onesie after I send her the gift.  But, here is a little preview...

I happily crafted the night away as we watched Top Chef (how fitting!) and Chelsea Lately.  

Saturday was a busy one - I helped my friend Jenna pick out paint colors and hung out with her, TH and T1 (seriously...the cutest baby boy!  So happy and funny!).  They really liked the results, so that made me happy :) Then Ted and I had two parties to go to that night, a surprise 40th for one of Ted's friends, then our friend Bhavesh's annual Danger Party shenanigans.  Sunday was a day of rest and cleaning, something I've needed for a long time.  This summer has zoomed by!

How was your weekend?

Monday
Aug302010

Ho-Ho-Ho! Santa's Coming Early This Year!

Combining 2 of my loves - 3Form and jewelry!  3Form panels are some of my favorite interior design products (as I may have mentioned around here before).  I also love a statement-making cuff.  Well, 3Form went ahead and made my dreams come true by taking leftover cuts of their Varia eco resin products and turning them into bracelets.

Made from 40% recycled content, these are the epitome of crunchy-stylish. 

It's pretty incredible that the leftovers from these panels became these bracelets.  It's BRILLIANT!

And at $20 or under, they are easily accessible for all. 

They also make serving bowls.  Knowing all this, I am pretty sure that I can complete a few names on my Christmas list.

Oh, and I think I might need to do a giveaway...that is how obsessed I am!

Thursday
Aug052010

Things I Love Thursday: Weddings!

My husband and I are heading off to celebrate the wedding of our friends Lisa & Alan.  We are road tripping to Cleveland with one of my best friends, and I also can't wait (though my back can definitely wait...ouch!) for that part of the weekend!  I imagine there will be quite a few sing-a-longs...

L & A made the trip down to Jamaica for our wedding & we are still so thankful that they were there to celebrate with us :)  

Photo by Ashley ColhouerWe can't wait to see the beautiful bride and handsome groom.  Congratulations!

Monday
Aug022010

StoryPeople

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Brian Andreas.  Those who know me well know this, and if you've followed me from my Weddingbee days, you know that we even used one of his stories on our wedding invitations.

I've subscribed to their "Story of the Day" for the past 6(?) years or so and I have to admit that some days I just delete them without reading.  My friend Andrea forwarded me the one from today, and I'm so glad she did because I LOVE it (& deleted it this morning!).  So cute.

Eternal Reward

"Of course I believe in heaven, my grandma used to say. There's got to be some reward for living with your grandfather for all these years."