Enjoying Delightful Delicacies on a Budget at Kendall College

Checking out the fixed price lunch at Kendall College.

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I had been meaning to check out the Kendall College Dining Room’s fixed price lunch for a few years now and finally did so, last week. Their three-course meal is $18 or $22 with a glass of house wine. My friend, Mark joined me on this particular culinary excursion.

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The dining room had quite the display of historic dishware, bakeware and other food preparation related things. We were seated right next to the kitchen so we had a direct, clear view of our food being prepared. There was a great window view as well.

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We started off with bread and honey butter, which made me so unbelievably happy! I have a certain soft spot for honey butter! It reminded me of the butter from Honey Butter Fried Chicken.

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I enjoyed delicious Metropolis coffee with the bread and butter, because, how could you not combine these things? Haha!

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I started my meal off with the pea and mushroom risotto, which was simple and packed with flavor. I really like combos that include a few well-balanced ingredients so I can really taste everything clearly.

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Mark got the radish salad as his starter. I ordered the pork chops as my entree and Mark ordered the salmon over lentils.

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We both finished up our meal with the vanilla creme Brulee, which was really good and not too sweet.

kendall collegee creme Continue reading “Enjoying Delightful Delicacies on a Budget at Kendall College”

Long Hiatus Broken! Ladies Cooking Night: Lazy Grocery Store Edition

Normally the three of us plan everything to a tee, sharing recipes, getting groceries together, and discussing things in great detail.

Sometimes life gets crazy and you still want to connect, but don’t feel like cooking up all the things. This calls for hitting up the deli section of your independent grocery store and creating a spread of alllll the appetizers. If you’ve never tried this, you should.

The three of us hit up Morse Market to grab the goods.  They have an extensive variety of food. The freshly made salads and bulk section are my favorite. Their chocolate covered cranberries are great.

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Grabbed chicken, potatoes, various types of salads and delightful desserts. We had yogurt salad, tofu salad, sea food salad and more. The curried tofu salad is my absolute favorite.

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Here’s to another lovely ladies cooking night.

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Pickwick Coffee Goodness

Earlier this week I stopped by Serendipity Labs for a PickWick Coffee pourover demo and tasting. Ah coffee, education and coworking spaces- 3 things I like in 1 place 🙂

Jenny and Justin did an amazing job describing the cafe, educating everyone about coffee and pouring delicious samples.

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pickwick pours

PickWick has 2 locations, 1 in West Town and another in a tiny, magical, tucked away spot downtown. They serve super high quality coffee to the Chicago community and take that task very seriously. The cafe focuses on single origin coffee. Freshness is a top priority for them. They roast the coffee according to what it offers. Justin stressed that time, temperature and air are crucial factors for getting an amazing coffee.

Their Rwanda blend is bright and acidic.

Pickwick Rwanada

The Guatemala blend is floral and sweet.

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They also brought freshly baked croissants.

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I don’t think it gets any better than this 🙂 Can’t wait to come back to the cafe!

 

 

 

Chicago Grind Cafe-Cozy and Industrial

This is one of my favorite cafes on the North side. Jim Dababnah, who also owns Thai Aroma, took over the location in 2014. The calming atmosphere sticks out the most here! Chicago Grind pulls together the things I love most in life- good tea, delicious coffee, tasty sweets and food and books! Coming here has always helped me relax and lifted my spirits on bad days!

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The decor is a little industrial, but very welcoming, with dark wood tables, leather couches and a marble countertop.

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This table and delightful clock are my favorite.

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The lovely couches!

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They serve Bow Truss coffee and Benjamin teas. The daily specials written on a chalkboard outside give it a great touch! They also have $1 refills on their branded travel mug!

It’s just the right amount of noise, chill music and good decor. The books, communal table, specials and wonderful customer service really pull together the community feel.

Getting Caffeinated at the Metropolis Coffee Tour

Learning about, cupping and tasting Metropolis coffee!

I was recently at Metropolis coffee and saw sheets mentioning their Friday roastery tour/open house at 1 pm. I’ve always wanted to go on a coffee roastery tour and was really excited to attend 🙂 The Metropolis wholesale location is tucked away and very obscure.

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We all got to wear glorious hairnets! Haha!

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The wholesale location used to be a tannery and was recently converted. Metropolis opened in 2003 and focuses on doing everything by hand. Chris started off the tour by showing us the storage area.

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Metropolis works closely with many companies and prides itself on maintaining freshness and quality. Orders are done by Thursday and Coffee is roasted Fridays and shipped right away. Everyone gets fresh roasted coffee!

Coffee beans are green before they are roasted.

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beans in hand

Next, we check out the brewing process. Look at that beastly roaster! Metropolis takes careful care in their brewing process. A coffee blend combines 2 coffees. The coffees are roasted at different temps and combined later.

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Beans are roasted and run through the destoner to clear out sediment and other various things. This is a pit of things filtered out with the destoner. Pretty eye opening finds!

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Then the cupping! Inhale that amazing smell. We started off by smelling and then slowly poured hot water over the grounds. We let the coffee settle and then used spoons to stir and break up the grounds.

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The team showed us their special slurping technique. Ahh, deliciousness!

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The wheel has a range of different flavors, from tantalizing to downright gross. Cardboard yummy! The region the coffee beans are grown in determine its taste profile. Just like wine, there are many different flavors in the coffee. 

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I really loved this tour and recommend coffee enthusiasts to try this out 🙂 Big thanks to Josephine Reyes for taking photos for the blog 🙂

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No Bake Raw Brownies with CBD

I love chocolate! I don’t have much of a sweet tooth otherwise, but chocolate does it for me! I eat pretty healthy most of the time and have tried baking healthy brownies, which turned out…not so great. I’ve been meaning to try some no bake brownie recipes. Since it’s summertime, I figured it would be a good time to try making raw no bake brownies 🙂

This creation is based on a delightfully simple recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. I’m a fan of RawGuru and Windy City Organics’ other products because they have clean, high quality products with very few ingredients. They recently debuted their CBD chocolate hearts.

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CBD is a marijuana compound that helps with anxiety, stress and other issues, but won’t get you high. No weed brownies here! I topped my brownies off with a mix of their CBD hearts and orange chocolate hearts.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooling time: 2 hours in fridge or 30 mins in freezer

Makes: 8 brownies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Incorporate the dates, walnuts, 6 tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, water and salt in a food processor.
  2. Process all ingredients until the texture is smooth. Scrape down sides as needed and don’t add any extra water.
  3. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan. I made my brownies in a 9x7x2 inch Snapware container.
  4. Press the dough into the pan/container firmly to evenly distribute the mixture.
  5. Spread Rawtella as frosting.
  6. Scatter the CBD hearts and orange hearts on top of the frosting.
  7. Refrigerate brownies for 2 hours or freeze for 30 mins to set.

This recipe was simple and definitely hit the sweet spot. I really liked the Rawtella- what a lovely frosting! Nutella is delicious, but packed with questionable ingredients.

Delicious brownies!

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They were wonderful with tea the next morning! I love my tea+chocolate and tea+coffee combos.Let me know what you think 🙂 What would you add to this?

 

 

Community Dining- Paleo Dinner

I recently attended the Community Dining Paleo Dinner. Community Dining is Paul Sippil’s wonderful concept focusing on strengthening social bonds through communal dining!

This event focused on gathering people to get to know each other, try tasty local food at Uncommon Ground, eat tasty paleo treats and learn about the paleo lifestyle.

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– We gathered on a rainy Spring day.

Helen, cofounder of Uncommon Ground kicked off the event by talking about the restaurant’s awesome beginnings. They wanted to create a community center with a focus on health and local food. They had worked in the restaurant industry and wanted to truly provide something high quality. They were determined to source things as locally as possible and create a wonderful and flavorful menu.

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-Tomato arugula salad with prosciutto and chips! Tastefully simple 🙂

Casey from Paleo Prime Foods, talked about how he got into paleo eating. He had a terrible diet and was feeling its effects. He moved towards eating good food, taking care of his body and embraced the paleo diet. Paleo Prime makes grain free, almond based and natural treats.

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– Risotto on a chilly rainy day is amazing!

Charlotte, registered dietician and health educator at Eating With Ease, explained the paleo lifestyle in depth. The main interpretation is on avoiding grains, processed foods, dairy and eating as close to how humans initially ate. There are various interpretations of the paleo diet, but its main focus is eating clean and unprocessed food. She explained the importance of sleep, treating your body well and chewing food! “Chewing makes you happy!” – because it releases serotonin!

 

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– Perfectly seasoned chicken!

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– Chocolate cake mmm

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– Me, Paul and Vanessa

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– Definitely family style eating!

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– Vanessa and me!

Thank you Vanessa, for the lovely and appetizing pictures! Be sure to check out Paul’s other upcoming events!