It’s Only Monday?

Guess so, huh?

I’m in a bit of a lousy/wallowing/poopy mood today, so I’m going to call it an early night, but I have to share something delicious with you… ok, 2 somethings.

First: Dinner! Adam and I went to PF Changs tonight, mostly because I was feeling lazy and in need of something spicy. We got one old favorite:

Lettuce wraps!

Lettuce wraps!


And whats sure to be a new/soon-to-be-recreated favorite, eggplant and ground chicken in a super spicy sauce, with brown rice of course!

Doesn't look good, but its amazing!

Doesn't look good, but its amazing!

And, since PF Changs is in the same mall as my second great love, I got some of that too…this time, blended with peaches and raspberries and topped with chocolate and mochi:

gotta love the Früz!

gotta love the Früz!

Now, the 2nd delicious thing is something I actually shared with you yesterday. My photo of linguine and clams was accepted to TasteSpotting!!! You can see the entry here. I’m so excited! I’ve been regularly submitting pictures, and it’s my first accepted photo. Next up: FoodGawker. They’re way pickier.

Off to bed for me… it’s a long, Hokey Pokey filled day tomorrow!


Posted in Asian, dinner out | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Happy As A Clam!

It was a beautiful day here in Chicago, and just what I needed since I know this is going to be a hectic week. I spent some time with a friend of mine while she looked at neighborhoods to possibly live in, shopped a bit, and then spent some quality time with Adam.

On Friday, I got a hankering for one of my mom’s recipes… and I’d just gotten off the phone with her and she was on her way to dinner! So, I held off until today and asked her for instructions for what I’ve been wanting: Linguine and Clams.

This is one of those foods that has many memories attached to it. I can remember being a little girl, sitting upstairs playing with my sister and smelling the olive oil/garlic/white wine for the sauce and KNOWING what was for dinner. It was the meal we ate with my grandma on countless New Year’s Eve while having a “picnic” in front of the fireplace. It was years before I knew that linguini was the pasta and not part of the recipe…

In any case, on our way to the grocery store today, I called my mom to get the ingredient list and then she emailed me the instructions later. What’s funny is that so many of the recipes I get from my mom have “cook until it tastes right” or “cook until it smells right” and it’s so true! There’s no science to it, just time and using all my senses. So, you probably want the recipe too, huh? Ok, ok…

Mom’s Linguini and Clams

Just like Mom's!

Just like Mom's!

Ingredients

1 lb linguini, cooked and kept hot

4 cans chopped or minced clams

2 lemons

1 clove garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. dry white wine

1/4 tsp. oregano

parsley (if desired, I didn’t use it!)

S&P to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil and sautee the garlic a few minutes until aromatic. Add the juice from the cans of clams, wine, juice of the lemons, rind of one lemon, and oregano. Simmer until reduced by about 1/4, and then stir in the clams. Heat until clams are hot, then add salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and parsley if desired and serve immediately.

Usually, when I make my mom’s recipes, they’re missing “something”. They never quite taste the way I remember them, or the way they taste when Mom makes them. Tonight though? PERFECTION! I have lots of leftovers for lunch this week too, which makes me doubly happy. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Mom!

I’m off to mix up something sweet involving chocolate and coconut… what? I’m not sure. Tomorrow is a roller skating day at camp, and the beginning of our annual Follies practice week. My girls are performing “The Hokey Pokey”… wish me luck!

Posted in family recipe, fish or seafood, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

A Symphonic Night

Happy Sunday!

I had such a great time yesterday that I just couldn’t wait until tonight to share it with all of you! First of all, yesterday was my hair trial for the wedding! I sent the hairdresser a few pictures of what I was thinking about doing, as well as brought about 9 different hair accessories, and it came out just perfect! My mom and two of my bridesmaids AND my flower girl were there, and my mom took a bazillion pictures… here’s just one (sorry about all the self-pictures I’ve been posting lately!)

almost finished...

almost finished...

We all went out for lunch afterward (and I loved having my hair all pretty!), then I hurried home to pick up Adam’s sister for a quick grocery shopping trip before we went to an outdoor concert. We rushed around the store grabbing ingredients for our picnic menu for the night, and then set to work at home putting everything together.

After an adventure to find parking, we rode the shuttle bus to the front gate:

The main gate

The main gate

We had lawn seats, so we looked around for a little while to find a good spot to sit. It’s always good to find a spot with a landmark that’s easy to find, so we sat directly under this:

it was one heck of a landmark!

it was one heck of a landmark!a

We played “follow the butt” all night whenever we left our spot! We started out with an appetizer of guacamole, fresh salsa and tortilla chips.

Thanks for the action shot, Riv!

Thanks for the action shot, Riv!

We had exciting beverages:

More like regular...

More like regular...

Then Rivian and I had made chicken caprese sandwiches, tightly wrapped in foil, and served to the boys in super classy bags:

They loved the bags :)

They loved the bags :)

The sandwiches consisted of 2 small chicken tenders we sauteed in garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, 1/2 of a large ball of fresh mozzarella, 2 thick tomato slices, and loads of fresh basil:

Italian goodness!

Italian goodness!

Then, we had a little treat: tiny bite-sized chocolate covered cakes that were FAR more delicious than we had anticipated when we bought them!

YUM!

YUM!

We simply had a blast!!!

Adam and I (see the pretty hair??)

Adam and I (see the pretty hair??)

Rivian and Alex (they're getting married in September!)

Rivian and Alex (they're getting married in September!)

I finished off the night with a cup of coffee, and proceeded to take the longest route home EVER. All in all? A fantastic night!

Have a fantastic Sunday all! I’m off to condo-shop with a friend of mine downtown and enjoy the beautiful day!

Posted in family, Italian | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Cute Food Saturday!

Welcome back to the 20th installment of Cute Food Saturday! I cannot believe that it’s been this many weeks already… but as long as you keep checking it out, the more I’ll post! You can visit past installments by clicking here.

Let’s get started!

I love this little cactus chick :)

I love this little cactus chick :)

Cake? Purse? Yes please!

Cake? Purse? Yes please!

NO CLUE how exactly this was done

NO CLUE how exactly this was done

Just because its pretty...

Just because it's pretty...

Name that video game!

Name that video game!

Its Me...Mario!

It's Me...Mario!

awwwww

awwwww

Happy Birthday, MizFit!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, MizFit!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Cute Food Saturday | Tagged | 9 Comments

Old School & Loving It!

Happy Friday all! Sorry for my absence yesterday, but Adam and Lizz and I were out at a VIP theater seeing Harry Potter! What made this theater VIP?

  • Gourmet food
  • liquor
  • no one under 21
  • free popcorn
  • free valet parking

My pictures from last night would’ve ended up big black squares, since we ate our dinner during the movie! My turkey burger and MGD 64 were fantastic!

Tonight, was 007/James Bond day at camp, so after much deliberating about a costume, I came up with wearing one of my favorite dresses and being a Bond Girl. What do we think?

Shaken, not stirred

Shaken, not stirred

The rest of the day was fairly relaxed, and we went on an hour-long nature hike in the afternoon. The kids decided that the barn we passed was haunted, and that there were bears in the forest that could climb trees and jump down on them. It was a fun adventure!

After an inordanately long commute, I came home with every intent of going to the grocery store with Adam and then cooking dinner. But I made the mistake of sitting down. After I sit down, there’s no getting me to do anything worth anything. So what did we do? We went to a neighborhood Greek-owned restaurant that we frequent on Saturdays for breakfast. Old Bridge is one of those places whose decor hasn’t changed since the early ’80s, water and soda and beer are served in the same glasses, and entire dinners are $9.95. I grew up going to similar places with my dad, and Bridge (as we call it) has a major nostalgia factor for me. So tonight, my dinner was far from gourmet, organic, healthy, or natural. It was creamy, fried, salty, and sugary and I loved every bite of it.

Started with clam chowder with crackers

Started with clam chowder with crackers

Dinner was salmon patties with some creamy dill sauce stuff

Dinner was salmon patties with some creamy dill sauce stuff

Shared this cake with Adam for dessert

Shared this cake with Adam for dessert

Not gourmet. Not at all. Far too salty. Delicious! And the best part? It was served to me by a lovely waitress named Pat who kept my Diet Coke refilled (yup, had that too!). I had no clean-up, no dishes, no prep…just what I needed! It’s back to cooking next week, but for now? I’m good with this.

Make sure you come back tomorrow for everyone’s favorite: Cute Food Saturday!

Posted in dinner out | Tagged , , | 8 Comments