Cute Food Saturday!

Welcome back to the 17th installment of Cute Food Saturday! Is this your first time here? Make sure you click here to see the other installments.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Have a wonderful Saturday! I hope the cuteness brightened your day!

Posted in Cute Food Saturday | Tagged | 8 Comments

Warning: Post May Contain Hunger-Inducing Images

You may have noticed that I skipped posting yesterday… Adam and I went out with a bunch of my camp friends to a local minor league baseball game and then to a friends’ house, and by the time we got back, it was WAY past my bedtime! So, thanks for coming back!

After one of the hottest weeks I can remember in my ten years at camp, all I wanted to do tonight was to go out for a great meal that SOMEONE ELSE COOKED! Ever have those nights?? I was debating back and forth in my own head as to where I wanted to go. Did I want Thai food? Nah… Sushi? Yes, but I really wanted something COOKED. Then it hit me. I wanted chopped salad and steak. Yup, that was it. Chopped salad and steak from Wildfire.

We have been to Wildfire bunches of times, most recently for Adam’s birthday. For some reason, their chopped salad is the. best. ever. I’ve tried to replicate it and it never works. So, I decided to get us reservations at Wildfire for dinner tonight, and treat Adam and I to a great meal out. When we pulled up, we noticed something we’d never seen before: outdoor seating! The weather finally broke a bit, and it was a perfect 68 breezy degrees, and what could make a great meal greater? Eating outside, in this beautiful patio:

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After being seated, I promptly decided that I needed one of these mango-tinis: a martini made with orange vodka, mango puree, mango liqueur and juice of some sort. SO GOOD!
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The rumbling in my stomach was quickly calmed by some of each of these beautiful breads. The lighter one was onion and the darker one was a dark rye with raisins:
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Choosing our appetizer was easy: Chopped Salad! The salad contains lettuce, tomato, bacon, bleu cheese, crispy wontons, corn, avocado, wood-roasted chicken, and a mango vinaigrette that I enjoyed fork-dip style. The remaining salad after we were served was placed on a very cool stand.

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As my entree, I decided on my favorite steak to eat at a restaurant: filet mignon. This one is truly special though! It was topped with a horseradish crust and wrapped with a piece of bacon. Seriously delicious!
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This came with a side of a barbecue-rubbed sweet potato. (Excuse the next couple of pictures… my camera battery died, and I was left with my phone!)
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We had noticed on the specials menu that the dessert of the month was Door County Cherry Pie. Door County is a region in northern Wisconsin that is famous for its tart cherries, and of course, the pies made from them. We couldn’t turn down SOME of the pie… so we shared half a slice. It was perfectly baked, crispy, and had delicious tart cherries inside. It didn’t need the ice cream, but it was a nice addition.
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We left the restaurant full, but both stomach-satisfied and emotionally satisfied. After being so drained for so many days, I needed a nice night out. You may be wondering how camp is going… I’ll let this picture tell the story:
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Yes that’s me, kissing a fat-tailed gecko.
It’s past my bedtime again, so I’ll leave you with this: Mara, I think its funny that when I mix my yellow snow cone with my green snow cone it turns blue, but it doesn’t taste like a blue snow cone!

Four year olds are FUN!!!
Make sure to come back tomorrow for Cute Food Saturday! It’s the 17th installment!!
Happy weekend all!

Posted in beef, dinner out | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Wednesday in Numbers

Happy Wednesday! Today was another fantastically fun day at camp… but heres the day, broken down by numbers:

Number of Campers in my group: 9

Average age of campers: 4.5

Average height of campers: 3′

Number of campers on one of 4 school busses today: 65

Average temperature for the day: 97 degrees

Number of trips to free soda/lemonade fountain: 6

Number of trips to the “potty ride”: 2

Number of rides ridden at KiddieLand: 12

Number of minutes spent on climber/ball pit: 36

Number of reapplications of deoderant: 4

Number of parents who asked “so how’d it go in that heat?”: ~30

Average speed on commute home: 34 mph

Number of minutes spent on commute home: 75

Number of ingredients in our house to create delicious, balanced dinner: 0

Number of minutes it took to decide to go to Panera: 1

Number of different dishes purchased at Panera: 4

Number for me: 2 (tomato mozzarella panini, chicken chopped salad)


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Number of hugs before Adam noticed I stank: -1, he noticed before he could touch me!

Number of mosquito bites I’m now finding: 8

Hours spent awake: 16

Number of Camper Quotes of the Day: 1 “If we go on that roller coaster, will it fly?”

Tomorrow: painting flower pots and a traveling petting zoo!


Posted in dinner out | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Summer’s Here!

After the first week of camp was vaguely warm, Summer welcomed herself in the Chicago area with a 93 degree day with a 106 degree heat index! How did we spend our day? OUTSIDE!!! We got 2 hours of swimming, a treasure hunt, and lots of bug catching in, and I officially cannot wear a strapless dress without some serious self-tanner. While I felt like I was melting most of the day, one thing (oddly, I know, I’m a nerd) that really kept me going was the pound of wild Sockeye salmon I had in my fridge, just SCREAMING (no, not really) for a sesame crust and teriyaki glaze.

The color of this salmon was unbelievable, and I cooked it medium-rare, so that the true flavor came through. All I did was heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan, sprinkled the sesame seeds on top of the flesh side of the salmon, then placed the fish skin-side up in the hot pan. I cooked it about 4 minutes on each side, then drizzled some teriyaki glaze on top. I ended up with this:


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Apparently, I focused on the sesame seeds on top… this is kind of a weird picture! Sorry about that…

A quick little thing for all of you… I know my commenting has been next to nothing lately, but please know that I AM reading your blogs, and I just can’t comment while on the school bus at camp. I understand if you bail on reading my blog, but I hope you’ll stick with me through the craziness of summer! There’s so much in store! (wedding cake tastings, hair trials, great dinners, restaurant openings…)

Since I’m mostly melted from the day today, and have a fun day in similar heat at KiddieLand tomorrow, I’m heading out. BUT not before today’s Camper quote of the day! “One day, when I was at that store that has the milk and cheese and food and stuff there was this HUUUUUUUGE dog there shopping!”
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to go to that store!

Have a wonderful night, and a fabulous Wednesday!

Posted in fish or seafood, simple recipe | Tagged | 13 Comments

Buffalo Toad Food

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Week 2 of camp is officially underway!! We had a blast today bowling, and two of my 4 year old campers got strikes! I can’t even do that well! It was also the very first time in 10 years of working at camp that I did NOT pig out on the snack food that all the junior counselors bought… I had 3 French fries, and was done! GO ME! Now, for a sentence that doesn’t end in an exclamation point: We had tofu for dinner.

Why the title of “Toad Food” instead of “tofu”? Well, when my sister and I were little, my mom would take us to this Japanese place not far from our house, and our meals always came with miso soup. Back then, I didn’t like the soup at all, but my sister LOVED picking the tofu out of everyone’s bowls. At one point, she started calling it “toad food” and it kind of stuck. As a matter of fact, calling tofu “tofu” is hard for me! It’s been toad food as long as I can really remember.

ANYWAY, when I got home today, we had a container of tofu that needed using up, so I sliced it up and got it under some weights to press out the water. Upon opening the fridge to concoct my usual Gliding Calm-inspired rub, I noticed that we had a HUGE bottle of Frank’s Red Hot just sitting there. Hmm… I wonder… buffalo tofu? I thought it could be done! THEN I remembered a simple recipe for buffalo chicken tenders, and decided to adapt it for tofu. Here are the steps, in numbered-list form (my second favorite, only to bulleted lists)

  1. Slice tofu and press out water.
  2. Sprinkle tofu with paprika and black pepper
  3. Melt 2 Tbsp. Smart Balance or other butter or butter substitute.
  4. Mix with approximately 1/4 c. Frank’s Red hot
  5. Bake or sautee tofu until crispy.
  6. Coat tofu pieces with butter/Frank’s mix.
  7. Enjoy!

I served ours on a bed of lightly sauteed spinach:


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Now I remember how much I love Frank’s Red Hot. I’m not sure I like it quite as much as Green Dog Wine, but I do love the stuff! All this needed was a bit of bleu cheese dressing for dipping, and it would’ve been PERFECT!

And now, for the camper quote conversation of the day: Camper: MARA! I dunkded my head in the pool! Me: NO WAY! Show me again! (Camper dunks head) I never did that before and guess what? I didn’t drowned!

HOORAY for no drownding, and hooray for buffalo toad food! Tomorrow is a treasure hunt! (Sorry I’m so exclamation happy today)

Have a wonderful evening, and Happy Tuesday! Don’t forget you can still order your foodie charms here, and please check out my good friend Megan’s relatively new food blog, Meggie’s Munchies. She’s fabulous, and so’s her blog!

Posted in simple recipe, tofu, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments