Friday, September 16, 2011


I'm overjoyed it's Friday, because that means this slumpy dumpy excuse for a week is coming to an end, and I can finally get my schlitz together and move forward with my life. Some pictures to take us into the weekend:

Have you looked outside? It's an au lait day.
I'll be chillin' at Kickstand cafe with one of those and doing some of this:

Some Friday eye candy, courtesy of ashley nicole catherine:
And a taste of fall from .the rebelgrrl kitchen:

Saturday I'm volunteering alongside my friend Jamie, who is a member of Slow Food Chicago, at Green City Market.

Sunday, I'll be watching my home team -- Urlacher fortified, despite his personal tragedy -- win against the New Orleans Saints with a couple of these:
"Prost"-ing da Bears!

Happy weekend, all!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Dining Philosophers

I recently discovered (Wikipedia'd) that there is something called the "dining philosophers' problem," which refers to something that is used in computer science to do fancy computer science things. Tonight, however, it describes dinner with me and my lovely roommates, Sara and Liz, and how we toasted (drank lots of cheap wine) the dining philosophers by preparing and sharing a meal while philosophizing (gossiping) on the utterly senseless state of certain persons we have all, at some point or another, encountered (talked about crazies we used to know).

Yes, I will have another glass of Two Buck Chuck, thank you for asking! Here's the menu:

Sara's perfectly crusty, to-die-for eggplant parmesan on the left, my hand-cut pasta with walnut pesto on the right: 

The dessert cart: a vanilla bourbon cake mix expertly assembled by Liz, Cool Whip (what? it's good), raspberries and strawberries. A bowl of purple grapes and marscapone cheese with lavender-infused balsamic drizzled over the top.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Herbed Skillet PBJ: AKA Why I'm Not Great at Math

I'm not great at math, but I recently discovered the following equation:

Lavender + marjoram + peanut butter jelly sandwich + cast iron cookware = a whole lot of goodness
I could wax poetic on the wonders of the peanut, a good-fat-filled, antioxidant-rich, protein-packing, heart disease-fighting legume which is curiously neither pea nor nut...
or I could extol the virtues of Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane, a dense but great-tasting bread with only seven (yes, SEVEN) ingredients...
or I could mathematically prove how the nutritional summation of the two aforementioned ingredients outweigh the not-so-greatness of the strawberry jelly lightly slathered on one side of the bread...
but instead, suffice it to say: 

this PBJ is really f'in' good. 

I told you. Not great at math. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eating the Pacific Northwest

Tacoma. Portland. Seattle. Beautiful buildings. Smiling people. Abundant sunshine. Dazzling plants and produce. Charming neighborhoods. Gastronomic wonders. A small town/big city feel akin to Chicago.

Small wonder I'm a major fan of the Pacific Northwest. Here's the photo evidence:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brown Sugar Carrot Oatmeal

My cupboards are bare today. I have not paid a visit to any farmers' market this weekend. I'm reluctant to go grocery shopping due to the impending Tota family vacation to Seattle (which will be a goldmine of material -- both from a comedy and culinary standpoint), so I wondered what I was going to prepare for breakfast this morning. I had just been out for a refreshing early morning run (yes, you can hate me for being one of those people who manages to wake up at 5 AM and go on early morning runs), and I had worked up an appetite. I knew I had a tub of Quaker instant oats (yawn), but was clean out of the raisins I normally mix in. Upon further investigation, I found myself in possession of a bag of those Craisin thingies, to which they add all kinds of white sugar (no thank you). I knew the only fresh produce I owned was a bag of carrots. "Well," I thought to myself, "that could be interesting. Why not find a way to incorporate carrots and oatmeal?" And so Brown Sugar Carrot Oatmeal was born.