Birthday Weekend: The Beginning

Well, my Cubs didn’t win.  They almost did, but blew it in the 9th.  My soul is still aching.

But it was still a fun game.  Especially since the boyf’ surprised me by inviting my friend Vassaly to the game with us (he told me he had sold the extra ticket to someone on Craigslist- he’s a sneaky one!)

We had a great time, and (as promised) there was a hot dog involved.

A girl and her Vienna beef: A love story.

I was really excited about it.  Hot dogs just taste better at a ballpark, mmmk? 🙂

This kid had the best t-shirt ever.


And we discovered a giant sculpture of a macaroni noodle outside Wrigley.

Your guess is as good as mine.

We met up with more friends at a few bars after the game- it was a fun night!

Super excited about dinner tonight…Vassaly kind of blew the surprise by telling me where the boyfriend is taking me, but that’s alright- I have more time to get excited for the restaurant (it’s a new one for me!).

Happy (pre-Megan’s birthday) Saturday!!

Gearing Up

T – 1.5 hours til I’m at Wrigley cheering for my Cubbies.

Yup, I’m a super cool kid.

I tried to cover some healthy bases (baseball pun: intentional) this morning.

I went for a run this morning, covering a little more than 4 miles. (who needs hot yoga when you have summertime in Chicago?  I sweated like a big, hairy man.  It was soooper attractive 😉 )  I came home and pumped some iron.  (Ok, not iron per se, just 8 lb’ers.) 3 circuits of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, arnold presses and then I moved on to about 5 minutes of ab work.

Then I had some Ezekial bread toasted with TJ’s Valencia PB.


This is my pre-game food:

Rabbit food.

And some hummus.  (or in the words of Zohan, hhhcchhhhummus)

Nope, this isn’t really “lunch” (trust me, I need a lot more food than that in order to avoid passing out into my Old Style), but I’m planning on some ball park food.  And by some, I mean a lot.

Hot dogs, here I come! 🙂

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cook If I Want To

Ok, so technically it’s not my birthday yet.

A teeny, insignificant detail.

And yes, this picture is a few years old.  And no, I didn’t make the cake for myself (my loving mother did- see, Mom?  I told you I took a picture of my cake! 🙂 )

I am taking tomorrow off of work to go to the Cubs game (was anyone else really disappointed to hear that D Lee was traded to the Braves yesterday?  It hurts my heart to even talk about it.)- it’s supposed to be 90° and sunny tomorrow.  Methinks a cold Old Style will be in order.


Don’t hate.  You can’t understand the joys of an Old Style until you’ve had one under the Ivy.  Come to Chicago and I’ll prove it.

Anyway, since my birthday weekend officially begins tomorrow and I was left to my own devices for dinner, I decided to make myself a feast.

Chili-lime-tequila chicken.  I made a simple marinade of:

Gold tequila

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 t. Thai chili paste

2 cloves minced garlic

1 T. chopped cilantro

1/2 t. chili powder

pinch of salt

I let the chicken hang out in the mix for about 1 hour or so.  I was GOING to grill it, but our propane tank is empty!  Boo hiss!  So I seared the chicken in a skillet and then threw it in the oven at 375° for about 15 minutes until it wasn’t pink anymore.

I’m apparently baby cabbage happy this week so I had no choice but to finish up my massive supply of brussels sprouts.

I made them the same way as the other night.  I was too excited to eat them to bother taking a clear picture, you’ll have to excuse me.

But the very best part of this meal was the POTATOES!

When I lived in France, I fell in love.

Not with a French man.

Not with the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Elysées (ok, I did, but that’s a story for a different day).

I fell in love with the frites. These were not french fries like you’re thinking of.  They’re little cubes of golden fried potatoes and I believe (don’t quote me on this) they are so addictive that they are illegal in most countries.

I’ll give you a minute before I go on.

[light whistling}

Every once in a while I’ll buy a plain old russet potato and make these puppies when I want to treat myself.  They’re not actually so bad for you, but I could eat a large tray of them.  Megan <— no willpower around frites.

I adapted the recipe from Melissa d’Arabian.

Basically all you do is cube up a potato (I leave the skin on- why not?  There’s fiber in there!) and then throw the cubes in a skillet over medium high heat with a little light colored oil to let them start browning up.  Once they start browning, let them steam for a few minutes by adding a few splashes of hot water.  When the water has evaporated, transfer them to a sheet pan, sprinkle them with kosher salt and throw them in the same oven as your chicken (375°) for about 20 minutes until they’re crispy and soft in the center.

Don’t worry- I didn’t waste any.  I ate the. whole. potato.

It’s (almost) my birthday and I’ll carbo load if I want to! 🙂

Do you have any foods that you have fond memories of?  Any foods that you like to treat yourself to?