I Can’t Control It and I Don’t Care

I got a great surprise today.

No, I didn’t find money in the street.

No, I didn’t find out that my beloved Will & Grace is going back on the air.

(source)

Although I really wish it was.

So what was this surprise, you ask?

My boyf’ bought me a flight to LA for my birthday!

(source)

I’m so excited!  Not only do I get to have a quick, spontaneous vacation, but I get to see my long lost pal, Colleen! (Hi, Colleen!  I miss your face!)

Anyway, I was too excited to cook a real dinner (nervous energy sometimes works against my culinary ambitions.  Don’t ask me why.) so we decided to use up one of my favorite T. Joe’s frozen entrees: Mandarin Orange Chicken.

Nope, it’s not one of their healthiest options (the chicken is fried) but it’s so good I don’t care.  I’ll eat fried chicken if I want to and I’ll LIKE it!

I was in charge of picking up a veggie to balance out the meal.  Since I took the train to work today, I stopped at the Chicago French Market.

I love me a good French market.  I really love a French market in, well, France, but I’ll take one in Chicago.  The great thing about this place (besides its convenience to my commuter train- it’s literally inside the train station.) is that the vendors are locally and independently owned, offer a great selection of organic produce and (as some of the girls that ventured here during HLS learned) have some really interesting food selections!

I was on a mission to find broccoli.  To my credit, I did buy broccoli.

I also may have picked up a few other things…

Coconut water, couscous salad, pita chips, roasted garlic hummus and…broccoli.  At least I didn’t fail on my mission!  I could argue that I need the rest of my loot, but I’m not going to drag you down that road.

I clearly can’t control myself in that market.  And if my lack of control is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Plus, my purchases rounded out the meal nicely.

I roasted the broccoli (shocking, I know.  Try to contain yourself.) with some Tony Cachere (say! It really is great on everything!) and dumped out a little couscous onto our plates.  It was a highly technical culinary process, believe me.

And the pricey coconut water?  Well, I’m treating myself.  Because this weekend is…

My birthday!! Woot, woot!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go put my party hat on.

What are your grocery store weaknesses?  Am I the only one who’s like a kid in a candy shop around produce?

The Weekend Came Early

Well, it’s only Friday afternoon, but my weekend has started!

I decided to day the day off of work in an attempt to get some things done and (hopefully) relax a little since this weekend is going to be a busy one!  Tomorrow I’m going to a wedding and Sunday I have a work event.

Unfortunately I was planning on getting a ton of stuff done today and only managed some of it.  I woke up for a run and did 5 miles on the treadmill.  Then I walked over to city hall (aka, the Disneyland of Chicago.  I kid.) to pick up some permit passes, and went home to make this:

Scrambled eggs!  I like eggs, but I’m not usually motivated to cook them for breakfast (I’m not a big using-the-stove-before-9 am kind of girl, Idon’t know what to say).  Since I had some time today, I went with it.

**Braisified  Tip**

To make your scrambled eggs super fluffy, add just a leeetle bit of milk (or water if you don’t roll with milk).  It helps add volume to the eggs but careful- if you add too much liquid they’ll get too dense and won’t fluff up.  I used one whole egg and an egg white in my scramble and used probably only a teaspoon of milk.

I threw in a bit of white cheddar cheese to the eggs after I scrambled them and then added them to the pan with some salt and a good pinch of black pepper.   Maybe I just don’t make myself eggs enough because these were awesome!

I also ate a plum.

It wasn’t really ripe enough but it looked so pretty, I had to!  I can’t control myself!!

I then attempted to go to the beach since it was sunny and not too humid out.

Umm, yeah.  I forgot about the wind.  It was straight up windy today.  Not gentle breezy or playfully gusty.  I had sand all. over. me.  It was pretty gross.  I then ran some errands and was (surprise!) hungry again (I swear, I have the appetite of a teenage boy.  Maybe I’ll start growing again…) so I made some lunch when I got home.

Sort of a weird and random sandwich, but tasty nonetheless.

I put some leftover marinated tofu between two slices of fresh sourdough bread with some lettuce and cream cheese.  I know what you’re thinking- cream cheese? On a sandwich?? Trust me, it was good.  I highly recommend it.

And a side salad.  Because veggies make my tired body happy. 🙂

Not to completely throw you all off, but I have to show you dinner from last night:

The boyfriend and I cooked a very nice meal.  (ok, he cooked.  I mostly just ate it.)  And such a pretty meal too.  He had mahi mahi and I had some shrimp which hit the grill with some oil, garlic salt and crushed red pepper.  Grilled food is just better.  It makes marinating and getting all fancy with recipes kind of unnecessary, especially if you start with great ingredients. (which we had, thanks to the fancy French Market downtown.  More about that another day…)

I ate mine with a salad and a honkin’ slice of sourdough and a little butter (I only ate 1/2 of the butter pictured.  But I ate the whole piece of bread.  Because I love bread, and I think we’ve established that I can’t control myself).

Now that my day of (attempted) R&R is almost over, I’ll leave you with some lovely pictures of my afternoon snack:

Pretty, aren’t they?  Thank you berry much. 😉

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