When you think of Chicago, you think of steak. And hot dogs. Let me be the first to tell you, you are oh-so-wrong to chalk up this foodie-loving-town to only serving up meat and potatoes. We have so much more to offer as made evident by the abundance of new dining options in the West Loop.
I took my family to brunch last weekend at Smack Shack. We were speechless for a long time. If you know us, this is a rarity and only happens once in awhile when the food is that good. Let's start with the overall aesthetic...
The Hamptons meet Providence...that's the vibe I was getting. It's quite a huge space but carefully thought out while avoiding the kitschy seafood theme a la Red Lobster. This is elevated, oceanic interior design. Zero cheese and all the East Coast vibes but well executed.
Hi! That's me!
I was smitten over the well placed lobster graffiti in secret corners and those tiles...don't even get me started!
Let's get to the good stuff...what we ate! If we do brunch - we're gonna eat so....
- Six oysters: 3 east coast & 3 west coast
- Buttermilk pancakes for our girlies
- Lobster Scrambled eggs for me
- Lobster roll for him
- A side of bacon (duh! It was Nueskes)
This is my Lobster Scrambled Eggs. Would you look at the size of those lobster chunks? It was heavenly and savory and so delicious. Quite honestly the best breakfast dish I've had in a long time. I can taste the lobster as I write...super tender, fresh and meaty!
This is my husband's lobster roll that I made him pause and hold while I snapped this. It was too good to be true. They make their bread in-house and it has this amazing texture of soft, pillowy dough and just a hint of sweetness. This brilliance envelopes the sweetest, most tender lobster meat. Not at all mayonaise-y or heavy. Just delicious.
And you'd be positively nuts to skip the beignets because those were out of this world. We brought them home because momma doesn't waste anything in the donut family. Powdered sugar melting into the most decadent donut triangles. O.M.G.
You must try Smack Shack! They have $1 Oyster Happy Hours daily of which I will be attending with my girls at the end of the month. ...because when I like something; I really like it and that's no smack talk!
326 N. Morgan St.
Today I am sharing a super simple recipe that you can whip up in minutes. I stumbled upon it by accident and within an hour we had a healthy recipe that was equally delicious. It's perfectly Fall with something to satisfy your sweet tooth which I am currently battling. <thank you Halloween...cough, cough>
Give it a spin and let me know what you think!
This recipe was shared with me by a dear friend after she learned that we had a successful apple picking adventure. It's simple, straightforward and deliciously Fall. Thank you Desa!
I asked my kids to participate with me but they were more interested in the finished product but the house smelled AMAZING!
This dip could not be easier to whip up. A total of 10 minutes prep time and a little refrigerator action is all you need. I made it for the first time yesterday and it was a crowd pleaser.
WARNING: this is not a healthy recipe. But hey, that's what Sundays are for...Fall + Football!
Despite the 90 degree temps, we're feelin' Fall in a major way. I also see 60 degree forecasts ahead so don't put those sweaters away just yet!
Last week I had the pleasure of collaborating with Chicago Parent in sharing our favorite pumpkin inspired recipe. There are SO many pumpkin recipes out there - it's enough to make your head spin and I truly prefer the less sugary, artificial taste that so many beverages leave you with. Yick! Instead, we create a new spin on our morning smoothie. I'd love to share it with you!
Sunday dinner is an event for us every weekend. As it should be. We run around like crazies all week long and it's our first real opportunity to relax and chat. Outside of this one hour it's birthday parties and errand running and special events...like every family in America. While we do spend a lot of time together as a family, it's not until a delicious dinner is in front of us that we actually pause and have conversation. Kind of crazy that it takes six days to get to that but I suppose that will be our new norm.
Cucina Paradiso is home to some of the best, authentic Italian cuisine here in Chicagoland.
The Shamrock Shake has once again made its annual appearance. And while this may be a favorite childhood treat for many, including myself, I went on a quest this year to find a healthier version. One that my entire family would love. Selfishly, this is also how I start my day so really, it's about killing two birds with one stone.
It's not uncommon for girlfriends to joke that I am no fun when we eat out or elbow me about eating like a bird. I don't take it personally. The reality is I eat quite a bit but all day long and rarely in one sitting. I eat with intention and I'm very aware of what I am putting in my mouth. This begs the question:
Why did you go gluten free?
In an attempt to eat "healthier" this past Super Bowl Sunday, I found a recipe in, none other, but Blissful Basil's newest cookbook for a fresh take on sliders. The recipe does not exist online but I found a similar version to share with you today.
Greetings friends. Happy Monday! I'm all over the place with this blog content schedule but I digress. I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen yesterday and wanted to share this bright, colorful dish as it takes 30 minutes to whip up and it's oh-so-healthy. I will be making this again and again. Not only did I feel full but I felt healthy.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely without a can of LaCroix in hand save for the hours of 5-9am when I am chugging back coffee and slapping myself awake. What you don't know is that I literally grew up on LaCroix. My parents didn't allow any pop in our house so the only way we could scratch that itch was by gulping down cans of flavored sparkling water.
In hindsight, it was a fabulous habit to enforce and now one of my daughters walks around with her own LaCroix. Yes, she's four years old and it could appear a bit ridiculous but hey...I know how to get her to consume more water!