Monday, June 9, 2014

The Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookie

Compost Cookie
I made this cookie for the first time a couple years ago and never posted it.  I have since made it several times and still, no post.  So, I finally have this up.  This, how should I describe, jacked up cookie, was adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.  Although I love the Momofuku recipes, I have to modify almost all of them.  I have an aversion to glucose and corn syrup and this book includes those two ingredients liberally.  Don't worry, this cookie is plenty sweet without the extra sugar nudge.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Bourbon Trail

Catching Bourbon from the Barrel at Jim Beam
Have you ever toured the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky?  You should.  It's a mixed drink of how Bourbon is made, some American history (prohibition is a nasty word in Bourbon country), how it came to be a very American drink and the laws that make it Bourbon.  The rolling green KY hills serve as a beautiful backdrop.  P.S., The dining scene in Lousiville is top notch and obviously, their cocktails have serious bragging rights.  We were there for two days and we made it to Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve and Maker's Mark.
Knob's Creek Bottling
Years of Storage in Burnt Barrels for that Distinct Taste


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Belize


Belize Zoo
I just returned from a holiday in Belize and I have to say that the country is nothing short of magical.  I am still trying to decide if I loved it because of the interesting and friendly people I met from different parts of the U.S., the beauty of the oceans, reefs and endless variety of fish, the delicious food or the enchanting natives who always had smiles on their faces.  Normally sleeping in tents and sharing bathrooms with strangers would not be a desirable way to spend my time.  Yet, on this trip, it was a minor inconvenience that was worth it for the unforgettable experience.

Belize Zoo
Glover's Atoll Island
Sleeping Tent

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Taiwan


Lantern in Alishan
I went on a little trip...to Taiwan with a brief stop in Hong Kong.  This was my first trip to Asia and I am so glad I went.  Taiwan is an enchanting place with lovely people that is seriously underrated by the Western world.  I would not have traveled there myself had it not been for being invited to a friend's wedding in Chiayi.  Not only was I able to experience the culture and people in a wedding setting, I was also able to travel around the country easily with their incredible high speed rail and metro system.
Headed to the Wedding Ceremony
Chiayi Night Market

Monday, November 11, 2013

Autumn in Atlanta, GA

I was out in Atlanta, GA this past weekend and was ready to move there as I headed back to Chicago.  The weather was beautiful, housing affordable, people nice and amazing parks to run and play in year around.
Ever gone to a Hibachi grill?  This was a first for me.  Lots of fun for both kids and adults.
My brother introduced me to Turducken.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Aspen, Basalt, a Half Marathon and Consignment Shops

  
Have you ever gone from sea level to 9,000 feet in less than 24 hours and run a half marathon?  I            know, that's a dare on par with betting someone they can't eat a whole jalapeƱo.  This was not a dare.  I did this on my own accord because I am training for the marathon and needed to get my long weekend run in while on vacation.  I had planned this trip in advance of signing on for the marathon and there just happened to be a half marathon in Aspen at the time I planned to travel there.  Lucky me.


So, here's a rundown of what to expect on a very hilly course (hills at the end of the race...extra awesome), in the hot sun at 9,000 feet after coming from sea level with less than 24 hours to acclimatize; cramping, flaming knee and thigh pain, wanting to cry in the middle of a race and utter and complete exhaustion.  This was the first half I have ever had to walk at several points but somehow I managed to beat my Chicago Women's Half time which I ran about a month ago.  I started out strong but the hills at the end killed me.  The race organizers said that this was a mostly downhill course.  Bastards lied.


Anyway, so I lived and the remainder of the vacation was excellent.  As you can see from the pics, Colorado is never short on breath-taking scenery and fun things to do.  This was my first paddle boarding stint and I loved being much closer to the water and scenery than I would be in a boat.


One last tip on the Aspen and Basalt areas; skip the high end shops and head to the consignment shops.  God bless rich people throwing out gorgeous clothing after wearing it once and sometimes not wearing it at all.  At one consignment shop I saw a Versace dress with the Saks tag still on showing a price of $1,335.  The consignment shop price was $250.  I ended up getting a jacket, skirt and a top for just under $100.  These items, with their gorgeous cut, fabric and design fit me like a glove.  Hooray.         
  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Strawberries and Cream

Continuing on with Wimbledon traditions, today we have Strawberries and Cream.  The British take this simple dessert very seriously and at Wimbledon, it is as much of a tradition as the tennis whites the players are required to wear.  They pick the strawberries the day before and they arrive at the stadium at 5:30 a.m to be inspected and hulled.  The buttercream used is a double cream with at least 48 percent butter fat.  Apparently, this became a tradition in 1877 when the first Wimbledon event was held.  Both the tournament and the strawberries signaled the arrival of summer as this time of year used to be the only time strawberries were available in the U.K.