Monday, September 26, 2016

Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles

So I finally made zucchini noodles...

Hands raised if you've tried z noodles — er, zoodles? I first heard about them earlier this year when Austin and I were about to do Whole30, but I didn't actually get around to making them until a few weeks ago.

It's really easy, honestly. You just have to get a vegetable spiralizer, make the "noodles" and cook them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The only downside is the zoodles are prone to being watery, so it's best if you can pat them with paper towels, but you'll still need to prep yourself because they're not exactly like eating spaghetti.

But, with a little meat sauce and some basil, it's close enough! To be totally honest, the first time I tried making zucchini noodles I also tried to make this fancy-pants pesto sauce, but I didn't have a food processor, so I used a blender instead. Pro-tip: When recipes call for a food processor, a blender doesn't always do the job. I ended up sitting in the McDonald's drive through that night reminiscing on how far I'd fallen.

So anyway, this is just a simple meat sauce. With no recipe. What did you think this is, a food blog or something?? (My bad.)

I tried spiralizing squash recently, and I liked that a little better than the zucchini. Adding chicken, tomatoes, olive oil and spices really made it yummy. As far as zoodles go, what other recipes should I try?!

Send me your recipes! xoxo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brunch at The Allis

See! I told you this brunch was good enough for it's own post. I'll be careful not to overstate how great it was, but it miiiiight have changed my life.

First, a little bit about the location. The Allis is located in the first floor lobby of Soho House Chicago, a hotel in the Fulton Market District (in the West Loop). Soho House itself is a concept created in London in 1995 as "home away from home" for those in the creative industry. You can apply to be a member to either a local Soho House (North America locations include Chicago, New York, Miami and West Hollywood) or to "every house" which includes lots of bougie cities around the globe.

Oh, and they'll only accept your application if you've been recommended by two other pre-existing members. It sounds like a beautiful, magical type of "Fight Club" if you ask me. Check out this article from Crains for more fun facts about its exclusivity.

So, obviously, we didn't become members, but we did take them up on their exquisite brunch. The Allis is one of the few places non-members can eat in Soho House — and take photos, for that matter.

We were lucky enough to get there when it wasn't very busy! We had a long, relaxing brunch — with the best company in the most drool-worthy location. Oh, and speaking of drool-worthy...

We looked up the brunch menu before we went, so I had a feeling I was going to go for the Allis Breakfast. I ended up ordering it with absolutely zero regret — so good. Next time I'd try another dish just to see the variety, but I can already tell you I'm going to have an intense internal debate about ordering anything else. Lox, egg, tomato and avocado are a breakfast combination straight out of heaven. Plus, everything is sourced locally, so you know it's fresh.

Actually, see that Chicken Shop sign? I may have to give that a try next time I'm in Chicago. They marinate rotisserie chicken overnight and serve it up with sides.

And look how fun it is!

Like a completely different world once you walk up a few stairs.

This brunch experience was worth a whole blog post, so, needless to say, I'll be back!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Our Weekend Trip to Chicago

There's so much I could say about our 3-day weekend trip to Chicago, and I'll say a little, but I'll mostly let these photos speak for themselves:

We had lots of fun checking out Chicago's coolest murals!

Ashlyn and her friend, Tyler, showed us some of their favorite spots.

We checked out Lake Shore and saw the sailboats.

Took the metro and walked on the 606.

Took a stroll around the lovely Lincoln Park area (right by an Urban Outfitters Surplus Store — dreams do come true)!

Drank chai at the Chia Chai — I've never seen so many chai varieties in my life (and look how cute it is)!

Had the best brunch of our lives at The Allis — but more on that in a separate post (it was that good).

Stayed in a mansion.

...just kidding, this is a miniature room from the Art Institute (SO cool, also one of the only photos I took at the Art Institute because I was so enthralled with the sights).

Speaking of artsy, I love this sign at Goddess and the Baker. We had a yummy lunch there.

We went out of our way to try Bang Bang Pie, since all of my foodie friends recommended it. Turns out they closed early that day in preparation for Labor Day, but as I was peeking in the window, an employee took pity on us and gave us a whole key lime pie for free! Bang bang!

I had my very first Chicago dog at Portillo's. I didn't even know you were supposed to leave the pickle on it!

We took a stroll around the Chicago Riverwalk.

We rode Divvy bikes to get donuts (I think you're allowed to eat more donuts if you get there via bike).

Did some obligatory shopping around Michigan Ave.

Ate another great brunch at Bongo Room in Wicker Park.

And you know we had to stop by the Bean.

Oh, we ate pizza, too, but I didn't grab a photo of that. What did we miss?! What should we put on our list for next time? I'm already looking forward to our next trip north!