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For an early Mothers Day celebration we took my mom to afternoon tea at the Lobby at the Peninsula in Chicago. I got coffee. Because I don't really like tea. But, as always, with afternoon tea, what I really was looking forward to was the food. And there was a lot of food, both savory and sweet. On the savory side there were delicate tea sandwiches: house smoked turkey with with cranberry chutney on pretzel bread, smoked salmon and asparagus roulade on marble rye, grilled seasonal vegetables and boursin on multi-gran bread. Plus there was a winter mushroom and fontina quiche. On the sweet...

I had breakfast at Pannenkoeken Cafe in the Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. Pannenkoeken, Dutch pancakes, are larger and thinner than traditional American pancakes and come topped with a variety of sweet (caramel apple, chocolate banana, strawberry) or savory (salami and cheese, chicken sausage and mushroom, veggie) options. I went for savory with a Bacon & Cheese Pannenkoeken: a large thin pancake with four strips of bacon cooked into the batter and topped with four strips of melted Havarti cheese. And I washed in down with a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of syrup. As you...

I never in my life thought I would say this. But there might just be such a thing as too much bacon. I spent the latter half of my weekend with heart burn and a stomach ache and a general feeling of not ever wanting to move or eat again. It's not to say that it wasn't worth it. Because, really, If you're going to spend the second half of a weekend with heartburn and a stomach ache you might as well have had spent the first half stuffing yourself with bacon....

1. I went to watch Mat's improv team improvise at a sandwich shop. I drank a raspberry beer that tasted too much like beer. Their improv show was funny. Mat complains that that's all I ever say. I say it's good constructive criticism. Afterward we went for a drink at Zakopane and then back to Mat's place. It was midnight but we got pizza. And donuts. And ice cream. And we played the original Trivial Pursuit. I was wrong about 80s Trivial pursuit being hard. Trivial pursuit in general is just hard. I think the cat won. Or maybe the ice cream.   2....

After I gave notice at my work I wanted to celebrate. Or at least, do something. So Mat came over and I made green chicken and chevre tacos with leftover chicken from the whole chicken I made. And they were yummy. I wanted to go out and do something because when we hang out we often just sit around and watch movies. We decided to go bowling but Timber Lanes had leagues until 10pm. So we played a game of previously-seemingly impossible Totally 80s Trivial Pursuit. And you know what? I conquered it! I got every single darned pie piece in...

Last week, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, I met up with some friends for a Lao Sze Chuan hot pot dinner in Chicago Chinatown. Chinese New Year, AKA Spring Festival, is a holiday that celebrates the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. It's traditionally celebrated in February, about a month after New Year New Year. The hot pot, which I've never done before, involved cooking meats in boiling liquids (we did one side mild and the other hot and spicy), which was delicious and weird, and terribly messy...

Chicago was hit by a big blizzard yesterday and it continued throughout today. I left work early yesterday and today my office was closed so I spent the day bundled in a bathrobe on my couch. I listened to thunder and lightning, I watched someone circle the block on a snowmobile, I watched as hardly any cars went by and when those who did spin out. I watched people shovel out there cars and shovel and give up on trying to use the sidewalks. There were more footprints in the road than tire tracks. Here is the snowstorm from the...

I was supposed to be going to TubaChristmas Chicago, an annual concert of Christmas music played on tubas, today. But my throat has hurt for a couple of days and although it feels much better today I do not feel like going out this afternoon. However, I just realized that last year's TubaChristmas is still on my list of things I never blogged about, so today I'll share some photos from last year's brass spectacular. If you're not feeling ill, you should definitely go. It's one of the fun things to do in Chicago at Christmas and a good thing to...