Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mama Malarkey in Chi-town!

This week absolutely flew by, but in a good way (not that "well, I've spent one of the two hours I have left to write this paper YouTube-ing cats" loss of time).

I'm finally getting a bit more responsibility at work (which is a tad overwhelming).  I've always been a firm believer, though, that life is better when you don't feel like the 12 year old in the take-your-kid-to-work scenario, which is pretty much how it feels to be "training" for 2 weeks.  And better lives really speed up time.

I also have had some wonderful company this week!  On Tuesday, I had dinner with my lovely new pal Rae at a vegan joint a few blocks from my office.  Although neither of us is vegan, there's something a little daring and exciting about trying carrot cupcakes with pseudo-cream cheese icing made completely from plant based ingredients.

You'd never guess this guy was an impostor!

But the thing that really made this week extra special was some quality time with Mother Hen herself.  (If the title of this post confuses you, don't worry - it only means that you weren't one the 2004-2005 JC JV Women's Basketball team.  I've spent a pretty abnormal amount of time this week reminiscing my younger, simpler life, a side-effect of re-discovering my Yellowcard Pandora station).

Moving on... my mom came!  She flew in Thursday afternoon, and the whole pleasant-ness of the last 4 days has made them really seem like a blur.  I haven't taken a ton of pictures, but I did manage to get a few from the highlights of the weekend.

We spent a lot of time walking...

Walking around Lakeview, seeing things like the lovely, windy Lake Michigan...

And walking around downtown, exploring the loop from rounded metro rail-track corner to rounded metro rail-track corner.

We also, predictably, ate a lot of great food.  I think that this blog is getting a bit saturated with food pictures, so I didn't bother with all of the meals (On a side note, I'm thinking about starting a new blog sometime soon about all the restaurants in Chicago.  I'd like to say I need another creative outlet, but in reality, I just think it'd give me semi-legit reason to try every. single. restaurant. in Chicago.)

I had to capture the best meal, however, which was actually a bit daring of us both.  We made a last minute decision to try a wine and cheese bar around the corner from my apartment; we didn't know exactly what we were getting ourselves into, and we definitely aren't the foodie, "Oh, this egg-custard cream souffle is divine" type... but, why not try something new?

And thank God we did!  We both started out with half a glass of wine as we watched... and devoured... a slow parade of decedent small dishes, including:

A 3 cheese tray

Pastry puffs filled with goat cheese, bacon, and pine nuts...

An arugula salad with "charred eggplant puree, herbed vinaigrette, marinated red onions, crispy
habas, and French Feta (sheep)"

And sweet potato soup, with "Kentucky Ham toast, Marieke Gouda (raw cow) marshmallow"

So although we're not really foodies, we were on Saturday night.  I will say, though, it's a lot easier to pretend anything after a few glasses of wine!

The remainder of the weekend that we didn't spend in our alter-French food authority egos, we spent as pseudo-interior decorators, tweaking the apartment to brighten it up a bit.

And as for now?  We're spending our final few hours watching Knocked Up before we head out for one final goodbye meal.  It's been so great having her here, and I'm sad to see her go.  Hopefully she'll be back soon though, and in the mean time I'll be reminded of this wonderful weekend by the few extra good-time pounds on my butt, and my much more colorful, sunny little kitchen, compliments of my colorful, sunny mother!

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