We're just days from the end of the fall semester, so I've been in the thick of portfolios, conferences, and grading for the last few weeks. Last week it felt like it would never end, but now I can finally see the light... I'm so, so close to submitting final grades (yay!). As much as I enjoyed my students this semester, I am beyond ready be done with school so that I can officially switch into hardcore baking and shopping mode (starting with our annual visit to the Christkindlmarket).
Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more!)...
OMG! Burger at Burger 21: this double-stacked burger with applewood-smoked bacon, a fried egg, and loads of cheddar cheese on a toasted brioche bun is most definitely worth its name! Diana's longtime friends opened the first Burger 21 Illinois location, so we took a little trip out to Orland Park with a few of our favorite foodie friends and spent a fab Sunday afternoon eating out way through their menu. Along with this beast of a burger, I also fell hard for their Spicy Thai Shrimp Burger with Sriracha aioli and sesame Thai slaw.
The Commons Club. Jessica and I spent a lovely afternoon being proper ladies (ha!) and noshing our way through three tiers of finger sandwiches and pastries, all while sipping on some delicious boozy teas. My favorites included the pecan tarts, salmon sandwiches, and the aptly named Gluttony tea cocktail, made with a butter infused rum, caramel black tea from Rare Tea Cellars, and champagne.
Ghirardelli. Diana and I were invited to watch the Mag Mile Lights Festival from the Ghirardelli store in the Wrigley Building; not only did we have the perfect vantage point (it sooooo beat standing outside in the cold with millions of other people!), but we also had the chance to sample numerous treats from Ghirardelli (this sundae was the best!) AND we left with the best gift bags ever. I love their new Chicago product line and the seasonal chocolates!
Asado Urban Grill. I know that a mojito may not sound all that exciting, as it's a fairly standard cocktail, but trust me when I say that this mojito was pure amazingness! Made with coconut water and Cuban rum, it really is the mjoito of my dreams (make sure you ask for Eddie at the bar - he makes a mean drink!).
Braised Duck Tacos with avocado, grilled tomato salsa, cabbage, and cilantro rice at Asado Urban Grill. I am super picky when it comes to duck (as it's often far too dry or too greasy), so I was excited to discover these seriously delicious duck tacos. The duck was cooked perfectly and the heavy flavor was balanced by the creamy avocado and cabbage. If you're ever in the Rosemont area, this is a must-try!
Asado Urban Grill. How do you make fresh pasta even better? Cover it with truffle cream and cheese. OMG. I was lucky I got any shots of this dish, as Diana and I were ready to dive in the moment it was set on our table - the smell of truffle was intoxicating. Asado Urban Grill is officially my new favorite spot to visit in Rosemont!
Wild Garden: all natural, ten-minute Marinades and 90-second Heat and Serve Pilafs. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been looking for ways to simplify our weeknight meals, so I was super excited to receive a tasting box of new quick cook products from Wild Garden. I particularly enjoyed the marinades; they're all full-flavored (meaning there's no need to add other spices) and make it super easy to create a meal that doesn't leave you feeling like you've cut corners.
Quick Cook Persian Stuffed Peppers:
1) Lightly brown 1lb lean ground turkey and 1/4 chopped onion in Wild Garden's Persian Marinade
2) While turkey is simmering, following directions on bag to heat up Rice and Lentils
3) Cut tops off of bell peppers, stuff with rice and turkey blend, and bake at 350° for 10 minutes
The Kekoa Warrior Style Poké Bowl at FireFin Poké Shop: ahi tuna, hawaiian albacore, salmon, snow crab, fire sauce, spicy honey mayo sauce, avocado, mango, sweet onions, cucumber, pickled jalapeños, tobiko, crispy shallots, purple rice, gluten-free noodles, and mixed greens. I've mentioned before how much I love this poké trend; I really cannot get enough! The warrior bowl at FireFin is officially my new favorite version - it has a little of everything, so you don't have to choose between all of the delicious options.
One-Pan Chicken and Stuffing with apples and green beans from Martha & Marley Spoon. I've cycled through numerous meal kit delivery services over the years and have found most of them to not worth the cost, with only a few exceptions. I rate delivery services based on the quality of the food, as well as the ease of making the recipes, clarity of the directions, and the packaging. MMS completely met and exceeded my expectations! If you're looking to try out a meal delivery service for the first time (or switch to something new!), I high recommend MMS; the recipes are far superior to many of the others out there and the quality of the ingredients is top notch. Get $30 off your first box with code DINNER30.
Pumpkin Cupcake Smash with spiced pumpkin ice cream, layers of caramel, and a brown sugar frosted pumpkin cupcake from Smallcakes Chicago (one of my all-time favorite cupcake shops!). Sooooo much deliciousness!
Zoup! contains no sugar, no fat, no cholesterol, and is gluten-free, antibiotic/hormone-free, preservative-free, and certified non-GMO; it also contains substantially less sodium than other leading broth brands. Even better, each flavor options ranges between 0-10 calories per serving. Inspired by a lack of premium broth options available in supermarkets, the good people at Zoup! created a range of broth options that are so fresh and flavorful you can drink them on their own. I'm especially a fan of the Beef Bone Broth and the Chicken Broth (it makes a damn good chicken noodle soup!).
Want to try Zoup! Broth for yourself? Three winners will receive either a two jar pack (one jar of Chicken Bone Broth and one jar of Beef Bone Broth) or a four jar pack (the two bone broths, plus one jar of Chicken Broth and one jar of Veggie Broth). To enter the giveaway, simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below.a Rafflecopter giveaway