Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

San Fran Love

October 16, 2010

Trip Highlights:

I am back in Chicago, after spending the past three weekends out of town.  It feels good to be back… sleeping in my own bed, clean laundry, groceries in the fridge–nice home things.  Pics from above are from my trip to San Francisco.  It seems I’m never there long enough to do everything I want.  This is easily one of my favorite cities to visit.  I already kind of miss it.  One weird question… who thought it was a good idea to not only carpet the BART subway cars, but use upholstered seats?  Ummmm…


Guess Where?

October 3, 2010

What’s Going On

September 30, 2010

Hey people! I just got back from a work trip to Maryland. It was a short, and mostly sweet visit. Sadly I didn’t get to try anything from Cakelove, one of their local bakeries. I stopped in after dinner my first night just to check it out, but was so stuffed of tuna and coconut rice, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything. I vowed I would be back to devour a S’mores cupcake, but it just didn’t happen.

Boo.  Ah, well. I am headed to San Francisco tomorrow, so I think I’ll make up for it there with assorted baked goods & ice cream.

And then, a week from tomorrow, I will be en route to Kansas City to be in Jennie & Perry’s wedding!

I actually may have to rethink this San Fran Carly vs. Food thing.  I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into after all.  Hmm.

Speaking of health food, I found those Caramel Apple Pops on a recent Walgreens visit.  Different apple varietals–Green Apple, Golden Delicious, & Macintosh.  I should work for a candy company.  Seriously, how fun?  They were all delicious.  The Golden and Macintosh were a tad sweeter than the original Green.  I love the seasonal candy/decoration aisles at stores. Target is an especially dangerous place for me.  I lose all sense of time and purpose.  Just ask Roomie L.

I will try to keep posting during my travels.  Excited and just a bit tired…



August 30, 2010

I had an amazing weekend!  A brief breakdown:  It involved fam and friends, train rides, car rides, and farmers markets…

bubblegum plums (tiny!), witnessing the marriage of a really sweet couple at a boat wedding, and a lovely Lake Geneva B&B…

getting thrown around at the Iggy & The Stooges concert, nighttime walks, popsicles, and cookies!

Finally.  I was super stoked to make this recipe ever since the Pioneer Woman posted it a few months ago.  I love chocolate malts, and this cookie, especially with the milk chocolate chips, really captures the flavor of that classic dessert drink.  I split the dough and tried half with these milk chocolate chips, and half with semi sweet.  Go with the milk chocolate for sure.  You won’t be disappointed.  Note, HIGHLY addictive.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

from the Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup, rounded, malted milk powder
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and malt powder until just combined.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by the teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.  Be sure to leave a couple inches between each cookie as they spread and will completely flatten out.  I used about a 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each cookie and I ended up with 4-5 dozen.

Bake 7-8 minutes, but start checking them at minute 5!  Because they are so thin, these cookies burn VERY quickly.  As you watch them in the oven, you will see them first puff up and then fall.  You will want to remove them as soon as they fall, maybe even when the middles are still puffed on a couple of the cookies on the sheet.  The cookies will be a medium brown, see above pics.

Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Enjoy!

Boulevard Beer, or KC Love Part II

August 27, 2010

My darling of a roommate gave me a ride to work today. Thank goodness, as I didn’t want to be lugging the above on the el. I normally walk around with a lot of stuff as it is… cans of soup (lunch), books, gyms shoes, etc., etc.. I thought I would scale back when I switched to a smaller handbag, but that didn’t really happen. Now I just carry bagS, and my once adorable chic-ish purse is now a bulging, unzippable, nightmare blob. Hang a coffee thermos from my strap, throw a 12-pack in my arms and you got my Friday morning, teetering-into-work look.

But about that beer. Boulevard Brewing Company is based in Kansas City and seems to be most beloved for its unfiltered wheat beer. If that’s not your thing, they have a billion other brew varieties. Yes, a billion. If you are ever in the KC area, you should visit for a tour and tasting (info on their site here). Our group was partial to the Bully! Porter. As far I know Boulevard is not distributed in Chicago (sadness), but I have found it in other Midwest cities like Minneapolis. This sampler was purchased on my most recent KC trip for my sometimes beer-brewing, often beer-drinking, baby brother.

Um, my baby brother is 22. And moving away. To study bioengineering (what the heck?!) like a smartypants. Or maybe just to escape his crazy family which includes THREE nutty older sisters. Even I can admit, that’s a lot of nutty. Happy escaping, Miguel–Cheers!

P.S. Due to kitchen “issues” that involved bailing water with plastic beer steins across the hall and into our toilet, baking has been on hold for the past couple days. All is well now though, so cookies soon!

A Reappearing Act

August 4, 2010

The Plaza Fountain

This weekend I was lucky enough to spend time with two of my favorite people–Jennie & Perry, of previous Who Wants Candy fame. They now live in Kansas City, and are fun, sweet, and just generally awesome. And they’re getting married! Roomie and I drove down on Friday for Jennie’s bachelorette party with a carload of party favors, candy, bald cupcakes, and buttercream. We listened to a lot of Beatles songs and ate salt and vinegar chips. We talked about our hopes and dreams and how we wanted BBQ.

BBQ. The food in Kansas City is just fantastic. From a caloric standpoint, it’s really probably a good thing I was only there a weekend. I could have walked the 500+ miles home and not burned off what I consumed. All. Totally. Worth. It. Here’s where we went…

Jennie & Perry at Waldo Pizza Waldo Pizza
We went to Waldo’s to experience St. Louis Style Pizza, which until last Friday, I had never heard of. Apparently it involves a very thin, cracker-like crust, minimal sauce, and a ton of cheese (provolone, swiss, cheddar & mozz). We got ours with pepperoni, in addition to a “regular” thin crust veggie. They were both great, but the St. Louis Style definitely won me over. I am not saying it will ever replace my deep dish, but the greasy cheese blend and pepperoni, paired with the crunch of the crust was pretty perfect. I’m not sure how authentic a St. Louis Style pizza is served in Kansas City, but I’ll take it.

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue
I have no pictures of Oklahoma Joe’s. My apologies, but I was too busy stuffing my face, fighting back tears of joy because I was eating the best BBQ I think I’ve ever had. Plus my fingers were too sticky from the aforementioned BBQ to take out my camera. Did I mention this place is in a gas station? And that you can smell the BBQ from the parking lot? And it’s complete torture inhaling delicious BBQ fumes while you wait in line for the 20-30 minutes until you get your food? Goodness, goodness. We shared ribs, which were fall-off-the-bone AMAZING. They had just a bit of sauce, and were incredibly tender. Totally perfect. The Z-Man Brisket Sandwich was AMAZING, CRAZY GOOD. The meat was tender, not at all chewy, and the sandwich was topped with melty provolone and onion rings. They also had fountain Barq’s Red Creme Soda. I’m not making this up. Perry, I curse/love you for bringing me here. My life is ruined.

Cupcake À La Mode Perry with Key Lime Cupcake
This place is precious and very pink! I tried two of their cupcakes, one of which was their monthly special–Key Lime Pie (pictured with Perry, right). Total yum. A moist lime cake with a tangy cream cheese frosting and topped with graham cracker crumbs. Great seasonal flavor. And then! The Marshmallow Fondue, which has to be as close to a S’more a cupcake can get. Chocolate cake stuffed with a bit of marshmallow goo, topped with chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, and a chocolate covered graham. Heaven. Other offered flavors? After Dinner Mint, Bella Nutella, Amaretto Sweet, and Raspberry Lemonade to name just a few. I hope the cupcake craze lasts forever.

Laura Drinks LimeadeTopsy’s
Limeade. Limeade. Limeade. They also serve ice cream, popcorn (their cinnamon popcorn is supposed to be fantastic), candy, and other assorted treats, but I can only comment on their really great limeade. Refreshing, not overly sweet or syrupy, with the slightest bit of carbonation. It was ridiculously hot walking through the Plaza, and this was the perfect drink for ridiculously hot. Why can’t I find a good place for limeade in Chicago? Anyone? Is this just a Kansas/ Missouri thing?

I am back in Chicago and just ate a frozen enchilada meal.  Send help/bbq/limeade.