The Bachelor Weekend

This is what I do when Mike is away at his Bachelor Party: watch TLC shows and eat gobs of my all-time favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. (No Larry, for the millionth time, you can’t have any.)

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For any dog lovers out there, check out this 15 second video I made, starring the notorious Martin pup.

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Tea Bread

Mike loves lime. I love tea and bread. So when I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try.

Betty Crocker’s Buttermilk Lime Tea Bread

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The recipe intimidated me with the need for a “grated lime peel.”(Huh?) And I would have given up if not for Susan Walker of Cooking with Sue, who showed me what to do in this handy video.

And look how it turned out! My first loaf of real homemade bread.

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Betty advised not to eat a slice until the next day but that, of course, didn’t happen.

Super Easy Pumpkin Bread

This is how a girl without an electric mixer or loaf pan makes pumpkin bread. Store-bought pumpkin mix poured in a square baking pan.

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I helped myself before taking the picture. #priorities

I think I’ll call them pumpkin brownies. A nice Lenten substitute for cookies 🙂

(Buy the mix at Trader Joe’s — but better hurry, it’s only seasonal!)

Barbecue Quesadillas

We kicked off the week with a new recipe of barbecue quesadillas. It’s a true miracle I was able to properly flip the folded tortilla on the skillet without it falling apart.

This recipe was a winner — easy to prepare but tastes so good no one would believe it only has 6 ingredients.

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The dipping sauce was my favorite. (Half barbecue sauce, half Ranch dressing – genius!)

This was my first time trying a new recipe with my handy iPad stand. Thanks, Mom 😀

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Friday Night Lights

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Just call us Nancy Kerrigan and Gordon Bombay. OK, not really. But I considered our ice skating adventure at Soldier Field a success since neither of us fell.

(Though I had several arms-flailing moments, I never actually hit the ice.)

The next 13.1 and TJ’s to the rescue

Chi Town Half Marathon, I’m coming after you.

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This will be my fifth 13.1 mile race. Here’s hoping it’s also my fastest. I’d like to break 1:40, or about one minute off my personal record of 1:41 (set last year at Notre Dame’s Holy Half Marathon).

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Mike and I had a delicious dinner tonight in Evanston with Mike’s cousins. Had some great laughs!

I wish I had taken some pictures, ESPECIALLY of little Luci in her toddler skinny jeans. (She pulled them off so well).

I offered to bring chips + dip then ran out of time to make something. Thank god for TJ’s — everyone seemed to love this salsa.

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Friday Feast

It may have been the great company, or the fact that I was famished, but the penne marinara at Club Lucky last night tasted like Italian HEAVEN.

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We decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day early (or often?) and feasted on delicious entrees AND dessert. The restaurant is really cute without trying to be. And even better, it’s not very expensive.

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(please excuse my rat tail hair issue and note that divine-looking ice cream brownie dessert)

In other news, as of last Tuesday, we are less than 5 MONTHS til the Big Day!

Brave Chicagoans

“See, this is our problem. Here in Chicago, we believe in the fortifying nature of winter. We find our comfort, our meaning, our identity, not in surf and sand but in the belief that anything below 32 makes us strong.”

Chicago Tribune Columnist Mary Schmich. Read her full column about the brave, weather-worn people of Chicago here.