Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The September Issue

Just a fun movie review for all of you fashion lovers. I just saw The September Issue about Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue -- recently made famous by The Devil Wears Prada book/movie. It was a fun peak into the fashion world and the influence that she has. And it has some hilarious moments including one where André Leon Talley, who is Wintour's editor-at-large, insists on playing tennis with a Louis Vuitton towel draping over his shoulders (not to mention his diamond encrusted watch and Louis Vuitton luggage he drags along).

Definitely a great glimpse of the fashion world including the glamorous shoots, fashion shows and meetings with various designers. I saw it at the local Indie cinema, but it will likely be coming to video fairly soon too. I've included the trailer below.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Soup

I love Joel McHale and The Soup. I often lament the fact that he never seems to come to Chicago to perform. Why, oh, why, must he go to places like Cleveland, Ohio, but never Chicago?! Its so frustrating.

If you haven't watched the show - its hysterical. Joel mocks reality tv "stars", talk show hosts, and basically anyone else they can. Its one of our weekend treats over here. I thought I'd include an old video, but one that we laughed about hysterically for days. I kept rewinding it and replaying it on the DVR. And, its got a dog in it... does it get any better?!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My favorite city by the bay....

I was lucky enough to get invited on a fun trip to San Francisco recently with my mom and her friend, Marla. We were there to go to a gallery opening for an artist -- Marla had just bought a beautiful painting from him. The gallery put us up in a really cool loft right in Union Square ... very swanky. It was a really short trip (just a weekend), but we packed a lot in while we were there.

The weather was beautiful, perfect for exploring the city. We headed out to Sausalito for the day on Friday and had dinner at a fantastic place called "Fish". It was a great restaurant right on the docks at Sausalito and they served all sustainable seafood and organic fare. If you're ever in the neighborhood, check it out. It was AMAZING! Plus, you can't beat the scenery. We also walked through the local farmers market there, where they had fresh empanadas and dim sum, and checked out the shops and stores around town.

Saturday, we wandered around Golden Gate Park, North Beach, Chinatown, and shopped some of the boutiques in Russian Hill and some other great neighborhoods. I love San Francisco because its so walkable. Although some of those hills can be brutal on your legs! Saturday night we went to the gallery opening, right on Union Square. It was a great location with lots of fun people watching both at the gallery and below. We topped off the night with some great wine and seafood at a restaurant around the corner.

All in all, it was a great weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicago 2016 Olympic Countdown

UPDATE: Barack is now heading to Copenhagen. Let's hope his star power works some magic over there!

Only 8 more days until the decision in Copenhagen is made! The city is abuzz with anticipation and I'm excited to hear what happens too. I can't imagine the excitement of having the Olympics here in Chicago. There is quite a convoy heading to Copenhagen to plead our case including Michelle Obama and maybe even Oprah. I'm thinking that Barack may just make a surprise appearance to seal the deal for us!

Keep your fingers crossed for the next few days. We'll be opening up our house for rentals during the Olympics... we're thinking of charging $2K per week. What do you think? A deal? :)

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few fun videos that the city has put out to promote the bid. Enjoy!

The Idea of Beauty

I just recently came across this Dove video again recently. I had seen it awhile ago and thought it was really powerful. I love how it showcases what really happens with photoshoots, editing, retouching, etc. to get to the final ad product. Now, hopefully we can all feel a little better about ourselves and realize that images aren't always what they seem.

Recipe of the Day: Fresh Basil Pesto

Today's fun recipe is Fresh Basil Pesto. Pesto is great on pasta, on fish, on vegetables, and on sandwiches as a spread. It is so useful and is so simple to make. Our basil plant just got big enough to harvest enough for a fresh batch of pesto. Yummy! Bon Appetit.

Fresh Basil Pesto

1 garlic clove
2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Into the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. With the blender still running, slowly pour 1/2 cup of olive oil into the mix. Check for a thick, yet smooth consistency, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicago Flashmob with Oprah

I'm sure many of you know that Oprah recently blocked off Michigan Avenue to film her season opener. I wasn't about to venture down there into the chaos of the Oprah show (I get enough of that on a daily basis across the street from her studio). But, I just came across this video and thought it was really fun. I would have loved to see this in person. Apparently it was a complete surprise to Oprah - her staff planned it. You can visit her site to see the making of it.

Give it a few minutes to get going (believe me, I thought that girl in front dancing was totally crazy too).... it gets really cool.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Recipe of the Day: Ginger-Soy-Lime Marinated Shrimp

Today's recipe of the day is inspired by my favorite local seafood market, and my husband's favorite chef, Bobby Flay. Bon appetit!

Ginger-Soy-Lime Marinated Shrimp

2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp

Place shallots, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat grill to high. Remove shrimp from marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recipe of the Day: Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread

Today's recipe is a favorite sandwich in our household. Bon appetit!

Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread

Garbanzo Bean Spread:
* 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

* 2 cloves garlic

* 1/4 cup fresh mint

* 2 teaspoons lemon zest

* 3 tablespoons lemon juice

* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 1 cup pitted black olives, finely chopped

* 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 2 (5 1/2-ounce) cans tuna, drained
* 1 (13 3/4-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

* 8 mini baguettes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise

* 2 cups arugula

To make the Garbanzo Bean Spread: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

To make the Panini: Combine the black olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, tuna, and artichokes in a bowl. Lay out the sliced baguettes. Spread the Garbanzo Bean Spread on both halves of the baguettes. Spoon the tuna mixture over the bean spread. Top with the arugula and close the sandwich.