Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:


We hope everyone’s holiday season has been as happy as ours so far!  One of our favorite parts of Christmas is receiving cards from family and friends with warm wishes and photos showing how their kids have grown over the past year.  We are blessed to have so many loved ones from all parts of the country and time periods of our lives who reach out to us during this very special time of year.

Lunch w/ a view

Dan’s mom honored us as our first house condo guest this Christmas, and we had a wonderful visit.  One of the highlights was our Christmas Eve lunch at the top of the Hancock building downtown.  The views were amazing and the food was equally as good.  Just like that, we have a new tradition for the Christmas seasons when we’re in our new Chicagoland home.

Street decor

Before we ever knew we would end up living here, we used to visit Chicago in the summer and wonder what, if anything, they replaced all the beautiful flowers with in the various planters and flower beds throughout the city during winter.  Turns out that they create lovely and festive arrangements with evergreens all over the streets, in both downtown Chicago and Evanston.  This particular planter is right outside our building, and we enjoy admiring it as we come and go (before it gets covered in a couple feet of snow).

Borrowed fireplace

We were fortunate to have large, gorgeous stone fireplaces in both of our prior homes, so the lack of one here in the condo requires some adjustment.  One of the ways we try to cope with our fireplace-less-ness is to score tables as close to restaurant fireplaces as possible when we can be so lucky.  We sat directly in front of this beautiful fireplace at one of our favorite neighborhood joints this week, and it was glorious.

Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:

Thankful for family fish!

Instead of turkey leftovers for dinner on the Friday after Thanksgiving, we cooked up a beautiful piece of Alaskan halibut, courtesy of my sweet Uncle K.  Even more special – he caught the fish himself during his summertime RV travels with my Aunt S.  Fish this fresh doesn’t need much help, so we opted for a simple preparation of roasting it with a little mayo (helps keep the fish from drying out), olive oil, garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, lemon juice and parsley, similar to this recipe.  My brother and I (neither of us big fans of fish) really liked it, and my mom (who hates any and all fish) even tolerated a bite!  Fish-loving Dan and my dad also really enjoyed it.  Thanks Uncle K!

Winter best friend

My most dear and thoughtful Dallas girlfriends gifted me with a gorgeous scarf for our move to the midwest.  It’s the softest, warmest and most chic scarf a girl could have, and it warms my heart as well as my neck when I wrap it around me to brave the Chicago winter.  Turns out, it’s pretty darn cold here.  Who knew?  (Only everyone we ever told that we were moving here.) Thank you, P and L.  I miss you only a tiny bit less every time I wear my scarf.  Good thing the weather will require me to wear it quite often.

Dixie Kitsch

One of the great things about our new home city is easy, walkable access to lots of really good restaurants (especially when temps are in the 20s and teens.)  Dixie Kitchen is a 3-5 minute (depending on how cold it is!) walk from our condo.  We went there for breakfast on a previous house-hunting trip and loved the food as well as the atmosphere.  Our dinner there the other night also did not disappoint.  Crawfish (or “crayfish,” as they refer to mudbugs around these parts) etouffee is my go-to Cajun dish, and Dixie’s version was excellent.  We also look forward to trying their po’ boys.

City Christmas Lights

About one block from our condo, the view of downtown Evanston’s Christmas lights (with blue & green tree in the distance) is both pretty and festive.  Assuming we ever finish unpacking and organizing, maybe we’ll put up a Christmas tree and some lights of our own in the condo at some point before Valentines Day.