{eat} refreshing

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Best guilt free meal. Not only is it fresh & colorful but I get to share this big bowl of deliciousness with a friend.

En Hakkore
1840 N Damen, Chicago

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bust a move

i don’t really sew but i inherited this vintage bust from a girlfriend’s mom’s house. i don’t know what i’ll do with it but i guess if i ever get to my online vintage store it would be the clothes modeler.

and since were on the topic of vintage, here are some goodies i found at a few recent estate sales & thrift stores this summer.

cat scroll

sometimes hunting for vintage is like a sport. take for instance the cat scroll (pic above). i initially had my eye on a table lamp (similar to the laurel mushroom lamp). actually my whole goal at that estate sale was to get that lamp. we had to take numbers in order to go into the sale. when our numbers were called, someone decided to forgo their number & this lady totally jumped in right in front of us to take the number. And guess what? she literally got to that lamp in front of my reach. aaaack!! what a bummer! after that, i just didn’t have any interest for anything else. i went from room to room trying to find an alternative prize. then as we were about to leave, i saw this poor little scroll hanging on the closet door. it made me smile (cause i do like certain cat art) for a $1 & my friend picked himself a potato masher.

we made up our disappointment w/ a delicious brunch @ nana’s:

country fried chicken on a fava bean waffle

pupusa, homemade chorizo, poached eggs w/ poblano cream & home fries

ok, it didn’t totally wipe out my disappointment of the lamp but it definitely cured my hunger.

autumn apple

autumn is not in the air yet, instead its warm & balmy like midsummer here. a bit sweltering if i say so myself. oh mother nature, please be easy on us this winter. no funny stuff please.

over the weekend on our way up to wisconsin, we made a quick stop into apple holler because i usually crave the apple fritters or the apple sausage & kraut. we should have guessed it wasn’t a good idea when we saw rows upon rows of cars parked beyond the lot that it was family apple picking season. it was an insane mad house. i suppose that’s what you do when you have kids, go apple picking & ride the donkeys or something like that. there was a crowd of people by the podium waiting to be seated but we were seated immediately maybe because most were waiting for tables of over 4ppl+. little did we know days like this they only offer buffet. nothing exciting to take pictures of because  it was worse than tv dinner or a school lunch cafeteria. i did get to eat my apple sausage & apple kraut but it had been simmering for who knows how long. actually everything was a simmering mess. i saw the mac & cheese then a gloppity goop in the next tray. mash potatoes some tossed mess over there. some i can’t even identify. it was beyond gross. lets just say we ate & ran but we paid for it (or at least the hubs did) by the time we got to our destination. yuckity-yucks! it should be called apple hurler that day. **shudder** on our way back to the car, i managed to pick one apple off the tree by our car, in hopes to clean the dirty palate.

cooling down

filipino cold treats (ube ice cream & buko pandan shaved ice)

sometimes it frustrates me that there isn’t one darn person around who can spontaneously do things on the whim. on a wonderful sunny day like today, too much scheduling, work & date books just doesn’t cut it for me. wtf, people??! play a little hooky. as they say, life is short. plus, we’ve been getting some goofy summer weather & you just gotta catch it when its good, esp. on a weekend.

thankfully the day was not all lost, my girl L may not have been able to take a roadtrip across state lines with me but she came & picked me up with the top open and ice cube blasting. she’s awesome like that.

**cold treats from: village creamery

mmm…my faux fancy french fries!

the weather made a big ass u-turn and it was cold, wet and cold! when that happens, i want comfort food. okay, maybe some long socks & a ginormous fleece blanket, too!

i had a taste for fries but i was too lazy to walk out to McDs for any, plus i’d feel guilty for feeding into my second stomach, you know. 😦 luckily i had a bag of frozen trader joe’s garlic fries. baked a few of those, according to the package. sprinkled some sea salt. drizzled a bit of truffle oil (very handy to have around). chopped in some fresh parsely (still growing in the garden) and viola! it managed to satisfy my fry craving for a bit. kinda frenchy but kinda not. you make the call.

speaking of french, i had a french lunch at this huge chain in the burbs. initially we wanted italian but we made a quick change to french, because its something we rarely pick. in the burbs more likely everything is a conglomerate chain. in this case, there was a row of three restaurants in front of us: french, italian & something (can’ t remember) but its all owned my one place conjoined to the mall (but not directly). made she-she w/ valet and all. so i can’t expect too much. i just want a decent lunch.

so we went and checked out mon ami gabi. french brassiery, old gentlemen’s club type of place. i think we were the only people of color besides the table staff. lotsa business-y men & coiffed older women. my lunch date said were going to have a fake french food, aren’t we? possibly, but we’ll see.

a very attentive wait staff. love the hot baguette in a bag. i can just sit there and eat that one item and i’d be a happy gal. but who does that? i ordered the escargot & she had french onion soup to start. me: buttery oily tender morsels but could use a little salt. again, bread & this i’d be fine. she: extremely sweet & cheesy. its almost too sweet. for entree, i had skate (just because i rarely make fish at home). she had a open face shrimp salad. me: it came out smelling funny. like ammonia. forgot that monday is a bad time to order fish, oops. my bad. then again, its bad that they even served it. bleeech! i ended exhanging it for a burger w/ brie. she: had a plate of soupy shrimp salad on top of a super toasted piece of toast. not very tasty. its okay but not very satifying. she only had a quarter of it and just had a piece of my burger. so all in all it wasn’t our kind of place. for what we spent, we probably could have had a better meal or two at some local hole. i suppose there’s a reason why you keep picking the same places to eat, again & again. doh!

listening: a spoon weigh a ton – the flaming lips

beverages @ urbanbelly

meet up with a few friends at new place for lunch. it was good but nothing that really rock my world to go back again and again. it was simple dishes w/ a twist. that twist comes with a price and that cost was not the friendliest to my pocketbook. i guess i can’t wrap my mind that i just ate a single bowl of ,basically, fried rice and it was $8!! then realizing each of the four dumplings cost $2 each! i guess for me there is similar food i can eat at some hole, if not better, that would be half the price if not less. don’t get me wrong the food was fresh and tasty. i enjoyed the bits of soft fatty pork belly in my rice. my companions all liked their dishes.

i guess the cost does include the atmosphere & service. its definitely done up in a modern clean, new york-ish way, in a small narrow space. the four huge communal tables keeps the place low key & hip, w/ the self-serving counter & water cups. the parking is an added plus. its a place for people who want pretty simple food but don’t want to trudge into real hole-in-the-walls. now, i can check it off my “must try list.” *checked*