Best Breakfast in Chicago :)

I love my Eagle so much.  (He’s the boyfriend remember)  Well, he took us to Chicago simply to dine at varied restaurants for my blog…ok fine and to also visit family.  We literally visited a new spot each day for every meal of the day <sigh of gratitude> HE’S AMAZING! (picture me smiling, doing turning paddle turns while tossing confetti)

First up was Batter & Berries.  This (B.O.) spot was and is a “must visit”.  Known for their french toast, I decided to order the ‘Flight of French Toast’ which is their sample platter offering four-five varied flavors such as (in photo order) Taffy Apple, Lemon Curd, Caramel Pecan, Strawberry and Blueberry.

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Brownies from the Baby!

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I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, I absolutely love children in the kitchen.  Ok, fine I don’t like them when Im trying to complete something complicated, but until then, they are all welcomed.  The kitchen is still my favorite place and forever the heart of the home.  Therefor, all who are loved are welcomed.

Speaking of love, this little lovely stirred up a beautiful batch of brownies using her Little Bake Oven.  A baking queen in the making. <chuckle> Such a joy, right!  Her sister was the one practicing her cheesecakes with my mother over the summer.  Clearly there’s a little baking in all of us.

Well…
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C is for Cookie & Cookie good 4 ME

Soooo LIKE cookies are fun and delicious and LIKE I freaking love them <chuckle>

Ok, so here’s the deal.  I’m not going to waste your time with some long drawn out  opening story about my mother as a child who has one leg and baked cookies at the age of 1 after having hand surgery, leaving her with 3 thumbs and 1 finger.  Instead, let us simply get to the point today.

Go check out De Luscious Cookies & Milk.  I took it upon myself to try their chocolate chip, oatmeal raison and I forgot the third one but it was chocolate with a chocolate gooey center with white powder/icing coating.  Oh – Chocolate Decadence!  Yes, that was it.  OMG they were YUMMY!  They are more of a pick-up or delivery company.  You know, parties, events, etc. I mean it is holiday season now.  I tried them for the first time back in 2010.  Nothing but smiles people ever since, nothing but smiles.

So while singing C is for cookie, lets go make some and pretend we’re De Luscious… <hmm> or more like Q-licious <big smile>

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This particular photo is from a ‘cookie in a jar’ recipe that I remixed by adding 2 eggs, 3/4cp butter, 1/4cp of combined peanutbutter and chocolate morsals.  Baked at 350 for 12min.  AND OH MY GOSH – soft, delicious with a much better turn out.  Have you revamped any ‘cookie in a jar’ recipes?

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) 
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) 
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste ***
Price

(My ratings for De Luscious Cookies & Milk are incomplete for my experiences have always been catered through events.  Therefor, I can not rate their amenities, price, etc.)

Diving For Food!

So there’s this place called Tart over on Fairfax if ever in Hollywood.  It’s a restaurant attached to a colorful, cool, LA vibe hotel.  Jenise told us about it and so we all made the trip.

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Talk about a photographers heaven…for me anyway.  The door to the right leads you into the hotel lobby.  This entrance I’ve captured is the door on the left, the restaurant.  As you enter it becomes a little dark.  There’s a bar with additional table seating placed around the room.  As you follow the path of curiosity to the right, it quickly leads you to their outdoor seating. This is located central of the hotel and restaurant.

IMG_1132.JPGBesides the check-in counter, the hotel entrance has a tiny boutique, large coffee table with art decor inspiration books and appropriate themed dust collectors representing farming or gardening.  The doors to the left lead you to the outdoor eating area as mentioned above.  Directly to the right was their little swimming pool with yellow rubber duckies preparing to outline the water.IMG_1139.JPG

Cute!

 

“Where to sit?” was the question of the moment.  So many choices.  For us, simply a party of three, we really didn’t need the horse shoe of benches topped with black and white pillows and large coffee table to hold everyone’s plates.   Maybe next time.

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SOOOO much SUGAR

I’m on sugar probation for a while, which totally sucks.  Personal reasons. Therefor, I have to sit and watch everyone enjoy their evening snacks and daily treats…jerks!  (rolling eyes)  What have I done to deserve this?  It’s unfair!  Look at it, just sitting there in that glass waiting to be mixed into some concoction.  “YOU THINK I CARE!” Ok, well I actually do. <LOL>

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I’ve been down this road before.  During that time I decided to research sugar and learned there are so many kinds besides the basic white and brown.   Who knew!  There are also a variety of salts and flours that exist for our enjoyment of baking.  We’ll get to those one day.

Well, lets discuss this stuff that makes life sweet and some language that surrounds it.  When instructed to Firmly Pack your sugar or dry ingredient, tightly press the ingredient into the measuring cup.  When told to Lightly Pack, press the sugar lightly into the measuring cup while avoiding air pockets.  To Even / Level the amount, discard what rises above the top of the measuring cup while using the back of a knife.

So what sugars are out there?  To name a few, lets start with White Sugar or Granulated Sugar (sucrose).  This is the one we all know and for most if not all have grown up on.  It’s what we usually use for any and everything.  It’s the basic go-to sugar for most recipes.  I use to use this for any and everything.  I didn’t know better and thank God I grew up.  This basic sugar lacks flavor, but does its job for many other things. Continue reading