Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Feast

Easter is right around the corner folks...scary, isn't it?  I'm not exactly sure where March went, or January and February for that matter.  But whatever!  I'll take a super fast winter any year.

Here are some old faithful Easter recipes from your girl Hungry.  Let us know if you have any questions or any other yummy ideas!

Easter Ham.  NOT the spiraled kind. The really, really good kind.

Hosting Easter Brunch?  Check out our Easter Ham Hash with Poached Eggs.

And don't forget about Easter Sliders and the best Potato Salad ever.

What are some of your Easter traditions?  Stay hungry!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Handmade Baby Items I Love

So I had big plans for this weekend.  Big, big plans where I finished off the nursery, vacuumed every crevice of my house, and crafted up some sweet and unique last minute baby items.  But last week my blood pressure spiked and the doctor told me to take it easy.  Like modified-bed-rest-easy, so all of my plans went out the window.  Yesterday's post was a project from a few weeks ago, but there was still plenty I would have liked to have crafted up.

Let's consider this post a little peek into my private "bebe" Pinterest board.  A rundown on projects I thought I could get done pre-baby.

1) DIY Crib Mobile - How sweet is this star and moon mobile?  The tutorial is in German but it looks like it's fairly simple... cut out some cardboard shapes and cover in colored yarn.  Sorry, bebe, no yarn crib mobile for you... (spoiler alert: luckily Jesse ordered an amazing mobile from Etsy for us to use instead)

2)  Fabric Diaper Changing Roll - We have a changing table upstairs in the nursery and a great to-go changing pad for the diaper bag, but I want to set up a changing station downstairs where we spend most of our time during the day.  I had envisioned sewing up a plush, portable changing pad to use.  Since any sewing project would involve a walk around the fabric store, I have put this on the back burner for now...

3) Handmade Baby Hat - I am obsessed with this project and not just because I used to have the same J.Crew shirt.  Late winter/early spring can be pretty chilly around here and I love the idea of stitching up a hat with ears for bebe.  Now that I've tried my hand at reversible hat sewing, I thought I was ready for adding on some ears and a flourish on top.  Not meant to be (for now).

4. Hand Stamped Swaddle Blanket - From what I hear, you can never have enough swaddling blankets for a new baby and this one is stunning.  Though I haven't used a potato stamp in ages, I had envisioned a basset hound stamp on the light, gauzy blanket.  This would also make a lovely baby gift if you can get the stamping down right.

So... a little glimpse into my yet-undone to-do list.  It's possible I will get them done at some point, but for now enjoy these sweet handmade baby goods and stay homey!

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's a ... HAT!

Although we've decided not to find out the sex of our baby before he or she is born, I find it tempting to buy some pink and blue items to bring to the hospital with me.  I know, I know... my inner Bates sociology major is cringing right now (I bet Charlie's inner Bates hockey player is laughing at that statement), but at 39 weeks pregnant, I'm up to my ears in yellow and green baby gear and ready to get this party started with some non-neutral baby items.

I decided a while ago that I wanted to sew a reversible pink and blue infant hat to take to the hospital for when the baby is born.  I bought some stretchy, soft jersey material in a bold blue and a light pink and hit up the internet for ideas on how to sew a baby hat.  This tutorial from Zaaberry looked easy to follow and fairly simple.  Even though her tutorial has a pattern to download and use, I just eyeballed the sizing based on (the world's cutest) hat I bought for this little Easter baby from BabyGap:

I followed the Zaaberry instructions for both the pink and blue hats, then sewed a strip at the top to connect them (wrong sides facing out)...

With the hats connected, it can be flipped to show either the pink side...

...or the blue side.

Pretty excited about how it turned out!  This hat is now packed in the hospital bag and patiently waiting  further instructions...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Looking for some extra calories...?

Check out Jaisa's Bacon Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken featured alongside 21 other "Dishes of Epic Calorie Proportions" on

Jesse just re-read the recipe, shook his head, and said, "I don't understand how she and Charlie don't weight 800 pounds each."  I referred him to Jaisa's growing list of "Skinny Recipes" and then asked him to go track me down some jalapeno poppers.  Stay hungry!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Corned Beef Tacos with Green Cabbage Slaw

I don't know if I'll ever make a traditional Irish Corned Beef dinner again.  Not after these little tacos of love. Who knew that corned beef would make RIDICULOUSLY amazing tacos?  Not to mention the jalapeno green cabbage slaw - MUAH. 

I should be arrested. 

No seriously. If the American Heart Association could arrest me, they would

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Taco Meat:
2 Cups of Cooked Corned Beef, Chopped
¼ Tsp of Cumin
¼ Tsp of Garlic Powder
¼ Tsp of Chili Powder
¼ Tsp of Paprika
1 Tbs of Water 

Cabbage Slaw:
1/3 Head of Green Cabbage, Sliced Thin
1 Tbs of Grated Onion
1 Jalapeno, Julienned
¼ Cup of Light Mayonnaise
2 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt an Pepper

Mix together the mayo and vinegar. Add the rest of the cabbage slaw ingredients, toss and set aside. In a frying pan warm up the chopped corn beef. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Add a little water or chicken stock to moisten the meat and seasonings. Heat over medium for 2-3 minutes. Pile some of the taco meat in a tortilla and finish with a little cabbage slaw. YUM.

These were seriously cray cray good. Make them and let us know what you think (if you still have any corned beef left)! 

Stay hungry!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blue Ball Jars!

I learned about the blue glass Ball jars on Brooklyn Limestone last week and I am SO excited!  Ball is celebrating 100 years of mason jars and these is the first in a series of limited edition jars.  They can be ordered here.


These are obviously a much, much smarter solution to satisfying your blue mason jar needs than trying to dye them yourself... remember my failed attempt last year?

Jesse and I use mason jars for a lot around here.  While I haven't tackled canning just yet (we do have a kit though and I am hoping to make my first attempt this summer, botulism be damned), we use mason jars for drinking water & smoothies, storing food, and displaying flowers.  We are trying to cut out plastic as much as possible and I think some pretty blue jars will make this task even easier.  Enjoy and stay homey!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheesy Corned Beef Bread

If you're anything like me, you made WAY too much corned beef for St. Patty's Day and now you don't know what to do with it.  Don't worry.  I have JUST the recipe for you.  Actually...I have two recipes.  Although you have to wait until Wednesday to find out the second.  

Anyway, enter cheesy corned beef bread.  This. Was. Amazing.  Both Charlie and my brother-in-law flipped their lids over this one.  This bread is just hurtin' people up in here. 

Crispy, ultra savory, and just the right amount of cheese.  Loads and loads of it. 

If you're feeding a crowd, I would go ahead and make double.  Or even triple. My husband and bro-in-law ate half a loaf each.

Mommy likey.  Mommy want cheesy. 

Here's the recipe.  Read it and weep my friends.

1.5 Cups of Cooked Corned Beef, Chopped 
1 Block of Cream Cheese, Room Temp
1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise 
1/4 Tsp of Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp of Fresh Ground Pepper 
1/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese, Shredded 
1/2 Cup of Swiss Cheese, Shredded 
1 Baguette, Sliced in Half Lengthwise 

Mix all ingredients together, until creamed thoroughly.  Remove some of the inside of the bread to make a little canoe.  Spoon mixture into inside of baguette.  Cook in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Turn oven up to 425 to ensure the top is nice and golden. Cut it up and serve.  TIP:  if you don't want to cook up an entire corned beef just for this recipe, you can get sliced corned beef from the deli cut thick.  That would work great too. 

 Watch your fingers...I almost lost one.  Stay hungry! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nursery Update #2 (Alternate Title: This is all that's done so far??)

The last time I posted pictures of our soon-to-be nursery, it was a dusty mess with no finished ceiling or floors to speak of.  That was over a month ago.  I'm pleased to announce that, at long last, we have both a ceiling and floors (AND painted walls)!

Here's the little nook in the nursery where the dormer window bumps out.  Don't mind the various tools scattered throughout the room, please.

The wall color is Martha Stewart's Sea Anemone, which seems to photograph somewhat toothpaste-y but is actually soothing but bright in person.  We decided to go with it on a whim instead of the light blues we'd been considering and I think it's perfect.

Here's our delightfully flat, non-popcorn ceiling, just waiting for its new fan (arriving tomorrow, right, Amazon?):

The closet still needs a lot of work (we're trying to find a "system" that will work for us) and I don't want to put the bifold doors back on there... I'm thinking about a canvas curtain of some sort.  The bifold doors that are ALL over this house don't seem to work well - they're always askew and off track and I hate to start off in this room with closet doors that are doomed for failure.

Jesse and our neighbor Rob (THANK YOU, ROB!) installed the floors themselves over the past two weekends.  They're bamboo and I am OBSESSED.  

Once the ceiling fan and lights are installed, we are ready to finally start decorating.  With less than 3 weeks until my due date, we're kind of down to the wire here.  I'm also hoping that the "nesting instinct" that I keep reading about will kick in at some point (My sister on nesting: "Suddenly you just clean and you like it? That seems like fiction").  And so far, for me, it is.  I'd much rather nap than nest (or even slog through my yes-I'm-still-working inbox).

Stick with us until the next update and stay homey!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Bee-Themed Baby Shower

I just posted about my baby shower in New York a few weeks ago and was so very lucky to have been thrown another beautiful shower this weekend.  We pulled into my mother in law's driveway and I could tell right away that there was a bee theme going on.  Which is perfect for me, because, well, you know.

 The day was full of sweet bee details (bee-tails?) that made it so special and so super cute.  After last week's snowstorm, it was a welcome sunny afternoon spent with friends and family.

Check out these amazing cupcakes, topped with marzipan bees.  SO delicious...

There were jars of cheery candies and bags for guests to fill up...

 And since I am relatively new to baby showers, I'd never seen a diaper cake before.  I'm pretty sure that this has to be the diaper cake to end all diaper cakes (and, of course, perfectly on theme).  Burt's Bees baby products, yellow and grey blankets, and a bunch of bee details.  I am obsessed.  Both the diaper cake AND bee cupcakes were made by Christine... amazing, huh?  Check out this cake.

Finally, guests were sent home with jars of local honey and granola tied with bee ribbon.  I LOVE useful favors and honey & granola just happen to be two of my favorite things.

Isn't this all so sweet?  We were given so many awesome baby gifts and I can't wait for our kiddo to meet these great family and friends.  Pretty sure I must "bee" the luckiest.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Detox Recipes

I just spent a lovely weekend with two of my best friends in the entire world (minus my lovely Caitlin).  We laughed.  Boy did we laugh.  We also drank.  Boy did we DRANK.  I'm feeling a should I say...fat...and a should I logged so it's time to do a little detoxing.  I play hard, I work hard.  I drink  hard, I detox hard.   Moderation is definitely not my middle name.  That's just how I roll.

1. Green Juice with lots of yummy and healthy ingredients like pear, cucumbers, kale, celery, and lemon.

Green juice

2. Detox Salad with kale, cabbage, carrots, and other goodies.

Detox Salad

3. Garlicky Roasted Broccoli.  Simple and satisfying.  Yes please.

4.  Chopped Detox Salad with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, currants, and sunflower seeds.  

Pinned Image

5. Toasted Quinoa Salad with lemon and olives. 

I'll be trying out some of these this week.   If you have any favorite detox recipes, we'd love to hear about them.

Stay hungry!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snowman...?

We've had a pathetic winter here in Chicago.  BARELY any snow.  I was pretty excited, however, when the biggest snowfall we've had in Chicago this winter came rolling through yesterday. 

We don't have a yard, but we DO have a window ledge.  Just big enough to make a teenie tiny little snowman, complete with toothpicks, a clover nose, and peppercorn eyes and buttons.  How badly do you feel for my future kids???

You can tell that Caitlin is the arts and crafts one...right?

He does look happy though.  Stay hungry!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Some Unique Wedding Registry Choices...

Pretty much everybody I know registered at Crate & Barrel or Williams-Sonoma.  Some also had registries at Target, Macy's, and Pottery Barn.  Jesse and I also registered at Restoration Hardware (and received nothing from that list).  I have seen registries on Amazon and MyRegistry, which allow you to add items from many places on the web but are less convenient for brick and mortar shoppers.  My point is: there are plenty of options out there, but here are a few more that you may not know about.

Garnet Hill:  My love of Garnet Hill is no secret, but they didn't have a registry option back in 2010 when Jesse and I got married.  Starting in 2011, Garnet Hill added a registry and I think it's a great way to stock up on high quality sheets or towels with fun patterns and colors (plus all sorts of other home decor items and organic lingerie, if you are so inclined).

L.L. Bean: Another registry unavailable when we got married but now open for business.  If the L.L.Bean registry were an online option when we got married, we would have registered for flannel sheets, some monogrammed boat & tote bags, and possibly a kayak.

Anthropologie:  Jaisa posted about an Anthro registry a while ago and I still think it's a great idea.  This was available when we got married, but with his general anti-frilly nature, Jesse put the kibosh on that pretty quickly (I believe he asked the question "Where can we register for a dirtbike?" more than once).  That being said, if you can get your partner to agree to an Anthro registry, go for it!

West Elm: West Elm is part of the Pottery Barn family, so it's no surprise that they have a "Wist List" option that serves as a registry.  West Elm is a great option for reasonably priced furniture, rugs, and home accessories.

Any other ideas?  Let us know and stay homey!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Adventures in Fine Dining: Grace Chicago, IL

I'm not really a fine dining kind of person.  Well not until I went to Grace.  This meal was so spectacular and so was truly a once in a lifetime experience for me.  Luckily they let me take lots of pictures so I could share this with you guys.  Here is what I had...

Here is the amuse bouche.  The orange piece on the end was a candy covered clementine slice.  How amazing is that?

Meyer Lemon: Osetara caviar, kumquat jam, chive blossom.

 Big Eye Tuna:  golden trout roe, pomelo, thai basil.  I will be dreaming of this dish for the rest of my life.  Simply amazing.  You break the ice shell and the entire dish turns into this amazing chilled soup with varying flavors and textures.

Chilled Scallop: hibiscus tea, five licorice flavored herbs.

 Scottish Salmon:  crispy red cabbage, citrus pudding, marigold.  I can't even describe out delicious this dish was.  And this is coming from someone who doesn't care for salmon.

Grilled Wagyu Beef: matsutake, salsify, mashua leaf. Can someone tell me what any of these are?

 Veal Cheek:  red wine braised endive, black grape, black mint.

Poached Quince:  elderflower, tamarind juice, bronze fennel.

Caramelized Sudachi:  toasted cashews, asian pear, nasturtium.

Bitter Chocolate:  raw chestnut, persimmon, lemon mint.

Real Cocoa Nibs and Truffled Chocolate.  Ridiculously good.

This was a bonus round.  A chocolate truffle and salty and sweet popcorn.

Here are a couple of pictures of the kitchen...

 So cool...

Just check out their pantry.  I mean, this place was incredible.

I have a few others on my fine dining check list...I'll keep you posted on my adventures.  Stay hungry!