Sesame Garlic Green Beans (& talking)

I’m a talker.

A Chatty Cathy.

A blabber mouth.

Report cards used to say things like, “Amanda is an excellent student but she tends to be a social butterfly.” Took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t the praise I originally thought.

Luckily, this talent/gift/personality flaw comes in handy from time to time. Like this last weekend when my bff Alex came into town.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette (& game day)

Thoughts While Watching The Super Bowl:

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Pink is flawless.

Heh. I ordered a Philly. Didn’t even mean to.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Tom Brady looks like a middle schooler with that haircut.

Do the helmets normally come off that easily?

*sharp inhale* Almost!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Why does JT look like some hipster from San Souci?

This wine is delicious.

Senorita, I feel for you. (Feel for youuuuuu.)

Wait. That was the quarterback who caught that? Cool!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

I ate, I drank, I laughed with friends. All in all, a solid Sunday regardless of whoever won the Big Game. But now we’re back on that Monday grind and need to enjoy a big ol’ salad to celebrate the last of winter citrus and the end of Buffalo Chicken Dip/Football season.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

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Daily Green Drink (& habits)

I’m very much a creature of habit.

I will watch the same shows repeatedly (The Office and Park & Rec, if you want to know). Listen to the same albums (lately, this one and this one). Read the same books (working on Harry Potter at the moment).

I also tend to eat the same things. Fried eggs for breakfast, a big ol’ salad for lunch, yogurt for snacks. I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve also been drinking this every.single.day. for about three years.

Some may call it a rut. I call it routine. Unfortunately, I’ve never been entirely sure what to call this – a smoothie? A juice? My former coworkers used to affectionately call it “bog water” – which may actually be my favorite title for it. Filled with fruits and veggies and vitamins, it gives me energy and keeps my tummy happy. See how it makes yours feel!

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Gorgonzola Garlic Bread

I just spent the last 10 minutes watching a video on YouTube about makeup dupes. Which seems fitting since today I have another “dupe” of my own! Much like the scones from yesterday, this is a recreation of one of my favorite dishes in Chicago.

Gorgonzola Garlic Bread | via Midwest Nice Blog

There’s a place called Glenn’s Diner just off the Montrose stop on the Brown line that I frequented during my studies. The first time I went was with my family on one of their visits. Glenn’s had been featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and piqued our interest. (This is all too familiar to me.)

With its wall full of cereal and daily fresh fish offerings written on the chalkboards, Glenn’s quickly became a staple in my rotation of restaurants. When I was assigned to cover the Ravenswood neighborhood for an entire quarter, I began going even more, regularly taking friends and family when they visited, getting heaping bowls of lobster fettuccini or chicken and waffles.

Gorgonzola Garlic Bread | via Midwest Nice Blog

No matter what entrée I decided to get, or who I was with, the meal always began with an order of gorgonzola garlic bread. Because OHMYGOSH! Buttery, crusty bread doused with creamy, tangy gorgonzola cream…it was, in a word, divine. So much so, that I routinely began asking my servers for the recipe. And was turned down. And again. And then again (I bet they really liked me there). Eventually, the chef begrudgingly told me what was in the sauce but neither the quantities nor the method.

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Eggs & Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce (Sorta Shakshuka)

Sometimes I think I’d make a great personal assistant. Need dry cleaning picked up? Gotta stop by the Post Office? Groceries to get? I’m your girl! I LOVE running errands! I feel so productive and accomplished and love being out and about. I can lose a whole day just going from place to place, marking things off my list. In fact, there have been many days where I’m running around for 3 hours and get home only to realize that morning has already segued into the afternoon.

Eggs & Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce | via Midwest Nice Blog

Every week, before I go grocery shopping, I try to make a plan and have my list all filled out and my route planned (because yes, I go to multiple stores to get everything I need, don’t judge). I take my cup of coffee and my reusable shopping bags and spend a few hours (yes, hours!), going everywhere and getting everything I need. It is truly one of the favorite parts of my week.

I started this tradition in college, getting up early every Saturday to start my day with a walk to the farmer’s market. Then, after a scone and a cup of coffee, I’d hop in the car and head out to what is easily the best grocery store on the face of this planet, Fresh Farms. I’d pile my cart high, wandering from aisle to aisle, taking my sweet time. Once I got home, having spent the better part of my day grocery shopping, I’d carry everything up four flights of stairs and be set for the rest of the week.

Eggs & Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce | via Midwest Nice Blog

But sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes I ate a lot more than I thought I would or wasn’t fully stocked. I’d get to the end of the week and be desperate for sustenance, rummaging around in cupboards and the fridge looking for something to eat. I couldn’t afford another trip to the store – both budgetary and time restraints made it impossible.

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Roasted Garlic

Yesterday was a little involved, so today we’re doing something super duper easy – roasting garlic!

Easy Roasted Garlic | via Midwest Nice Blog

Have you ever roasted garlic? Ohmygoodnesssogood! Like, SO, SO good!!! If you have then you know what my excitement is about. If you haven’t, then get to gettin’ and get on this! So simple and such a delicious pay off. The garlic hangs out in the oven for a while and then it’s sweet and smooth and buttery and makes everything better.

Easy Roasted Garlic | via Midwest Nice Blog

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