Tagged: Chicago

Veggie Burger Done Right

I am a vegetarian.  The only meat I eat is sushi.  It is the one thing I could not give up.  When I lived in Chicago I had an unlimited supply of AMAZING sushi, in fact I would eat sushi once or twice a week!  Since we’ve moved I’ve only eaten sushi once in 6 months!  I won’t lie, it scares me a little that they market it as “real sushi” here…I mean what else would it be “fake”….

The Good Stuff

Leaving Chicago didn’t just leave me without my fav sushi spots, it also left a huge void in the department of great vegetarian food.  In particular I really miss my veggie burgers.  There are two really great burger joints in Chicago that I truly loved going to.  The first is Counter Bar, it’s a build your own burger and I think their sweet potato fries are exceptional.  The second, and quite frankly the better of the two I believe, is Burger Bar.  O-M-G!!!!  I stopped in here for lunch one day and had a veggie burger and my server suggested I add a fried dippy egg to it.  I did and it was the absolute best burger I have ever eaten–including meat ones!

Out of my lack grew longing, and out of this longing grew searching and my searching landed me on this great website called food.com.  Here I found some amazing sounding recipes.  Well tonight the thought of having to eat another boca burger made me want to start a fast.  So I pulled out one of my veggie recipes and got to cooking.

Blend Well

Ladies and gents I have found an amazing burger recipe!  So I come from the south and the woman that raised me always said there were two things that you added to every recipe: 1) “season it till tastes right” and 2) “butter will make anything better, so if you are unsure add another stick.”  Now she was kidding about the whole stick, but I learned how to cook but seasoning food and adding butter.  So if I didn’t like the way something tasted, I would try seasoning, then a  pat of butter, and I’d keep going to till it tasted like home.

Well this recipe I only added 2 pinches of pepper! I really hope you enjoy this recipe and don’t think this isn’t good enough for a man, cause mine thought they were amazing!

Cooking in the pan

Here they are and I’m sorry I don’t know the P90X conversion rate for this one:
Corn and Two Bean Burgers
2T olive oil
15oz can kidney beans
15oz black beans
1/3c dry breadcrumbs
1/4c whole kernel corn
1/4c chopped onion
1 large egg
***Changes I made:
I used a whole can of sweet corn
I used italian flavored bread crumbs
I added 1/4c of bread crumbs
I added 2 pinches of black pepper
I omitted the chopped onions

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine kidney beans and black beans in a large bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add breadcrumbs, corn, onion, and egg; stir until well blended.  Form bean mixture into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until crisp and beginning to brown.

Ta-Da

I will say that cooking 4 minutes on each side is absolutely mandatory.  If you don’t then they won’t stay together and won’t flip well.  I ate mine with cheese, ketchup, mustard, and some lettuce!  All I needed was a fried dippy egg and some avocado, then it would be the best burger….almost as good as Burger Bar’s!

Yum!!!

Festivals Round 2 Part 1

Colin, Sarah and I at Ribfest

So this weekend has been ripe with festivals, and it isn’t helping much that Colin is working on the weekends!  If you’re a friend of mine on FB then you saw the list of festivals this weekend.  But in case you missed it then here it is: Ribfest, Blues Fest, Well St Art Fest, Old Town Art Fest, St Michael’s Block Party and Andersonville’s Midsommer’s Fest.  That’s a lot of festivals.  So here is the first round of festivals that we’ve been to so far.

We went to Ribfest first.  And I know I know what ya’ll are thinking, “Lee Ribfest?! You?!”  Yeah, but I’m married to a man that LOVES meat!  We didn’t get there till it was almost over, but Colin did get two 1/2 slabs and he said they were really good.  I tried the two different sauces and they were both really yummy.  I had a glass of fruit juice, one glass of watermelon one glass of cantelope.  It was so good.  The typical vendors were there selling their wares, sunglasses, dresses that you can wear 15 different ways and of course the Asian food vendors with their fried rice and chicken on a stick.

One slab being cooked up

This is a constant surprise to me.  Back home we don’t have these fried rice stands, but everywhere I go around here they are there.  I don’t know what the fascination is with fried rice and vegetables at a fair.  We can buy it for so little in the restaurant and a plate at a festival is like 8 tickets.  They had a Korean BBQ stand at Ribfest and a Fried Rice Stand at the Wells Street Art Festival (WSAF).

The WSAF was really fun too.  It was bigger like the Do Division fest and covered like 2 1/2 blocks.  They had a Greyhound rescue booth set up and Colin and I both fell in love and almost brought one home.  I think we might have found our next addition to the Cumbie Pack!  We’ll see how it all plays out.  I think it would be great for Kali to have someone to play with during the day and I think Greyhounds are such graceful creatures, plus by rescuing a retired racing dog that insures the purity of the breed plus you still get to rescue a pooch!

Wells Street Art Festival

Anyway back to the festivals….last and least of all was the St. Michael’s block party.  We did get there 45min before it was over, but it was pretty dinky.  They had a really bad cover band playing and barely any booths.  The only cool one was a hat stand, but since we bought hats at Goorin Brothers I like the better quality.

Today we’re off to the Andersonville Sommer’s Fest and hopefully we’ll get to the Blues Festival too… But we’ll see!

Till next time.

So….Here is the Contender!

Ok so as I wrote on Friday we are looking for a house….well Condo actually.  So we have another Condo to throw in the mix!

MLS# 07759148
It’s in Lakeview, just a few streets south of where we live now!  We really like this one.

Now an interesting development happened the other day though.  The Paulina house that I first posted about, has come to us with an offer!  The contractor said that he would buy out our lease, our lease is up in September, if we wanted to buy the Paulina house.  I like the kitchen and especially the granite in the Paulina house, but I don’t like the local so much.  I LOVE where we live right now, close to the Lake and the Park for Kalie.  We can walk to all our favorite places.  The Paulina house is ready to go now though.  They are both Garden Units so that is also something to consider…I hear they don’t resell very well.

Well you check it out and let me know what you think.  Remember you can log onto Redfin, Ziprealty, or Realtor using the username janedoe@mailinator.com and password mailinator to check out these two MLS #s!

Blizzard 2011

Out side around 8 or so...notice the areas NOT covered in snow...

So here we are, broadcasting from Chicago, IL and reporting on the Blizzard of 2011!  Officially the most snow I have ever seen in my LIFE!  I’m sure everybody has been watching the news and keeping up with the blizzard that swept through the North West so I won’t recount how terrible the wind was, with gusts up to 55 mph.  And I won’t tell you that we got around 2 feet of snow, or how at 11.40am it is still falling at around 3″ per hour.  I’m not gonna waste valuable word count reiterating how Chicago Public Transit has come to an almost complete halt, with some of the El’ lines (Brown Line—Colin’s way into work) not even running and Lake Shore Drive littered with abandoned cars.  There is no need to talk about snow drifts that have almost completely covered cars and that the further out of the down town area you go the less likely you will find a snow plowed road.

These poor guys are trying to clear our walk way but wait till we get out a mere 2 hours later!

Instead, I would like to talk about how cool it is that in my first year of living in Chicago I get a snow day!  We get these periodically in Dallas, Texas but instead of snow we get ice, and of course that is a lot more dangerous.  Apparently, here in Chicago they don’t do snow days…ha!  The Texan moves north and NOW you Northerners get a snow day!  Since I’m a sales man or “sales woman” for all you that are politically correct out there, I am really appreciative that I don’t have to get out and walk through all this stuff.

The Street....

Kalie on the other hand, is LOVING it!  She literally swims through the drifts and enjoys jumping from bank to bank.  Since our apartment faces the street we can see all the people walking around in it.  The street is covered with snow and you can’t drive through it, you have to literally dig yourself out as you drive along.  This is so crazy to think about and frankly amazing to see.

Kalie got to play with a Schnauzer...

I’ve always seen on TV or heard about the huge snow falls up North, in Boston, Main and New York but I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.  We talked with my In-Laws today via Skype and Mrs. Pam showed us pictures of her back yard and it is comical compared to the snow that we have.  Of course then my next thought is, “And Dallas shuts down for less.  They would think it was the apocalypse if they got all this!”

Colin knee deep in the snow

I’ll keep ya’ll updated.  I’m posting pictures AND video so if you have slow connections beware that it might take a minute to watch it.  I think we should collectively gather round with a cup of Coco, a good book or great movie, Papaw’s heater blanket (thank you Mamaw!) and “hunker down” as my Mother would say.  We’re not going anywhere kiddos, maybe tomorrow will yield yet another snow day!!

Signing off in Lakeview, Chicago, IL this is the Cumbie Clan!

***More pictures in the gallery!!***

Video Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV-PiihpkDA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifCmD50vpM

Happy 1 Year Anniversary & Happy New Year

At Feast

Those of you that have known us for at least year know that we got married on New Years, last year.  As of this blog post we have been married for 1 year and 1 day!  It has been an amazing 1st year and I am going to recap all that we have been through in our first year of marriage!  I love you Colin and I feel so blessed to have you as my husband and I had a great first year and can’t wait to see what year 2 brings us!

A year in review…..

January 1 we got married and then went out to eat at our favorite place in Dallas–The Metro Diner!  We had all our bestest friends with us and felt so blessed and surrounded by love.  Mrs. Pam drove us to the airport to be on a 9am flight to New Orleans for our honeymoon.  We spent 4 glorious days at Ashton’s Bed and Breakfast.  The food was great and it was so relaxing to just be and stroll through New Orleans.  We ate well and life was amazing.

The Green Door

I started my final full semester of school taking 21 hours and needing to maintain my A average–which I did by the way!  About mid January I was back in Baylor Hospital.  After we changed doctors due to a bogus diagnosis, more blood tests were run, an MRI was ordered and it was decided that I had had a mini stroke.  I was also diagnosed with Lupus and a blood disorder requiring me to be a life long Coumadin patient.  For more information regarding what exactly Lupus is and what Coumadin is used for check out the websites below respectively:
http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html
http://www.coumadin.com/for_consumers.aspx

At O'Learys

Not going to allow the diagnosis to dictate how we were going to spend our life, we went forward.  We moved into a larger yet less expensive apartment in February.  We loved our place, it was so nice and spacious.  I got a job at Williams Financial Group after I graduated in May and I loved my job.  I loved the people I worked with and life was going GREAT!  Then as it often happens in life, we thought we could settle in, but the Universe had different plans.  Colin was ready for a change in scenery and wanted to explore other career opportunities.

O'Leary's

We started to look at different cities and the cost of living in each.  We narrowed it down to Chicago, Portland (which was our first choice) and Denver.  Colin started feeling out the job market in Portland and then Chicago.  In August we decided Colin should just leave his job and go live in X city for two weeks, get a job and then I would move up.  So we looked at what it would cost for Colin to live in Portland vs Chicago for two weeks, and then what it would cost to get a Uhaul to Portland vs Chicago.  Well, as we all know, Chicago won the cost factor contest.

Colin started interviewing in the financial sector, I turned in my two weeks notice at the beginning of September.  By September 12th Colin, Kalie and I were officially living in Chi-town.  I was at a loss as to what career path to pursue.  Colin encouraged me to go in the direction of sales.  I had 0 sales experience but Colin wasn’t going to let that stop me!  So I had some help from one Eric Lemieux and Vince with Selling Point in Boston and I got a job working at locallife.com!  I now sell online marketing and custom websites.  I rock at my job and am so far hitting my sales goals.

The Green Door

We had a great New Year/Anniversary celebration.  We went to eat at Feast in the Gold Coast and ate one of the best 4 course Prix Fixe meals I think I have ever had!  It was A-MA-ZING!  We then went to O’Leary’s Public House on Wells and Ohio.  Rung in the new year with Steve and Pat.  Thank you Steve so much for the bottle of Champagne!  We met a cool cat, Justice, who was in the city for a visit.  He is a chef and opening a new restaurant in Joliet, IL.  He stayed with us as we went to The Green Door Tavern on Orleans just south of Superior.  The Green Door was so much fun!  Then last but certainly not least we went out to Declan’s.  Declan’s was bumping and Jeff one of the main guys there had a great turn out!  Colin and I so enjoyed our New Year meal at Feast and our mini Pub Crawl from O’Leary’s to Green Door and ending the night at Declan’s.  My new favorite bars in Chicago!

Spending the first day of 2011 and our 2nd year of Marriage at Meli for breakfast!

We ended the year on a splash, the same we started it!  Here is to a beautiful 2011!  I can’t wait to see what the new yearbrings!

Christmas Time Is Here

 

Santa Came By!!

So Christmas went very well.  It was very relaxing and low key.  Colin woke up at 8am and wanted to immediately open presents…so much for sleeping in!  We opened gifts and I got the coolest stuff around people!  Check out the gallery for some pics of us and our awesome gifts.  I made Bunuelos for breakfast; these are the absolute best breakfast goodies I know of.  They are super easy to make, like making pancakes, and Colin and I both are in love with them.

We spent the day on the couch and just hung out.  I bought the winning present of awesomeness.

Bucky Balls!

I bought Colin a Buckyball cube.  This cube is comprised of 216 small magnetic balls and all we did all day was sit and play with them and make shapes and watch videos on all the different shapes we could make.  I bought them for Colin to take to work so he could have them to play with when the job gets slow.  All his co-workers love to play with them as well so they were a huge hit!

YAY!!! Fizzy Water

I got a fizzy water making machine!  So now I can make fizzy water anytime I want, plus I got a food processor AND a immersion blender!  Oh and I got a great wok and he gave 50 gold coins to spend at Etsy.  I have a great husband who got me amazing gifts.

I made breakfast stuffs for us to eat on all day.  Two different Strata’s one with meat for Colin and one sans meat for me, sausage balls for Colin and sausage swirls, I bought a block of cream cheese and some yummy jam and munched on that.  All in all I think it was a great Christmas.

“I really can’t stay…But Baby it’s cold outside…”

So we got our first “real” snow of the season!!  The weather man predicted that it would start snowing Friday night and at 11pm not a single flake was to be seen.  I have to admit there was a pang of disappointment.  I had mentally prepared myself for my first Northern winter snow and was ready to break out my snow boots.  We were expecting 4-6 inches and when by 11 there was 0 white stuff, I thought this is gonna be just like Texas.  Colin just smiled at me and said, “They said it wouldn’t start till midnight.  You’ll gt your snow.”  Colin had to work on Saturday so when the alarm went off he got out of bed and peeked through the blinds….half awake I said, “We didn’t get any did we?”  “Oh no baby he said, we have at least 2 inches and it’s still snowing at 1/2 an inch an hour!”  I smiled inside.  Snow, real live honest to goodness Northern snow.

Our street around 2pm

A tree at the dog park around 12 or 11.45

I got up at 8.30 and researched Colin’s Christmas presents, milled around the house a bit and every once and while I’d check outside to make sure it was still snowing and still sticking…it was!  About 11 ish I took a shower and got dressed, then got Kalie in her coat and shoes (we bought her shoes because the salt solution will burnt he bottom of their feet!) then I bundled up and headed outside.  Kalie was so excited about the new ground covering and let me know quickly that a quick walk across the street would not suffice.  So off to the dog park we went-snow still falling-so Kalie could run off her energy.  She ran off her energy and she even ran out of her shoes!  We decided that the shoes were not for snow but instead for the salt only.

Happy Kal-Bell

After she ran around for a bit we decided to go to Micheals.  I wanted to buy some fabric to use as a tree skirt.  They didn’t have any so we came back home.  I was surprised that it wasn’t that cold, but I think what made it bearable was that the wind was not blowing.  It was cloudy but it wasn’t too cold.  Colin came home after work and we got ready for the OU game.  We played a nervous game against Nebraska, but we won in the end–3 points, we’ll take it.  Here we come Fiesta Bowl.   I think it was a good Saturday.

On the way to Micheals

Back on our street going home

It’s a bit icy now and we are looking forward to another week.  Christmas is coming close and we are desperately looking for a caterer to cater our Christmas dinner–no luck so far!  I wish I could just call James at the Palace and get a great dinner.  I would not onlyknow that I would get a great tasting meal but I know that with James you always get so much food.  If anybody knows of any great caterers in Chicago send me their number.  Hope ya’ll are worm down in Texas and Oklahoma!  TTFN

All is right in the world of Kalie when she finds a stick!