Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Around the Neighborhood - Antique Taco

See that mural behind that hip pair of consumers?
It has the human brain segmented into sections titled things like
"pork" and "cilantro" and "antiques."

That, my friends, is the most anatomically correct drawing of my brain
that I have seen.
 To date.

And that, 
(in addition to the funky vibe and cotton candy machine posted up outside)
 is precisely why I decided to venture into this quality establishment. 

I was not let down. 
In fact, it just kept escalating. 
Like a Barney Stinson playlist with a ton of Bon Jovi on it.
All rise, no fall. 

There is not a damn inch of this place that wasn't beautifully designed. 
I went a little picture-crazy. 

Like, if I were a paparazzi sent to capture the new royal baby,
and I turned around and saw this restaurant, 
I'd definitely just be like "see ya later, George!"
and run over there to take pictures instead. 

Nobody hire me as a paparazzi. I will fail you. 
Unless it's a taco paparazzi. 

We shared their "taco salad" and "chicken tacos"

I'm putting parenthesis around these because they weren't quite these things.
Their menu is lovely and simplistic, however it's minimalism doesn't 
quite suit the content. 

If a menu says TACOS- pork, chicken, beef, yadda yadda
and nothing else, you're going to assume that you're in for some standard material.

Oh contraire. 

The chicken tacos were essentially Indian food tacos,
with curried chicken served with cucumbers, yogurt sauce, 
and pickled onions. 

Unbelievably delicious, but I would venture to say that 
they should be a bit more up front with what 
the phrase "chicken taco" means in this establishment.

The salad was marketed as a "taco salad"
but was actually a kale salad with a savory sesame vinaigrette, 
strawberries, spicy peanuts, craisins and queso fresco.

Again, totally delicious and unexpected, 
But no kind of "taco salad" I've ever heard of. 

Confusion aside, everything was delicious and refreshingly 

Paired with their subtle yet STRONG rosemary margaritas
and bountiful amounts of eclectic decor,
I was the smitten-est. 

Antique Taco is a cheap and local place to try out some interesting flavors.
It's located in the hipster heart of Wicker Park, right off of Milwaukee & Wood. 

*and their online menu lists menu items in full detail!*

Until the next, Babes!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Goat Cheese & Honey Walnut Bruschetta

The other week, the neighbor kids asked why 3 girls lived in our house
and only 2 "mans" went in there. 

One of my nanny kids asked me to take off my engagement ring
 before I tickled her, because it hurts her. 
I told her I didn't have one, so I could tickle her just fine. 
She said "You don't have one? You should probably go get one."
And she patted me on the shoulder. 

An 8 year old told me "You're like 200 years old and you don't have a boyfriend?! 
Sad life! If I were you, i'd be so mad i'd fart!"

I'm being single shamed.
By a bunch of kids. 

Well, kids. Being single isn't as much of a death sentence as you are painting it out to be. 

You can fall asleep cuddling a tupperware of leftover noodles watching
things narrated by Werner Herzog every day of the week if you want. 
Twice on sundays. 

You can listen to Rod Stewart's greatest hits on repeat for days
because no-one's around to hear it 
and Spotify private session keeps a secret like a dead girl. 

You can eat everything bagels whenever the hell you want because
you don't have to worry about kissing somebody later.
Seriously, nobody should even consider dating again until they're sick of
everything bagels. 

See? Not so bad. 
However, this kind of week calls for a friend date
with lots of cheese and me eating my feelings in bread products. 

There isn't much of a recipe to this. 

Toast up some baguette slices with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Spread em with goat cheese, sprinkle them with chopped rosemary, drizzle em with honey.

To candy the walnuts, blanch them in boiling water for about 20 seconds.
Then toss them in a few handfuls of powdered sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon. 
Bake them at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. 

Shove as many of these in your mouth as you can. 
Plug up that feelings-hole you call a mouth with things that taste like 
sweater weather and happiness. 

It hurts so good. 

As always, here is a playlist to carry you through your toasting 
and drizzling and months of solitude. 

Until the next, pretties. 


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz

Lately, we here at the house have been 
totally smitten with the Little Goat Diner.

A solid menu that explores the depths of diner food
dressed up with some extravagant ingredients and a bit of class
and a handsome amount of goat puns. 

Anyhow, as much as I'd love to stuff my royal belly with 
goat sloppy joes and fancy cocktails on the daily,
I'm a broke fi' broke college dumpling. 

And so I am left to resort to my own copycat devices 
to live that rockstar lifestyle without the commitment.

This cocktail knocked my figure-of-speech socks off 
when first we sipped.

But at $9 a pop, I put my "I should figure out how to make this myself..." 
hat on pretty damn quick. 

I must say, my copycat came out pretty dang close. 
Which is fortunate, because I wanted a second date with this beautiful
concoction of booze and other stuff I like. 

Ginger beer- good. always. all the time. 

Rhubarb/Strawberry union- totally summery and loveable.

Gin- obviously. 

We are all winners here. 

Slap a lid onto your mason jar and take this little guy 
to the beach. 

Close your eyes and let the crappy static drone of cellphone Pandora radio
whisk you off to half asleep land 
where you pretend like you're on an exotic vacation 
where there are palm trees and tourists in fanny packs behind you
instead of a big ole city.

Pretend like you're there forever and you don't have to do laundry later. 
The drink will taste best this way. 
I have that on good authority. 

And, as always, a tiny playlist of summer hums to 
enjoy with this booze and summer breeze. 

Until the next, babes.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Days off are few and far between in the world of Hattie,
yet today is one of those glorious, glorious days.
A golden hammer that broke my 14-day-in-a-row working streak,
today is. 

And when it's a brisk 60 degree day in July one must compose 
their day off in a very specific manner. 

Step 1-
 Play a round or two of curse-at-the-garbage-truck-for-waking 
and follow that up with a quick rousing game of
"how old's the milk?"

Step 2-
Cartoonishly large stack of pancakes.

Step 3-
Acquire soft sweater-like things.

Step 4-
Flop around in them in the company of books and the hum
of your favorite record that you've listened to approximately 1.3 billion times
(much to the irritation of your roommates) 

Step 5- 
Waste the day sleeping on your book on accident. 

Good thing pancakes taste good cold, right?

It's as simple as it needs to be. 
Put all the goods in a bowl, whisk it around
butter up a skillet and fry away. 

And, as usual, here are some tunes to getchya by. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Creamy Polenta & Cilantro Lime Shrimp

This weekend, I took over mom duties 
for a household of 3 children and 2 dogs. 

JC Penny's commercials make mom duties look like
nothin' but cookouts and kids with an adorably absent front tooth
hugging your business-casual khaki-clad leg as you
gallop and grin infront of a white back drop.

In my field studies on said mom duties, my findings conclude
that this representation is wholeheartedly 

While affordable khakis may carry some weight in motherhood,
one must also be prepared to handle
the occasional mental breakdown of a 4 year old in a park port-o-potty,
the super-speed vanishing powers of Chuck E. Cheese tokens,
bellies that can pack away more Goldfish crackers than a SAMS Club employee
and gingerly explain the lyrics to "Grease Lightning" 
to the best of your PG abilities. 

One must be able to field questions such as
"Can I break this because it's SOOO DUMB!?"
"What do you do with your boobs if you want to be a boy for halloween?"

Shit's hard, guys. 

So, in preparation, I made myself a vat of this polenta goodness before
said weekend to have some strength stuck to my ribs to endure 
all of this impending madness. 

And, if things didn't go so well, to have some leftovers to cry into when it was all over. 

Much to my fortune, I survived. 
And had a great time, in spite of all aforementioned madness. 

No crying into leftovers. Just falling asleep halfway through a bowl of them. 

The polenta and shrimp taste wonderfully summery 
and fantastic all by themselves,
but I chose to throw some roasted baby tomatoes 
into the mix and top my bowl with a 
poached egg.

The tomatoes bring a nice sweetness and color
and add to the seasonal "ness" of the dish. 
The poached egg is great because, well, poached eggs taste 
good on everything. 
But especially on this because the yolk works as a sauce
and marries everything together nicely. 

This dish is simple and great for serving big groups
...or yourself for a week...

Stay strong, moms. 
Until the next!