Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Biking to work

I love riding my bike to work.
It is so easy to love being outdoors on a sunny, nearly 80 degree day in Chicago (in March!). 
I rode my bike to work again today and despite having to fight with all manner of motor vehicles for space on the road, it is still so awesome. It harkens back to being a kid somehow and I love that too. My family would be the first to tell you I am a terrible bike rider - and, who am I kidding, they'd be right - but I still love it! Knock on wood, I've only crashed once & it was into another I've got a much better track record than I do in HondaPants.
$4+ per gallon gas just sweetens the deal and makes me enjoy my rides even more, because my lovely bike doesn't need any of it.
I hope you have the chance to enjoy some of this crazy spring time weather!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

I love being Irish. I also love Irish Soda Bread.
Last night's final product - Irish Soda Bread
As it happens, I am baking some now.....(partly because this is the time of year that Chris gets home closer to midnight than 6pm. Thankfully for me, him, and our marriage- this is an abbreviated time of year!!) The more obvious reason that I'm baking this bread is that is abundantly delicious. I may have also baked a loaf last night. I like it that much!
So, St Patrick's Day is coming up, which is the most obvious reminder to make this delicious bread. I feel like this bread should be in my life year round. My preference is to use raisins along with whatever other dried fruit I have on hand. As is the case yesterday/today dried cherries have been making their way into my dough....delicious.

Chris & I were out & about on Saturday and I bought a "hunk of Irish Soda Bread" from a small bakery. We saved it for Sunday brunch at home and it was just so good. The crust was thick and crunchy and the center full of flavor and dried fruit. It served as a kick in the pants to bake some of my own! It also made me realize that my bread did not have the amazing crustiness of the bakery's. So, I did what anyone in my age range would, I googled "how to bake crusty bread" and promptly pinned the best response I found. :) How techie I have become! Here is the link; 
Tonight's loaf- still baking!
So back to tonight; I have a pan of steaming water below the pizza stone I've been baking the bread on. (and yes- I realize I worked against myself by opening the oven to take the photo. Yes- steam escaped!)
 Last night's effort did indeed have a beautiful crust, so I went the same route again!
Does anyone else love this quick bread as much as I do? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fig + Spinach Flat Bread

I love cooking new things.

I made a fig, herbed goat cheese, garlic herb feta, garlic, spinach flat bread last night for dinner. It was good! I think it is also kind of pretty! 
Thank you Trader Joe's ( for your delightfully easy pizza crust! I used their whole wheat, it costs something silly like $1.50 in their refrigerated section and is really abundantly easy!
I am curious if anyone has ideas for a "sauce" for flat breads/pizzas that don't match a tomato based pizza sauce........leave any thoughts in the comments if you have some. All I used was olive oil + fresh garlic & it didn't seem to have enough moisture.....other than that it was a success. A special thank you to Chris, the world's best food tester :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chicago Tribune

I love the newspaper. Specifically, I love the Chicago Tribune. 
I grew up in a household that had a daily subscription and I am currently a proud subscriber.
I love crawling out of bed & running outside (today in bare feet) to grab the giant Sunday paper. I love crawling back into bed (and finding the bed still warm) to dig into the best paper of the week. I love the way the Sunday paper makes me want to have my coffee in bed and ease into the day. 
Most of all, I love when the Sunday paper gives me a gift like this :,0,3226254.story
I was in tears reading snippets of this story to Chris. I love being reminded that the world is a great place full of immensely caring people. I hope you find this story as awesome as I did.

Supporting a good cause

I love supporting Inspiration Corporation.
Watercolor of Belmont Harbor (I think this is my favorite)
I volunteer at the Inspiration Cafe a couple times a month serving breakfast to men & women who are affected by poverty & homelessness. It is an awesome organization, I am so happy to be a teeny part of what they do. If you want to know more, check out!
 I also love new art for our home! These 2 loves came together Friday night at One Inspired Evening, Inspiration Corporation's annual fundraiser. 
This piece looks like it was made for us!
Fuzzy photo. Love it.
We showed our support by buying several items.......enjoy the photos of the new additions to our home!