Sunday, February 3, 2008

Highlight Reel

The Super Bowl is upon us yet again and I'm going to give the requisite Go Pats! and then get on with it. My whole family fancies themselves displaced Bostonites (except Brother, who really lives there) so that's the team I'm going with this year. Even though I'd forgotten the game was this Sunday until probably Thursday. What? Honey's so excited about the big game that she has not budged but to have her tum rubbed for the last 3 hours. Knowing that means I've not gotten too far either I guess.Even with the snow, we in Wicked Park had a fine weekend. Friday night I found myself enjoying a spot at the fireplace at Uncommon Ground, New Yorker in one hand (my first issue arrived this week- let the pseudo-intellectualism begin!)and a new favorite -Unibroue Ephemere- in the other while waiting for CVDJ, Bob and the Murray twins to arrive. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted workweek detox and one of my favorite spots in the city (and a bit of an anomaly for Wrigleyville). I was still thrilled to see everyone when they arrived but I'm glad to have had some quiet time after such a long week.

If you make it to Uncommon Ground, I'm gonna recommend the sweet potato fries, the calamari, the meatloaf, the tilapia...oh fine, all of it. They make a real effort with a creative, seasonal and mostly local menu and it shows. Live music as well which it has been established I am a sucker for. They host an annual Jeff Buckley Tribute that sells out in minutes. After a round at Pint (still holding strong as the tall boy holdout of Chicago...pun intended), I was asleep on the early.

Saturday had an early workout with Chester then P snagged me for lunch at Hot Chocolate (BLT with a shot of seasonal soup). Additionally, Mexican Hot Chocolate on a snow day -->big big fan. We then did a SALE circuit on Damen with Clothes Minded (Acrobat cardigan on sale from $110 to $33!), Tangerine, Riley, Gem and the new Marc by Marc Jacobs store. Marc was a a disappointment to be honest. A lot of crappy plastic stuff all over the place and just covered in logos. I did find a black patent wristlet for $13 but otherwise, just go to H&M. Seriously.

Off to get my hair did for the first time since the amazing Danny LaPointe did it in OCTOBER! Now I like long hair but this was just getting scraggly and as I am in the business, it's on the inexcusable side to let it go this long. Wes sat me down when I got to Ruby Room (LOVE this place) and had this look of relief on his face that tells me I had gotten there in the nick of time. On the verge of trading my trademark "crazy hair" for simply unkempt. I really liked the cut Danny had done because I could pin up the bottom layer and rock a faux bob and Wes was inclined to keep this but freshen up my highlights and "get a stronger line on the tips." I love hairdressers. This was just what I needed to get me re-engergized for the writing and press lists to be done- the show is only 3.5 weeks away!!!I got straight into my red dress after the salon and slipped/skipped right out the door to Japonais to meet Mar for the KPMG happy hour. I think there might have been dinner before I arrived but the majority of the team had cocktails instead.

Mar has been talking one of her managers up to me here and there for a little bit now and my curiosity was piqued. "He's smart, tall, early thirties, lives in the West Loop, hangs out at High Dive, you like the same kind of music..." I asked what he was like and she said, "Funny but a little mysterious." Mar could really have been in politics for the way I played into THAT hand. She knows me too well.

I did meet him and ended up chatting with him for most of the night, into Martini Park etc and gave him my number when he asked for it. Seems like a solid guy. His real name should be a little too easy to remember but he doesn't get a nickname or any further discussion unless he calls.

Currently I'm making the rest of the meatballs from Wednesday to take to Dave & Lisa's Pre-Game then off to Mag-a-roo's for dinner and a little surprise for dessert:) I haven't made old school banana pudding since the Sugar Shack. At Miami, all off-campus houses were named. That's probably a whole different post but I lived in the Sugar Shack with 6 other girls junior and senior year. You've already seen a few classics from those days (The Salad being the most frequent) but I'll be sharing some others soon. Without further ado...

Sugar Shack Banana Pudding

  • 1 (8 ounce) package lowfat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) container lite sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) container lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 (1 ounce) packages instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 5 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 (11 ounce) package low fat vanilla wafers
  • 7 bananas, sliced


  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with sour cream. Stir in whipped topping and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, sweetener and milk. Stir until sugar and mix are dissolved. Combine with cheese mixture.
  3. In a large glass serving dish, layer pudding mixture, wafers and bananas until all ingredients are used. Chill until serving. And give it some time, I personally like it better once the wafers have begun to soak up some of the pudding goodness.


Jamie Lovely said...

I've been wanting to check out MbyMJ for awhile. Bummer to hear it's not so great.

Anonymous said...

with all your wandering around saturday, i am sure we must have walked past each other at some point.

i've been wanting to check out uncommon ground as i've heard so many good things about it...i just never get over to that area.

Shanti said...

your hair is fierce. i need to stop using fierce as an adjective.

oh i loved uncommon ground for a good relaxing night. how could you resist drinking coffee out of a bowl? and their coffee cocktails? delish. their servers aren't too bad either.

i will be passing along this recipe to my sister whose boyfriend has gotten sick of her cookies and wanted banana pudding.

ToKissTheCook said...

Jamie: They have a lot of bags. But so many that it's hard to focus or take any of them seriously. There's a lot over there making it worth the trip but I just wasn't having the brand whorishness.

PBRazz: We need to start bumping into each other on purpose. Considering Waterhouse is only 2 weeks away, sooner rather than later! Can't wait to see you and Jamie! Oh and Uncommon Ground...only real excuse to go to Wrigleyville in winter. GREAT cocktails.

Shanti: Awww don't retire fierce! I will totally take fierce!
UG is a potent cure for a snowy night. And I love that he's craving banana pudding. It's a solid, EASY recipe and that stuff disappears...

So@24 said...

Damn, Cook! Loving the new hair.

I always imagine you writing with a chef's hat on though. Is it just me?

The Ex said...

Oh hai, you're fierce!

ToKissTheCook said...

So: By all means, flirt away, I can fight the Floridians for dibs. I'm more of an apron girl, but I love hats so I guess I should get to looking one of these days;)

Ex: Mmm, thanks:) French manicure? I gots that too.

I really need to look at LOLcats more often.