Sunday, May 20, 2012

Biscoff & Pretzel Rice Crispies

It is finally warm (hot) in Chicago! I love being able to walk outside in shorts and a t-shirt without getting cold. And there's so much more you can do, like take a walk, jog, go to the park, have brunch/dinner outside, grill out, and lots of other stuff that winter time just doesn't let you do.

I walked to Lincoln Square today to get some coffee at Cafe Selmarie, and there was a 4 piece accordion band playing music, and it was so awesome! Made me feel like I was in France, even though I've never been..... but I stopped and listened for a while, and a bunch of families with kids were all dancing around. What a nice little Sunday brunch time. And now I want to learn to play the accordion. Are they expensive? Probably.

So I've been eating this Biscoff spread like crazy. I might be obsessed. I always put it on a english muffin and add sliced bananas, which is sort of a healthy breakfast right? I wanted to figure out some other ways to use it, so I went to the Biscoff website. They have lots of really good recipe ideas, so I copied this one and made them one night. I'm pretty sure I was on a sugar high for an hour or so after eating 2 of these. But they were so good I couldn't stop eating them! I took them to work so we wouldn't eat them all at home, and one girl said they were the tastiest things ever.

This picture isn't as pretty as the others because it was nighttime and I didn't have any natural light to use :( But oh well, I tried! Mmm they were just so good and sugary.

Another good and sugary dessert I've been eating lately is this Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt. So far I've only tried the Banana Peanut Butter, but the other flavors sound awesome, too. It has the good tang of greek yogurt, and you feel a little healthier than eating the regular Ben & Jerry's. But I did buy the regular Ben & Jerry's Smores pint to balance it out.

Sherly’s Biscoff Spread and Pretzel Rice Crispies
Servings: Makes about 32 pieces of 1.5″ cube
  • 1 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 5oz bag of marshmallow
  • 1 cup salted pretzels (chopped)
  • 5 cups rice puff cereal

  1. Melt agave syrup and Biscoff Spread in a large nonstick saucepan on low heat
  2. Add marshmallows; cook until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended while stirring consistently with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add in the chopped pretzels and cereal. Mix well.
  4. Spread the mixture in a baking tray or on  waxed paper evenly
  5.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut it into 1.5″ cubes.
Recipe courtesy of Sherly Cho, San Francisco.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Vivaaaaa Las Vegas! We just got back from our 4 day trip to Vegas, and it was so awesome! I had originally planned for this to be a birthday surprise trip for B, but I thought it might be just a teensy bit too risky to buy plane tix and hotel reservations without checking with him first. We've never been, and while we don't have kids and all that stuff, we might as well travel as much as we can! (At least to non-kid friendly places)

So we left on Sunday morning, and B's cousin, who lives just outside of the city, picked us up from the airport. That was another reason we wanted to go there, so we could visit with her for a few days. I was so glad she could pick us up! The line for the cabs and shuttles was redic, and isn't cheap. 

View from the plane

She took us to the Hoover Dam, where I tried to push B off the ledge, but he didn't like it too much. I couldn't believe how hot it was there, and it was only like 88 degrees! No humidity and the dry desert is a lot different than Chicago heat. I could feel myself burning without 100 proof suncreen on.

The first night, we went to the Cosmopolitan, which is the new up and coming place I guess, and it was really pretty inside and fun! B's cousin taught us about the Hangover slots (which are behind us in the pic) and how they are trying to get rid of them because they are paying out so well. So of course we played it! It was really funny, there were a lot of quotes and pictures and video clips from the movie, so that made it hilarious. 

We ended up winning a good amount from it the next day, but of course kept going and ended up losing most of it. Isn't that how people get addicted? Ahh oh well, we never gamble, so it was ok this time :)

Cool 40s/50s band at the Cosmopolitan

We had these crazy drinks at the bar - one had a flower that you eat called a Sichuan Button. It made your mouth tingle like crazy! It kind of felt numb. And the other drink had liquid nitrogen raspberries, and when you put them in your mouth, it looks like you're smoking cause they are so cold and it pours out of your mouth. Neat stuff! I kind of want to order some of the Sichuan Buttons and make people try them.

B winning or losing, probably losing

Excuse the messy bed

We stayed at the Hard Rock (I bought a Groupon, such a good deal!) and it was really nice! The decor in the room was different than your standard hotel room, which I liked a lot. We even got a corner room! Score!

I would definitely not recommend the Hard Rock to the older crowd. There are a lot of younger people that were staying there, and the pool party "Rehab" that they have every Sunday night is cah-razy. We were trying to take a nap after our flight, and it was impossible. The bass was SO loud you could hear it from every room I'm sure.

But, it's a happening hotel if that's what you're into! Pauly D was DJing that day at the pool party, but we aren't really those type of partier people, so we skipped out on seeing him.

Stocked mini bar! 

We walked up and down the strip the next day and went in a bunch of the hotels/casinos. Caesars was pretty awesome, along with all the others. We didn't get to see the Bellagio fountains, and I really wished we had! Also didn't get to Mandalay Bay or the Luxor since it's at the other end of the strip. We'll just have to make another trip!

The last day, we went to the downtown area where Fremont Street is and all the older casinos, like the Golden Nugget. We were starving, so we went to the closest place we saw - Hash Hash a Go Go. It was on Man vs. Food for the Chicken and Eggs Benedict. I ordered the Chicken and Waffles since that's close to what he had, and B ordered the Pork Tenderloin sandwich. OH MY it was HUGE! We should've split a meal for sure. But it was tasty, that's for sure. 

We walked down Fremont Street after we ate, and ran into the Heart Attack Grill! We've always seen this on Travel Channel and talked about how we wanted to go and eat there. But darn it, we'd just eaten! Maybe it was a sign? All of their food has lard in it, either lard mayo, deep fried in lard, or the butterfat shake. And anyone over 350lbs eats free! That is nuts. There was even a scale out front to weigh yourself. It looked like all the "patients" that were eating there had on a hospital gown, which is kind of funny I guess. 

Our last stop was the Gold and Silver Pawn shop from Pawn Stars. There was a line out front, but not too long. I'm sure it's longer on the weekends. The inside is a LOT smaller than it seems on TV. And the whole back part of the store is just merch, like Chumlee tshirts and stuff. I guess they might as well make a profit on it while they can!

A guy asked one of the workers if the guys on TV were in there, but of course they were traveling and doing appearances. They probably don't ever work normal hours now, only when they are filming.

We stayed with B's cousin the last night there, and she and her husband drove us (on their super fast golf cart that was a little scary) to this quiet little village area with a few restaurants for dinner. It was so nice and peaceful after being in the casinos and walking around all day. I guess Celine Dion and some other Vegas performers live up there.

I'm already thinking about our trip back! It's a great place to go for the weekend or a short little vacation and get away from work and all the normal everyday things. I was kind of in a vacation haze for the last few days, but Monday it'll be back to normal. So sad.....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Momofuku Milk Bar Blueberry & Cream Cookies

Hello! Today was a good day because I didn't have to wear a coat to work! Hooray for warm weather! It really does put me in a better mood when it's warm outside. Sometimes it can be crazy windy downtown, but it's not too bad once I go home since I don't live as close to the lake.

So my office is in the Bloomingdale's building, and it's nice in the winter because I can go browse the shops during lunch, or just walk around without having to go outside. There's a Williams Sonoma that I like to go to and look at all the overpriced food items and kitchen stuff (that I wish I had a zillion $ to buy).

I saw these Momofuku Milk Bar cookie mixes on the shelf, and got pretty excited since I've heard lots of good things about them. They just have 2 kinds, this Blueberry and Cream cookie, and the Corn cookie. I really could not decide which one to buy! I'm very indecisive. I wish I could've had 1/2 of each box so I could try both.

I finally just picked the Blueberry one. It had VERY detailed instructions for how to mix all the ingredients. You had to first make the crumble/crunch and bake it. Then mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. This is always hard for me to do..... I wanna bake them now!

Then, I wasn't sure if they were done all the way or not cause they still looked pretty undercooked in the middle, but it said they should be shiny looking when they're done.

I really liked these cookies, but they were VERY buttery, sweet, and chewy. Of course it would be much better to try one from the actual bakery, but this is as close as I'm gonna get for now. It did even have the package of glucose to make them chewier, which is something I would never normally put in homemade cookies. But I kind of liked it!

I really want to buy the Corn cookies now, just to compare and see if they are as buttery, but I don't think it's worth the $. Oh but the corn cookies have that "cereal" taste that makes them famous, so maybe I will splurge..... Ahh more decisions!  I love variety, but hate picking just one. That's why when we get cupcakes at work, we always split them into 1/4ths so we can all taste each one. Most genius idea ever.

Now I want a cookie before I go to bed. But I already brushed my teeth! Don't you hate that?