Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Monday! Weekend Recap 3/21-3/23

I'm a creature of habit. I like routine and predictability. And when things are out of the ordinary or unpredictable, it just is a bit more challenging for me. Just like how my blog's been the past few months. I'm not sure if it's the transition into the new position I started at the pharmacy last fall, the chaos of the holidays that soon followed, my parents who are living with me temporarily while they await their renewed passports before flying back overseas (it's been going on 4 months now /sigh), the peak of business during the beginning of the new year, etc. It seems like all these things compounded have affected my usual routine of posting on a more regular basis. Honestly, I'm tired of having to deal with 'life', causing me to break away from blogging, cooking, baking and sharing what's so near and dear to me... especially since it's something that is was part of my usual, daily routine.

I took some time to reassess things and I'm going to try and get back into the groove and balance life a bit so I can relax more. Cook and bake more. Share more. So if you've noticed how sporadic my posts have been the past few months, thank you for your patience and coming back to visit. I've missed sharing on a regular basis. Life is moving faster than ever (especially with a growing little boy!) and I want to capture the little moments and memories we make together while I can. That said, here's what's happened this past weekend!

Saturday was a busy day in the kitchen. I taught three classes back to back, from 11:00am to 6:30pm, starting out with a French Bistro class making sweet and savory crepes and quiche (sadly no pics). The next class was eggrolls and spring rolls where we covered a few different Asian varieties and talked about the differences of each.


The last class of the day was my sushi class. We had a lot of fun being creative with the ingredients and everyone left confident making sushi maki. I also covered temaki rolls (hand rolls) and nigiri.


After a day full of classes, I relaxed by spending time much needed time with my friend Melissa over Spanish Tapas and sangria at Cafe Iberico!

On Sunday, I hosted a culinary tour of the Pilsen neighborhood. We had a great group of folks and had a lot of delicious fun at each of the stops including...

Don Pedro's Carnitas - 1113 W 18th St, Chicago IL 60608
This is easily my favorite place for pork carnitas in all of Chicago. They are straight and to the point about the pork business and you'll soon understand why there are lines of 20-30 more people at any given time just for take out alone...


 Don Churro - 1626 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
After our fill of carnitas, it was off to satisfy our sweet tooth with churros! We had our choice of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, caramel, guava, cream cheese, and plain...


Tortilleria Sabinas - 1509 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Next up was a stop at a local tortilla factory. We got to hear a little bit about the business and everyone took home a package of fresh yellow corn tortillas...


La Casa Del Pueblo Taqueria - 1834 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
More eating in store... this time, tamales! We had some delicious authentic tamales here - cheese, chicken, pork, and bean.


Dia De Los Tamales - 939 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
And in contrast to the traditional tamales, we stopped here for some modern varieties including Chicago Beef tamales, Arroz con Pollo tamales, Beef Brisket Tamales, etc.


Kristoffer's Cafe - 1733 S Halsted St,  Chicago, IL 60608
Lastly, to end our tour on a sweet note, we finished with tres leches cake. Some even tried a twist on the traditional with flavors like coconut tres leches, kahlua tres leches, and even chocoflan.

After the tour, it was time to pick up Joel from his dad's, head home to tend to domestic chores and recharge for the week ahead. Overall, it was a fun and delicious weekend!