pumpkin day!

halloweenisn’t this great? my boyfriend and i were eating at local bar the other night and when we walked out, this is what we saw! they put on a pumpkin carving contest at the bar every year, and then display them once its over. just lighting all the candles in the pumpkins is impressive to me. doesn’t it look remarkable? job well done, McGees. happy halloween every one, i hope you eat candy to your hearts content!

pumpkin day!

what i wore: sweater dress

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sweater: h&m (similar) | scarf: nola true boutique (similar) | shoes: steve madden |          leggings: gap | purse: lori’s shoes

there are some things you can just wear over and over, and not get sick of them. while this is by no means a high fashion outfit, it worked perfectly for a day of walking around the city and perusing the shops. every single item is one that i throw on over and over again due to their comfort and small details. i knew when i saw thick leggings with zippers – had to have them! polka dots, check. elbow patches, check. leopard slip ons, check. and while i’m not particularly crazy on going over board with pattern mixing, i think the scarf with the shoes is just enough.

what i wore: sweater dress

(un)forgotten beauty

ireland(the Kerry Way walking path between Sneem & Kenmare in Ireland)

this may be old news, but its new to me. i came across this while browsing and was blown away. it is remarkable that such beautiful architecture, destinations and entire cities have been left behind and abandon. lucky for us, imgur compiled 33 different places together to leave me with my jaw dropped. being a lover of the theater, when i saw the chicago lawndale theater – my heart sunk; i can only imagine what happiness that theater used to bring attendees. i can only hope that one day, someone swoops in and revitalizes it. which is your favorite?

lawndale(the Lawndale Theater in Chicago)

(un)forgotten beauty

can’t live without

glovesit’s starting to get quite chilly in chicago, which means i have busted out my favorite must-have for winter, texting gloves. i have tried out a wide variety over the past few years, but this type is by far my favorite. they work like a charm and this specific pair is a must-have with the adorable little bows. i scooped up a pair at my local Urban Outfitters Outlet for $5 (score!) the other day, but something tells me ill have these bows on my wrist in no time. TGIF.

via Nordstrom (similar here & here)

can’t live without

french onion soup

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don’t ya just love a big bowl of soup when it starts to get chilly and all you want is your insides to be warm and fuzzy? me too. the other thing i love…the smell of onions cooking, point blank. that’s it. it is the best, and don’t try to argue me on this one, the best smell there ever will be when cooking. this dish, while not exactly being a 30 minute meal, is relatively simple and so worth it in the end. the key is to cook the onions low and slow my friend until they caramelize, be the turtle in this turtle versus the hare race. be the turtle.

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french onion soup

what you’ll need (serves 4-6):

  • 4-5 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1(ish) tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unbleached flour
  • 2 quarts of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry wine (i used red because i had it on hand, white works great too!)
  • 1-2 cups of swiss (i always use gruyere – it’s worth it)
  • half a baguette, sliced into 1/2 – 3/4 inch rounds and then toasted until hard
  • pepper

here’s how:

melt the butter and oil together in large saucepan (4-5 quart) or dutch oven over moderately low heat. once mixture is warm, add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. reduce the heat to very low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes. just leave them there, don’t touch it.

after 15 minutes is up you can then uncover the pot, raise the heat to medium low and stir in the salt and sugar. cook onions, stirring frequently, for 40 to 45 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown (if it takes a bit longer, don’t fret.)

after the onions are caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring a few times over the course of 2-3 minutes. you can then add the wine all at once, then the beef stock, a little at a time, and stirring throughout the process. season to taste with salt and pepper. bring the soup to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes. throughout the cooking process, please feel free to skim the top if needed (however…i usually don’t, and it turns out perfecto). add some more S + P if needed, but take it easy on the salt please as the heaps of cheese you add later on will add a kick of saltiness.

here comes the fun (and yummy!) part — the bread and cheese, aka my two favorite things in life. preheat oven to 325. arrange your ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. divide the hot soup among your bowls and fill it so it’s almost full, but room for the bread  + cheese. dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and float a few on top of your soup bowls, attempting to cover it (i find 2-3 is sufficient) — any more and it will soak up all the soup. mound grated cheese on top of it; how much you use will be up to you. i do a large heaping handful, but do as you please as you are the one digging into it.

bake soups on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler to hi. finish for a minute or two under the broiler to brown the top lightly. grab pot holders, and serve immediately.

adapted from the best, smitten kitchen

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french onion soup

dreamy

kitchen1

i often think about food, pretty much at all moments of the day. at 9am the question pops into my head “what will i make for dinner?” — and then i day dream about cooking in a beautiful kitchen. i don’t discriminate, i like all kinds. modern kitchens, french kitchens, kitchens with copper pans hanging from the ceiling. what i dont think about? cooking in my little city of chicago kitchen. no bueno. so i will keep dreaming that one day, i will go to the farmers market with this bag, pack it up with goodies and take it back to my lovely kitchen with loads of natural light and cook up a delicious french onion soupy (recipe to come) with these pots. now who’s comin’ for dinner?

kitchen31 // 2

p.s. – how awesome are those windows in the above picture and the antler chandelier? i want to live in that kitchen and swing from the chandelier (similar).

dreamy