Refrigerator Oatmeal

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This could be the fastest, easiest breakfast ever. And can be thrown together the night before! What I love about this meal is that there are so many ways to change it up. My version is a raspberry peach oatmeal but you can make any kind you want from berry to chocolate banana. Just toss all the ingredients into a cup, mix, cover and refrigerate overnight and you have yourself a grab and go breakfast.

Refrigerator Oatmeal

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup skim milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon raspberry jam

1/4 cup chopped, fresh peaches

sliced almonds

combine all ingredients with the exception of the peaches & almonds into a cup and mix.

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Add chopped peaches once mixed and cover with tin foil. Place in refrigerator overnight.

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In the morning place in bowl or to-go cup, top with more chopped peaches and sliced almonds.

Easy! Enjoy!

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Trenchermen

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Last Friday I went out to dinner at Trenchermen in Wicker Park. I have heard good things about this place and after reading countless reviews I was even more eager to try what they were offering. Upon entering I was immediately impressed with the ambiance. The first thing that catches your eye is the giant bar in the middle of the room with green glass vases surrounding the top.

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My dad and I sat at the bar to order a drink while we waited for my friend Grace and her dad to arrive. While chatting with the bar tender we found out that 15 years ago the space used to be a turkish bath house and that the walls were still original from that time. Who knew Wicker Park had authentic Turkish Bathhouses?

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Trenchermen is known for having really well balanced, interesting cocktails. There were 7 to choose from but the one I picked was called “The Bridge and Tunnel” which was made with carbonated lemon-peel vodka and celery bitters. It was sweet, summery and refreshing.

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After Grace and her dad arrived we got to meet one of the head chefs, Patrick Sheerin. He was super nice and let us take a peek around the kitchen, which obviously I was extremely excited about! We decided to put the ordering in Patrick’s hands. He’d be in charge of putting his favorite dishes at our table and we had no say. Perfecto!

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Our table was in a room with a giant wine collection that was quite impressive. We ordered a bottle of red from the collection called “Three Sticks”

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The first dishes started to come out and we were all wowed by the beautiful presentation. We dug into the kale with edamame and carrot quinoa bread before I could even get a picture!

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Next came the chilled zucchini soup. This had sardines, coconut horseradish, soy cucumbers and a buckwheat cracker. It came with all the ingredients laid out like art and then the waitress poured the soup right on top. This had really different flavors that sort of tickled the tongue. I was definitely a fan.

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THE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES. Oh my Lord… I went crazy over this dish. If you read my blog you can get a hint that I love love love fresh tomatoes. I think I hoarded this dish away from the rest of the table…sorry guys. The heirloom tomatoes came with pickled peppers, white balsamic ice cream and apricot pits. Amazing, for sure one of my favorite dishes of the night.

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Next came the fried chopped liver with egg yolk jam, apples and wasabi. These chefs sure know how to make chopped liver look be-a-utiful!

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This was followed by the pickled tater tots with shaved chicken breast and red onion yogurt. I’ve never eaten something so pink that was not strawberry ice cream!

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The tots were the last of our first course. Little did we know that we had three more courses coming and our plates had already pretty much been licked clean…Image

The next course started out with the Sepia Noodles, aka noodles made out of squid. Now usually I am quite the adventurous eater but I was not a fan of this. The texture was just too weird for me. Everyone else at the table really enjoyed these though!

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After that came another of my favorite dishes of the night… the scallop with egg yolks and a few other ingredients that I can neither pronounce or identify. But i do know that the whole dish worked together perfectly and the scallop was flawlessly seared. The picture does this no justice.

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Next was the smoked paddlefish which had a really funky flavor and was everyone’s least favorite. This had green beans, ground cherries and granola.

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That was the end of the second course. The third course started out with the black olive and sesame encrusted sea trout which was yet another favorite and probably the prettiest dish of the night! this included hummus and roasted beets and was served almost raw. We ate the crispy skin, the trout, the beets and a scoop of hummus all in one bite…so tasty!

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The duck was next with fried rice balls. This was another dish that was cooked to perfection.

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Short ribs with snow peas and mustard and pasta was absolutely delicious.

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Moving onto desserts… we got all on the menu but one! The coffee cake with chai tofu ice cream, fried chocolate and smoked meringue. I love how they present the ice cream!

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Corn Donut with mascarpone sorbet, peaches and tomato molasses. Thought this would be my favorite since I love donuts so much but alas, it took second place to the next one.

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The “King Blueberries” dessert was indescribably delicious. This was made with Gumball head panna cotta, pound cake and basil. The combination of flavors went perfectly together. I usually am not the biggest fan of fruit desserts and typically order chocolate. I would have never ordered this is Patrick did not choose it for us. I am so glad I tried it, amazing stuff.

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So that concludes the best meal I have had in a while. I highly recommend Trenchermen because I basically got to try the whole menu and loved almost all of it. Obviously this was a splurge night but well, well worth it!

Mista Pizza

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Who doesn’t love pizza? I know that I do, it has been my favorite food since I can remember! If you are in Chicago and craving a delicious pizza that cuts the guilt in half I highly recommend Mista Pizza on Broadway Ave in Lakeview. They specialize in cracker thin crust and all of their ingridients are fresh, natural and organic. They also have amazing salads and wraps as well as specialty lasagnas that I have yet to try. Mista’s is perfect for a light but satisfying meal.

I got the Napolitano Pizza with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, arugula, mozzarella, oregano and olive oil. It was so flavorful and thin enough to enjoy without getting too full. My favorite part was the huge chunks of roasted garlic displayed all over the ‘za.

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My Friend got the Mista Wrap that had roasted chicken, granny smith apples, dried cherries, macadamia nuts, provolone cheese, field greens and Mista’s signature dressing all wrapped in a spinach tortilla. She let me have a few bites and this was so yummy! Great combination of flavors!

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Don’t miss out on this great spot in Chicago!

Spicy Breakfast Burrito

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This is a breakfast indulgence that you can enjoy without the guilt! My roommate and I actually made this for dinner when we were in the mood for our favorite meal of the day…at the wrong time of day! Having breakfast for dinner can be fun and easy, especially this recipe. And with a few tweaks we can cut the calories in half!

Spicy Breakfast Burrito

(serving for two)

4 Eggs, scrambled

3 Spicy Italian chicken sausages

Reduced fat pepper jack cheese

1 Hot pepper, cut into strips

2 Whole wheat tortillas

Salt & Pepper

Hash browns, frozen

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  • Scramble eggs in a pan sprayed with light cooking spray

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^Look we got a twin!

  • Cook hash browns on high in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, about 12 minutes

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  • Cook sausages over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of water

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  • Melt pepper jack cheese on tortillas in either a toaster oven or a conventional oven set on broil, about 2 minutes

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  • Slice peppers into strips and slice sausages into slices
  • Combine all ingredients onto tortilla, extra hash browns can be eaten as side dish

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    Enjoy!

    Substituting wheat tortillas instead of flour, chicken sausage instead of pork, reduced fat cheese instead of full fat and using less oil and no butter can really make all the difference when trying to cut back on the calories. You won’t even notice that this recipe was health conscious!