I’m currently ending my Friday night cozied up on my couch with two fans blowing air at me while I watch people find tiny houses on HGTV. My kind of Friday night. I spent this day preparing for my upcoming internship, walking from The Loop to Gold Coast (resulting in spending the majority of my bank account on Lululemon and Athleta apparel) and deciding on smoked salmon and toast for dinner. This is my last Friday until the end of December that I’ll have off so naturally, I took advantage of the “day off”. Even though it was far from your usual lay in bed all day and watch Netflix kind of day off.
So far, September is shaping up to be a good time. Aside from the 90-100º temperatures, I am looking forward to seeing what the next four weeks have to offer. In hopes of trying to dish up my weekly favorites every Friday, I will be giving you a peek at what I’m into lately. I’ve done these before if you’ve read my old posts but I think once fall comes around, they tend to get more creative and fun. I’m sure I’ll be featuring some form of pumpkin in one of these within the next few months so watch out.
Until then, here’s what I have to offer ya…
1. Monday Morning Pancakes
Earlier this week I posted a recipe on French Toast Muffins by my good foodie friend, Rachel Mansfield. If you didn’t check it out, please do so here. While I posted a recipe by her, she posted my recipe for these Blueberry Cacao Crunch Pancakes! I created these for one of my favorite brands, Simple Mills, for their #simplecelebration themed posts on Instagram. Their products are now sold in 1,000 stores (so exciting) and I couldn’t be happier. Their naturally gluten-free baking mixes are to. die. for. I topped my pancakes (which are primarily made out of egg and almond flour) with sautéed blueberries and Go Raw‘s Coco Crunch granola. Instead of doing the usual pancakes or french toast for your Sunday morning, I say whip ’em out on Monday and start your week off strong.
2. Windy City Organics
First of all, the name of this company… LOVE it. Within the company there are six smaller brands including Rawmio, Dastony, Sunbiotics, Rawtella, RawGuru and Sprout Living. When the company reached out to me, I could not even decide which products I wanted to try first considering my eyes have scanned all of them every single time I’m at Whole Foods and my jaw always drops. Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough spread?! Organic nut butter and raw chocolate chips? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think this could get any more perfect.
In my package of goodies that Windy City Organics shipped my way, their Rawmio chocolate bark was out of this world. Not too rich and sweetened with coconut sugar. I was so tempted to try all of the products sent my way that I did snack on a little bit of each right when I opened ’em up. My favorite? The 70% dark chocolate covered figs. I now must recreate these and have one for dessert every single night of the week. Would that be bad? #balance #gettingfiggywithit
3. Heritage Outpost
Heritage Outpost is one of those often talked about coffee shops that I’m sure you’ve seen (or will see) on Instagram, Facebook, Yelp! and every other social networking tool out there. After being a committed foodie and beverage queen for the past year, I finally scoped out Heritage Outpost and had the opportunity to stop in Monday morning. Sadly, I did not grab their top-rated lavender almond milk latte BUT I did get a chance to sip on this bright yellow burst of sunshine a.k.a the ginger turmeric tea. It reminded me exactly of my hometown in Cleveland and my brother and I’s favorite tea shop there, Cleveland Tea Revival. The taste was so strikingly similar it weirded me out just a tad.
But regardless, it was so light, refreshing and a nice change from the excessive amount of lattes I consumed last weekend. My two day (Monday+Tuesday) tea escapade/coffee break was wonderful. Of course it didn’t last more than 48 hours but thanks to Heritage Outpost, it did begin strong.
4. Brightwok Kitchen
Your future is bright… That is, if you’re heading over to Brightwok Kitchen anytime in the near future (which I am demanding you do). I stopped in for lunch today and immediately was welcomed by the whole team, beginning with the owner and manager, Jeremy. Clearly our interests in food were aligned because he recommended the dish I had scoped out prior to coming in. Local chicken from Ohio on a salad with raw veggies and their tahini ginger dressing. All I’ve got to tell you is their open Monday through Saturday so you should probably spend your Saturday lunching there.
Get a side of thai iced coffee (plot twist: with sweetened COCONUT milk rather than condensed) and their Korean bbq spiced plantain chips. Banana chips + salad + coffee… all of my favorite things in one pretty little joint.
I’m writing all about my experience at Brightwok Kitchen for my school’s newspaper for this week’s upcoming issue so be on the lookout for it here.
5. Care packages from Kansas
My mom hasn’t sent me a care package in two years. Not that I’m complaining about this since she does so much for me otherwise and I can’t even begin to express my thankfulness to her. But it really is nice to come home to a package after a week of stress a.k.a work and class to see your family is thinking of you and misses you boatloads.
I ordered business cards a few weeks back but oddly enough had to have them shipped off to my mom’s address in Kansas. When she told me she was forwarding me them, she mentioned they’d be involved in a whole package. Long story short, I opened it up last night in my kitchen to find this adorable book (with a French theme because my mom can’t get enough of French knick-knacks). It talks about how to plan the proper picnic ranging from what to bring in your basket and how to beat the heat to making the right kind of deviled eggs. I can’t get over the level of cute this book radiates.
To top it off, my mom sent me these cute bear-shaped honey jars from our favorite tea shop in Wichita, Kansas. I was saying “aw” the whole time I opened the package. The last item I popped out of the care package was a butternut squash from my mom’s garden… wrapped in bubble wrap. Yep, it’s official – we’re clearly related.
*Pretending I’m Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music* Theeeeese are a feeew of my favorite things!
By doing these weekly favorites or “what I’m loving lately”, I’ve noticed how my taste in day-to-day likings doesn’t seem to change too much. Stationary, photogenic books, workout attire, sleeping with the fan on and sipping an unrealistic amount of cold brewed coffee. Some things never change. In the end, I love sharing it all with you. Whether it’s the same or it’s different, I hope you enjoy it all.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!