Read & Friday links.

We loved Richard Scarry books growing up. Interesting to see the changes they've made over the years. (Thanks Mom!)

Hallie told me about this recipe for Asian salmon bowls. Made it on Tuesday night and OMG YUM. So so delicious. I was too busy diving into it to even take a photo...!

I haven't stepped foot into a Banana Republic in months (years?). I went earlier this week and snagged a few things -- all on major sale. Really obsessed with this and an awesome poncho I can't find online right now...

My favorite boots come in brown (already have them in black and wear them all.the.time and I am trying to decide if I should add them to my Christmas list...

Off to Ann Arbor this weekend for a conference and to hang out with friends! Can't wait!



Read & a recipe.

I linked to this lentil recipe last week, and ended up making it on Monday night. I loooove lentils and these did not disappoint!

{Ingredients: chicken broth, lentils, fresh spinach, onion, yukon potatoes, carrots, celery, 
fresh thyme, bay leaf, olive oil, half and half, salt and pepper.}

{Chop two carrots, two stalks of celery and half a yellow onion. 
Sautee with olive oil for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables become fragrant.}

{Add two cups of lentils, four cups of chicken stock, potatoes, salt, pepper, 
a few sprigs of thyme and one bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 45 minutes.}

{You may need to cook a little longer - or shorter - based on the lentils. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. The recipe calls for you to try to smash the cooked potatoes a bit at this step. I am not sure if I cut my chunks or if they did not cook quickly enough, but I found it hard to smash them and ended up leaving them as chunks. Add a few handfuls of spinach, half cup of half and half and more salt and pepper to taste.}


{So good and so flavorful! I think next time I will eliminate the potatoes completely. They didn't add much for me, besides making it a little heavier.}



Read & Friday links.

I love this coat.

A new lentil recipe. Yum.

I seriously can't get over Bailey's recent work. I am so obsessed and can't even pick my favorite room!

I'm at a weird in-between hair stage. I chopped it in May and it feels like it's taking foreverrrr to grow. This post made me jealous of a little baby top bun. I miss that! Also, love Anna's outfit.

Hitting up 3 Arts with friends tomorrow - been dying to go!



Read & Friday links.

This sweatshirt is so good. Love Peanuts. Eek though... did anyone see the Today Show Halloween costume segment? It's normally my favorite day of the year (HA), but this was just cringeworthy.

Just started reading The Clasp and I am liking it. Book #24 this year... do you think I can make it to 30 by January 1??

Speaking of goals... remember when I wanted to learn calligraphy this year? Eek, haven't crossed that off the list - in the slightest! I haven't had much luck finding a class here in Chicago, but I am contemplating this video download and starter kit. Maybe something I should put on my Christmas list...!

How cute is this skirt? Just ordered it (for $29!) for holiday parties.

In Florida this weekend for our good friends' wedding! Happy happy weekend!



Read & a restaurant.

C.C. Ferns had been on my list for a few months now. Coffee, booze and cigars? Sign us up! Pete and I also love the other restaurants in the group (Maudes, Au Cheval, Gilt Bar, Doughnut Vault...), so we knew this would be up our alley.

I stalked the website a few times and Pete and I decided this past Saturday would be our day-date over there.

{This is what happens when you have a slow day at work and you love Snapchat. Sent to Pete.}

After a yummy lunch at Big Star, Pete and I ventured over there. It's located in Humboldt Park. It's on a pretty random block, but the exterior is very inviting. 

They have coffee drinks, boozy steamers, doughnuts and cigars. 

{Pete ordered the Whiskey & Cream and I went with the Scotch & Honey. Delish!}

Since you can't smoke in there, Pete just took a look at the cigar collection instead.

Can't wait to go back! Might be a new winter tradition.



Read & Friday links.

Um, yum.

I haven't ready Mrs. Lilien lately, but just caught up during a blog-reading binge. She's so creative. Have to get her back in my rotation.

I can't decide about this skirt. Part of me thinks it would be so cute with both a chunky sweater or a silk-ish top and heels, but the other part of me is reminded of a skirt I had in high school, and not sure that's a good thing. Such a dilemma.

Pete and I are hoping to hit up C.C. Ferns this weekend for some coffee drinks and cigars (for Pete - not me!).

Happy Fri!



Read & a recipe.

Ina Garten never disappoints. This one comes from her Make It Ahead book: Twice baked sweet potatoes. No joke, I think it was one of the top five dishes I've made this year. LOVED them.

I could only find large, white sweet potatoes at the store (which was fine), and I altered the recipe a bit (indicated below).


{Told you they were big! After washing, I cut a few slices into them. 
Then, baked for 1 hour, 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They should be tender to the touch.}

{Two shallots, chopped.}

{Meanwhile, I melted a tablespoon of butter, added the shallots and sauteed for four or five minutes. Then, I added a tablespoon of fresh thyme and cooked for another minute. I took it off the heat and let it sit until it was ready for the mixture.}

{Once the sweet potatoes were baked, I let them cool - for about ten minutes - then cut them in half and scooped out most of the inside. Seasoned the "canoes" with salt and pepper.}

{In a separate bowl, I mashed the potato, a tablespoon of butter, one egg, a cup or so of feta - Ina used Taleggio cheese - salt and pepper, and added the shallot/thyme mix. When everything was completely mixed, I scooped it right back into the boats. If you really are making it ahead, cover the potatoes with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after this step. I left mine in there during the day until I was ready to cook.}

{Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.}

{That is a small piece of chicken, but the sweet potato definitely dwarfs it! Ha. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.}

I am planning on bringing a side to Thanksgiving again this year and this is definitely a contender! I was thinking if I can't find smaller sweet potatoes, I could always serve the filling as its own dish - mashed sweet potatoes would be pretty good next to turkey, if you ask me.


PS. I liked reading this article about Ina.

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