Life + Kitchen

Hi friends!

It’s been two weeks since my last post so I figured I ought to pop-in and say hello.  It’s been a very hectic month so far and I have a backlog of posts that I’m simply itching to write… but in the meantime, here’s a brief update of what’s going on in my Life & in my Kitchen!

And yes, sorry for being corny, the post title is a play on the restaurant LYFE Kitchen, a new favorite of mine :-)

1. Baking Classes at Le Pain Quotidien

I recently posted about my [awesome] experience checking out Le Pain Quotidien’s new location in Chicago’s West Loop.  My contacts at LPQ let me know that their Artisan Baking Classes for Chicago are now in session!  Mike and I are signed up for the mid-August session of their Bread Baking Basics course, and I promise to report back afterwards.  This summer, they are also teaching courses in Biscuits & Scones and Artisan Pizza Making in their West Loop bakery.

[photo provided by Le Pain Quotidien]


And thanks to my friends at LPQ, the first 3 VeggieNextDoor readers to sign up for a class using the code below will get $10 off

2. LYFE Kitchen & Family Fun

Last week, my Mom, Sister, and 2 nieces came to visit us!  After a day of walking around downtown, for dinner we wound up at… you guessed it – LYFE Kitchen!  

This time, we were at the River North location of the chain and it wound up being one of the highlights of my family visit.  The food was a huge hit with our whole group (I especially loved my Mom’s bowl of Vegan Thai Curry!), but in addition to that, it was a gorgeous Friday night, and LYFE was offering free beer to anyone dining al fresco.  

Though we did our best to give our visitors a taste of Chicago’s best, it turned out that the simplest outings – to parks and playgrounds – became my happiest memories.  Playing with my nieces brought out the kid in all of us!

That’s my favorite yoga pose on the left (Downward Dog on the wall – great practice to work my way up to handstand), and that’s my sister in the middle and surprisingly-fit Mom on the right!

3. Travel

Earlier this month, we hung this neat travel pin map up on our wall.  Seeing the places we’ve visited all clustered together made me realize how huge the world truly is.  There’s so much more that I want to see – we’ll soon be ordering another color of pin to start marking our wishlist places!

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my pin collection busy with a few quick domestic trips.

1.) In July, I’ll be headed to Dallas, Texas on business.  While the work part will likely be pretty unexciting, I’m planning to go a day early to hang out with Sarah and Laura (who I met from blogging!).  I can’t wait to meet Sarah, see Laura again, and check out some of their favorite local places.

2.) In August, Mike and I are travelling to my family’s cabin in Upstate NY.  We didn’t make it there last summer, so we are long overdue for family-time, long walks along the lake, kayaking, and berry-picking.

3.) I’m likely going to be heading to Baltimore this upcoming weekend.  My Aunt Janet has late stage Leukemia.  Originally I was hoping to go all Crazy Sexy Cancer on her by making her some healing, nutrient-dense juices & meals, but her condition is rapidly worsening and it looks like I’m far too late already.  She’s a wonderful woman who loves learning – including drawing lessons, singing lessons, and kitchen experiments.  She worked as a language teacher and translator, speaks several languages, and is very well traveled.  She is a passionate gardener and  a true minimalist.  I like to think that I have a lot of her traits in me.

Aunt Janet

4. House Hunting

On top of all of those trips, Mike and I are currently house hunting up in Evanston, just a few miles from his parents’ home.  We haven’t found the perfect house yet, but I have seen several perfect kitchens!

5. Meez Meals

With our busy schedules, it was the perfect time for us to finally try out Meez Meals – a local Vegetarian Meal service that delivers prepped ingredients & recipes for quick, homemade meals.  Stay tuned for a full review soon!

6. Cookbook Testing!

I’m still doing a little bit of cooking though for our breakfasts, lunches, and snacks this week, which is working out well since I’m excited to be a cookbook tester for An Unrefined Vegan’s upcoming cookbook!  Thankfully, her recipes include quite a few quick items like smoothies and these delicious No Bake Breakfast Cookies.


7. Cat Walking

Okay, so it’s not exactly a walk, but lately we’ve been taking our cat Maple out on her leash to explore.  We still haven’t made it more than 20 feet from our door thanks to her typical cat paranoia, but she has been enjoying scratching on the neighborhood trees.  We’re hoping we’ll soon be able to carry her to a local park so she can play in the grass.

I’d love to hear from you!

What’s keeping you busy this summer?

When was the last time you went out and played?