Chicago

When your parents are only 3 hours away instead of 13, you jump in the car & head to the Windy City. 

I don't mind a mini road trip, but I need to be eating, drinking, or chewing gum the entire time. So Saturday started bright & early, car loaded with overnight oats, fruit, water, coffee, a Monster and a Spotify playlist ready to go. 

I headed straight to my Aunt & Uncle's and after a handful of hugs & kisses, we went off to the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market. It was pretty packed and full of fresh produce that could have filled up your local Aldi. We also got to see homemade crepes made on the fly as well as smell the Cookies & Carnitas. Dave (my dad) made a pit stop at this tent and grabbed two cookies: Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Dried Fruit. I could have gotten into some deep trouble if I was going to stick around, but I was off to meet a friend for lunch. 

My girl Max just started working at Equinox Gold Coast in Chicago (hit her up!) and we had to grab a quick healthy bite to catch up - Lyfe Kitchen was an easy go to. After (way too much) contemplation, I went for the Mahi Fish Tacos: (chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, chipotle aioli & corn tortillas). This was just the right about of spicy & salty and creamy whenever you got a mouthful of avo. We paired up our lunch with a mimosa because it's taboo to cheers with water - sparkling or not. 

The night was young and we were welcomed into my parent's friend's house. Not only was this a beautiful home full of exquisite art work and the perfect blend of modern & cozy - they served up a great charcuterie board. With a few cheeses (including the goat cheese & jam preserve that was to die for), some hard salami, and more clutch grabs from the farmer's market...it was a spot that everyone naturally gathered around. 

Big John (my dad's friend) offered up his specialty, which is simple but perfection. Quality bread + Garlic + Olive Oil + Grill + Tomatoes +Balsamic vinegar + Salt & Pepper = Heaven 

16 hours & 10+ miles later, my nightcap was half of a margherita pizza, a few Trader Joe meringues and a comfy bed. 


Sunday morning started off with an hour walk with my mom paired with a free Starbys (perks of being with mom), followed by a workout class with my Aunt at their gym, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness - it kicked my butt. 

The boys went to a Cubs game and The girls ended up back at the gym for brunch to enjoy the beautiful weather on the rooftop patio. I went for the fitness field greens salad...with a fried egg on top, because well...I can. 

Before I left the city, I couldn't pass up on National Ice Cream Day when I was only a few blocks away from Jeni's. The second I stepped in, I was torn with my excitement and my indecisiveness on what flavor to go with. From churro to whiskey pecans to wildberry lavender, there wasn't a drop of creativity missing. After trying a few flavors (with these cute little metal spoons that you get to keep...mini perk) I went with sweet cream & roasted strawberry buttermilk in a waffle cone. Gah I just love me some Jeni's, I want them all!! 

I couldn't be happier that I made the decision to go for the drive and have an amazing weekend in the city. It was full of family times, lots of hugs and of course amazing eats. The only Thing I regret is that I didn't get an extra scoop. 

Trumpet Blossom & Pullman Brunch

Mama Bedell came into Iowa City, so a girl's day/weekend was obviously in order. You could say I am a mini me (taller) version of my mom - taste in clothes, tv, and especially our love of food (her go to is mac n' cheese). 

Our first stop was to Trumpet Blossom Cafe, which is the cutest little vegetarian & vegan restaurant downtown. We had been there one other time and now its our favorite pit stop whenever dad isn't in town. 

They have a great beer selection and fun cocktails - Cindi went for a bloody mary & I had the special Wandering Sage. Since it is an organic joint they make their tomato juice in house, Cindi wasn't obsessed with the chunky freshness but still enjoyed it. My cocktail was amazing - muddled herbs, tequila, lemon, simple syrup, maple & grapefruit bitters. I'm a tequila drinker, but don't stray away if you're not, there is no tequila punch due to the citrus and sage. 

We were there during their limited menu time and got the Fresh Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and Nachos to split. The salad was simple, just very fresh and crisp and the vinaigrette was very thin and had more of a balsamic vinegar base, which I prefer. The nachos were blue corn tortilla chips with creamy cashew cheese sauce, black beans, greens & peppers, served with cilantro-lime creme & mango-habanero salsa. Having not a clue as to what "creamy cashew cheese sauce" would taste like, but I was pleasantly surprised. The nachos overall were very light, but didn't lack any flavor. The mango-habanero was a great combination of sweet & spicy - but you should take my opinion on "spicy" very loosely.

Lastly, walking out the door instead of mints they serve ginger chews. If you like ginger (sushi ginger or anything ginger) give these bad boys a try - obsessed wouldn't even begin to describe it. 


Saturday morning we headed over to Pullman for breakfast. Cindi had never been and I had never tried their breaky, so we decided to give it a shot - and we were definitely not disappointed. 

Mama B went with bloody round 2 and I opted for an Irish coffee. I've only had an Irish coffee one other time and that was at The Buena Vista  in San Fran. It's the perfect way to warm up on a semi chili day, with a caffeine & alcohol kick, delish. In normal Bedell fashion, we scanned the menu beforehand...a few times. 

huevos.jpg

I went for the Huevos: two sunny side eggs, potatoes, sofrito, black beans, avocado, house salsa, fried tortilla. We all know that sunny side eggs & avocado is my ride or die. The sofrito (a Spanish sauce used as a base - typically onions, tomatoes, garlic, and oil) brought so much flavor to the rice & beans and also made the potatoes creamier rather than the typical breakfast potato. Even though you can't see them, the deliciousness is buried under the two eggs. Lastly, the tortilla - they crumbled the second I bit down and then instantly melted in my mouth. 

Mama B went for the Salmon Benedict: English muffin, smoked salmon, poached egg, hollandaise sauce (OTS), dill, served with potatoes O'Brien. I was too busy demolishing my own meal that I didn't try much of hers - but by her comments it was an A plus as well. 

This was a perfect way to end a Mama Bedell weekend in IC.