Time flies so fast and it’s hard for me to keep up with new episodes of my life as a foodie in Chicago. I have many fun and exciting news to share with you: some wedding prep updates, the latest recipes on the blog (14 new recipes!), foodie updates from my recent trips within the US, but also in Israel and Jordan, my recent partnership with Best Of You, a First Official U.S. Nutella Cafe in Chicago, and… a trip to New York soon (I need your foodie tips!).
Wedding prep. updates
In case you missed it in my previous episode, I’m happy to tell you again that I’m getting married in June (June 24th to be exact) with the man I have been sharing my life with for many years now! It seems it’s tomorrow already and I’m really excited about it although we still have so many things to work on. However, we started to organize this special day way in advance so we don’t feel totally overwhelmed either (advice: start your wedding prep too early!). I’m happy to tell you that I kept my promise and took up the challenge to share with you the Berry soufflé recipe I had to prepare for my bachelorette party. It turned out quite good (delicious in taste) even if I didn’t manage to grab my camera on time to get the perfect high soufflé on top.
The wedding menu is now decided and as you can imagine, it was a big deal for a food blogger like me! We are still working on many details to entertain our guests and make the venue look beautiful. The wedding theme is Midsummer and it turns out it will be the exact day of the Swedish Midsummer celebration. This means that flowers and other summer details will take an important part. I always found it boring to think “wedding preparation” before and never really read magazines about it, but now that it’s my turn, I find it very fun and my favorite shop has become BHDLN in Chicago these last few months. Not only for wedding dresses, but also for all their adorable wedding accessories. It’s also from there I got my beautiful dessert plates I now use in almost every dessert recipe (you are many to ask about them!). Since then I found the matching silver dessert forks and spoons in a second-hand/antique store. It cost me a fortune but I love them!
My Bachelorette baking challenge: create a berry souffle without the recipe instructions!
The last part about the wedding prep is of course the dress and I’m sure you are curious about it too (even though it has nothing to do with my foodie life, but we can make an exception, right?). However, I will keep it secret until next month and I will tell you a little bit more about it in my next episode of my life as a foodie, which will be released just before the wedding. Keep in touch!
Latest recipes on the blog
Now let’s review the latest recipes together. There are 14 of them, and among your favorites are the Shakshuka, the Madeleine strawberry charlotte, the Ultra moist lemon ricotta pancakes (they are now my number 1 pancake recipe, I just LOVE them!) and the Healthy lemon coconut energy balls. Oh, and also the Veggie spinach goat cheese toast, which is already a great success on the blog, as it is simple and quick to prepare, and very yummy too!
For the other new recipes, the Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie is a must try for all cookie lovers. Check also the Skinny carrot muffins with coconut cream, the Salmon scrambled eggs with parmesan-crusted asparagus, or the adorable Mini healthy peanut butter pies (vegan, gluten & refined sugar free). The Roasted cauliflower steaks with a walnut-caper salsa will take you to a whole new dimension while the Mango curry tofu will make you travel to India. Finally, don’t miss my perfectly Moist skillet jalapeno cornbread, the Berry soufflés I mentioned earlier, or my Ricotta frittata with spring vegetables which is perfect for an everyday meal. And there is more coming soon!
Recent travel experiences
I have been travelling quite a bit lately, shorter and longer trips. One Saturday morning in early April, while having breakfast with David, we mentioned that we missed doing some small weekend excursions together. 15 minutes later, we had rented a car and were taking the road to a new destination for an entirely improvised weekend. We went to Galena, a very small and cute town near the Mississippi, 3 hours away from Chicago only. It felt so good and so resourcing! The food was terrible there though, but I found a giant spoon and most importantly I came back rested and full of great inspiration for the blog!
In terms of food, my other trip to Israel and Jordan was a whole other story: it was amazing! We went there for a wedding, and just before leaving Chicago I had published a Shakshuka recipe on the blog to set my mood for vacation. This typical Israeli dish went crazy immediately and many of you have tried it since, which could not make me happier. In Israel, I tried different Shakshuka variants that totally blew my mind (especially the vegan one with eggplant… I LOVE eggplant!) and I even learned a specific way to serve it that I might share you with you soon enough.
The trip itself was sunny and warm from day one until we got back home, and we had lot of fun trying all the vegetarian dishes, various hummus, or exploring the colorful markets. The wedding ceremony took place in a date plantation and there I tasted the very best date I ever had (I had never thought I could be amazed by dates as much as I can be by chocolate). A few days later, we drove all the way to Petra in Jordan and the little/old historian in me felt in paradise. This place is so beautiful, so exotic and mysterious at the same time. A little treasure on Earth!
Among others: a partnership with Best Of You & a Nutella cafe in Chicago!
I’m now back in Chicago, working like crazy these days, creating new recipes for you for the coming two months, preparing the wedding in parallel, and working out far too little. I try to keep some balance in life anyway by sleeping enough (or almost) instead. In the middle of all this, I started a new cooperation with the lifestyle website Best Of You and every month you will find a new healthy recipe of mine published there. I love reading this website every so often as it is full of positive energy and inspirational articles. Go have a look yourself, you’ll meet a fantastic team!
You might have seen also that my Milk and Cookie Cups got featured in a printed baking magazine in France back in April, with a step-by-step recipe that I shot especially for the occasion. Talking about sweets, I just learned a couple of days ago that Chicago is about to open the first ever Nutella cafe in the US! There is already a Nutella bar in Eataly (I LOVE this place!) and because of its success, they decided to go bigger. I am usually not a super big fan of eating Nutella for health reasons (palm oil essentially) and prefer my own Newtella recipe instead, but I’m still very curious about the idea and will probably try it for you. A little pleasure every so often won’t kill you!
My Milk and Cookie Cups featured in the French magazine “Pâtisserie & Cake Design”
And if you’re planning a trip to Chicago soon, I recommend Yuzu, a sushi place I discovered recently, and also Bad Hunter, an upscale restaurant on Randolph that offers a classic menu, a vegetarian one, and even an entire vegan one! I tried it just a couple of days ago and loved everything about it: the flavors, the creativity, and the perfect balance of spices, all in great reasonable small proportions that keep you just fine by the end of the meal.
And soon… a trip to New York (tips needed!)
The other big news is that I’m heading to New York next week for the long weekend of Memorial Day. It’s been so long since I’ve been there and NYC is one of my favorite cities in the world (so cliché but I don’t mind), so I’m really excited about it. I need some comfortable shoes and I’m ready to explore. I just can’t wait! So please send me your foodie tips (where to eat, what to try), or simply write them in comments below. I’m all about the cookie dough place experience even though I will probably wait in line for quite a while, and I want to try some exclusively vegan places as I love the creativity of this cuisine. Any other idea is welcome, I will let you know what I’ve tried in my next episode.
My last Bagel in NYC, filled with pumpkin butter. Yum!
Before I leave you, I just want to inform you that my (not so) baby blog (anymore) just turned 4! I take this occasion to thank you for being more and more to follow me and trying my recipes everyday. Each single comment you leave on the blog means the world to me and I am very grateful for it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And if you’re new here, keep in mind that if you subscribe to my newsletter, you will receive for free an exclusive e-book with 25 Healthy Everyday Recipes, just perfect for this Summer!
Discover the Shakshuka!
Fresh oranges in Jerusalem
Our friend’s wedding venue in a date plantation.