It’s not goodbye…

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We’ve just moved :)

We loved, loved, loved writing DeuxChicago.

But, we’re excited to be moving on to some new projects!

You’ll find Alison painting her little heart out at her beautiful Etsy shop, Carrefour Dolce. That’s one of her pieces up there — pretty amazing, no?

And as for me, I’m working on my photography, illustrations, and bloggin’ my little heart out at my new site, LL Creative.

Thank you for reading and for becoming our friends along the way. Let’s stay in touch, ok? :)

We bid you… A-DEUX!

Couldn’t resist.

Sunday Brunch

There are some weekends where brunch just feels like the right thing to do.  Hub51 is known in Chicago for many things: happy hour, steep bathroom stairs, surprisingly good maki rolls, brussel sprouts that people actually enjoy, amazing people watching and brunch.  This past weekend I packed up the strewn contents of my Saturday night out purse and headed out to enjoy a warm brunch on a cold Sunday morning.

 

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Chips and guacamole…not brunch food you say?  Tomato tomato (say it out loud…)

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Huevos Rancheros, eggs over black beans with oaxaca cheese and corn tortillas.

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Corned beef hash and eggs, made with house braised brisket.

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Margaritas…just because.

 

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Spicy Shrimp Salsa

Spicy Shrimp Salsa

This recipe is simple and easy, and completely delicious.  Perfect for a football game or a girls night in, throw together these ingredients, pair with handful of baked tortilla chips and enjoy your little heart out.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Cooked shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Chili garlic paste – because we just can’t seem to make a recipe without it
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Chop all ingredients.  Combine.  You’re welcome.

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End Table Makeover

Side Table Makeover

 

My end tables needed a makeover.  I had a set of 4 folding tv trays, handed down to me through at least 2 separate owners and originally purchased at Target.  Good, solid tables, but boring.  I figured they needed a bit of a makeover and got to work.  I painted the tables themselves a glossy white with a high hiding latex paint, and stained pieces of wood alternating colors.  Top the tables with the wood strips and shellack the hell out of the surface and the makeover is complete!  Yes, I’m leaving out the part where I stained my hands (and a now hidding wineglass) brown with wood stain, practially asphyxiated myself with varnish fumes and lost a fingerprint to a hot glue gun, but I still think it was totally worth it.

 

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*I borrowed the before picture from June and Bear who made even the “before” look better than I ever could.  See her sweet and stripey table makeover here!

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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Sometimes a little comfort food is necessary.  The holidays are fast approaching and as the cold weather sets in, it’s certainly understandable to crave a little home cooking.  This pot pie recipe is direct from Ina Garten, who I assume MUST know her shiz when it comes to a flaky crust and hearty filling.  Though in the interest of full disclosure, this Chicago version uses puff pastry from the freezer isle.  It’s amazing, get on board.

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Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

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Black Rock Coasters

 

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The other day I went for a walk along the river.  It’s always nice to get outside and breathe the fresh air, especially when it’s mid-November in the Midwest, but the lack of rain this year meant the nearby river was particularly low.  I’ve been called a hoarder before, so I didn’t think anything of it when I picked up a few of the many smooth black stones that must have been unceremoniously dumped on the side of the water. 

Back at the old workshop (ahem, apartment) I rinsed them clean and tried to figure out what to do with my new handful of…well, rocks.  They happened to be exceptionally flat on the bottom – not a wobble found – so I shellacked them with a few coats of glossy varnish and put them to the test as condensation catchers. There’s nothing like a functional memory!

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Epic Burger

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly late to the Epic Burger game, but as I (never, ever) say, better late than never!  The other night, not in the mood to cook – gasp! – I walked down to the closest Epic Burger which unfortunately for me, is pretty damn close.  Their menu is pretty straight forward – pick your patty (all natural beef, turkey, portabella or grilled chicken) and pick your toppings.  I went for the beef, cheddar, whole grain bun combo and it was delicious.  With additional frills like grilled or raw onions, fried egg (choose your yolk’s runniness!) and crisp bacon, there’s a good chance I might have to stop in again.  I mean…if only to take in the full lanscape of options!

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Face Scrub – Au Natural

Apparently watching Made in Chelsea makes me say things like “au natural.”  I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter the similarities, when you compare The Hill and MiC, the British accent, and saying “En Route” instead of “on our way” adds class EVERY time, and couldn’t be more jealous, but I digress.

The other night I sat around catching up (read: watching every episode available ondemand) on the show, I found myself googling ways to shake my dry and dull winter skin before it got scary.  It turns out, the ingredients I needed were handily in my cluttered, dirty little kitchen cabinet.  I scooped them up, reminded myself to clean out my cabinets yet again, and got to work.

Honey Sugar Olive Oil Face Scrub

Mix 3 parts honey, to one part olive oil and add enough sugar to give the scrub the consistency of…well, a scrub.  It’s not complicated, I swear.  Don’t make the mix too oily or it will slide right off your moneymaker, and don’t make it too honeylicious, or it will be impossible to spread.  It’s trial and error, go with the flow!

The honey in the scrub will draw out the impurities in your skin and nix any nagging city scum sitting on top of your pores.  The sugar acts as mother nature’s sweet little exfoliant, scrubbing your skin without tearing or dragging.  The olive oil continues it’s act as basically the most versatile and beneficial ingredient known to mankind and leaves you supple and smooth.  The best part is that these ingredients very likely exist right under your clever little nose, so take the hike to your kitchen, attack with a spoon and slather on your face.