Uncovet Necklace Shirt Print Bag Notecard1

I love Uncovet.com. Much like Gilt, or Just Fab, Uncovet brings to its registered users a selection of goods that is crush worthy and cool, but Uncovet makes its case championing the new designer, the edgy collection and the chic find.

With new daily selections hand picked by Uncovet stylist, the online boutique gathers tshirts, charm bracelets and knick-knacks from design shops all over the web. This particular collection caught my eye on a chilly, pre-spring evening – check out the rest the site has to offer.

Uncovet Necklace Shirt Print Bag Notecard

Aquamarine Necklace $49; Audrey Hepburn Print $36; Petrified Wood Holder $27; FUCC Off Crewneck $70; Heirloom Tote – Cognac 270; ‘Well Hello There’ Notecards $19


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.



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


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


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


Margaritas…just because.



Pumpkin Corn Chowder


Snow has finally covered the ground here in Chicago.  Just when we were thinking that Chicago was about to blow it’s reputation for being miserable in the winter and no longer scare away those faint of foul weather, risking the import of thousands of southern souls clogging our CTA, snapping up the beautiful apartments and filling our beaches with their charming accents, our dear city came through.  Who else could be unpredictable and slightly cruel enough to dump 6 inches of snow on the ground between the end of the Super Bowl and a Monday morning?  Our friend, Chicago.  Thanks buddy, you’re always there for us

Fortunately cold weather and hearty soups go hand in hand, so pull on your boots and slog through the snow to pick up the few ingredients it takes to make this delicious pumpkin chowder; you wont regret it.  Packed with pumpkin, corn and spices, this really is a meal in and of itself.  Simple and delicious – our kind of recipe.

Pumpkin Corn Chowder


  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 15oz cans of corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of chopped red peppers (green work, too!)
  • 1 29oz can of pumpkin puree
  • Spices: cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft.  Add canned pumpkin, 2 cups of chicken broth and spices.  (side note:  I personally season the hell out of this soup to make it spicy and flavorful, so I left the spice amounts open to interpretation!).  Let the soup simmer on low for 15 minutes.  Add rinsed and drained corn and the chopped peppers.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Check spices and adjust if necessary.  Just before serving, add heavy cream and stir to blend.  Tip – top with crumbled cotija cheese.  Enjoy!



Pumpkin Spice Cookies


Pumpkin Spice Cookies

An office holiday bake-off requires many things: nerves of steel, buying a presentable pan to cart cookies to work and a sure-fire recipe.  Recalling my expletive peppered, off key “ohmygodohmygodthesearesogood” sonata singing when I tried the Sprinkles pumpkin cupcake, I figured the only winning recipe-route was to recreate the moist, pumpkiny goodness in a cookie.  Cake-like and full of flavor, these pumpkin cookies are remarkably easy to make.  Adapting a recipe from Food Network will get you a basic cookie recipe with a cup of pumpkin, a hefty dash of spice and lots of yummy noises from serious work-type people who don’t usually make yummy noises.

Forgive the dark pictures, the Christmas tree lighting wasn’t soft and romantic but rather gloomy and a bit gray.  But only in photos – in real life it’s gorgeous.

Pumpkin Cookies_1

Pumpkin COokies_4

Pumpkin Cookies_2

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting


For the cookies:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
For the frosting:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting. Garnish with a whole pecan.

Copyright © 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved


Randolph Street Market

Randolph Market Scene


Last weekend Laura and I made our second appearance at the Randolph Street Market, home to Chicago antique dealers, indie designers, vintage collectors and unique crafters.

I think it’s important for us all to acknowledge that I was having a really great hair day that day.


But I digress.  We marched ourselves through rain, wind and the west loop and headed to scoop up last minute Christmas presents and hopefully score some jewelry while we were at it.  We had only been during the summer when the parking lot was jammed with vendors and empanada hawkers, so while we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  The pared down, indoor-only venue was certainly less overwhelming, but we still had a great time perusing vintage Chanel and pawing our way through bins of antique necklaces.  Can’t wait until next time!

Randolph Market Jewelry


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.


  • 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


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



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.









*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!


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.

Chicken Pot Pie_Filling

Chicken Pot Pie_pastry



Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie


  • 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


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.


Artichoke and Olive Hummus


Artichoke and Olive Hummus

I feel like hummus is one of those recipes that is so simple, it seems to consistently surprise others when you describe the process.  Fear not, non-cooks, we aim to surprise you as well!  This hummus recipe combines the classic variety and tops it with a lemony, garlicky, olive oil-licious batch of chopped artichokes and green olives.  Of course, any grocery isle will remind you that hummus comes topped with an incredible variety of veggies, nuts and flavors, so feel free to substitute as your testy taste buds or choosy guests require.





Ingredients – Hummus:

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained but reserve the liquid
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • Tahini (if you follow my instructions, I would tell you to put at least a quarter cup, but I love sesame.  Some recipes omit all together, others call for as a little as 2 tablespoons so obviously the choice is up to you.  I love the smooth, nutty flavor and tend to be a bit heavy handed)
  • 1/5 cup of olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Garlic Chili Paste – because we can’t post a recipe without it!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend or pulse the drained garbanzo beans, minced garlic, tahini and olive oil together until well combined.  Slowly add – still blending! – the reserved liquid from the cans of beans until the mixture becomes smooth and most of the lumps disappear.  Add lemon juice and garlic/chili paste to taste. For this hummus recipe, I typically use the juice of half a lemon as the artichoke topping also uses lemon juice.  Add salt and a bit of pepper and combine well. 

Ingredients – Artichoke and Olive Top-Hat:

  • 1 can of artichoke hearts (NOT marinated, if you use marinated, you’re on your own)
  • 1 large clove of minced garlic
  • 1/5 cup of chopped green olives
  • Lemon, halved (you can likely use the second half from the hummus)
  • A few heavy tablespoons of good olive oil

Chop well the artichoke hearts, discarding any hard or spiky outer leaves.  Add the garlic, olives, lemon and olive oil. Combine well and let set at room temperature for a few hours.  Just before you serve the hummus, top the serving with a few mounds of the artichoke mixture and dig in.  Serve with garlic toast points or warmed pitas triangles.



Note: right after making the recipe I threw the ingredients in tupperware to transport to the ol’ annual holiday party.  I took the liberty of assuming that cheekykitchen wouldn’t mind my borrowing her awesome hummus photo to showcase a final product, albeit, not my own.