Roasted Tomatoes

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This isn’t really so much of a recipe as “put them in the oven” isn’t exactly a novel concept. But I thought it might be worth sharing, anyway, since sometimes something so simple as putting them in the oven makes the painfully ordinary surprisingly good.

With the particularly evil combo of negative windchills and post-vacation food guilt, cold salads are not exactly cutting it when I literally dreamed of macaroni and cheese last night. I can’t roast cheese for you (OR CAN I?), but I can improve on the cold salad business.

Roasted Tomatoes

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut your tomatoes into evenly-sized pieces and place on a foil covered pan for easy clean-up.
  • Sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper, sugar, and seasoning. On 5 tomatoes, I used about 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp pepper, and one Tb of sugar. Skip anything else, but don’t skip the sugar — it’s what’ll make your tomatoes caramelize a bit!
  • Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with any other seasonings you like – I used a bit of oregano.
  • Roast for 30 minutes. If you’d like them a bit extra crunchy and black on top, pop them in the broiler for 2 minutes at the end for charred edges.
  • Serve with other roasted vegetables, on top of your salad to warm it up, or as a side dish.

ll

The Power of the Poppy

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Is it just us, or does merely looking at spring-like images bring hope that these dark, grey days are short lived?

They are shorter-lived than they may seem, by the way — 36 days until spring!

Until then, here are a few poppy options (poptions? anyone?) that are simultaneously cheering us up and making our credit cards sad.

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American Apparel Peach Skin Lola Dress

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Coach iPhone Case via Macy’s

Poppy-BCBGMaxAzria-Slim-Pant

BCBG Maria Slim Pant in Poppy

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Madewell Sidewalk Skimmer in Flame

Poppy-Pour-La-Victoire-Tote

Pour la Victoire  Poppy & Patent Tote

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Topshop Poppy-Print Snood

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Tory Burch Logo Snap Cuff

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Trina Turk Solid Crepe Finch Top 

poppy-yvesstlaurent-bathing-suit

Yves St. Laurent Poppy-Print Triangle Bikini

ll

Helping Hands

heart-gloves-etsy> adorable gloves via this etsy shop

Every year, our mama gets us socks for Christmas. The really cozy, warm kind that we’d never buy ourselves. She says its because her worst fear is that someone is cold. And yes, she is the best.

I sometimes feel that I’m not doing enough for my neighbors in this cold and windy city. I attempted to do some research for the sake of this post to find the number of homeless Chicagoans, but it doesn’t seem that there’s anything conclusive. Honestly, though, whether the number is 5,000 or 20,000 doesn’t really matter.

I’m particularly sensitive to those living on the street when I find myself shivering and complaining in layers of sweaters, boots, mama socks and a parka.

But I’m hesitant to pull out my wallet after getting it stolen one extremely frustrating day a few years back after doing that, and equally hesitant to buy someone lunch or dinner after my burrito beneficiary informed me that he was sick of Mexican. (Seriously.)

So this year, I’ve figured out an inexpensive and easy way to help a neighbor here or there and I thought I’d share.

Duck into a Walgreens or CVS and pick up a pack of handwarmers and a pair of cotton gloves. They’re almost always near the front of the store, close to the registers, and for a few dollars, you can make someone fighting our beloved city’s bitter cold just a bit warmer and more comfortable for 10 hours.

And if you need a little extra motivation, you’ll help my mama rest easier 🙂

ll

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

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Quite the quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson, hmm?

Well, 9,804 to go.

I received the most amazing gift for Christmas – a Canon Rebel T3 and a lens that’s way too cool for me. I’m going to take non-iPhone pictures, guys!

I’ve spent the past week reading as much as I can and watching eight gazillion YouTube tutorials. Aperture! Shutter speed! Camera shake! ISO! So much to learn.

I need a pet pronto so that the gift-giver doesn’t get sick of being my unwilling (and often unsuspecting) subject.

On my last official day off of work for the holidays, I clomped around in the snow outside for a while and managed to snag some halfway decent shots. Get ready for lots more!

ll