Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November's Dinner: Bistro Voltaire

For our November dinner, Nancy chose Bistro Voltaire.

I am a Francophile and I love all things French: the food, the language, the country, etc.  So, I was excited to go to this restaurant.  It is right down the street from where I took French class at the Alliance Francaise.

It is a very French joint.  The hostess is an elegant French woman and our waiter was a French man.  I tried out my limited French skills, with limited success, but that is okay because I got to speak French!

The food was amazing.  I had the french onion soup and a french style gnocchi; both were fabulous.  Other dishes that were fabulous were: the coq au vin, the boeuf with mushrooms, the puff pastry, and the mussels.

The food was absolutely delicious.  I will definitely be back there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lofts, Hot Chocolate, and Sports Bras

This past weekend was my neighborhood’s annual Loft Walk. I live in the Printers Row/South Loop neighborhood of Chicago and the old printing houses have become some magnificent lofts, and once a year, they are shown off. My cousin, Melissa, just moved back to Chicago after a 30+ year hiatus in warm climates, so I invited her on the Loft Walk (all the while really hoping she moves to my ‘hood). There were five of us in our group, Ignacio, his son, my mom, Melissa and me. We saw 15 lofts. They were amazing, and one even brought tears to my eyes. It’s like a nosey Rosie’s dream to be able to walk into peoples’ homes and snoop all around and to see how they’ve rehabbed and decorated. The views in the place on Michigan Avenue were amaze-balls! I told the owner she might have to kick me out at the end of the day because I was never leaving.

While we were on the walk, I kept seeing people in these jackets:

(thank you, Sheree!!)

You see, that morning, there was the annual Hot Chocolate 5K/15K run; a run that ends with hot chocolate and chocolate fondue. Chocolate. Chocolate!! A run that ends in chocolate. A novel idea that just might make me get off my butt and RUN!

I told Melissa that I wanted to run the Hot Chocolate race next year. That is funny for a lot of reasons. The main reason: I can’t even *run* across the street. I have stopped and started the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone more times than I care to admit. But I get these crazy ideas in my mind, and become obsessed. Just because I become obsessed, it doesn’t mean I follow through.

Monday morning, I went to the gym to start (yet again) Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5K. I wore my heavy duty sports bra that I finally found in the back of my drawer. I need extra control up top when I ‘run’ (just saying “when I run” makes me giggle). So, heavy duty sports bra (I think I should name her “Madge”) and I hit the treadmill. Madge is one tight bitch! Yeah, Madge keeps me from giving myself a black eye, but she also makes it tough to breathe. I need to weigh my options here: black eye vs. ability to breathe while ‘running’ (I’m giggling again).

I got a cold that evening when I got home from work. I blame running. Madge and I haven’t been back to the gym since. I have a year to prepare to run a 15K. I don’t have high hopes for Madge and I to actually complete 15Ks. I might bronze Madge if I were to even complete 5Ks. I’m already thinking about the possibilities for next year’s Hot Chocolate race: pay the entry fee and just meet everyone at the finish line and indulge in the chocolate fondue, all the while wearing my KICK ASS HOT CHOCOLATE JACKET.