recipes · weekend recaps

Weekend recap (plus recipes!)

It was a cold but fun weekend, and it went by too quickly in my opinion. On Friday night we had dinner with 14 of our good friends at a BYOB Mediterranean restaurant, Ken Zaman in River North. The food was great and it was an entertaining atmosphere because they had a belly dancer who danced throughout the restaurant, which livened up the night a bit.  We also went to the Green Door Tavern after dinner for a drink which was fun to catch up a little bit more.

My husband, Sumo and I also took quite a few walks together per usual. And we were lucky that even though it was cold, the sun came out for a little bit on Saturday…

My husband and Sumo got their exercise by playing sticks, while I strolled along and snapped some pics…

On Saturday, I also got to drive up to Evanston with my future sister-in-law to go to her final wedding dress fitting.  We got to see her dress and all of the accessories together and she looked gorgeous! but I cannot share any pictures, because we have to keep it a secret :-).

And the cold weather this weekend also substantiated many afternoon naps (which Sumo always willing partook in)…

The naps were then followed by coffee breaks to wake us back up again…(with no less than my favorite french-press Illy dark roast coffee that is)…

My husband and I did also do a bit of cooking over the weekend, which began with this amazing breakfast below…

We typically make this recipe in bulk and eat it throughout the week, but it is always a treat when we can have it fresh and hot off the stove.  It is a Food and Wine recipe, Three-Grain Cereal with Dates and Cinnamon.  I like to add unsweetened peanut butter and fresh blueberries to mine.

Here is the recipe (also found here, on Food and Wine’s website – and if you do not subscribe to this magazine, you should, the recipes and articles are awesome!):

Three-Grain Cereal with Dates and Cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces Medjool dates (about 8 dates with pits)
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pearled barley over moderate heat for about 30 minutes, until tender. Drain the barley in a colander and shake off all of the excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a small, heatproof bowl, cover the dates with boiling water and let stand for 1 minute. Drain the dates in a colander and let them cool. Peel and pit the dates and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4. In another medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the oats and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cooked barley and quinoa, cinnamon and half of the chopped dates and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Spoon the cereal into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining dates and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The cooked barley and cooked quinoa can be refrigerated separately for up to 5 days. NOTES One Serving 260 cal, 2 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 55 gm carb, 8 gm fiber, 7 gm protein. SERVE WITH Blueberries or walnuts (and I like to add unsweetened peanut butter – delish!).

We also made our new favorite broccoli soup recipe (which tastes amazing and is also quite healthy and good for you!).  For sides, we also make homemade whole wheat breadsticks with parmesan for dipping, and spinach salads for good measure.

Below is our broccoli soup recipe.  It also works great to have as lunch leftovers later in the week!

Broccoli Soup

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 25 Min
8 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, and saute onion and garlic until tender. Mix in broccoli, potato, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  2. With a hand mixer or in a blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the saucepan, and reheat. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information: Amount Per Serving  Calories: 64 | Total Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg

It also pairs nicely with an Oregon Pinot Noir if you like wine…

And mangos (which are delicious right now) make a perfect light dessert for after dinner…

As does espresso…

And that was pretty much my weekend.  And it went by way too fast.  I am not looking forward to the start of another work week, but I am looking forward to my yoga class tonight ~ Happy Monday! xo

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