Finding the time…

Moving across the Atlantic from Sweden to Chicago has really been an adventure and I remember very well the first time I walked into the grocery store to buy groceries, it took forever. I was like a blank sheet of paper not recognizing the brands of toothpaste, detergent or what milk to pick, I was totally clueless. This was four and a half years ago and since then both kids have started school, we bought a house made a lot of great new friends, settled in very well and we simply love it here.

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Having a very hectic schedule I have started to get ready for bed at the same time as the kids because I am exhausted at the end of the day. When life is going on routine and not necessarily challenge you everyday in life like it maybe once did, I do think that it is easy to forget other important things in life.

Then maybe it is time to stop for a minute and start finding the time together. So yesterday Freddie and me went to this very cozy but yet lively and crowded restaurant named Abigail’s in Highland Park and it was just perfect. Great food, great atmosphere but best of all… my company 😉

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Let the French Girl cook!

I met Elise about a year and a half ago when she moved to Chicago with her family and ever since we been trying to get together for a dinner at their house. The thing is that we always have canceled on them because the kids been sick or I’ve not been feeling well and so on. But finally yesterday we made it over for dinner and oh man, can she cook!

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She had made an appetizer with prawns and when I asked her for the recipe she says “You already have at home” I am thinking to myself if I ever made this and then she tells me she took a snapshot out of my cook book “Barefoot contessa, how easy is that” by Ina Garten and used the Roasted shrimp salad recipe…lol. She paired this with a beautiful bottle of Clos la Maurassue from Graves, Bordeaux and it was such a perfectly matched wine to the dish.

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The evening was perfect and we had a really great time and Elise had really put her heart into this dinner and she had made Boeuf Bourguignonne for the main course. I did not dare to ask for the recipe as I believe she might have had to kill me if she did! I also think to be successful with this secret family recipe you might have to have some French blood in you to get it right 🙂

I have been to heaven and back!

Yesterday we went downtown Chicago for dinner, Freddie had made the reservation and the only thing I knew was the name of the restaurant and that we were eating a six course tasting menu. We rushed through the heavy traffic on the highway and just made it on time down to Chicago’s meat packing district, Fulton Market and iNG http://www.ingrestaurant.com.

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I love this area where the meat trucks are lined up & down the empty street and all of a sudden you find very trendy restaurants and art galleries between the rundown buildings.

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Like I said yesterday, I’ve chosen my moments very carefully when I am going to indulge yet I couldn’t help that my heart dropped a little bit when I saw pizza as the second course on the pre-set menu. When we got the first course I was very happy because it was Jonah crab and prawns in a fish sauce and absolutely delicious. As I’m eating I’m thinking in the back of my head “the damage is not too bad, right?!” and then the pizza arrived, it was mind blowing…

2013-02-15 00.07.25A low-carb and dairy-free Pizza!!!

…not to mention the dessert, (yes d-e-s-s-e-r-t) and in came in a little lemon tart heart! As it turns out the restaurant and the chef Homaro Cantu focuses on low glycemic food and they are using a magic berry powder. Not to sweeten the food but to change your taste buds so acidic foods like lemon and vinegar don’t taste sour anymore.

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I have had the most amazing food experience ever and I’m still walking on clouds this morning. I couldn’t imagine eating at a more appropriate and interesting place where the food was right up my alley…

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This is pure love, thank you Freddie!

Little Swedish meatballs…

This is a recipe for all of us who loves traditional gravy to our Swedish Meatballs but living a low-carb lifestyle without dairy and gluten…

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Meatballs

500 gram/1lbs. Minced Beef

1 Egg

1-2 tablespoon Better than Bullion (I used kalvfond, try to get your hands on it because it is just unbeatable)

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 teaspoon Paprika powder

¼ cup Thyme and Tarragon chopped

Salt and Black pepper

Gravy

1-2 deciliter or ½-1 cup Water

1 tablespoon Tomato Pure

½ tablespoon Soy Sauce (gluten-free)

A splash of kalvfond (better than bullion)

A splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Chopped Thyme and Tarragon

How to: Mix all the ingredients for you meatballs in a bowl. Wet a chopping board as well as your hands before start rolling the meatball, this will make the batter not stick to your hands. Fry the meatballs little by little in a very hot frying pan and remove them to a war pot when they are done and do the same thing with the next batch.

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When all the meatballs are fried add water to the frying pan and whisk with a wooden spoon so all the flavors from when you were frying the meatballs mixes in with the water. Add the rest of the ingredients if the sauce gets to thick just add water.

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I served this with Roasted Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Olives and Tomatoes tossed in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar…Honestly this was yummy!

 

 

When you think you’ve seen it all

I think that anyone that lives on the North Shore of Chicago will to some extent agree it is like living in a bubble, this is not really the real world. There is a lot of very successful people living in this area and every other person that is working out at the gym wears a complete outfit of Lululemon, using their Louis Vuitton as their gym bag and carrying their IPhone 5 in the other hand and no one is thinking twice about it, including me.

I will admit I do care about how I dress in the gym but it is not as important as the clothes don’t bother me during my workout. And ever so often I will go and get a new item but I always try to get a bargain because gym clothes are bl***y expensive.

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So today at Lifetime Fitness I had my own personal battle against the cardio machines. I was not in the mood at all for spending an hour listening to the same old boring music from Spotify (so if you have any suggestions on good workout music, I’m all ears) but I surprised myself and did a great workout with high intensity intervals.

I finished at the same time as one of the studio workouts where the majority of who’s attending is women and a few of them have had a totally makeover. I don’t usually wear makeup myself just because I look like a drench cat by the time I’m done and I believe makeup will not do any favors for me.

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But I do get that people have been up for hours attending meetings and just having a break from their busy schedule but today I meet a women wearing fake eyelashes reaching to her forehead looking like she was hitting the nightlife of Chicago!!!

Hey…I guess people can do what ever they want but fake eyelashes on a lousy Tuesday morning at the gym, I just don’t get it….