Blog News

2012: The Highlights

Yesterday was Brian’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Brian! As a result, I reflected, as one so often does on such occasions, on how quickly the past year seemed to fly by. He’s 27 years old? Already? Didn’t he just turn 26…? I guess the year flew by because it really was chock full of fun and fantastic-ness. We just hopped from one milestone to the next.

Brian turned 26

Please join me, if you will, on a look back at the past year with the Westervins, starting with Brian’s 26th birthday on January 31st, 2012. That joyous celebration saw a cookie cake—Brian’s favorite kind of cake, obviously—as well as a few choice presents and a relaxing break with the Wests outside of the city. We were all so happy that this sweet man was born just 26 years prior.

Grace Steinel Jones started guest blogging

Soon after, we welcomed one of our dearest and most talented besties, one Mrs. Grace Steinel Jones, as a guest blogger for Westervin. Cooking away in her hot Austin kitchen, Grace whipped up such delicioso creations as the above carrot cake with honey-ginger figs, homemade granola, and some super tacos!

Sarah West Ervin started working with Lillstreet

Later in February, I started working with the Lillstreet Art Center. For class credit, I offered my newly acquired marketing skills to Lillstreet to help spread the word about their many amazing services and products for the creatively inclined and curious. In exchange, I got some professional experience, an invitation to a screenprinting workshop, and an opportunity to work with them again on another fun marketing project.

Westervin got a makeover

In March, Brian exercised his creative muscles and unveiled a new look for Westervin.com. He’s so talented. Note to self: keep him around.

Newby Treasury GIveaway

We celebrated the redesign with a very special giveaway from Newby Treasury. This giveaway had been in the works for a few months, since around the first time I met Sarah Newby. I latched on to that cool lady like white on rice, determined to make her my friend. BTW, it worked.

Brian West got a new Job

In April, Brian started working at Columbia College Chicago…one floor above my office! Now, we get to go to work together and get coffee together and eat lunch together and go on walks together and go home together and BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!!!!!!

Debbie Carlos starts guest blogging

In other tremendously exciting April news, Debbie Carlos started guest blogging for Westervin with her series A Sunday Ritual. I don’t think I need to say much about this, other than: apricot pie, coconut corn fritters, ratatouille, sesame pea-shoot salad, cochinita pibil, and savory bread pudding, and 60-second gooey chocolate mug cake. Oh, and I should probably also say, “OMG! Thank you so much, Debbie! You are sooooooo awesome!!!!”

Celebrated World Party Day

Also that month, we were invited by BIG THINGS, Kitiya Palaskas, and The Adventure School to participate in the fun DIY-ness of World Party Day. We made some margarita jello shots for the festivities. I think they were appreciated…

Columbia College Chicago Manifest: Please Generate Art

As I wrapped up my first year of graduate school last May, we rounded out the semester with our interactive art installation, Sound Collective, which was part of PGA: Please Generate Art, the graduate Manifest project at Columbia. It was a disgusting amount of work coupled with some poor timing (damn you, finals!), but I think it was all worth it for the delirious giggles and slaphappy bonding among the Sound Collective team: Caitlin O’Meara, Laura Bock, me, and (unofficially) Brian.

Westervin Honeymoon

Brian and I soon recuperated on our Dollymoon. That is, we took our belated honeymoon at Dollywood! Best. Trip. Ever.

Sarah West Ervin made some videos for Lillstreet Art Center

When we returned, I began working with Lillstreet again on the Make It video series. I’m a producer, y’all! I’ve shared a few of the completed videos, and there’s a few more still to come…

Westervin gets juiced

In June, Brian and I started juicing! The good kind, guys. In an attempt to circumvent my general disinterest in most foods of the vegetable variety, Brian got us a juicer and started sneaking nutrient-rich vegetables into my diet, disguised by the sweet nectar of fruit juices. Let’s face it: everyone knows that vegetables are gross. Also fact: fruit is nature’s candy. So, if you mix fresh fruit juice with a little vegetable juice, like carrot, celery, spinach, etc., you can barely taste it! Since our juicing ways began, I’ve increased my vegetable tolerance and we’ve been drinking several servings of fresh juice every day. As a result, we generally have more energy, my hair and skin feel healthier, and I barely drink soda anymore. I’m serious. The power of juice has broken the hold that sweet, sweet soda had over me. Get juiced!

Sarah West Ervin learns to screenprint at Lillstreet Art Center

In other self-improvement news, I built up my crafting repertoire by learning how to screenprint! Laura Bock and I went to a screenprinting party at Lillstreet, wherein we sipped wine, ate fancy snacks, and got our crafty on with the help of instructor and textile artist Nora Renick-Rinehart. If only every month could include such craft parties…

Westervin was Published in Design: Paper

Perhaps the most exciting development in June, however, was being published! Our handmade save-the-dates were featured in the beautiful book Design: Paper. We loved making those little postcards, so we were overjoyed to see them in a book!

Sarah West Ervin blows up on Pinterest

In July, I got a lot of Pinterest followers, and we’ve had a lot of fun together since then…

Sarah West Ervin turns 26

And, in August, I finally caught up to Brian and turned 26 myself. I doubled the fun by joining forces with our local bestie Laura, who turned 24 a few days after my birthday. The fantastic festivities included a potluck brunch party and a trip to Six Flags. Brian also fulfilled one of my lifelong wishes by getting me an edible arrangement, delivered to me at work. All together, it was a dream of a birthday.

First Anniversary

That milestone was followed by an even better one in September: our first wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a delicious dinner, a nice walk, and a new set of handmade wedding rings! I gotta say, this marriage stuff is great.

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

Later than month, we hit up the Renegade Craft Fair. As the highlight of my craftventures for the year, much fun and shopping was had by all in our party, both new friends and old.

Sarah West Ervin went back to school

And, to balance out the fun of September, my second year of graduate school began. Fitzgerald and I felt the same way about it: Meh.

Brian West is Famous

But soon, things were looking up again! In October, Brian was commissioned to create the signature cocktail for Poetry‘s centennial celebration. He expertly crafted the bubbly and well-balanced Hippocrene, inspired by a Keats poem. It was written about in the New York Times, guys. Note to self: seriously, keep this fella around.

Sarah West Ervin is Famous

Soon after, I saw my five minutes of fame as a guest pinner for Etsy, my other love.  Ok, famous is a strong word here…  but I’ll use it just the same! LOOK AT ME! I’M AN INTERNET CELEBRITY! Would you like my autograph?

Sarah West Ervin went crochet crazy

In November, to combat the stress of sudden stardom (but mostly that of homework and impending finals), I got into crocheting. REALLY into crocheting. I went a little crazy with hats there….

Going to Louisiana

For Thanksgiving, Brian and I took a roadtrip to Louisiana to visit my family. Highlights included: gramma’s twice-baked potatoes, playing with my little brother, cracking pecans, and stopping in Little Rock along the way for a quick catch-up with my forever-valentine, Megan.

Westervin turned 3

And then it snuck up on us—-Westervin turned three. We’re pretty proud.

Goodbye to Sarah Newby and Ryan Glenn

Then, in December, we were forced to say a tearful goodbye to our sweet, interesting friends, Ryan Glenn and Sarah Newby. We shared a brunch with these two, gave them a little going away gift, and shooed them on their way to L.A. Expect a visit this summer, guys. Sunshine, here we come!

We got a new kitchen

When we were away for Christmas break, our landlord updated our kitchen. I really feel like the beauty of our new wood floors and clean, white cabinets has changed my life. I actually enjoy being in the kitchen now! And, I’ve even been helping Brian out a little in there with this thing they call “cooking.” It’s not as terrible as it seems! We’ll share some photos soon—-of both the renovation and my delectable (not really) creations.

Rang in the New Year

And finally, Brian and I rang in 2013 with our sassy frands, Laura Bock and Jonathan Thomason. Never underestimate the enjoyableness of pie, boardgames, and an all-night slumber party.

If you twisted my arm, I’d have to say that the last year was a pretty good one. Here’s to the next!

Faire Play

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012: A Few Friends & Old Favorites

Brian West, Jonathan Thomason, Laura Bock, and Sarah West Ervin

{ I stole this photo from Debbie Carlos }

The Renegade Craft Fair came to Chicago the weekend before last, and it was, as expected, the crafty highlight of my year. Brian and I grabbed some comfy shoes and our buddies Jonathan and Laura (pictured above), fueled up at the Milk & Honey Cafe, and got our shoppin’ on!

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

There was quite a crowd to navigate through, but we kept our heads down and pushed through to the goods.

Labrabbit Optics at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

One of the first booths we stopped at belonged to our old favorite Coyote of Labrabbit Optics, flaunting his awesomely curated collection of affordable new and refurbished vintage frames. With our powers combined, I think Laura and I must have tried on ever pair of glasses he had. I vowed to come back this winter for a new pair!

vintage eyeglass frames from Labrabbit Optics

Lady Faye Jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Then we found Katie of Lady Faye Jewelry and I got the kitty ring I’ve been wanting all summer!

handmade czech glass rings from Lady Faye Jewelry

Right Brain Drifts at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

We also stopped to say hi to Steve & Michelle of Right Brain Drifts.

bright, geometric wall art from Right Brain Drifts

handmade jewelry from Michelle Starbuck designs

But Laura and I probably spent more time drooling over Michelle’s jewelry (Michelle Starbuck Designs) than chatting! That little macaroni necklace was one of my favorite necklaces I didn’t buy that day. I’m gonna get one eventually.

Debbie Carlos and bf/gf at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Finally, we ran into our new friend and guest blogger Debbie Carlos with hubby Devin at the booth she shared with BF/GF.

handmade jewelry by Debbie Carlos

We also spent a lot of time ogling Debbie’s beautiful jewels and posters.

photo posters by Debbie Carlos

Laura Bock and Jonathan Thomason with their new Dino Planter

But are you wondering what all we bought? Well, Laura and Jonathan brought home a new bundle of joy—a triceratops planter from The Plaid Pigeon!

bright aqua triceratops dinosaur planter with succulent

silver teardrop ring from Ship & Shape

Laura also got the sweetest dainty ring from Ship & Shape.

handmade loot from Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

While there were a million things I wanted but didn’t get (I’m not made of money, people), I did make out with quite a bit of loot. In addition to my Lady Faye ring, I snagged clay bead earrings and a set of ceramic cups from Ship & Shape, a temporary tattoo from Burrowing Home, and cards from A. Dub Designs, Kate Funk, and Bison Bookbinding.

temporary cat tattoo from Borrowing Home and cat ring from Lady Faye Jewelry

handmade ceramic cups and earrings from Ship & Shape

These shops and killer handicraft weren’t the only things I discovered at Renegade, though! On Friday, I’ll share some of my new favorites and a few more quirky items we found.

A Sunday Ritual, Featured

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding from Debbie Carlos

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you might remember Sarah mentioning that it was her birthday a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like she had a nice half week-long birthday celebration, capping it off with a big potluck birthday brunch! I was lucky enough to be invited, and I thought long and hard about what I might bring. Cooking for a crowd is difficult since everyone has their own preferences. You want to make something that is simple — a comfort dish, a crowd pleaser — but that is also interesting and makes everyone feel like they’re indulging. Its a birthday brunch after all!

After going through several cookbooks and my recipes binder, I finally came upon the perfect thing: a savory bread pudding. Think french toast but in a casserole, and instead of sweet, it’s caramelized onion, crispy bacon, roasted cauliflower, and sharp cheddar. Yeah, you know you want it. Lets do this.

Savory Bread Pudding

Adapted from Serious Eats’ Savory Bread Pudding

1 Tablespoon softened butter
2 Cups milk (whole or 2%)
6 Large eggs
Salt + Pepper
6 Cups or 10 oz of bread, sliced into 1.5 – 2” cubes (I like mine bigger)

1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into ½” pieces
Salt + Pepper
Olive Oil

6 strips thick cut bacon
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Cup cheese, grated (I used sharp cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1. Rub the butter all over the inside of a 9×13” baking dish and place the bread inside.

2. Whisk together milk, eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined and pour over the bread. Set aside to let the bread soak in the milk mixture.

3. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until you see edges begin to brown and caramelize.

4. Heat a frying pan and fry the bacon until brown and crispy. Drain the strips on some paper towels until cool enough to handle.

5. Reserve only about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pan and use that to cook the onions until brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Once cauliflower is done roasting, mix into the cooked onion and stir until just combined.

6. Crumble the bacon and the cheese over the soaked bread and mix with a spoon or a pair of tongs.

7. Pour onion mixture over the bread and bacon. Mix until everything is evenly combined. You can sprinkle on a bit more cheese over everything if you want to. I did.

8. Lower heat in the oven to 375 degrees and bake covered in foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by guest blogger Debbie Carlos.

Westervin Wishlist

26 Years

Pie from Bang Bang

It’s my birthday, y’all! Well, it will be tomorrow, and I’m gettin’ pumped. I have what I think is the perfect weekend-long birthday celebration ahead: Friday off from work (did someone say shopping); a trip with some frands to Six Flags on Saturday; and a joint-birthday potluck brunch in our backyard on Sunday (our pal LB is turning 24 that day). It will make for the most perfectest combination of relaxation, excitement, socializing, sunshine, and a little alcohol (Brian will be making fresh OJ for mimosas and tomato juice for bloody marys at the brunch)! Do I have it made or what?!

Because the anticipation is killing me, I thought I’d kill some time with a birthday wishlist, which includes some of these things I’m looking forward to and some things I’m still pining for.

The first is an entire pie from Bang Bang (see above). Preferably a chilled pie, like key lime or banana cream. Mmmmmm……. We’ll be picking up my pie order on Sunday for the brunch!

Six Flags roller coaster

Roller coasters via Six Flags. I need the thrill, baby!

edible arrangement

{ image from The Beautiful Thrifty Life }

An edible arrangement. Not kidding. I really want this. I’m literally so excited about one of these bad boys being delivered to my office tomorrow that I’ve probably spent 6 hours on their website looking at all the different fruit combinations and arrangements and asking Brian 50 times what time it’s gonna arrive!

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me

More reading material! These are just two of the titles on my list of books to read before classes start again in September.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up through the fall semester! (Who am I kidding?)

handmade bracelets

Bracelets! All the bracelets!

Clockwise: Ice Blue, River, Two-Toned, Amazonite, Maidenhair Fern, Coral & Cobalt

gray and white cat

A companion for Fitzgerald. This kitteh’s name is Prince, and he wants me to give him a forever home. I can tell by the look in his eyes.

cat temporary tattoos

Or at least temporary cat tattoos. But preferably both.

A Sunday Ritual

Apricot Pie

Apricot Pie from Debbie Carlos

Like any other place that is cold for most of the year, the midwest truly appreciates the summer months. We spend as much time outside as possible, and we eat really well. We’ve got corn, zucchinis, tomatoes, melons, and berries out the wazoo… but stone fruits! Stone fruits are the jewels of summer. For me, absolutely nothing beats biting into a ripe peach that’s so juicy you need to eat it with a bib or a bowl or, if you can’t wait to take any of those things out, you just eat it over the sink.

One stone fruit that took me awhile to take a liking to has been the apricot. Peaches have always been #1 in my book, so I usually opt to purchase those over their smaller, bright orange cousins. Recently, apricots and I have had a breakthrough, and I can’t seem to get enough of them. I love how they veer a little more tart than peaches do, and they are just so cute to look at in your hand. When not in season, I’m pretty much snacking on the dried version constantly.

Ever since seeing Ruth Reichl make her super simple apricot pie on this episode of Diary of a Foodie a few years ago, it has never left my mind. Another recent trip to the farmers market yielded a large bunch of apricots, and I went home to make her recipe. I love that there are minimal ingredients, not too much prep work (even less if you use a pre-made, frozen pie crust), and it makes the most delicious sweet/tart, crunchy-topped pie that really lets the fruit shine. Best decision so far of my apricot-loving career.

Ruth Reichl’s Apricot Pie

pie dough
2 lbs ripe apricots
1 stick butter
¾ Cup flour
¾ Cup sugar
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
egg white from 1 egg for brushing (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Pull apart the apricots into halves, discarding the pits. No need to peel. Set aside.

2. Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and roll out pie dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to fit a 9” pie dish with about ½” overhang. Fold overhang under and crimp decoratively (I don’t do this sometimes, because I like how rustic/rough it looks. Also, I’m lazy). Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

3. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir in flour, sugar, and nutmeg and mix until it looks like a paste. Set aside for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

3. Take pie dough out of the freezer. If using egg wash, brush the dough with the egg white. This is just to ensure that the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy.

4. Spread the apricots on the crust and crumble the butter/flour paste over the fruit. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 50 minutes to an hour.

Let cool before serving. Obviously, fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by guest blogger Debbie Carlos.

A Sunday Ritual

Ratatouille

Julia Child's Ratatouille (from Debbie Carlos)

For me, Ratatouille is one of those dishes that totally captures the taste, feelings, and memories of summer. Um, besides ice cream, of course. It utilizes the best of the best of in-season summer vegetables, the number of components are not many, and while the ingredients by themselves are humble, the end result is quite spectacular. This time, I tried out a recipe from Julia Child’s classic tome on French cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Feel free to substitute with whatever herb/s you have. Her original recipe calls for parsley, but I only had basil. I’ve also seen this dish cooked with thyme and rosemary, so go with your heart! Serve this with a cool glass of white and a slice of grilled bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Ratatouille

Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

1lb eggplant
1lb zucchini
1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb thinly sliced onion
2 thinly sliced bell peppers (red, green or yellow)
2 cloves garlic, mashed
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb firm, ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons minced basil (or parsely or thyme & rosemary)

sliced zucchini and eggplant for Julia Child's Ratatouille (from Debbie Carlos)

1. Cut the eggplant in half and slice further into 1 inch wide pieces. Cut zucchini into similarly sized pieces. *Note that original recipe calls for peeling the eggplant. I don’t usually do this, especially if you’ve got nice, organic ones. A lot of the nutrients and the fiber of vegetables are in the skin.

2. Place eggplant and zucchini in a large bowl and toss with salt. Let sit 30 minutes, drain, and dry each slice on a clean towel.

3. Heat 12” skillet with olive oil and saute eggplant and zucchini one layer at a time on each side until browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside

4. Saute onions and peppers in olive oil in the same skillet until softened. Mix in the garlic and season to taste. Lay the tomatoes over the onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes over low heat, until the tomatoes have rendered their juices. Baste with the tomato juice. Cook further, uncovered, until most of the juice has evaporated.

5. In a heat proof casserole, lay 1/3 of the tomato mixture on the bottom, sprinkle with basil, and layer over with eggplant mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tomatoes and basil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

6. Uncover, tip the casserole, and baste with juices. Raise the heat and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes, basting every so often. Careful not to scorch the bottom.

You can make this ahead and heat just before serving or you can also serve it cold.

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by guest blogger Debbie Carlos.

A Sunday Ritual, Featured

Corn & Coconut Fritters

Corn & Coconut Fritters

Corn. Coconut. Fritter. I think that is all I have to say.

Actually, I will say a little more. I made this super easy recipe from my favorite cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen. It comes together in a flash, it will make your kitchen smell like coconut and they are a joy to eat. Little crispy on the outside, tender on the inside cakes dipped into a sweet and spicy sauce. The more exotic ingredients are easily available from the international section of your supermarket. The recipe makes about 7 larger fritters or 20 mini ones. Don’t count on having any left over.

Corn & Coconut Fritters

Corn & Coconut Fritters

adapted from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen

1 cup frozen corn kernels thawed or fresh kernels cut from two ears of corn
¼ cup coconut cream — scooped up from the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
⅓ cup flour
1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 serrano chili, de-ribbed, de-seeded, cut into tiny pieces (optional)

Dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons sriracha chile sauce or chile garlic sauce
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Place corn kernels in a food processor and pulse 12-15 times. It should look roughly chopped, not pureed.

2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the coconut cream, egg, flour, salt, sugar, and serrano (if using). If you can manage to wait, set aside for 30 minutes. I did not do this.

3. Heat a large pan, dutch oven, or wok with an inch of oil in it. To test if oil is properly heated, drop a tiny bit of the batter into the oil, and if bubbles begin to form around it, the oil is ready. If you have a thermometer, the oil should measure 350 degrees F.

4. If you are making larger fritters, drop by the tablespoonful into the oil. For smaller ones, drop in 2 teaspoon amounts. Do not crowd the pan! Each fritter takes about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a wire rack over a sheet pan or on a plate lined with a paper towel.

5. To make the dipping sauce, mix together the chile sauce, water and sugar.

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by guest blogger Debbie Carlos.

A Sunday Ritual, Featured

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

Editor’s Note: We’re very happy to have one Debbie Carlos breaking onto our very own blog with a fun new cooking series: “A Sunday Ritual.” What follows is the first installment, which we’ve tried and is as good as advertised. Thanks Debbie! Take it away.

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

I have a problem. I suppose its not the most serious problem in the realm of problem-having, but it does eat at me. Being a food enthusiast and lover of cooking, I collect many food magazines, cookbooks, and clip recipes off the internet daily. I have stacks and piles of cookbooks and magazines stuck full of post it notes, marking recipes I will someday make. There are probably as many post it notes as pages in each book, if not more.

I have a folder on my desktop labelled “menu” (which is a weird name for a recipes folder) with recipes I’ve saved off the internet. Looking through it recently, I found that within the menu folder lies another folder named “menu” with even older saved recipes. What? I also always work with two open browser windows. One window of things I’m currently internet-ing and the other is just tab after tab of recipes. I have no idea what I’m thinking sometimes.

I want to change. I want to be better! Its sad to just have these recipes sit there in disuse, so I’ve given myself a project. Every Sunday, I will sit down and dig through my archives and cook something new. I will then present to you, dear reader, the best of what I’ve made. The kind and lovely Sarah and Brian of the blog you are currently reading have given me a platform from which to broadcast my experiments. I am so excited about this exercise and to be a guest blogger on Westervin!!

For the first “A Sunday Ritual” post, I am going to tell you about the quickest cake recipe you will ever come upon. Pulling out the ingredients will take more time than baking this cake, I kid you not. Its a chocolate cake for 1 (or 2, or 3 as this recipe is easily doubled and tripled) baked in a microwave. I’m not one to usually skimp on the cooking process. I am all about the home-made, slow food way of life but this recipe just seemed so compelling and has been on my mind since I saved it. It definitely hits the spot when you’re craving a chocolate-something late at night. So here goes!

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

adapted from the site, The Family Kitchen

Debbie Carlos shows us how to eat 60 Second Gooey Mug Cake

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ Cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • the tiniest splash of vanilla
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream, vanila ice cream, chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, chopped nuts (optional toppings)
  1. Crack an egg in a bowl. Whisk in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt. Mix until smooth and combined.
  2. Pour mixture into a mug and microwave for about 50 seconds until cooked but still gooey inside.
  3. Top with toppings of your choice & Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by Debbie Carlos.

Faire Play

Faire Play: BIG BIG CITY Chicago

BIG BIG CITY: Chicago art market poster

I’m holed up at home today with food poisoning, which, in case you’re wondering, is THE WORST. However, my stomach seems to be on the mend, and I wanted to take a minute to share this fun event with you. Chicago peeps, this is for you. If you’re free tomorrow night (February 7th) from 5-9pm, head to this pop up art market, BIG BIG CITY: Chicago. Do it.

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