Spotlight: Nice, France

Well, talk about a throw back! It’s about time (almost 5 months) I share some pictures with you from my time in Nice, don’t you think?!?

Back in January, I made my second trip in Nice; my first time was for two days when I was 18 years old (needless to say, it’s been awhile) while on a European getaway with my friend Ali. 

Although I was there for work this time around (I know, my job IS awesome!), I was able to enjoy lots of good food and see the city, and even visited Cannes and Monaco. 

I was also 14 weeks pregnant at the time, so no tartare, soft cheese, or wine for me! Well, I had one sip…guess I’ll just have to go back!!!

I am not really sure how to share a week in paradise with you, but I’ll share some of my favorites moments, meals, and memories (through photos) with you! 

Nicoise cuisine is a mix of French and Mediterranean, including lots of fresh fish and seafood, olives, veggies, cheeses, and don’t forget the rosé wine! Here’s a good article on 5 things to eat and drink from Nice.

Some of my favorite meals and snacks included:

  • Farcis: a classic Nicoise dish made from vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini, hollowed out and stuffed with ground meat, garlic, and bread crumbs.
  • Fresh clementines I bought from a local grocer (they sell them with the leaves and stems still on)
  • Red mullet fish and greens 
  • Artisan apple tart
  • Coq au vin 
  • And lots of croissants! 

Take a look:
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Want more? Check out this video I made for work: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TNJBzXIlN_k 

Au revoir for now!

Spotlight: Austin, Texas

Well, I guess you can say I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus. But, rest assured, I’m back!

I spent the majority of last week at a marketing conference in Austin (both informative and fun) with my boss, Amy.

While the conference kept us busy from 7:45-4 p.m. most days, we still found plenty of time to see Austin, do a little shopping, and more eating!

I asked my sister-in-law, Melissa, and co-workers for suggestions of where to go while in Texas (thank you!), but I have to tell you, the weather really hurt us. We wanted to walk and explore the city, but it was unseasonably cold (think 40 degrees, and envision me sheltering my head with a pashmina), so we didn’t get out as much as we’d liked to.

That said, let me share with you where we did go because we didn’t have a bad meal!

Roaring Fork
701 Congress Ave.

This restaurant was delicious for our first night meal, which started off with cute little corn bread muffins that were delicious. The restaurant staff was amazing, seeing as I left my phone there, and they had it locked up for safe keeping when I returned.

Stephanie – Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Carnitas, with Black Beans and Fresh Hot Buttered Flour Tortillas
Amy – Grilled Fish Tacos, Served on Corn Tortillas with Guacamole, Corn Pico, Remoulade & Salsa Verde

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The Backspace
507 San Jacinto

If you go anywhere in Austin, please go here. It’s small, cozy, and has delicious brick-oven pizza. Note: from 5-6:30 p.m. daily, Backspace offers a Happy Hour special of ½ off all antipasti, beer, and wine by the glass. (My mouth is watering remembering the pizza!) Backspace is the sister restaurant to Parkside, which also looks tasty!

Stephanie & Amy (share) – Roasted Beets (celery, lemon zest, pepperoncini), Spicy Cauliflower (caper, calabrese, lemon), and Margherita Pizza (mozzarella, tomato, basil)

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Manuel’s
310 Congress Avenue

We were freezing and craving Mexican food, so Amy used her Yelp app to find this amazing gem. It was packed (always a good sign), but we were seated pretty quickly. The staff was very friendly and accomodating, and the food is fresh, natural, and organic. Some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had (I guess I was so into it that I forgot to take a photo!), and loved how the flautas were grilled (much healthier).

Appetizer – Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

Stephanie – Natural Chicken Flautas, grilled enchiladas with salsa ranchera. Served with rice & guacamole.

 

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Week #48 – Spotlight: Christmas Event at Walnut Grove Farm

Three and a half hours southwest of Chicago you will find yourself in the quaint town of Knoxville, Illinois. This is where Walnut Grove Farm is. This is my husband’s family’s farm, where he grew up. This is where we were married. This farm has become such a part of my life, and although I’ve been here before, I am going to share it with you anyway. 🙂

This weekend is Walnut Grove Farm’s annual Christmas Event, the perfect place to get you in the spirit of the season. At the event, you can find decorative items like wreaths and swags to make your home festive–courtesy of my mother-in-law Jan and her good friend Ruby–as well as more than 20 local artisans to buy unique and extraordinary goods from.

Here are just some of the offerings at this year’s event:

  • Artwork
  • Candy
  • Children’s books
  • Crocheted hats, headbands, and more
  • Jewelry
  • Ornaments and garland
  • Pottery
  • Photography
  • Vintage
  • Woodworking
  • Wreaths, swags, and centerpiece arrangements

Need more reason to come out? We’re running a food drive, as well as asking for donations for those affected by the tornado in Washington, Illinois.

If you live nearby, stop by and enjoy the work and stories of the artisans. Get a candy cane from St. Nick (Do you recognize him? It’s Rich!), go on a carriage ride, taste Laura’s delicious food (yesterday I had goulash–yum!), and get in the holiday mood.

PS: Remember, today is Small Business Saturday, so whether you’re able to make it to the barn or not, support your local community.

We hope to see you this weekend!

Saturday: 10-4 pm
Sunday: 11-3 pm

Walnut Grove Farm
Christmas Event
1455 Knox Station Road
Knoxville, IL

20131129-215410.jpgMeet Jan and Ruby, and check out some of their designs. See St. Nick too!

20131129-215416.jpgDon’t miss the Vintage Broad and her eye-catching displays (not to mention her cool finds and creations!).

20131129-215423.jpgSee the barn and some handmade crafts by Nate’s Grandmother and Aunt!

20131129-215429.jpgTaste Pam Madden’s candy, buy one of Vintage Chic Crochet’s hats, and take home one of Chris Dokolasa’s ceramic pottery pieces.