Monthly Archives: May 2010

#34 – Done

Posted by Katie on May 30, 2010
101 in 1001, Chicago / No Comments

#34 – Get my bike repaired.

The bike is repaired.  Only $160 corrected a bent wheel, replaced the brake lines and the chain, fixed the tires, and generally scrubbed the thing clean.  One tragic accident and one winter outside were not enough to put this bike down.

Probably more important than spending money for someone else to repair my bike, however, is the fact that I’m getting used to riding my bike on the city streets again.  Dave and I took an 18 mile trip yesterday, down to the lake shore bike trail.  It was a lovely day to get out for a ride.  We didn’t quite realize how far we had gone until we got home and mapped it out.

Oh, and we were stupid enough to ride 18 miles on the same day we had promised to help Michael move out of his apartment…his 3rd floor apartment.  Needless to say, we are both SO VERY VERY SORE today.  Perfect day for sitting quietly at home and watching the Indy 500.


Posted by Katie on May 24, 2010
Chicago / 1 Comment

We did not go on the tour sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Foundation on Saturday that we had intended on.  The only reason, well, is because we weren’t smart enough to buy tickets in advance.  Who knew these things sell out?  Architecture must be cool.

But we had gotten ourselves dressed AND out of the apartment at a reasonable time on a Saturday, so we decided to just stay downtown and make a day of it.

We played tourists at Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, mostly just people watching and spending some relaxing time together.

Yay, it’s summer in Chicago!

Decorating quiz

Posted by Katie on May 23, 2010
Home / 10 Comments

Please help settle a disagreement between Michael and me by selecting the answer which most closely aligns with your reaction to this picture.

a) You have a tasteful decorating sense.  I particularly like what you’ve done with the pillows.

b) You are 32 years old, and you still have a futon instead of a real live sofa???  You fail as an adult.

c) I need to leave the room immediately.  ALL of those pillows are threatening my masculinity.  I’m off to chug beer and drag-race something…in that order.

d) None of the above.

Squash sequel

Posted by Katie on May 20, 2010
Cooking / 3 Comments

Since my recent spaghetti squash try, I’ve been keeping my eyes on the squash section at the grocery story.  I know, you can’t stand it, our lives are so glamorous and extravagant.  Please try to get past the excitement!

Anyhow, last night I made acorn squash with green beans and lemon thyme chicken.  Following the sticker that came with the squash, I split it in half and baked it face down at 400 for 45 minutes in a bit of water.  Then I flipped the squash over, seasoned it with salt and pepper and continued to roast for another 5 minutes.

So easy!  Where have these squashes been all of my cooking life?

The flavor was mild, with a slight sweetness.  Think of a very light sweet potato…sort of.  In my opinion, it does need a bit of spice.  Next time I might add a kick of cayenne.

Now you can get back to your own life, which I can only assume is horridly more exciting than mine!


Posted by Katie on May 16, 2010
Sewing / 7 Comments

I am hereby a self-proclaimed sewing novice.  It took me two hours for each of these pillows, but I did make them!  They are 20 inch squares, with a zipper closure in the center of the back.  Once I understood the engineering, the tricky part was lining up the pattern properly.

Weekend project = success.

#83 – Done

Posted by Katie on May 16, 2010
101 in 1001, Cooking / No Comments

#83 – Try a completely new recipe once a week (6 weeks).

New recipes, week 6…fish tacos.

Fish tacos are one of those things that sound kinda funny if you grew up in the midwest, but trust the people from southern California, they can be really delicious.

I will post the fish part of this recipe, but I did tweak it a bit.  For garnishes and sides, just be creative.

I used cod as the fish, because that is what looked the best at the store.  I used olive oil instead of canola oil and cayenne pepper instead of ancho chili powder, because those were the things that I had already in the kitchen.  And I didn’t use a grill, but just cooked the fish in a hot pan on the stove.

As I was making the marinade, I started to worry that the fish was going to taste like the fires of hell, with ALL the spice involved.  Don’t worry, most of the marinade comes off before you cook the fish and you end up with a flavorful, but not overwhelming spicy fish.

I served the fish on corn tortillas, with salsa as the topping and homemade guacamole and black beans on the side.



1 pound white flaky fish, such as mahi mahi or orata
1/4 cup canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Place fish in a medium size dish.  Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish.  Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade and place onto a hot grill, flesh side down.  Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove.  Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork.

Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds.  Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

Spaghetti squash

Posted by Katie on May 15, 2010
101 in 1001, Cooking / 3 Comments

New recipes, week 5.

Last week’s new recipe wasn’t about learning a whole new main dish, but about learning what to do with a certain ingredient.  It turns out that spaghetti squash is exceptionally easy to make.  I paired it with grilled chicken and pasta sauce for an easy and healthy weeknight meal.

While it is very close in consistency to spaghetti, be prepared for the squash to be juicy.

Oh, and I simply followed the cooking instructions on the sticker that came with my squash.


Cut lengthwise.  Remove seeds.  Bake cut-side down for 45 minutes at 350.  Turn over and continue to bake until tender (for me, that was another 30 minutes).  Shred squash with a fork and enjoy!

#6 & # 24 – Done & Done

Posted by Katie on May 13, 2010
101 in 1001 / 2 Comments

#6 – Get a full physical.

#24 – Get full family medical history from both families.

Ugg…going to the doctor.

All I will say is that Dave and I both survived, but it wasn’t pretty.  Actually, Dave didn’t really mind so much.  It was I who wasn’t pretty.  I seem to have developed an intense hatred of going to the doctor.  No, hatred isn’t the right word.  If I’m being honest, the right word is fear.  Just ask my sister about that time she called me to let me know about her dream…the one where I was diagnosed with cancer and died suddenly.  These things are not to be joked about.

But now Dave and I know that we are both basically alive and healthy.  We both need to eat more veggies, loose a bit of weight and exercise more.  Hearing these things has been a motivating factor, and we both have been back on the healthy wagon this last week.

Oh, and let’s all say a quiet prayer that our future children get my charming personality, but Dave’s genes.  I have to say that in going through both family medical histories, I learned that I married up in the gene pool!

New old toy

Posted by Katie on May 13, 2010
Life / 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking about getting a sewing machine for a while now, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it.  And my Mom has been encouraging me not to spend money on a new plastic sewing machine, but find an older machine that is well constructed.  Through a friend of a friend, she found this solid steel machine.  It’s a White brand machine from the late 50s or early 60s, and it folds up into a cabinet which fits nicely into our living room.  The machine has been collecting dust in some nice little old lady’s basement since the early 80s and nobody knew if it still worked or not.  But it was free, so we took it!

My Mom did all the cleaning and maintenance work on the machine, and I spent several hours last weekend learning how all the bells and whistles work, how to thread the bobbin and how to thread the machine.  We have it 100% up and running.  No fancy technology here, but it does a perfect straight stitch and a perfect zigzag stitch, which is really all I need.

I went shopping the other day for fabric, so my weekend project is to make two new throw pillows for our bedroom.

Puzzle nerds

Posted by Katie on May 06, 2010
Daily Life, Memories / 4 Comments

I can’t count the number of times that I did this puzzle as a kid.  It was my favorite by far, and has seen a bit of wear and tear over the years.  Note the missing pieces and those which have been glued back together.  I recently found this puzzle when cleaning out boxes in my parents’ basement, and had to bring it back to life.

And I have been very pleasantly surprised to learn that Dave enjoys doing puzzles with me.  As Dave says, “Of course I like doing puzzles with you.  It’s something we can do together without talking all the time.”

Ok, I’ll take it.