Sunday, March 15, 2009

Woe is I : Chi town part one

I heart St. Pat's. No really. For the past 25 glorious years I've revelled in my partial Irish ancestry, love of parades/boozing/flair, and told anyone and everyone that would listen that the greatest part of March 17 is that the world comes together in all it's Green fabulousness to commemorate the anniversary of my birth. Yes, my mom, aunt/godmother Sheila, uncle bill, and self have ST PATRICK'S DAY BIRTHDAYS! I am also lucky enough to have wonderful friends who have a history of taking the day off work and heading to the KC parade with me and having a gay 'ol birthday/green party fun. THIS year I have to work on St Pat's. I'm in Chicago for a conference and flew down early to set everything up. Life's cruel joke is that Chicago is a BIG st pat's town and heading from the airport to my downtown hotel (yes, a block of the parade route) I saw thousands of people bedecked in green, lining the river, streets, and my very own hotel lobby with their loud and fun-having st patrick's day selves. Because I was headed straigh to the convention center for a day of angst and manual labor, and NO participating in the festivities (not to mention non of my friends there to celebrate like we've always done) It was like I was at a party I wasn't invited to. SO SAD. I just wanted to yell, St pat's isn't until Tuesday!' (my mom told me to get over it... i know, i know) This is the view from my hotel room: the green river. I'm loving being in a fun city that I seemingly never get to explore (other than frequent stops to Midway) I'm planning to see both high school and college friends while in town. Not to mention wearing a cute new green sweater with my suit on Tuesday. That helps, right?
Before I left I tried to make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower. Whoever said that this was an awesome sub for potatoes was high. It was good (maybe i needed more cauliflower? that stuff is not quote as dense as potatoes and a whole head generated just a cup of mashed-ness) i pureed it with a bit of almond milk, threw in some peas and corn and shaved some sharp cheddar cheese on top. It was veggie goodness. Loved it.
I also roasted some vegetables (yay, my favorite) tossed with EVOO and sea salt and roasted at 400 for 30 minutes? or something like that. I had red peppers, asparagus, sweet potato and a little cauliflower (note to self, it shriveled up and burned, next time no cauliflower). I put the finished vegetables on angel hair pasta that had been sprinkled with goat cheese. Complete heaven. I did try to save some of the roasted vegetables and then microwave them later. They were a soggy mess. I'm thinking next time either eat them immediately or bake/grill them to reheat.

So I will be in Chicago until a week from tomorrow. That's a lot of eating out (lord help me to have vegetarian/no fish options at company steak house dinners!) and zero home cooking..... in other words, not so much to discuss on this page. However I did make a HUGE bag of granola, dried fruit, nuts and cliff bars stashed for travel food emergencies. Other than that I'm planning on making it through the week until NEXT WEEKEND when some of my besties will be joining me in Chicago to paint the town green as we celebrate my bday a bit after the fact and in general have a girls weekend in a new city. How fun will that be? All the credit in the world goes to my old roomie Steph whose idea this was in the first place!