3. Food

The Aviary

Barrel Depletions: ice wine elixir, hibiscus, elderflower, barrel aged genever

Went to happy hour with Dyuts last night, and The Aviary was fantastic for this. While it is pricey (especially for already-broke MBA students), The Aviary is worth the experience. It’s a part of Grant Achatz’s molecular gastronomy restaurant empire (i.e. Alinea), and I recently discovered that it’s on the 2016 list of best bars in the world.

The ambiance is great (perfect little lounge for a girls happy hour), and the service is superb. All the drinks are extremely elaborate – very showy presentation, glassware, and even ice art.

Pictured above is my drink, Barrel Depletions, and it tasted as good as it looked. Ice wine elixir, hibiscus, elderflower, and barrel aged genever – is that the perfect sounding drink or is that the perfect sounding drink?!

I’ll be back again while I’m in Chicago – maybe once I have more money in my bank account!

The Aviary
955 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

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3. Food

Lemon, Ricotta, Spinach, and Grilled Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:
– 12 oz dry pasta
– 1 lb chicken breasts
– 1 bunch spinach
– 1.5 cups ricotta
– olive oil
– minced garlic
– salt (to taste)
– pepper (to taste)
– parmesan cheese (to taste)
– lemon juice & lemon zest (to taste)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
3. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Remove chicken from heat when cooked.
4. Add cooked pasta, ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook for approximately 3 minutes.
5. Add spinach and cook – approximately 5 minutes.
6. Return chicken to skillet and toss.
7. Season with salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.

3. Food

Chorizo, Kale, and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:
– 12 oz dry pasta (I used rigatoni)
– 1 lb chorizo (or hot Italian sausage)
– 1 bunch kale; thick ribs removed
– 6 oz sundried tomatoes (I actually used an entire 8 oz jar, because I love sundried tomatoes!)
– 1/2 cup water or chicken broth (optional)
– olive oil
– minced garlic
– salt (to taste)
– pepper (to taste)
– parmesan cheese (to taste)
– red pepper flakes (to taste)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
3. Add chorizo and cook until cooked through – approximately 5 minutes.
4. Add sundried tomatoes and garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute. If needed, add water and scrape the bottom of the skillet.
5. Add kale and cook until wilted and tender – approximately 5 minutes.
6. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cheese to taste.

3. Food

Whole30 – Banana Pancakes (and Paleo Maple Cranberry Syrup)

Ingredients:
– 4 eggs
– 2 ripe bananas
– 1/4 cup coconut flour
– a pinch of salt
– coconut oil (for cooking)

Directions:
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil.
2. While the skillet and oil are heating up, mix all of the ingredients, minus the coconut oil, thoroughly. In retrospect, it probably would have been easier to blend all of the ingredients together, but I hate washing my blender.
3. Pour a large spoonful of the batter into the skillet. You can adjust for size as desired – I made mine about 6 inches in diameter. Cook the first side for ~3 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, and there are bubbles on the top of the pancake.
4. Flip the pancake and cook the second side for ~3 minutes until golden brown.
5. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Voila! I ended up with 6 pancakes in total.

Optional! and non-Whole 30, but totally awesome. I made my pancakes with a maple-cranberry syrup, and that definitely enhanced the flavor. You don’t actually need to add syrup to the pancakes, since the banana makes them naturally sweet, but if you want to add any additional sugar, here’s how you can make some maple-cranberry syrup:

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup frozen cranberries (or any frozen fruit, really. I just happened to have cranberries)
– 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions:
1. Add the cranberries and maple syrup to a small pot on medium-low heat.
2. Stir occasionally until the mixture boils. This only took a couple of minutes, since there was so little of the mixture.
3. Crush the cranberries if desired.
4. Pour the syrup over the pancakes and enjoy warm.