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    Double the Bayless

    What a lucky girl I am—I got to eat at Frontera and Topolobampo (and came thiiiiis close to getting my first taste of XOCO) in the same month. Topolobampo for a not-so-friendly-on-the-wallet (but well worth it) bad-economy brunch a few weeks ago, and Frontera was last week for Dave’s mom’s birthday. Don’t ask about XOCO—it’s too traumatic to recount. OK, fine, if you’re gonna twist my arm about it … I went there to grab lunch for Dave and me a few weeks ago. I stood in line. I inhaled the thick scent of carnitas and chorizo. I watched the cooks expertly crafting wood-fired tortas. I furiously photographed the scene.…

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    Aloe juice wishes and prickly pear dreams

    When I was little I had a major sweet tooth. OK, so I still do. My parents were pretty controlling with sugar—we got one small desert after dinner. Period. My mother actually hid the candy. I can’t tell you how agonizing it was to my 7-year-old self when she would forget where she’d hid it and we had to watch her forage through cabinets for what seemed like hours. All of these suppressed candy cravings led to crazy, wild dreams in which I was running through massive piles of candy and desserts (like the scene in the treasure cave from Aladdin), throwing everything I could grab into a giant burlap…

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    Yummy Links 9/4/09

    See which foods turned popular food bloggers into foodies at Chew on That A trix-ed out version of rice crispy treats at Cake Spy I can’t help but be curious about these apple dumplings from Out Best Bites Fried Butter Balls. Seriously. Guess my cinnamon sugar crunch french toast wasn’t as original as I thought: Hot off the Garlic Press’ version even has almonds in it.

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    George

    Don’t worry! This post isn’t about food! The picture you see above is not the next hot exotic ingredient I picked up at the farmer’s market! It’s George the Pug. My neighbor, Ginger, came over the other day to ask me if I’d like a new side gig as a dog walker to her precious pug George. The whole time I was walking him today, all I could think was how freakin’ cute he is. It being our first date and all, I didn’t have the heart to bring him back to an empty apartment right away, so after our walk I took him up to my place for a…

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    Free Gyros

    If you’re in Chicago right now, listen up: Kronos Foods, a major gyro-ingredient supplier is giving away coupons for free gyros at 44 chicago-area restaurants. It’s only good for today. Sorry I’m a little late with this news, but if you hurry you can still beat the dinner rush. To print your free coupon and find a location, go here.

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    Yummy links 8/28

    A fig-tastic post on figs from Local Lemons The weirdest use of a coffee maker I’ve ever seen at Life Hacker A TV dinner you may actually want to eat at CupcakesOMG! Amuse Biatch makes a hilarious Top Chef Google discovery Naughty Haribo sweets in the UK Ribs and baked beans from The Pioneer Woman

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    Rainy Green City Market

    I went to the Green City Market today, despite the rain, and I almost paid for it with MY LIFE. OK, I’m being a little dramatic, but seriously, drivers must not think people ride bikes in the rain, because I was almost doored and run over on the way there. And the offenders were completely oblivious. In the end, the beautiful fresh produce was worth my wet and perilous journey. You know those people that buy crazy, weird toys and electronics that they don’t know how to use? I’m like that with ingredients. Anyone have any recipe ideas that involve squash blossoms and purple tomatillos? This sounds like a job…

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    To good to be TRU?

    A free dinner at TRU? Really?! I am so there. Thanks Visa Signature and FoodBuzz! And thanks Dave for snagging me an invite. On Monday night, I was lucky enough to enjoy a five-course dinner in a private room at TRU, with 20 other food bloggers and FoodBuzz employees—everyone as unabashed as myself about whipping out a camera at the dinner table. The whole scene was awesomely geeky, with the conversation focused almost entirely on restaurants, celebrity chefs and food blogging anecdotes. We “Mmmm”ed, “Ahhhh”ed and snapped away with each new dish. The wine flowed liberally. Oh, did I mention this was free?? Talk about foodie heaven. First came the amuse…

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    Another classy coffee-table book to add to your collection

    Many of you have probably seen the blog This Is Why You’re Fat. Well, get ready, because like so many humorous blogs that came before it, a book version is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The first 50 pre-orders get a free EKG test. Well, not really, but if you eat the food shown in the book you may need one. Who am I kidding. This blog is called Better With BUTTER. Bring on the bacon grease.

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    Girls’ night in

    On Friday night we had an amazing girls’ night in at Maria’s that involved caramelized onion dip, an avocado and cilantro salad, DIY pizzas, Pear Bellinis, Andre Extra Dry, an incredible desert concoction of german poundcake, Cherry Garcia yogurt and Vosges Dark Chocolate Goji bar, and last but certainly not least, Jack Frost II: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman. Talk about a winning combination. Unfortunately, the lighting was too low, so pictures are limited, although I plan to recreate the carmelized onion dip ASAP. Here for now, is the super-easy bellini recipe: You’ll need: 3 pears, skinned and chopped juice of 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup apple juice OR pear sauce…