Last weekend, one of my best friends (originally from Chicago but living near Minneapolis) came to visit, and we spent Saturday together. We had lunch at the Chicago Diner, a fairly famous (or infamous, if you find stridently vegetarian/vegan places irritatingly self-righteous) restaurant in the city. While my friend is not particularly strident and is definitely not irritatingly self-righteous, she is a vegetarian and I’ve been wanting to take her to the Chicago Diner for awhile. Of course, we were so wrapped up in our conversation that I forgot to take any pictures. We shared pot stickers (ridiculously good), and we each had the Black Mamba burger (good, but a little fussy). I had the sweet potato fries with mine, which were perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We also shared a pitcher of sangria, which turned out to be one of the best examples of restaurant sangria I’ve ever had, which shocked the hell out of me. The Boy and I are pretty big fans of tapas, and sangria is ALWAYS part of the meal. I thought I’d had really good sangria in the past, but nothing compared to this. I think it came down to the incredibly fresh fruit incorporated into the sangria. There were pineapple chunks, peaches and what I believe to be passion fruit chunks. Delicious.
After lunch, we stopped at Lululemon (best sports bras ever), The Spice House (amazing spice emporium), and a few other stores before stopping at Whole Foods. They had Mission Figs on sale and since I had never tasted a fresh fig before, I decided to give them a try. Poor Friend Who Lives in Minneapolis left without any, which was a shame because they were sooooo good.
As good as they were, though, I did not get a chance to finish them during the week. Each day when I opened the refrigerator to retrieve something that was not a fig, I eyed them and wondered what to do with them before they died a lonely and uneaten death. Then I read this post on Meals and Miles, and decided to try out a lemon fig cake. She used a Martha Stewart recipe, which I quickly Googled and found with no trouble. I made it last night. Wow. Just, oh my god wow.
SUPER easy! I made a few changes to the recipe. I decided that I would substitute the olive oil with unsweetened applesauce, and use whole wheat pastry flour for half of the flour requirement.
I decided to take another page out of the Meals and Miles playbook and add an icing sugar glaze, but instead of using lemon juice and milk, I used lemon juice and dark rum.
I *am* lactose intolerant, after all. And my mother’s daughter. It’s not good unless it has a shot of rum!
The texture of the cake is almost like bread pudding — dense, moist, and a little spongy. Since I loves me some bread pudding, this is just dandy by me. Next time I make it, though, I think I will try it with the olive oil, just to see how different it tastes and how it affects the consistency. I don’t need a crumby cake, but sometimes it’s nice.
And in other news, I finished my first race! It was billed as a 5K, but was really 4. 12 miles. I ran it with another one of my best friends and even though we came in, well, not last but almost last, we stuck together the whole time and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was an incredible feeling to do something I’ve wanted and waited to do for so long with one of my favorite people there right next to me the whole time. While I’ve walked well over 4 miles on several occasions, I’ve never run more than two without taking walk breaks, and while we did take some walk breaks, we ran the majority of it. I felt fine yesterday, but good god am I sore today.
Later on we’re having a friend over for Cuban food and documentary watching, so I’m off to work on the meal. On the menu: empanadas, congri, tostones, rice pudding, sangria and maybe some lemon-fig cake : )