I don’t even know who won the election. I stayed up with the kadults until nearly midnight, but finally had to call it a night and go to bed.  I only looked at my phone to turn off my alarm this morning, so I’ll wait a while longer to see who won.  Ignorance is bliss, right?

It only took me 5 minutes to vote.  I vote in a church basement and there are only three polling stands, but even at 7 in the morning, there was no wait.  I treated myself to a cup of coffee for the train ride to work – $2.13 out of my $20 treat budget.

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I had another desk breakfast.  I loved the wrapped ham around the apples – salty and sweet – this plate was only six smart points!

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It was another gorgeous day in Chicago – it was near 65 degrees when I left my desk at 12:30.

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I stumbled upon the cutest coffee shop on my walk.  This is on Jackson Blvd., in the north side of the street just before Wabash, for any local folks who are reading this.  I only had my phone with me and no money, so I didn’t go inside because it’s super tiny inside. 

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I have no idea whose purse that is on the table – no one was ever around – brave woman though leaving it like that though in Chicago!

I had some leftover chicken wild rice soup and a light Thomas English muffin.  I need to start stocking the fridge with staples for myself, like butter and maybe jelly.

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I couldn’t wait for it to hit 5:00 p.m. because I was meeting my friend Jacky up at Monk’s Pub before our Ramen Noodle cooking class at The Chopping Block.

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When we got to the class, one of the C.A’s made a Chef app – toasted bread with cream cheese and our pepper jelly that we sell.  Loves me some pepper jelly!

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I was so curious what made ramen noodles different from regular pasta, and well, the secret is baking your baking soda.  I know, did you ever hear of that before??  What that does is that it turns the baking soda from sodium bicarbonate to sodium carbonate – an alkaline salt.  Simply bake 1/2 cup of baking soda at 250 for an hour and let cool and store in a dry place.  Four recipe to make two noodle dishes that easily fed four people each, this was the recipe:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons baked baking soda
  • 1 cup water

We did need a touch more water to get our dough together – a great way to do that without adding too much water is to just wet your hands when you are kneading the dough.  It needs to rest about 20 minutes to let the gluten relax before we used a pasta roller to roll out the dough and then cut it into spaghetti size.  Chef Rachel was showing us how to get the pasta through the pasta roller.

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Jacky taking pictures of our awesome looking ramen!  I have to admit that it was so different being on the other side of the table.  If I were working that party I would have been worried about the time line – it was a big class of 18 people and sometimes with that many people you have one group that goes really fast, and another that goes so slow.  But the pace of the evening was perfect.  It felt like we chopped, rolled out dough, etc., and before I knew it we were serving up our dinner.

One thing I did learn about baby bok choy – I’ve always chopped it up all together when adding it to a dish or stirfry.  Chef Rachel said to chop off the dark green leafy parts and that at the every end, otherwise they would get overdone before the stem part would get cooked.

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Our mis en place for the beef and broccoli stir fry:

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And our dishes:  ramen soup with carrots and bok choy with a miso broth – I added sambal oleek to mine for some heat:

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And our beef and broccoli stirfry with shiitake and enoki mushrooms:

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We had thinly cut flank steak and it was super tender.  There was so much food though, so I combined the leftovers of each and that’s going to be my lunch today.  Thanks Jacky for hanging out with me – and if anyone in Chicagoland wants to meet up and take a class with me, let me know!

Alright, I have to get my stuff together in literally 20 minutes and head to the train.  Make it a great day!!