Smitten Kitchen’s Red Wine Chocolate Cake

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I have been feeling really under the weather this weekend. Blame it on the on and off snow we are still getting or the hot tolerable/cold temps, it’s been stuffy nose, copious amounts of tea, napping central over here. After digging into takeout lasagna from Rose Angelis, a leftover bottle of wine was staring me in the eye. I was feeling so badly that drinking it sounded terrible (tough times, I know) but I could cook with it.

10pm sounds like as good a time as any to bake a chocolate cake, right?

Smitten Kitchen can do no wrong and this red wine chocolate cake is no different. I hate red velvet cake, a ton of food coloring isn’t my jam, but the red wine gave it a red color and flavor that was a perfect balance of bitter (from the wine) and sweet (the chocolate) so it was basically what red velvet cake wants to be when it grows up. And given the late hour in which the cake was baked, the easiness of the recipe was a big plus.

Also a plus? Cake with coffee for breakfast.




Rut Busting Weekend Plans

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I need to level with you: this weekend ain’t lookin’ good. Below 20 degrees again, maybe snow and if that wind outside is any indication…yeah. No bueno. I cannot handle another weekend of hibernating (or questionable shoe choices in snow banks) so let’s brainstorm, bust out of our Chiberia weather ruts and make this weekend awesome, shall we?

Eataly: just going to dinner isn’t going to cut it- you need food built into an activity to make it worth venturing out into the cold. Grab a glass of wine, peruse the cheese emporium, glass of wine, slice of focaccia pizza, glass of wine, salami section, Nutella bar, glass of wine. Double points for making friends at the communal tables while commiserating about the weather. Bottle of wine.

Headquarters Beercade: Awesome selection of craft beer and free arcade games. Yes, the crowd is a little weird but throw people watching into the beer-game combo and you’re adding time to this activity. Extra point.

Cooking Class: learn something new this weekend and take a class at The Chopping Block or Cook Au Vin. I am about 29 years overdue for The Chopping Block’s knife skills class so I may be taking that this weekend so Ryan stops yelling “you’re going to lose a finger!” every time I go near a knife.

Fairways: 2 words: indoor golf & old fashioneds. Okay, 4 words. Tee times are booked for this weekend already but let’s be honest, next weekend is going to be freezing too and they book 7 days in advance so make a reservation to work on that golf swing.

Olympic Viewing Parties: basically every bar in Chicago has something going on but the tater tot eating competition at Olympwick’s (i.e. Sedgwick’s), the 10 Days of burgers at Kirkwood’s and Howells and Hood’s Winter Game Flight are piquing my interest. Also, wear something patriotic while you’re at it.

House of Cards: I know, this was probably your activity last weekend but if you really want to lay low this weekend, order some pizza and pop this on. I have never better spent $7.99 a month- season 2 of this series on Netflix is legit.