On Friday, I left sunny California for not quite as sunny most of the time Chicago for a brief visit with my good friend Rosalind (along with a shoot). All you Chicagoians who emailed--I'm so sorry I couldn't meet up, but I was there such a short time. Next time!

As I was saying, when I arrived in Chicago, it was a bit humid and kind of rainy--par for the course for Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised though, that over the course of the weekend, the weather seemed to up it's game and give So. Cal a run for it's money. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous! On Friday night, we wasted no time and headed out right away to a 70's themed poker party--good times! I didn't win the tournament, but I did manage to make most of my money back in a cash game afterwards.

Saturday was a fantastic day from start to finish. We had a delicious brunch and walked around the area of Bucktown where Rosalind and her too good to be true fiancee Jonas (more on that in a minute) live. Rosalind and Jonas are huge proponents of the finer things in life, with good food and drink without a doubt being towards the top of the list. To celebrate my Top 10 Photographer in the World award, Rosalind had picked up a big bottle of champagne which we started in on in the afternoon:


After polishing off 2/3 or so of the oversized bottle, we headed out to an AMAZING dinner at Aruns, where we had 12 (no that is not a misprint) courses of the most interesting, creative food I've had in a long time. You don't select any of it yourself, you get the chef's tasting menu (you never even look at a menu), and everything you get is just perfect. My personal favorites were the crab cake and the noodly, soupy thing. I can't remember what it was called, but I'll never forget its taste!

Sunday was another perfect day. It was sunny and 65-70 degrees, not the kind of day I was expecting in Chicago! Jonas decided that morning that he was going to be the chef of the evening and tackle a new recipe or two. He likes to cook, and as Rosalind proudly told me, does so most of the time. If I were her, I would definitely encourage this habit because he is GOOD!! He picked out a lemon tart recipe for his ambitious maneuver of the evening. Here it is in the prep stage. He made the crust from scratch too:


Rosalind and I tackled a little bit of work, while the kitchen began to smell better and better:


I also shot an engagement session on Sunday afternoon, which I'll share with you in the next day or two! When I returned back from the shoot, this is what saw:


Yes ladies, he both cooked and served the meal.

The menu: Green bean salad with a mustard, hazlenut mixture, handmade pasta with a browned butter and basil sauce, and UNBELIEVABLE pulled pork. I wish I were staying an extra day just to have eaten those leftovers for lunch today.


And as for the tart:


You would never have known it was the first one--it was the perfect end to a feast.

Rosalind & Jonas, thanks so much for your hospitality! You should be careful though, because next time I'll be staying for longer. xoxo

Now, I'm on the way to NYC for more adventures!!