||| summer has arrived! | strawberry balsamic goat cheese crostini |||

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Goat Cheese Crostini Plate

summer has arrived and we are so happy to see it! nothing spurs creativity like a good craving. with strawberries in season, i couldn’t resist picking a basket up from the farmer’s market! these simple, yet elegant crostinis will be the perfect addition to this weekend’s gatherings.

Sliced Bread Loaf for Strawberry Crostini

these are so simple to make, it’s almost embarrassing. slice up an italian loaf into pieces about a half inch thick. spread oil on the bread and toast at 425° for about 5 min. while cooking, slice strawberries (i chunked & sliced these for added dimension). let cool and spread goat cheese (i used plain flavor). arrange  strawberries and add fresh torn basil, salt & pepper. drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top and voila! these’ll be the talk of the party monday!

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Goat Cheese Crostini

||| have a lovely weekend! rachel |||

||| travel tip thursday | chicago |||

for those of you in the windy city this weekend, chicago restaurant week starts saturday! restaurant week is (besides the greatest idea ever) an ideal time to try out the city’s hottest restaurants through pre-set brunches, lunches and dinners at reasonable prices. here’s the list of participating restaurants.

also this weekend is randolph street market, discussed last summer here.

||| travel tip thursday | rome |||

dinookay, let’s be honest… most food in italy is outstanding. however, i can recommend the obvious: avoid touristy places/menus with pictures. and, if you can muster up the courage to ask a local where their favorite trattoria is (in italian), you can’t lose.

between italian sentence fragments and hand gestures, we got directions to Hostaria Dino’s Express. they even have a hand-written menu that changes daily, though i’d suggest you take your italian pocket dictionary with you!

open monday-saturday for lunch | via Tacito, 80

||| buon appetito! – Rachel |||

||| travel tip thursday | london |||

dishoomyou know you like a restaurant when you eat at it more than once on a weekend trip. that was my experience with Dishoom, a bombay café in london (two locations: one in shoreditch, one in covent garden)

dishoom provides an eccentric, yet cozy, environment perfect for meeting up with friends or grabbing lunch with a co-worker. their dishes are quite unique (i LOVE unique, it usually means i can’t make it at home); ask your waiter/waitress to give recommendations, i took them and was definitely pleased!

oh, and their pastries are out of this world : )

happy traveling! – Rachel