I Want That Wednesday: Multi-Compartment Steamer

Great news: I got into grad school! Yup, I’m going to get my masters in digital communication, a new program offered at DePaul University. You should be excited, too, because it’ll eventually mean a brand new look for Urban Nesting (you know, once I re-learn how to build websites from scratch) and hopefully more multimedia features too.

It’s going to be a struggle to work full time, freelance, write the blog and go to school. I’ve been doing pretty well at eating healthy too, and I’m worried that’ll suffer once class begins—which by the way is THIS Monday! (I cut it pretttty close getting my application in, and they run on trimesters at DePaul so that’s how I can start immediately.) I love my crockpot and I’m sure it’ll come in handy, but something like this could really do me wonders:


I can have an entire meal cooked and waiting for me when I get home! The three compartments can be set to cook for different amounts of time depending on what you have in there, but really it’ll cook in intervals so that all the food is ready at the same time.

Now, who wants to buy me this fancy $250 steamer? A pre-graduation present perhaps? C’mon, I’m just a broke college student again!

(Images: Sur la Table)


Happy (Belated) Father’s Day!

I hope all you proud papas out there had a nice Father’s Day weekend. I was lucky enough to spend the day with my dad and grandpa. And for whatever reason I got a Father’s Day gift: a grill! I’d been thinking about buying one now that the weather is finally nice and I have a big courtyard to use, but my parents beat me to it. Love you guys!IMG_3389

This is how far I got on putting it together though…


Yikes, that’s a lot of screws. But I will assemble it, promise. Expect some (delicious) updates from the courtyard soon!

Mariano’s Fresh Market

Have I ever talked about my love/hate relationship with grocery stores on here? I can’t remember. Well anyway, listen to me rant once more if you would. For the most part, I really dislike grocery stores in the city. They’re always crowded, there’s never enough cashiers, it always takes me two trips up and down the store to find everything I need, the size is overwhelming… is that enough reasons? So to show my disgust, I generally just don’t buy grocery. I’m showing them! Right…?

Of course the answer is no. I end up eating frozen pizza and Wheat Thins and whatever else I can round up just so I don’t have to visit a Jewel or Dominick’s any more than I need to. Sure, Whole Foods is ok but way too expensive, and I don’t mind Trader Joe’s except they get crowded, too, and the cashiers are way to chatty.

But, low and behold, a new grocery story recently opened in my ‘hood – Mariano’s! Apparently it’s a chain, but I’d never heard of it before. Not sure if it’s just because it’s new, but I seem to be in like with it – and that’s saying a lot coming from me. They have free samples everywhere, the produce actually looks fresh and the prices aren’t bad for the city. They have four different brands of baguette – in one store! Heavenly. They even have a gelato stand. Check it out:

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Mexican siesta and fiesta

This weekend was the first weekend that I had absolutely nothing planned in… well, as long as I can remember. I’m kind of a big deal, ok? No, but seriously – It. Was. Glorious. Plus, I took Friday off for some much needed r&r. I wish it could have lasted forever, but alas it’s Monday again. Wah wah.

But with the free time on my hands, I figured I’d actually breakout the cookware and make something homemade for the first time in the new apartment. Yes, I went over 25 days without ever making more than a frozen pizza or a salad… sad, I know. I even have a great new set of pots and pans from Pampered Chef (thanks, Mimi!).

So I landed on shrimp fajitas with guacamole and Mama’s famous salsa. It all turned out surprisingly well, very fresh and tasty. I’ve made the salsa a handful of times now, and while it’s not quite up to Mama’s standards, I thought this batch was particularly good. Or maybe THAT WAS THE CORONA TALKING…

I want that Wednesdays returns

“I want that Wednesdays” went on a little vacay last week, what with the move and holiday craziness, but it’s back in full force now. And this week, it’s Watermelon Pie!

Now this has a couple of different meanings really. First and perhaps foremost is that now that I’m actually moved into the new place – and have unpacked my new Pampered Chef pots and pans! – I really should get started on that goal of mine: learn how to cook. I’ve cooked a few things since I’ve moved in… but not really a meal. Not that this is a meal, nor is there even really any cooking involved. It’s just different flavors of sherbet! (Click the photo for the recipe.)

Which brings me to my second point: I want summer already. I’ve been so wrapped up in the move, and Mother Nature has been so wrapped up in spring showers, that I fear I’m missing the best season in Chicago. I want to spend time actually inside the new place, but that can wait until it’s cold and dreary again. I guess that sentiment doesn’t help my cooking goal, but oh well. SUMMER, HERE I COME!