Ladies, This Weekend in Chicago is for Brunchin’ and Burnin’

Yes, it’s Monday and we are already dreaming of the weekend.  Those lazy Saturdays where you roll out of bed, throw your hair into a messy top knot and meet up with your gal pals for a hearty brunch.  This weekend, twist up the routine by adding some blowouts and beauty goody bags to that brunchin’.  Join Kathy Ruda, HERFITNESS health and fitness blogger, in her quest to raise funds for AVON 39 and breast cancer awareness.

Are you Burnin’ to hear all the Brunchy details?

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*Currently all workout classes offered at Brunch x Burn are full but Kathy is looking to expand them.  Stay alert by following the Brunch x Burn event on Facebook, fit family!*

When: May 22nd, 2016, 1-3 pm

Where: Equinox Gold Coast, 900 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

Brunch: Fuel your day with healthy juices from JuiceRx and tasty pastries from Beatrix

Blowouts and Braids: Check the Brunch x Burn page for updates! Blowout Junkie will make ya look fabulous (um hello blowouts usually cost like $35 and up so this ticket is a steaalllll)

Benefits: You will feel like a charitable goddess as you shake your glossy blown out hair. Bring some cash to for the raffle table and prep yourself for a bounty of giveaways.  Each guest will also receive a free HERFITNESS goodie bag filled with healthy snacks & discount cards from sponsors (think free passes to Equinox, Kind bars and more).

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Cost: Only $15 and your donation goes directly towards to AVON 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer.

Tickets! brunchxburn.splashthat.com or Follow Kathy on IG @kathyruda

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Brunch Bunch: Prairie Grass Cafe

You know when you ask people where they live, and they say some far off burb’ and you cancel the possibility of visiting?  Well, change your mind if they live in Northbrook and grab some brunch!

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Prairie Grass Cafe, conveniently located right off the expressway, will make you wanna visit your neighbor to the north.  Chef-Owner Sarah Stegner and Chef-Owner George Bumbaris, both formerly of the fancy pants Ritz Carleton, partnered to created a casual environment with local fresh food.  Stegner is also a 2 time winner of the ultra prestigious James Beard award so just think of the awesomeness of experiencing her cuisine without the abominable months’ wait of similar city joints.  Prairie Grass Cafe hosted us one lazy Sunday afternoon to see what all the fuss was about.

Family Friendly

Prairie Grass Cafe was popping with kiddos during Sunday brunch, illustrating its’ kid friendly appeal.  Stegner is a founding member of the Healthy Fare for Kids initiative which encourages restaurants to ditch the junk for children and provide them with nutritional sound menu items.  The brunch menu for kids was comprehensive and our lil’ guest of honor, Monica’s nephew, scarfed down a cheese, fruit and veggie plate.  Prairie Grass was able to work around his allergies with this dish.

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One small thing for improvement: as there were so many kids, there was no high chair available.  We made due with a booster seat instead thanks to the help of our friendly wait staff but this might not have worked for a littler dude or dudette.

Looking for more than just a meal? Check out “Make Your Own Pizza” Fridays where the toppings come to the table for a more active event for your tots.

Meatless Fare

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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Pancakes can be a ho-hum or over the top in sugar at brunch.  We flipped, however, over Prairie Grass’ fluffy light Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  The citrus flavor measured up to our preferences and added a delicate sparkle to the cakes.  Go for the gusto and add the berry flavorful rasberry sauce and creme anglaise for that WOW effect.  We also sampled the french toast and although it was decent, the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes take the taste award.

Chilaquiles

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The Chilaquiles will make any tummy happy with runny soft fried eggs melting over the top of a hearty pile of cheese, crispy beany tortilla chips, guacamole and pico de gallo.

Egg White Omelette

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The Egg White Omelette is chock b’gawk full of farm fresh eggs, seasonal produce and topped with avocado and pico de gallo.  We added a side of perfectly seasoned crispy potatoes to round out the meal.  This omelette is big enough for 2 people so feel free to split.

Dessert-a-thon

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Prairie Grass Cafe is a dessert lovers’ dream with their bountiful selection of fresh homemade treats.  Chef Sarah spoiled us sweetness with the Coconut Cream Pie (seasonal), Double Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with local berries, and Strawberry crepe with grand mariner sauce.

The standouts were the Coconut Cream Pie and Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee.  Luckily, we had a group of 6 to avoid sugar shock. 🙂

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Chicagoans, if there was ever a reason to meet your suburban friends half-way, this is a reason to venture beyond the borders of our city.  Not feelin’ the brunch buzz?  Get up later for lunch or dinner at your wake up whims.

Meatless Monday: Vegan Brunch!

Re-Mix your Meatless Monday recipe list with a veg-tacular event this coming weekend: Slo’Mo Remix Brunch w/ Live Lynnette’s Lynnette Astaire Join Live Lynnette, wellness wonder woman (pictured below) for a vegan brunch sound tracked by sweet soul jams from top notch … Continue reading

Giveaway! Pure Canada Maple Syrup

If you read our last post, we tried to coerce you into running the Fit Foodie 5k…we are still trying.  Come with us!!

One of the sponsors of the race is Pure Canada Maple with their delish maple syrup.  Who can say no to a big ol’ stack of pancakes with maple syrup?  You can even modify them to make them healthy no grain paleo banana cakes…or something goodish for you :).

Here’s some things we didn’t know about PURE CANADIAN maple syrup!  Don’t be going for none of that processed syrup wanna-bees.

  • It has many health benefits for runners (or wanna be runners like us).  It naturally contains essential vitamins and nutrients such as maganese, riboflavin, zinc (just in time for cold season), magnesium and potassium.  Many of these are vital elements for muscle repair.
  • It doesn’t cause the same blood sugar spike as many sugars and alternatives like the oh so pervasive corn syrup.
  • It contains polyphenols similar to those you find in healthy tea, red wine and flax seed and 54 different antioxidant compounds.
  • It has simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body into glucose and used for fuel during exercise.

Follow us on race day and look for our #ILOVEMAPLE tweets to learn more.  Oh, and, wanna win some satisfying syrup?

Enter our giveaway and tell us in the comments what fit foodie recipe could you use Pure Canadian Maple Syrup in to win a maple prize pack*.  We would love some roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!!!

*Prize pack may include a variety of the following items: maple water, maple syrup and other maple themed items.

Infographic shared from the Pure Canadian Maple website.

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New to our Brunch Bunch: La Grande Vie

There is nothing better than Sunday brunch.  Even better is not waiting for Sunday brunch…a very rare thing in Chicago, much like unicorns.  When we arrived to the Gold Coast to get the scoop on La Grande Vie’s brunch service, we were a bit perplexed on how to enter as it is situated in a apartment building.  Once we jumbled our way in, we were intrigued by the loungey space and gorgeous chandelier hanging over the entryway.

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La Grande Vie located in Chicago’s Gold Coast

Great atmosphere: Check!

We were immediately greeted, seated and whisked away to some awesome veggie brunch choices.

We started first with the LGV Panini, sans Ham, with creamy avocado, swiss, scrambled eggs and roasted tomatoes.  The panini was big enough for us to split and came with slightly spicy, crispy potatoes.

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Next came the Frittata with asparagus, red pepper, onions, and cheddar, a solid and hearty dish but not as tempting as our other offerings.  Dipping the egg and hidden potatoes into La Grande Vie’s homemade fresh sweet and chunky ketchup made this dish more interesting.

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The absolutely best part of our experience was the Orange French Toast with orange compote and triple sec maple syrup.  We need to preface this with an important point.  Neither one of us is bowled over by orange flavored breakfast goods but La Grande Vie got this dish supremely right.  It has all the right french (toast) curves.  The bread was crunchy on the outside and delectably soft and custard-y inside and our pick for one of THE BEST FRENCH TOASTS in the city.  The marmalade like topping was very mild and complementary.  A bigger surprise was the candied orange peel with it’s refreshing juicy pop of citrus that added a contrasting flavor profile.  Aww man, now we are thinking about this french toast at 9:37 at night and wishing it was here to comfort us in this polar vortex.

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Fabulous Food: Check!

Cameron, our waiter, was both attentive and helpful throughout our meal.  We liked that nobody hovered and bothered us while we ate but we also didn’t feel ignored.  During our stay, we noticed a separate room with a party popping in it.  There was a networking event for gay men going on but unfortunately, we couldn’t really sneak in unnoticed.  Mark Buot, general manager, explained that La Grande Vie was trying it’s hand at new events.  The room is also available for no charge if you need a spot for a swanky baby or bridal shower.

Satisfying Service: Check!

We’re a little bummed that it’s Monday but hey, at least we made it through Monday and that’s only 5 more days til brunch comes back around.  Has anyone else experienced the culinary delights of La Grande Vie?  If not, get over there..and grab us some french toast in case we can’t get out snowy driveways.