Things I'll Miss about Chicago

This list is in no particular order, but here are some of my favorite things about Chicago:


 Field Museum

Keo the Chimp

  • The perfectly wonderful, perfectly free Lincoln Park Zoo.
  • Shopping with Kasey and finding awesome deals.
  • The non-equity theatre scene.
  • Len & Bob's coverage of Cubs Baseball on WGN.
  • Wrigley Field. 


  • Scoring free tickets to not one, but two original plays involving talking paintings.
  • Concerts and the photo booth, not to mention eating dinner near Eisley, at Schubas.
  • Amy Freeze, the meteorologist on Channel 83. (Take that Tom Skilling!)
  • The folks at Epworth United Methodist.
  • Vogue Fabrics in Evanston and the friendly folks at Loopy Yarns.
  • Going for walks in Andersonville and buying Zanzibar Dark Chocolate Ice Cream at Sweet Occasions.
  • Barbecues on Foster Beach.
  • The doormen in our building. 
  • Being 3 blocks from two grocery stores, a deep dish pizza place, and a Blockbuster.


I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but it's a solid list. Yes, I'll miss a lot about Chicago, but don't worry too much about me. I'm going to Maine!


Booze Cake

Friday afternoon I received a call asking me to provide treats for this Sunday's coffee hour at my local Methodist Church. Now I'm not actually a Methodist, but I never turn down an excuse to bake, so naturally upon acceptance my first thought of what to make for the Methodists was "booze cake," specifically Sherry Nut Bundt Cake, henceforth known as SNBC.

My mother is a complete teetotaler and as a result there the only alcohol that ever made it into my mother's house was an occasional and random light beer that came home with my dad after a night out with some college friends and the cooking sherry for this cake.

The SNBC is a hand me-down from my Grandmother Leota and is a classic 50's recipe. The base of this almost-coffee cake/ rather bread like dessert is yellow cake mix and Jello pudding in a Bundt® Pan. If that doesn't scream post-war packaged food frenzy I don't know what does.

SNBC Ingredients

(an ingredient still life inspired by Pioneer Woman Cooks)

Sherry Nut Bundt Cake

Cake on Plate

1 pkg. yellow cake mix (no pudding in the mix!) 2 small packs of instant vanilla pudding 4 eggs 1 cup cream sherry ¾ cup oil ¼ cup sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt® pan. Mix first five ingredients, adding oil last. In a separate bowl - mix sugar, cinnnamon and nuts together.

Pour about ¼ of the batter in the pan and sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter (I find this is easier to do uniformly if you use a spoon and not your fingers).

SNBC Layer 1

Top with 1/2 of the remaining batter and the remaining nut mixture.

SNBC Layer 2

Add the remainder of the batter.

SNBC Layer 3

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a tester (I like to use a piece of spaghetti) comes out clean. Allow to cool before inverting. No need to frost, just give to your favorite Methodist as is and enjoy!

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