Wicker Park in top ten places for Millennials

One of our favorite lunch specials at $5.95 for 3 courses on Division Street a short walk from Two Urns.

One of our favorite lunch specials at $6.50 for 3 courses on Division Street a short walk from Two Urns.

Niche Ink just announced Chicago and Wicker Park neighborhood as the #4 on their list of places for Millennials to live.

25 Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials

Just one more reason to stay in Wicker Park on your next visit to Chicago.  Our tip for the day:  The Bedford – a great lounge located in the safety deposit vault of a bank just 2 blocks from the Two Urns.  Stop by for a late night drink, have a little supper, enjoy all Wicker Park has to offer.

Do-Division Line up is announced

Great shopping just a short walk from Two Urns during the summer.

Great shopping just a short walk from Two Urns during the summer.

Don’t miss the local music scene – this summer starting with Do-Division, just a short walk from Two Urns. Check out details from this on-line article

Jukebox Opera at Blue Star Wine Bar – April 13th, 2014

Jukebox Opera at Blue Star Wine Bar – April 13th, 2014

jukebox opera
On Sunday, April 13 join in operatic fun at the Blue Star Bistro & Wine Bar for Opera Inter Alia’s “Jukebox Opera”! Located just 2 blocks from Two Urns at 1209 N. Noble Street you can easily find your home after a night out at the opera.
For those unfamiliar, Opera Inter Alia offers a harmonious blend of opera and standard songs – and, as always, finishes strong with a sing-along.
This month they are trying out a new concept – Jukebox Opera – whereby the audience chooses selections from their “jukebox list” to be performed live!
Come and join the fun!
For those of you that know Blue Star’s “Cindy” – she will be performing!
NO COVER CHARGE – just order from our menu and enjoy the music.
RESERVATIONS are highly recommended as our opera nights typically sell out!
773.278.2233773.278.2233
April’s No Fool Special 2014

April’s No Fool Special 2014

Blue skies and warm weather is headed to Chicago in April!

Blue skies and warm weather are headed to Chicago in April!

I always loved playing April Fool jokes on my mother, but now I do the reverse – the joke’s on me as Two Urns offers a great discount for the month of April.

Book any room on April 1st, 2014 for just $89 Sunday – Thursday or $99/night Friday/Saturdays  for any length of stay during the month of April – valid for any number of nights, but no other discounts are available on this great rate.   This is a one day wonder of a deal and it’s no joke.  So help us welcome the warmer winds of April (they just gotta be better than March) this April Fool’s Day.

 

Between Prix Fixe coupon

Between Prix Fixe coupon

Peruvian dining in Wicker Park

Peruvian dining in Wicker Park

Between is our local (4 blocks away) Peruvian spot that we love for their great ceviche, pisco sours and decor.  They are offering a limited Prix Fixe coupon via Groupon, that is good for 90 days after purchase – time is limited on this offer.
It is a great deal on a wonderful dining experience in Wicker Park!

 

Cafe Absinthe, French Fare in Wicker Park

Cafe Absinthe, French Fare in Wicker Park

Crab Cake first course and Beet Salad

Crab Cake first course and Beet Salad

Although we have always planned dining here, we  just never made it through the charming back alley entrance into this French bistro before today.  Just the perfect amount of lighting for a great first date or romantic dinner we enjoyed the Beet salad the Boston Lobster Salad, Horseradish crusted Salmon was excellent and the Tenderloin was also very good.  Wine was excellent and the service was superb, attentive and yet not intrusive, thorough and not stuffy.  A big thumbs up for Cafe Absinthe in Wicker Park: just enter through the alley off Damen, just north of North Avenue – follow the green sprite. About $50/person with drink.

Brava Eggs

Brava Eggs

Brava Eggs a Two Urns Chef's choice entree

Brava Eggs a Two Urns Chef’s choice entree

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 stalks asparagus  2″ tips saved and rest of stalk chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Brava Sauce
  • Salt Pepper to taste
  • Manchego or Iberico cheese

Saute onion and chopped asparagus lightly in olive oil.  Steam tips and set aside.  Scramble eggs lightly add onion and asparagus,salt and pepper.  Plate in small bowl add two asparagus tips and Brava sauce

Shop West Town

Shop West Town

Great shopping just a short walk from Two Urns during the summer.

Great shopping just a short walk from Two Urns during the summer.

Every summer the neighborhoods of Chicago come alive with different festivals and events.  We love all the handmade indie-vibe crafters that are here during the Renegade Craft Fair every September.  The West Fest offers a great line up of music talent, artisan  and sidewalk shopping.   Design Harvest highlights many of the city’s unique design firms and is always the last “hurrah” of the festival season, just in time for autumn.   All in  “West Town” the area directly north west of the Loop  (Division Street south to Grand) here are some of the 2014 highlights:

We always have lots of guests who come in for these events so plan early to book to get the best room choice.

Apricot Pecan Muffins

Apricot Pecan Muffins

Apricot Pecan Muffin

Apricot Pecan Muffin

This recipe is from Carol Nebughr, the innkeeper at Windy Hill Acres Inn in Cobden, IL.  This is also one of my favorite recipes from the Illinois Bed and Breakfast cookbook.  Makes 1 dozen.

  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (original recipe calls for butter, but I use a heart healthier choice)
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease the cups of a muffin tin. Put the chopped apricots in the boiling water and let sit 2 minutes. Puree well in food processer. (I also like using one cup of frozen or fresh apricot puree in place of the dried apricots in water- I have lots from our two apricot trees every July and so I puree and freeze those ripe juicy apricots that just fall off the pit and I like the soft, less chunky muffin that it makes – but when I run out of my frozen stash – I will use dried apricots as this original recipe specifies). In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and oil. Add the baking soda to the sour cream and let sit a few minutes until foamy. Add the sour cream mixture, apricots, orange zest and dry ingredients and 1/3 cup pecans together gently.  Fill the greased muffin cups 7/8 full, sprinkle the rest of the pecans on top of the muffins and bake 20-22 minutes. Cool and serve.

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast

It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day, 2014 and I decided to splurge and make a Chocolate Strawberry French Toast this morning for my guests – many who are returning guests, who all loved it and thought this was not TOO sweet of a breakfast entree; consensus was to put this in as a rotating entree at the Two Urns kitchen.

Start by making a custard of: 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup cocoa, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp almond flavoring – whisk well until the cocoa is absorbed.I cut hearts out of a hearty multi-grain bread for this special breakfast day and used two hearts per serving.  Dip hearts in cocoa custard and fry on both sides.

I also made a Chocolate Ganache from heating 1 cup whipping cream and pouring over 8 oz of 72% dark chocolate, chopped finely.  Let sit for 2 min. then stir and Voila! you have Ganache – so easy.  I put some in a squeeze bottle and kept warm on the back of the cook top as the oven was keeping the yummy muffins warm.  The rest of the ganache I am saving for making hot chocolate, yum!

Place two hearts on a plate.  Place cut strawberries on top. Squeeze some ganache on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
  • pinch of salt
  • strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced in quarters
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped)
  • powdered sugar