Naperville: Days 3 and 4

Hi! As promised I’m back with my post about our 3rd and 4th days in Naperville. If you haven’t seen the 1st and 2nd-day post here’s the link.

 

Our third day in Naperville we once again had breakfast at the hotel before setting out on our day. We hung out in our hotel room for most of the morning since it was raining pretty hard. It cleared up for a bit and we headed out to lunch at Le Pain Quotidian. I got the baker’s breakfast, which came with some amazing soft-boiled eggs!

 

That afternoon since it was still raining we went to the Hollywood Palms Theatre. I like to call it “Hollywood in the Midwest” since they have a red carpet and everything.

We watched the movie Christopher Robin which was amazing! I highly recommend it, and it’s pretty funny. Since it’s a dine-in theatre I got a dessert called the Willy Wonka Chocolate Cake and they noted in the menu it was an “Augustus Gloop size portion.”

Augustus Gloop Sized Cake

After the movie, we headed to our favourite Naperville grocery store called Standard Market which sells healthier versions of foods. They still have a really cool bakery with some amazing cakes.

Some of the cakes

For dinner it was still raining so we ventured to the nearby Chick-fil-a since there isn’t one close to where we live back home. That night we hung out in the room and I watched Survivor.

The rain from the day had raised the river’s height

It wasn’t raining when we woke up the next morning so we headed to breakfast at the Colonial Cafe. We all got eggs, bacon/sausage, and hash browns. The eggs were very good.

We went on a hike at Pioneer Park which was across the street from Colonial Cafe. It was very pretty and we even saw a heron there.

 

After, Pioneer Park, we decided to stop at the Starbucks Reserve Bar back in downtown Naperville. I got an iced hazelnut bianco latte. Yum! For lunch, we went to Burrito Parrilla Mexicana. I had guacamole and chips, which was really good.

By this time it has started to rain again so we headed back to the Hollywood Palms and saw Mamma Mia 2. It was a really good movie, but the best part was all the songs. For dinner, we got some food like hummus, chips, cheese, grapes, etc. at Whole Foods and took it back to eat in the room.

Signed Willy Wonka Poster

 

Thanks for reading about days 3 and 4. Our next post will be about days 5 and 6.

~ Mara

 

 

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Tofu Bowl: A Healthy Meal Step-by-Step

Hi! It’s Mara and today I have a blog post about one of the recent meals I made for a Girl Scout Badge. Hope you like the post!

 

For one of the badges as a Cadette, we need to make a recipe from a different part of the world, so I decided to make a tofu bowl which is from Southeast Asia. We used zucchinis, rainbow carrots, and Chinese Cabbage as our main vegetables but you can also use other vegetables like cucumber and broccoli. Here’s the recipe:

 

Prep:

Step 1) If you get store-bought tofu it’s almost always kept in water inside the package. So your first step is to pour out the water from the packaging. After all the water is drained out, take out the tofu and place it on a plate/cutting board. From there cut a vertical strip of the tofu off then. Cut that strip horizontally into tofu cubes.

Starting off with a chunk of tofu

 

Cut a vertical strip of the end

 

Cut that strip into cubes

Step 2) Cut the rest of the tofu this way. Then take out a plate and place a towel on top of it, then a paper towel on top of that. Place the cubes all onto the paper towel. From there take another paper towel and place on top of the tofu, then another towel. You do this to drain out all the water from the tofu. Then put a heavy pot or pan on top of the last tea towel, and put it in the fridge for 45 – 60 minutes.

Place the cubes on top of a paper towel

Step 3) Wash the zucchini in some water to remove any excess dirt or other debris. Cut off the top and bottom part of the zucchinis and then from there cut the rest of the zucchini into either coins or quarters.

Coin or quarter cuts

 

Place zucchinis in a bowl

 

Step 4) You can place the zucchini aside for a while and pull out the rainbow carrots (you can also use normal carrots.) Wash the carrots very well since they’re usually pretty dirty. Then, use a peeler (my favorite kitchen appliance) to peel the outer skin of the carrots. Then cut the carrots into bigger pieces if you’re going to roast them in the oven or smaller pieces if you’re going to stir-fry them.

Before peeled

 

After peeled

 

Cutting the purple carrot

 

Put the carrots in a bowl

 

Step 5) Take out a head of cabbage. Wash it then cut it in half, since that is usually enough for at least 4 or so people. If you have more people you can use the whole thing, or if you have a bunch of cabbage lovers in your family. Cut thinly around the hard center part of the cabbage and place all the cabbage in a bowl.

 

The cut cabbage

Step 6) Make the sauce for the stir fry by zesting in some ginger and garlic (optional) then add some soy sauce.

Zesting in the ginger

 

Sauce once completed

 

Step 7) Pour some teriyaki sauce in a bowl. The teriyaki can be storebought or homemade. Then take your tofu out of the fridge and place it on a metal pan with some paper on top of it. Then take out a spoon or a basting brush to and brush the teriyaki onto the tofu cubes.

Painting on the teriyaki

The tofu once “painted”

 

Cooking

Step 1) Put the tofu in the oven for 30 or so minutes at 375. Every 10 or 15 minutes take out the tofu and paint them with a little more teriyaki sauce.

Step 2) Take out your cut carrots and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes as well. You can also stir fry the carrots if you prefer.

Step 3) Stir fry on together the zucchinis and cabbage, drizzling the sauce you made in Step 6 toward the end.

Stir-frying the zucchinis and cabbage

How To Eat:

For our meal, we had sort of a “Make Your Own Tofu Bowl.” We set out all the toppings along with some rice, and everyone made their own tofu bowl with all the toppings.

 

Thanks for reading this recipe everyone! It’s one of the more complicated ones I have made, so if you have any questions or comments about it feel free to ask below.

~ Mara