It’s no secret around these parts that I love quinoa. I am still unclear as to exactly what the hell it is, but it’s weird and kind of crunchy and kind of AMAZING. Oh, and it’s good for you, so it’ll balance out my new diet of cakes, Double Stuf Oreos, and all savory foods covered in ranch. It’s a slippery slClark Griswold Saucer Sledope to the holidays, kids, and at this point, I’m like Clark Griswold on the saucer sled, greased with EZ cheese, racing toward a fluffy pile of cheesy potatoes. Pants…barely fitting.

CedarLane Natural Foods recently sent me their amazing new Quinoa & Vegetable Enchiladas to sample, and these babies are tasty and delicious. They come frozen, so they’re super easy to pop in the microwave and enjoy al desko. They’re filled with quinoa, black beans, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, with roasted Anaheim peppers, tomatillos, corn, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, yellow squash, black olives, and zucchini. Oh, and they’re topped with a crazy yum Poblano Crema sauce and more cheese! More cheese is my favorite, guys.


Quinoa Enchiladas

They clock in at 340 calories with 12 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber and are vegetarian and gluten-free, for those of you who care about such things, which, fortunately, I do not.

Quinoa Enchiladas (2)

I think one of my favorite things about these (besides their overall deliciousness) is that they have black olives. I’ve been known to enjoy a good black olive or two in my day, ever since I was a little kid, stealing them from the relish tray at holidays, popping them onto the end of my fingers with my partner in crime, my brother. Black olives are where it’s at.

CedarLane Quinoa Enchiladas

So – the hard question – would I recommend these enchiladas to my gracious and loyal 2-4 readers (Hi, Mom!)? Yes!! Definitely. They are super good, and I didn’t miss the meat whatsoever. They’re really scrumptious and the sauce is delicious – not too spicy, but with a little kick. They have a ton of vegetables and good ol’ quinoa, so you’ll feel better about eating these than an entire pack of Double Stuf Oreos in less than 30 hours by yourself. Ooops.

For my Chicagoland peeps, you can find CedarLane Natural Foods at Jewel and Mariano’s, and there’s a store locator on their website. To keep up with their social stuff, follow them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Oh, and while you’re at it, if you want to keep up with my adventures in food, go ahead and follow ME on Instagram. I’m on there, hashtagging the ever-loving crap out of all the food I’m eating…it’s a LOT of food and a LOT of hashtags.

Disclaimer: CedarLane Natural Foods sent me their Quinoa & Vegetable Enchiladas (in a lovely box to my work) to sample, but all opinions are my own. Disclaimer Dos: Cedar Lane is also really great song by one of my favorite bands, First Aid Kit:


…still working on that blog redesign. At a certain point, I will finish this and unveil the beautiful new Dining at my Desk. Just not sure when that point is, but it’s coming!!

Also, if you’re not reading The Hungary Buddha Eats the World, you definitely, definitely should be. The Hungary Buddha is a real-life blogger friend of mine, doing amazing things in her kitchen and life in general. While on a trip to Iceland (see, amazing!) she asked me to do a guest post. I unearthed a favorite recipe and she shared it with all her amazing readers. Click on the picture below to head over to the recipe on THBEtW.

Blueberry Corn Salad - Dining at my Desk


Also, something exciting happened to D@MD – I was included in the 50 Most Delicious Food Blogs from Upstairs Downstairs. A very cool honor, indeed, thank you Upstairs Downstairs!!
Chicago Food Blog Award


I’ll be back posting really soon, and someone please encourage me to finish this blog redesign. Thanks!


Oh, you can always count on the Oxford English Dictionary to keep our modern vernacular fresh. They’ve just added a whole bunch of new words that are now officially cool for you to use in Words with Friends, although you’re never going to have enough letters or apostrophes to spell out “Wine o’ Clock,” which consequently, my watch always seems to be set to.

For your very brief reading enjoyment, I’ve put together a list of quasi-culinary words that have made their way into the official vocab of the English language. Feel free to share this awesomesauce graphic! (No, no, Google Chrome, there’s no need to red underline that word, it’s official now.)

Food Words in the Oxford English Dictionary: Dining at my Desk


I have turned over a new leaf in my life – being more spontaneous, and embracing a personal journey of enrichment and awesomeness. You may have noticed I’ve been rather quiet this summer…and not in my normal manner of “Oh, kinda forgot I was a blogger there for a second.” This summer has been one of the strangest on record for me, personally. In a life lived in a fairly stable (not completely unshakable, but fairly earthquake-proof) way, there have been some big shake-ups, with strange feelings and emotions attached. Doubt, uncertainty and general sads aren’t welcome feelings in my personal house (unless I’m eating a sad late-night gyro, which I guess is a different denotation of sad), so I’m cleaning them out and shaking things up on my own terms. It feels good, and I’ll end it here with a particularly favorite and apropos movie quote:

With this new journey of personal enrichment, I’m looking at ways to get out of my comfort zone, which means getting out of my comfy pants and off the couch. For those of you who know me, you know how much I love my comfy pants. Nothing equals happiness quite like walking through the door at the end of the workday and going straight for pants without buttons, but for this personal journey, enriching my life means making some comfort sacrifices – and let’s be honest, it’s still dress season, so the dreaded buttons and zippers aren’t yet in full effect.

So what opportunity of afforded awesomeness lay in wait for me this week? Well, it was the chance for spontaneous Margarita Monday, a gift-horse I wasn’t about to look in the mouth, since margaritas are neck-in-neck with comfy pants on the love scale. BUT! Not only margaritas, but tacos – TAAAACCCCCCOOOOSSSSS!!!!!! ANNNNNDDDD – GUACAMOOOOOOLLLLLLEEEEE! Cue the mental happy dance; physical happy dance curtailed only because my new office has low cubicle walls and I’m just not sure everyone would appreciate such a spectacle.

Moe’s Cantina in River North extended a dinner invitation to a great group of food-minded folks to test out some new taco creations and margarita options, sponsored by Grand Mayan Tequila. It was a last-minute invite, the kind I might have passed over in a previous life, but spontaneity embraced, invite accepted, and an obviously excellent decision all-around.

Please note, the pictures I’m about to post are a mix of some of the professional dinner shots and some personal pics, snapped on what is obviously the best way to capture great moments in food – an iPhone 5S. I’m almost positive you’ll be able to tell which are my originals. Additionally, there were a few extremely unflattering photos of myself and my blogger pal mauling the tacos. As a matter of good taste, I have strategically left these photos to your imagination.

Let’s begin with the work of the art that is the Grand Mayan tequila bottle – it’s so pretty! Beside it is a cucumber margarita, which was a flavor I wasn’t expecting in a margarita, but was an exciting change of pace. I’m still more of a traditional rocks and (lots) of salt girl, but I had no problem branching out with this tequila treat.

Grand Mayan Tequila

Next up we have Moe’s special flour tortillas, which they import directly from Mexico. They come in raw, and are cooked to perfection. The chef said the most common way they ate these tortillas growing up was cooked on the stove and topped with butter…clearly a man after my own heart.

Los Garcias Raw Flour Tortillas

Moe's Cantina Flour Tortillas

I settled for nature’s butter – avocados in guacamole form. I can’t even tell you how amazing these tortillas are. They came in a nicely wrapped package, like a present, and smelled to me like French toast. They tasted incredible with or without the guacamole – which, by the way, was also excellent. We sampled three different kinds of guacamole with our chips and tortillas and my favorite was the first and simplest – made only with avocados, serrano pepper and salt. The tortillas were the perfect vehicle for guacamole consumption with the ideal amount of bite and tear – I could have happily made a meal solely on the tortillas. Asked if anyone wanted any additional of these terrific tortillas, can you guess who raised her hand?!

Let’s have some taco talk. Moe’s treated us to four different kinds of tacos, resplendent in their taco terrificness. The first we sampled, and consquently, my favorite, was the Chicken Mole with orange citrus slaw, red onion, cilantro, sesame seeds, served in a corn tortilla. The mole was the standout, rich, with a definite sweet flavor. I’m a big fan of sweet meats, so this was right up my alley.

Moe's Cantina Chicken Mole Tacos

The evening’s second taco was a crispy duck option with Sichuan peppercorn marinated duck, pickled red onions, habanero, radish and jalapeno slaw and hoisin sauce. This was the host’s favorite and another complete hit in my book. I don’t often eat duck, but when I do – well, let’s put it on a taco.

Moe's Cantina Chicago

Third taco – by this point I was feeling full to quite full, but not full enough that I wasn’t going to eat the next taco, because this taco was STEAK. Mmmm, steak – oh, and this one came on those amazing flour tortillas from earlier in the evening. Behold the Taco al Carbon: chopped sirloin, yellow onion and cilantro. Simple, but flavorful. This was my blogger friend’s favorite of the evening.

Moe's Cantina Tacos

Rounding out the last of the tacos was the Italian Brick Chicken – marinated chicken in thyme, rosemary and olive oil, pico de gallo, nopales, chilie morita sauce and heavy cream in a corn tortilla. As you can well imagine, at this point I was stuffed, and this poor taco only got eaten halfway. It obviously veered from traditional Mexican flavors, and it was either that or the fact that we were all full that no one picked it as their favorite taco of the evening.

Italian Chicken Tacos

And just when you think you’re so full you can’t possibly eat another morsel, the chef comes out with some churros. And then you think to yourself, “Well, self, looks like you saved justenough room for these churros.” And then you eat the churros, dipping them into the over-21 Nescafe and Grand Mayan tequila dipping sauce, happily lapping up the extra whipped cream and, duh, there’s always going to be room for churros and booze sauce.

Churros at Moe's Cantina

So what did I take away from this journey of spontaneity? I had an absolutely fantastic dinner courtesy of the gracious, welcoming and utterly hospitable folks at Moe’s Cantina in River North and Grand Mayan Tequila. I learned about cooking and mixology, I met new and interesting people, had a lot of laughs and a great deal of fun. All in all, it was an evening totally worthy of uncomfortable pants, though I have to admit and was very happy because of it, the ones I was wearing that evening didn’t have buttons.

If you’re planning to eat tacos in Chicago soon, go to Moe’s Cantina. They have locations in River North and Wrigleyville. Visit them on the web at While you’re at it, order a margarita the way I would – on the rocks with lots of salt – and try it with Grand Mayan Tequila.



Uber Eats

Maybe it’s just me, but it kind of seems like everyday there’s a new app geared to bringing food to your doorstep – or desktop, if you’re the kind of diligent worker bee who toils through the lunch hour…cough, cough…I mean, I’ve got a blog named Dining at my Desk – I’m sure you can guess where I’m eating lunch.

Cue UberEats, part of the Uber app, which, whether you love it or hate it, you’ve gotta admit, is the best idea ever. I’m personally in the “oh my god, life changing!” camp when it comes to Uber. The good drivers of UberX have saved me many a sad, not-so-sober bus ride home, and I’m not just saying this for all the five-star reviews I plan to get from the sheer notoriety of my largely obscure blog. I really do love this app.

On this particular day, I gave UberEats a try…probably definitely because I had a promo code that gave me a basically free lunch. UberEats teams up with popular local Chicago restaurants, launching a weekly rotating menu for lunch and dinner. The lunch I had my eye on came from Shaw’s Crab House – namely, a shrimp roll (in my mind I was thinking something akin to sushi, but really, it was a lobster roll, sans lobster, sub shrimp), chips, pickles and slaw. Never having ordered from UberEats before, I really didn’t know what to expect, so I bravely opened the Uber App, slid the pointer over to the Eats section, and noticed there were plenty of Eats drivers in my area (Chicago Loop), in fact, one could drop off my food in less than 3 minutes. I selected my preferred menu items, and my driver was en route in seconds.

Uber Eats Screenshot

3 minutes for food? It took me longer to get down the elevator. Now at this point, you may be wondering, as my dear friend John did, “Did he have enough food in the car to make the sandwich?” Ummmm, that’s not quite how it works. The food is pre-made and either kept warm or cool in the driver’s car; all the driver has to do is pull it out and hand it over, and all you have to do is take it back to your desk and devour it.

Uber Eats Chicago

So how was my chauffeured lunch? Delicious, but likely because I’d eat almost anything covered in mayonnaise. I was impressed that the food was kept cool, because I’d eat almost anything covered in mayonnaise, except food covered in mayonnaise that hasn’t been properly kept cooled – that’s obviously a recipe for disaster. The shrimp roll was truly fantastic – lots of big shrimp, a bright (not too heavy) mayo dressing, and a perfectly buttered roll. The pickles were great, the slaw was probably the weakest point – just ok.

Shaw's Crab House Uber Eats

To recap, UberEats is extremely easy to use, and a really awesome option if you want to get food quickly. You can’t order food any faster than this, and even microwaving a sad desk lunch is going to take longer than UberEats showing up. The ease-of-use of the app is fantastic, and I like that it’s built-in to the Uber app – no downloading a separate app required. If you’re a first-time user, look on the internets for promo codes. Currently UberEats delivers in the The Loop, West Loop, River North, Lincoln Park, Old Town, and Gold Coast.

Download the Uber app to your phone.



There are many points in a blogger’s life that they’ll either a) be too busy to blog, b) will forget they have a blog, or c) don’t want to blog because their site is in terrible need of redesign, so it’s obviously easier to ignore entirely. In this case, all three of those points apply to my current situation, SO, let me tell the tale of an amazing evening at Weber Grill (quickly!) through photos.

If you haven’t been to Weber Grill, you should go. It’s particularly great for when your parents come to visit – it’s evocative of the original hipster Dad grilling out back drinking a beer (or a rum and coke, squeeze of lime), plus it’s DELICIOUS.

Without further ado, Weber Grill in photos:

Weber Grill Chicago Weber Grill Chicago Weber Grill Chicago Weber Grill Chicago IMG_3647 Weber Grill Chicago Weber Grill Chicago

Absolutely everything was beyond delicious, but the sea bass was the standout. On a very happy side note, it reminded me of this gem:

Weber Grill is located at 539 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654. Follow them on Twitter, or connect on Facebook.

Thank you to the good folks at Weber Grill for inviting the Windy City Blogger Collective for the Spring Menu Tasting!

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