From the Blog

The Daily Dish~ Chicago Edition!!!

August 16th, 2011 - Daily Dish


It has been an amazing, (and busy) past couple of days for me! It was my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday! My sister Sarah wanted to make it extravagant, because let’s face it, stepping out of your 20′s is a big deal! My sister’s love language is gifts, and party-planning, and let me tell you, she know’s how to make people around her feel loved!

We started Phil’s ‘Birhday Week’ with a surprise dinner at a really nice restaurant in Ann Arbor, Quarter Bistro.

Here is my side of the family…My husband Sean and myself, my younger sister Emily, Phil~ (Sarah’s husband, and the birthday boy), my older sister Sarah, and my mom and dad!


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The best part of the night is when we went around the table and everyone said something they love about Phil…Which wasn’t hard to do!  He is by far one of the most friendly, outgoing people you will ever meet. He’s hysterical, and can make every situation a blast, but most importantly, he is an amazing Man of God!


For dessert we had a Dashing Dish Coconut Cake! (Recipe will be in my up-coming cook book!)


The next morning, Sean, my sisters and I, and Phil’s brothers woke up bright and early to surprise Phil yet again! We all met up at Zingerman’s Bakery in Ann Arbor, where Phil thought we were meeting for breakfast! Much to his surprise we were packed and ready to drive off to Chicago for a 4 day weekend!!! About 4 hours later we arrived at our hotel, the Trump!


Everything about this hotel was STUNNING, and it was right in the heart of Chicago, which I loved!


When we got to our Suite the first thing I had to do was look out of the huge windows..We had the most amazing view!!!




We even had a full kitchen! If we didn’t eat out so much I would have cooked a lot more, although we did have a Dashing Dish breakfast every day!


Every detail in this suite was so elegant!




The boys relaxed while us girls started planning for the night!



The first thing we did was take a walk to the infamous Millenium Park!


Of course we had to visit ‘The Bean”~ It amazed me how a piece of art could bring so much joy and entertainment to everyone!





We then went back to our hotel and got ready for the night, I was so excited because it was my FIRST time going to a Sushi Bar!


We went to a beautiful place called Sunda, (I highly recommend it!) Everything from the food to the atmosphere was amazing!


The Girls.


The Boys.


I let Sarah order the sushi rolls, because I had no idea what to get!  We ordered the spring rolls, the tuna rolls, and the shrimp rolls. I enjoyed the spring rolls the most, but everything was fantastic!


For dinner my sister’s and I ordered the Asian Chicken Salad! I loved this salad because it was filled with tons of sweet and salty ingredients such as crushed peanuts and thinly sliced red peppers!



The boys ordered steaks and more sushi rolls!


For dessert we got what else but Crystal Light Slurpee’s from 7 eleven!


And then we went back to the hotel and had the ‘real’ birthday dessert, some Sprinkle’s Cupcakes! The bumpy cake one was out of  this world!!! After the cupcakes were gone we pretty much all passed out from the sugar rush, and the loooong day!



We woke up bright and early the next day to hit the gym! It was one huge gym, so it wasn’t difficult to make up an awesome workout! I had so much fun designing a workout for my sisters and I…We did a total body weight workout one day, and a circuit workout the next! Either way, I really enjoyed doing something different and getting out of my gym for a few days! I always love to shake things up!


Then my sisters and I were off to shop the day away….


While the boys were off to skydive!!! Let’s just say I was praying all day!!!


For dinner we all met up at an Authentic Mexican Restaurant. All of the food, including the salsa, was homemade right at your table! I’m telling you, you have not had Mexican food until you have freshly made salsa!!! Mmmm!!!



I ordered a Tortilla Chicken Salad, which was out of this world! It had warm refried beans, fresh avocado, and tons of corn, beans, and chicken over a huge bed of lettuce!


After dinner we went to a well-known comedy club called Second City. It was nice to laugh the night away!



We came back to our hotel that night to another wonderful treat! Chocolate covered strawberries!


The next day we slit up in smaller groups and did some more shopping. Sean and I ate at a little cafe called “Corner Bakery” for lunch. It was a wonderful place with a lot of healthy options!


We also paid a visit to Hershey’s Factory… The perfect place to fix anyone’s sweet tooth!


We also found another wonderful ‘sweet treat’ … self-serve Frozen Yogurt!!!


This Fro Yo was no-joke, it had about 10 different flavors, and I think I sampled all of them! I ended up getting a combination of Reese’s, Chocolate, and Cake Batter!


For dinner we went to the Cheesecake Factory! Chicago has one of the most beautiful Cheesecake Factory’s around!




I knew without even looking at the menu what I wanted to order… It was soo good that I still remembered it from my 1 year Anniversary trip~ The Asian Chicken Salad! (Yes~ this was my second Asian Salad in Chicago, but can you blame me!?! Look at how wonderful it looks!)


After dinner we went to one of the best show’s I’ve ever been to.. Cirque Shanghi Extreme!


This show was no-joke! These people were almost super-human they were so flexible, strong, and just down-right brave! It was a breath-taking show, and not one that I will soon forget! But then again, I don’t think I will forget anything about this trip! It was truly once-in-a lifetime!


The best part in my opinion though, was just being with family! No entertainment, no shopping, no extravagant dinners could beat time spent with family! Although, if your going to spend time with family, Chicago isn’t a bad place to do it! ;)



I can’t believe summer is finally winding down! Crazy huh!?! I hope you all took some time to spend with family this summer, and hopefully got to take a little get-away of your own!

I’m blessed to be able to say that tomorrow I’m off to one more 5-day vacation with my parents, sister, and husband! Stay tuned for the location to be revealed and the pictures to come!!! :)


VeggieGirl said:

Beautful people and food :D

August 16th, 2011 — 6:34pm  |  Reply

VeggieGirl said:


And yes, summer definitely flew by!

August 16th, 2011 — 6:35pm  |  Reply

Liz @ iheartvegetables said:

Wow what an amazing trip!!! You and your sisters are quite the trip/party planners! I bet your brother in law had a fantastic birthday!

August 16th, 2011 — 6:58pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks Liz! My sister planned it so of course it was out of this world! She plans stuff I would never even think of (aka the Trump Hotel!)

August 17th, 2011 — 3:52am  | 

Jessika said:

Great pictures Katie! I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’m pretty sure I could follow your trip and have a ball! I cannot believe you’ve never had sushi. Its sooo good! And healthy! I’d love to see some homemade sushi show up one day on the Dashing Dish :) Thanks for sharing!

August 16th, 2011 — 7:08pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

I know isn’t that crazy Jessika! I think a lot of it has to do with my hubby, he is def. not one to eat sushi, so when we go out, it’s not even on my mind to try! I’m so glad I did though! Dashing DIsh sushi.. now there’s a thought! :)

August 17th, 2011 — 3:54am  | 

Allison said:

All of your pictures look beautiful and fun! I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago and your pictures confirmed my reasons why :)

August 16th, 2011 — 7:14pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks Allison! :)

August 17th, 2011 — 3:51am  | 

Ashleigh said:

LOVE your pictures!! I have never been to Chicago, so you are tempting me to plan a trip :) I have that same pink jersey t- just the pink version…love it!

August 16th, 2011 — 10:34pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

You have to go Ashleigh! Chicago reminds me of a more ‘affordable’ New York! :)

August 17th, 2011 — 3:51am  | 

Ali said:

Beautiful pictures and family!! Thanks for sharing. Katie, if you don’t mind me asking, where do you shop for most of your clothes?? I love you style :)

August 17th, 2011 — 6:31am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thank you so much ali! :) i get them from all over, but mostly stores like limited, forever 21, express, macys, and von maur! :)

August 17th, 2011 — 10:04am  | 

Katie Farrell said:

Your too sweet Ali! Thank you!!! I get most of my clothes from Marshalls, Tj Maxx, Limited, Express, and Macy’s. Also I love the dept. store Von Maur! :)

August 18th, 2011 — 7:10am  | 

Jenee said:

Love the pictures! I lived in Chicago for 3 years and it is definately a beautiful city! If you ever want to try a new recipe, maybe you could manage to make it even healthier, but its a crustless deep dish pizza :)
1 pound of Turkey Italian Sausage pressed into a 9×11 baking dish (thinly)
1 pound of low fat Mozzarella
12 ounces of crushed/ground tomatoes
Layer with Sauteed Garlic, Sauteed Spinach, Sauteed Onions & Mushrooms
And top with Tomatoes seasoned with Olive Oil & Parmesan

1 hour @ 400*

It definately fixes that Chicago Deep Dish craving without the butter and carbs!!!!

August 17th, 2011 — 8:27am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Sounds great thanks for sharing Jenee!

August 18th, 2011 — 7:09am  | 

Jennifer said:

LOVED the photos! What an amazing trip you guys had! I also love your pink top with the roses and would love to know where you bought it. Since my weight loss I am trying to wear more colorful things and not so much black! Great post!

August 17th, 2011 — 11:55am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks Jennifer!! :) I got it at abercrombie on sale! :) i don’t usually shop there, but had a gift card! :)

August 18th, 2011 — 7:08am  | 

Jeff said:

Chicago looks like a blast. My wife and I will be visiting there August 18 thru the 21st, on business. We’ll be staying at hotel Swissotel. No question ya all had fun.

August 17th, 2011 — 8:38pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Jeff… you have to get tickets to Cirque Extreme if you have a night of free time! :) It was amazing!

August 18th, 2011 — 7:08am  | 

Jennifer said:

There is a Corner Bakery in Denver, CO. We went a couple times when we were there while my mom spoke at the AHWONN conference. It’s so good! They have GREAT stuff! :)

August 31st, 2011 — 6:50am  |  Reply

Katie Fitzpatrick said:

Hi, I know this post is old, but I just wanted to say I’m happy to read how much you loved Chicago. I currently go to school in the city (I get to live in a dorm literally up the street from the Hershey store) It is such an amazing city with so much to offer!!

May 15th, 2012 — 10:43pm  |  Reply

Amanda Silva said:

I live about half an hour from Chicago, and it is amazing! One of my favorites is Corner Bakery, because they have such wonderful healthy options! i also LOVE the Cheesecake Factory, but didn’t realize they had a Skinnylicious menu ~ I will have to check that out sometime! Your hotel looked amazing!! I would love to stay there sometime! Thanks for posting all of the amazing pictures! :)

February 1st, 2013 — 10:36am  |  Reply

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