We did all the fun things sisters do. We had morning coffee with pumpkin bread, took a bike ride, shopped at Nordstrom's Rack, had pedicures at a fancy salon (the best foot massage I've ever had), walked & talked. We took a mini-tour of downtown Chicago on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon & checked out niece Emily's apartment with views of the city & nephew Mike's (& Steph's) cool loft-style space in a converted pencil factory.
We did our share of eating, including dinner at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba http://www.cafebabareeba.com/), a bustling paella - tapas bistro in downtown Chicago. Great service - our waitress was attentive & other servers hovered about our table bringing endless tapas & signature dishes of chicken paella plus calderos, a rustic soup-like stew of rice & mushrooms.
Did I eat too much? Sure. This was a two-handed dining experience. White sangria in one hand and tapas in the other. Tapas of note: calamari, riojo short ribs, eggplant with goat cheese. I did not think I could eat another bite, but a real baker wouldn't pass up a slice of birthday cake from Dinkel's. Dinkels has been a Chicago institution since 1922 & is still run by the same family (with computers now). This was a deep dark chocolate experience with alternating layers of chocolate cake, thick fudge and whipped cream with strawberries.
This being Chicago, we watched sports with my brother-in-law. But, what were they thinking when they built that saucer-like stadium inside Soldiers' Field? We also watched the 1st Presidential debate, candidate interviews (real and fake), and all the bad news on the financial crisis. When the news became too depressing, we made apple cake and rugelach.
Rugelach (p.150) is a family tradition. My grandmother made hers with yeast dough & apricot filling. Dorie's cookies are smaller so you can eat more and equally tasty. We made a double recipe and 2 kinds of fillings: a) chocolate/walnut/rasberry jam filling, and b) chocolate/gourmet nut-fruit mix/apricot jam filling. I was surprised that we all preferred the apricot version. Seems that Grandma had it right all along!