Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dillo Day (er, Memorial Day) Weekend

Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! It was mad hot here in Chicagoland on Sunday and Monday. I went into work yesterday, but mainly I did so for the air conditioning. I told this to my advisor, who thought it was hilarious. I booked my SEM time smack in the middle of the afternoon so that I could hang out in the frigid EPIC microscope rooms. Best idea ever.

In addition to Memorial Day, it was also the infamous Dillo Day on Northwestern's campus this past Saturday. I still don't quite understand the origin of Dillo Day, even though I've read the Wikipedia article on it, and thus, clearly, I should know all about it. Anyway, it is basically an excuse for the undergrads to drink a lot and be rowdy. The undergrads are entertaining, but I think my favorite moment of the observation of the rowdiness was the entrepreneurial kids who decided to open a lemonade stand on the street leading to campus to catch all of the inebriated, dehydrated undergrads en route to the Lakefill. They even had Red Bull and water as the day went on. These kids are going to make it big one day. I look forward to their future business ventures.

The Dillo Day concert lineup was a little unimpressive this year. We tried to go see Cold War Kids, but the storminess of the morning had caused quite a tizzy, meaning that the first act hadn't played. Thus, they hadn't opened the gate, and the line was absurd, so we decided to come back and start up the grill a little bit earlier than planned. I'll never argue with earlier grilling.

We finally make it to the Lakefill later in the day to see some of Reel Big Fish's set. They were a bit aged but still put on a nice show. Having these guys in the lineup was definitely more for the grad students than the undergrads. Pretty sure some of them weren't born yet when these guys were popular.

Reel Big Fish playing for a sea of undergrads (see what I did there? Bam.)

After weeks of walking by I Dream of Sweets on my way to campus, I FINALLY got my hands on the famed Dillo Day cupcake that I had mentioned a few posts ago on my way back from the concert. It got a little squashed, but look at the cute chocolate frosting armadillo! Eeee! So adorable. The cake was very caramel-y (and as my friend Kayla mentioned, smelled kind of like maple syrup, in a good way) and moist. Thumbs up!

Dillo Day cupcake! Om nom nom.

Overall, I did a good bit of baking/cooking this weekend. Andy had reign over the grill and made some delicious grilled pineapple (thanks to a stroke of genius by our friend Adam), brats, burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs. I made baked oatmeal with blueberries and bananas for breakfast along with some chocolate chip cupcakes. The oatmeal was awesome, not too tricky, and pretty good for you, so it's a definitely make again recipe. I bet it would be awesome with other berries, too! For later in the day, I made this taco dip, which I made again on Sunday for another BBQ (which was on the roof of a 43 story building in Lincoln Park. Amazing views!). One can never have too much taco dip. Mwahaha. Also, in preparation for breakfast and burgers, we bought four pounds of bacon at Costco, cooked one pound, had another pound of bacon brought to our apartment by Kayla. Meaning that we still have three pounds of bacon left at our apartment. Problem? I think not. Awesome? Definitely. 

While I've had a lot of kitchen success lately, I sadly had a bit of a snafu with a cupcake experiment, too. Andy's mom had given me a bunch of mini ice cream cones left over from the graduation at Case last weekend. I thought, hmm, what if I made cupcakes...but made them INSIDE the ice cream cones?! I was not the only one on the internet who had thought of this, apparently, as there are myriad pages devoted to this very topic. However, as you can sort of see in the picture, some of the cupcakes rose nicely while most of them kind of sunk back into the cone, uncooked. I tried baking them longer, baking them again, baking them at a higher temperature but to no avail. I used Betty Crocker yellow cake with pudding in the batter. Maybe I needed the cake mix without the pudding? Or maybe I'll make my own next time? Meh, I guess you can't win them all. I'll definitely try it again, though. The idea is too cute!

They had such potential. 

Inspired by another Costco purchase of medjool dates, I'm planning on experimenting with making my own homemade Larabars this week. I love, love, love these things and would eat them all the time when I worked at Whole Foods Market, but the habit can get kind of pricey after awhile. Thus, I decided to get creative. I'll report back on my findings in the next post or two!

Hopefully, the weather will cool off was the week progresses. I'll take wearing a sweatshirt inside to sweating buckets outside any day. Cheers until next time!


  1. Thanks for hosting such an awesome BBQ. Loved the taco dip! I'm sad I missed out on the Dillo Day cupcakes...next year!

    1. Glad you had fun! I think that taco dip is going to be one of my go-to dishes for potluck-y situations!