1. This trio (onion, chipotle, and smoked pepper) of smoked bacon salts from The Olive Tap. I. am. obsessed. I incorporated some into my South of the Border Bacon Dip, sprinkled it on sunny-side up eggs, added it to olive oil for bread dipping, and stirred it into mayonnaise for an avocado BLT.
2. The mac ‘n’ cheese from Smoke Daddy. One of the fabulous perks of working for Thrillist is getting paid to photograph and devour incredibly delicious things, like Smoke Daddy’s ooey, gooey, smokey baked mac.
3. The Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow palette. So much shimmery, pink-y/neutral-y prettiness. I’ve been a Naked and Naked 2 loyalist for years, but this is easily my most-loved already.
4. The malted vanilla ice cream with homemade magic shell from Dillman’s. Fun fact: you can make your own magic shell with just 2 Tablespoons coconut oil and 1 cup chocolate chips! Heat ’em up in a microwaveable bowl until melted, stir, and drizzle over your ice cream of choice!
6. Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Okay, neither of these came out in January, but they were new to me in January, and that’s what counts. Netflix is killing it. With Breaking Bad gone forever and Walking Dead on hiatus, I needed new shows to binge-watch during January, and neither of these failed to impress. Queue up Netflix and make a grocery run for provisions that’ll last you a few days, because you’re not going to want to (read: be able to) stop watching.
7. This song by Justin Timberlake. I think it’s the closest JT’s ever come to country music, which is probably why I dig it as much as I do. He actually enlisted country newcomer David Fanning to cut the track, and it lends itself pretty damn perfectly to the genre. I can’t decide which version I like best…
8. The current winter menu at Sixteen. It’s not every day you’re asked to photograph a meal at a 2-star Michelin restaurant for Tasting Table, so when the opportunity presents itself, TAKE IT. Chef Lent’s menu is inspired by Chicago’s vibrant history, and includes everything from a miniature version of the iconic ferris wheel of the 1893 World’s Fair laden in savory finger foods, to an ice cream-y adaptation of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.
10. A Little Cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, mayo, and ketchup from Five Guys. When the craving hits, I give in. It usually hits once a week. So yes, I average one Five Guys burger a week. Usually on Sundays when there’s free street parking on Clybourn. Sorry I’m not sorry. I’m not stopping until it becomes a problem.
*Did you miss last month’s favorites? Check them out here!