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Saturday
Sep182010

Sweet Home Chicago: 50 Sweet Moments from a Midwest Excursion

Fact: Chicago is totally sweet. And on a recent trip there to sell artwork at the Renegade Craft Fair, I had so many sweet moments which cemented the city's status as awesome. Care to go through my vacation slideshow to hear all about it? I'll take that as a yes. Here goes: 50 sweet moments and snapshots from my trip to Chicago!

  1. The first thing I saw after getting off of the plane? Dunkin' Donuts. No matter where you are, donuts mean you're home. Vanilla Kreme? Yes please.
  2. The reasoon I was there: the Renegade Craft Fair! Dudes, dudettes, it was. Off. The. Hook. Several blocks closed down just for art! How much awesomer does it get?
  3. On the way to the craft fair, my cab driver gave me a delicious chocolate candy. Which makes the answer yes, I will take candy from strangers.
  4. Host files #1: Abbey, of AbbeyChristine. The genius behind the Ira Glass finger puppet (and so many others) I had the good fortune of staying with Abbey and her boyfriend Ben (see below). Among her other talents, Abbey has an amazingly retro-outfitted kitchen. YES!
  5. Host Files #2: which brings us to Ben. As a Chicago tour guide, Ben was amazingly informative, and when I would idly ask something like "I wonder how far away that is?" Ben would say something like "Well, because 8 blocks make a mile in Chicago, it would probably be such and such a distance". Also, we had a great conversation about CandyBlog.
  6. HOOT! Owl show at Renegade Handmade: so, I didn't win the competition, but my piece did sell, and not to brag but it was among the first to sell.
  7. The cutest 7-11 ever.
  8. Leaving love notes to this fair city.
  9. Sweet Cakes: after Leigh (Rhymes with Twee) told me two years in a row that I had to go here, I finally made good on my promise. And I wasn't let down--a delicious savory biscuit and two chocolate chip cookies (vegan!) rewarded myself and my boothmates for walking over in the rain.
  10. Best customer interaction ever: first, find out customer is from St. Paul (near where I did the mural in the bathroom at Cake Eater Bakery). Me: "have you ever been to Cake Eater Bakery?". Her "Yes!". Me: "Did you go to the bathroom??". Her (not knowing I did a mural there): "Um, no."
  11. Having a delightful dinner at a cool restaurant called Otom with cupcake royalty from Bleeding Heart Bakery, Cake Eater Bakery, and Cupcakes Take the Cake.
  12. Being surprised with a ginormous box of Swirlz Cupcakes after dinner. YES!
  13. Totally sweet: Natalie of Bake and Destroy brought me vegan chocolate peanut butter cookies. YES!
  14. Awesome overload: Natalie of Bake and Destroy returned the next day (with her cute husband and son) with MORE treats, from Angel Food Bakery.
  15. Part 1 of the "Trailer Park Special" from Angel Food Bakery: The "Airstream" (a homemade Twinkie).
  16. Part 2 of the "Trailer Park Special" from Angel Food Bakery: The "RV" (a homemade Zinger).
  17. Part 3 of the "Trailer Park Special" from Angel Food Bakery: I don't know what this was, but it was delicious: a chocolate Twinkie-shaped cake, filled with peanut butter and coated in chocolate. Oh yeah. 
  18. German chocolate cookie from Alliance Bakery! The cutest pile of poo-looking confection ever.
  19. Floriole! You were closed, but I left you a love note. 
  20. Sweet Mandy B's! You put me in a state of buttercream bliss.
  21. Adorable: a "recipe" in the window at Sweet Mandy B's.
  22. A drive-by at Molly's Cupcakes. Didn't get anything, but saw that they had peach cobbler cupcakes (!). 
  23. Cotton candy shortbread from Phoebe's Cupcakes. Le nom.
  24. Unfortunately they weren't open, but I got a beefcake contact high from Meatloaf Bakery.
  25. Not cake, but hilarious: POSTAL POLICE!
  26. More Cupcakes: delicious cocktail flavors, on the day I went. Took a walk with the Margarita cupcake. Margarita cupcake didn't make it home.
  27. The bakery case at Milk & Honey (where I hear the granola is fab).
  28. Me and a celebrity: Michelle from Bleeding Heart Bakery!
  29. This girl, who is possibly my new hero.
  30. Better than the White House: House of Fine Chocolates.
  31. Homemade funfetti! From Phoebe's Cupcakes
  32. The most beautiful word (as sighted in a flyer from Sweet Mandy B's)
  33. Another beautiful word: as seen in the window at Bleeding Heart Bakery.
  34. Totally awesome coffee from Intelligentsia.
  35. Sweet visitor to booth: Jessica from MO!
  36. Spied at Whole Foods: Jennie and Vera's cookies!
  37. Sweet visitor: Kelly!
  38. This has nothing to do with cake, but I want to point out that I found these tattoos in a magazine. Yes, someone has these Law and Order tattoos on their body. How I wish I could meet that person.
  39. Sweet regret: I was not able to visit Fritz Pastry, but I look forward to saying hi next time!
  40. Sweet visitor: Tamara!
  41. Sightings like this truck.
  42. Scooter's wasn't open on Monday when I walked by, but I did pause to dream about their "Coconut Cream Pie" - Vanilla Custard, Coconut, Graham Cracker Pie Crust blended and topped with whipped cream.
  43. I did, however, get to sample Black Dog Gelato.
  44. Stopped at the retail Threadless Store, home to so many sweet tees!
  45. So sad: I missed Bethany, but did enjoy the artwork of her buddies Shawnimals.
  46. How happy do these frosted cookies (from Sweet Mandy B's) make you?
  47. Yay for sweet signs on the street.
  48. Sweet celebrity sighting: I got to catch up with the lovely and amazing Lucy and Ryan Berkley.
  49. Totally got a tattoo with Sheela. Yes, it involves a baked good. No, I'm not going to show you.
  50. Having very sweet dreams upon returning (exhausted, but exhilarated) home. Seeya next year, Chicago!

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Reader Comments (7)

OMG - friend you had an amazing time - I love your life!!! you are awesome!!!!

September 18 | Unregistered Commenternicole

OMG Jessie! These are awesome. I have a the best sugar rush just by seeing this. And I want your metabolistm. And when I have a baby, I'll cover his/her room walls with your pieces. They will make him/her grow happy, I'm 100% sure <3

So enjoyed this post! Glad to see you have a wonderful time.

xoxo

September 18 | Unregistered CommenterValentina

Sheesh, you were pretty busy. Thank you for taking so many pictures and sharing your visits with us.

September 18 | Unregistered Commenterjean

Wow !
I wanted to go to the Renegade Event but due to a bunch of conflicts it wasn't in the cards. You are the meaning of energizer bunny.

September 18 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I'm just seeing this now! Your post makes me really happy that our city wins your baked goods approval! :) I'm glad you liked Sweet Cakes. Maybe next year you will try The Egg!

September 20 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Kelsey

Jessie-
Had I known you were on such a baked goods quest, I would have given you more ideas! I have loads of suggestions when it comes to cupcakes... you definitely hit a lot of favorites, though (Sweet Mandy B's and Bleeding Heart being amongst them!).

September 21 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I was so happy we ran into you there! Almost as happy as I was to read that someone else is in love with Vanilla Kreme donuts. (Why don't they have them at every location?!) I still haven't been to Sweet Mandy B's so I think that will be my next Chicago cupcake stop. We did visit Bleeding Heart this time around and their butter-poached-apple-caramel is too delicious for words. Yes!

September 23 | Unregistered CommenterCatie
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