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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Go Time, People

So, Blackberry Market, my dear friend Anna Davidson's dream, is nearing reality.  She just finished catering a lunch for 150 last Saturday.

With one week's notice.

And the hostess called her THE NIGHT BEFORE upping the number from 100 to 150.  She did it, flawlessly.

We are hopefully six-ish weeks away from opening in early December.  Here's the video Anna and Bob put together about the concept and what it will be, check it out and join in as you feel called!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Images of Summer

Despite my lack of blogging, we've done quite a few things this summer:

Sam ranks as one of the cutest ring bearers ever, along with his adorable cousin Avery as the flower girl.  They are professionals at this point, and yes, they do hire out.

 We headed north on a visit to my cousin Linnea's lakehouse, here on an evening walk/impromptu photo shoot with her sister, my uber-talented, photographer-cousin Anita,

                                      Everyone enjoys their own drink at the cozy Lake Geneva Starbucks one cool Saturday morning

Sam "catches" his largest fish ever, managing not to touch the worm, hook, or fish.

The third annual, men-only camp out in the backyard...(Charlotte snuck in for some marshmallows)

A family adventure to Millennium Park, thankfully sans tornado's this time, listening to Beethoven's 5th on a perfect summer evening.

Sam begins to ride a bike without training wheels....

Scott and I sneak away to celebrate his birthday up in at Kohler, WI where Scott plays golf with some sheep...  

...for real. 

And Grandma Nancy snaps one of the only pictures of all four of us taken this summer with her iPhone.  Thank goodness for Grandmas!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wild Rice Chicken Salad

So I just got this AWESOME recipe from one of my dearest friends and a great cook, Kathy Bushong.  She made this for my fabulous wedding shower...almost 10 years ago.  I've made it today for a potluck lunch for our ladies bible study tomorrow.  Here's my version with a few additions:

Kathy Bushong's Wild Rice Chicken Salad
1 box long grain and wild rice (Zatarain's is best for this, Jewel carries it); prepared and cooled
1 cup low fat Hellmen's mayo
2 cups champagne grapes (or red grapes, halved)
3 cups shredded and/or chopped rotisserie chicken with the juice from half a lemon squeezed over it
4 stalks celery, diced small
1 cup chopped toasted, salted pecans (Trader Joe's has good ones)
1/4 cup italian parsley, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine everything the day before you intend to serve, the salad should be nicely chilled.  One recipe feeds about seven people, you can put a serving in a little Boston lettuce leaf and throw a mini fresh croissant (also from Trader Joes) on the side for a lovely lunch!

Also, with this you can add or subtract more of anything...more celery to stretch it further, less or a different kind of nut, dried cranberries or currants instead of grapes....the possibilities are just about endless!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And So It Begins

We had our first visit to Kindergarten today.  My first born has started on his unstoppable journey of growing up, growing away from me and into his own, independent person.  I look at this picture and it takes my breath away at how fast it all will go, how packing him up to go to college is just around the corner.  Well, practically.  

Thankfully, he loved it.  His teacher is amazing; organized, warm and has four boys of her own.  We love her already.  And then Sam discovered a massive box of legos in the corner of the classroom and never wanted to leave.  I don't think we will have any problems when the REAL drop off comes tomorrow.  I will still wear sunglasses though, in case I'm crying out of nostalgia. 

We attempted to make signs like so many people did on Facebook this morning, but neither kid really knew how to hold them nicely.  That's ok, I'm sure you can figure out he's in Kindergarten and she is 2, wishing she was going as well...

We fought this morning over his outfit, he claimed I was dressing him in "church clothes."  If left to his own, see below for his personal taste in outfits:

Yes, those are my ballet flats.  Yes those are his jammies.  And yes, that is a two year old Pull Up on his head.  

Rebekah, thanks again for the blow up punching bag and mitts.  

You'll never know how grateful I am.  Ahem.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Absurdly Excited about This

Now I just have to fight the urge to hoard the coupon for six months.  Thanks friends at Starbucks!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Sam turned five!  Surprise!  And guess what, it was months ago.  Sorry about the lack of posting this year, been a bit of a failure in the area of writing.  He was woken up with our traditional birthday breakfast tray, singing and his presents...

followed by a fun day at the pool with an Angry Birds themed cake.  I am super proud of myself on this one, those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to decorating.  How it tastes is the most important thing in my book, all else falls far behind.  That philosophy does not lend itself well to children's birthday cakes, however.  

Classic Charlotte Face.  And Sam got to use the catapult to knock down the little tower after we sang.  Please note the Lego shaped candles as well.  It's another obsession of his at the moment.

My cost savvy table decorations. 

Happy Birthday Sam!  You are loved by many, hope it's a great year for you honey!

Sunday, August 05, 2012


I think she was confused between an iPad and the desktop.  Rocking the big girl pony tail though!

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Precious" moment

Here I was, moments ago, holding a clean, pajama-ed Charlotte in my arms.  The lights are low, her music is playing and she's all ready for bed.  We are in her rocking chair, rocking and talking about her day, telling each other what made us feel happy, sad, etc.

I look down into her big blue eyes, she sucks her fingers and gazes up at me.

"I love you sweet heart."

A moment of silence.  Twila Paris croons from the CD player.  Charlotte removes the fingers from her mouth.

"I yuv you too, Poopy-Diaper face."

Friday, May 25, 2012


For whatever reason, this name tends to get called out by one of my two offspring multiple times a day...I suppose it shouldn't have been a surprise that they both donned them as hats one Friday morning at Starbucks.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adventures in Food

So one of the other things I've been dabbling in lately is helping my friend, Anna Davidson, with a few catering jobs here and there.  She, in my opinion, is brilliant.  Anna already is an established professional baker and a creative cook, it has been so much fun to watch as she takes on larger jobs.  I just like hanging around her, learning tricks of the trade and being part of the process.  

Early this month, we (mostly she, I just followed minor orders) did two first communion lunches for sixty people at two different homes one weekend, and then the following weekend, a Cinco de Mayo party for eighty(!) at a woman's house in Hinsdale.  Here are some of the items we made...hope they make you salivate:

Mini chipotle burgers with caramelized onions and arugula on homemade buns

Anna made a total of 96 cupcakes: red velvet, chocolate, vanilla, lemon chiffon and my personal favorite, peanut butter frosting over chocolate cake

Chicken nachos with fresh tomato salsa, beef skewers with two dipping sauces, grilled shrimp skewers...

A delicious avocado salsa, full of bright lime flavor

Southwestern chicken nachos, another favorite

Roasted sweet potato salad with corn, black bean and roasted red peppers

I want this.  Now.  The frosting is indescribably delicious, and the chocolate cake is super moist and rich.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mother's Day

Well hello there, somebody's been completely absent, haven't they?  Blogging is a funny thing, I told myself that I didn't care who was reading but that I'd only write when I felt like it...and then life took over.  We have been busy enough that sitting down and blogging on our seven year old mac (that took 47 minutes to upload pictures on) was a chore.  

So I haven't.  

But now it's sounding good again.  So if anyone is still out here, hi.  Here are a couple pictures from our day in Chicago last weekend.  Scott let me pick whatever I wanted to do with the day: breakfast at Lou Mitchell's where the kids experienced their first box of milkdud's (at 9 am in the morning), prunes in bowls before the meal and "Mitchell Mouse pancakes."  It was hilarious, and is now Sam's favorite restaurant.  

Then we went to church, and Fox and Obel afterwards to grab the makings of a picnic lunch.  Practically adjacent to the store is a branch of the Chicago River, and some really cool fountains.  It's a neat place to sit on a bench and watch your kids chase pigeons, as they intermittedly try to feed the birds pieces of a $3.50 creme brûlée tart.  So glad I bought that.  Not.

Last, we landed at Millennium Park, wandered under the Bean, through the gigantic face fountains, and planted ourselves in the green grass lawn to play football, tickle, giggle and eat really good bread.

It was the perfect day, thank you honey!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ringbearer, part 2

So remember last September when I told you Sam was going to be a ring bearer?  Here's some pictures from Ally's wedding to show you how it turned out.  

Much to my delight, he made it down the aisle, only breaking into a trot/run twice.  The smile on his face was precious, so happy and excited to be part of it all, and eager to see his beloved "Ally Voigt" as a bride.

And then we couldn't get either of them off the dance floor.  It was a wonderful night.   

Thank you Ally for sharing these!

Monday, January 30, 2012

One of my Favorite Things

"Cake and Shake" dessert at mk restaurant in Chicago, on Franklin.  It's a mini vanilla malt and three layer piece of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.  

Last seen: January 21st, on its way down into my stomach.  Thanks Stacy for joining me!

Go there.  Sit in the bar area if you don't want to commit to a reservation.  Lots of street parking on Franklin, can't go wrong with anything on the dessert menu.  Or the regular menu, for that matter.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Chuckle from Sam

This happened last week when Scott's parent's were babysitting.  Thank goodness we already have him going in pee wee sports...

Dad: "So Sam did you play basketball with Grandpa and Grandma today?"

Sam: "Yes, I beat them."

Dad: "Well were you a good boy and did you play nice?"

Sam: "Yes, I started at 40 and they started at 0."

Dad: "That doesn't seem fair."

Sam:  "Well I score some baskets when they weren't playing...some double baskets..."

Love the competitive spirit, my son, but we need to work on your honesty.