Archive | November, 2011

Occupy LaSalle & Jackson

30 Nov

Unsurprisingly, Chicago has not made a big thing of the Occupy movement.   Here it is – kind of.

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Thinking Of George Harrison

29 Nov

Today is the tenth anniversary of George Harrison’s death.  This is Gary Wright performing “Dream Weaver,” the lyrics of which were inspired by literature George gave to Gary when they were in India.

[VideoCredit: RichardAllStarBand]

More Gary Wright remembering George on this website, too.

I love The Beatles because George.

Small Town Flying

28 Nov

Flying out of Great Falls, Montana, you can leave the house at 4:58 a.m. to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight. 

And your hunting dog comes along for the ride.The aesthetic in the airport says a lot about what life is like. 

A layover in Minneapolis (Minnesota!) says as much, too.And, finally, home.  Helicopters (not pictured) hovering just overhead for Maggie Daley’s funeral.  Streets empty.  Sad day.

BBQ And Battlestar Galactica

27 Nov

Smoque BBQ is out of this world.  It typically goes down like this: you wait in line outside (snow or otherwise) for 45 minutes or so.  You order your food from a counter.  It is called out to you.  You find a seat at a picnic table – if one opens up.  People stare at you as you eat.  They would like you to leave so they can sit down with their food.  And it’s fabulous.  The food is so worth all of that.  Best barbecue in Chicago.

With that said, Abe and I have made a pact to never wait in line.  Bars, restaurants or otherwise – no fun.  Smoque included.  Instead, we devised a plan.  I highly recommend it.

Call in your order in advance.  They have specific ready times for call in orders.  We watched football until it was time to pick up our food.  I took a picture of the line, which wrapped around the side of the building, while Abe ran in and got our food. 

We ate pulled brisket on a soft roll

and meaty, spiced baby back ribs

with sides of macaroni and cheese and coleslaw.  All in the comfort of our own home, where I get a seat every time.  Delicious.

Smoque pairs well with Sundays and Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi is not particularly compelling for me but this show came highly recommended from several trusted sources (again and again until we agreed to watch).  And it’s actually much better than expected.  I kind of like it.)

Happy Sunday.

Thanksgiving Recipe (Arguably) For Everyday

26 Nov

In addition to this Cipollini Onion and Sweet Cream Cheese dish, Abe specifically requested macaroni and cheese as one of our Thanksgiving side dishes.  I don’t make macaroni and cheese very often – it’s a little indulgent, I suppose – but it is one of my favorite comfort foods.  The secret to this recipe is to let the herbs and onion steep in the milk and cream.  The beer gives the sauce a rich base.  The selections of cheddar are important, too (a sharp yellow and an aged white, plus some grated Parmesan).  The cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta makes it special.  This was a Thanksgiving highlight (for some, anyway – Abe’s sweet Grandma Jeanne said she could take it or leave it – she preferred the pretzel salad (pretzels, jello, and cool whip – so love her!).

Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped into 6-8 large pieces

1 bundle each of thyme, rosemary, dill, and chives

1/2 cup of dark beer

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

3 cups of 2% milk

2 cups of grated sharp yellow cheddar

1 cup of grated aged white cheddar

3-4 tablespoons of good quality grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

5-7 cups of cooked cavatappi

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan.  Add onion and herbs.  Saute 2-3 minutes, until onion softens slightly.  Add beer and continue to saute until beer reduces completely.  Add cream and milk.  Turn the heat to medium and allow onion and herbs to infuse (approximately 10 minutes).  When the milk mixture has taken on the flavor of the herbs and onion, strain the herbs and onion and return the milk mixture to the stove on medium.  Stir in the cheese until the sauce is thick and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently stir until the noodles are well dressed in the cheese sauce.  (Here, you could transfer this to a baking dish, cover with Panko bread crumbs, and broil until the bread crumbs browned.  I skipped this step for the convenience of the 10 or so other chefs in the school-cafeteria-turned-Moore-family-kitchen where we cooked for nearly 50 people – so much fun.)

I have to admit the photo reveal for this recipe is not up to the standards of Professional Chicks.  (Here is a picture of some lasagna to redeem myself.)  But it was the best I could do with school cafeteria lighting, a plastic green bowl, a lunch-lady serving utensil, and my iPhone.  Such a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Skype

25 Nov

I don’t know about you, but I have a Skype date with a bespectacled little niece!

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

Have the best day!

[Picture Credit: bromleyeastcs.org]

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