Not even two-years-old and what great taste she has :).
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Adding the ice cream.
Poured into the graham cracker crusts.
Spread evenly with a spatula.
Place into the freezer.
The trick with this recipe is to add the cream slightly softened, but not to let it get soupy. Just keep stirring until it's fully blended. It re-freezes much better if it doesn't liquify too much and makes for a much creamier pie. (And, this time I bought a 1.75 quart container of ice cream and prepared exactly as written).
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgivine!
Monday, November 24, 2008
The show let out at about 11:30, and being an old married couple we decided to head back to the hotel and get a good night's sleep for our last full day in the Windy City.
We were up bright and early on Saturday morning, ready to tackle a full day of shopping. Believe it or not, we had yet to buy anything. Armed with a Starbucks, we started out at the largest Forever 21 I have ever seen on Michigan Ave. It was at least 4 times the size of any Forever 21 in St. Louis, similar to an actual department store complete with a massive escalator. After walking the expanse of both floors, Josh even commented on how he couldn't believe "how freaking huge this place is". Always the doting husband, Josh relaxed for an hour and a half (!!!) while I took my time perusing the shopping mecca.
Thanking Josh for his patience, we then checked out the three-floored Banana Republic, Cole Haan and Niketown. I did a quick pass through the eight floors of Water Tower Place mall and the equally large Macy's. Oh, how I wish I'd had more time to explore further.
By 2:00 we were pretty hungry, having put nothing in our stomach but Starbucks, and headed over to Gino's East for some pizza.
What can I say except for Best. Pizza. Ever!!! Oh, how I wish we would have ordered more than a small pizza so we could have had leftovers. We each had two slices, and I can't imagine that anyone can eat more than that. As my first experience of true Chicago deep dish pizza (in Chicago) it did not disappoint - just fantastic.
We headed out of Gino's for more shopping and exploring. That's the new Trump Tower on the right.
Josh with some of our loot.
The second self-portrait of the weekend, courtesy of Josh.
We walked by Gucci, Prada, Filene's Basement and other infamous stores. I bought some shoes and we picked up a North Face jacket for Josh. At about 4:30 we decided to finally try to get up to the Signature Lounge of the John Hancock Building for a drink. Yeah...it would have been smart NOT to wait until Saturday for this one. There was a pretty big line and they weren't currently letting anyone upstairs because they were at full capacity. Guess we'll have to try again on our next trip...
So, we walked across the street to the hotel restaurant to rest our feet and unwind with a couple of cocktails. When the time came, we headed up to the room to change for dinner and grabbed a cab to David Burke's Primehouse at the James Hotel.
What a happening place! We arrived at 7:45 for our 8:00 reservation and were told they were running behind, so we headed to the bustling bar area. Thankfully, two seats opened up and we made ourselves comfortable. I knew we were in Chicago when two Grey Goose and diet sodas with lime were $24.00. Yikes! We ordered the kobe beef sliders as an appetizer, and they were YUMMY! After another half hour, our table still wasn't ready and the manager brings over a crab appetizer on the house. That was a certainly nice touch.
At about 8:45 the hostess finally comes over to seat us. To be honest, with the nice ambiance at the bar, yummy drinks and appetizers (one of those complimentary) I didn't really mind the wait. And, upon arriving at our table (a romantic booth on the edge of the room) we were greeted by our wonderfully kind and attentive server. Fresh bread was brought, salads and a bottle of wine ordered - we were content.
Josh ordered the wedge salad which he declared the best of its kind he had ever had, and I ordered the Caesar salad that was prepared tableside. We went with the sommelier's recommendation of the 2004 Napa Valley D Cubed Zinfandel - it was a great choice and complimented our steaks perfectly.
Josh ordered the bone-in filet mignon and I had the classic filet - both were fabulous. Josh enjoyed his side of mushrooms, but my side of cavatelli (which actually looked like macaroni out of a box) was only so-so. We were too stuffed for dessert. Overall, the food (the steaks and salads in particular) and atmosphere were stellar and we would definitely go back.
Ironically, the super sweet couple sitting next to us was celebrating their 17-year anniversary (as compared to our first) and they offered to take a picture of us (number three for the weekend) to document the occasion. They declared Capital Grille their favorite restaurant in Chicago for a steak (note to self for next time).
Drunk and full, we headed back to the hotel for our last night of slumber in the beautiful city.
Sunday morning we were up at 7:30, and while I was anxious to do some more shopping, nothing opened until 11:00 am. After weighing our options of killing time for the next four hours or getting a jump on our drive home we decided to head out. We drove through the quiet city on a calm Sunday morning and headed back to reality and laundry.
Chicago, I love you, and I can't wait to visit again.
Friday, November 21, 2008
We quickly changed our clothes for dinner and headed out. We decided to have drinks at Lux Bar because it looked like fun, and was very close to where we were headed for dinner. Once our reservation time arrived, we took the short walk to Carmine's for some sustenance.
What can I say about Carmine's except Oh. My. God. The food was incredible!! Thank you so much Kate for the recommendation. I would describe it as classic italian - comfortable atmosphere, hearty food and great service. And, should I mention that I think I ate a loaf of their French bread all by myself? For an entree, I had their homemade cavetelli in what was the best marinara sauce I've ever had. Josh had another pasta dish, but I was too engrossed in mine to pay much attention. Stuffed from dinner, we decided to head back to the hotel and get a good night's sleep for our first full day in the Windy City.
The next morning, I took some more pictures of our view.
A couple of the highrises nearby had some insane outdoor living spaces.
It was drizzling on Friday morning, so we decided it would be a great time to spend some time indoors. Before that, however, we needed some food. It was about 11:00 am, and both Josh and I decided we felt more like a juicy burger than breakfast food, so we headed over to The Billy Goat Tavern. What a cool place!
We parked it at the bar and learned how the ordering process works. There is a big counter behind which are the chefs. You place your order (two double cheeseburgers with bacon for us), they throw the burgers on the grill and start yelling "Cheezborger, Cheezborger" ala Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray and John Belushi.
Yeah... That might have been the best burger I've ever had. They are really thin similar to Steak n' Shake (hence the double order) on a toasted kaiser roll with crispy bacon. Just yummy!
However, the one and only disappointment about Billy Goat Tavern... They do NOT serve French fries!!! Are you kidding me!?! I cannot have a burger without French fries. Let's just put it out there, I am a French fry queen. I'll pass on the ice cream for some crispy salted fries. They are my weakness. However, despite this glaring oversight on the part of good ole Billy Goat, it was an awesome exprience. The burger more than made up for it.
Since the weather was still questionable, we decided it was the perfect time to check out some of Chicago's more cultural options, so we headed over to the Field Museum which is nothing short of gorgeous.
We were greated by some mastadons.
And, Sue, the T-Rex. She happens to be the most complete T-Rex skeleton at 90% complete. Super cool to see up close.
We spent a couple of hours walking through the various exhibits - the "Ancient Americas" and such. On our way out, Josh attempted to get (one of the few) pictures of us in the gorgeous lobby.
Luckily, a gentleman took pity on Josh straining to get a photo and offered to take one for us.
More on the rest of our trip to Chicago to come in Part Two.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Here she comes... She's on there somewhere :).
The guest of honor with my parents.
From there, we headed to the hotel to make sure everyone was bundled up for the rest of the day and evening. Then, we were off to tailgate with the rest of our friends/family who were up for the weekend. Just a note... It was about 11:00 am. The game started at 5:30 pm. That's about 6 hours of tailgating. Just keep that in mind, when viewing some of the pics below.
Towards the end of our tailgating (this is where knowledge of time is helpful), I had been taking a ton of pictures and we started having a little fun with them. We are snapping one of Josh and I with my sister and her boyfriend, when someone says "prom pictures" randomly. So we strike the "prom picture" pose.Uh...our prom picture couples train??? :)
Now, this starts a whole series of random photos and posing. We moved onto "senior pictures". Mike went first.
Jessie jumped in for one.
And, my favorite of the day. The boys posing ruggedly against the brick wall. Josh is throwing in a bit of "gangsta" flavor as well.
We were obviously feeling pretty good, and some of us decided to relive our college days by shotgunning a beer.
After copious amounts of fun and consumption, we headed off to the game.
Shooting with my zoom to the max trying to get a shot of Becky out on the field during halftime.
Mizzou killed Colorado and we left the game a smidge early to make it back to the cars. A massive dance party ensued in the middle of the parking lot, but unfortunately, I was too busy participating to get a shot of my husband's dance moves. We went out for a few more drinks before crashing after our 16 hour day.
We dragged ourselves to a Homecoming breakfast the next morning, spent some more time with family and headed back home. It was such an amazing weekend and I was so unbelievably proud of my little sister. She is one of the most focused, driven and ambitious people I've ever met. Hopefully, we'll get to do it again next year :).