Thursday, April 30, 2009

DD&D and The Depot

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is one of my favorite Food Network Shows and that has a great deal to do with the show's host, Guy Fieri. I have been watching his career develop since he won Next Food Network Star and let me just say the guy has found his niche!
Don't judge me, but I think I have a little crush on the guy. I love that he traipses all over the United States seeking out greasy spoon diners while celebrating the passionate folks running them. I love love love his sense of humor and speaking style...goodness his facial hair does not even bother me!
My friend Tee and I headed over to The Depot to grab a bite to eat late this morning and found this sign out front...

I won't lie, we had heard that the show was taping at The Depot over the week-end and someone let it slip that they may be back today to finish up the filming, but we had no idea what time or what would be going on. We so picked the right time to swing by!

Tee and I watched the show tape the cooking and tasting of The Depot's famous donuts and mocha...

As soon as the taping finished the film crew ushered folks to various tables in the restaurant and Tee and I unexpectedly found ourselves at the counter...we ordered soup and an omelet After Tee spoke to Guy and one of the producers we were told to "eat slowly" because we were going to be interviewed! They spent a good deal of time filming the room and food was parading out of the kitchen...two bowls of Chicken Noodle Soup, a Bacon and Onion Omelet, an open faced turkey sandwich, about 12 cups of coffee and two orders of donuts and mocha later we had experienced our 15 minutes of fame! I was filmed eating my soup for what seemed like an eternity and frankly eating soup under pressure is harder than you think. During the interview Tee spoke so eloquently I am pretty sure I will get edited out, but I don't care...it was just amazing.

Oh and look at me and my Guy...

The little diner we were trying to save has suddenly hit the big time. The producers mentioned that we should all eat there as much as we can in the next couple of months because things will be different there once the episode airs!
Personally, I was touched that the owner comped our lunch because of the on camera comments we made...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alarming

Well my heart just stopped pounding in my chest...
Today I was putting together packets for students at Finn's school and the fire alarm went off!
I was suddenly reminded why children practice being calm during fire drills; they are a loud and chaotic school scenario! I admit I froze and panicked just a little...and frankly that isn't the best choice when you are carrying a load of 340 paper packets that could go up in smoke in a split second. Honestly I think the packet posse were the last people out of the school, but on the upside the kids were all calm cool and collected.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Foodie Tip: Grocery Store Dangers

I was doing a little reading today and often (when I am not obsessing over the trials of Bella, Edward, and Jacob) my selections are food related...shocking I know.

I admit I have become quite fascinated by the Eat This Not That phenomenon sweeping the nation. I love the friendly format of the book; it is filled with bright color photos and easy justifications for banishing certain foods from civilization. I never buy half the foods in the book, but find myself riveted by the fact a chemical laden Marie Calendar's Parmesan Pot Pie shares the nutritional equivalents of eating 8 small bags of potato chips, 23 strips of bacon, and 7 Taco Bell Fresco Beef Tacos. Yuck.

Read the cereal page and suddenly Raisin Bran is a dangerous commodity and as it turns out Life is a bad life choice. Cheerios, of course, are as perfect as we always suspected. This book makes certain foods look like little ticking time bombs on their fluorescent lit shelves. Be suspicious.

For me, however, the most shocking information contained in this little good versus evil bible of food can be found in a table on page 6..."The Wrong Kind of Protein: The little "bonus" ingredients the FDA allows in your food." According to FDA regulations canned pineapple can legally contain up to 20% moldy fruit, canned tomatoes can contain up to 5 fly eggs or two maggots per 500 grams, potato chips can contain up to 6% rotten potatoes, ground cinnamon can contain 400 insect fragments and 11 rodent hairs per 50 grams...and on and on. It strikes me as odd that I can get a citation for leaving sticks in my alley or having water in the saucers of my flowerpots, but if I find mites in my frozen broccoli I should turn a blind eye.

There is so much hysterical information in this little book I am not sure what to do with it all, but I think it may be time to take up farming...because going to the grocery store is scary.

I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of allowing any number of rat pellets in my popcorn.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tucked in.

Honor Fare

This afternoon took me to an event celebrating an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
I put together a series of appetizers and a nice buffet.
One lovely aspect of the day was hanging out with SGill and LB and bumping into a bunch of great people I knew attending the event.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spur of the moment.

We had a little impromptu cook out yesterday evening...super casual burgers, salad, and roasted potatoes...with a bunch of great friends and neighbors.
Everyone was in great spirits and conversation was flowing freely...at one point pretty late in the evening our friend Dejan, while deep in conversation with a couple of friends and Leif, commented,
"Look I am probably the person furthest to the left on this deck. I am a communist raised, socialist leaning, leftist voting man sitting on this republican built deck."

I have to admit our gorgeous deck was built by very conservative gentleman, but in that moment I loved all the crazy people in my life just a little more! I mean how many folks do you know who could let a statement like that fly without a moment of hesitation?
I love my life and hope for many more amazing conversations this summer!

Hosed

An eighty degree Friday after flurries on Monday was inexplicably divine. The kids threw on their suits and played with the hose. Everyone says our new back yard needs a hot tub...personally I LOVE Finn's version!

Emma filmed this video of Finn experimenting with our new hose...enjoy!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Savasana

Yoga refers to a union between body, mind, and spirit.
My practice today was much needed, at times challenging and the resulting savasana was one of the best I've ever experienced.
There is something all together blissful about being still after an hour or so of such thoughtful and intentional movement...you lie there sinking into the floor...your mind oddly quiet as you absorb the benefits of class.
It was simply the highlight of my day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tasting


Last night I held one of my favorite meetings of the year!
The tasting night for the staff appreciation lunch is always a laughter filled evening with energy to spare and last night was no exception.
I have run this particular committee for the past six years and we are heading into our 7th year with a 1950's diner theme.
At the tasting meeting we always have many delightful dishes and last night the micro burgers, fried green beans, mac n' cheese, tuna melts, red velvet cake, and banana cream pie were all divine!

I think we are well on our way to showing Irving's hard working staff how grateful we are for all they do for our kids!

Thanks to everyone who attended and for all your hard work...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Deja vu?

What is up with soccer in Elgin?
Is seems like every time we play there we are soaking wet!
The first game of Finn's spring season ended in a victory and the "wee man" had a couple of nice assisits and a few pretty sweet passes.

Touch the Heart

Dim Sum literally translates to "touch the heart."
What better way to start a day to share a breakfast with people who touch your heart...
A rainy and wet Sunday morning took us to Chinatown. We have literally been talking about sharing a dim sum outing with our friends the Shad4 for over two years! None of them had been to breakfast in Chinatown before and they were very enthusiastic about their maiden voyage. Once we had them all oriented to the "don't ask don't tell" aspects of the meal Jshad was feeling confident and started ordering...thanks for the eggplant; that was a first for us! Oh and the noodles Cshad selected were my favorite dish of the day!
Maybe be should start talking about our next outing now...at least we'll get there by 2012!



Salad

Look at this amazing salad my friend Amy brought over on Saturday!
I really want this recipe...gorgeous and delicious!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Late Celebration

We totally owed Finn a birthday party, but our schedules were very tricky around his March 9th birthday with the Momenta shows, but tonight we made good on our promise!Better late than never!
All four boys loved their Indiana Jones movie party.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In the Art Show

Finn's art work was selected to be part of a display about things that were good and bad for the environment. Today Leif and I headed over to the library to check out his piece.
Finn is a proud young artist!

What a difference!



This yard is screaming for the first cook out of the season!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Scope Creep

Okay when we put in our new deck last year we did not realize our entire yard would suffer. My friend and major home improvement veteran, Design Junkie, informed me we were experiencing what is referred to as "scope creep." He took on a kitchen remodel ended up replacing his laundry room ceiling; it was an additional and unexpected project resulting from issues stemming from the original scope of work. Our resulting grassless plantless and generally greenless yard was our unexpected project...not to mention the entire area was studded with glass shards. We had a few people over last fall just to christen our new deck and young C of the Pfour kept handing over bits of glass saying, "Me no bleed."
To solve our creep issue we contacted Colleen Hulen of Hulen Landscaping and
while her amazing crew still needs to come back tomorrow to finish the planting and mulching I just couldn't resist sharing the early results!

We can't believe this is our yard! We think it looks like a sweet little putting green.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

FYI...

Here is what I learned today.
Do not mix the lovely hyacinths above with the creature below. Period.

Easter Images

The Egg heads woke up bright and early on Easter morning to hunt for hidden eggs and the elusive Easter basket. After a quiet morning at home we headed to my parents house for a lovely lunch. Leif's mom was able to join in on the festivities and we all had a relaxing and enjoyable day!
Thanks Mom and Dad.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Egg Heads

A Good Friday

Holy Saturday is meant to be a day of quiet reflection and I am happy to reflect on recent events; we had a good Friday.
We were invited to our friends house for homemade pizza. Our friends, Jim and Sue have a welcoming home on any day, but add in lovely wines and a slow parade of thoughtfully prepared creative pizzas and the environment is undeniably near perfect.
I love it when people cook for me and Sue went for it...big time. Her homemade crust is divine and the toppings she selected were not shy...I am going to steal from her for sure!
The Matthew
Goat Cheese, Leek, Chilies, and Chive
The Mark
Smoked Gouda and Port Mushrooms with Thyme and Coarse Salt
The Luke
Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Mozzarella, and Kalamata Olive
with a Parsley Caper Lemon Drizzle
The John
Roasted Beet, Gruyere, Walnut, and Fresh Arugula
I think the beet was my favorite, but each and every pizza had it's place last night!
Just when I thought things couldn't get more memorable Jim and Sue's daughter and her friend started singing for us...
E and V played some Bob Dylan, a little Suzanne Vega and topped it all off with a sweet version of Moon River. It was all too much in the best way...these lovely ladies can sing. Especially Miss E, who has a folksy Dolores O' Riordan lilt to her voice and all the personality to back it up.
Amen to all that.

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