Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Its hard to imagine it is nearly March and this is the first truly wintry afternoon we've had around here.  Our few snowfalls have come overnight this season so it was quite lovely to watch this view take shape this afternoon. Stay warm!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wall Art...

 Emma has decided to revamp her room with new art work and she is primarily focused on flooding her walls with album posters. She's picked out a few new ones (Of Monsters and Men and Death Cab for Cutie are among her favorites), but this poster also made the cut!  It means so much to Leif and me that Emma not only loves the music our friends made (make), but shares it openly with anyone who will listen.  She has a good ear and these guys should take her affection as a compliment of the highest form.
I just can't believe they are all dads now! How time flies.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kitchen Experimentation...

And it is pretty darn good, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Looking Forward to Summer...

With the application filled out and a high stress audition behind her, this girl was thrilled to learn today that she has been accepted to study here this summer...
...needless to day attending a Hubbard Street intensive is quite an honor for any young dancer!
We are super proud of our Amazing Emma Grace.

The Scared is Scared.

I caught wind of this video a while ago and fell in love with it.  
My kids fell in love with it.
And so did Leif.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Arabesque...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jambalaya 2013

For the past three years Lundi Gras has been associated with the jambalaya cook-off at FitzGerald's!  Since winning the cook-off in 2011, I have been lucky enough to score a seat at the judges table for the past two years.  It is fun to get a little shined up on a Monday night and make my isolated opinion matter in awarding a coveted chef trophy to the best cook of the night.  The offerings this year were particularly memorable and it was a dog fight among the top three for big prize!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This is what tired looks like...

He was up a 6am to make it to training in Shaumburg by 8am.  After five hours of ODP training, Finn had a nice soccer hobble on, but he loved every minute of his intense work out.  I am betting he will sleep soundly tonight!

Cozy Setting...

Last night we had a romantic dinner in our dining room.  Emma had a nice vision for her late night King of Hearts dinner and while she and her guest dined at the table, Leif, Finn and I ate delicious scraps in the kitchen a la Downton Abby.   It was such fun preparing a simple surf and turf dinner for two and I was particularly pleased with how the tenderloin and sea bass turned out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chew on this...

Last week, my friend Ang posted about her son's less than popular bubblegum sale and I just couldn't resist sending a few quarters to one of my favorite fellows in the whole wide world.  Well, my gumballs arrived today complete with a home-made thank you note.  I just love seeing my name in gold glitter.  This is the best $0.75 I've ever spent!

Week-end Musings

Don't you just love it when you have a dinner with friends on Saturday and are still thinking about how much fun you all had together on Wednesday of the following week?  I know I do!
Having a lovely meal and cocktails with Vik and Kaberi is always fun, but something about our dinner for four at Autre Monde was especially perfect!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Executive Chef Tom Lents
February 1st, 2013 

Dawn Breaking...
 Blood Orange...elder flower soda, citrus gelee. pomegranate
Harushika, Tokimeki, Sparking Sake, Nara Japan

Season's Citrus...artichoke, tarragon, spanner crab
Domaine Beatrice et Pascal Lambert, 'Rochette', Chinon Blanc, Lorie Valley France, 2007

Stillness of Ice...
Smoked Sturgeon...fennel oyster caviar
Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Himmelreich, Riesling, 2011

Diver Scallop...apple gelee, ossetra caviar, seagrass
Abbazia de Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige, Italy 2011

A White Storm...
Amadai...crispy scales, daikon, leek, and sake
Domaine Du Closel 'La Jalousie', Savenniere, France 2011

Langoustine...uni, licorice root, nori, cauliflower snow
Domaine William Fevre, Vaillons 1er Cru, Chablis, France 2010
Winter's Woods...
Truffled Roots...beluga lentils, pine cep emulsion
Oddero 'Gallina', Barbaresco, Italy 2008

Endive...foie gras curls, venison bresaola, huckleberry
Emile Beyer Pinot Gris, Cuvee de l'Hostellerie, Alsace 2009
A Welcome Homecoming...
Borscht...spiced foie gras, caraway, creme fraiche
Bressan Mastri Vinai, 'Rosantico' Moscato Rosa 2009

Raclette...coal roasted clay potatoes, onion brulee, perigord truffles
Victory Brewing Company, Golden Monkey, Triple, Pennsylvania
The Festive Table...
Rohan Duck...rye bread red cabbage, black trumpet mushrooms
Domaine Serene, Evanstad Reserve, Willamette Valley 2008

Rib of Wagyu Beef...marrow, bearnaise, yorkshire pudding
Bodegas Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Rioja, Spain 2001
A Frosted and Silent Night...
Citrus Fire...pink lemon, coconut and campari

Monte Blanc...hazelnut, chestnut, milk cloud
De L' Ancinne Cure, Monbazillac, France 2004
Nightcap by the Fireside...
Chocolate...cookie sponge, ice milk
Egg Nog Flip

Hot Chocolate...ganache, vanilla soda
Celebrating sixteen eventful years of married life
at Sixteen
over sixteen courses of artful fare
on the sixteenth floor overlooking the city we love.
A simply perfect celebration.

A gentle snow started falling during our meal and served to bring the winter metaphor inspired menu to life, but even without a single swirling snowflake the dishes at Sixteen would have remained  as close to perfect as I could have hoped for.  The langoustine and uni custard was sublime.  Days later I am still thinking about the perfectly smoked sturgeon and delicate amadai.  Even twelve course deep, with considerably full bellies,  I resisted the urge to lick the plate holding the relentlessly delicious Wagyu.  The Rioja was one of the most memorable wines I've ever tasted.  And yes, everything should come encapsulated in a milk cloud.
The Trump Hotel Chicago
401 North Wabash

* Sixteen earned one Michelin star in 2012, but I will be stunned if this fine restaurant does not acquire a coveted two star rating  with ease in 2013.  It was that good.

Friday, February 1, 2013

5840 Days...

...of wedded bliss.

This is my all time favorite picture of Leif and me.  
It was taken well over a decade ago, but I adore the special timelessness it captures.
Considering I've always had a fondness for the number 16, I thought it was only fitting to share my favorite picture of my handsome husband and me on our 16th anniversary.
I sure am a lucky girl.
Cheers to love!
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