Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kitchen Experimentation...

"Sweet Green Pea Custard with Chives and King Crab"

Signs of Spring...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday on the Pitch...

 Win, lose or draw it is always fun to watch Finn's team play on the turf field at Dominican University!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Songs of Hope and Struggle...

I am pretty well versed in the fundraising arena and very little captivates or surprises me about common community benefit events these days, but Songs of Hope and Struggle was about as inspiring as a fundraiser can get! Prevail (formerly Walk-In Ministry) provides assistance to families in times of crisis. The find solutions for immediate basic needs that often help sustain the future of Prevail clients. Their benefit, featuring songs of hope and struggle sung by the talented Ella Gill and accompanied by the gifted violinist, Scott Daniel, captured the spirit of their mission perfectly.  Jake Shadrake even made a surprise appearance when he sang back-up vocals on several songs.  My guests ranged in age from 13-80 and each of us had a marvelous time!  FitzGerald's was packed and the standing room only crowd noshed on boxed dinners and soft pretzels while these high school aged entertainers made some seriously beautiful music.  It was an enchanting evening to say the least!

Sandwich Assembly Line...

 Yesterday, a group of hardworking ladies and I helped assemble more than 200 sandwiches for the Prevail benefit call Songs of Hope and Struggle.  We whipped up feta,hummus, cucumber and red pepper sandwhiches, turkey, cranberry and arugula sandwiches, and pork, apple butter and Gruyere sandwiches by the boat load!  After being wrapped up with paper and twine they were transported to FitzGerald's to be boxed up for distribution.  This was a fun little cooking project that reminded me a little bit of a quilting bee!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


For those of who wondered what Emma's last wood shop project is used for...it is an oven puller.  I am happy to report that she gifted us her most recent project this week.  I think it is super cool that the girl in the picture made the frame! Emma sees all the flaws in her work, but I totally love it and her teacher even took a picture of it.  Apparently students don't jump at the chance to do in-lay work very often.  Emma signed up for advanced wood shop next year so we are sure to have quite a collection of her work in no time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Emma performed with Orchesis this week-end and my parents came down for the Sunday matinee.    Before we headed to the highschool Nancy joined us for lunch with my parents.  After seeing the delights offered at Nan's Southern Kitchen in January, my parents have wanted me to whip up a batch of chicken and waffles for them, too.  I was happy to do so and we all think Nancy said she stopped by to chat with my parents, but REALLY just wanted some more chicken and waffles.  Poor Ed slurped cardboard box colored lentil soup through a straw while we ate like kings.  The Tillotsons, Patty, her grand-kids, Sebastian and his mom met our merry band at the shows.  We were a full and happy heard!  I can't remember the last time our week-end was so full of fun folks!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week-end Portraits...

 This week-end some of our favorite folks came in for a visit!  Ed and Miles were able to take in a Fire game with Finn and Leif and I was lucky enough take a few portraits of Miles on Sunday.  Ed recently broke his jaw and his mouth is wired shut while it heals.  I just couldn't resist taking his portrait, too!  There is nothing like a week-end filled with friends to make time fly; it felt like our time together was just too darn short!

Friday, April 19, 2013


In a day and age when less than 5% of women consider themselves beautiful, I thought this project was utterly fascinating.  Ladies, watch it and see if you feel any differently about yourself after you do.
I know I sure did.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grass Roots Soccer Academy

Two weeks ago Finn was invited to participate in Grass Roots Soccer Academy's fun day at Thatcher Woods.  He has been participating in these worthwhile clinics and camps for years and was thrilled to be part of GRSA's video projects.  Check out the video below and visit their website to sign up for a clinic or summer camp!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday on the Pitch...

 Temperatures were in the 70's today and Finn played his soccer game right down the street from our house.  Finn was happy to be on the pitch and it felt great to take in a game and soak up some sun at the same time!

Signs of Spring...

 In the pod...
...and on the plate.

Dinner Guest...

I make no secret when it comes to my love for creative people and certain dinner guests who find their way to my family table capture the spirit of the evening and reflect it back to me with notable kindness.  The very talented musician,  Ingrid Graudins, snapped and shared these photos with me and even referred to my space as a "nurturing dragonfly's nest."  She is kind to animals, keeps laughter alive, and clearly knows how to live in the moment.  Ingrid has a welcome place at my table anytime!

Monday, April 8, 2013


 Gremolata is traditionally made with parsley, lemon zest and garlic and finishes off an iconic Italian veal shank dish called Ossobuco, but I love the concept of having a raw garnish at the ready to finish off a variety of dishes.  This week-end I made a lovely gremolata with orange zest, Italian parsley, fresh rosemary, and garlic that topped off a batch of grilled baby lamb chops in style!
Orange-Rosemary Gremolata
Nothing about this recipe is specific; feel free to amp up the quanities of certain ingredients according to your personal tastes.  Just make sure not to add too much rosemary to the mix or you'll risk over powering the dish. 

2 Oranges
1 Bunch of Italian parsley, stems removed
4 Sprigs of rosemary
6 Garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Using a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the oranges taking care to leave behind the white pith.  Finely chop the zest with a chef's knife.  Chop the parsley leaves and rosemary needles and combine with the chopped zest on the cutting board.  Mince the garlic cloves and incorporate with the other ingredients on the cutting board.  Run the knife through the gremolata in ingredients to combine.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper and transfer to a glass jar. Moisten with olive oil and store in the refrigerator.  Use as a topping for grilled lamb chops or chicken.

Tasty Week-End Treats...

 Samosa Cups with Tamarind, Raita, Peas, Curry and Garam Masala
 Sockeye-Rye Smorbord with tarragon crema, asparagus, romaine, chives, and honey
Sesame Crusted Ahi with pickles and wasabi crema on gow gee crisp

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What is it?

Any Guesses?

Here are some clues...
1. Emma MADE it so please admire her handiwork even if you wouldn't know what to do with it.
2.  While everyone likes looking at it I am the only one who will really USE it.
3.  This is Emma's creative take on a pretty common albeit OLD FASHIONED  tool.

Flying Solo...

 Since moving to the Oak Park Arms, Nonna Nancy, has been enjoying her experiences singing with the residential chorus.  Last night the group performed and Nancy sang her first ever solo!  Finn and I stopped in after soccer and caught the finale, but Leif was able to take in the whole show and said she performed very very well.  We thought she looked quite beautiful on stage and were happy to learn she has already been named to Oak Park's list of 60 over 60!  It is a matter of time before she takes over the village.

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