Tuesday, October 31, 2017

State Bound Shamrocks...

St. Patrick Shamrocks took their record to 23-4-2 tonight after a hard-fought 2-1 Super Sectional win over the Freeport, Pretzels. Yes, folks that means the varsity soccer Shamrocks have made history once again and will head to the state tournament in school history! This is just crazy exciting!

Friday, October 27, 2017

History Making Sectional Champs...

Shamrock pride has a whole new meaning today.
 On a very chilly Friday night the varsity Shamrocks made history by defeating Latin School of Chicago 3-0 to earn Saint Patrick's very first sectional championship in school history. The team made it their goal to win their sectional at the start of the season and it was beyond amazing to see them make this lofty dream a reality.

Our senior shamrock proudly received the sectional plaque and hoisted it over his head in what is sure to be one of the best moments of his high school career.

Here come the Shamrocks!

Pretty Things Around My House...

Thanks to MOSS Modern Flowers for making my Kindred table even more lovely than usual this week.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Headed to Sectionals...

A 3-1 victory over North Side College Prep (in some very rainy conditions) ensured the Shamrocks will play for the sectional title. If the mighty Shamrocks win it will be the very first sectional championship  in St. Pat's school history.
Here come the Shamrocks!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Back-to-Back Regional Champs...

 As expected the hard-working Shamrocks won their regional championship game. Back -to-back regional wins are practically unheard of around St. Pat's and this certainly shows the Shamrocks are well on their way to having a history making season.
Sectional semi-final is up next.
Bring it.
The Shamrocks are coming!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Girls' Week-End: Farmette Fun Edition...

This week-end, 7 of my besties and I headed to Blue Mounds, WI for a little farmette style fun. The setting was totally stunning and our "quaint" accommodations turned out to be more of a party-party barn surrounded by horses and goats and an obscene number of lady bugs. 

Our daily schedule was predictable:
Pet the horses, have a cocktail, laugh at the goats, eat something, have a cocktail, check if the chickens laid any eggs, sweep up the ladybugs, have a cocktail, take a selfie with some livestock, eat something, build a fire, have a cocktail, sleep, and repeat.

It is such a treat to go away with this group of fabulous women and I am stronger because I have them in my life.
All week-end long people were taking selfies with goats and horses. For the life of me I just could not get a good one. This is as close as I got...and I cut off the horses' heads and look super tense, but this is the world's best photo compared to my selfie out-take. 

Mel's Selfie Out-Take
This picture totally cracks me up.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Feelin' Proud...

Its no secret I love to chef it up for the The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. I hung around in enough of these stunning kitchens this year to end up in a photo spread in their quarterly publication! I have loved all the crazy cooking opportunities this organization has afforded me, but I have always had another FLW inspired goal.
Over the past 2 weeks I have been working toward my longtime goal of becoming an interpreter (aka tour guide) at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. The process was actually pretty intense; my class met frequently and there was plenty of out-of class work and studying to be done. In fact we tackled an amount of material equivalent to a masters level class in architecture in a relatively short period of time. On top of that we had to write our own 60 minute tour of this historic and complex property and deliver it on a mock tour for veteran guides. It was a high-pressure gig especially since there is so much glorious information to share about the home and studio that it becomes hard to edit content. I am proud to say I rose to the occasion and passed my test on the first try! I took a selfie after my accomplishment. It think it is so important to do things to make yourself prous and this was a big one for me!
I start giving public tours next week!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Family Fire Tailgate...

 Every year Leif plans an afternoon tailgate at Toyota Park.  We love taking our friends to the Fire game and we always throw down some fun food and beers before settling into Section 8. On the menu this year? Mel's cheesesteak sandwiches, Aim's dangerous buffalo chicken dip, El's "there is no such thing as too much" onion dip, and The Frigs mighty, mighty meatballs!
 The Kralj's made the day even more special for Finn by whisking him away to meet one of the most decorated players in modern day soccer and a favorite on the Fire roster.
Finn was all smiles when he met Bastian Schweinsteiger and thinks its hilarious how many of his friends have said the two look related.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Senior Night...

 It is just impossible to imagine our Finn is a senior in high school, but nights like Saint Patrick's varsity soccer senior night makes it pretty obvious big changes are on the horizon.  The Shamrocks had nine seniors in their soccer program this year, five on varsity, and three players-Finn and his co-captains-who are three year varsity athletes. We are so proud of our Number Nine and it was an honor to escort him onto the field tonight.
 This coach has made such a difference in the lives of all these player and I loved this pic of the captains' moms with him.  We have been on quite a journey over the last four years and I know our boys are better off for having had this once in a lifetime experience!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pearce's Farm Stand...

This morning we kept with tradition and headed to Pearce's Farm Stand in Lake Geneva. We meet my parents and my brother's family there every year so the kids can play on the hay bales and take a stroll through the corn maze, before we head home to enjoy a little lunch at my parents' house.  This year was doubly special since we could celebrate my mom's birthday at the same time.  I brought a cake and she blew out her candles surrounded by some of her favorite people!
It was a lovely way to spend and autumn day.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Octoberfest with the Frigs...

 Another Sunday Dinner is in the books! The Frigs hosted us for a dinner inspired by their recent trip to Germany. Sausages, soft pretzels and obatzta paired perfectly with the array of beers available. I contributed a batch of braised cabbage to hang out with Rach's harvet salad and Aim's roasted potatoes.  The cabbage was delicious, but man-o-man did I make a lot! 

I took the leftover cabbage home and turned it into a double duty dinner! I tossed some pork in the crock pot and serve it alongside the cabbage, some spaetzle, and green beans! 
Two delicious dinners in a row!

German Pork and Braised Red Cabbage 
Serve this alongside some buttered spaetzle and green beans

German Style Pork:
1 Large onion, sliced
4 pounds pork shoulder roast
Salt and Pepper
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4” thick slices
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
½ Cup of cheap mild beer

Slice the onion and place it in the bottom of an 8 quart slow cooker. Place the roast in the slow cooker and season it liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the roast with the caraway seeds, paprika, allspice and cloves. Combine the mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and mix well. Slather the mustard mixture evenly over the roast and sprinkle with the sliced apples. Add the cinnamon and bay leaf to the pot and pour the beer around the roast. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours and low for 2 additional hours or on low setting for 10 hours. Meat should shred from the bone easily.

Braised Red Cabbage
1 medium head of red cabbage
2 Tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
Salt and Pepper
2/3 Cup balsamic vinegar, divided
2 granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 large bay leaf'

Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin shreds. Rinse the shredded cabbage well in cold water. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large pot over medium heat; add the onion and season them with salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browning (about 8 minutes). Add 1/3 Cup of balsamic vinegar and the apples and mix well. Add the cabbage and toss well to coat. Add the remaining vinegar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and bay leaf to the pot and toss well. Add an additional sprnkling of salt and place the lid on the pot. Allow the cabbage to simmer for 45 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning and and serve. Refrigerate leftovers after cooling.
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