Saturday, June 30, 2012

On the eve of free agency

Tomorrow starts the NHL free agency period. Over the next couple weeks players will sign with teams and fans hope for the coming season will be raised or shattered. My hope for the Blackhawks is a true number 2 center and defensive help. It would be nice to getting stronger in goal too. I kinda feel like this is stating the obvious, I only hope the people who run the Hawks see it the same way. Exciting day tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cards fall to the Yanks

Despite a late rally, the Cards lost. So that means the year is over, a great season of fun with friends and softball. Now we have a month break before soccer starts.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pocket Planes and Doctor Who?

Last night I was playing Pocket Planes, my new most favorite addiction. It's basically a sim airport type game. You have to transport cargo or people. My plane landed in Minneapolis and what was there to pick up? The freaking TARDIS! For some reason it needed to go to Toronto. I didn't question it, I just did it. Never question The Doctor, right?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pleasant House Bakery

A couple weeks ago we tried a new restaurant, Pleasant House Bakery . I had been wanting to try it for a long time but we never made our way there. They specialize in handmade savory Royal pies. We both opted for Steak and Ale pie with mashed potatoes and gravy. We also had hibiscus tea soda. The food was great, nothing was left on our plates. It was clearly a neighborhood favorite, people seemed happy to be there. There wasn't much seating, it was a small space but still everything about this place made me happy. It's only about four blocks from White Sox park which is nice. I know the next time I go to a Sox game I'm gonna be tempted to cut out early and go get a Royal pie!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Goodbye T Ball, for this year at least.

T-ball is over, a great first year. I'm proud of my Amelie for trying her best. Way to go Ambo.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Next - Sicily

I want to start by saying I'm not a food blogger. You aren't going to get any great insight into the food world here other than I had a great meal. I know when I like something and what I ate last night I loved. At one point I told my wife I was going to be leaving her for the pork shoulder.....I was serious.

We were greeted at our table with a note from the chef. A nice touch I thought.

The Menu

The first course consisted of four antipasti. Panelle, which I believe is a chickpea fritter. Caponata, a cooked vegetable salad featuring eggplant. Carciofi Alle Brace which is grilled artichokes. These were absolutely amazing. They gave a spoon to eat the artichokes with. The outside is charred to a crisp and you scoop out the wonderful center. The last dish was Arancine, a deep fried lamb tongue risotto ball. The word arancine is Italian for little orange and that's what they looked like. This was another amazing dish. A perfect start to a great meal.

The next course was Bucatini con Bottarga. The first pasta dish, cured roe in butter sauce. They explained that Bottarga is the roe pouch of swordfish, I'm almost sure that's what they said. It's cured and coated in beeswax. The dish was subtle and felt light. A nice contrast to the bolder flavors of the first course.

 A second pasta dish came to our table next. Gemelli con le Sarde. Everything about this was wonderful. Pasta, salty sardine, fried fennel bulb and a sauce with currants. How could that not be great? Our table agreed this was the better pasta dish but not by much. Both were fantastic. 


We moved away from pasta with the next course. Pesce Spada con di Ceci, swordfish with roasted garlic and mint with mint pesto. There was a side of chickpeas, both mashed and whole, with the best broccoli I have ever put in my mouth. This course was wonderful, everything worked.

The next course was the last of the savory courses, Spalla di Maiale Brasato. Roasted and braised pork shoulder with a side of vegetable with fried zucchini flower. They told us this cooked for over 7 hours and you could tell. The meat was so tender, it was like eating butter. This was my favorite course. Everything about this dish was wonderful. It was so good I did threaten to leave my wife for it. I'm pretty sure I'd kill to have it again....or at least shiv someone.

Each course came with perfect wine pairing.  I'm not much of a wine person but I really enjoyed what they served me.

 Before we move on to dessert I have to say I loved the place settings. Very colorful, very fun.

 Dessert started with a cool and refreshing palate cleanser. Granita di Arance Rosse, blood orange granita. 

 Next was Cassata. A traditional Sicilian cake with a layer of ricotta cheese.

The final course was a plate with three desserts. Cannoli, Ravioli Fritti and Cubbaita di Giugiulena. The cannoli was my favorite from this plate. It had a nice cherry on both ends.


 So that's it. A great meal from beginning to end. I went into this with high expectations and was not let down. I'm so grateful we have friends who were nice enough to allow us to have this experience with them. Thank you Jeff and Karen.