Thursday, June 30, 2011

Girl & the Goat

While we were in Chicago we were able to check out a new restaurant called Girl & the Goat. Big deal, right? Well I should tell you I made reservations at said restaurant 2 months in advance and our time slot….10:30 pm! Talk about a late night dinner.  Well why such the fuss over this restuarunt?
As in the TV network.
You see, the owner is Stephanie Izard, winner of Top Chef (season 4).  That was the season Adam and I started watching Top Chef and we thought it would be fun to try it out.
Now, Adam and I are not “foodies”. We don’t get all snobby about presentation and could really care less if the produce is organic-free range-farm raised-what not.  We just like tasty food. Where we do get snobby, at least I do, is service. I CAN NOT STAND bad service.  I’ve waited too many tables (with great service I might add) to sit waiting at my table with an empty water glass and no server in sight.  Luckily the service was not an issue at G&G. We must have had 6 (Jonathan counted) different people servicing our table and our water glasses never got more than 1/2 empty. Happy Girl.
Alright, let's move onto the food. When I originally booked the reservation I was happy to see that it was in the “under $30” price range, but when we got closer to our trip realized that it was a “Tapas” type menu.  Meaning the portions are made to share, but small.  Luckily, knowing this ahead of time, we got a pizza for $12 at a bar next door around "real" dinner time. Back to the food....
All of us ordered from the fish portion of the menu (the meat portion honestly scared me…face, feet, tongue, liver….all parts I don’t want to eat.)
We started off with Bread (well actually beer first :)) with two “Not Campbell's” dipping sauces; cream of mushroom and tomato.  I loved the bread; it had lots of grains and a nice hard crust and I really enjoyed the sauces. Adam wasn’t as impressed.  Next came my choice: Salmon Tartare (I know-fancy!) The dish was  cold & raw, but quite tasty.  I thought it was a great light starter to our meal.
Next came Jonathan’s choice: Seared Tuna. I’m not a big tuna fan, but the guys loved it and I did enjoy the mixture of flavors and textures.  Our final plates were hot dishes. Adam’s choice: Seared Halibut. And for the vegetable I chose: Green beans.  By this point I was actually pretty full, but the Halibut was really good!
However the star of the evening was the green beans.  I’ve never in my life had better green beans. They were even better than green bean casserole! I am currently scouring the internet for a recipe anything close to the sauce. (If I find it I will share it!) Sadly we had to leave some of the beans behind that we were too full to finish.
At the end of the meal we were too full to even look at dessert, but we all agreed that it was a pretty good experience. I’m glad we ate before, because Adam would have been STARVING, but if you have the $ you could go there and fill up quite easily while getting to taste a variety of foods.
Below is our entrĂ©e’s direct from the menu-just so you can see how inventive she got with each dish and the mixing of flavors.
(salmon tartare . summer squash . summer truffles . marcona almonds)
(seared tuna . lamb sausage . grilled blueberry . pepitas)
(pan roasted halibut . brandade . grilled asparagus . green garlic . blackberry)
(sauteed green beans . fish sauce vinaigrette . cashews)
For those who want to know:
Girl & The Goat
809 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607-2310
(312) 492-6262

Open Mon-Thu,Sun 4:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 4:30pm-12am

Monday, June 27, 2011

Alive and rested

We’re back from vacation and we’re well rested.

Here’s a clip from our trip…more to come…promise. But the laundry might have to come first Smile

excuse my squeaky auntie voice…

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's in!

I don't know how, but Adam brought our HUGE table up the stairs and into our condo by himself!  He did it yesterday at lunch-so it was a nice surprise when I got home.

Once we got it into the space we realized just how big it is...and we LOVE it.  We will easily be able to set the table with place mats and full china setting on both sides and still have room for food on the table!   However we did notice that it's too tall. :( Originally the goal was to make it tall enough that i could cross my legs in heels-something I can't normally do at most tables.  However when you sit down in a standard chair-the table hits right at mid chest on me-and I've got a looong torso.  So seeing as we hope to have this table for the duration of our life and host many family dinners at it-we figured our children and my mom would like to be able to eat without standing up we're going to cut the legs down 1-2".

The table still needs to be finished and the sides need to be constructed. Adam informed me that he would like a "biscuit joiner" so that he can do it at home. I told him to look on eBay and sure enough there are some for under $50-score.  Hopefully we'll get that all done sooner than later, but we are going on vacation in a we'll see.  I'm excited to really show you the table-these phone pics don't do it justice nor can see the wonderful knots, grain and distressing of the wood.  It really is going to be a great piece.

Here's a photo-shopped picture of what it will look like once we complete the sides.

I'm really really digging it!
We've got a jam packed Sunday of projects and shopping-updates hopefully Monday.
Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting Closer!!!

Adam’s been working on our table-getting all the parts and pieces figured out, cut and assembled.  I’ve been helping in the how do we build this?…what will work? scenarios, but he’s been the one in the shop and I've been in the dark.
A few weeks ago he sent me this picture of the base all assembled, but held together with clamps.
IMAG0007You can’t tell from the photo, but those long side rails are taller than me! (FYI I'm 69")
It was actually a lot trickier than I first imagined, because the rails have to tie into the legs to support the top, since the top doesn’t rest on the legs. So the pieces were cut like a puzzle to all fit together.
After he did all the cutting and figuring out he brought the pieces home for me to stain.  Originally I wanted a cool dark brown for the base, but when I went to Home Depot they were out of my 1st choice: Jacobean.
So not wanting to leave empty handed I grabbed a can of Ebony. 
After discussing it with Adam we both decided that the ebony was actually a better choice, since our current furniture in the living room is black.  So while he was off someplace (working?) one Saturday I tool the pieces outside and began staining the super white poplar he had used for our base. It wasn’t as dark and saturated as I would have hoped, but after two coats I was beginning to like it.
These pictures look browner than it really is. 
Finally last week he took all the stained pieces to the shop, assembled the base and put the two halves of the top together.  I kept asking does it look?!?!? Finally last night he stayed late and put the whole thing together-well not permanently, but enough for a photo!
And here she is!
I was really worried I wouldn’t like it-and it would be too rustic, but I think it looks pretty awesome. And I feel will look even more so when the ends are done and the sides of the table will be enveloped in the same style as the top. Giving the whole table this feeling of a wrapped plane.  Sorry, was that too much archi-dork lingo for you?   But anyway, our next step now is finishing the base and top.  We are weighing our options and getting advise from some woodworking pros on which route will be best. 
First and foremost we want it to be safe to eat off of and as non toxic as possible when applying.  Finding a good Low/no VOC product is important to us.  Next I want it to be low maintenance. Those of you who know me, know I hate cleaning and I don’t want to have to tip toe around it when we’re having a big dinner party-I want someone to spill red wine on it and not have to freak out. Finally I want it to look good.  Adam is leaning towards a satin finish, but I want more of a high gloss modern finish to counter balance all the rustic stuff going on. (I’m not a rustic girl) 
Right now we’re thinking we’ll use an oil rub 1st to bring out the natural colors & grain in the top then seal it with either a lacquer or a polyurethane.  Luckily I have found some “green” products-but we’ll have to do some sample swatches and some comparisons.  It would be nice if we could do it at home, but I’m afraid of all the fumes since we’d have to do it inside (we don’t have a yard. boo hoo) Adam seems to think if we find the right product it will be ok.  Anyone have any recommendations???
All in all we’re excited to get it into the condo and finish it up.  We still have to lay out the leaves/sides, but for now this is great progress!  I see chair shopping in my future!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not the only one

I guess I’m not the only lady in America who is digging this New Lands End Swimsuit


I first noticed this when they premiered the line a few weeks back in a catalog.  And I said three days ago-I was waiting for it to go on sale.


Well this morning I got the 30%off – free shipping Swim ware email. And sure enough my coveted bikini was on sale!


Bikini Top-check. ooo but back ordered until July 7th….

Bikini Bottom-what! Sold out in my size for the Deep Sea color…and the orange….and the white…and the blue!


But they’ll get more, right? So I do the online chat with a representative to make sure they won’t be getting anymore-I’m sure they will-it just came out-and this is Land’s End. I mean it’s a swim suit not a Birkin bag!


So the person comes back on the line and says, no they will not be getting anymore in my size. That they underestimated and OVERSOLD the suit!

Two days ago they had my size. TWO. as in 1, 2. Now they’re OVERSOLD!?!?!?!

But I still love the suit. And the bottom does come in my size in one color-Deep Pink-which I like, but not as much as the Blue. (Note: I could have gotten the higher waist super old lady bikini bottom in my size, but I figure if I’m going to shop at Land’s End I gotta keep it young)


So I ordered it (Backordered until 7-7) in the pink. Hopefully by July I will have found my bikini body.  I think it’s somewhere in my closet…but I’m not sure.


Hope everyone has a great weekend! It’s show time for me and tryouts for Adam!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things I’m diggin’ right now…

In no particular order…



Yes, I know who gests excited over lettuce?!?!  But seriously I’m loving it with all sorts of fixins’ and dressings. Oh lord, did I just say fixins’? uggg I swear I am not turning into a southerner!

But back to the the Arugula, we’ve had it simply with some lime juice and cilantro and salt. (from We also tried it with a fantastic Lemon dressing (that Adam chose) with some  parmesan cheese and grapefruit! But most recently, don’t laugh, with cottage cheese, blueberries, soy nuts and a raspberry vinaigrette.

Seriously go buy some arugula-it’s a nice change from boring ice burg or romaine.

Lemon Dressing: 1/4cup olive oil; 1/4cup lemon Juice; 1/4cup Water; 2Tbl Lemon Zest; 1Tbl Dijon; 1Tbl Honey; 1/4 tsp Salt; 1tsp chives.

Gray Nail Polish.


I finally ordered my Zoya Dove polish and can’t wait to try it out. I’ve been looking at all the stores for the perfect shade, with no luck, so when I saw free shipping…I jumped!

Lands End.

I, know, I’m a big dork destined for dorkville in mom pants and a minivan…at least that’s what Tara says.

It all goes back to my Long Shirt/Pants issue and how Lands End saved the day. But now I’m hooked and have been enjoying getting new summer shirts on sale for $7 and I am eyeing this super cute bikini…if only I could find my bikini body?!?!?! I’m grabbing it as soon as it goes on sale!




Who would have thought this can’t sit still dancer would look forward to going to Yoga?!?! Not me!

But my good friend Tara, has drug me along a few times and I’ve found that it’s good for my mind and my ever-less flexible body.  So thanks to Groupon I have 2 months of Yoga classes for a fraction of the price!  And I really am enjoying it. I can actually feel my brain vibrate as I just let go of all the chatter going on in there and focus on breathing. (although I must say last class toward the end I was thinking about the Arugula salad I was going to make when I got home!)

Our Groceries App

Yes, click it-there’s a link.  This thing is the best for busy people like us. Adam and I have it synced to both our smart (android) phones. He just adds something we need and if I’m at the store I pull it up the list and it’s all there! No more forgetting the list or not knowing that we’re out of milk.

It works for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices. It’s great. I love it. Go get it.

Adele/Christina Perri

I recently bought both of their new albums. (note: Amazon is way cheaper than iTunes. like $4 cheaper)

I can’t stop listening to them. These women are TALENTED and young (23&24)-they have LONG careers ahead of them. I have them on my phone (to play at home through my Bluetooth) and on burned on Cd’s for my car.

So good. Buy it. Enjoy. And soak it in. 

Fast forward to 1:00 get to the song…sooo good.

So what are you into right now? What’s on your Must list for this summer? Stay cool-have fun-and hit the beach if you can!