Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Pirate & The Terminator

Unfortunately work and personal life has been hectic for the past several weeks and I haven't had a chance to post anything on the blog.

Below is a photo from a costume party that my friends Sandi and Steve host every July. Their costume party has a different theme each year and this year's theme was to dress as your favorite actor, actress, or hollywood character.

Making an appearance in Green Bay at this year's party was Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean and The Terminator!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicago Weekend Fun

I recently enjoyed a fun weekend in downtown Chicago with my friends Karen and Erica. Karen is one of my best friends from high school and she lives in Chicago and invited us to stay with her for a weekend of fun. Erica had not been to Chicago for more than just a wedding and shopping on Michigan Avenue, so I was excited to show her the city that I love!

We arrived on Friday evening and went to a cookout at one of Karen's friends homes and boy could that girl cook! The food and the company were amazing and we even met a couple of Packer's fans. Not only were they Packer's fans, but they pretty much got married on a Packer's bet. If the Packer's won the Superbowl, then they would get married. Pretty funny!

Saturday we DID A LOT! We did so much that we just ordered in Italian food for dinner and watched the Olympics that evening; we were pooped out! In the morning, we enjoyed a couple of hours at the Shedd Aquarium, which I have fond memories of from growing up. It was fun to see all the animals and sea life, as well as the jellyfish exhibit that they have. That afternoon we took a Chicago River and Lake Michigan cruise to see the city and all the sites. After the cruise, I took the girls to Pops For Champagne, which is an awesome bar (with a lot of champagne) that my dad and I found several years ago. I love champagne and it was funny to see Erica's face checking out the big city drink prices - you're not in Green Bay anymore!! It was a great weekend!

Karen - we missed getting a photo with you!!

Enjoying the beautiful views of Lake Michigan
(and of course, the famous Chicago wind blowing my hair everywhere!)

Beluga Whale - I love these whales, they always look like they are smiling

Fun penguins!

Jellies

Jellies

Jellies and Lindsay

Weird upside down jellies

Monday, August 6, 2012

Carrot Ginger Soup

This past week, I enjoyed Taste on Broadway with Pete, the girls, and several friends. It was a fun time! Taste on Broadway is similar to the Taste of Chicago and any other 'Taste ofs' that happen in a lot of cities. You eat, drink, listen to music and start again...eat, drink, and listen to music. The event was great and it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded, or at least the amount of people didn't annoy me.

One of the best recipes that I tried was a Carrot Ginger soup, which reminded me of a similar soup that I had in a cooking class. I cannot remember what cooking class this is from; therefore, there is no credit listed, but it is not my recipe!

Carrot Ginger Soup
- Olive Oil, one turn of the pan
- 1.5 lbs. of peeled carrots, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- 1 medium-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (it if difficult to put a measurement on this!)
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp marjoram
- Salt & Pepper to taste

In a dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil, carrots, onion, celery, and uncooked rice. Once veggies are tender, add in chicken stock. Add ginger, bay leaf, and marjoram and simmer covered until rice is cooked; about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove bay leaves.

Puree soup in a blender or with an immersion blend. Note: If you are not already aware, you cannot just dump hot soup in a blender and blend. You have to do a little bit of soup at a time (maybe 2-3 cups) and hold down the top of the blender lid with a kitchen towel. The combination of heat and blending creates a lot of pressure and the lid can fly off, which will turn your kitchen a lovely shade of carrot orange. 

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe Alterations
- You can reduce one cup of cream until it coats the back of a spoon and top the soup with the cream.
- You can top the soup with cream or plain yogurt.
- You can top the soup with fresh herbs - maybe some parsley and chives.
- You can add a pinch of curry into the soup for some added flavor.