A Genuine Date!

Self Portrait, Forest Park
I know, we’ve been married for eight years and you’re probably thinking that we go out on lots of dates. I hate to burst your bubble, people, we actually don’t. We are the type to make plans to do something date-like and when that time comes, we punk out because we’re too lazy. No, we never punk out on our friends, just each other. On the rare occasions that we can’t punk out, we go out, realize how nice it is, vow to make it happen more often, and then punk out on the vow. See the trend here?

The Muny
Okay, last Friday, We actually left the house and went to dinner and a show. That’s right, apparently Bob loves me so much and wanted to impress me, he took me to Red Lobster for dinner. Classy, eh? Okay, so we had a $50 gift card and couldn’t let that go to waste. We then headed over to the Muny where we saw Showboat.

Show Boat
I have only seen the movie once and all I remembered from that was “Old Man River.” Now the gentleman who sang it in the show was amazing. It brought tears to my eyes. Although it was hotter than hell that night, I did enjoy the show and music. I do have to say, it’s not one of my favorite musicals but I was glad to have the opportunity to see this classic on stage. And now with Bob’s family connections to awesome seats, I don’t think I could ever sit anywhere but the front boxes. I really am spoiled.

Supper Club: August 11, 2010

Pistachio and Goat Cheese Grapes
Appetizer: Pistachio and Goat Cheese Grapes. Sounds bizarre, looks bizarre, but tastes great! These are very addicting, I couldn’t stop eating them. This is why you bring grapes and goat cheese when going to the wineries. A fantastic pairing.

Baked Falafel Sandwich, Mozzarella & Nectarine Skewers, Greek Orzo Salad
Entree: Baked Falafel Sandwich. If you try this recipe, stay away from the tahini sauce, I was not a fan of that. The baked falafel was okay, but I do have to say the fried version is so much better.

Side Dishes: Mozzarella and Nectarine Skewers with Pesto and Greek Orzo Salad. Skip the pesto on the skewers. I don’t know why it was included in the recipe, it just made my nectarines taste weird. The Greek orzo salad was light, a good choice for the heat of the summer.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies
Dessert: Nutella Cheesecake Brownies. I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t taste as much of the nutella as expected but it was delicious, nonetheless. My brownies came out more fudge-like because I didn’t bake them as long. So, make sure you watch your brownie layer, even though your cheesecake may be set, the brownie may not be. I do have to say, they taste even better when chilled overnight.

Phoenix Rises at The Pageant


Phoenix is a rock band from France. Still here? OK.


Their bright, dancey pop rock has almost repaid the debt incurred by Johnny Hallyday. Plus, their lyrics are in English, which is pretty much required for becoming huge in America. I’ve been a fan for a while and when I heard they were coming to town, I jumped at the opportunity. Jen, Chris and Rob joined my in my quest to take in the best music that the French have to offer.


One thing I was not prepared for, was the awesome light show. I never really associated Phoenix with trippy, awesome light displays, but that just goes to show that I can be wrong about things from time to time. The lights were awesome, and it gave an extra element to a surprisingly energetic show. While their records are tight and nuanced, their live performance is much more powerful. They even made me like “Fences,” a song that I think is out of place on their most recent album.

One of the neatest moments was at the end of an extended instrumental jam, a white curtain came down in front of the stage and the guitarists were projected as 20-foot shadow puppets. It was surreal and fantastic.

Shadow Puppetry!

Openers Toro y Moi were also really good. I don’t know a single thing about them except that they are an American band with a French name (as opposed to Phoenix, which is the opposite), but after seeing their set, I’m interested in finding out more.

Gateway Grizzlies


Thanks to a Groupon, some of us went out to GCS Ballpark in beautiful Sauget, Illinois to take in a Gateway Grizzlies game a couple weeks back. The deal was such that the ticket was basically free after you throw in the concessions so we figured, why not? We were joined by Matt and Amanda:

Matt & Amanda

And Brandon & Sarah:

Brandon & Sarah

The game was a little one-sided (Grizzlies lost to the Normal CornBelters 6-0), but the seats were great — right behind the dugout — and the Zooperstars were awesome. You may be asking, “What are the Zooperstars?” Well, they are inflatable characters with punny names that put on exhibitions of hilarity at minor league baseball stadiums and state fairs across the country. To give you an idea, the creature on the right below is named “Manatee Ramirez.”

Derek Cheetah, Elephant Presley and Manatee Ramirez

In between innings, they’d ride in on the back of a souped up golf cart and perform a little dance routine for the enjoyment of the audience. Probably the best show of the night was when Mackerel Jordan ate a batboy. Just before the 7th inning stretch, the girls saw Harry Canary walking through the crowd and wanted to get a picture:

The Girls and Harry Canary

I guess that signaled to Harry that these girls were up for pretty much anything. First, Harry sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” as he loomed over us from on top of the dugout.

Harry Canary, Up Close and Personal

Then, he snatched Amanda’s purse!

Purse Thief!

Then, he doused Jen and Amanda with silly string!

The Aftermath of Harry Canary

It was pretty awesome to be in the middle of all the action, especially since I managed not to get silly strung. The game was a lot of fun, and we’ll definitely be going back sometime in the future. Click here for all the pictures.

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Supper Club: August 4, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Snack
Appetizer: Jalapeno Snacks. Right off I’m going to tell you: wear latex gloves. Your eyes will thank you later when you rub them. These were an easy, great dish to make. Who doesn’t love bacon-wrapped appetizers? I do have to warn you, for some reason, some are a whole lot spicier than others. Maybe I didn’t clean out some of the pepper seeds. The cheese does ooze out of the jalapenos but it’s not a problem at all.

"Eggs Benedict"
Entree: Southern Fried Eggs Benny. A different twist on the classic Eggs Benedict. Kim tried poaching the eggs via the “Goldfish” method (wrap the eggs individually in saran wrap and drop in boiling water). Well, it didn’t really come out of the saran wrap very cleanly and the eggs were a bit overcooked. It was pretty straightforward, nothing exciting about this dish.

Fruit Salad
Side Dish: Fruit Salad. Summer is the best time for fruit and we took advantage of the beautiful choices out there.

Dessert: FroYo run. That’s right, it was so bloody hot outside that Kate decided frozen yogurt would be her dessert choice. Hey, no complaints here! I love me some FroYo!

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