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Entries in entertaining (9)

Friday
Aug312012

how we spent summer, 2012

Lauren… we spent almost every evening on the deck with family and friends listening to albums and deciding who had to get up to turn the album over—this is a true not-so-Hollywood story.

Anna… in June I had lots of wedding planning to do, in July I got married and honeymooned in Costa Rica—which of course meant lots of thank you notes in August—icing on the cake was exploring a new neighborhood with my new husband!

Ali… my husband and I spent our summer seeing the world through our 11-month old daughter’s eyes as she explores new things… and drinking lots of wine outside after she went to bed!!!

Emily… as a transplanted East Coaster, I made sure to cherish any and all ocean visits—Nantucket, the Outer Banks. Since we’re expecting in January, I’ll try hard not to sleep through our ‘babymoon’ in Belize this week!

Sandra… spent most Sundays with a dear friend hunting for bargain fashions—everywhere from Michigan Avenue to thrift shops in Wicker Park… a viciously hot summer meant very little gardening but lots of refreshing cocktails and no-bake dinners… then I was off to an even more sweltering place to spend precious time with my 88-year old parents.

Sara… chilled out on my new deck with good friends and good beer… went to California for the first time ever to visit a friend, had fun in Santa Monica and Venice Beach… will finally get to the family cabin in Michigan’s U.P. over the Labor Day Weekend.

Rina… sold our condo… moved in with the in-laws… moved into our new house… then spent a relaxing vacation at the beach in Michigan.

Jaime… spent my summer traveling, training for the marathon, and playing with our English Bulldog Georgie!

Sara… most weekends revolved around my kids’ softball and baseball games/tournaments followed by post-game celebrations with friends—win or lose!

Alicia… QT with family and friends out West was amazing! We started in Glacier National Park and worked our way to Jackson Hole—where we rode in a covered wagon, went fly fishing and snapped pics of the giant moose snacking on a tree in our backyard…for a city girl it was crazy good!

Brianna… weekend getaways filled the summer—several trips back home to Minneapolis, cabins, a few to California, and finishing with a trip to Knoxville. In between, time in the city was complete with good friends, eating good food and drinking good beer. Nothing can top that!

Kate… my husband and I worked on the curb appeal of our house—painted the garage, built a fence and window boxes, laid some sod—now we’re building a native plant garden that attracts indigenous butterflies and soon we’ll enjoy drinks by a new sunken fire pit!

Megan… most of the summer was spent on the deck with our dog, listening to music, watching movies late at night and drinking delicious home-brewed beer on our new havana sectional—not a plug, I seriously just bought it and love it! Sailing lessons will get squeezed into the last days of good weather and we can’t wait!

Lauren… my favorite part was one beautiful week on a houseboat in Kentucky with my family. We drank as many new craft beers as we could find and made up delicious burger recipes—gouda cheeseburgers with arugula were the best!

Joe… rocking in my band The Bright White around Chicago and Nashville.

Ryan… we spent most weekends taking our daughter to the beach in Michigan. This was especially great because she’s learning to walk on the sand for the first time—it’s one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life so far. Could not have had a better summer.

Friday
Dec092011

how to: set four unique tables

For a bright brunch, focus on cheerful colors and personalized elements. Wrapping paper makes a low-cost, high impact table cover and a travel mug doubles as a placecard. Live greens, sliced branches, and organic shapes recreate a natural habitat. Small plants can be less expensive than a fresh flower centerpiece while lasting longer—and push the envelope with eco wood bath mats as the table cover. Mix different styles, textures and period references to add interest. The labra candleholder is perfect to set the tone of this modern baroque table—especially when contrasted with angular white porcelain plates and a rich red bouquet. Mix different shapes, materials and finishes in shades of grey. It creates an urban, sophisticated look and becomes the ultimate blank canvas which can accommodate a variety of layers for a unique setting.

Thanks to stylist and photographer Bobbi Lin for setting these four tables featured at cb2.com/idea central.

Thursday
Aug112011

recipe: blta wedge salad

bleu cheese vinaigrette:
1/2 C olive oil
4 tblsp white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 to 2 tsp anchovy paste
1 C blue cheese crumbles
salt and pepper

4 hearts of romaine, cut in half
2 C cooked bacon, crumbled
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 radishes sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
Serves 6-8

For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic and anchovy paste till blended. Stir in blue cheese crumbles and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the salad, place the romaine wedges on a platter or individual plates and pour the dressing over each wedge.

Sprinkle the tops of each wedge with the crumbled bacon, sliced radishes, sliced shallots, season with salt and pepper, and serve chilled.

Adam’s hints:
BLTA = bacon, lettuce, tomato, anchovy…hold the tomato! Originally it was in the recipe but it didn’t work on-set and we never changed the name—my apologies for any confusion.

Wednesday
Aug102011

recipe: pistachio and pecan crusted rack of lamb

3 fully trimmed racks of lamb (about 1-1/2 lbs each)
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C dijon mustard
1/3 C pistachios, chopped
1/3 C pecans, chopped
1/4 C panko breadcrumbs
2 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tblsp rosemary, minced
1 tblsp chives, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Serves 6-8

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Season each rack of lamb with salt and pepper and set aside.

Pour the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and sear each rack for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Place each rack, bone side down, on a shallow baking sheet and brush the tops of each with a generous amount of mustard and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the pistachios, pecans, panko, melted butter, rosemary, chives, salt and pepper and toss together until fully thoroughly combined. Cover the racks with the nut mixture and press the tops firmly ensuring the mixture will stick.

Place the racks in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops have lightly browned and the meat is pink in the center.

Allow the racks to cool slightly—about 7 to 10 minutes—before slicing and serving.

Adam’s hints:
—remove the lamb from the fridge about 25-30 minutes before you cook it. This takes the chill off and helps for a more even cooking.
—cook lamb to an internal temp of 120° for rare and and 130° for medium.
—don’t forget: the temp will continue to rise after you remove it from the oven.

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