Archive for September 2007


Badger Game Day

September 28th, 2007 — 12:11pm

Tomorrow afternoon I am attending my first Badger football game since the fall of my senior year of college, back in 2002. I realize this is pathetic, especially since I’ve been living in Madison the past two and-a-half years. I have no good excuse. This year I conveniently live just blocks from the stadium, and although I catch some of the excitement and traffic every weekend, there’s nothing like actually being at Camp Randall during a game. The student section is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The students are nuts. Jump Around. “O sucks, O Sucks”. Varsity. I love it all. I was once one of those drunks, but now I’m a boring adult who has tickets in one of those lame “we sit down for the game” sections. I’m still excited though. At least I can watch the students from afar and live vicariously through them. And you can rest assured that I will jump around by myself.

Tomorrow the Badgers play the Spartans from Michigan State. Game time is 2:30 p.m. It should be a perfect fall day. We’ll be out on Regent Street pretty early tailgating, drinking, and grilling up a storm. I’m excited because some of my friends that I played with on the water polo team at Wisconsin are coming into town for the game. One of my closest friends from college, Marisa, who I seriously have not seen since graduation, is coming in from San Francisco. I am so excited to see her and to catch up with those girls. It should be a great weekend.

Joke from Karen:
Q: How do you keep a spartan out of your yard?
A: Put up a goalpost.

He he. On Wisconsin.

1 comment » | Madtown Lovin'

More Chicago Eats

September 27th, 2007 — 11:00am
Fox and Obel (401 E. Illinois St.)
Butterfly (1156 W Grand Avenue)
Quartino (626 N State Street)

So I really wasn’t kidding when I said that I enjoyed many fabulous culinary delights this past weekend. I was totally spoiled with the most amazing foods and drinks. I enjoyed some newbies, as well as some oldies but goodies. I love trying new restaurants, especially in new cities. There’s no better way to live it up and enjoy the flavor and culture of a new place. If you live, or ever go play in Chicago, I would highly recommend each of the following:

Fox and Obel Cafe– This place is one of my most treasured Chicago finds. I go there multiple times for breakfast each time I visit the city. Fox and Obel was most notably brought to prominence in 2005 when their signature oatmeal raisin cookie dough was featured on Oprah’s famed list of holiday “favorite things”. Located downtown near Michigan Avenue, Fox and Obel is mostly known for its market of upscale specialty foods, as well as it’s excellent catering offerings. Most people don’t even realize that there’s a little cafe in the back serving up great gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is my favorite, particularly for breakfast. I went there with Anne and Royce, and enjoyed the Cobb Omelet, which was filled with diced chicken, tomato, scallion, avocado, applewood-smoked bacon and blue cheese.

Butterfly Sushi Bar and Thai Cuisine-Royce was craving sushi over the weekend, and Anne recommended this sushi bar on Grand Avenue. We started out with the Tom Kar soup, which was a coconut soup with shrimp, straw mushroom and tomatoes spiced with galanga roots, citrus leaves, and fresh lime juice. It’s was a little spicy, and made me tear up a bit, but had incredible flavor. I think Tom Kar is my new favorite soup. We then had a spicy tuna roll, a dragon roll, another roll that escapes me, and pieces of fresh (raw) salmon. Hell, I’ll try anything. All in all, it was a pretty good meal. The only things I didn’t care for were the poor lighting (I could barely read my menu) and the BYOB policy (because we didn’t bring any, not that I needed it).

Quartino“where the wine is cheaper than water and the pizza is the finest.” I went to Quartino with Seif and KJ on Saturday night. Seif (whose real first name, by the way, is Katie) is a huge fan and highly recommended this restaurant. And Seif would know. She’s like the ultimate food critic. We had reservations for 8 p.m., and arrived early (7:15 p.m.), but still waited until 8 p.m. for a table. The place was extremely packed, and we opted for a table in the bar while waiting, where we enjoyed our first carafe of wine. The food was excellent, but the service was awful. We waited way too long in between courses, and they seemed to not have enough staff to handle their large volume of customers.

We started with a salumeria platter with various cheeses, vegetables, breads, and meats. After that, we had Italian artisan blend fondue with calabrese bread and crudites. Then we all shared two small plates–one was linguine with clams and white sauce and the other was Tuscan sausage risotto. For dessert, we had zeppole, which was hot Italian doughnuts with chocolate sauce. Delicious. I’d recommend going on a weeknight, however, or sometime when you can get better service.

1 comment » | Restaurant Reviews, Vacation and Travel

House On A Hill

September 27th, 2007 — 9:50am

My friend Kelsey, who works for an architecture firm in Durango, Colorado, recently forwarded me an article featuring the house pictured above. This home was named “project of the year” by Residential Architect Magazine. And the coolest part is that it’s located on Green Lake (aka, my favorite place in the world), and although I’ve spent enough time there to memorize almost every house on the lake, I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed this one before! Kelsey reminded me that’s probably because the house is actually intended to be a “camouflage” house. Ahh…yes. Apparently the design was a success. Kelsey said I should go spy on it the next time I’m up at the lake and I certainly intend to.

Here’s an exert from the article:

Every once in a while, an architectural perfect storm occurs. A series of favorable circumstances—a gifted architect, a beautiful site, a thoughtful client—coincide in one project, leading to a sublime synthesis of design, surroundings, and program. That’s exactly what happened with this weekend home for a Milwaukee family in Green Lake, Wis.

2 comments » | Uncategorized

Feeling Like A Roast?

September 26th, 2007 — 10:45am

My very good friend Jill (my roommate in the dorms freshman year) and her husband Ryan (who I give the highest form of friend approval to), had our friend Emily and me over for dinner at their new house last night. Using us as guinea pigs, Jill made her very first roast—a recipe for fennel-crusted pork loin with roasted potatoes and pears that she found in a recent issue of Real Simple. It was fantastic, and Jill claims it was very easy to make. Of course we also have to give props to Ryan for throwing the roast in the oven when he got home from work. Without his generous contribution, we wouldn’t have eaten until very late. I begged for the recipe, and Jill sent it over this morning. Enjoy!

Fennel-crusted pork loin with roasted potatoes and pears
Hands-on time: 15 minutes; total time: 1 ½ hours; serves 4

1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless pork loin
2 red onions, quartered
1 pound small white potatoes, quartered
3 firm pears (such as Bartlett), cored and quartered

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Using the bottom of a heavy pan, crush the fennel seeds. In a small bowl, mix the seeds, the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture over the pork, then place the pork in a large roasting pan. In a bowl, mix the onions, potatoes, pears, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the remaining oil. Scatter around the pork and roast until cooked through, about 70 minutes (internal temperature 160 degrees F). Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the roasted produce.

3 comments » | Kristin's Kitchen

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

September 26th, 2007 — 8:57am

2 comments » | Vacation and Travel

BTW, What Is Your Name?

September 26th, 2007 — 7:15am

I don’t know where the following article/post originated, but my friend Emily just forwarded (e-mail subject: UW Score) this very disturbing account of a man and woman getting very naughty in a public bathroom stall at Camp Randall Stadium (home of the Badger football team). Very disgusting. It’s a public restroom, people, come on. That’s so dirty. Have a little class and decency!

Sex in Camp Randall stall nets disorderly conduct charges
Mike Miller — 9/24/2007 12:06 pm

While the Badgers were scoring frequently in the second quarter of their victory over Washington State on Sept. 1, a young couple was scoring on their own in a stall in the women’s restroom in the upper deck, resulting in a court appearance today on charges of disorderly conduct.

The man, 22, of the Grant County community of Stitzer, and woman, 23, of Madison, were initially cited by University Police for lewd and lascivious conduct, but those charges were later changed to disorderly conduct when the case went to the District Attorney’s office. UW Assistant Police Chief Dale Burke, who measures his term of service in decades, said he cannot remember a similar incident at a Badger game in the past, but added “sex is a powerful, powerful motivator.”

According to UW Police Officer Gerard Pehler, he was assisting a fan who had fallen due to heat exhaustion when a bystander approached and asked him, “Can you do anything about two having sex in the women’s restroom stall?”

“They’re going at it pretty good,” added the fan.

Pehler asked a woman concession supervisor to go into the women’s room and when she returned she reported she asked the couple to stop, but they didn’t and told Pehler the restroom was cleared and he could enter.

The two were pulling up their pants when the officer arrived. “I asked them quite loudly to get out of the stall,” Pehler says in his report of the incident. the woman still had her pants down and was struggling to pull them up, the officer said. “It should be noted that she was unsuccessful in the attempt because her pants were inside out,” the officer said.

Because the UW has a policy in place to revoke season tickets of people who cause disturbances, the officer asked couple to produce their tickets and the man was able to find his — the seats were in section KK — but the woman couldn’t find hers, what with her pants being inside out.

The pair were taken to the police office in the stadium and told they would be arrested for lewd and lascivious conduct when the man said they were “only peeing together.”

When Officer Pehler was explaining the citation to the couple, the woman said, “Something to the effect, I know, I know, I did it,” Pehler wrote in his report.

The man, on the other hand, said “whatever, no big deal.”

Burke said in all the years he can remember he can’t think of another instance of fans having sex at a game, “but we had something like that at the Kohl Center at a concert.”

That couple was having sex in a family bathroom when arrested and taken to the police office, where officers were about to interview them separately, Burke recalled, “and the guy says (to the girl), ‘By the way, what is your name?’ “

The man and woman each face up to 90 days in jail and a possible fine of $1,000.

And they missed seeing the Badgers win, 42-21.”

Comment » | Uncategorized

French Toast Kabobs

September 25th, 2007 — 10:56am

Among many other surprises, my weekend in Chicago was full of unexpected culinary delights. Anne, one of my closest friends from high school, took me to Orange (3231 N. Clark), one of her favorite breakfast joints near Wrigleyville. The atmosphere was warm, quirky, and vibrant. The menu was totally unique and hilarious, and the food, delectable. The service was friendly and prompt.

I opted for the coconut-infused french toast kabobs with pineapple, strawberries and mangos. It was fantastic. We also had several cups of their specialty coffee, which contained a hint of orange-flavoring. Although orange coffee sounds a bit weird, I can assure you the flavoring was subtle and delicious. Orange is also very well known for their fantastic juice bar, as well as their pancake flight. Other menu options are listed here. In addition to their location on Clark, they also have another restaurant on Harrison Street. This place is definitely worth checking out. I love breakfast, and this is one of my new faves.

2 comments » | Restaurant Reviews, Vacation and Travel

Seif and the Fishbowl, Part Deux

September 25th, 2007 — 8:01am
KJ and the giant fishbowl

Krit, Seif, and KJ

Royce and Kristin

Seif is so evil…look at those eyes! The whole bar joins in the fishbowl fun

Good times had by all.

One Saturday night out in Chicago. Two fishbowls. Seif, as always, proves to be a very bad influence on this normally angelic, sober sister!

Comment » | Uncategorized

Birds of a Feather

September 25th, 2007 — 6:37am

I totally want one of these new t-shirts designed by Wayne Pate of GoodShapeDesign. Flock, $25. Definitely the women’s brown on mint. Love it.

Comment » | Uncategorized

My Newest Vinyl

September 21st, 2007 — 10:07am

Pictured left is the most recent addition to my vinyl library. It’s a triple LP compilation titled Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, released in 2005 by Belle and Sebastian, an indie pop band from Glasgow, Scotland. It contains the singles and EPs they released for Jeepster Records. I am loving so many tracks on this album right now and cannot stop playing it. I’ve never listened to much Belle and Sebastian before, and now I can’t get enough. It’s like the excitement that comes from slowly discovering all of the intimate details of a new lover.

The album was actually a gift from my boyfriend. When I revealed to him, during our rain-filled six-hour bike ride a few weeks ago (detailed in a prior post), that I collect vinyl records, he found this small tidbit of information to be one of the most surprising, exciting, and cutest things I had shared with him thus far. Who would’ve thought?

Last night I started thinking more about how gifts like these are so special. Collecting and listening to records is such a passion of mine, and for someone to so genuinely appreciate and support my love for that, and take the time and risk of going out on a limb to find a little record store and pouring through hundreds of records for just the right one, and getting it so right, is quite amazing (and heart warming).

2 comments » | Books, Film, and Music

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