Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rick Bayless Book Signing

Last night, I went with some friends Anita, Linda to our Village's Cultural and Civic center to see Award-winning chef-restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality - Rick Bayless - it was awesome!

The place was hoppin'. We went an hour early for a wine and cheese reception and dined on excellent hors'dourves - especially the Salmon Risotto. This reception was not catered by Rick Bayless, but everything they served was wonderful.

This is Chris (a friend who works with Anita), me, Anita and Linda enjoying the event!


Chef Bayless talking about how he wanted to become a Chef after falling in love with the sights, sounds and flavor of Mexico. His family had restaurants in Oklahoma, where he grew up. He seems very down to earth and humble, relaxed, not like some of the other crazy chefs that you see on TV. There were a few glitches with the sound system but he couldn't have been nicer about it and improvised with a regular mic, the sound system problem did get fixed.

He talked about his Frontera Farmer Foundation which he established in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Rick and Deann Bayless, along with the restaurants’ staff, created the Foundation out of their concern for struggling farmers and the importance of local produce to the vitality of Chicago’s culinary culture. It was very interesting to hear where he buys his produce locally.

We waited about an hour to have him sign our books and take a few photos with him, it was well worth it. Then we headed over to The Vine in Grayslake to have a few dessert martini's - I had the Mudslide Martini and it was delicious.

I now have my cookbook proudly displayed on top of my cookbook cabinet and cannot wait to whip up some authentic Mexican cuisine!

Jbien Provecho everyone!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Carnage out my backdoor

Well, in my earlier post about the critters we have seen this spring, I wrote about the coyotes who have made themselves heard and seen. This morning Roadie was making a ruckus, so I looked out to see if our neighbors were out in their backyard and I saw this critter chomping down on something.

I grabbed my little point and shoot and managed to get a couple of pictures of it after I had interrupted its breakfast.

There was a mama duck in the pond going crazy so I though that it might have eaten papa duck. Carlos & Anita came over and Carlos found 3 dead baby ducklings..sniff, sniff...mama duck is still flying around looking for them, it is quite sad to see. Anita and I had Carlos bury them so the coyote couldn't get them again.

I know that nature is not always pleasant and I am a huge animal lover but the coyotes are really worrying me. I think this one could easily take down Roadie, heaven forbid. Would it be horrible to get a b-b gun to scare it off if I ever see it again?

So Excited - Going to a book signing tonight...

for a famous Chef/Author. Stay tuned...

Spring Critters Out My Backdoor

Here is a little photo essay of the animals that we've seen this spring just out our backdoor.

One of the male mallards. He and his mate were in our backyard looking for a nesting place but with our two dogs, who love to chase birds, they decided to move in down the street.

"There arose such a clatter". On May 1st, I heard this loud clacking noise and saw these two Sandhills out on the park grounds. I sent Ron out with his new camera to get some shots. Aren't they cool?

More clattering, but this was from the Canada Geese - one late afternoon they were just honking and carrying on, it was quite annoying. I decided to see what was going on when I saw these two out back. This scrawny yearling...

and it's Mama. Love it!!!

We've also had a lot of coyotes out back but I can never take their picture because it's too dark. They have been very active and noisy this spring. Our next-door neighbor saw one jump our 4' fence from his yard to ours. Kind of scary actually so we have to watch Roadie and Holly when we let them out at night.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Contest at The Vintage Workshop

I have a been a fan of The Vintage Workshop for years now. Here's a neat contest going on and you can win one of two “Fresh From the Garden” Gift Sets!

What do you win? Two gift sets will be awarded. The first set will include: garden seed packet apron, seed packet tote bag, tomato journal, set of gardening/floral imagery, and a set of garden themed note cards from Indygo Junction. The second set will include: strawberry apron, seed packet purse with crystals, seed packet pillow, little girl gardening journal, Faber Seed Co. tissue box cover, several CD’s with gardening/flower imagery, & a set of garden themed note cards from Indygo Junction.

Click here The Vintage Workshop to enter the contest and good luck!