Monday, June 29, 2015

Bang Bang Pie Shop in Chicago.

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This week there will be a lot of photos of pie ahead of you. Just felt like I should warn ya so you can plan appropriately for the Fourth of July. You'll probably be craving pie by then with all these photos of pie.

On Sunday, Jennie suggested that we go to the Bang Bang Pie Shop in Logan Square for an afternoon snack. They have savory and sweet pies, really good coffee and a fun outside patio that we enjoyed.
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Jennie and I both ordered sweet pies - one honey pie and one strawberry rhubarb. Plus we had to try a biscuit as well. The strawberry rhubarb was probably our favorite because the crusts were different, and it was just a little bit better. We weren't in the mood for savory, but I saw lots of people ordering awesome savory pies and biscuit sandwiches.
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Little miss Grace got to try the biscuit and crust as well, and she was a fan. It's hard to photograph her little teeth coming in with her little smile, but she's got them ready for snacking.
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It's so fun watching my friends as moms, and this age, 7.5 months, is a really fun one. Grace's personality really shines through, and she was hamming it up not just for me and my camera but the people at the table next to us too. Yeah pie!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Square Shots from Chicago.

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Most of these square photos I posted on instagram, but not all of them. On Friday night when I arrived, Jennie and I met my friend Dereck at Big Star for tacos. My trip to Texas with Kip where we ate these tacos might have ruined me on a lot of other tacos, but these were good and hit the spot after traveling. Kip and I are STILL talking about those tacos in Dallas on a regular basis. Because as the banner says, "The answer is always tacos." I had admired that banner online before I found it in person at a cute shop in Logan Square.

It was chilly when I arrived on Friday night, so we wore our jackets and sat outside on the patio. I ate a socially inappropriate amount of guacamole - it was so so good - and caught up with Dereck. I also learned that Jennie doesn't like cilantro, something I feel like as best friend I should have already known. For dessert, we stopped at Glazed & Infused for donuts. Kansas City isn't big enough quite yet to have a donut shop open till the late hours, but one of these days. That's how I will know this city has really arrived. The best donut we tried? A very classic one with sprinkles, obviously.

Saturday night, Jennie and I took Miss Grace to eat at a pizza place that was good but mostly significant because it was next to a place with cake balls. Those were so amazing we went back on Sunday to try other flavors. Sunday while we were out exploring, Joe was preparing. He made ramen, totally from scratch, and it blew my mind. This isn't the first time I've been wowed by Joe's cooking. Very impressive attention to detail and the broth was loaded with flavor - Joe seriously worked for hours on it. If you are curious about ramen, read up about it here because Kansas City's getting our first ramen shop this summer. Kip does not care for Asian food, so let me know if you want to check it out with me!

Jennie and Joe live in a condo with two balconies and a fabulous view. I took this last square photo of my view to send Kip when I was talking to him one evening. I was a bit sappy about missing my husband for three whole nights. I love that guy and loved hearing about the shelves he was building while I was away!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Out and About in Chicago.

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I arrived on Friday, June 12th to spend the weekend in Chicago with Jennie and her growing family. Jennie's parents have a place in the neighborhood which is sweet for everyone because they get to see their darling granddaughter all the time. On Saturday morning, we walked over to have coffee with them, and they remain some of my favoritest adults. We talked about books from book club, and they asked about my family. It was so good to see them.

Joe came by and took baby Grace to a first birthday party. Jennie and I had a delicious brunch in the neighborhood at Toast. I had quite possibly the best breakfast burrito of all time. It was well prepared so that everything was nice and warm and stayed warm the whole time I was eating it. It's been two weeks, and I can still taste the awesomeness.
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It was cold the night I arrived, but it warmed way up! We spent much of our time walking outside and it felt like summer on Saturday and Sunday. A brand new walking/running/biking path opened right by Jennie's place.  photo Blog_1046.jpg The "606" connects several neighborhoods with an elevated path. All the neighborhoods start with the zip code 606, and I loved it! It's beautifully done and provides an excellent view of the neighborhoods. I wanted to take lots of photos of the trees and landscaping to discuss with Kip. I knew he would be interested.
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Grace mostly liked me. She liked me best from a distance and occasionally if I held her and did something magical like give her a straw. She's darling and I have lots of excellent photos of her showing off her grin to come in future posts. Grace was a great sport about being out and about and exploring in Chicago.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Kauffman Experience at the Lynch House.

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This weekend is Father's Day, but back in May we celebrated Mother's Day with our mom! We decided to create the "Kauffman Experience" at the Lynch house. The Royals played at Detroit for Sunday night baseball, and we wanted to celebrate Mom with sports. It's fitting for the Luhrs Ladies! Everyone came over about 6 pm for snacks and to eat before the game. Of course Mom and Lu showed up in Royals gear. Kip refused to cooperate and wore purple, so he got to take the photo instead of be in the photo!

Kip grilled some brats and hot dogs for the main dish. Lauren got a spiralizer, and it's pretty marvelous. She made these delicious sweet potato spirals for us. I love a good impulse buy and snatched up these Royals themed peanuts at Hy-Vee sometime recently. We love soft pretzels at the ballpark, and these pretzel bites were surprisingly easy to make. And finally, for dessert, fresh strawberries, homemade chocolate syrup and custard from Sheridan's. We miss having fresh custard at the K, but Lauren picked some up for Mother's Day.

Simple but fun way for us to celebrate Mother's Day, especially as we all have a serious case of Royals fever. We're probably going to watch the All Star game for the first time in a while because it will be like watching another Royals game! We are certainly "forever Royal."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Breakfast in Denton.

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Summer officially starts for me today! Five weeks off to try to get a few projects done around the house, hang out at the pool, read a few books and do an awful lot of homework (two classes and one is compacted to five weeks). Kip and I made a short summer manifesto list, and even though I haven't blogged it, it's still very real. We've already knocked off a couple things of the summer manifesto!

I'm headed out of town for the weekend and super excited about it. I'll be out of town briefly three times this summer, and that should be just the right amount. No big trips on the books for 2015, but these little trips should fit the bill nicely.

This is finally the last post from our fantastic trip to north Texas for Lindsay and John's wedding the first weekend of May. Besides eating at the wedding, we had only four meals to make the most of Texas eating. The hotel had complimentary breakfast, but we ate out in Denton both mornings we were there. I love to eat local, and we had so many fabulous recommendations.

Our first breakfast was our favorite at Cartwright's Ranch House in the Denton. It was another great rec from my mom's sorority sister, and it was the perfect breakfast for my western loving husband. Each breakfast dish was named after a famous western star. He had to tell me about a couple of the names I didn't recognize! It was an amazing breakfast with the country style stuff Kip loves and a perfect breakfast sandwich for me. We ate outside and admired the courthouse in the square.
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On Sunday, we met up with Amy and Daniel for breakfast at Loco Cafe. They had some amazing looking cinnamon rolls tempting us when we came in, and we ordered two for the table. The coffee was hot and good (we drank lots!), and my breakfast sandwich on the homemade biscuits was also good (but not as good as the one the day before!). I had a caramelized grapefruit that made me incredibly happy.
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It was pretty quiet early on a Sunday, but we lingered over the table for a long time with Amy and Daniel. That breakfast meal was one of the best parts of the weekend as we talked life around the table. We ate well and loved our time in Texas with good food and kind friends.

Now onto Chicago!