Adventures in Milwaukee (Oct. Weekend #1)

posted on: Friday, October 22, 2010

I know this was weeks ago (3 to be exact), but in an attempt to catch you all up on life here in the newly established Fleming household, I divulge...

As I informed you before, Nick and I went to Farm Aid. Now, if you're anything like me, your experience with farms is limited to a producer-consumer relationship, with the occasional apple picking or pumpkin patch...and you would have little reason to know about Farm Aid.  To be honest, I really just wanted to go see Band of Horses--which, I'm somewhat ashamed to say, I couldn't go see as a headliner, since I married someone who isn't a huge fan--so I was looking for a way to disguise a BoH concert with someone that Nick would want to go see. Like Neil Young. Or John Mellencamp. Or Willie Nelson (Farm Aid founder, God bless him).

Or Steven Tyler. Surprise guest!

So back to the story of how we got to Farm's short: I bought tickets. And we went. Much to my chagrin, we (translation: Nick) were so enthralled with our Lakefront Brewery tour, that we were late to Farm Aid and MISSED Band of Horses. Nick owes me big. And I'm okay with this. And here's another shot from Lakefront Brewery.

He's sorry.
I know I'm really jumping around in this story, but back to the concert...

I've shown you the major highlights...except for one: Lukas Nelson.

Rocking. Out.

I like to fancy that living in Chicago has given me a greater appreciation for the blues than the average bear. Interpret that as you will. And whether you choose to take my word on it or not, Lukas Nelson is the shit. I could listen to him shred that guitar all day. And I did. I was there. Watching that video. But it was in real life.

Okay. Enough about the wicked awesome musician. Back to Milwaukee.

The many faces of moi.
It was a cloudy day, but this did not stop the hubs from getting a little shutter happy. I tried to oblige.

Getting artsy in the alleyway.
This is a summary of the various beverages we sampled in this, the capital city of brewing beer. As you can see, we did not limit ourselves to beer.

And finally, since it REALLY felt like fall this weekend, here's a shot of me enjoying my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Like, REALLY enjoying it.

too excited?
That's all for tonight, lovelies! Stay tuned as I attempt to catch up...

Since I've Been Gone

posted on: Monday, October 18, 2010

Well, my dears...I was doing pretty well there for a while. The blog was updated, and much to my surprise, I had faithful readers. If you're all gone, I don't blame you. It's been a while.

I've been a busy, busy girl. Busier than usual. Which is saying something. Everything I've been up to deserves its own post, but I don't want to overwhelm anyone, so here's a taste of what's to come:

First October Weekend- Farm Aid 25:

See? Farm Aid 25
I know. Not the most exciting picture. The exciting ones are coming later. This is a teaser post. Just so we're clear. (:

Brewery Tour in Milwaukee. I'm looking very guilty here. Don't worry. I don't feel guilty.

Tied up into the Farm Aid post will be Nick and Emily's Adventures in Milwaukee. They're brief. But it happened.

Second October Weekend- Farewell Brother

To be honest, this is a large part of the reason why my blogging has been remiss. Since I found out in early October that yes, my baby brother is *actually* going to Afghanistan. For a year. Starting today. (He's in the Air Force--as am I, incidentally--did I mention that already?)

Enter me having a slight nervous breakdown. Much better fodder for my therapist than my blog. No offense, I find it very cathartic to share my life/thoughts/emotions with total strangers. But I thought this might be a bit much for our budding relationship to withstand.
The Bro-heim. In his WWI uniform hat. (Not actually part of his current uniform.)

We do, indeed, love each other.
Third October Weekend- Bestie's Baby Shower:

Holding up the world.
My bestie, Meghan (seen above with a few of my other besties), is with child. Annaleigh Jane, who will be arriving in January, needed some we showered her with some.

Hubs came to Hot-lanta too, and we spent the next day on Lake of the very best days I've had in many moons. Many photos were taken, but here's one for now.
In your FACE
Some people blog about their weekend. I blogged about my month.
Does this make me ambitious?
Or a slacker?
You decide...

A Recipe!

posted on: Thursday, October 7, 2010

This is my very first shared recipe. I have no idea why it's taken me so long. I cook all the time. Guess I'm just a hold-out. :)

Anyway, this recipe is dedicated to the sweet and lovely Sarah Tucker and her perfect Alsatian bow. Maybe she can pick up an Alsatian Riesling and really rock this recipe.

Chicken & Riesling

1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pound), backbone discarded and chicken cut French style into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
4 medium carrots, halved diagonally (or 1 1/2 cups of baby carrots)
1 cup dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling*)
*Trader Joe's only had Pacific Rim Dry Riesling. And for that, they should not be sorry. It was perfect.
1 1/2 pound small (2-inch) red potatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (I used heavy cream, as I wince in fear at the sound of French words in recipes. Tasted great.)
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
 Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 
Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a wide 5- to 7-quart heavy ovenproof pot (I used my Le Creuset :) over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning once, about 10 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Meanwhile, wash leeks and pat dry, then thinly slice just the white and pale green parts.
Add the leeks, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the chicken drippings, and cook covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes. 
Wash and scrub potatoes. Make sure they are all about the same size (so they cook evenly), rough chopping if necessary. You can peel them if you prefer, but the red skin adds a nice pop of color. 
To the leeks, add chicken, skin sides up, with any juices from plate, potatoes, carrots, and wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover pot and braise chicken in oven until cooked.
Stir crème fraîche (or heavy cream) and parsley into chicken mixture and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

I served mine with the remains of the Riesling, which was a divine choice. As well as a delicious Trader Joe's Triple Cream French Soft Cheese. I wish the label said more. It was in a triangle. I picked it up on a whim, and two Trader Joe's salespersons stopped me whilst shopping to tell me I had selected an amazing cheese. They were not wrong. At all.

And because hubs fancies himself an artiste while I'm cooking, here's a gratuitous picture of our mini-blinds.


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