Thursday, July 9, 2015

U2, Eataly, The Drake & Chi-town

Back in 2001, I was given a asked to go to a show by the guys I worked for at the time.  I already knew who U2 was and what their legacy in music seemed to be.  I was excited to check them out live for the first time.  It was May 3, 2001 and they came to Cleveland to the Gund Arena.  I had club seats, I took my brother in law.  We had no smart phones, no digital recording devices, no cares...

What I knew was this...  this was a political band, a soulful band with a purpose, I was 28 and married with no kids.  My biggest challenge was not where to eat, rather, where to park cheapest!.

What I didn't know was this...  this was not music, but, an experience second to none.  I listened to lyrics before but, I can't say I ever really "Heard" the lyrics before that night.  These were men of faith.  Men of faith in humanity, Men of faith in Family and Men in faith to themselves.  Solid!

This started my love affair with a band that for years I discounted but, as I go back and listen to their lyrics now and really Hear them, these are not only the songs of my life but, songs that helped shape my life.

Last week, I saw my fourth U2 show, the second with my bride.  I wish I had more time and money to see a thousand more shows.  A great experience in a Great city with great people.  We spent our days like true Chicagoans exploring the city, Grabbing some delicious grub throughout and shopping (Christmas) and otherwise.  Eataly is a Mecca of all things mostly edible and always Italian.  A fantastic place to spend a day... and a lot of $$$!  We stayed at the famed Drake Hotel and I think anyone going to Chicago should stay there.  You could throw a rock and hit the Hancock building from our room and the proximity to the lake was crazy good.  Cheers to you Windy City!  See you soon!


Potato pancake poutine

4 baked potatoes, halved and smashed
1/2 c rice flour
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1ea 8 oz block sharp cheddar cheese, chunked by hand
2 c. rich brown gravy or demi glace(heated)
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. butter or liquid butter

1.Heat butter in saute pan
2.dredge potato halves in rice flour
3.pan fry until crunchy on both sides
4.finish in oven for 2-3 minutes at 325 degrees with cheese chunks, gravy and green onions

Monday, June 29, 2015

Clarity, Patience and Commitment!

Welcome back!  As many of you know, each year my family and I spend a week on the shores of Northwestern Lake Erie in a community called Lakeside, Ohio.  It is here, where I am able to unplug from the life of business and get back to the soul of life!  Putt-putt, shuffleboard, donuts and ice cream are the biggest decisions that I have to make in this singular week.  It is here where my family and I can be just that... Our family!  Centered in an environment of culture that is nearly lost in time. Family dinners together, no major electronics, naps, nightly family entertainment, bike rides, scavenger hunts and a speed limit of 5 mph!  I long for this way of life to be the norm but, alas, the week ends and the reality of faster paced life sets back in.  Although, I would argue that it doesn't have to "Set In" at least not yet.

If there is one thing that I have learned in our 12 years of pilgrimages to this portal to pleasantville, it's this...  When you focus on the real reason that you are here on this rock for such a short time, it's easy to remember the important stuff!  For me, it's Faith, Family and love for life!

Wherever you find is your own personal "Lakeside, Ohio", I sure hope it brings you the clarity and thoughts on what is important as well as how we celebrate the things that are!  And, let the things that aren't just melt away......


Here's a little summer treat to celebrate life on a steak or by themselves!


Crispy Balsamic Onion Straws

1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. balsamic glaze
1 c. rice flour
canola oil for frying

1.soak onions in balsamic glaze for 10 minutes. drain.
2.toss in rice flour to coat well. (onions will be dark)
3.heat oil in saucepan on medium high.
4.fry onions in oil until nice and crispy. (3-5 minutes)
5.remove onions from oil and drain on paper towel.
farm fresh salad

Anniversary munchies

A gift from Cameron on Father's Day

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

All In CLE!!!

There is a saying right now in CLE and that saying is All In!  Our Cavs are up 2 games to one in the NBA Finals and... It's a Magical experience around this town right now.  A city, a county, a region, a State has stepped up to back our prodigal son and his group of merry men as they scratch, claw, man up, never give up and live for one another on the court.  Heart palpitations are at an all time high and for the first time in a long time, we can smell it!  Just 2 more wins to go ALL IN on!!! Finish this fairy tale!!!

With the quickness of summer approaching, I wanted to throw a couple of recipes out there that my family and I love to share around the fire.  Something about an open flame seems to just make things "taste better".  Maybe it's the fact that we are outside or the fact that the smells of hickory wood  seems to trigger fond memories of growing up and simpler times.  Whatever it is, I'm All In on Summer!!!

Here's a few items to twist up your summer fires.


Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions

6 ea. 4 oz Italian Sausage
6 ea. fresh hoagie rolls
2 oz. maple syrup
1 t. sriracha sauce

Caramelized Onions
2 red onion- shaved thin
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 c. sugar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Method for sausages:
1. In bowl, mix maple syrup and sriracha sauce together.
2. marinade sausages in mixture for 30 minutes.
3. fashion a grill top for over the campfire.
4. grill sausages basting with maple syrup mixture until cooked fully with deliciousness!
5. toast bun and top with caramelized onions.

Method for caramelized onions: saute pan on low heat, cook onions with with olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
2.continue cooking until onions are translucent and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.

Wild S'more's

Ginger Snap cookies
dark chocolate pieces

1.spread your nutella on ginger snaps.
2. add a piece of dark chocolate.
3.toast your marshmallows.
4.make your s'more.