Real good roundup.

Sitting down to write this, I felt like I had two choices.  The first was to walk you through a valiant but ultimately somewhat less than 100% glorious crack at a recipe for chicken roasted with a pimentón & garlic rub, on top of wedged sweet potatoes.  The second was to share with you a lighthearted assembly of recipes, links, videos and photos that have been sustaining my imagination and creative pulse in the last week or so.

For better or worse, my mind is absolutely swimming.  Work is busy but good.  Building the new site, Wooden Spoon Society, is so gratifying and very exciting.  Danny is geeking out learning how to build all kinds of fancy back-end stuff, I am geeking out looking at fonts and thinking about sandwiches.  We had really solid weekend with a lot of family time, getting to know my sister’s new dude, drinking beer together Friday and wine together Sunday, with some more drinking with friends on multiple occasions in a single Saturday, making plans to do more of it next weekend.  (The last few days make us look like the coolest people on earth.  Please laugh. Make no mistake:  we are not.  It’s just that you find yourself surrounded by really excellent people when you pop in to the right bars.)

So I decided I’d rather share all that good stuff with you.  What to cook, certainly, but where to eat, where to drink, what to see, what’s making us laugh and groove.

That recipe for the pimentón roasted chicken & potatoes.  I feel like roasted chicken is a seasonless dish, but it’s also one of those things I tend to think of in the shoulder seasons – it’s almost Spring here in Chicago (NO SERIOUSLY THIS TIME, I can feel it), and I like that this is great hot from the oven but also as a base dish that’s game for various weekday/night iterations.  I substituted the Yukon Golds in the recipe for some bizarrely resilient sweet potatoes that have been waiting patiently for far too long in a big bowl on the counter.  Satisfying to use them up; even more satisfying to taste them roasted with salt, pepper, parsley and even more pimenton, soaking up all kinds of chickeny goodness.

Another recipe featuring vaguely (or seriously) Spanish ingredients, along with a super cool writeup of a local sous chef and overall good dude.  Makes me want to a) go to Carriage House again ASAP, and b) make this with some fancy Spanish chorizo or linguica.

Pizzeria da Nella.  Have mercy.  Right up there with Spacca Napoli and Coalfire.  Gorgeous pizza selection, all done a la Napoletana.  Owned by a badass lady pizzaiola.

The Rock Island Public House down in Blue Island.  Opened just a few months ago by some buddies of ours, their place is doing exceedingly well.  As in, already been on Time Out Chicago’s Where to Drink List for two weeks in a row, AND featured on beloved Chicago Public Radio’s Afternoon Shift this week.  Pretty much gods of beer, and I couldn’t be happier or more proud.  Go visit.  (Also, below, that is their jukebox.  I mean, come on.)


Woolly Mammoth.  RIPH has a few fabulous taxidermied pieces (some from the folks up here at Woolly) and on Saturday night, Dave and I painted a half-drunk but half-very-serious vision of all manner of strange and wonderful curiosities decorating the bar.

Every Portlandia clip ever.  Today:  this one.

My new jam by much-beloved artists Quadron.  Equally excellent for both strutting and bumping those subs in the car.

What did you do this weekend?  Where’d you go, who’d you see?

Tell me what you think...

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