Tag Archives: food

Cheezborgers at the Billy Goat

It’s always fun when a little bit of the city comes out to the suburbs. I’m not talking about the buses with an ad for The Lorax attached, puffing black smoke in front of me as I drive Emmy to preschool. We’re actually not that far from the city. At just the right spot on Milwaukee Avenue, we can see the Chicago skyline. We do make it downtown every once in a while.

And now, just down the street from us is a new Billy Goat tavern. The owner of the original Billy Goat was famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) for putting a curse on the Chicago Cubs when he wasn’t allowed to bring his pet goat to a game. That curse still lives on, even though there have been attempts to break it by bringing a goat into Wrigley Field.

Remember the Saturday Night Live sketch with John Belushi that went “Cheezborger, cheezborger! No fries, cheeps!”? Yes, that was based on the Billy Goat.

So can a tavern that made its reputation in the big city make it in the ‘burbs?

Even though they are famous for not having fries, this location does. They were my kind of fries! You should know this about me…I don’t share my fries with anyone. They were crisp and crunchy on the outside, hot and potato-ey on the inside. The hamburger bun was really good, but its heftiness needed more burger, I thought. The burgers come plain, and it’s up to you to dress them up. Lettuce and tomato would have been nice, but onions and pickles were the only extras besides ketchup and mustard.

The service was fast, though, and there’s a movie theater across the street. The Billy Goat would be a good place to get a bite to eat before a show. I loved have the big windows all around the place, and it would also be fun to sit at the bar for a girl’s night out.  Next time, I’ll skip the cheezborger and try the Greek salad.


Take This Fun Survey!

I spent the morning working on a survey that I created for my volunteer job at my church. As I was making lunch for Emmy and Lily (who’s home sick), I thought it would be fun to create a survey for Lemon Drop Pie! As I was learning how to use Survey Monkey, I discovered that I could embed the survey right in my blog. Bonus! Plus, I don’t have a post ready for today, and this is easy to publish before I take Lily to the doctor. (She’s fine, but strep has been going around.) (Oh, and please ignore my grammatical mistakes in the survey. I noticed them too late!)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

If you read my blog in your email, this survey may not appear, so please click through to Lemon Drop Pie.

I’m looking forward to seeing your responses! Please excuse me now while I go snag some apple slices.


Mom’s Chili {Spin Cycle}

Mom’s Chili {Spin Cycle}

Chili was my mom’s go-to supper, when we were pressed for time and had somewhere to be. Most likely, as we were the pastor’s family, that somewhere was a church service. My sisters and brother were less than thrilled to have chili on Christmas Eve, but they had Christmas cookies and other goodies to look forward to when we came home. Unlike my siblings, I always looked forward to eating chili. We would also eat chili on Wednesday nights before Lenten services, or other times Mom needed to throw together a quick and easy supper.

As a mom myself, I make chili on ballet and choir nights. My sister-in-law will request my chili because I make it like her own mom used to. Her children don’t like chili, so she doesn’t make it at home. Neither do mine, but that doesn’t stop me! I mix together cornbread batter and throw it in the oven to make my children happy. I serve chili with lots of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, diced raw onion, and oyster crackers. Ed will chop up a fresh jalapeno for some extra heat in his bowl.

Chili is so versatile; make it in the crock pot in the morning or an hour before you eat. Throw in some chopped green peppers or leave them out. Add the rest of that jar of salsa when the tortilla chip bag is empty. Use tender, shredded boneless chicken breasts for a different flavor. Chili always tastes even better the next day–leftovers I actually like to eat. A friend from MOPS and I agree…when making chili at home, use very lean ground beef. When bringing chili to a new mother or a grieving family, use the less lean beef! She was kind enough to bring her own version of chili to our home when my mom died.

Mom’s Chili

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large can chili beans in sauce
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
chili powder
2 whole bay leaves

Brown ground beef and drain well. Add the cans of chili beans and tomatoes. Add the onion, keeping some in reserve for serving the chili. Stir in chili powder (I don’t measure it, so sprinkle it to your taste) along with two whole bay leaves. Simmer for at least an hour on the stove, or cook on low in the crock pot all day. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, raw onions and oyster crackers.

For more recipes and the stories behind them, visit Gretchen at Second Blooming. I’m also linking up with Shangrila at My Bella Figlia with a new meme about mothers.


Setting the Sandwich Bar Too High

It all started with a piece of toast.

Gingerbread Man Toast

Let’s back up a little. Actually, it all started with the book Chester’s Way, by Kevin Henkes.

Chester's WayChester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Chester is a mouse, who has a certain way of doing things. When Lilly comes along, she teaches Chester and his best friend Wilson new ways of doing things. Among the fun Lilly brings, she shows Chester and Wilson how to use cookie cutters to make sandwiches more interesting.

After reading Chester’s Way to my Lily and Emmy, I started using a cookie cutter to make their toast more interesting. When Lily started school, I had to make a lunch for her, so I started to use heart and star cookie cutters to make her sandwiches. Emmy got the same sandwiches at home, and she requested regularly “the best peanut butter sandwich” for lunch.

Then one day, Emmy asked for a kitty sandwich.  I made this cheese sandwich for her:

Kitty Sandwich

Emmy loves black olives, and she likes carrots, so I knew she would eat the kitty’s whiskers. Emmy even tried the little sweet red pepper nose! (She didn’t like it, but at least she tried it!)

 As a birthday treat, I made this sandwich for Lily to take to lunch the day before her birthday. Her school mascot is an owl, and after seeing Little Page Turners’ owl sandwich, I had to try my own version! (I accidentally cut off his right ear, but a little peanut butter helped it stay put.)

Owl Sandwich
But now, what kind of sandwich can I make Lily for lunch tomorrow?
I think she’s just going to have to be happy with plain old salami. 
(Lily loves salami.)

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