Where can I watch The Blackhawks in Chicago?

Everybody loves the Blackhawks! You can go watch them live at the United Center if you can get tickets. Or watch them on TV with a bunch of other fans at one of these Official Blackhawks Bars.  Official Blackhawks Bars play the game on most or all of their TVs and there’s sound- other games on other TVs are muted. Also, they have the spinning red light and play the Chelsea Dagger  song when the Hawks score, which is fun. These are some of my faves: Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Old Town:

  • Butch McGuires. Bonus points if you go near Christmas for an out of control decoration situation.
  • The Lodge: Super low key, oldey timey and retro- one of the oldest bars in Chicago! Also, kinda lodgey.
  • The Snuggery: Ok, I’ve never been here but I like the name. Who doesn’t like to snuggle while watching sports and drinking beer?

Lincoln Park: 

  • Beer Bistro: Tons of different beers here and good food, too.
  • Crossroads Public House: This is where we celebrated the 2013 Stanley Cup Victory
  • Michael Diversey: Very lively, full to brimming with Bros and Trixies- but still, it’s our go to Blackhawks Bar, plus they have good food

River North:

If none of these appeal to you, you don’t HAVE to go to an official bar, pretty much any bar with a TV in Chicago will be playing Hawks games, or will put them on if you ask. Also! If you’re really a Blackhawks fan, be sure to go have a meal at The Palace Grill. Not only is it a neat old vintage diner, but it’s by The United Center and packed with Hawks stuff. Rumor has it that the players themselves stop in from time to time, too. Fun!

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How to make a two minute, two ingredient sugar scrub.

Homemade sugar scrubs are all the rage now, so of course I make them, too. But I am cheap and lazy so I make the easiest, least expensive version I can. And it’s fab! You just need some sugar (I’ll go into the different kinds in a minute, here) and some virgin, raw coconut oil (the non virgin, processed kind is ok, but it won’t have the nice scent we want for this scrub). Oh, you’ll also need some kind of plastic container to put it in.

sugar scrub ingredients

You just need some sugar and some coconut oil for a nice sugar scrub.

Put some of the sugar into the container- I usually fill it about half way. Then add the coconut oil- stirring in a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. If you add too much, just add some more sugar.

Stir the coconut oil into the sugar

Stir the coconut oil into the sugar

Ta da! You have a yummy sugar scrub.

You can make it whatever consistence you like- softer and more moisturizing, or stronger and more abrasive

You can make it whatever consistency you like- softer and more moisturizing, or stronger and more abrasive

You can use any kind of sugar you have around, different sugars give a different texture.

White Sugar: Softer, more liquidy. A good all around scrub for face and body. Not a lot of scent, just a nice vanilla, sweet scent.

Brown Sugar: Slightly more abrasive, with a very nice caramelly scent. Another good all around scrub, might be slightly abrasive on the face, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Evaporated Cane Juice: About the same abrasiveness as the brown sugar, but with a less caramelly scent.

Turbinado or Raw Sugar: Slightly caramelly, sweet scent, too abrasive for the face, but great for body skin, rough patches and dry feet.

It’s hard to believe something so simple can smell so wonderful and work so well, but it does!

 

 

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How to chop onions without crying

how to slice onions without crying

I hate chopping onions. Not only do my eyes water like everyone else’s but it also give me a headache! I’ve read all sorts of different ways to keep this from happening: rinse the onion in water, put vinegar on the cutting board, put the onion in the fridge for a few minutes first, hold a piece of bread in your mouth while chopping, wear sunglasses. Haha, none of those ideas work very well, but you know what does? Simply breathing through your mouth while you’re chopping. Yeah, simple, don’t breathe through your nose at all while you’re chopping onions. It really, actually works. It might make your mouth taste slightly oniony but it’s a lot better than tears and headaches!

 

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How I decide where to go for Chicago Restaurant Week (2014)

I love Chicago Restaurant Week! This year it’s actually two weeks and takes place from January 24th to February 6th. Last year we went to Kinzie Chophouse and Bistrot Zinc. Both were very enjoyable. We rarely go to steakhouses or French restaurants because they tend to be pricey, and we’re not rich. So Restaurant Week is a great time to hit them up. If you haven’t heard of Restaurant Week, it’s a week (two this year!) when all the fancy restaurants in town do special prix fixe menus for $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner.

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

I want to be adventurous, and I know I should be, but I don’t really like weird trendy food like kale and duck confit. But I also don’t like boring things like roast chicken. I appreciate a good beef dish and vegetarian dishes and Italian places, too. So this year maybe along with the steakhouse and French, we’ll go to a third, possibly more unusual spot. And, unless it’s something ridiculously fabulous, we stick to the $22 lunches and $33 dinners- another way I choose is to check out their regular menus and see if the places are a really good deal during Restaurant Week or if you can get basically the same thing any time.

So, based on all that, here are the contenders:

French: Bistro Voltaire, Mon Ami Gabi

Steakhouse: David Burke’s Primehouse, Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Italian: Riccardo Trattoria, Piccolo Sogno

Other: The Refinery, Two

Where else should I absolutely not miss? Where are you going to go?

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The Container Store’s Omni Bucket

So, I just have to quickly tell you all about the best thing ever. As you know, I have a stupidly tiny kitchen. There’s actually a decent amount of storage but a lot of it is up high. I always have to drag a chair in to get to stuff off the top shelves which annoys me, disproportionately probably. I was looking for a real step stool for in there but they’re all so huge. The folding ones are better but I don’t have anywhere to put one of those, either. Since I hate my trash can, I was hoping someone made a combo step stool trash can. Someone does, but it’s not actually for sale. So anyway, my hopes of having a two for one item in the kitchen were dashed. UNTIL I came across this bucket from The Container Store.

The most excellent step stool/cat food container ever. The Omni Bucket from The Container Store

The most excellent step stool/cat food container ever. The Omni Bucket from The Container Store

I hardly ever shop there because it can be expensive for what it is. But I saw the buckets and thought they were cute and could replace some less cute storage I currently have, specifically cat food and other cat THINGS. When I saw that it was strong enough to step on, I about died. OMG I had to have it. Some of the colors are even on sale! So exciting. Now I keep the bucket on the floor filled with cat food. It can be gently slid across the floor to the kitchen, or if needed elsewhere, it has a handy handle. It’s plenty large enough and plenty strong enough to hold cat food and me! Genius!

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