Empanadas!

We heart empanadas.  For real.   From the bottom of our wannabe foodie appetite hearts that crave creative, delectable, complex yet simple tastes.  Empanadas are all that – pillowy pockets that house great deliciousness.  Dare I call them a delicacy?!?  One fateful day while craving empanadas hunger caused me to simply type the word empanada into Google maps.  You know, just to see what would happen. *clouds parted and angels began singing while playing harps*  5411 Empanadas appeared.  Wait, what?!?  A restaurant solely dedicated to empanadas?!?!  If Iwere using an iPhone5 with the Apple map, I surely would have thought this was one of its myriad mistakes.  But this was Google maps so it couldn’t be a figment of one’s imagination.  If you only serve one type of item and are still in business, surely you must have perfected it.  So we made the trek north to their cute storefront to eat empanadas and only empanadas.  We stared with dangling tongues at the chalkboard wall menu trying hard not to order one of each.  They had us at Malbec beef.  Really?  You cooked the beef in one of our favorite wines and packed it in a perfect crust?  We’ll need two each of those, please.  Not only did they perfect the empanadas but the chimichurri sauce…ah! There really is a little slice of Argentina in Chicago.

Did I mention they have a food truck too? *bookmarks Chicago food truck finder*

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

cheers!
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

malbec beef empanada
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

mushroom and blue cheese empanada
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

sweet corn empanada
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

bbq chicken
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
*all photos taken with smart phone*

Why 5411? It’s the international code for Argentina.  Duh.  (I had to ask.)

Have you had 5411 Empanadas? Do you enjoy empanadas as much as we do?

-nah

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We’re Up In Arms About What?

I don’t even think it’s necessary to qualify this story as the entire country is only talking about one thing.  Still. Since Monday.  It’s Thursday.  Indeed, I’m throwing my two cents into the Replacement-ref-mageddon.  This crisis must be met with strong social media activity, swift criticism from non-football players and the intelligence that typically surrounds any sporting event after much beer has been consumed.  And I understand why we’re still angered and engaging in such vitriolic conversation.  It’s not like the housing market is doing anything newsworthy.  *checks smartphone for CNN breaking news* Oh, prices rose sharply in the housing market.  Hmm.  Ok, but that’s all.  I mean, nothing else is going on in the world and we’re all healthy and safe.  *checks npr.org*  New Sars-like virus emerges in Middle East.  Oh.  I mean, there’s no need to pay attention to this story because it’s waaayyyy overseas.  A virus like that can’t travel west and eventually jump across the pond.  So yeah, really that one referee thought Tate was in full possession of the football and didn’t see him push off his defender?!?  *reads news crawl* The General Assembly of the United Nations is convening.  Topics to be discussed included countering nuclear terrorism.  Well that deserves my attention.  But y’all carry on right after I present the best award for caring far too much about sh*t concerning folks who make millions; I have a newspaper to read. *reads front page* The NFL and its locked-out referees have reached agreement on a contract that will return the officials to the field.  Welp… *turns page*

-nah

Welcome To Chicago Prince!

Prince, who has long partnered with Rebuild the Dream, is hosting three concerts in Chicago to help spread the word and coalesce volunteers for the organization.  Rebuild the Dream diligently works to create sustainable communities and collaborates towards building a more equitable economy.  We attended the opening show of the  Welcome To Chicago residency, which began Monday.  The venue was packed with young and old, black and white, and of course the purple!  Nearly everyone found a way to incorporate some purple into their ensembles, some less subtle than most.  It was also my first visit to the site of basketball magic – the United Center.  I’m grateful we purchased club level suites allowing us to watch Monday Night Football while awaiting the start of the hour-late show for which Prince sincerely apologized.  All that I’ve read regarding Monday’s concert is true, but we finally saw Prince, danced, sang along to some oldies like Cream and Kiss and even had Purple Rain drizzled on us.  All in all, it was a great evening!  No cameras were allowed, so I  snapped a few shots with my smart phone.

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Have you attended a Prince Concert?  If so, did you enjoy your experience?  What’s your favorite Prince song?

-nah

Colosseum

The Colosseum, for us, had always been one of those bucket list places – you know, one of those places we’d eventually visit. When the opportunity presented itself for us to be whisked off to Rome for a few days sooner rather than later, we hopped all over it. The excitement between us was beyond palpable, even through sleepy, bag-filled eyes, as we landed and checked into our hotel early on a Saturday morning. Then we hit the fork in the road – power nap or persevere.  Excitement won and we veered right, quickly showered and began our trek to the nearly two thousand year old Colosseum that couldn’t wait another 15 minutes for a power nap for our visit!

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Colosseum
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Despite the inhumanity, one’s mind can’t help but to recreate gladiatorial contests of centuries past while standing where tens of thousands have sat.  What an experience! Then, it was time for our first Roman lunch.

Have you visited Rome?  If so, what was your favorite place to visit?  If not, what will you visit when you do go to Rome?

-nah

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch

Happy Monday! As you may know, Professor Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie-Mellon University.  In 2006, he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  Upon receiving a grim diagnosis, he spent time compiling the wisdom he’d gained throughout his 47 years that could be shared with his children at the appropriate time.  He chose to spread his wisdom in the most fitting way – a lecture – aptly entitled The Last Lecture:Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.  It eventually was transposed into a bestselling book.  Below is some advice he shared at the close of his lecture.

It’s not about how to achieve your dreams.
It’s about how to lead your life.  

If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself.
The dreams will come to you.

~Randy Pausch

Have you read The Last Lecture? If so, what did you take away from the book?

-nah