Tuesday, January 4, 2011

56 Degrees And New Years Eve In Chicago

Photo from Chicagoist
Unlike last year, we experienced beautiful weather on New Year’s Eve. If the weather had held, I would have been tempted to do a Polar Plunge but in true Chicago style the temperature took a nose-dive and we were back to battling near zero wind chills on New Year’s Day.

Speaking of the Polar Plunge, there was the traditional plunge on January 1st but a special one on March 6th year to raise money for Special Olympics. Dare me? Double dare me! I’ve always wanted to do this!

 After drinks at the Pennisula and the Purple Pig (a double dose we could have done outside and that would have been ridiculously fun on December 31st but the sidewalk cafes were rolled up months ago), we strolled down the Riverwalk on outer Wacker Drive.

I had forgotten how beautiful Chicago is at night. With all the lights and the crowds, it was both indulgent and inspiring. Oh to have an intimate experience with a cast of thousands on New Year’s Eve! How could this be any more fun?

New Years Eve came in with a wave of conviction that 2011 would be a much better year than the last. I for one was anxious to close the book on 2010 because I’ve always seen the glass half full and last year tested my faith. Lucky for me faith is what got me though the year so tonight I was really celebrating.

At home, Bonnie made her Mexican dip which is both effortless and appealing. She’s also served this dish as a meal and I will confirm the fact that I have always eaten more than my fair share. This dish is totally addictive!

Mexican Dip

1 Large Can Refried Beans
Spread in the bottom of a dish

3 Ripe Avacado
1 ½ Tsp Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper
Blend together and spread on top of beans.

1 Cup Sour Cream
½ Cup Mayonaise
1 Package Taco Seasoning
Blend together and spread on top of avocado.

1 Can Chopped Olives
1 Bunch Green Onions
2-3 Medium Tomatoes
Chop and Mix. Spread on top of Sour Cream Mixture

2 Cups Grated Cheese
Sprinkle over the top.

Refrigerate all day so the flavors intermingle. Use nacho chips for dipping.

Later, we feasted on an antipasta salad (delicious with Romaine and iceberg lettuce topped with Volpi salami, roast beef, provolone cheese, black olives, pepperoncini, red onions, giardiniera and drizzled with red wine vinaigrette dressing and topped with fresh baked croutons – this was a meal in itself) and thin crust pizza from Lou Malnati's, one of Chicago’s best pizzerias. Eating it reminded me why Bonnie’s husband Bob needs his weekly Lou Malnati’s fix. It’s all in the crust.

The mix of going out early and staying in/up late was a perfect way to bring in the New Year although I will admit my head hit the pillow and I was sleeping by 12:03.

Bon Appetit to 2011!