You guys are not going to believe this, but my dear seeeester hates – and I mean HATES – St. Patrick’s Day. In Chicago, this holiday is a big deal. Two parades, we dye the river, everyone goes nuts. What’s not to love, right?

Well, Ali and I both bartended back in the college days and I believe there was an incident with a “leprechaun” accosting her (read: hired drunk midget dressed up to entertain the crowd… he was very in love) that mayyyy have turned her off from the holiday and its madness altogether.

So, I get it. But, this year I’m campaigning for her to come out and I think I’ve almost hooked her!

In an effort to push her over the edge and headfirst into a giant green beer, I’ve decided that the best bait is new gear for the festivities. In all honesty, I think the tacky t-shirts have probably contributed to her disgust over the years, so to combat any “but I have nothing to wearrrrr” objections at 7am Saturday morning (yes I’m serious), I’ve handily compiled all of these super cute and reasonably priced options for her.

You’re welcome, Ali!

Al: In addition,  I promise not to make you wear beads or shamrock stickers, wear any sort of headgear, let anyone foist an Irish Carbomb on you, and I will keep you far, far away from any “leprechauns”. Do we have a deal?


I’m about to drop some flavor knowledge…seriously, pens and pencils ready, at attention, on alert, whatever. Here it is….

Barbeque and cole slaw together are delicious. 

Okay, jokes aside, this combo is obviously a traditional pair since it’s so dayyyum delicious (sorry, Mom).  Ever since the old Tsunami Sushi in the Gold Coast upgraded itself to the amazing and adorable Q (barbeque joint…get it?  Q?  Okay, you’re not stupid…obviously you get it) my neighborhood always, always smells like an amazing summer smokehouse grill-fest.  With the warm winds blowing through the city this week, I couldn’t resist cracking my window open to let in the breeze and subsequently the amazing smell of barbeque.  In an amateur and almost-but-unintentionally insulting homage to the real deal, I opted for the slow-cooker variety for dinner and leftovers. 


Using the Neely’s Food Network BBQ Sauce recipe – because who doesn’t love the Neely’s? – I simmered 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts in delicious sauce until they were fall-apart tender.  For a lighter and fresher cole slaw, I tossed shredded cabbage in a fat-free Vidalia Onion salad dressing and added a scant teaspoon of mayo for the creaminess that we all know cole slaw rightfully deserves. It’s earned it.  I tucked the combo into a soft and sturdy whole what wrap and enjoyed with a fresh spinach salad.  Amazing. 

Note:  this sauce will NOT steer you wrong, but I did substitute honey for the sugar (substituted for white not brown – brown adds flavor, duh) and added a half tablespoon of finely ground coffee and a pinch of allspice.  Just sayin’….