Beware of Irish Pirates

As March 17th approached I found myself wondering, who is St. Patrick.  

Naturally I turned to Google to find the answers I was longing for. Google led me to USA TODAY where I was delighted to learn a little more about St. Patrick.  For instance, St. Patrick was not actually Irish. He was a nobleman born in about 400 A.D. in Britain and kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16. 

Can you believe it?  Just a kid, kidnapped by Irish pirates.  In my version the pirates must have felt bad for kidnapping St. Patrick, in an effort to ease the guilt they introduced him to Irish stout.  I bet the first time he tasted the stout he shouted, "Goooodness", which over time, as pirate stories often do, evolved into Guinness.  

Speaking of Guinness, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer daily. On St. Patrick's Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to that USA TODAY story I mentioned earlier.


Now you are probably thinking, get on with it, tell us about your night of pub crawls drinking green Guinness.  Well, that wasn't exactly what went down.  We opted for a fancy St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Michael Smith Restaurant enjoying a 5 Course Meal paired with The Rieger specialty cocktails, bagpipes, and incredible bread and butter.  The bread was delicious.  We arrived at Extra Virgin with plenty of time to grab a cocktail in the bar before the festivities began.  

 Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey Glazed Oyster

Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey Glazed Oyster

 Local Beet Salad

Local Beet Salad

As we were escorted to our table we were welcomed with a Red Right Hand Cocktail paired with Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey Glazed Oyster.  Why not start things off with one of the most delicious offerings of the evening?  The oyster was so good.  Kristi even ate it, it was her first oyster!  The cocktail was prepared with Rieger's Midwestern Dry Gin, lemon, beet shrub, and apricot.  It was sweet yet satisfying.  

The Red Right Hand cocktail was also paired with the Local Beet Salad.  The salad was unique, and unlike any salad I have tasted before.  The salad featured smoked trout, pickled mustard seed and dill. Leslie isn't into smoked fish so unfortunately she wasn't a super fan of the trout.  Hey you can't win them all!  Local Beet Salad pictured below. 





Once everyone had a happy plate the salad plates were removed.  Next on the menu, Dublin Lawyer On Rice.  A contemporary twist to traditional Irish fare, this dish featured Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, rock shrimp, and jasmine rice.  I really enjoyed this course and it paired well with The Garrison; Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, Luxardo Sangue Morlacca, Peychaud's Orange Bitters, and Bubbles. 

Yay bubbles!  Yay shrimp!  



 Dublin Lawyer on Rice

Dublin Lawyer on Rice


While everything was wonderful leading up to the main course, what happened next was nothing short of a Leprechaun finding their pot of gold.  Imagine our delight as we were served the Braised Irish Lamb.  Just look at it.  The meat was so tender.  It literally fell off the bone.  We could have eaten the lamb with a spoon but that would have been weird.  The lamb was served with cabbage and yorkshire pudding.  Right?  Is your mouth watering yet?  This was Steph's favorite course, if I remember correctly it was everyone's favorite course.  The lamb was paired with The Shelby Company Limited Cocktail.  Imagine Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, Spanish Sweet Vermouth, Ango, and absinthe.  Yes, absinthe.  This cocktail was dangerous.  I don't recommend drinking more than one of these.  Like I always say, drinking absinthe in large quantities is just asking to wake up in a bathtub missing vital organs.  (I have never actually said that).


 Braised Irish Lamb

Braised Irish Lamb


Now for the grand finale.  Of course we had to have some Guinness, in honor of St. Patrick and all.  Bring on the Chocolate Guinness Cake served with Rieger's KC Whiskey Ice Cream.  The only complaint was there wasn't more ice cream.  Now for the best cocktail of the night.  The Irish Egg Cream which featured Rieger's Premium Wheat Vodka, Caffe Amaro, Guinness, and chocolate.  Yes. Yes. And Yes. 

If you have never attended one of Chef Michael Smith's event dinners we highly recommend you make a reservation today.  You really can't go wrong!  


 Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake

What a fantastic evening!  We had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day.  We even manage to keep up with NCAA March Madness scores, how else could we confirm all of our brackets were busted!


Sunday morning we all headed to Kemper Arena where everyone was volunteering at the Great Plains 10K.  Some of us had duties at the finish line, others were assigned intersections along the course, and Leslie volunteered to run!   Do you see all of the cars we had to hold off?  This was such a stressful post!  It was our responsibility to make sure none of these cars accidentally drove onto the course.  Mission accomplished.  

After the race we headed to a new restaurant, EJ's Urban Eatery, to score their Southern influenced brunch.  This West Bottoms gem is a must try if you love yourself at all.  The Bloody Mary's, margaritas and mimosas were on special with brunch.  The concept is a Meat and Three which apparently is very common in the South, but it was new to me.  What is the Meat and Three?  Think affordable and customizable meals that are delicious.  Sign me up!  



I went all in and ordered the Breakfast Ribs, fried green tomatoes and spicy creamed corn.  I couldn't have been happier with my selections.  Everyone loved their food, the service was friendly and the family style seating was inviting.  We will absolutely be back to EJ's!  

I'm sure St. Patrick is smiling down on us sipping on his Guinness.  




Thankfully an Apartment Wasn't on the Line...

Last Thursday was International Women's Day.  We celebrated by heading to our favorite spot, Boulevard Brewery for their Girl Power Hop Quiz event.  Boulevard regularly hosts Thursday trivia nights and last week was our first time checking it out.  It was held in the Beer Hall and proceeds went to support MOCSA, which is the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.  

We were given a blank Hop Quiz booklet and tokens for 2 free draft beers upon arrival.  I was secretly hoping for a multiple choice booklet!  I wish I had taken better notes on the ensuing rounds as round one had us staring at each other with blank expressions, followed by uncontrollable laughter as we realized we may be in over heads with this crowd.  Round one finished with us firmly planted in 16th place...OUT OF 19.  Hey, at least we weren't last...and we were having more fun than everyone else.  

We turned it around in rounds two through four as the answers went from the likes of Marie Curie more towards our forte of Oprah and Beyonce.  Who runs the World? Girls!  Somehow we finished round three in 4th place!  Round 5 was a double bonus round and not one of our strongest.  Turns out they only told us the top 3 teams at the end of the night so Unfiltered Adventure will claim they kept that 4th spot to the grave!  Extra credit to anyone who knows the trivia reference in this blog title!  


In honor of International Women's Day, we thought we would share some women who inspire us:


Inspirational women are all around me. I believe we are as good as those we choose to surround ourselves with (ahem the Fab Four that is Unfiltered Adventure). Through different stages of my life I have turned to friends, family, coaches, and mentors to help me rise to different occasions. Among the many significant people in my life there has always been one woman who has inspired me, my G-Ma, Esther Lou Breon. She is one of the first women I knew who encouraged education and independence while she balanced those values with family, faith, and fun. My grandma graduated college in an era where few women pursued higher education. She went on and earned her masters degree, married an Army man, had a couple of kids, pursued a successful career as a teacher and a principal, led Bible Studies at her home, inspired people pretty much daily (we couldn’t walk through town without being stopped by someone making a fuss over her), and she encouraged me to do anything I could possibly imagine. She is the reason I was so driven to earn a masters degree myself. In a sense the task felt like a tribute to her, the amazing woman who helped pave the way before she even knew me. By the way, she’s still amazing and hilarious.


My number one role model is my mom.  Ever since I can remember she has shown strength and courage in every situation.  She fights fiercely for her family and her community.  I don’t know how she found time when we were kids to work full time, take meals to people in need, attend all of our sports/events, maintain a solid group of friends,  and volunteer at the hospital cuddling babies in the NICU…and still have dinner ready for us to eat as a family.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  She is still one of the most giving people I know.  She is a shining example of a woman of faith and conviction.  I strive to be half of the woman she is!


Well, I thought I was supposed to write about a woman who was one of our trivia answers, so I chose Nadia Comaneci (one of the few answers I contributed at trivia).  Nadia was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 and won 5 Olympic Gold medals.  I grew up a gymnast and after watching her movie, Nadia, was completely inspired to go out and win Olympic medals of my own some day.  Unfortunately my gymnastics career never lived up to those dreams, but seeing what one can do if they put their mind to it is simply amazing.  And yes, mom, you are pretty cool too!  


Stephanie watched too much basketball yesterday and resorted to sending me a link on Loyola-Chicago Basketball's Sister Jean.  She has made for a great story this March and you can check her out here:

Cheers to all the fabulous women out there who have paved the way for us to dream and do the things we think we can.




“Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time”  -Will Ferrell  My version went more like this: "I'm going to do a long run, meet up for yoga, head to a Norwex party, meet for happy hour, then head to Uncorked.  Possibly out after...I don't know, I don't know if I'll be able to make it to an after party."  


It was definitely a busy Saturday, but with really fun things!  Andrea and I headed out to puppy yoga in the morning with our friend Mel.  Yep, you read that right-PUPPY yoga.  Basically YogaFit made our dreams come true by hosting an event that included yoga with adorable puppies running around.  It was so fun, not at all relaxing, and 100% worth doing again.  It was donation based and all of the donations went to Unleashed.  Unleashed is a great pet adoption and rescue group in KC.


Andrea and I headed to a Norwex Party straight from the yoga. If you haven't heard of Norwex, it is cleaning stuff...and seems legit.  It actually made me excited to do some Spring Cleaning.  If you are at all interested in some natural cleaning stuff, Angie can tell you all about it! 


After a little power nap and cleaning up, we met up with Steph for the wine tasting event-Uncorked.  Kristi, Steph and I went in the fall and Andrea and I volunteered at this event last spring.  Kristi was out of town last weekend with some other friends shredding more mountains in Colorado, so Mel and Rekeshia filled in for her.  Aka-they were going to the event too, so we all met up.  

Looking for a little pre-Uncorked fun, Steph, Andrea and I headed to one of our favorite spots-Extra Virgin.  Nancy Smith, one of the owners (and Andrea's neighbor), spoils us every time we go!  We showed up and immediately felt like VIP's with our Reserved signs.

Like most responsible adults heading to a wine tasting, we pre-gamed with cocktails!  The bartenders at Extra Virgin are always so attentive and fun!  My second cocktail was off menu and was a great blend of smoky, sweet, and savory.  It will be added to the menu soon, so everyone can try it!


We did do one responsible thing and that's ordering food.  It was all delicious!  Extra Virgin is shared plates/tapas style.  We had the chorizo fried rice, duck tongue tacos, and a tuna tartare.  Nancy surprised us with some items from Michael Smith's new concept restaurant that will be opening soon.  The pastas were AMAZING!!!  I can't wait for the new restaurant to open!  


Properly fueled and ready for some wine tasting!  Mel and Rekeshia met up with us and we headed out. Unfiltered and Uncorked at Union Station!


Uncorked is a fun event, but it is pretty much the same every time.  We came, we saw, we drank's a great time.  Tons of wines.  I didn't find a new fave, but I enjoyed trying them all.