Friday, March 10, 2017

A North End Vibe Featuring Jazz Pianist David Lahm and Steve & Mary E.

David Lahm joins Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier to bring you "A North End Vibe," hosted by the Main Street/Canterbury Theatre. Together they bring you jazz standards, a whole new spin on the Beatles and other songs that will leave you tapping your foot and singing along. With over 100 years of combined musical talent, the three are embarking on musical stylings from the Beatles to Bacharach - and everything before, during, and after. Link to tickets through eventbrite follow this link for an early bird purchase.
Early bird special for ArtSees Diner readers and Steve and Mary E., followers.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Family Puzzle: A story worth reading.

The Story Dear Family & Friends, After nearly 13 years of marriage, through prayer and reflection, we have decided that we are being called to help our family to grow and parent a child. We understand that this is normally not ground breaking information. We want to welcome you to our journey of faith and love in growing our family. We also need to let you know about some of the unique challenges it brings. Years ago, during Amanda’s Kindergarten days, a traditional classroom activity to finish a classic phrase was posed. The classroom activity precursed a lifelong dream, goal and, ultimately, a challenge. Students were asked to complete the statement, ”When I Grow Up, I Want to Be …” Amanda said simply,“a mom”. The dream of her lifetime was realized. Years later, during adolescence, Amanda received some heartbreaking and life changing news. Due to a lifelong medical condition, Polyglandular Autoimmune Disorder, her ovaries were attacked, leaving her with no ovarian function (post-menopausal). For the remainder of her life, Amanda would require hormone replacement to provide typical female hormone levels. During Junior High School years, Amanda learned that unique steps were necessary in order to make her dream of starting a family happen. Amanda’s Auto-Immune Disorder also attacked adrenal glands (adrenal insufficiency) parathyroid gland (hypoparathryoidism) and liver (auto immune hepatitis/non-infectious type.) She is not a candidate for IVF (Invitro-fertilization) or to carry a child through egg donation due to the condition. In the fall of 2016, hope entered our family. In particular, a lifelong family friend met with Amanda and shared her experience of surrogacy. During that conversation, she offered to serve as a surrogate for our family. From a young age, Amanda’s sister, Elyssa, felt called to help her sisters be mothers in any way she could. She has generously decided to gift us through egg donation. Our surrogate, Morgen, will carry for us following the IVF process. We want to carry on for our families, blending our genetic backgrounds. Recently, the ball has gotten rolling, when she contacted us and said that was ready to begin the journey with us. We couldn't believe this would be possible! We know this is a big adventure and a costly one that will require a great deal of fundraising, financing and resources to cover the costs ($50,000-$70,000) of the uniqueness involved in growing our family through surrogacy. We feel strongly that we are called to embark on this journey. We want to keep you posted and invite you to join us on this adventure. We know that there are many pieces to this puzzle needed before we will meet the child that God has planned for us to parent. Please consider following our page for updates, to learn about our journey and to find out how you can help us find our missing piece of our family’s puzzle through your prayers and financial support. If you have any fundraising ideas or resources that can assist us in completing our puzzle, please let us know. Feel free to share our story with others who may want to keep us in their prayers and support us along this journey. Love Always, Amanda and Steven

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Night of Jazz and Wine at Shady Creek Winery Feat. David Lahm & Steve and Mary E

A Night of Wine and Jazz will feature jazz pianist David Lahm, Mary E and Steve Champagne. With over 100 years of combined musical talent the 3 are embarking on musical stylings from Beatles to Bacharach and everything before, during and after. To be held at Northwest Indiana's finest winery, Shady Creek Winery February 23. Ticket includes live music, a complimentary glass of Shady Creek Wine, chocolates and other assorted small bites. (additional wine is available for purchase at the event) 

David Lahm: David Lahm is a highly regarded jazz pianist who is divided between NYC and his second home in Harbor Country. David Lahm is the son of one of the world's most prolific lyricists, Dorothy Fields. Lahm has a flourishing career as a jazz pianist and arranger. He has recently released a CD entitled "Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell" and has also performed in cabaret in New York with his wife, singer Judy Kreston. Their cabaret act "All in the Family", was devoted to his mother's work, and featured the song they wrote together. In 2000, he arranged several tracks and provided piano accompaniment for Morag McLaren's Fields tribute CD : Nobody Does Like It MeDavid Lahm - famed jazz pianist
Mary E.: Mary E., has been singing for over three decades. She was recently names along with partner Steve Champagne as Best Acoustic Duo in 2015 by the Kankakee Area Music Awards. For over 20 years Mary E., has been a guest vocalist with Kankakee Municipal Band. Mary began her career singing Standards, Light Opera and Broadway. Since forming an acoustic duo in 2007 with Steve they have focused on a wide range of songs made popular between the 60's and 70's and love bringing their music to the Michiana region. Mary E., vocalist
Steve Champagne: Steve has dedicated his life to perfecting his knowledge of the Beatles' and other favs. Some call him a walking jukebox the way he can recall lyrics, melodies and overall style. He has been singing and playing guitar since his earliest memory. Together Steve and Mary E., have hours of pop-rock play list along with standards. 

"SaM & David," is the newest endeavor of these three music lovers and guests will be entertained with a whole new repetoire of Jazz standards, new spins on old favorites and songs that they love to perform. Guests will enjoy a glass of Shady Creek wine, fine chocolates, small bites and Music by David, Mary E. and Steve. Additional glasses of wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are limited so get them while you can. For direct purchase feel free to contact Mary E., at General questions feel free to email Mary E., at 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hamilton Is All the Rage - Welcome to Chicago

It all began as a result of my daughter's utmost fascination that started about 2 years ago I began to follow this phenomena. I started the mad search for tickets to Hamilton tickets for her birthday.

 I discovered that it was close to impossible to find seats to a NYC production, that is unless you wanted to spend a couple thousand or more for a ticket. I saw StubHub, VividSeats and even TicketMaster handling the resale tickets on their site. All of them collecting a nice percentage.

So, when they went on sale in Chicago the other day I jumped on board. 1) I wanted to get tickets for my daughter. 2) It became a game for me to secure tickets 3) If others can make a few $$ entering into the resale game then why can't I? WELL! Let me re-emphasize the WELL!

Can you imagine my frustration when I discovered that due to the high volume of sales and cost associated with the Hamilton phenomena that you can pretty much not sell tickets through a reseller? Tis' True my fellow American.

It seems as though only "professional resellers" of said tickets can embark on reselling them...which makes me wonder how these tickets could have hit StubHub and other outlets within an hour of them going on-sale? Ticketmaster is not even releasing the PDF's, e-tickets or anything yet.

Needless to say I have some good seats for sale. I am not a "professional seller" per se, but I am as transparent and legit as possible. Hit me up - if it just so happens that Ticketmaster releases my purchase to me (why they are being withheld is beyond me) then I would be happy to immediately transfer them to your name upon a paypal transaction. :)

I am certain that Lin-Manuel Miranda is jumping up and down for joy.  Feel free to contact me. Legitimate buyers only please

Here is to a great show! #HamiltonCHI  Oh and #StubHub was willing to let me sell my tickets making them a fat profit as long as I hand deliver my only copy of tickets to their hands on Roosevelt in Chicago. Seriously, would you just turn your tickets over to anyone if they were valuable without some guarantee that you would be compensated? I am supposed to trust them, yet they don't trust me...they have all my banking information. Oh boy!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Michigan City's North End on the South Shore is Alive and Ready To Serve!

Restaurants New To Michigan City, #mymichigancity:
Hum Hum Mediterranean Cuisine 
Dough Boys Sandwich Shop 
Today's post focuses on a recent visit to two of Michigan City's newest restaurants. Included are the best places to grab a bite to eat on the North End of Michigan City. The North End on the South Shore - we love it!

Steve and I just finished up an amazing lunch compliments of the Michigan City North End! Both new restaurants are located next to the South Shore Train Line's 11th St., depot.
We love this place! We enjoyed sandwiches from Dough Boys and I stopped in at HUM HUM Restaurant as well. ‪ #‎DoughBoys‬ you were firing on all cylinders! The place is quaint, friendly and I loved watching the "boys" preparing sandwich masterpieces! Steve ordered the Struben with German potato salad. I had the beef brisket sandwiches (forgot the name) with German potato salad. We also ordered the hummus. All three items were absolutely outstanding! The bread was superb. Next door to ‪#‎HumHum‬ and tried out their grape leaves. PHENOMENAL! What a special treat to have so many options all in one place! I look forward to going back for the falafel as well as gyro, chicken shwarma. Riders of the ‪#‎SouthShoreTrain‬ to ‪#‎Chicago‬ need to be aware of this hotspot! Chicago Food Bloggers this is a must stop! It really was so cool - while I was waiting for our order the train pulled up to the 11th St. Station. Immediately ‪#‎mymichigancity‬ became a whole new world and I wasn't missing the bustle of Manhattan quite as much! AMAZING!

Chicago - it is important to know that the tax rate is extremely low, the cost of libations equally so and there is NO cost to park your car! All is within walking district (aside from Shady Creek Winery and Burn'em Brewing) of the 11th St. South Shore Train Depot.

Other Favorite Places To Dine Out, Hang Out and Enjoy the North End : Overboard at the Marina - 12 On the Lake American cuisine, great views of the lake and live music.
Trattoria Tonelli's World class Italian cuisine with a superb ambiance.
Galvestons Steak and wonderful libations.
Shore Line Brewery Chef inspired bar food - in house brewery, live music.
Fire and Water Washington Park On the Lake - opening soon for the season The same owner/chef of Pickle and Turnip brings a breathtaking view of the lake, beach side service, fast food with a Moe-esque twist.
Maxine's French - American cuisine, high-quality libations with a mixologist flair, live music
Mucho Mas Tex/Mex food, huge portions, high quality - great location.
Cool Runnings Jamaican Catering and Restaurant Jamaican cuisine, phenomenal jerk chicken and more.
Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant Exquisite sushi, fine Japanese cuisine.
Ryan's Irish Pub Most beautiful outdoor patio in entire Northwest Indiana corridor. Great drinks, live music, outstanding pub food.
Shady Creek Winery Although this is no located in the North End district, it is on the North End of the South Shore. Great wine made in house - fun environment with live music, food and special events.
Burn'em Brewing Great place to hang out for that special brew - although it is not located in the North End district it is also on the North End of the South Shore. Blue Chip Casino - Nelson's Deli (BEST Reuben!) William B's (BEST bartender and service - phenomenal Steakhouse!) Its Vegas Baby (Nightlife) Options Buffet (traditional buffet) The Game (great bar food, drinks and sports!)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cointreau-Quila by Mary E.(Qwon-tro-quila)

So tonight whilst spending time at a local restaurant/pub I found myself desiring a libation. There wasn't the wine I wanted, nor was their the Scotch that I would prefer to sip; so, I decided to have the bartender whip me up an original.I requested a tequila with Cointreau It is called the Cointreau-quila, French meets Mexico, or the Qwon-tro-quila. It is one shot of tequila, anejo or resposado would be best preferably Casa Noble but, any good tequila will do. Plus, a shot of Cointreau liquour. Squeeze a slice of lime and lemon into a glass filled with ice. That is all there is to it! The Cointreau-quila, or Qwon-tro-quila! Enjoy! Cointreau Casa Noble Overboard Dark Star

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ArtSees Diner - Truffle Fudge

Truffle Fudge by Mary E

  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk 
  • 16 oz of 60% semi-sweet chips 
  • 7 oz of whipping cream 
  • 7 oz of marshmallow fluff 
  • 1/2 cup of butter 
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla 
  • cake pan
  • parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • non-stick spray 
  • nuts, add-ons or other such tasty treats

Before you make the fudge mixture, prepare the pan. Line it with either parchment paper, foil and non-stick spray and set it aside.

Melt all of the ingredients together except for marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Get it smooth and creamy and bring it to a temperature that establishes large popping bubbles but not a full boil.  Keep stirring it on medium heat for a few more minutes.

After about 6 minutes total from the first signs of melting add in the marshmallow fluff and stir until there are no signs of the white stuff.
Then add vanilla. Remove from heat.

If you are going to add other ingredients, evenly layer the bottom of the pan with whatever extras you are going to use.  I layered Sam's baking add-ons of white chocolate chips, cranberries and macadamia nuts. Next, carefully pour the hot fudge mixture over the baking add-ons so as to not displace the layer. Then I let it cool for 12 or so hours.

Trick to cutting it in perfect squares: Now that the fudge is completely cured and set - lift the fudge out of the pan on the foil or parchment paper. On a flat surface, Using a large pizza cutter roll and cut the fudge into small squares.

Tip: Go ahead and try other chips, flavors and adornments.