Picnic Chicken

Picnic ChickenPicnic memories are always kind of happy memories, aren’t they?  Think about it: do you have any not-so-fond memories of a picnic?  Sure, some are better than others, but are they ever really bad?  No, not really.  The word picnic, for me, conjures up happy reminiscences.  The lawn picnic at Ravinia with all my friends almost a decade ago now, where we drank wine and belted our Hootie and the Blowfish songs and ate pre-made potato and pasta salad from the grocery store.  The impromptu picnic of sandwiches from Pastoral that my husband and I ate in the garden of the Art Institute the day that he proposed.  The PB&Js and apple slices, and sweet perfect little waffle cookies that I pack for my sweet boy, so he can have a picnic in the treehouse with grandma.  [Read more...]

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Wild Mushroom Tart with Arugula and Ricotta

Wild Mushroom Tart with Arugula and RicottaSo, I took a little hiatus from being here for most of the month of May thus far.  Which is a little crazy, since last May, I was here pretty much every other day talking about rhubarb and strawberries.  It’s pretty much the best time of the year for food blogging, because aren’t we all just bursting with excitement about things that are green and lush and don’t come out of a can with a depressing *plop* sound? [Read more...]

Baked White Beans with Bacon and Breadcrumbs

Baked White Beans with Bacon and Breadcrumbs

Oh, spring, you tricky little vixen.  You’re hot, you’re cold.  You’re sunny, you’re rainy.  If it weren’t for the air being slightly, wondrously scented with the hint of rain, and the daffodils poking their heads through the grass, and the fuzz of green buds covering the trees, I would disown you all together.  Spring is maybe my favorite season, because even though I love virtually everything about summer, nothing can beat spring for how badly I want it.  How hopeful it makes me feel. Every beautiful spring day feels like a gift, you know?  You don’t take a single one for granted. [Read more...]

Beef Brisket Tacos

Brisket TacosAh, April.  Or, as I like to call it, the month where all I want is for it to be July already so I can eat corn on the cob and cheeseburgers straight from the grill.  In Chicago, we’ve seen an absolutely gorgeous April, with lots of sun and warm days.  But also a whole lot of rain and chill… not exactly worthy of pretending it’s mid-summer.  So we bounce back and forth between soup and homemade bread weather and grilled meats and salad weather.  That’s ok with me. But let’s not forget that there is one food that transcends the seasons: TACOS. [Read more...]

Pork Ragu over Creamy Polenta

Pork Ragu with Creamy PolentaWhen someone says that a recipe is idiot-proof, it’s usually for one of two reasons.  Either the recipe is so unbelievably simple that you can’t screw it up OR while it does have several steps and ingredients, it’s very forgiving of any shenanigans you throw at it.  This is definitely one of the latter.  This is one of those dishes that is super impressive and incredibly delicious, but most of all, it’s really hard to mess up.  Believe me, I tried. [Read more...]