Brown Butter Blondies

Brown Butter BlondiesListen.  It’s mid-June.  The beginning of summer.  You really should be eating healthfully.  Loading your body up with nutrient-packed greens and antioxidant rich berries and all of that.  I mean, that’s what I’m doing.  Mostly.  But chocolate and vanilla and browned butter know no season.  Or rather, my craving for them has no season.  Or, maybe, it knows ALL the seasons?   [Read more...]

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Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy Chicken EnchiladasI can’t let Father’s Day come and go without posting a recipe for these creamy chicken enchiladas.  They are my husband’s favorite.  No, I feel like that’s putting things a little too mildly.Creamy Chicken Enchiladas For  a person who married a woman who loves to cook, my husband kind be kind of blasé about food.  He’ll eat most things I make, which is great, but he very rarely gets excited about any one thing I make.  I asked him once what he had a taste for and he didn’t even know what I meant by that.  That’s what I’m up against, folks. [Read more...]

Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel

Rhubarb Muffins with Almond StreuselRight before and after I had my little girl, a lot of people told me that having two kids was great.  That it was tough at first (they said this with a perceptible shudder, which made me start sweating just a bit), but that after about a year, it was wonderful because your kids can actually play together.  You know, a built-in buddy.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti CarbonaraYou know when people talk about food moments?  It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with people over food.  We all have them.  A food that triggers a memory of a moment in your life, whether its painful, joyous, confused, or pensive.  I often hear about food being a sort of universal language, a universal ice-breaker, because hey, we all eat.  Any of use could think of at least a dozen moments in our lives that we consciously or subconsciously link to a moment in time, or a time in our lives.  The smell of bread rising in your grandma’s kitchen.  The specific brand of pizza puffs that you’d heat up after long nights out in college.  The pastry you got from that little shop across from your hotel on your honeymoon.  It’s part of what’s so wonderful and universal about food, how it can transport us. [Read more...]

French Potato and Green Bean Salad

 

French Potato and Green Bean SaladI’ve never been to France.  And I really can’t complain about it.  I’ve been plenty of places that are amazing and have opened my eyes and taken my breath away.  I’ve visited the Taj Mahal and the small town in Germany that my Grandma was from. I’ve seen flamenco dancing in Spain with some of my dearest friends and had breakfast looking out over Big Sur with yet another dear friend.  I’ve been all over Mexico and have visited family in Minnesota.  I spent time studying in Ireland and I’ve spent time partying during an ill-fated, but memorable, college spring break in Florida.  As far as travel goes, I consider myself blessed to have seen so much of the world before I hit 30.  Truly, I’m beyond lucky. [Read more...]

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...]

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...]