Warm cauliflower & barley salad (via @bonappetit) #taste

Warm cauliflower & barley salad (via @bonappetit) #taste



Crab salsa and related debris. Recipe via @fandw. #superbowlfood #vscocam

Crab salsa and related debris. Recipe via @fandw. #superbowlfood #vscocam



January photos: leftovers.



Things that made me happy this week 1.26.13

  • Spending a few days in San Francisco as frigid weather arrived in Chicago.
  • The charcuterie platter at Chris Cosentino’s Incanto.
  • Sightglass Coffee. Move over Blue Bottle. I think I have a new favorite San Francisco roaster.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 of Shameless.
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman.
  • The chicken pot pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop. A thing of beauty.
  • The Beer Temple, a great new beer shop in my neighborhood.
  • My dog catching snowflakes in his mouth.
  • Michelle Obama’s bangs. Bang solidarity. Don’t hate.

Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy



Friday Top Five 1.11.13

My favorite things this week. Four of the five were enjoyed on Monday, which also happened to be my 32nd birthday. I suppose I could have tried to find 32 things I enjoyed this week, but alas I am old and that sounds exhausting.

1. Blueberry-Lemon Cake doughnut at Glazed and Infused.

2. Tostada de Betabel and platanos fritos at Big Star. This is how you do meatless Monday.

3. Ghost Pepper Mustard from Mess Hall & co. It’s made in Chicago with a touch of the world’s hottest peppers. Think mild, slow-burning heat with a touch of sweetness. Use it in a marinade for baked chicken thighs or a vinaigrette tossed with roasted broccoli. Find it at Provenance Food & Wine.

4. Oysters and peanut butter pie at The Savoy. Following David Tamarkin’s advice will rarely steer you wrong.

5. Jellies exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium. I was mesmerized. And I made this little video on my iPhone:



Adventures in amateur catering, starring pimiento cheese and the best oatmeal cookie

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My parents both turn 60 this month and to celebrate they decided to throw a big party and renew their wedding vows.

I offered to help with the food because I’m good at helping with food, but I’m not good at helping with other wedding-ish event things like decorating and music and speeches about feelings.

The guest list was around 150, so we needed some professional assistance. I’m not that good at helping with food. We went for a southern/comfort food-type menu. The pulled pork sliders and mac and cheese were catered, and I prepped the cold dishes with my dad and my brother who cooks for a living and let me use his fancy knives.

We made about 15 pounds of “Tennessee-style” coleslaw, which is dressed with a combination of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar and celery seeds. I became obsessed with mustard coleslaw after my trip to Memphis last summer. It’s the perfect combination of tangy and creamy, and I recommend heaping it on top of a pulled pork sandwich.

We also made a bunch of pimiento cheese - 1 gallon of mayonnaise and 10 pounds of sharp cheddar’s worth. I recommend eating that on just about anything. There was a buttermilk herb dip for crudité, and giant bowls of salad with a simple vinaigrette.

For the cookie bar, I made oatmeal lace cookies, which I tried for the first time at my friend Andrea’s epic holiday cookie party last month and immediately forsook all other cookies. There is only THIS COOKIE. I made a big batch of them to take to various family Christmas gatherings and accidentally (on purpose) forgot them at home in the freezer. I ate them all by New Year’s. I might try some different flavorings, like this fennel and poppy seed version from 101 Cookbooks. But then again I might not, because why mess with perfection?

Want some recipes? Here you go!

Tennessee-Style Coleslaw (Noble Pig)

Pimento Cheese (Zingerman’s)

Buttermilk Herb Dip (Fine Cooking)

Oatmeal Lace Cookies (Forkable)

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Ves & Mar, 1976



The leftovers are all gone. Time for something fresh. 

Green olive, walnut and pomegranate salad. Recipe: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/11/24/green-olive-walnut-thanksgiving-day-recap/

The leftovers are all gone. Time for something fresh.

Green olive, walnut and pomegranate salad. Recipe: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/11/24/green-olive-walnut-thanksgiving-day-recap/



After many years and many recipes, I got my family to take seconds of sweet potatoes. All it took was copious amounts of butter, cream and bacon. #thanksgiving

After many years and many recipes, I got my family to take seconds of sweet potatoes. All it took was copious amounts of butter, cream and bacon. #thanksgiving



Happy Cheesegiving!

Happy Cheesegiving!



Butternut, balsamic & ricotta salata. #soupseason #meatlessmonday

Butternut, balsamic & ricotta salata. #soupseason #meatlessmonday