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The LinkedIn Team
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I recently took a vacation to visit my family and escape the NATO craziness in Chicago. While I was in Omaha I went to one of my favorite places, The Bookworm in Countryside Village. My Mom and I love the bookstore and the coffee shop, Village Grinder, attached to it. I ended up buying a couple of books this time around (support your local independent businesses!!). One of the books I purchased was a recipe book called One Girl Cookies from the bakery in Brooklyn of the same name. Today I made the recipe that made me want to buy the book...Apricot Jam-Filled Almond Butter Cookies. Apricot and butter...Y-U-M! My apartment smells like butter...and the cookies taste wonderful. The book is filled with great recipes with wonderfully simple ingredients. My next recipe to try will be: Honey Apricot Granola.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Not pictured: Was in the West Loop neighborhood yesterday morning and bought a delicious latte from this not-so-new coffee spot, La Colombe Torrefaction on Randolph Street. Line to the door when I was leaving...
Monday, February 13, 2012
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
From top to bottom: Eleven Madison Park, we devoured the Four Course menu and enjoyed added extras sprinkled throughout the four courses, like these mini macaroons | Fatty Crab in the West Village sharing Fatty Sliders| Brunch (of course) at Balthazar, the scrambled eggs in puff pastry | The view from my friends' apartment balcony | Sharing the amazing and delicious, mediterranean menu at ilili restaurant, one of the largest restaurant spaces I've ever seen in New York |
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Check out the adorable and yummy cupcakes from a good friend's baby shower this weekend. I tried the red velvet cupcake with fondant monkey face at the baby shower...delicious...right down to the fondant. Cupcakes in attendance: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, vanilla cake with butter cream frosting, red velvet with cream cheese frosting and cookies and cream cake with frosting to match. South Indian cuisine was served for the appetizers and lunch...delicious as well! At the end of the shower we were all asked to fill a blue polka dot bag of candy from a blue themed candy buffet. Various glass vases were filled with blue rock candy suckers, blue M&Ms, blue vanilla flavored Tootsie rolls, white chocolate covered pretzels with blue drizzle, It's a Boy! suckers and blue saltwater taffy. There were even leftover cupcakes for us to take as well...a vanilla with butter cream frosting made the trip back to my apartment. Tasted even better the next day!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Foursquare says i havent been in a year, seems too long. I opted out of my standard truffled egg toast for bruscettas and a fontina egg asparagus breakfast one. Its good but I still recommend the truffled egg toast. A mimosa, a prosecco and a free bartender prosecco made up for the ordring deficiency. Ino is still all about daytime chilling in the village w snacks read truffled egg toast always and several glasses. Caw!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Speaking of M....she's really the reason I was inspired to put this post up this week. I was going through her wedding photos online from back in June...and it appears that after the wedding ceremony at our church in the Lincoln Park neighborhood...she and Andrew stopped at the CBA for post-wedding ceremony steamed sandwiches...I love it. Of course if it was me I would have made my new hubby walk a few more blocks to Sweet Mandy B's for dessert!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Well, for the life of me, I can't get the "Read More" or "Continue Reading" to work for me and I've got waaaay too many photos too post. So for now, until Broccoli and his magic HTML powers return from holiday, here's a tiny preview of my day trip to Milwaukee last Saturday. S. had the brilliant idea to take Amtrak and get out of town for the day and head up north, only an hour and a half away, to Milwaukee! I had never been and had wanted to check out the Milwaukee Art Museum ever since Calatrava put his mark on it. I had also heard from many friends that there were some great spots to dine and drink at. We managed to squeeze in three of the recommends 2 in the awesome Third Ward neighborhood: Water Buffalo (pre-museum snack while dining on the riverwalk), Harbor House (post-museum and pre-dinner Spotted Cow beers) and Milwaukee Ale House (dinner before heading back on the train to Chicago). The beers above (photo credit to S. and his iPhone), we happily enjoyed in the amazing sunny and warm weather from the top terrace of the Milwaukee Ale House overlooking the river. Stay tuned...
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
1. Maude's Liquor Bar (West Loop...always, always packed...)
2. Doughnut Vault (River North...though, really should I stand in line for 2 hours for a donut?)
3. GT Fish & Oyster (River North...I need to make friends in Chicago that love seafood as much as I do for this dinner.)
4. C-View (Streeterville...Marcus Samuelsson's C-House Restaurant lives on the bottom floor of the Affinia Hotel, but the rooftop bar C-View is the last on my list of rooftop bars to try in the city.)
5. Urban Belly (Avondale...New in 2009...but still have not made it west to try it out.)
6. Hot Chocolate (Bucktown...This is one of those spots I've had dinner and dessert many times, but have always wanted to try the brunch.)
7. Sunda (River North...This spot has been open for awhile...but have never gone.)
8. Bistro Campagne (Lincoln Square...Opened in 2002...French bistro...yum.)
9. Hot Doug's (Avondale...I would be in big trouble from my blogmates if I left this off the list.)
10. The Bristol (Bucktown...I've had dinner there a few times, but never the brunch.)
*Photo from last summer on the patio of The Purple Pig...probably my #11 to go back and enjoy.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
After a morning at our favourite farmers' market, we were inspired by the fresh sheep ricotta we bought at the Highmark Farms table so C and I decided to make something neither of us had ever made before: spinach + ricotta ravioli!
Now here's where you'll notice our novice pasta-making skills. We kind of miscalculated the spacing of the filling on the strip of dough, and the first batch of ravioli were so large such that they covered the entire palm of my hand. They were pop-tart shaped ravioli! The subsequent batches were smaller, but after ingesting 3 of the pop tart ravioli, no surprise I was full. But the filling was really delicious and the fresh sheep ricotta was super creamy.
Hopefully our next ravioli project will produce smaller, more delicate edibles. And in the meantime I'm going to pick up one of those cute ravioli cutters with the scalloped edges and ask C to bring the pasta machine over so I'm not huffing and puffing for my meal.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I went to see my parents in Omaha for Thanksgiving...American style. I arrived the day before Thanksgiving, which was my Dad's Birthday. We celebrated his birthday with dinner at Zio's Pizzeria. We all started with a house dinner salad. Dad added HIS favorite, anchovies, to his salad. Mom and I did NOT. We shared the 3 cheese bread and then moved on to our individual slices of New York Style pizza...Y-U-M! If that wasn't enough...we arrived back at my parents' house and Mom surprised my Dad with cupcakes (2 chocolate with chocolate frosting, vanilla with vanilla frosting and a red velvet) from Jones Bros. Cupcakes (above). The graphic designer in me loves their fabulous logo, package and menu design and lovely web site. Oh and yes, they taste soo good, especially at the store with their coffee. But as always, those who know me best know that nothing beats Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes.
Thanksgiving dinner was delicious as always (No photos we ate too fast!). This year we had filet mignons from where else, but Omaha Steaks. They were a gift to my Dad from a vendor who happens to be a Canadian, a T.O. resident in fact! We also had mashed potatoes, King's Hawaiian rolls and I made the ever-so-tough to make green bean casserole. And of course for dessert, Mom's amazing Pumpkin Pie.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
While out in the eastern townships over the long weekend, I brought home two bags of peaches and cream corn (among many other eat-able, drink-able items). And inspired by the gorgeous shots of fresh corn pesto pasta on Lottie + Doof, I knew that this exactly what I wanted to eat. I mean, duh, corn pesto… seems so obvious, why didn't I think of this before?
And to drink? I finally opened up a bottle of Cab Sauv that my friend Bo brought me from a trip to Israel. Corn from Quebéc, basil from my balcony, wine from Israel. A nice combination indeed.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Thanks to an unusually warm (some might say sweltering) summer, the annual tomato sauce-making weekend came early this year. Last year we did them in September, but this year Uncle Luigi set August 28 as the day we would turn 10 bushels of San Marzanos into sauce.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Not to worry, I am still hopelessly devoted (I craved Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes ALL THE WAY from Toronto) to Sweet Mandy B's...still the best cupcake, hands down. But Sprinkles is conveniently on the way home from work, close to my favorite brunch/lunch/snack/dinner place, Feast and around the corner from Sarah's Pastries & Candies. I'm in trouble. I L-O-V-E my neighborhood.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
I was lucky enough to be gifted a precious petri dish of saffron, transported across the ocean by a generous friend a couple of months ago. So of course the first thing that pops into my head is: paella! By happenstance the following week, I found a paella pan on sale for $10 at a kitchen outlet store and the idea for a paella party was born. I know that traditionally Spanish paella is made with rabbit and green beans, but I opted for the seafood version this time: Littleneck clams, squid, jumbo tiger shrimp, haddock, peas and some chopped up kale (I had it laying around in my fridge so I just tossed it in). And what's a paella party without sangria and good friends? Check! If you're going to make paella, don't forget to keep it on the stove just a bit longer so you get that delicious crispy caramelized soccarat on the bottom. Here's the recipe I used, in case you want to have your own paella party this summer, enjoy!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
A wish I've had for the past year has finally come true. I finally had the chance to eat dinner at the fantastic pig-centric Publican last weekend. Join me in re-living this happily over-stuffed evening, won't you?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In the past couple years, I've become quite fond of ricotta cheese. And when I was on a liver cleanse last month, it was one of the only cheeses I was allowed to consume since cow dairy was prohibited. I think it's because ricotta's made from whey and most of the milk protein gets removed during production, so technically it's not really a cheese; it's whey cheese.
I was exposed to ricotta more through C and his family. His mother likes to have it at the table when she serves a rice sidedish, and though nobody else in the family does this, she enjoys a scoop of ricotta mixed into her rice. Then C made me pasta once that was just tossed in a mound of ricotta and drizzled with olive oil. He said that it's a typical Roman dish. C's mother often makes cakes containing a lemony sweet ricotta filling and at Easter they make little pastries also filled with sweet ricotta. But my favourite way to have ricotta is very simple and no-nonsense: slathered on bread or in this case, rye cracker, and drizzled with honey, and I'm not talking about no Billy Bee honey. This snack is like a little piece of heaven– crispy, creamy, airy, delicately sweet. I was lucky enough to pick up fresh, homemade ricotta at my farmer's market. But turns out, you can make your own ricotta easily enough at home. I haven't tried yet, but it's definitely on my to-make list.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This was not made by me but thoroughly enjoyed by me. Prepared by Maurizio, C's cousin, we had brisket with gravy, rice and beans, a crispy non-mayonnaisey coleslaw and fantastic potato salad. You too can enjoy Maurizio's homecooking very soon with the launch of his ready-to-eat organic dinners, prepared using locally sourced meat. Check it out here.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Last night, C and I decided to take a hike over to The Queen and Beaver on Elm street. A definite pain in the you-know-what to find parking, but well worth it. We were both craving fish and chips but each started with something different. I had the salad with Stilton, poached pear and walnuts. Nice big, fresh leaves of radicchio, butter lettuce (I think) and endive with just the right amount of dressing. And C had the smoked salmon special appetizer that came with a little mound of minced beets. I was lucky enough to have a taste of the salmon and it was fantastic… smoky, melt-in-your mouth delectable.
The fish and chips was just the right amount of food. A light, crispy batter that wasn't oily or greasy and the fish was perfectly cooked. Add some thick cut fries and homemade ketchup (Normally I am a ketchup hater, but this was so good! Not too sweet like regular ketchup), with a cider to drink and I'd say that's a swell Saturday night, chilling out, end-of-liver-cleanse-meal. Oh, and on the way home, we stopped for a Jager on the rocks at the Gem.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I grew oyster mushrooms in my living room. Crazy, right? I must admit, it was a bit creepy when I first spotted the little fungus nubbins poking through the plastic bag containing the bail of straw in which mushroom spores are embedded. And awed and amazed when with each passing half day the mushrooms kept getting larger and larger. And just this past weekend, they were large enough to harvest! The instructions that came with my mushroom kit said to twist off gently so as not to disrupt the surrounding environment, but the whole mushroom family came off together and didn't want to be separated when we tried to remove them individually. Sadly, I'm on a liver cleanse until April 6 so this harvest was bequeathed to C's mother. I trust she will make something delicious with them and here's hoping for a few more harvests so I can sample them for myself!