31 March 2008


Ah-h-h Paris. I'm daydreaming about going back soon. I may have to be content with a virtual visit as I read Clothilde Dosoulier's upcoming release Clothilde's Edible Adventures in Paris. I thought it was to be out this week but just noticed that the release date is April 22. Her book tour last year brought her through Chicago and we had a delightful luncheon and visit with her at Froggy's in Highwood.

It's been just a year since I took my small granddaughter for her first visit to Paris. Who knew there were so many playgrounds scattered throughout the city? And, the carousels! There seems to be one on every corner. Liliana had her first and her fifth ride while there.
Seeing Paris through a child's eyes was a treat. She chose her first umbrella and then a blue beret. And, the children's clothing stores are superb--Du Pareil au même is my favorite. Each location has a variety of styles and the prices are quite reasonable.

My all-time favorite stop is always E. Dehillerin for cookware and supplies. It's kind of like my Las Vegas. I have to go in with a "limit" or I could go for broke. A few of my favorites from last year's trip...

photo from remodelista

23 March 2008


Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop
813 N. 40th Street
[40th & Cuming]
Omaha, NE
(402) 934-6427

Don't even think about the scones you've sampled at Starbucks or Caribou...

Sweet Magnolias incorporates so much fresh fruit into their tender and delicate scones--there is no doubt that, as the sign says, "No mixes here."

The flavors vary... I recommend the peach and the blueberry, and am sure that the list goes on and it will take another trip or two to Omaha before I can vouch for additional varieties.

Also, check out another great Omaha pastry shop--Delice...

13 March 2008


POSH is actually an acronym that evolved at the turn of the 20th century when the English were traveling frequently to India. Wealthy [and pragmatic] passengers would choose cabins on the Port side of the ship traveling from England to India and the Starboard side for the return trip. This kept them safely out of the blistering sun while making the 30-plus day journey.Tickets were stamped P.O.S.H. (Port Out Starboard Home) and people began using the acronym as a word to describe luxury travel and elegant accomodations.

613 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 280-1602

Check it out! Bon voyage...

02 March 2008


This has been a throwback winter in Chicago. Twenty years ago this much snow was the rule, but we had begun to believe in Al Gore... or at least in a perpetual El Nino. So, February drags on into March and we gather friends and family around the fire for some consolation and comfort food.

Chicken pot pie and banana splits offer the solace we're seeking. We talk and laugh and eat to contentment. Work tomorrow, but tonight our tummies our smiling.

Chicken Pot Pie
If you want to go all out, you can make a pâte brisée from Martha Stewart, but only a total foodie will notice if you opt for the Pillsbury Ready Crusts available at your local market.

2 T. Butter
2 T. Olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced medium
4 Carrots, thinly sliced
3 Celery stalks, thinly sliced
8 oz. Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Medium potatoes, cooked until tender crisp and diced medium
4 Chicken breast halves, simmered with a bit of celery and onion then diced medium
32 oz Chicken stock [approximate amount]
Prepared pie crust

In large saucepan, melt butter with olive oil.
Saute onions, carrots, celery until onions are transparent and vegetables are tender crisp.
Stir in flour, and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes.
Gradually add chicken stock until it combines with the flour to make a smooth gravy consistency.
Add mushrooms and simmer over medium low heat for a minute or two.
Stir in potatoes and cooked chicken breast chunks.
Pour into a medium sized casserole dish or deep-dish pie pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with pie crust; crimp edges and use a small knife to make vent holes in crust top.
Bake at 350 degrees until pie crust is golden brown.

Banana Splits
Strawberry topping
Pineapple topping
Chocolate topping
Whipped cream
Chopped nuts
Maraschino cherries