31 March 2014

Current Coffee


Nespresso Citiz


While we love our Nespresso, we also change things up a bit a couple of times a week and use our Ingeni pour-over. Our current favored coarse ground coffee is Peet's Major Dickason's Blend. My only complaint with our Nespresso beauty is that I like my coffee HOT!!! So, I always have to microwave my Nespresso for @15 seconds to achieve that goal. The pour-over coffee is just the right temp.


And, we also sometimes default to the Bodum French Press, having taken it to the beach and other vacation destinations many times.



30 March 2014


I love kitchen gadgets!

All chocolate from Italy!

Today we traveled to Eataly. Not the country but to Eataly, which is fairly new to Chicago. We ended here by default; happily so. Crazy mis-communication took 30 minutes of drive time, so we missed church at 4th Presbyterian.

The plan was to attend church with RvH and CA and then celebrate their birthdays (4/1 and 4/2, respectively) at brunch. Instead we checked-out Eataly, enjoyed croissants and Lavazza coffee, shopped, and bought to-go Paninis--two Figuolas (or something close to that spelling) and a Caprese. They obviously change-up the names as their on-line menu referred to the Caprese as Giulietta.

We loved our experience and brought home some treats (including brown tomatoes!) CA and I later shared the Caprese and fig-gorgonzola-prosciutto Paninis. (RvH chose the fig Panini). Delicioso!



First photo and the following are not mine. Google "Eataly Chicago Images" for attributions.

Lidia Bastianich, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali


29 March 2014

Non Sequitur



This is how my brain works...



Paris Breakfasts published a photo of a lovely radish plate. I love tableware and accessories adorned with radishes, although I'm not overly-fond of radishes.


Unless they are tiny. Especially if I'm in France and/or eating them with a hunk of fresh baguette.



And that, folks, is what we call a non sequitur.

28 March 2014

Shout Out

Our terrifically gifted and hard-working niece just got a well-deserved promotion. Congratulations LG, mother of the effervescent SG and the irresistable RG.


Rocket Gibraltar


I've written before about Rocket Gibraltar being my favorite movie. There's a great male bonding scene where Levi says, "Nothing's as good as a midnight pee in the ocean."


I ran across this family photo from Virginia Beach last winter. The guys are just admiring the waves at Croatan Beach, but it suspiciously appears similar...


Back to my favorite movie...

The amazing cast list from this 1988 production includes quite a few actors who've made it to stardom in the intervening years.


Some more sweet images from Rocket Gibraltar...


27 March 2014


CA and I were reminiscing last weekend about PayDay candy bars. Cannot remember the context, but I was motivated to buy two with plans to chocolate coat them. That's just how my brain works, sometimes.
When I reached into the pantry for the chocolate chips, we had only butterscotch--having tossed the remainders of three degrees of Ghiradelli chocolate chips (milk-semi-sweet-dark) into the recent batch of chocolate chip-pecan-dried cranberry cookies. Just the Tollhouse recipe, but increasing the brown sugar to 1 Cup, and decreasing the white sugar to 1/2 Cup.
I digress...
I proceded to attempt to melt the butterscotch chips. I should have known better. I do know better. By design, baking chips don't melt; they just soften. Not to fear, I had some semi-sweet Baker's chocolate on-hand.

I cut the PayDay into quarters, arranged on waxed paper (a cooling rack would have been better--drips), globbed some softened butterscotch chips on top of each piece, drizzled with microwave-melted Baker's chocolate. Voilà!

They went down easily... There were only 4. YUM. CA ate 2 1.

26 March 2014

Amazing Shortbread



Photo from original artcle in Cuisine magazine, December 1983--MY FATHER'S SHORTBREAD: A Cherished Legacy by Sydney Eddison. Recipe is the source of my current shortbread recipe, and since it's not available on-line and that version of Cuisine has ceased publication, I transcribed the 5 page article.

I hope to include the entire warm-hearted story along with my heretofore unpublished version of the recipe, which gets alot of attention and requests for the recipe.

Coming soon to a blog post near you.


25 March 2014

Food Snobbery

I am a confessed food snob. I love good food, and automtically seek out the best brands, the best restaurants. I love to cook, and read cookbooks for pleasure.

That being said, much of the food I love isn't gourmet. I've begun compiling a list of favorite foods.


Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

A very recent find. We love this--with eggs; mixed with sour cream as a condiment with Mexican food. With chicken wings... A gadzillion possibilities.


Haticot Verts: (Trader Joe's)

I like these much more than the fresh one's available at Costco.


Fettuccine Alfredo: (Trader Joe's)

This is a new find. A package serves 2 and microwaves in less than 7 minutes.


Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips

My current favorite is to combine milk chocolate and bittersweet when I make Tollhouse or my own recipe for Monster Cookies (which includes peanutbutter).



Birds Eye Steamables

These are my go-to vegetables to round out a meal when seasonal fresh vegetables are hard to come by. Cooking instructions result in tender-crisp vegetables. The Penne is the perfect size for lunch, but the red peppers are just too soggy, so pick them out.


LaTortilla Factory White Corn Tortillas

Ah-h-h... I scavenge for these. They're sometimes in our regular grocery stores, but I can always find them at Fresh Market. Once in awhile I've found the larger size available. Otherwise, you can overlap two to create a larger fillable surface. We lightly brown these in hot oil, and drain well.


Fage Greek Yogurt (2%)

I love both the cherry and the honey, but mostly have the plain with fresh red raspberries, and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Post Great Grains: Raisins,Dates, and Pecans

My favorite cereal, and I also got my mother-in-law hooked. She once told me that she went to bed at night looking forward to her breakfast cereal. Enough said.

24 March 2014

Breakfast for Dinner Tonight



Family favorite white corn tortillas. Fresh Market and other specialty stores.

Tortillas lightly brown in hot oil in just seconds. Drain on paper towels.


-recipe below-

Just stir fresh spinach into roasted potatoes fresh from the oven.

Add a bit of grated cheese to the scrambled eggs.


Assemble and garnish with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, and/or sour cream.


Started with this recipe from Magnolia Days. Decided to add fresh spinach, and serve with cheese-scrambled eggs and white corn tortillas. Then a bit of Sriracha sauce.