Five (Unexpected!) Chicago Places I Miss

Chicago is too massive for me to wrap my brain around. I lived here nearly eight years and I barely scratched the surface of it. Like many residents of any town, I settled into my routines and barely got out of them. I thought maybe I had a lifetime to figure this city out. And now I only have the occasional visit…

As excited as I am to choose my own PDX adventure (or do I want to take the Rose City path!?!?!), I can’t deny I miss Chicago deeply. And as I’m visiting for the first time, I’ve been replaying so many things I miss, and I realized there’s an important category I’d like to share.

Places I Regret Not Visiting More


MANA Food Bar

MANA has fabulous food.… Continue reading →

Why, Yes. That is an Apple Sandwich.

A week ago, I made apple sandwiches for dinner.

I mean, I made apple and caramelized onion sandwiches for dinner.

I mean, I made sandwiches containing apples, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and smoked tomato jam for dinner.

Man, those sound really different, don’t they?

Yum. Just yum.

While making the sandwiches, all I could focus on was finding some way to save dinner. See, my original plan sounded dreamy to me. And simple. And oh, how I need simple after work these days. And the plan was chicken sandwiches.

Unfortunately, I got home, started getting things ready for sandwiches, and discovered that the leftover roast chicken looked bad. And I was bummed. And freaked out, because I had to figure some substitution fast. Because while chicken sandwiches with caramelized onion, goat cheese, and tomato jam sounded good, without the chicken it somehow no longer sounded good.… Continue reading →

TBWC2C Challenge: Apple-Pumpkin Brown Betty

I’m not quite sure what possessed me to volunteer to be one of the home cooks for Zach and Clay’s Super Awesome Cover to Cover Challenge over at The Bitten Word. I actually almost passed on it. When they first posted it, I could have been somewhere in the first 20 volunteers, I suspect. However, I decided not to, as Bill and I were traveling for most of the cooking time.

When they posted their request for a few more volunteers, I looked at the schedule again. I considered that our vacation rental had a kitchen. And then I said, “Why not?”

Then I got my assignment, an Apple-Pumpkin Brown Betty (APBB). I told Angelique that when I saw the recipe, I was thrilled. You know, in a food hoarder sort of way.… Continue reading →

Vegetarian cooking

I recently had a birthday. Like, less than a month ago. Just after my birthday, I made a list of things I wanted to get done or have made into habits by the time my next birthday rolled around. One of my “habits” to be formed is that I want to start participating in “Meatless Mondays”. Sounds good, right?

Well, I had my list made just before New Year’s Eve, which means there’s only been two Mondays I’ve been challenged to so far. And the first one was a holiday & we went out to breakfast & I totally stole some of Bill’s corned beef hash.

Oops.

However, that’s no excuse to give up. I have to push on & keep trying. Only, really, I suck at both vegetarian cooking and, more generically, meal planning.… Continue reading →

Tasha’s (attempt at) Asparagus Risotto

Cover of How to Pick a Peach, by Russ Parsons

One of the first things I wanted to do upon arriving home to Chicago was find some asparagus. I love asparagus utterly, and could probably eat it until I turn into an asparagus spear.

Luckily for me, asparagus season isn’t that long.

“Asparagus season isn’t that long” was actually my biggest fear upon arriving home too. I was terrified that three weeks gone from home, and a couple weeks of not shopping prior to that meant I’d missed out completely. Which would have made me quite sad.

So, of course, it only makes utter sense that we would get in about 8:00 pm on a Friday, and I’d be prepared to go to a Saturday morning farmers’ market. Where, thankfully, I found asparagus. I also found a couple of tomato plants, an amazing tamale (that isn’t New Mexican style at all), and some eggs.… Continue reading →