Special Request

April 24, 2008

I mentioned the delicious menu from Saturday night’s Seder, but I didn’t mention the fact that, over dinner, Kevin’s sister Abby voiced a special request. She asked me to post a Passover-friendly dessert recipe this week. She and her roommates (she’s about to graduate from the University of Wisconsin) have apparently been on something of a baking streak. I, of course, was all too happy to grant the request.

And, well that was Saturday night. And it’s now more than half-a-Passover later. It’s not that I didn’t want to post this recipe sooner. But when I started looking for recipes, I became truly paralyzed. It’s as though every baked good imaginable has been reinvented with Passover in mind. As someone who’s fairly new to Passover, I was bewildered by the array of choices. Would I do a flourless chocolate cake? The omnipresent matzo crunch? A recipe from the back of a Maischewitz box? I eventually made up my mind and, while Passover is certainly waning at this point, I’m hoping that Abby & Co are still in search of a baking project.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)

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Mine is a family who likes to tease. And, when it comes to my mom, my sister and I can be a wee bit relentless. But we kid out of love, I assure you. For instance, we like to tease my mom when she sometimes inadvertently reenacts a scene from the movie What About Bob. Have you seen What About Bob? If not, close your browser, shut down your computer, and proceed to the nearest Blockbuster. Seriously. If you have seen it: so good, right? And, do you remember that scene where Bob (Bill Murray) wins himself a dinner invitation at Dr. Leo Marvin’s (Richard Dreyfuss’) vacation home? And Dr. Marvin’s wife, Fay, cooks up a feast, which is apparently the most delicious thing that Bob has ever eaten? Which leads Bob to dissolve into incessant “mmm’s” and “Fay! Fay! Fay!’s,” to the extent that Bob’s swoon eclipses the entire dinner?

Well, when my mom really loves something she’s eating, she has a habit of being very Bob: lots of oohing and ahhing. My sister and I of course treat this rather endearing habit with merciless ribbing. Clearly, we should be disowned.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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Spanish Tortilla Bites

April 22, 2008

This post has been a long time coming. As I went on (and on and on) about back in January, I helped my friend Patty cook for our friend Brynn’’s engagement party. With a Spanish theme, we cooked up an array of tapas. But after planning, prepping, cooking and eating all of tapas for the party, I kind of ran out of steam when it came to the photographing and blogging. Sure, I made it around to the cake (of course) and a few of the nibbles from the party, but one of my favorite tapas of all didn’’t make its way to this blog.

So, I was thrilled when Patty asked me to make that exact thing—Spanish Tortilla bites—for a wedding shower for yet another one of our friends (something in the water, I’’m pretty sure) last Saturday. In addition to allowing me to rectify my remissive blogging of yester-January, the tortilla bites also had the advantage of being make-ahead-able. This allowed me to hand them off to Patty on Saturday afternoon, since Kevin and I would be at his grandmother’’s Passover Seder that Saturday evening, making us a bit late to the shower.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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Sweet Over Savory

April 21, 2008

The age-old breakfast debate—sweet or savory—has been something of a lifelong battle for me. At one point, I required an entire cup of coffee before I could finally make my menu selection. Lately, though, savory seems to have won out. Almost without fail, I’ll opt for an omelet (egg whites, loaded with vegetables and a melty pungent cheese) over anything that requires syrup. For the most part, restaurant pancakes, waffles and french toast are disappointing: limp, bland, lukewarm and all together lifeless. And, don’t even get me started on the state of your average restaurant maple syrup (if you can even call it that).

But Saturday or Sunday morning at home? Now, that’s another story. I’ve always had a thing for waffles. When I was growing up, I was definitely an Eggo girl (and you better believe I made it my personal goal to have at least one speck of butter in ever single divot in that golden, toaster-warmed waffle … OCD from the beginning). As an adult, I’m a strictly waffle iron, girl. And, for a while there, Kevin and I had a serious waffle addiction. The waffle iron has seen a lot less action lately, but we haven’t kicked the habit the entirely.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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No Gummy Bears Here

April 19, 2008

It’s been a pretty odd week here in Chicago. Between the appearance of a cougar (!) in a north side neighborhood not far from Wrigley Field to a very bad (even worse than usual!!) week for the CTA to a freaking earthquake (!!!), things have definitely been strange. So, this weekend, I think it’s best we keep this niiice and simple. And what’s more simple than plain ol’ vanilla, right?

But, while this frozen yogurt is certainly plain ol’ vanilla flavored, it’s anything but run-of-the-mill. If the term “frozen yogurt” conjures up visions of styrofoam cups filled with florescent pink, artificially flavored swirls, all topped off with a liberal amount of gummy bears, then prepare to have your mind blown by this more natural, more grown up and more interesting version of frozen yogurt. Don’t worry, though: you can still call it FroYo.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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