Monthly Archives: September 2009

Windy City Blogger Wednesday: What’s for Dinner?

Originally Published at Gapers Block: Drive Thru.

This week I would like to introduce Mara who writes the blog “What’s for Dinner?”

Mara Pic.jpgWhat brought you to Chicago?
I was born and raised in Skokie, IL, and with the exception of the 5 years I lived in Peoria for college, I’ve stayed in the general area. I lived in 3 very different neighborhoods in the city over the course of 4 years, and now live out in the NW Suburbs.

What do you do when you aren’t blogging?
I’m a middle school Spanish teacher, so much of my time is spent planning/grading, but other hobbies besides cooking and blogging include crocheting, photography (of things besides just food) and, my fiancé’s least favorite hobby: shoe shopping. Continue reading

feelings of fall

Today was the first day in Chicago that really felt like fall.  I had a bowl of warm oatmeal rather than my greek yogurt/granola combo of summer.  Suddenly shorts and a tank are no longer suitable running attire and sleeves are necessary.  The sidewalks are laced with the first fallen leaves and the sun begins to set at 6:30 rather than closer to 8.  Although I really was jipped with a summer (bar exam, few “warm” days), I am looking forward to the change in seasons. Continue reading

rolled thin part deux: one thousand layers

While I will admit that I did enjoy the ravioli in the brown butter sauce, the best part of the batch of homemade pasta dough came the next night  when I made the famous Thousand Layer Lasagna“.  One of my go to meals is to simply doctor-up a few jars of pasta sauce (preferably Newman’s Own since it the only reasonably priced brand without HFCS and other crap in the ingredient list) with some chopped onion and garlic and maybe a little italian sausage that has been sautéed in a little olive oil.  I make a big batch, let it simmer low for a couple of hours and freeze it into 2 person portions for an easy weeknight meal.  Since I made a batch of sauce while making this lasagna, all I had to do was roll out the pasta sheets as thin as possible, and layer it with the sauce and the leftover ravioli filling from the night before. Continue reading

rolled thin

Last week when I was having my “totally homemade meal” kick, I also knew that I wanted to make pasta dough and transform it into ravioli.  Homemade pasta is one of those things that is just so remarkably different from its dried counterpart that it should be in a category all on its own.  While I appreciate the ease and simplicity of tossing a bag of penne into a pot of boiling salted water and topping it with a little garlic and olive oil, I also really love the process of mixing some eggs into flour and after some time and some coaxing, eating a plate of homemade pasta. Continue reading

Windy City Blogger Wednesday: Lottie + Doof

Originally published at Gapers Block: Drive Thru

This week, I have to pleasure of introducing one of my favorite Chicagoland food bloggers, Tim from Lottie + Doof.

LittleDoof1.jpgWhat brought you to Chicago?
Birth. I was born near 59th and Kedvale and have spent most of my life in the city. I went to DePaul’s Theatre School as an undergrad and Northwestern for grad school so I have lots of ties to the city.

What do you do when you aren’t blogging?
I work at a university during the day but my free time I spend with friends eating good food and enjoying the city. I like antiques and we recently bought our first place so we are spending a lot of time searching for things for our home. Continue reading

perfectly pie

September.  The sun starts setting earlier.  Saturday’s are filled with college football.  The A/C gets turned off.  And apples are slowly replacing peaches at the market.  Unlike every previous September, I am not back in school but rather am patiently awaiting IL Bar results and endless job hunting which also has the perk of providing me with lots of kitchen time. Continue reading


When my Mom and Aunt were in town last week, I mentioned that it might be fun to brave the crowds and check out Rick Bayless‘ new spot XOCO.  Aunt Sandy, immediately said “the guy that won Top Chef Masters?  Do you think he will be there?”  We made plans to go the next day.  And after seeing him post a picture on Twitter from the line, a mere hour before we planned to go, I knew that Sandy would be excited because we would have a little “celebrity chef sighting.”

Continue reading

Windy City Blogger Wednesday: Happy Jack Eats

Originally published at Gapers Block: Drive Thru

You may have noticed last week that I introduced you to Food Loves Writing on Friday, but I have decided to move this weekly feature to the middle of the week when you might need a little inspiration or a new distraction in the work week.

This week I want to introduce another one of my favorite Chicagoland Bloggers, Jacqui of Happy Jack Eats.

Jacqui.jpgWhat brought you to Chicago?
I’ve always lived in the Chicago suburbs. I grew up in the Waukegan, and after college I moved to Lisle. Now, I work in the Loop as an editor, and even though the commute can be hell, nothing beats strolling through the farmers market on my way to the office and having lunch in Millennium Park. Winters, on the other hand, I could live without. But I suppose you’re not a true Chicagoan until you’ve survived one or two or twenty-five of those.

What do you do when you aren’t blogging?
I’m an Internet junkie. When I’m not eating or cooking or writing about eating and cooking, I’m reading other food blogs, browsing Flickr, or loitering around Twitter. I’m one of those people who surfs the Internet while watching TV (hooked on Lost and Dexter). Blogging has also sparked an interest in photography, and I’m currently accepting donations for a new digital SLR camera. Continue reading

on a whim

One of the best things about shopping at the market for “whatever looks good” and not for the exact items on a recipe is that it leads to improvisation.  My Mom and Aunt were in town for a long weekend and one night I decided to make a batch of Kristin‘s addictive corn chowder since I always have corn (and bacon) on hand this time of year.  But I also wanted to make something a little bit special for dessert.  Luckily I had a bunch of peaches and raspberries sitting on my counter and I immediately thought that I would turn them into some sort of cobbler or crisp.  After searching recipes online for a while and not finding one that didn’t require a trip to the store for at least 1 item, I remembered that I have a crumble recipe that I know is good and surely I can just tweak it a bit.  And that is just what I did. Continue reading

Purple Tomatillo Salsa

You know what I love most about fall.  It isn’t apples or crunchy fallen leaves or pumpkins, although they are pretty wonderful.  Its college football season.  For most people, the season got started last week but for TCU, my college alma mater, its this weekend.  We are playing UVA (bring it Andrea) tomorrow and I am very excited.  I knew when I made this salsa a few weeks ago that I would have to tell you about it to mark the beginning of TCU Football season.  I just couldn’t resist picking up a pint of purple (PURPLE!?) tomatillos at the market and I knew that I would turn them into salsa. Continue reading