Category Archives: Dinner

cheese + crunch

When I first moved to Chicago, I created my gmail account under “Whitney in Chicago” because it was just felt like such a change for a Texan like me moving up to the cold Midwest.  It was only logical that I would name my blog the same thing.  Although I will forever remain a Texan at heart (Texas Pride is indoctrinated early on in elementary education-Yellow Rose anyone?), I have enjoyed making Chicago my new home.  However, this means that I must make my own Tex-Mex favorites at home (and fill suitcases to the weight maximum with good salsa).  Tortilla Soup might not be strictly “Tex-Mex” per se, but it was always one of my favorite things to order at Pappasitos when I wanted a light lunch and I can’t remember the last time that I had a satisfying bowl. Continue reading

cross that one off the list

I have a ritual. Whenever I start to read one of my magazines, I pull out all the annoying flyers and thick advertisements and get one piece that is the perfect bookmark. Then I read it cover to cover, not skipping anything that I think I will enjoy later because I will inevitably forget about it. However, with Bon Appetit I make an exception. After pulling out all the stupid flyers, I immediately flip to Cooking Life, Molly Wizenberg’s monthly column. Now that our favorite Orangette is busy running Delancey with her husband Brandon I have to get Molly’s musings in any way that I can, preferably quickly. This past month’s article was especially intriguing because it was about how Molly learned to love kale. 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

sesame ginger noodles

I headed to Green City yesterday morning, knowing that I wanted to create some sort of stir-fry for my final entry in the Saucy Mama Contest. This contest was fun because I didn’t enter it wanting or expecting to win anything, but rather it gave me a chance to play around in the kitchen. Since starting this blog almost a year ago, I have become way more confident in leaving recipes behind and just working with what I have on hand in the kitchen. I have to say that it is pretty fun. Continue reading

little creativity [and a giveaway!]

Early in the summer, I read on Twitter that this company called Barhyte was sponsoring a contest for bloggers to use their bottle sauces to create recipes and possibly win some prizes.  It sounded like an fun idea that would force me to experiment a little in the kitchen with some flavors that I probably wasn’t used to.  The deal was sealed when I found out that they would send a few extra bottles for me to give away to you! Continue reading

refreshed

Well I am finally back. Both physically and mentally. As you probably know, I took a 10 day (very) much-needed post-Bar trip to Texas. I attended one of my favorite sorority sister’s wedding; drove over 1000 miles between DFW, Austin, Houston and various places in between; ate my body weight in salsa, queso, tortilla chips, tacos, BBQ and Blue Bell Ice Cream; continued the 100 year celebration by trying every imaginable incarnation of Shiner; in sum, I basically decompressed from the Stress of the past 3 years and specifically the past 2 months. It was just what I needed. But even as I was enjoying sleeping in to 8:30 AM [yes, 8:30 is now sleeping in for me; I am officially OLD] I was somewhat anxious to get back home to Chicago. I have missed 10 days of the farmer’s markets and I don’t know which fruit slowly slipped out of season or if Nichol’s has started to fill their yellow tubs which every type of little tomato imaginable. Needless to say, I am ready to get back into my summer routine. Thankfully this half will be without the added bonus of 28 pounds of blue BarBri books but rather a large stack of library books (including New Moon, Garlic and Sapphire, The Girl She Used to Be and much more). Continue reading