Tag Archives: Recipe

half a peck

Apple Butter

Can you believe that it is already November 7th?  Most of the leaves have been blown down from the trees and they are littering the sidewalks.  My favorite market has moved a little farther north to its indoor/winter location and Thanksgiving seems to be just around the corner.  One of the best things about this time of year is the plethora of apples.  I can’t seem to go to the grocery store or the farmers market or a friend filled trip to the pumpkin patch without coming home with a armful of apples. Continue reading

cranberry coffee cake

Cranberry Coffee Cake
Saturday marks the last day that Green City is outdoors (and right outside my apartment).  Luckily the market continues on throughout the winter, but it moves 8 blocks north which requires a chilly walk, bus or bike ride to attend.  Although I have been enjoying the colors of fall and the thoughts of the upcoming holiday season, I will admit that it is going to be sad to no longer have the late summer produce explosion of the market to be inspired by.  I did prepare a little bit by stuffing my freezer full of pitted sour cherries and sweet corn cut from the cob that will surely brighten a mid-winter day.  Last week I was excited to see a new fall arrival to the markets: cranberries. Continue reading

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

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

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

Chicago Summers

Even though the calendar claims that it is mid-August and some kids are already back to school, I feel like my summer is just beginning.  Chicago had a record breaking “cold” July so it never felt like hot summer (not that I would have known since I was inside studying all day) but my day yesterday made me feel that summer had finally arrived.

I woke up and took a leisurely trip to the market. Went for the first run in a while that unfortunately was a bit asthma plagued but it still felt great to have the 74 degree breeze on my face. I bought a new bike saddle at Kozy who pumped up my tires (which were apparently always flat-whoops) and now my bike is fast and comfortable to ride. I spent an hour sitting outside the Starbucks in my neighborhood, people watching and reading a book and then came home to whip up a pasta salad to take with me to the free concert in Grant Park for a picnic with friends. Continue reading

red and blue

Happy 4th of July! I hope that you are out at a BBQ or watching a parade and gearing up for a night full of fireworks. Growing up the 4th of July holiday was always a hot and steamy affair. It would start with a July 3rd night at the Pavilion for the free concert complete with picnics and real cannons for the 1812 Overture. The next morning was the parade where I would dress up my bike with patriotic streamers and ride with the Indian Spring Village Float. The afternoon would be filled with cold watermelon, swimming pools and BBQ. Ended with a fireworks display over the golf course and the lake. I am unfortunately “celebrating” with some Contracts and Real Property review (but maybe I will throw in some Con Law for good measure) on a somewhat rainy and cloudy 4th. Today wasn’t a total bust because the farmers were out bright and early this morning at Green City. Continue reading

Chicken Enchiladas

As you may or may not know, even through I write a blog called “Whitney in Chicago”, I am really a Texan through and through (except for my politics). One of the biggest adjustments to Chicago actually wasn’t the long, harsh winter, but the lack of true “Tex-Mex.” Sure you can get plenty of decent mexican and salsa all across Chicago, but really good Tex-Mex can only be found at the source, Texas. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Anyways, anytime that I do go back to Texas for any length of time, I always pack light so that I can bring back lots of Texas things (if only I could figure out how to get some Blue Bell Homestyle Vanilla back), most importantly…SALSA. Continue reading

Granola w/ Almonds, Pistachios and Cranberries

After reading a bunch of food policy-esque books lately, I have been reevaluating some of my food purchases and finding simple changes that have infinite benefits.  Simple things like looking at the italian dressing packet that I always used and swapping it for a mix with far fewer (and pronounceable) ingredients from the Spice House. It is satisfying to know that the loaf of bread that just gets pulled out of the oven, only has a handful of ingredients in it. After buying a whole lot of dried milk for my light wheat bread, I was excited to see that another use for all the surplus is granola. This recipe is entirely flexible and the results are wonderful. I have a big gallon sized bag that I am slowly eating down and enjoying it every step of the way.

I decided to use my favorite nuts (almonds and pistachios) and big, plump dried cranberries that I really fell in love with during this past holiday season.

It comes together quite quickly. You put all the dry ingredients (nuts, oats, powdered milk, coconut, salt) in a huge bowl (in my case 2 large bowls) and give them a quick stir. Then you mix together all the wet ingredients (oil, honey, vanilla) in a measuring cup and slowly add the liquid to the dry stirring it all in as you go.

Once everything is mixed, you dump it all out onto a half sheet pan (I did it in two batches) and place it in a preheated 300 degree oven. Take it out every 5-7 mins and stir it around so that it cooks evenly.

The granola is done when the oats start to brown and it feels hot to the touch (took me around 20 mins). It is fanatasic on its own, eaten like cereal with cold milk, or, my personal favorite, mixed with some tangy plain greek yogurt.

I have been giving little baggies full to friends and enjoying it for breakfast all week. I will probably stick some in the freezer to see how it holds up. The recipe makes a TON so it might be smart to half it (or just have lots of ziploc handy.)

Granola
Recipe adapted from Homesick Texan

10 cups rolled oats (this is just your normal Quaker Oatmeal)
1 cup dried milk
4-6 cups nuts (I used 2 cups of pistachios and 2 cups of almonds and I think it is plenty)
5 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes (I usually HATE dried coconut, but these flakes are PERFECT in this recipe)
2-3 tsp. salt (I used 3 and it is almost a little salty)
1 to 1.5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup honey
3 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups dried cranberries (add after baking)
Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a BIG bowl and mix thoroughly. In a large measuring cup, measure the oil and then add the honey and vanilla too it. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Put the mixture on a silpat lined (if you have one) pan 1-3 inches thick and bake. Use a spatula to turn it every five minutes or so. It is best to take it out before it seems done. When it feels hot to the touch and is a light golden brown, it’s ready. Mix in the dried cranberries.