“Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, They licked the platter clean.” No other nursery rhyme could fit my household better.  My husband is not a picky eater by any means.  He is quite adventurous when it comes to food and cooking for him is a pleasure. The only thing he doesn’t like is fat on his meat.  (Any way I wrote that sentence it sounded bad.  So for my friend Drew who is stuck in NY with Sandy I will insert the appropriate “That’s what she said” comment.) For me, fat isRead More →

Boo!  Eeeek!  Halloween is next week and I’m receiving requests for some “spirits” to celebrate the day of the dead. Now those of you who REALLY know me, know I am a scaredy cat.  I still believe there is a monster in my closet and that there is someone under the bed trying to grab my ankles.  (I will give credit to my big sisters for scaring the hell out of me as a child.) Those of you who REALLY, REALLY know me know that I can’t handle my liquor.  Let’s put it this way, if I were a ghost I’d have to be CasperRead More →

A little fun fact to start off your week…In Chinese astrology, the dragon is the only animal of the zodiac year that is fiction based. So it makes sense that Dragon Ranch Moonshine and BBQ which opened this year seemed too good to be true.  (Now the fun fact makes more sense doesn’t it??)Located in Chicago at 441 North Clark (look for the red trimmed windows), it is a conventional American BBQ with some unconventional Asian twists. Part of the creative and fun Rockit Ranch Production team, Dragon Ranch offers some great American barbeque (pulled pork, ribs, brisket), Asian fare (ramen noodles, bahn mi sandwiches, steamRead More →

One of my favorite folk tales is called Stone Soup.  Every nationality seems to have their own version of the story but the moral is always the same.  Do you know the story? A group of hungry travelers comes to a town with nothing more than a pot for a possession.  The Village People snub the travelers and won’t share their food. The traveling men take their pot, fill it with water, a stone and set it over a fire.  (I am not sure what villages allow fires to burn in the center of town.)  As they stirred the soup The Village People became curious.Read More →

Confession:  I’m a cheater.  I am not the kind of cheater who betrays their husband.  Or someone who memorizes all of the answers in a trivia game before it is played with friends.  (Hmmm, who do I know that DOES do that?)  I cheat some nights cooking dinner. I think most home cooks are guilty of this “sin.”  We get busy doing other things and the next thing you know it is dinnertime.  We could run to the store but the day has worn on us and we just want to stay home.  (I say “we” because it makes me feel less guilty to knowRead More →

As a child of divorce, you get used to some of the quirks that come from a “broken” family.  You don’t get to say good night in person to both parents.  You spend a lot of time repeating stories and forgetting which parent already heard it.  And you worry a lot about the one you don’t see daily.  (It isn’t all bad because you do get double the birthday presents and two Christmas celebrations but I didn’t want to sound shallow.) The other quirk is, that in most cases, you will also meet your parent’s dates.  You hope you like them and more importantly thatRead More →

The last three days, I have sat down at my computer numerous times to write about the food at Chicago Gourmet this past weekend.  I view my notes and pictures and immediately get hungry and feel the need to snack.  Preferable snack on food from some of the best chefs and restaurants in Chicago. But since I don’t have the luxury of having these resources at my small town back door, I go back to looking at the pictures.  And like a computer’s thesaurus…adjectives like tasty, succulent and scrumptious are bouncing around my head. The adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” hasRead More →

There was no yellow brick road for me to follow and yet when I looked out at Millennium Park this weekend it seemed like the Emerald City to me.  I felt the need to skip as I entered Chicago Gourmet 2012.  (I didn’t actually skip but I did hop a little bit.)  The fifth year for Chicago Gourmet has got to be their best yet.  (It was only my second but I can’t imagine a better experience.)  The festivities included more than 100 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs (more on the amazing food later this week) as well a plethora of vintners, breweries andRead More →