Tuesday, March 29, 2011

my boys!

look at 'em!

aren't they handsome?? i get so excited for opening day. my boys are back! i saw a commercial yesterday for cubs opening day and got teary eyed. (yes, i am one of "those" cubs fans.) and then when i saw them putting up these banners outside of wrigley on saturday, the emotions came back again. baseball season is here! i feel so giddy. 

welcome back, boys. let's get some runs.

and now, let's not forget about the girls. as in "my girls" by animal collective. that's right, i'm takin' it back to 2009. "i just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls."

but if you really must be about the boys, try this cover by taken by trees.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

hang in there little guys!

it's officially spring but winter is still trying to hang on. soon he'll get the picture and understand that we've been ready to move on for quite a while now. hang in there little guys! this cold weather crap will be over in a few days!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

so. much. butter.

this morning i spent some quality time with the Word of God, a cup of coffee and marion cunningham.

i've been in a cooking funk lately. i haven't felt like making anything. it doesn't help that i haven't had a great deal of free time or that my pantry is rather sad looking. i try to muster up some creativity but it doesn't stick. i just give up and instead have three slices of banana bread for dinner. hey! i forgot i made banana bread recently! that must count for something?

i recently bought marion cunningham's the breakfast book. molly at orangette has been posting recipes from this book since the beginning of the year. i came across marion's name again in january while i was reading judith jones' book the tenth muse. judith takes several pages to describe her time with marion: from teaching cooking classes with james beard, to working on cookbooks together. i love that marion had this desire to follow her heart, even if it meant beginning her culinary pursuits at the age of 49. i soon realized i need to get my hands on any cookbook by this woman.

i've had the breakfast book for a while now but i haven't given any of her recipes a try. part of my problem is that i'm cooking for one here. i would love to whip up some pancakes or muffins but then i will be eating pancakes and muffins for the next week. this morning i was flipping through her book trying to find something, anything i could make that could be pared down to feed little ol' me with the minimal ingredients i have in my pantry. i decided on a frittata with cheese and crumbs. it seemed simple and i had most of the ingredients. so i gave it a go.

one thing to note about this recipe, it is buttery! like, wowza. for a while i wasn't sure why my eggs weren't cooking because they still looked runny. then i realized it wasn't the egg yolks that were runny, it was the butter!. i ended up draining some butter before sliding my frittata onto a plate. please don't tell my mother about the amount of butter in this frittata because she might kill me. or be jealous of me. either or.

the best part is the toasted bread crumbs on top. bread crumbs which were toasted in even more butter. (i told you there was a lot of butter.) i used my homemade bread crumbs and they gave the perfect amount of crunch to each bite.

usually when i make frittatas i cook them for too long and the eggs turn out rubbery. this frittata was light and fluffy and the eggs were just the slightest bit wiggly. (wiggly being the technical term.)

frittata with cheese and crumbs
adapted from the breakfast book by marion cunningham

the following is how i made the frittata today, by halfing the original recipe. the original recipe serves five so by halfing it this should serve two and a half. however, i ate the whole thing..

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
4 eggs, gently beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (i probably could have used more cheese)

preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. use a 10 inch ovenproof skillet.melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. stir in the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they have absorbed the butter and are golden. remove from heat and set the crumbs aside. clean the skillet. (i'm not exactly sure why you need a clean skillet for the eggs, but i decided to do as marion says.) in the clean skillet melt the remaining butter (2 tablespoons) over low heat. sprinkle half the (very buttery) crumbs over the bottom of the skillet. (i swear, so much butter.)

pour the eggs on top, add salt and pepper sparingly. cook without stirring for a minute or two, until the bottom has just begun to set. tilt the skillet to make sure. do not let eggs overcook. put the skillet in the oven and bake for just 2 minutes. sprinkle the cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs evenly over the top. bake 1 or 2 more minutes and remove from the oven. loosen the edges and slide the frittata onto a large serving plate. cut into wedges to serve.

or just grab a fork and have at it. i will say, it is wise to have milk on hand for this frittata. all that butter and the bread crumbs call out for it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

things that make me happy: milwaukee

the more i visit milwaukee, the more i like it. granted, i've only been there twice; both times in the spring and both times i've only been downtown and closer to the lake. regardless, my affection is growing.

last wednesday, i drove up for the day. i had a couple presentations for work and my free time was limited, so i tried to make the most of it. i had to stop by and visit the calatrava designed art museum. and alterra was definitely a must. i actually went to two different cafes, the cafe in the 5th ward and the repurposed river flushing station by the lake. 

i spent some time driving around the 3rd ward trying to find a cafe or restaurant for a late lunch. (normally when i travel i'm prepared with a list of food places but this time i decided to wing it.) luckily, i found the coquette cafe. later on i found out that my friend allie has been there before and it has her approval. lovely! i enjoyed a quick, delicious, solo lunch and had the place to myself. seriously, nooo one else was there. (well, it was 2:00pm after all.) before i left i stopped by the milwaukee cupcake company which is right next door to the cafe. 

the weather couldn't have been more perfect and spring-like. it was wonderful. 

milwaukee, you're pretty great. i can't wait to visit again.

p.s. sorry for the link overload. sometimes i over do it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

happy saint patrick's day!

please enjoy scenes from saturday's saint patrick's day festivities. i have some friends who are crazy about saint patrick's day. they threw a party where we feasted on green eggs, ham, corned beef hash, irish soda bread and irish cheeses. to drink there was green beer (of course), carolan's irish cream and green miodowka (which is actually polish, but whatever..). i would have loooved a kilkenny but sadly i can't find any place in the city that distributes it.

for dessert we had guinness cupcakes. (!) with bailey's infused frosting. (!!!) boy, were they boozy.

today, i am enjoyed more irish-ness. for breakfast i had irish soda bread from red hen bakery, courtesy of the boys at my coffee place. lunch was a corned beef and cabbage sandwich with a horseradish bechemel on dark rye bread. all i need is a guiness and i can top off a lovely irish food day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

lovin's for fools

i cannot, cannot, cannot get enough of this song. the original and cover version are amazing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

chicago restaurant week 2011

chicago restaurant week is a real treat. every february 200 or so restaurants in the city offer special prix fixe meals for lunch and dinner. this allows you to try, and often times afford, restaurants you may not normally go to. it's also a great excuse to go out with friends during the week. but in all honesty, it doesn't take much to get me to go out for some good food.

in past restaurant weeks i have enjoyed quartino and frontera grill. this year i went to sepia with my good friend allie. we had a wonderful time.

i recently met the executive chef, andrew zimmerman, at an event at the merchandise mart. he is incredibly nice and creates amazing food. please do yourself a favor and pay him a visit.

now i'll let the pictures do the talking. 

grand family wines tempranillo straight lines, california

first course:
ricotta cavatelli, lamb sugo, grana padano

wild baby arugula, sage-walnut pesto


second course:
three sisters' white corn polenta, tart apple salad

candied bacon, hazelnuts, haricot verts, spoon bread

third course:
coconut ice cream, butterscotch

figs, orange, cranberries

hendrick's gin, fresh lemon sour, orange bitters, demi-sec sparkling rose

olmeca altos resposado tequila, st-germain, rosemary, lemon, moscato d'asti, old fashioned bitters

i'm already hungry for next year.
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