crunchy korean tofu tacosThese days, roaming street vendors carrying various delicacies are all the rage. I don't know about you, but I distinctly remember the yellow Schwan ice cream truck, complete with that tantalizing bell, slowly cruising through my neighborhood once or twice a week when I was a kid. Those vendors were banking on the fact that we kids would be out romping around the yard and that, the second we heard that unmistakable melody, we'd sprint into the house to claim our allowance. For me, it was either fudge ripple or butter pecan, since those were the best. In Chicago, we've been without these nomadic food trucks, other than those bearing ice cream and the tamale guy who isn't in a truck, but on foot carrying a red cooler; he happened to dive into Lemmings one night after I'd stuffed my face with so much food I couldn't stand the sight of corn husk. Last week, Flirty Cupcakes came into town, selling 'cakes by the neighborhood; apparently they were right near my building not long ago, butRead More »from User post: Seoul Food
Blog Posts by chiknpastry
grilled veggie pizza and ramp pestoMy loving, darling husband has a stupid-crazy-job these days. He works harder than anyone I know (certainly harder than me), and he's in school two nights a week to get yet another degree so he can work even harder (but hopefully bring in more cash for that B&B he's gonna buy for me in Napa one day...). I miss him a whole bunch, and those nights we get to watch TV together are extra special lately since there's not an abundance of them. This week, we ate veggie pizza together and watched a movie. It was nice. first ramps! We watched Where the Wild Things Are, a movie I've been wanting to sit through for a while now. It's relatively short, in movie terms, and perfect for a weeknight. It made me a little weepy, but those movies are the best - the ones that touch you, make you think, and make you relish the good moments. It makes you remember how hard growing up can be, and how in our adult lives we take so many things for granted. I think that little guy took things for granted too, and eventuallyRead More »from User post: Ramps are delicious "Wild Things"!
(recipes at bottom)Read More »from Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Hot Dogs 2 Ways
The Chicago DogI used to collect baseball cards. In fact, I had so many baseball cards that I needed a special "baseball card binder" to keep them in. In middle school, one of my favorite excursions was a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to watch the Braves play; John Smotlz was super-hot, and I dreamed nightly of autographed baseballs and season tickets. Sadly, I settled on going to one game, and before too long the shine had worn off, so to speak. Apparently, when living in Chicago, being a mediocre baseball fan is unacceptable, or at least frowned upon. Chicago + Mexican hot dog fixin's But even though I've been in Chicago for 6 years, only 1 member of the Wetzel household has taken a true liking to baseball. And now, at the end of April, baseball season is well underway. That means exactly two things in this house: Hubs gets excited over the Cubs and their dubbing this season as "Year 1", and I get excited about having an excuse to eat a Chicago Dog and a hat full of nachos. The way I see it, at least I'm excited
tartTo think that I used to hate, no - loathe, even dispise tomatoes is a true testament to the ever-evolving tastebuds, and/or my own personal shortcomings. My face used to shrivel up, and my hair would stand on end like a defensive feline any time someone mentioned adding tomatoes to a dish. Ever so slowly, I came around. First, it was non-chunky tomato sauce, which was a great accomplishment. Then, diced tomatoes in that tomato sauce, which was so much more than a baby step, in my opinion, since I was eating visible pieces of tomato. I must say though, my tomato-liking progression was stagnant at the diced tomatoes in sauce for many a year. rinsed cherry tomatoes Until I was introduced to heirloom tomatoes, which actually wasn't until last year. Late last summer I was wandering through Green City Market, excited to finally see those Flamin' Fury peaches piled high atop the tables at the entryway, welcoming visitors, enticing those leaving with bags void of their juiciness. As usual, I was drawn to the freeRead More »from User post: Be Still, My Tart
stuffed chicken breasts and buffalo sauceRemember the college days? What did you eat back then (well, for me it certainly feels like "back then" although it was only 8 years ago since those undergrad days) when the "freshman 15" was really no big deal because you were little, young, and knew you'd work those extra calories off at some point? I tell ya, I ate a heck of a lot of Gumby's pizza (take a look - their pies are cheap as dirt!) and frequented Sammy's for their hot wings with 'Sammy Sauce' more times than I care to remember. Shoot, we even took my dad there when he came into town, which was often. NC State was his alma mater too, so he jumped at the chance to tailgate, eat wings, and visit (probably also to check in on me, which I didn't mind because it always involved giving me gas money). ingredients When I wasn't ordering Gumby's or making my way over to Sammy's, Wing Zone received quite a few calls from my dorm room and following the first year, whatever apartment I was living in at the time, since much to my dad's dismay IRead More »from User post: The Next Best Thing: Chicken "Wings"
Space Needle from below, SeattleI had a free flight courtesy of my friends at Southwest, and my 8 roundtrips within the last 2 years. It expired in April, and I don't know about you, but I'm not one to let things that are "free" go to waste. Hubs had 1/2 of a free flight (i.e., a "one way") as a result of his perseverence during "Free Flight Blackout" over Christmas, insisting that they had to let him use at least part of his round trip gratis fare. While San Diego was our first choice, as it turns out, it was many others' first choice and so we took a risk, and instead took a maiden voyage northwest - to the home of Grunge. I'd never been to Seattle, hence the "maiden voyage" connotation, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. A disadvantage in living in such an awesome city as Chicago is that, at least in my experience with U.S. travel, it's hard to find a city that's remotely comparable. Nonetheless, we proceeded with an open mind that was only somewhat inundated with fear of rain. Needless to say, I fell in loveRead More »from Seattle 101 + Braised Octopus
- chiknpastry | Shine Food – Fri, Apr 2, 2010 4:28 PM EDT
spelt focaccia with kale and squashit is not Big Star, or Avec, or even Blackbird. But it is Paul Kahan. And possibly, in a way you've never before seen him. focaccia 2nd rise He's been all over the newsstands lately - in Chicago and beyond. We made our first visit to his West Town spot, The Publican, a month or so ago, and had a decent sampling of pork, among other things and we, along with Wilco's bassist, frequent Big Star for the tasty bourbon and ginger drinks as well as the pork belly $3 tacos. Check out this link for reviews, if you're interested. But aside from the Chicago scene, he's all over the foodiesphere elsewhere, and was recently featured in both Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines. kale, marinating in lime juice In F&W, he was given the challenge, along with some other well-known "hearty" chefs (like Iron Chef Michael Simon, one of my crushes; maybe because he's bald?!) to create healthy meals that didn't center on meat. You'd think it would be tricky for such a meatster, but I have a recipe of his to prove it wasn't that you should mostRead More »from User post: Healthy delicious focaccia with kale, squash, and peccorino
shrimp and soba noodlesPart of having a food blog means you talk about the foods you ate (or didn't eat) as a child. Generally, that implies a certain amount of discussions involving your favorite dishes, a secret recipe, or in some cases, those dishes you still can't seem to stomach even after almost 30 years of watching family members eat it - collards would be that dish for me, as I've mentioned recently, although I just might have to give them a try again, thanks to a reader's suggestion. Might would be the key word there... fresh lime zest Sometimes, I forget about all the little things I used to eat growing up, and occasionally dishes creep ever so sneakily back into existence. Dishes such as fried onions, which are not to be confused with onion rings. You see, I think of onion rings as battered and deep fried, eaten with a generous dollop of ketchup or some fat-laden dipping sauce, and they're especially yummy with a juicy steak cooked 'on the barbie', if you catch my drift. Onion rings are outta this world; don'tRead More »from Club Soba
chicken a la veracruzanaI am a huge Bayless fan. But let's put things in perspective here. Emily & Jenn are ginormous fans. If Emily isn't waxing poetic about Smitten Kitchen, she's doing it about Bayless. And Jenn, I mean, just look at one of her recent Bayless concoctions! The two of them even started a 'Bayless Fest' where they get together and cook Bayless-inspired dishes. I, regretably, am not that hardcore, although I could probably eat at Xoco every single day with no other food in the world and die a happy girl. Rick Bayless and his groupies You wouldn't know I wasn't hardcore by this picture, wouldya? It's practically like Rick and I are BFF, right? But honestly, this was taken during Xoco's opening night, as we went following our last class in culinary school. We used that specific reason as an excuse to allow him to get his picture made with us :). I'm sure it was one of many photos he was part of that day, but despite his possible annoyance, he smiled, introduced himself (as if that were needed), congratulated us, and wasRead More »from Channeling Bayless
pear and prosciutto pizzaAs you read this, I'm out enjoying one last day in Seattle with the Hubs. I'm sure it's been a fun trip, and I'm sure I'll tell you more about it when I'm back home. It's likely that we visited Pike Place Market and the original Starbucks, and we probably ate some seafood. Perhaps a trip to Woodinville for wine tasting? The possibilities are endless; I just hope it didn't rain the whole time, but when I left, the forecast looked darn good. pear, provolone, prosciutto Sadly though, I won't be around to tell you of my adventures until next week, as I'll get home tonight just long enough to re-pack for Albuquerque, NM. It seems as if it's that time of the year - the time when I have to learn more about genetics and sit in huge rooms full of people, room temperature pitchers of tap water, and knitters (yes, knitters - some of them knit during conferences). Fortunately, these forced trips are accompanied by good friends and sunshine and hopefully some bars. So don't worry about me - I will survive. arugula But since I won'tRead More »from A Parting Gift?: Pear and Prosciutto Pizza