“Just Indulge” in Soy Ice Cream

A rare thing happened to me today: I had an ice cream craving. This almost never happens – I’m lactose intolerant and honestly haven’t enjoyed or wanted ice cream through most of my adult life. But I was working in a hot, steamy kitchen today with little ventilation and high levels of humidity outside, and something about that triggered this unusual craving.

The solution: soy ice cream from Just Indulge, a new sweet-treats place at the corner North & Wood in Bucktown/Wicker Park. Read more of this >>

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Herban Adventure: Week 4

So I think my herb garden has already bit the dust. I was away for most of the last week and, although I tried to water the soil enough before I left (and once in the middle), it seems the herb garden just couldn’t hold up. But I don’t know that I can really blame just this last week on the decline – the garden was beginning to look a little sad before I left.

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Eating My Way Through New Orleans

To me, a native midwesterner, I think of New Orleans cuisine as soul food – a food of the people, a sentiment confirmed by Patrick, the Tulane student who sat next to me on the airplane. I just returned from my first visit to this amazing city and, although I was only there for two short days, was fortunate to experience the local flavors of Creole cooking (apparently different from Cajun).

Throughout my trip, I was determined to try as much local fare as possible. From redfish, crawfish and oysters, to jambalaya and gumbo, to calas and bread pudding, I basically ate my way through the city, with the one exception of cracklins (I had to draw the line somewhere and fried fat seemed like a logical place). I also had my first catfish po’boy which was fabulously deep fried, although I think my favorite new food is crawfish. Also known as crawdads and mud-bugs, these crustaceans were sweet and juicy – like miniature lobsters. Yes, they required quite a bit of work and were messy, but so worth the effort. Now I just have to figure out if and where they can be found in Chicago…

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Herban Adventure: Week 3

It’s now been three weeks since taking on a seemingly insurmountable challenge: to grow an herb garden inside my drafty, 19th floor, balcony-less apartment.

I’ve had multiple failures growing herbs in the past. Every summer since I’ve lived in this space (three and counting), I’ve gotten caught up in the frenzied excitement of my local farmer’s market and purchased a variety of potted herbs, each time with the grand intention of always having a supply of fresh herbs at the ready.

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“Pairing Food & Wine: In search of the perfect match”

I spent my early 20s not realizing there were actual differences between the types of red varietals and white varietals. All I knew was that I only drank white. Then I took a food and wine pairing class during my last quarter of culinary school and my drinking world turned upside down – there was this whole world of different wines, each with unique flavors, aromas, and even textures.

So, for my first job after culinary school I decided to learn more about wine and took a position as the chef and events coordinator for Sam’s Wines & Spirits, a local wine retailer. While there I wrote an article about food and wine pairing which was just released in their magazine Toast. You can read it here along with my original introduction.

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