Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank You

It started with Steve and Tim for dinner (bringing their friend Renee from Zanesville) then Jason and Steve so I decided to make it a thank you dinner for all of the work that Jason has done around here this summer. Except that Jason bought all of the main ingredients!

Pate, olives, bread
(no photo)

Corn soup, spam croutons, basil chiffonade

Diver scallop, cauliflower puree, orange sauce

Heirloom tomatoes, green beans, garden parsley

Caviar, pasta, lemon

Wagyu beef, beans, truffle butter

Fruit tart, blood orange sorbet
(no photo)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One Pot Meal

Rooting through the fridge (and pantry) I came up with this:

A big pan
A swirl of olive oil
English muffin halves
Chicken thighs with oil, rosemary (from the garden), salt and pepper
Green beans

Roast in the oven for a while at 360d or so.

Saturday, August 20, 2011



Roasted potatoes (garlic, thyme, sea salt and olive oil):


A sauce of butter, capers, lemon, and white wine:

Pretty good but more butter than I would have liked. Having some fish stock on hand would have made the difference.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Thanks to Jason and Paul, a beautiful and delicious caprese salad of tomatoes and basil from the "garden" (pots in the back yard). The mozzarella wasn't so wonderful: whenever you see a roll of fresh mozzarella keep on walking...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011 August - The Girl and the Goat

I love this place! My third visit and the scallops, as always, are so delicious. The ingredients might seems strange (together) but work very well.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011 August - Welcome Dinner

Fran, Iva and Woody (from Boston) came to Chicago for a visit and we made this welcome meal for the first night. Corn soup (no sugar or cream, just chicken stock and blended until smooth), garden basil chiffonade, "bacon" bits (I had eaten half before I remembered to take a picture):

Avocado, grapefruit and mustard vinaigrette:

Grilled chicken / squash / tomato, cauliflower puree:

Chocolate terrine, chocolate syrup, sea salt, garden mint ice cream:

By now, you have probably noticed how bad some of my photos are! I take them to remember but now that I am sharing them I will have to ramp it up.

2011 July - Another Week Night Dinner

This is one of my favorite meals: salmon with rocket sauce (pureed arugula), puree cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt, asparagus.

2011 July - Fireworks Cookies

Tim made these cookies for July 4th (recipe from Martha Stewart). Not only do they look amazing but they taste pretty good and you can find out how to make them here.

2011 June - Lola

Tim asked if he could come over and do some grilling. Ummm, well, okay. :) They brought steaks from Whole Foods and an incredible steak sauce from (the recipe that is) the Cleveland restaurant Lola. I made a corn salad (Todd English recipe) and "we" grilled onions. That sauce is liquid gold and the recipe may be found here.

2011 May -"Noodles"

A meaty pork chop with pan sauce, sweet potato "noodles" and fried kale:

2011 May - Hyatt Salad

This was a surprise (for a hotel): a modernized nicoise with tuna and potato chips:

2011 May - "Leftover" Salad

Salad ingredients found in the refrigerator (chicken, carrots, green beans, mixed salad greens, peaches):

2011 February - Flank Steak

Flank steak with mustard sauce, wilted spinach and sweet potato chips:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2011 January - Week Night Dinner

Sauteed shrimp in house-made BBQ sauce on top of grits / polenta with a side of spinach and avocado:

2011 January - Acapulco

Cristina's birthday dinner began with caviar on toast, chopped egg and chopped onion (actually it began with the mariachi band):

2011 January - Whole Foods Dinner By Myself :)

2010 December - Tapas

What better way to spend a Saturday evening with friends whipping a mess o' tapas?

Deviled eggs - Meatballs - Toast with ?
Ham croquettes - Orange Fennel Salad - Spicy Shrimp

Not shown: prosciutto wrapped date with brandy cream

I think that I forgot something. Anyway, thanks for the cookbook Mom (and Dad)!

2010 October - Birthday Cakes

Herewith, photos of two (2) birthday cakes for one (1) birthday. Both from Bittersweet in Chicago and both delicious and beautiful! The rest of the meal involved ribs from Smoque BBQ, Jackie Kennedy's mashed potatoes, oysters and shrimps, a selection of cheeses from Whole Foods and one of my salads (I don't remember which one but think that it was arugula, almonds, cheddar and pears or apples).

2009 November - Chicken Stew

I don't really remember this but like the photo. The greens are fronds from the fennel.

2006 September - Chicken and Brussel Sprouts

I am mostly posting this for sentimental reasons: glimpses of the 1950's kitchen that was replaced several years ago (not that I miss the kitchen). Anyway, here is a meal from Ina Garten that involves brussel sprouts, golden raisins, chicken, lots of garlic and a delicious sauce.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2005 November - Paris

For years I passed on Paris: snobby people, boring architecture, good food. However, for a "special" birthday I decided to give it a try and "hop" over the channel (from London). Paris is, truly, magical: friendly people, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful city and food that is far better than expected.

The moral of the story is to reserve your opinions until you really know what you are talking about. Sadly, the moral hasn't stuck. :(

Our first meal (lunch / dejeuner): Paul had beef tartare with fries (frites). I had a salad with lardons (ham), foie gras and greens. Bienvenue a Paris!

Dinner: our waitress was English-disabled (and why wouldn't she be?) It took a few seconds to understand that Paul was ordering a calve's brain but he was game and loved it. I had steak with red wine sauce, frites (my turn) and a bit of bone marrow and salad. Fantastic.

A typical breakfast. Enough said.

After a long walk, on a warm November day we were thirsty: multiple Cokes avec limon and salmon (raw) club sandwiches. Just across the river form the Eiffel Tower (la Tour Eiffel).

Crepes au Paris? C'est si bon! Not really. Around the corner from the hotel. The only disappointing meal - and, anywhere else, it would have been great.

The last meal near Montmartre: a beautiful start with a pea soup with shrimp.

... followed by a lamb cassoulet (top) and chicken (below).

... and ending with dessert (a cheese course).

Le fin.