Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Last week, in addition to making honey lavender ice cream, I decided to try vanilla bean ice cream.  I am a huge fan of David Lebovitz so I decided to go to him for advice.  If you have never heard of him, take a look at his blog.  He is hysterical and he is an incredible pastry chef!  This recipe was absolutely perfect.  It is easy to understand and it is without question the best vanilla ice cream that I have ever had.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My Favorite Potatoes!

I have always been obsessed with potatoes.   And my sister has not (especially mashed).  But that's all changed now.  We usually have some sort of a potato dish with our major holiday meals, and my absolute favorite is a scalloped potato dish that was in my mom's head until my dad wrote it down.  I think we tweak it a tiny bit every time, but this is what we usually do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's Complicated (Honey Lavender Ice Cream)

It's Complicated is one of my mom and my favorite movies.  It gets funnier every time you watch.  Seriously- try it out.  The first time I watched it, however, the only thing I could think about was: honey lavender ice cream... I MUST try this!  And so begins my relationship with home made ice cream.  I wasn't even sure if a recipe existed, but of course there was a recipe from Martha Stewart herself.

I have made this recipe several times, and it will be in my repertoire for the rest of my life.  This isn't for the faint-hearted, mind you.  If you don't have a real sweet tooth, it may be too much for you.  Just kidding... but not really, very rich!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Real French Toast!

For those of you who celebrate: Happy Easter!  I usually spend Easter with my family cooking, and this year has been no different.  I started off making a gorgeous French toast.  My dad made our favorite Nieman ranch bacon and my mom made a wonderful morning cocktail: orange juice + prosecco.  Yum!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hearty Smoked Salmon Hor D'oeuvre

At my house, we occasionally have nights where we don't want to cook a full meal; we break out the hearty appetizers and munch away.  Tonight we had shrimp cocktail, foie gras from the freezer (which was delicious!), and this smoked salmon appetizer, which I have been making some version of since I was about 8.  It is delicious and easy and you can put whatever kind of spin on it that suits your own taste! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday is for Steak!

Yesterday I decided I wanted to make a warm and hearty dish since it's apparently winter again in Chicago.  I went for a classic steak and potatoes meal and put my own spin on it.  A few weeks back I used a Groupon that Ian got me to a really fun store called Oh Olive!  As you might imagine it is an olive oil store.  I got a bunch of tiny bottles of different oils and vinegars for marinades and just because they looked fun.  I decided to marinade my steak with truffle oil and an 18 year balsamic vinegar.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fish on a Weeknight!

It's Friday!  I don't know about you, but after a long week I love to have a wonderful, warm meal.  Tonight was a gross, rainy day and it was way too cold to go out.  Plus it's much cheaper to stay in and have a meal that you made.  I know that it can be difficult to cook in the week, but the recipe I made tonight was simple and delicious.  I made trout a la meuniere from Emeril.  It is a cajun take on sole a la meuniere ("Fronch fries, Fronch beans..." Better Off Dead anyone?), and it's much more affordable.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Carrot Soup that Tastes Good!

I know what you're probably thinking.  Carrot soup looks--sometimes tastes--like baby food.  BUT, this recipe makes carrot soup exciting and complex.  I got it from my sister who found it in a Maine Soup cookbook.  She was home visiting last year and made this for our family, and we all loved it.  I love exchanging recipes with other people because it opens me up to new ideas I never would have thought of on my own.  Never in a million years would I ever have picked out a carrot soup recipe on my own... honestly saying it in my head grosses me out.  But this is delicious... and you should try it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Farmers Market Success!!!

It doesn't take much to get me really excited about food.  So it should come as no surprise that when I realized there was a farmers market in Chicago during the off-season, I was absolutely ecstatic.  A few weeks back we went to the Family Farmed Expo.  We only went to the part that had the booths, but there was tons of information.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Don't Just Eat the Artichoke Hearts!

When I am looking up recipes for artichokes I usually only see recipes that call for using canned or frozen artichoke hearts.  But I'm here to tell you that you are missing out on the best part!  Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has been making artichokes--and I think I am willing to say that they are my favorite vegetable... I think...  We have been using the same recipe for years, and it really is a classic and a favorite in our house hold.  Here's what you do:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I feel like the best way to start this blog is to explain the thrill I had last night in finding the Flirty Cupcake truck for the first time.  I only recently discovered it on twitter, and once I did I started following it's every move.  Well, upon arriving to my boyfriend Ian's apartment I see that the cupcake truck is in Lincoln Square.  My heart started pounding and I knew I had to go and find it with him.  So we wandered out (without internet phones) to hunt it down.  We got there early and I couldn't find it.  Discouraged, I started roaming up and down the streets hoping they didn't run out (as if I know anything about the quantity of cupcakes that a truck can hold.)  Finally, I saw it and I started to run... and then stopped because I felt like chasing down a cupcake truck is a little pathetic for someone my age.