Archive for August, 2010

Sangria from the Spaniards (thanks Maria!)

My roommate is from Spain and knows how to make some mean sangria. There are many ways to make it, but her version is the best I’ve tasted thus far.

Maria’s sangria (and Jaime)
-Chopped fruit; apples, pears, peaches (whatever you want)
-Rum (or whichever liquor you want, gin works)
-Juice of 3 oranges
-Juice of 3 lemons
-1/4 C orange and lemon zest
-red wine
-Sprite or 7up

I wish I had portions to suggest, but I guess you’ll have to taste test at every rum-sugar-filled step of the recipe. Sorry. Throw sugar, rum, orange/lemon juice, orange/lemon zest and cinnamon on chopped fruit. After mixing and tasting, add red wine and Sprite. Chill and add ice as needed.



Stumptown Coffee Roasters (the best)

Yum!!!! This is my favorite coffee thus far in life; Intelligensia, in Chicago, is a close second. USDA organic and DirectTrade certified make this coffee experience guilt free. Favorite blend: Holler Mountain

“Holler Mountain is a syrupy, heavy bodied coffee with dark toned notes of blackberry, raw tobacco and toffee.” -Stumptown blend card

Most delicious fried chicken ever.

My roommate, Anne, made the most delicious fried chicken ever last night. The crust was thick and crispy while the chicken was tender, juicy and well seasoned. Her secret, Art Smith’s recipe:,,20415314,00.html
Anne note: only 4 cups of flour were needed

D.S. Tequila Company (Mexican fun in boystown)

Yay for a cheap, Mexican-American spot with reasonably priced margaritas, spitting distance from my apartment! The service has a few glitches, as does any new restaurant. The menu is focused and fun. You can choose a variety of taco types for only $3 each. Shrimp taco was my favorite. Expect tasty food and drink on a nice outdoor patio.

FMIOTW: Dragon fruit from NYC Chinatown

Super model fruit!

This fruit is SO beautiful, has a kiwi-like texture but completely lacks flavor. It has both a red and white version, both taste like nothing…sad.

Grand Sichuan International (New York hot pot)

If I lived in NYC, I’d be a regular at Grand Sichuan for their two broth (chicken/sichuan pepper spicy) hot pot. I’m wary of dishes with MSG, I think the broths had enough flavor from chili peppers and peppercorns to stand without the chemical enhancer. The sichuan peppercorns are spicy! and have a unique sour flower taste. It’s a spice definitely worth exploring.

For those unfamiliar with the hot pot style, you get sides of fresh meat and veggies that you drop in common broth pots to cook. The best sides were wontons, fresh mushrooms, and spinach. I cannot speak to the quality of other non-hot pot dishes, so venture at your own risk.

Casa Mono (NYC serves up tapas!)

My first five star rating! Sorry Chicago, it’s in NYC. A warm, intimate environment supports the best tapas I’ve ever had. Every dish was balanced, ridiculously tasty and perfectly executed.

Sepia a la Plancha with Salsa Verde – Tender, with a crusty, grilled side

Fideos with Chorizo and Clams – Baked pasta on top of clams seasoned with spicy chorizo!

Oxtail Stuffed Piquillo Peppers – Roasted peppers in this dish had a pure taste while buried in tender oxtail meat

Pork Belly with Sweet Corn and Sandia – The pickled watermelon balanced the juicy pork belly and my food soul sang as i chewed each bite.

FMIOTW: Apple Tasting Party

So many apples!

The apple review:
Red Free – soft, red delicious taste, spongy (Ozlem)
Mollie’s delicious – crispy, powdery (Anne), lacking flavor
Hazen – sour/sweet balance, crisp, slightly smokey (Ozlem)
Adina – tart, crispy, good flavor
Cox Orange Pippin – good cider apple (Blair), tart and sweet, interesting texture (Ozlem)

Cox and Adina were fav’s.

Yummmmm swordfish.

Splurging on a swordfish filet from Whole Foods tonight, I seared it simply and savored (devoured) it within minutes. I would have included a food foto but I ate it too quickly. After cooking, I dressed the filet with a little white wine/lemon juice sauce and sliced green olives.

Who knew you could find fresh seafood in Chicago?!…

My earliest cooking memory…tri-color pasta too al dente

My earliest food memory is cooking a small glass bowl of pasta in water on a wood-burning stove in our basement. Clever enough for a seven year old, I put the pasta in water and on a heat source! Unfortunately, the heat source was not hot enough to cook the pasta through. So, like any proud chef, I slowly chewed the semi-cooked pasta with a feeling of great accomplishment.

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