Your Best Apple Pie

flaky pie crust

Are you finzlizing your Thanksgiving menu? Will you make the same foods as last year or will you try to mix it up? My mother and I love to host Thanksgiving together and we have pretty much honed our menu over past the few decades so that it is just how we want it. I did revolutionize the way we cooked the turkey about 7 years ago. (See this ...

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Snack Healthy with CVS Gold Emblem Abound

gold emblem abound

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Gold Emblem Abound Snackurday campaign. I am being sponsored to help lead this campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at or with the appropriate manufacturers. How often do you run into CVS for ...

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Fall Cooking: Pear-Apple Crisp

easy apple crisp recipe

I sometimes resist making apple crisp because, well, it's just so easy.  I would rather spend my time making a recipe that will challenge me or show off some difficult technique that I had spent months mastering. My husband, poor man, just wants an apple crisp for dessert sometimes. Indeed, in my husband's pantheon of desserts, apple crisp resides ...

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Fall Cooking: Potato Leek Soup

best fall soups

The thing that you have to understand is that my husband loves soup. Rarely a day goes by during which that man does not eat a bowl of soup. And he is not at all dismayed when he has soup at lunch and comes home to find that there is soup for dinner. A two-soup day? Heaven as far as he is concerned. What's funny is that my beloved late father ...

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Leek and Mustard Tart

leek tart

Today’s post is sponsored by Door to Door Organics, a new grocery delivery service in Chicago, in my capacity as a Brand Ambassador. There are so many delicious vegetables that are at their peak in fall, such as squash, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and kale. When my Door to Door Organics Medium Mixed Produce Box arrived these week, I was ...

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October 2014 Chicago Food Swap Recap

chicago food swap

The Chicago Food Swap had its October event this past weekend. It was our second event in our new home, the Peterson Garden Project's Fearless Food Kitchen. As is so often the case, the offerings reflected the best of the season, from the tail end of backyard garden produce to Halloween-themed treats. The October swap was smaller than the ...

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Door to Door Organics Review and Giveaway


Today's post is sponsored by Door to Door Organics, a new grocery delivery service in Chicago, in my capacity as a Brand Ambassador. As many of you know, I am very busy these days working on the manuscript for my first book. The manuscript is due in March but that is not as far away as you think! Working hard on a fast-approaching cookbook ...

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Oktoberfest Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

oktoberfest recipes

For some, October means Oktoberfest, the outdoor festival celebrating Bavarian culture, cuisine, and, of course, beer. Not being a big beer drinker myself -- although I did enjoy a pint of Bell's Amber every now and again in my Ann Arbor days -- thinking about Oktoberfest makes me think about food. I do not know much about Bavarian cuisine, but ...

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Chicken Escabeche & Black Bean Tostadas with La Morena

authentic mexican tostadas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, La Morena. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias Chicago knows its Latin food. With a large and thriving Mexican population and some of the country's best Mexican restaurants -- need I mention Rick Bayless? -- Chicagoans understand that the ...

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How to Make Kreplach

how to make kreplach

If you think the matzo ball is the ultimate Jewish soup dumpling, let me quickly disabuse you of that notion. As much as I love a fluffy matzo ball, my heart truly belongs to kreplach, the meat-filled pasta known affectionately as Jewish tortellini and served during the High Holidays. Never heard of kreplach? You are not alone. While matzo ball ...

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How to Buy the Right Cut of Meat – Part 2

breaking down a side of beef

This is the continuation of a . While I was at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle last week, I attended an informative session put on by the consumer education organization Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. I am sharing what I learned at that session with you in the hope that you can approach the meat counter with ...

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How to Buy the Right Cut of Meat – Part 1

how to save money on meat

I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Seattle this past weekend. It was a whirlwind of friends, food and great sessions. Later this week, I hope to post some of the pretty pictures I took at the revered Pike Place Market and tell you all about the unique and delicious food I sampled there. (Piroshkies! Crumpets!) But ...

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Carrot Tzimmes for Rosh Hashanah

rosh hashanah recipes

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year holiday begins at sundown on September 24. One of my favorite holidays to cook for, Rosh Hashanah is a joyous occasion and the holiday meals are festive. As I explained in my earlier posts, traditional Rosh Hashanah foods are often sweet - to express our wish for a sweet new year - or round to symbolize the circle ...

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Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

braided round challah

As I mentioned earlier this week, the Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah, is right around the corner. The holiday, which lasts two days, begins at sundown on September 24. Rosh Hashanah is a festive occasion, as most New Year celebrations tend to be. Many Jews will mark the occasion with a holiday dinner for friends and family. I explained ...

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Rosh Hashanah Dinner: Chicken with Dried Fruit

what to make for rosh hashanah

As some of you know, I am in the midst of writing my first cookbook. The manuscript of the book, which will be about food swapping, is due in seven months. That sounds like a long time yet I have a lot to do in those seven months: research, writing, and, most important, creating and testing recipes. As a result, I have been posting here less than ...

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What to Do with Fresh Figs

chocolate dipped figs

Dip them in chocolate ganache, of course! Why? What do you do with fresh figs? It is definitely fig season and if you only know figs from the dried kind -- or even worse, Newtons -- you are in for a treat. Fresh figs are sweet, juicy and altogether luscious. Lending themselves to both sweet and savory preparations, fresh figs are the fruit you ...

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What to Do with Hatch Chiles

hatch green chiles

"Is it salsa time," asked the man in the produce section, gesturing toward my bulging bag of green Hatch chiles. "You know you can freeze them," I replied. "Really?" "Sure. You roast them, peel them and then freeze them in bags. That way you have them all year long." "Huh," said the man thinking this over. "Good to know." That exchange happened in ...

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Back to School with Door-to-Door Organics (and a Giveaway!)

healthy after school snacks

Today's post is sponsored by Door-to-Door Organics, an online grocer specializing in organic produce and natural groceries delivering throughout the Chicago area.  Today is when I break the seal on talking about back-to-school. Yes, it is time to start thinking about school supplies, packing lunches and, of course, after-school snacks. I ...

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Cheddar Jalapeño Corn Pudding

cabot farmhouse legacy

My family cannot get enough sweet corn during the summer months. Once the sweet corn appears at the farmers market in late July, you can put me down for a dozen ears a week. Why buy fewer than twelve ears when corn is so inexpensive? I cook all dozen ears at the same time. Once the water is boiling, or the grill is hot, it is no extra work to cook ...

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How to Bake with Yeast

tips for baking with yeast

Once, a dozen years ago, when I was a young bride living in a hip Chicago neighborhood -- I wasn't always west of the Loop, you know -- I tried to make challah from scratch for Shabbat dinner. The dough never rose and, when baked, my loaf was so dense that I could have hit my husband over the head with it and knocked him out cold. Scarred by ...

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Farmers Market Find: Red Currants

what to do with red currants

Perhaps you have noticed red currants, glossy and ruby-red, at the farmers market lately. If so, consider yourself lucky. It can be hard to find these members of the Ribes family. Even if you noticed them, I bet you did not buy them. They were expensive, right? And you weren't sure what to do with them. Red currants are shockingly expensive, but I ...

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How to Host a Bagel Brunch

what to serve at brunch

This past weekend, I hosted a baby shower for a friend who, like me, is an East Coast transplant to Chicago. Because my friend and her husband are both from New York, we decided to make New York the theme of the shower. The menu? A classic bagel brunch, of course! A bagel brunch is a relaxed and easy party to throw because you purchase most of ...

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July Chicago Food Swap Recap

chicago food swap

The Chicago Food Swap returned to Wicker Park, and the funky confines of co-working loft Free Range Office, for its July swap. It was a small but lively gathering peopled mostly by returning swappers with a few new faces scattered here and there. Located on the second floor of a converted glove factory, Free Range Office is filled with light and ...

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Farmers Market Find: Fava Beans

how to use fresh fava beans

Some foods really make you work for it. Fava beans definitely fall into that category. Any food that you have to shell not once but twice very much runs the risk of being not worth the effort. Luckily, favas -- which the British call broad beans -- have a distinctive, nutty flavor and a buttery texture that endear them to sophisticated eaters ...

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Farmers Market Find: Gooseberries

gooseberry recipes

I freely admit that I am a sucker for the most unusual item at the market or on a menu. Sometimes my instinct to try that new-to-me food can backfire, such as the bitter and grassy corn shoots in my salad at the Zingerman's Roadhouse. (Some things are just not for eating, folks.) But nevertheless, I press on. So it was that I passed by all the ...

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