Cheddar Horseradish Spread

cabot-horseradish-cheddar-recipes

With warmer weather in sight, March Madness on television and spring holidays right around the corner, it is time to invite some friends over.  My husband and I have attended several cocktail parties in the past few weeks to meet prospective members of our pool and tennis club and seeing so many friends and neighbors after the long winter reminded ...

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March 2015 Food Swap at The Chopping Block

chicago-food-swap

What a difference a month makes! While we all had to trudge through a blizzard to make it to the February swap, it was sunny and mild in downtown Chicago the day of the March Chicago Food Swap. For this event, we returned to The Chopping Block, Chicago's premier recreational cooking school, located in the iconic Merchandise Mart. This was the ...

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Chocolate-Covered Blueberry Bread Pudding

bread pudding recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveDoveFruits #CollectiveBias You know how kids ask, as soon as they have finished eating: "Can I have dessert?" At least my kids do that. The truth is, I feel much the same myself. Forty years on this earth have not diminished my sweet ...

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DIY Pokemon Cupcakes

how to make pokemon cupcakes

As the deadline for my book manuscript approaches, I find more and more ways to procrastinate. This week, the project that was more compelling than my work was making cupcakes for JR's eighth birthday party. Confession: I do not usually bake for my children's birthday parties. Some years ago, I found a baker in my area who makes amazing custom ...

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Apple & Gorgonzola-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

apple and bleu cheese stuffed chicken breast

Today’s post is sponsored by Riveridge Produce, a Michigan grower and distributor of twenty-four delicious varieties of apples. Look for Jonagold Apples from Riveridge Produce at a special price of only $.68 per pound in Mariano's stores all over Chicago from February 19-25. Did you know that it is still apple season? It is! Many varieties ...

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Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust

chicken pot pie recipe

Chicken pot pie must be such a great way to use up leftover chicken and vegetables. How often do you have leftover chicken and vegetables though? It's not a common occurrence around here. If I waited until I was stuck on how to use all this leftover chicken to make chicken pot pie, I would be waiting a long time. And my family is not that ...

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Valentine’s Day Cheesecake Brownies

valentine's day desserts

In my view, the best reason to make brownies from scratch is so that you can add cheesecake to them. I’d turn down the chocolatiest, fudgiest brownie any day for a swirly, marbleized cream cheese brownie. The slight tanginess of the cream cheese is the perfect foil for the richness of the chocolate. Better than either cheesecake or a plain brownie, ...

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Better than Take-Out Vegetable Biryani

indian food at home

Sometimes the tail wags the dog around here. I had a big batch of cucumber and mint raita sitting in the refrigerator -- a recipe that I had developed for my upcoming cookbook on food swapping -- and needed to come up with a way to use it. I have always enjoyed heaping cool, refreshing raita on biryani, the spicy South Asian mixed rice dish, when ...

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Chicago Restaurant Week 2015: Blackbird

chicago restaurant week

Did you know that Chicago Restaurant Week is happening right now? From January 30-February 12, over two hundred and fifty restaurants in the city and suburbs — including some three and four-star restaurants — are offering special pre-fixe menus of three and four courses for $22 a person at lunch and $33 or $44 a person at dinner. (Tax, tip and ...

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

valentine's day treats

Did you catch me on WCIU's "You & Me This Morning" talking about homemade Valentine's Day gift ideas from the Chicago Food Swap? What a fun segment that was! If you would like the recipes for the projects that I demonstrated, you will find them all on the Chicago Food Swap website. I am posting the recipe for the Valentine's Day ...

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Cheddar Apple Pigs in a Blanket

super bowl party recipes

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Are you hosting a party, attending one or just watching with your family? Whatever your plans are, you will need a killer game-time snack. Enter, my Cheddar Apple Chicken Sausage Bites. I originally posted this recipe last year at this time, but it is still a winner. So I am posting it again for all you ...

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Duck Fat Roasted Root Vegetables

roasted root vegetables in duck fat

When I was growing up, my mother typically made dinners that had a protein, a starch and a vegetable. Dinner was always followed by a green salad. I realized recently that I almost never cook like that. Most of my dinners tend to be one-pot meals, like soups, stews, braises and casseroles. Perhaps I will serve bread or salad on the side. But I ...

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Game Day Recipes from Stephanie Izard

macy's culinary council

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. In the pantheon of Chicago celebrity chefs, Stephanie Izard ranks among my favorites. Not only was Stephanie the first woman to win on "Top Chef," my favorite television show, she is ...

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January 2015 Chicago Food Swap Recap

cinnamon syrup

The Chicago Food Swap started its fourth year off with a bang at the January food swap. A few timely mentions in the local press, such as the Chicago Reader and the Check Please Planner, brought a wave of new swappers who mixed right in with the returning veterans. And there was plenty of delicious food all around. One of the highlights of ...

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New Year's Resolution Dinner: Nicoise Salad

main course salads

Salad for dinner? In the middle of January? I know that it is comfort food season, but it is also the time of year when we atone for our sins during the holiday season and eat healthier. The goal of this recipe is to show you that eating light and healthy can still satisfy your soul, even in the dead of winter. Packed with protein from BumbleBee ...

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Drunken Shepherd’s Pie with Potato-Parsnip Crust

shepherd's pie recipe

Lamb is an underused ingredient in America. In Europe, in the Middle East and even in the Antipodes, lamb is extremely popular. But here it's an afterthought. Why is that? I know many people claim not to like the taste of lamb, and it does have a distinctive taste. But my belief is that Americans do not like the taste of lamb because they are so ...

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Healthy Snacking with Pistachios

yogurt parfait recipe

Are you looking to eat healthier in the new year? I certainly am. With several weeks of holiday parties and meals behind me, I am resolving to cut back on treats and start the new year off right with healthy, nutritious foods that satisfy. I have recently discovered a new ally in the fight to eat right: in-shell pistachios.   Pistachios, a top food ...

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What to Do with Rangpur Limes

rangpur limes recipes

Winter is peak citrus fruit season and I could not be more excited. I absolutely love to cook and bake with lemons, limes, oranges and their exotic cousins, pomelos and kumquats. Right now, of course, I am in Florida, which is citrus country. One of my best finds at the Saturday farmers market in downtown Naples was Rangpur limes.  This unusual ...

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Holiday Baking: Cardamom Sugar Cookies

cut-out sugar cookie recipe

Sometimes you just have to bake a batch of old-fashioned cut-out sugar cookies, don't you? It was a busy Saturday around here, as they all are: an indoor soccer game, a guitar lesson, errands, play dates, oh, and getting ready for the holidays. But somehow, in the afternoon, I found the time to bake and decorate these, my favorite sugar cookies ...

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Holiday Dessert: Maple Buttermilk Pie

buttermilk pie recipe

Did you happen to catch me on Fox 32's morning show "Good Day Chicago" talking about edible gift ideas from the Chicago Food Swap? If not, be sure to watch the clip here! When your hobby becomes your profession, it is a bit of an adjustment. For years, it was my dream to cook and write about food professionally. Now that I am in the midst of ...

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Edible Gift Idea: Caramels

how to make caramels

Despite putting up jars upon jars of jams and pickles all summer long, I still find myself scrambling at this time of year to make gifts for the friends, neighbors, teachers and coaches who have touched our lives in the past year. If you are in the same boat, be sure to tune in to Fox 32's Good Day Chicago on Monday December 8 at 9:45 am when I ...

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Cooking Demo with Chef Takashi Yagihashi

chef takashi yagihashi

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Chicago is a city rich in celebrity chefs from Rick Bayless to Stephanie Izard. One of the international celebrity chefs that Chicago likes to claim as its own is Chef Takashi ...

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Cookie Exchange: Key Lime Meltaways

key lime cookies

I'm just back from our annual Thanksgiving jaunt to Florida, and of course, now that my beloved Oak Park Farmers Market is closed for the season, the only farmers market that I get to visit is the Saturday morning Third Street South Farmers Market in downtown Naples. My favorite stall at the Naples Farmers Market sells unusual varieties of citrus ...

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Apple Caramel Tart for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving apple caramel tart

Today's post is sponsored by Riveridge Produce, a Michigan grower and distributor of twenty-four delicious varieties of apples. Look for Riveridge apples, including Macintosh, Cortland, Jonathan, Empire, Rome and Honeycrisp, for your Thanksgiving table in fine grocery stores, such as Publix, Meijer, Mariano's, Copps, Pick 'n Save and HEB. In ...

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce for National Cranberry Day

how to make cranberry sauce

Did you know that November 23 is National Cranberry Day? I suppose it makes sense, being so close to Thanksgiving, which is cranberries time to shine. But I love to cook and bake with cranberries all winter long. In fact, I stock up on cranberries during the last few weeks of the Oak Park Farmers Market because these babies freeze like a dream. I ...

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