Month: January 2012

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Meat Lasagna

Did you know Friday was International Port Wine Day?  It was.  And what does this have to do with meat lasagna you ask?  Well I’ll tell ya.  There was a free port tasting at my local Binny’s Beverage Depot, the one in Lakeview that looks like a castle.  For my non-Chicago readers Binny’s is a Chicagoland beer/wine/liquor emporium.  The one nearest to us is pretty huge and they have a good wine selection.  Occasionally they send out specials on a wine of the week where you can order (sometimes pre-order) and make pick-ups at the store.  Cheryl and I practically stocked our wine rack for Christmas with some of their deals.  Anyway, back to the story.  (more…)

Top Chef Episode 12 – Block Party

After last week’s episode there was no way this week’s could be better.  I was just hoping it wouldn’t drop off too much.  We’re really coming into the home stretch here and now that Bev’s no longer around for everyone to kick maybe there’ll be some new drama.  Of course since the opening scene was everyone (except Grayson) in the stew room dancing about Bev’s elimination I highly doubt the remaining chefs are going to get all nasty with each other but you never know.  Seems like Lindsay and Sarah rub Grayson the wrong way and I bet Grayson could kick both their asses.  Grayson has grown on me.  She’s not as polished as the others but she doesn’t care and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. (more…)

Our Burns Night Supper in Wrigleyville

The only way to dress this photo up is to put the whisky in!

It all started off simply enough, “Robert Burns Night is Wednesday.  Are you going to make some haggis?  I think you should.  Oh look, here’s a recipe.”  It was at this moment I realized I am in trouble for the rest of my life.  For the most part I am able to whip things up, experiment a little in the kitchen, give them to Cheryl and she’s very happy.  Clearly, she appreciates it as she’s now requesting obscure offal dishes from scratch…in two days.  Say it for me Scotty.  My complaint of “um, I really need some extra warning so I can order and round up the ingredients” was met with a look that can be described as a cross between “say what?” and “excuse me?”  How did the bar for a weeknight dinner just make a light year jump to that level?  We’ve gone from soups to haggis.  Nevertheless, I had been given a request and despite my grumbling I had to give it a go. (more…)

Winter Warmer: Chicken, Polenta, and Kale stew

Cold, rainy, wet, windy.  Chicago weather!  That’s what greeted me on the way to the grocery store today.  That’s right, our grocery shopping gets done on Mondays.  Being a real estate broker means you usually have some weekend work to do, like any service industry, so on Mondays I do some work from home in the morning and then run errands in the afternoon.  I like it actually because I’ve noticed grocery stores usually re-stock on Mondays so you get pretty fresh produce and meat.  And I can be in and out there really fast since everyone else is at the office.  It also enables me to shop to buy fresh ingredients for Monday night dinner so I don’t have to defrost anything. (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Roast Chicken with Orange-Saffron Sauce

After a long weekend of dining out it was nice to sleep in, go to the gym, watch the AFC and NFC championship games, and have a home-cooked meal.  I had taken a chicken out of the freezer the other day and it was all thawed out just waiting to be cooked.  Now roast chicken is roast chicken and I’m sure everyone has their own way of roasting and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But the way you dress up your chicken can make a big difference. (more…)

Riccardo Trattoria

Riccardo Trattoria is one of the first restaurants Cheryl and I went to in Chicago.  She was doing her business school summer internship here and I came for a weeklong visit (my first trip ever to Chicago).  Knowing Chicago was a great culinary city I did some research.  I wanted to take her to a really nice place with good food.  She was living in Lincoln Park at the time so my research on Chicago Foodies turned up Riccardo Trattoria.  We went and have been huge fans of the restaurant ever since.  It’s our usual choice for birthdays, anniversaries, and special events.  We associate good times with it because the food is so damn good! (more…)

Top Chef Episode 11 – Snow White and the Seven Chefs

YES!  The best episode of the season!  Amazing what can happen when the chefs are given free rein.  They were really impressive this week.  I mean even the ones who I’ve been slagging off on turned in some pretty impressive performances.  The quickfire was pretty good and the elimination challenge was really interesting.  Glad that the chefs got to really show off this week.  When Tom comments that this was the best start to end meal he has eaten on the show you know it was good. (more…)