Month: October 2012

48 hours in Amsterdam

After the big wedding in Edinburgh a couple weekends ago Cheryl and I decided to do some relaxing in Amsterdam.  Neither one of us had been to the Dutch city so we were pretty excited.  We weren’t going to be there very long, just a couple of days, before taking an overnight ferry to Newcastle for a Europa league match, but long enough to do some leisurely exploring.  (more…)

Oink Edinburgh! Awesome Pork Sandwich in Edinburgh, Scotland

Postcard from abroad: There is one place Cheryl and I always stop in at whenever we travel to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Oink.  It’s a little shop on Victoria Street close to the Royal Mile and the Castle which serves up great roast pork sandwiches.  Once you get to Victoria Street just look for the big roast pig sitting in the window.  That’s how you’ll know you’ve found Oink. (more…)

Homemade Garlic Sausage – No Turning Back Now!

I did it.  I made some sausage.  The old saying goes something like: “you never want to watch laws or sausages being made.”  Having lived and worked in our nation’s capital for over a decade before moving to Chicago I can honestly say making sausage is much easier than making laws and absolutely tastier.  If you’ve been following me (you haven’t?  why not?) you know I’ve been trying to teach myself some advanced kitchen skills lately and my new subject is the art/craft of charcuterie.  As with every adventure you start off by putting one foot in front of the other so I began slowly with some home-cured bacon and duck prosciutto which both turned out well and encouraged me to continue through the looking-glass to my real goal: sausage.  This next step became inevitable with the arrival of a meat grinder last month for my birthday from my in-laws.  Giddy-up. (more…)

Pumpkin Risotto – Another Flavor of Fall

It sure has gotten cold recently here in Chicago.  Time for a hearty warm dish which reflects the autumn season upon us: pumpkin risotto.  Yes, pumpkin risotto.  The great pumpkin’s time is now (just ask Linus).  My unofficial pumpkin season starts in late September and ends at Thanksgiving.  That Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is usually the last pumpkin dish I’ll make for almost a year.  Right now we’ve got pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin bread, etc., so get your fill during this brief fall window!    (more…)

A Chicago Pop-Up Restaurant Experience – Chef Julius Russell’s New Orleans Dinner

Pop-up restaurant?  What’s that?  A restaurant which pops-up somewhere of course.  Seriously though, a pop-up restaurant is when a chef takes over a space for a night, takes reservations, and has a dinner service for that night and the next day it’s gone.  The concept has been around for a while but I think it’s only really taken off in the USA in the past few years.  Last Saturday evening Cheryl and I had the pleasure of dining at Chef Julius Russell’s pop-up restaurant at Westminster Hot Dog’s West Loop location for a New Orleans Dinner.  It was a great event and well worth it! (more…)