Month: January 2013

A Haggis for Burns Night

Haggis Neeps and TattiesLast year around this time Cheryl tasked me with making some haggis for a Burns Night, an annual celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns held on his birthday January 25.  Basically a good excuse to get together, drink whisky, and eat some haggis.  The problem last year was we came up with idea on January 23rd two days before the holiday.  Pretty difficult to source what you need for haggis in two days.  In the end I found some at Gepperth’s Market and we had our Burns Night.  This year however I was intent on making haggis from scratch and set a reminder to start the planning.  (more…)


Tomato Bisque

Tomato BisqueEvery Monday night there’s a TwitterChat I usually participate in called #FoodieChats (follow @foodiechats or @foodiechatsCHI for updates) where the moderator asks themed questions and people tweet their responses.  It’s a fun way to interact with the “Twitter Community” and I occasionally get some good ideas from it.  This week’s theme was “Eating Red” so all the questions revolved around the color red like “What’s you favorite red fruit? Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.”  One question asked about lobster bisque which got me thinking about soups and how tomato bisque is redder than lobster bisque.  It’s frigid here in Chicago this week so, at that particular moment I decided to make a pot of tomato bisque. (more…)

Pork Breakfast Sausage Success

Ginger and Sage Pork Breakfast SausageNew year, new sausages.  So far in 2013 I’ve tried my hand at making two different ones.  The first was an initial attempt at dry curing which unfortunately didn’t turn out well and had to be abandoned.  In order to regroup and give myself a boost of confidence I went back to an easier “ready-to-eat” sausage and made some sage and ginger breakfast sausage from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie.  A perfect recipe for washing away the stink of failure and a nice addition for our breakfast menu. (more…)

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli – A Refreshingly Light Sunday Dinner

Spinach and Mushroom ravioliAfter New Year’s and the end of carb-overload season I’m always looking to create some lighter yet fulfilling meals and I think pastas are a great blank canvas for this.  It had been a while since I made ravioli so I decided we’d have some for Sunday dinner.  The only major question was, what kind of filling for the ravioli?  Like most people who overdo it in December (paying for it at the gym this month), January is the month where I crave green leafy vegetables, probably because I haven’t seen one since Thanksgiving.  Actually I’m game for just about any vegetable, just so long as it’s not candied, sweetened, or glazed.  So with the goal of incorporating more green into our diet in mind, I made some spinach and mushroom ravioli.  (more…)