Special Event: Frühschoppen at Dovetail Brewery!

sk-fruhschoppenThis week’s post isn’t a recipe for something we’ve had this week. It’s about an upcoming event this Sunday we’re part of at one of our local breweries here in Chicago: Frühschoppen at Dovetail Brewery! (more…)


Some Thoughts on Teaching a Sausage Making Class

Sausage classLast night I had a fantastic opportunity to take charge of a sausage making class at one of my favorite local stores, Savory Spice Shop, up in Lincoln Square. It was a really fun evening and even though I was there to give some sausage making instruction, I learned a few things myself. (more…)

Some Tips on Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for the First Time

Thanksgiving Blues Sat Eve PostSo this is it!  This is the year you’re not dealing with all the hassle of traveling and will be making Thanksgiving dinner for yourself and a few friends.  Good for you!  Despite all the drama you’ve witnessed throughout your life surrounding Thanksgiving dinner it’s really not terribly difficult to prepare if you’re sensible.  If you decide there has to be 5 different types of potatoes and all on the table by noon then yes, there will be drama.  But for the most part you’ll be able to pull it all off without too much stress if you prep correctly.  This year will make it six Thanksgiving dinners I’ve made so here are some thoughts, ramblings, or tips on how I go about it. (more…)

Travel Post: We Went to See The Tour de France in the Pyrenees

Ax les Thermes, the French Pyrenees town where Stage 8 of the 2013 Tour de France would finish

Ax les Thermes, the French Pyrenees town where Stage 8 of the 2013 Tour de France would finish

From my last post you may have guessed correctly we’re on vacation.  Right now we’re relaxing on the Costa Brava in Begur, Spain but before coming here we journeyed up into the Pyrenees for the main reason of the trip, seeing a mountain stage of the 100th Tour de France (maybe that should be raison d’etre then).  The stage we saw? Stage 8 from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines, about 200 km.  The first mountain stage of the Tour and a mountaintop finish at a ski resort. (more…)

Butterball Farms Luncheon Event

Loved the porcini-sage butter!

Loved the porcini-sage butter!

So I must say, one of the really cool things about writing this blog is occasionally I get some event invitations.  Last week I was invited to attend an event where my friend Chef Julius was showcasing Butterball Farms butter.  “Lunch?  And you’re cooking, Chef?  Um, yeah, I can make it!”  It was actually a pretty interesting event, kind of like a focus group, where Butterball Farms was looking for feedback on some of their products. (more…)

Summer Means Farmer’s Markets – Do you know where yours is, Chicago?

IMG_00000016When I lived in Washington DC there was a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday in the summer about a block from my apartment.  I had to actually walk through the market to get home from work which didn’t bother me one bit since I knew I’d have a great dinner that evening even if it was just some fresh homemade pasta.  Chicago has a great farm market which operates year round (Green City) but it’s not the same as a neighborhood one you can walk to (unless you live by Lincoln Park).  Luckily for us, there’s one every Saturday just a few blocks away in our North Center neighborhood.  So, last weekend we walked up to check it out. (more…)

A Really Cool Upcoming Event in Chicago: Tale of Two Chefs Pop-Up Restaurant, Bounty of Spring

Tale of Two Chefs - The Chef Julius Russell Pop Up RestaurantIt’s rare that I get to write about an upcoming event since most of my event posts are post-event (har har har).  Well here’s a case where I can actually tell you about something coming up where I know exactly what to expect.  Coming up on May 18, 2013 is Chef Julius Russell’s next pop-up restaurant event focusing on the Bounty of Spring.  Having been to a couple of his other pop-ups (NOLA & Valentine’s Day) I can tell you it’s going to be a pretty delicious dinner. (more…)