Ducketta – Elevating My Charcuterie Game

duckettaWhat’s a ducketta? I knew you’d ask. It’s my version of farce meat stuffed into or wrapped up in skin and cooked. Actually, it’s more like a zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) or roulade (farce meat wrapped up in skin) than porchetta but duckpone and duckade just don’t sound as good. (more…)

Zuppa Valle d’Aosta: A Leftover Bread Recipe

val-d-aosta-soup2 Waayyyyyyy back when I had just moved to Washington, DC and didn’t have cable I spent a lot of time watching the cooking shows on PBS. There was one show in particular which had this older Italian guy who basically traveled around Italy making something from the region. To this day I can’t remember the show or the guy (who was some sort of chef) but I remember this ‘soup’ from his stop in Valle d’Aosta. (more…)

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…)

Homemade Hazelnut Syrup For Your Coffee

hazelnut-syrup for coffeeI was in our local Savory Spice Shop yesterday picking up some supplies and I overheard Dave (the owner) talking to a customer about flavoring coffee with an extract she was purchasing. I went over and saw there were a lot of different flavors on the shelf. They’re always adding cool stuff. The extract which caught my eye though was hazelnut.

(more…)

Endive Gratin

endive-gratinI can’t say it enough, I love cooking during this season. During last week’s dramatic cool-down, I had a craving for some good old French onion soup. We went for French on date night and I got some. Made me very happy. It also got my creative juices flowing to make something French, and what’s a good fall French dish? Pretty much anything ending in gratin or gratiné. The endives looked nice at the grocery store so that’s what was getting gratin’d this week.   (more…)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup – Fall Soup Time!

butternut-squash-soupI can’t help that I get really excited about fall cooking. The days aren’t as a hot and the nights get cooler. Honestly, and I know I say this every year, it’s my favorite season. I get to start making all of my favorite soups, stews, braises, and roasts again. This week Mother Nature turned on the autumn weather which made it soup time. I had just pulled some carrots out of our garden and we had big butternut squash so into the pot they went. (more…)

Grilling With a Salt Block: Happy Birthday to Me!

ribeye-on-the-salt-blockAs mentioned last week, we were supposed to be out of town for my birthday but it didn’t work out. That’s ok, but it left us with a big question: what to do? Normally it’s dinner at one of my favorite restaurants but I didn’t feel like that. Instead, I decided we’d get a really nice cut of beef and a good bottle of wine and just grill for Sunday/birthday dinner. (more…)