Roast Chicken – An essential dish for anyone

Roast ChickenI make roast chicken fairly often so I was a little shocked to see I hadn’t published a roast chicken post.  Roast chicken is something everyone has eaten in their lives and most everyone is familiar with the basics of cooking one.  (more…)


Making Paella Valencia Style and Grocery Shopping in Spain

Paella Valencia StyleAfter seeing the Tour de France in the Pyrenees we traveled to Begur on the Costa Brava for a quiet and relaxing week of sunshine and some sand.  Since paella can be considered beach food it seemed appropriate to make some while we were within sight of the Mediterranean.  But first, we had to do some grocery shopping. (more…)

Braised Chicken Legs with Kalamata Olives

Way back in time when I became more serious about cooking for myself I used to read a lot of Food and Wine magazines.  This is a variation of one of the first “step-up dinners” I made where I graduated from using one of those jar sauces to cook chicken in.  Those, of course, were a step-up from Shake N Bake chicken.  I don’t remember all of the original ingredients in the F&W recipe and over the years I’ve tweaked this plenty.  Make it a few times and you’ll find it’s a very easy one to customize for yourself. (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…)

A Fundraiser (with food by Hot Doug’s)

Didn’t get a chance to review Top Chef last night due to the fact Tivo’s recording time was scheduled for later (yeah yeah operator error).  Needed Tivo’s help since we were attending a fundraiser my brokerage (Baird & Warner City North Office cross promotion here) had for Neumann Family Services of Chicago.  It was held at Dank Haus in Lincoln Square and we raised over $5,000 for Neumann, raffled off a few prizes, and held a silent auction.

Side roam re: Dank Haus.  About a month ago Cheryl and I went to a strudel making demo there.  I have yet to attempt making some but that time is coming.  I saw a rumor of snow flurries here in Chicago today so holiday baking season is upon us!

Besides my failure to watch Top Chef, the food related blog hook here (I know, hurry up and get to it) is the catering for the event was provided by Hot Doug’s and Half Acre Beer Company.  Chicagoan’s know a thing or two about hot dogs and about Hot Doug’s (and the line) too.  You may be familiar with it from No Reservations, but if not just know he makes pretty awesome sausages.  Last night the featured sausages at the event were (if I can remember the descriptions): a Veal, Pork, and Chive Bockwurst, Smoked Shrimp and Pork Sausage with Cajun Remoulade and Goat Cheese, Jalapeño Chicken Sausage, and the famous Sauterne Duck Sausage with Foie Gras (pictured).

Duck sausage topped w/ foie

They didn't last long

Sooooooo good.  And no waiting in line!  Everything was washed down with Half Acre beer, either their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale or Gossamer Golden Ale.  I stuck with the Gossamer since I’m not a huge fan of hoppy pale ales.  Anyway, it was a great event for a good cause with some really good food and drink!  Top Chef post after I watch it later.