Monday, July 14, 2014

Taste of Chicago and how it became fun again


When I was younger I would drive in from Michigan to go to the Taste.  It was fun.  Seeing the bands and eating overpriced food.  Good times and good memories.  Then I went to work for the city and everything changed.

For years I have worked every summer for about the past ten years I have either worked in the Command Post for the Taste of Chicago or been so exhausted by the preparation for the event that I have wanted nothing to do with anything there.  So I have missed chefs and concerts that I had wanted to see.  This year I decided to change that.

My friend Kathy mentioned that she was going to go to one of the Chef du Jour dinners with her friend Tracy. I figured here was my chance.  So I bought a ticket.  We decided on the last days dinner with Chef Matthias Merges.  We all got the vegetarian option.  

Here is Chef Merges telling us about the dinner.  It seems all of the veggies came from the program he supports for non-violent felons rehabilitation.  Seemed appropriate for a cop and a retired sergeant.



Here is the first course, kohlrabi and summer apple salad with aged Gouda, rnuts and pretty flowers.

Then it was Charred sweet corn tortellini with almond broth. So delicious.



Next was the main course.  It was a giant gnocchi with caraway, carrots and horseradish.  It was like nothing I had ever had.  The gnocchi had a rye bread quality to it, which was funny since the non-vegetarian dinners had corned beef.



Finally it was Ecuadorian chocolate terrine, with milk jam, berries and tarragon.  The tarragon was not overpowering and it seems milk jam is a fancy way of saying caramel sauce.  This was delicious and I would have licked the plate if I could have.  Also the thing on top turned out to be a kumquat.  I had never had one before.






Dinner was so good we have decided to make it a yearly tradition.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Upcoming Events

I have big plans for the month of July.
 1. Write here more 
2. Tour de Fleece 
3. Camp Nano 
4. Project 333 (Really looking forward to this one) 
5. Meditate and Yoga or workout Daily 
6. Continue my 100 Happy Days Project. Here are days 1-4 of the 19 I have taken.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Never Win Anything - Until Now

So back in October Hannah over at Bittersweet had a contest.  So I entered.  The contest was to win napkins from Dot and Army's Etsy Store.  They were so cute and pretty I could not resist.  Besides I never ever win anything.

Well I did win.  I had no idea, the message had gone into my spam filter and since I never win anything I had not checked.  Thankfully, Jennifer of Dot and Army was super sweet about my airheadedness and still wanted to send them out.  I let her pick since there were so many to choose from.  I think she did a fantastic job.  I will be using these for photo shoots and for dinner.




The crap photos are mine the pretty napkins are hers.  thanks again.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pretty Purple Juice

So now that Vegan MoFo is over I am thinking I need to continue my healthier eating habits.  Every week I get vegetables from two different CSAs so my fridge is teeming with bright green bounty.  I needed to find a way to use some of it before it went bad.

Then I remembered, last February, I bought a juicer, after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  I used it a couple of times and then put it away.  So I hauled it in off the back porch and washed it off.  I think at the time I tried kale juice and well... let's just say it tasted like freshly mown lawn.  This time I decided to follow most blogs advice and start easy on the dark green leafys. I began with some beets.

Pretty Beets
Now a lot of people do not like beets, for their earthy taste but I do.  So I peeled and chopped them up and ran them thru the Breville.

Love the Blood Red Color

Then I added other veggies.  For the final result of this:

Enjoyed Outside While Watching Kids Run Around
Heck even the pulp is pretty.

Best Looking Future Compost
So here is the actual recipe:

1 large beet peeled and cut to fit in juicer
2 carrots, mine were organic so I did not bother to peel them, just cut off the tops
1 apple, again organic and cut to fit in juicer
1 lemon, peel and white cut off
4 stalks of Swiss Chard, I went with red, but any color would do.
4 leaves of Romaine

Juice the beets, carrots, and apples on high and the rest on low.  Pour into glass leaving foam in the pitcher.  Drink.  I did added ice because I like it colder.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vegan MoFo Post #9


So today I did something I have wanted to try, but just haven't yet.  I decided to put my new tofu press into action.  I have, in the past, had an issue with the texture of tofu but I keep trying.  So today I went for fried.  I mean really fried foods used to make up a huge percent of my diet.

I pressed the tofu for about a half an hour.  Then I lightly dredged it in cornstarch.  Finally I fried it.  I think fried tofu might be my gateway drug into other varieties.  I loved the crispiness and crunch it had.  My sister has given up meat as well but she has not liked any tofu I have made her.  I force fed her a piece of this and even she thought it was tolerable.  I kept saying to the omnivore kids, "I can not believe how good this is."  I served it up with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and onions.

First Fried Tofu
I know what i will be having again quite soon, probably tomorrow since I have to use up the rest of the block.  I hate to say it but I am totally pleased with myself.  Now if I can just bring myself to try the tempeh that is in my fridge.

Vegan MoFo Post #8


Another experiment from yesterday.  I made vegan frosting.  I had a box mix left in my house (not vegan) but I decided to experiment with the frosting.  I had some Earth Balance in the house and thought I would give it a try.  Then I realized that I did not have any powdered sugar.  A fast internet search and I realized I could make it in my Blend-Tec.  It worked out great.  The 5 year old helped me with that as well.  She likes watching stuff get shredded in the mixer.

The end result turned out pretty darn good, and it got the last boxed mix out of the house.

Nephew doesn't like frosting so I left 3 naked for him

Forgot how much fun decorating is.
And since I have not done it yet, here is a gratuitous angry cat photo.  They both are way too fabulous to pose.
Muffin, age 15

Sid, age 16


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vegan MoFo #7


So today I made some snack foods.  I wanted to have some snacks on hand that I could easily just grab that did not involve candy bars.

So I made Roasted Chickpeas.  I know everyone in the world has made them.  I had in the past as well, but the last time the spices I put on them did not translate to the finished product.  I was so excited when I tasted them before I put them in the oven and when they came out they were so BORING.  This time I was taking no chances.  I used avocado oil and Vulcan Fire Salt from The Spice House.  They are awesome.  I let my 5 year old niece do the pouring and she did an excellent job.


I then made Fudge Balls.  I found the recipe on the internet and I can not remember where so I won't post the actual recipe, but I figure if I mix cacao with walnuts and dates then I can enjoy the chocolatey goodness.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures of them.