Chicago Foodbloggers Unite…

September 16th, 2009

Having dinner with some food blogging ladies last night, I realized that 1) I haven’t posted in over a week! (bad busy Ginny!) and 2) I never posted about the original dinner that led to the outing last night. As a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, sometimes I have the opportunity to go to special events. A couple weeks ago, they sponsored a dinner at Tru. It was a wonderful experience. The food was delicious, the service great, the art fascinating and the company excellent!

I had a wonderful time. Spent four hours talking about food and food blogging… out of that, we decided to begin a group that would meet month to continue this conversation… So last night, I met Tammy, Bridget, Jackie, Joelen, Cynthia and Chris for dinner to begin our “Alliance.”   Another fun evening… can’t wait for next month…if are a Chicago food blogger and want to join, check us out

A little about our dinner at Tru…

We started off with a series of canapes. Above is the cauliflower sphere with sea trout roe and orange zest, which was my favorite. I like a little molecular gastronomy every once and a while… We were also served a basil collins, which was delicious…

The first course was an Amuse Bouche with sea curred salmon with cucumber skin. This was very delicious. I loved the hint of lime.  Very refreshing!

Then there was peeky toe crab with prosciutto and pequillo and cantaloupe-cava consomme… I’m not a big cantaloupe person but it was quite good… just a little too sweet…

Next we had frog leg with roasted garlic, carrot, and waterchess.  It was my first experience with frog leg- it tasted like chicken.

The fourth course was olive oil poached salmon with granny smith apple, coconut, thai long peppercorn.  Poaching the salmon this way creates a really different texture that was very close to a piece of smoked salmon.  I loved the salmon itself but the stuff with it was a bit difficult to eat gracefully and did not seem that cohesive.

This was my favorite dish!  The short ribs cut easily with my fork… the eel worked perfectly with the short ribs… topped with miso foam… it all that fit together perfectly…

This beautiful dessert ended our dinner… gorgeously plated… I wasn’t quite sure how to eat it but it tasted good, especially the milk chocolate with the plums…
As if we had not eaten enough, they brought out a tray of different candies.  I love this photo because it is so fitting for the evening… it was so entertaining to watch everyone taking photos of their food before eating…

After dinner they took us on a tour of the kitchen… complete with a liquid chocolate raspberry truffle which was like nothing that I’ve ever eaten before. Then, as i was walking out the door, I was given a little madeline type roll filled with jam… finding that in my bag the next day was a wonderful surprise…

Check out other reviews and my dining companions…

Marathon Val

Eating Bender

What’s Cooking, Chicago?

Eat a Duck I must!

What’s for Dinner?

Homemaker’s Habitat

Feasting on… Gluten Free Pixels

Gourmet with me

Chik n’ pastry

Better with Butter

Lindsey’s Kitchen

Happy Labor Day!

September 7th, 2009

and a very Happy Birthday to my mom!

Her birthday was on Saturday but it typically falls on Labor Day.  Her mother always calls her to remind her that “She was in labor on Labor Day.”  On Saturday, as I was sitting around working on my law journal article, I really started craving something sweet.  I remembered the recipe that Deborah just posted and something blondie-esque sounded really good.  So I made some Congo Bars and iced them with chocolate icing.

As I was licking the chocolate off the spoon, I realized how much like my mother I really am besides my cackling laugh, friendly nature and independent streak… we both love to bake when the craving hits… I knew she would approve of my Congo Bars late on a Saturday night!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Congo Bars (recipe from my Aunt J)
1 cup. nuts (optional)
1 small package chocolate chips (I didn’t use)
2 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 box brown sugar

1. Grease and flour 13 x 9 pan.
2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pan.
3. Bake for 30 min at 350.

Chocolate Frosting
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2 ounces melted chocolate
1 box confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1. Cream the butter and cocoa together.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. Slowly add confectioner sugar and milk until it creates a frosting. Add the milk slowly because sometimes you do not need the whole amount.


August 25th, 2009

We are back from a wonderful trip to Costa Rica! Juan and I had a really great time.  The next couple weeks, I’ll show you some photos of the beautiful countryside, the wildlife and the food!   Getting back has been hectic as our bags went MIA in Miami, which was kind of ironic since the airport is called “MIA,” and I started class yesterday.  So, I missed my Sandwich Sunday post but it will be back next weekend.

Last year, I posted the Omnivore’s Hundred and over the course of the year, as I’ve traveled and tried new things, I have looked back on it.  Here is my updated list.  I went from 49 to 57, if you count trying Juan’s food sometimes.

Here’s what to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (Thanks to the surprise from Juan today!)
3. Huevos rancheros (I tried Juan’s. Does that count?)
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or Head Cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl
33. Salted Lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a Fat Cigar
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects

43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu: the whole lethally poisionious thing makes this a little iffy…
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (Is there anything better?)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (Dogfish 120 IPA is amazing!)
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (What is this? Google is failing me…)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill (um…don’t think I could do it!)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict (Again, I tried Juan’s.)
83. Pocky
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose Harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole Poblano
96. Bagel and Lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake