Not too long ago, I was browsing some local Chicago food blogs and podcasts when I came across an article about a Chicago pie shop. The shop itself had only been open for a month or so, but the pie company had been selling delicious and popular seasonal pies for a few years. In spite of the cupcake shop craze, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that such a shop existed within the city limits. Then I saw a photo of the owner and pastry chef, and it turned out to be the pastry chef I used to work for years ago! And the name was Hoosier Mama Pie Company. I knew I was gonna like this place. I also happen to like me some pie. I’ve been known to take a few down without breaking a sweat. It’s very impressive, let me tell you. Sort of an homage to the hard boiled egg scene in Cool Hand Luke. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Monday! Happy wake-up-to-find-out-your-gas-is-being-shut-off-even-though-you-thought-you-were-paying-the-bills-and-your-work-colleague-has-bailed-on-you-again-day! I think of all the days that exist, this is my most favoritest day of them all. And with delicious photos of fruit tarts to boot, too. Whoa. I’m a lucky gal. The cool thing about me is, 1)I’m not bitter. Like, at ALL. Totally fucking fine. And yes, my leg has always shaken neurotically like that…And 2)I’m not one of those passive aggressive chicks that likes to write a blog post that is supposed to be about a fruit tart but instead uses it as a chance to bitch. RIGHT. Read the rest of this entry »
Dev Trivedi didn’t accept free pizza. It didn’t matter to him that at the tender age of 10, the only thing more exciting to me than “food” was “free food”. Nope, my dad didn’t care that we had already waited 20 minutes and were starving, and it certainly didn’t upset him that the kind folks at Pizza Hut had made our first pizza wrong, which would force us to wait another 20 minutes for the correct pizza. Or that I was starving. Did I mention I was starving? Cuz I was. (And I’m pretty sure I reminded him every five minutes.) Read the rest of this entry »
There are very few things I would do bad things for. Okay, maybe there are more than a few, but I think most of them can be summed up to all things pork.Chorizo is one of those things. Case in point–the queso fundido ($7.50 USD) @ Frontera Grill.
So…I like lamb. And I think you know this, because I’ve made it once or twice before. When I lived in Australia, spring was the time to hit up the Central Market for some new season leg of lamb at dirt cheap prices. The lambs were mostly raised in the local wine regions, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and such, and they were delicious, grass-fed meat. My husband figured out how to charcoal smoke a leg of lamb on a basic kettle grill using his smarts and this website. The lamb always came out juicy, slighty smokey, and just about the most addictive piece of meat you ever will see. Read the rest of this entry »
For this week’s Gastro Friday, I’d like to chat a bit about marshmallow week in my food studies class. If you read this week’s Leena Eats post, you’ll remember that I don’t have the best history with making marshmallows from scratch. Thankfully, I did not try to make marshmallows with my class. The stress alone would shut me down for the rest of the year. It is interesting to note how many different ways Americans commonly eat marshmallows–roasted over campfires and shoved into s’mores, browned on top of sweet potatoes, spread on a sandwich with some peanut butter, mixed with puffed rice cereal to make the most awesome snack of all time, no matter what country you live in (like I pointed out in this old post). We roll them in sugar and shape them like bunnies and chicks for Easter…Americans love marshmallows so much, it has been said that we purchase 90 millions pound of marshmallows annually! Read the rest of this entry »
So once upon a time, around, oh, 4 years ago, I was a pastry chef. My boss told me to make marshmallows. I had never done this. 30 minutes later, I had successfully broken the whisk attachment on a 30 qt. mixer. I was also wearing more marshmallow than the Stay Puft Marshmallow man and was curiously sticking to any stainless steel surfaces I stood near. Needless to say, those marshmallows were a big, fat FAIL. Oh, and for future reference, before you send ANYONE off to make mallows for the first time, you might just want to tell them that leaving the mixture in the mixing bowl for longer than 30 seconds turns it into candy CEMENT. Just a thought. Read the rest of this entry »
Whoa. WHOA. I’ve been eating. A lot. Some might say I am regularly eating my weight in food, which is sort of my job. Other might say that gastric bypass surgery hurts. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Come friends. Come see what I have eaten. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Gastro Friday, world! This week, I’d like to chat a bit about my latest food studies class on macaroni and cheese. If you grew up in the U.S., odds are your mama fed you mac and cheese. Sometimes it is from scratch with cheddar cheese and a bechamel sauce, sometimes its from a blue box and synthetic neon cheese powder. Sometimes its deep fried, sometimes it is slathered on top of a pizza. No matter how it is made, Americans love their mac and cheese. Read the rest of this entry »
I am sad to say that Americans know very little about Australians. To us Yanks, being Australian means throwing another shrimp on the barbie while drinking Fosters beer and wrestling with a crocodile. I am happy to say there is at least one woman working to change that image one delicious Australian baked good at a time.
Naomi Levine is the owner and pastry chef of TipsyCake, Chicago’s only Australian bakery. I first had the honor of meeting Chef Naomi at a Culinary Historians of Chicago meeting about Australian food. Chef Naomi spoke about Australian baked goods and made pavlovas (meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit) and lamingtons (yellow cake rolled in chocolate and coconut). I ate more than my fair share of pavlovas and lamington. And she still liked me. Read the rest of this entry »