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Leena Eats: Hoosier Mama Pie Company…and 40 slices of pie.

By on Apr 29, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 0 comments

A slow-starting Chicago spring bringing you down? Drown your sorrows in PIE! 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. It was only...

Leena Cooks: Strawberry Brown Butter Tart (with a side of bitterness)

By on Apr 27, 2009 in Leena Bakes, Pastries | 4 comments

Check out my strawberry brown butter tart of bitterness, I MEAN–love. LOVE. My freaking love tart. 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. This has just been one of those days, where you wake up and everything goes wrong. This bitterness (even though I am NOT...

Gastro Fridays: My Dad Rocks

By on Apr 24, 2009 in Gastro Fridays, The Gastronomical Leena | 8 comments

Yes. My dad is almost ALWAYS this happy. 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.) Nope, Dev Trivedi never accepted free pizza, and after he turned away a delicious, incorrectly made pepperoni and sausage deep dish, after I had a little cry in the bathroom and held myself for a while, I asked him why. My dad informed me that the pizza people had made a...

Leena Eats: Frontera Grill Brunch

By on Apr 23, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 2 comments

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. Queso fundido @ Frontera Grill Chicago is indeed a great food city, and many famous chefs have made their mark on the local restaurant scene. Perhaps one of the most famous would be celebrity chef Rick Bayless, the chef and owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, the city’s first upscale Mexican restaurants that focus on regional cuisine. And although I’ve eaten my way through many of Chicago’s most delicious restaurants, I have never had the joy to dine at these temples of Mexican cuisine. I was lucky enough, however, to sneak in a quick brunch @ Frontera Grill a few weeks ago. Service was great, food was pretty good....

Leena Cooks: A big-ass leg of lamb

By on Apr 20, 2009 in Leena Cooks, Mains | 8 comments

If you never knew food could be sexy, you’ve never met my charcoal-smoked leg of lamb. I’m sorry. 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. Now that it is spring in Chicago, lambs are a bit harder to come by. Call me crazy, but I think it is mid-spring frost. But every now and then, we splurge at the local butcher to get some...