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Leena Eats: Lincoln Square Farmers Market (photo essay)

By on Jun 29, 2009 in Food Porn, Leena Eats | 6 comments

**We interrupt your weekly Leena Cooks to celebrate a week full of farm lovin.** I. Love. Basil. Especially when it is purple. Seedling Farm, Lincoln Square Farmers market 2009. Chicago can hardly believe that fresh fruit is in season again. I think the winter froze our belief is delicious food. Mmm. Local cheese. A little paczki never hurt nobody. Unless they were diabetic. Pie! And lots of it! A really bad shot of a really amazing free-range pork producer, C&D Farms. They also sell grass-fed beef & lamb! Potted herbs, aka, urban gardens Lincoln Square Farmers market–tiny, but packs a punch! ~LTG! ******************** Chicago’s Lincoln Square Farmers Market 4700 N. Lincoln Ave. (in parking lot of the Brown line) Chicago, IL 60625 From: Jun 9, 2009 to Oct 27, 2009 7 am – 2...

Leena Eats: Locally-made lollipops!

By on Jun 24, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 2 comments

Locally-made lollipops by Das foods. I love a good lollipop. It lasts forever, tastes delicious, and is not messy at all, a plus for someone whose hair acts as a magnet for food. Living in a city where I constantly use public transportation, a nice hands-free candy is always appreciated. So guess who did Balki’s Dance of Joy when she stumbled upon locally made Das lollipops at a wine and cheese store in Chicago, Provenance? The lollipops retail for under $1 each, and come in four varieties that are more geared toward adult tastes than children: salted caramel, maple bacon, ginger lemon, and pomegranate orange. They are a creation of Katie Das, a Ukrainian native that used to be a food scientist and now makes candies and caramels. If you haven’t drooled over her gourmet salted caramels at Whole Foods, Provenance, you need to. I tried all of the lollipops except for the...

Leena Cooks: Elia’s Top Chef Waffle of Awesomeness…with a twist.

By on Jun 22, 2009 in Breakfast, Leena Cooks | 4 comments

It all starts with a waffle shoved full of bacon. A thing of beauty, if you ask me. I heart the show Top Chef. If you have never seen it, I’m sorry, because your life is that much less richer than mine. If you have seen it, girrrrrrrl, then you know what I’m talkin’ bout. A bunch of professional chefs get a series of cooking challenges to compete in during each episode, and the lowest performing chef is kicked off. Unlike many reality game shows, this one maintains an edge by providing creative challenges, ones that really make you think. Like, here is $4.00. Go buy some shit from a vending machine and turn into a 4 star amuse bouche in 20 minutes (all while trying not to fight with the psycho cheftestant hyped up on coke), and feed it to Tom Coliccho and some other famous chef, and you best be prepared to tell them why it isn’t amazing. But no pressure. My...

Gastro Fridays: Meeting Celebrities

By on Jun 19, 2009 in Gastro Fridays, The Gastronomical Leena | 2 comments

Me and Dale? Oh we go waaaaaaaaaaaay back. Look how not awkward this photo is. What is it about meeting celebrities that turns a perfectly normal, intelligent person into a blubbering idiot who can’t string together a coherent thought? For the longest time, I thought I was immune to such behavior. I was always flabbergasted when my friends would burst into tears or start hyperventilating when they got within 100 feet of their favorite celebrities (“Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmyfrickinggod!!”). After all, aren’t celebrities are just normal people (who happen to make a lot more money than we do)? They still get gassy and occasional gastrointestinal distress after Taco Bell like the rest of us. Then I met my first food celebrity and was reduced to a stuttering pile of stupid. And again with my second, and my third, and…sigh. It is starting to become a...

Leena Eats: Ribfest Chicago 2009 (Vegans Welcome!)

By on Jun 15, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 2 comments

********We now interrupt your regularly scheduled Leena Cooks for a well-deserved week of Leena Eats. What can we say? This bitch can EAT!********** It is no secret that I love me some ribs. Smokey, charred, meaty, slightly sweet and spicy and sticky as hell–what is not to like? Put a crap ton of delicious ribs in within a 3 block radius, and look out. There is no mountain I won’t climb, no elderly citizen I won’t hip check, no frat boy I won’t shank to get me a taste of that sweet, sweet pork. And there were hip checks a-plenty, thanks to an unbelievably ghetto-packed festival. Seriously, city of Chicago. Could you shove any more clowns into that car? It took a solid 20 minutes just to walk the length of a city block, and that was only if you were aggressive and willing to get a bit of ribs on your shoulders. Unlike last year, this year’s Ribfest made...