Saturday, April 30, 2011

3 AM Observations...

Thanks for the tea. Am I awake yet?

Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Feast Fit For A Princess…

Get out your Wellies because we're going to London.

Maybe you’re not as excited about the Royal wedding as I am but I will be watching along with half of the rest of the world.

Speculation is that between 1 and 2 BILLION people will tune in for the wedding on Friday.People will be watching the ceremony on computers, cell phones, iPads, or in their neighbor’s home theater like me.

I’ve been following the Royal family for a long time. Not because they are royal but because we have a remote connection. You see, the loop that binds us is that I was born (11/20) just 6 days after Prince Charles (11/14) in the same year. I thought that was noteworthy but then we married the same year (1981) and had our first born sons in the same year (1982), there became a history that makes me feel connected and duty-bound to follow the storyline.

Now, I’ve never been the Princess type but I could be for a day. Give me a tiara, plop me on a pillow and spoon feed me a Trifle. I can so do this.

If you are planning a viewing party like my neighbor, here are a few recipes that you will want to cook as people come throughout the day.

You don’t need to break the royal bank to put on the show. Most of these recipes are inexpensive and you can utilize what you have on hand.

We are starting at 3 AM but you wouldn’t find a seat in the front row.

My name has been on the 2nd chair to the left for weeks.

Sorry - probably have to take a seat on the throne.

My Neighbor bought this...especially for her royal guests!

Bon Appetit!

Cucumber, Cream Cheese and Dill Tea Sandwiches

This sandwich is so refreshing and with 4 basic ingredients…well, you just can’t mess it up.
Tip: Use a mandoline to slice the cucumbers super thin. It makes 32 sandwiches…enough for all your friends and then some.

1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

16 slices very thin white bread, crusts removed

Chopped fresh dill, for garnish

Salt for sprinkling

Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Arrange cucumbers in a single layer on 8 of the slices. Sprinkle with salt.

Place remaining bread slices over the cucumber, cheese-mixture side down.

Slice each sandwich into 4 triangular tea sandwiches.

Dip one edge of each sandwich in a dish of chopped herbs. Serve immediately or keep in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

Princess Bride Cakes

                                             Photo: The Middleton Family

I love this photo of Kate released by the Middleton family. She could be anyones niece, daughter, sister or friend. In fact, she reminds me of my niece Callie who always has that look in her eye like she's with you but she left you behind in the conversation an hour ago.

What are bride picks anyway? I so improvised and found a Princess cupcake kit at William Sonoma… except the Princess was blonde so I had to color her hair.

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

3 containers (12 oz each) Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting

12 decorative bride picks (4 1/2 inches)

Candy decors and sprinkles, if desired

Heat oven 350 degrees F. Make and cool cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Remove paper baking cups; cut off rounded tops of cupcakes.

To assemble each bride cake, place 1 cupcake, cut side down, on individual serving plate. Spread cupcake bottom with 1 teaspoon frosting. Place another cupcake, cut side down, on top of frosted cupcake.

Spread frosting over stacked cupcake with downward strokes to make ruffled skirt. Add decorations to skirt if desired. Insert bride pick in top of frosted cupcake to complete princess. Continue with remaining cupcakes and frosting, making a total of 12 bride cakes.

Bacon Sandwich

I love everything bacon and someone mentioned to me the other day that the Brits are known for their Bacon Sandwiches. This is a staple of the British male. The recipe calls for loads of bacon piled between two slices of bread (sometimes toasted) but it varies on the correct composition of the model sandwich.
Brits consider this the best 'hangover-reducer’ so you may want to try it if you decide to start celebrating early and pull an all nighter.

Cottage Bacon

Thin White Bread – toasted

Royal Blue Cocktail

If this isn’t the royal blue connection, nothing is. I had two small – I mean petite - glasses and fell promptly to sleep. I woke up just in time to make a bacon sandwich! Doesn’t one cancel out the other?

Lime wedge

Coarse sugar or granulated sugar

Ice cubes

1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail

2 tablespoons (1 oz) citron vodka or vodka

2 tablespoons (1 oz) blue curacao

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Moisten rim of chilled martini glass with lime wedge. Sprinkle sugar onto small plate, and dip moistened rim into the sugar to coat lightly.

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, vodka, curacao and lime juice; cover and shake. Strain into martini glass.

Welsh Rarebit

You can put anything on it you want but this classic English sandwich is famous without the lettuce and tomato. I remember my parents making us a simple version of this recipe when I was young… of course they left out the Guinness. The rarebit can be made in advance and saved for the final toasting.
Like the Bacon Sandwiches above, it is also a hangover cure so don’t say you have nothing to cook for breakfast if you don’t exactly feel like eating. If you like Cheddar, this will be a staple.

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon mustard powder, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

3/4 cup strong dark beer, like Guinness

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or to taste

1 pound Cheddar, Double Gloucester or other English cheese (or other good semi-hard cheese, like Comté or Gruyère, or a mixture), grated

4 to 8 pieces lightly toasted bread

Put butter in a saucepan over medium heat and, as it melts, stir in flour. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard and cayenne, then whisk in beer and Worcestershire sauce.

When mixture is uniform, turn heat to low and stir in cheese, again stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a broad container to set (you can refrigerate for up to a day at this point).

Spread mixture thickly on toast and put under broiler until bubbly and edges of toast are crisp. Serve immediately.

Tea Sandwiches

Did I ever like egg salad at 3 AM? Remind me later…I’ve got a royal wedding to watch!


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet

Goat Cheese Topping:

2 oz cream cheese, softened

2 oz soft goat cheese (chèvre) Pinch garlic powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill, basil or thyme

Egg Salad Topping:

1/2 cup deli egg salad

Veggie Topping:

6 (1/4-inch) cucumber slices

3 radishes

1/4 yellow bell pepper

Fresh dill, basil or thyme

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll dough onto ungreased cookie sheet to form 12x8-inch rectangle; if using crescent roll dough, firmly press perforations to seal.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Cut into 24 (2x2-inch) squares.

For goat cheese topping, in medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon dill. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cheese mixture onto each of 12 crescent squares. Top with veggies and additional fresh herbs.

For egg salad topping, spoon about 2 teaspoons egg salad onto each of 12 remaining crescent squares. Top with veggies and additional fresh herbs.

Bacon and Egg Savory Cupcakes

These are so cute! I really loved this recipe and think that it’s the perfect option for a busy brunch. It takes minutes to make but once it’s in the oven, you have time to enjoy all the friends and family you invited over. This is a great recipe to make with your kids.

16 slices bacon

1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

8 eggs

Salt and pepper, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat about 4 minutes or until cooked but not crisp, turning once. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Set aside.

Spray 8 jumbo muffin cups or 8 (6-oz) glass custard cups with cooking spray. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in each muffin cup, pressing dough three-fourths of the way up sides of cups. Place 2 bacon slices in each biscuit cup, and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until egg whites are set. Run a small knife around cups to loosen. Serve immediately.

Curly-Endive Salad with Bacon and Poached Eggs

This salad would be perfect for a breakfast for dinner.

Croutons: Put a large frying pan over moderate heat. Toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Put them in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the croutons from the pan.

Salad: Add the bacon to the pan and cook until crisp. Remove and drain. Put in a large glass or stainless-steel bowl with the endive. Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the fat from the pan.

Eggs: Fill a saucepan two-thirds full with water. Add the 1 teaspoon vinegar and bring to a boil. Break each egg into a cup or small bowl and slide one at a time into the water. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Poach the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dressing: To the fat in the pan, add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, the garlic, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Warm the dressing over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic barely starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar and remove from the heat. Toss the dressing with the endive and bacon until the endive wilts slightly. Add the croutons and toss again. Put on plates. Top each salad with a warm egg.

The most traditional dish of any English Tea and hold the jam because there is some lovely Homemade Lemon Clotted Cream to follow. I can so get into these British traditions!

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

pinch of salt

1 Tsp baking powder

40g butter or margarine (1 1/2 oz)

150ml (1/4 pint) milk

beaten egg or milk to glaze

Raspberry jam and clotted cream to serve

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together and rub butter until all resembles breadcrumbs

Stir enough milk to bring it to a soft, light dough

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 3/4 inch thick and cut rounds with a cookie cutter

Place on a greased baking sheet and brush tops with beaten egg or milk

Bake at 425 deg F for about 10 minutes or until well risen and golden brown

Serve warm, split and filled with the jam and clotted cream, accompanied by a selection of English tea blends served with milk or cream.

This is absolutely one of the best, lightly whipped cream I’ve ever had. It’s great on everything and the bees knees on your best trifle.

Homemade Lemon Clotted Cream

A personal favorite of mine. I would also use this in a trifle.

3 oz. mascarpone

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ tsp. lemon extract

3 tbsp. powdered sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks, add the remaining ingredients and whip until evenly combined.

Hot Crossed Buns

You can't do these better than Gerhards... how easy was that?

Traditional Fish and Chips

Going from one course to the next, fish and chips is the “fast food” favorite of the English. Don’t forget that great English vinegar will bring out the flavor of the fish.

1/2 lb x 4 Cod Fillets

2 1/2 pounds Chips (potatoes sliced French fry size)

4 1/4 oz. Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup flour

1 Lemon, cut into wedges

English vinegar

1/2 pound Peas


4 whole eggs

6 oz. (approx) Beer

2 cups Flour

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat deep fat fryer or sturdy frying pan with cooking oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix salt and pepper with the flour. Whisk in the eggs, then add enough beer to make a thick batter. Let stand 10 to 20 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup flour on a shallow dish. Dip cod fillets into the flour, then into the batter mix, and then straight into the fryer taking care not to splash yourself with hot oil. Cook until golden brown and a core temperature of 160 degrees is reached.

Deep fry chips until golden brown and place with the fish on a plate with the tartar sauce, salad garnish, lemon wedges and English vinegar.

Heat peas in water brought to a simmer for a couple of minutes and place on a plate.

Tartar Sauce


1 c. light mayonnaise

2 TB. dill pickles, chopped

2 TB. stuffed olives, chopped

1 TB. onion, grated

1 TB. capers

Juice of one lime or lemon.

1/4 tsp. salt
Yorkshire Puddings

I put my roast in a slow cooker with tiny potatoes and carrots and serve with Yorkshire Pudding – the English version of the American popover…only better.

1 cup of all purpose flour

2 eggs

2 cups milk

Mix the flour eggs and milk with a blender to a nice pancake type batter

Heat the oven to 450 degrees then add a little oil to the bottom on muffin pans and heat

Remove from oven after a couple of minutes and add the pancake batter don't over fill

Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are nicely risen and golden brown

Serve hot with poached fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb.

Chicago Q

Photo: Chicago Q Website

Lee Ann Whippen, Chef/Partner in one of Chicago’s best restaurants, owns a resume that would impress just about anyone. Not only is she a National BBQ Champion, she is also the only female Pitmaster out there in a long, growing list of men.

This is an at- home -feel restaurant with plenty of windows and tons of Southern charm. I sat in the front window at a high table right next to a cupboard that was lined with trophies, ribbons and awards. My first thought was that my chances of having a really high-quality meal here was probably 99 to 1!

The meal was kicked off by small bowls of spiced chips and homemade pickles.

I’ve got to warn you that you had better hold back. They are so good you could easily finish them both, ask for another round and forget you even ordered breakfast.

I will admit that I am a hashbrown connoisseur. I’ve always loved them and judge every restaurant’s breakfast aptitude by the quality of the hashbrowns. Not many measure up but these potatoes were cut impeccably into tiny squares and cooked just as I remember them…crunchy and ever so perfect…just like my dad’s friend, Dr. Bob Havel, who I thought growing up made the best hashbrowns ever and have consequently compared all others to his.

I ordered both - yes, I did say both (Oink Oink) but I was happy I did. I could not decide which dish I loved the best.

The Kobe Beef hash was topped with 2 poached eggs and paired with jalapeno muffins. I polished off almost half.

My new favorite Eggs Benedict: A cornbread base covered with smoked chicken and smothered in Hollandaise Sauce.

Like every other post, I would follow with a recipe but doubt that I can duplicate the smoked chicken and hollandaise it was that good.

You have never seen me bow down and say I can’t do better but in this case, I am convinced I can’t. Remember – she’s the Pitmaster.

Some other picture perfect pluses about this meal was that all the food came in at under $20 and the service was outstanding. With all of these superlatives, you’ll want to come here often.

This was possibly the best brunch I’ve had in Chicago since I came here 25 years ago.

Bon Appetit!

May is Restaurant Month…

My dear friend, Diana von Cranach, is a one-woman wonder. Her comebacks to my “what have you been up to” inquests never fail to make me laugh.

Outside of working 24/7 because she lives in Bali she insists she does not. She is also a big CT (Charlie Trotter) fan so I am confident that she will come to Chicago sometime soon.

Catch this growing list of credits.

Diana is an English Egyptologist and interior designer, a talented raw chef/instructor, cookbook author and owner of the Puri Ganesha Luxury Villas in Bali.

What has she done lately?

She opened a restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos and is about to open another in Singapore on May 12th… with her name on it.

Stay tuned.

We’ll cover the news on Diana’s opening along with the Restaurant show here in Chicago May 21-24. May is bound to be a celebrated month of great chefs.

With over 40,000 strong, thanks again for reading.

Bon Appetit!

MaiTai Madness

Why is it that MaiTai’s always taste better at the beach?

This is an expensive – and ever so enchanting – drink. $750+ just for the airfare to Hawaii and try pulling the sand out of your toes after you’ve had a few of these!

Bon Appetit and Happy Almost Summer!

1 oz light rum

1/2 oz creme de almond

1/2 oz triple sec

sweet and sour mix

pineapple juice

1/2 oz dark rum

Pour light rum, creme de almond and triple sec, in order, into a collins glass. Almost fill with equal parts of sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice. Add dark rum and serve unstirred.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Prairie Fire's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

                                                                                              Taken With Casio's TRYX

I had great expectations for Prairie Fire this morning. At 215 N Clinton, this restaurant is so close to the train station in Chicago I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t come across it before today.

I had the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and have been dying to try them ever since Time Out Chicago named this dish one of the best things they ate in 2010. One down and 99 to go!

When the waiter brought me a stack of five, I laughed expecting to get through maybe half of them.

I ATE THEM ALL! I bulldozed through the entire pile but these were not your usual, every day pancake. They were so fluffy and light… more like a cross between a pancake, souffle and popover.

I tried the recipe below to which I added a fourth a cup of ricotta and lemon zest and although it was good – and they were lighter than most pancakes I have made - they were not as light as Prairie Fire’s. Back to the kitchen on this one for another try.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 eggs well beaten

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together dry ingredients.

Stir in buttermilk.

Fold in eggs.

Stir in butter.

Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle until brown on each side.

Another take on ricotta and lemon…

This recipe is from Fine Cooking where they described these souffle muffins as having that same consistency as the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

You can add the ricotta and lemon or leave it out. I made it both ways and they were both delicious!

Bon Appetit!

Pancake Soufflé Muffins with Strawberry-Maple Syrup
Adapted from Bill Telepan recipe

Nonstick cooking spray

10-1/2 oz. (2-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour

4-1/2 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) cake flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ cup ricotta cheese (optional)

1 TBSP lemon zest (optional)

6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

6 T bs. granulated sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3-1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

Strawberry Syrup

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup quartered, hulled ripe strawberries

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Liberally spray two 12-cup muffin pans with the cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large, clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed to firm (but not dry) peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on medium-high speed until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow, about 6 minutes. Add the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla; mix on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter, leaving some streaks. Fold in ricotta and lemon zest.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the batter into each muffin cup—you can fill the cups to the rims. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes total.

While the muffins are baking, bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Put the strawberries in a medium serving bowl. Pour the syrup over the berries and set aside in a warm spot.

With an offset spatula, pop the muffins out of the cups and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with the syrup.


Don’t you just love the CUTIES campaign going on right now? “Kids Love Cuties because Cuties are made for kids."

This big kid loves Cuties too, and I like the fact that you can peel them in a minute unlike an orange that takes forever.

They inspired me to track down recipes this week with cuties in them.

Either I lucked out - all of the recipes I selected and cooked this week were fantastic - or I am getting better at picking out recipes for you.

Try them all. Promise you’ll love them as much as all of those cutie commercials.

Bon Appetit!

Cutie Cocktail

This big kid’s cocktail will kick off your spring season with an Ahhhh…I’ll have another please!

I used Trader Joe’s Sparkling Clementine Flavored Juice Beverage. It’s a blend of 2 Juices –White Grape Juice and Clementine Juice. My new favorite juice!

I also had it without the gin and it was equally as refreshing. This is a great virgin drink to serve your kids when they decide that acting all grown up is way too much fun.

Bon Appetit!

Cutie Cocktail
For 2

4 ounces fresh squeezed madarine or clementine juice or Trader Joe’s Sparkling Clementine Flavored Juice Beverage

2 ounces cold dry gin

1/2 ounce cointreau or grand marnier

Orange zest

Combine the ingredients in descending order over ice and shake gently. Strain into chilled martini glasses or pour over ice and garnish with orange zest.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Clementine Cream Cheese Frosting

YUM… you can take this recipe a step further by adding pumpkin puree instead of applesauce and it’s just as good.
Either way, you’ll have supermoist cupcakes that are so good with the cream cheese frosting. My one piece of advice: Do not overcook them and watch them carefully.

You don’t need more than four drops of yellow mixed with a drop of the red to achieve the Clementine color. The color was picture perfect and I did sing the Oklahoma State fight song as I frosted the final cake.

I made my frosting a little too creamy and would definitely add some more confectioners' sugar to this recipe next time.

I stopped by William Sonoma to pick up a piping bag which now has got me so excited about doing more baking.

Me, who has always hated baking, is well into the pastry lessons and in my next life? …

You can visit me at the Le Moulin de la Vierge in Paris cranking out buttery sensations that make hundreds of people happy every day. And in a perfect life, I speak perfect French.

Bon Appetit…no translation required!

Chocolate Cupcakes:
(makes 18)

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

a pinch of cardamom

1/3 cup buttermilk

12 ounces applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)

5 ounces unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup grandulated sugar

3 large eggs

Clementine Cream Cheese Frosting:
Adapted from: Country Living

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon grated clementine zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)

4 cups confectioners' sugar

orange food coloring if desired


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, applesauce, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer, set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean -- about 18-22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 7 minutes. Remove cupcakes and allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.


Blend the cream cheese, butter, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 3 more minutes.

Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. Then refrigerate frosting for at 30 minutes to an hour. You want the frosting to be pretty stiff to actually pipe onto the cupcakes. Then using your favorite piping bag and tip, work fast to frost each cupcake. Store cupcakes in refrigerator until serving time.

Allow cupcakes to warm up for about 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken with Clementine Salsa

How can you not love BBQ’d chicken loaded up with fresh vegetables…and little bits of Clementines? Healthy and so delicious!

You will love all the flavors going on in the salsa with the addition of the celmentines. I added a few roasted peppers. I would also like to see some fresh pineapple added. The possibilities are endless.

I will also use this fresher-than-ever salsa to smother fish. One terrific way to get your daily dose of veggies!

Bon Appetit!

Chicken with Clementine Salsa
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

4 5-ounce chicken breast halves

4 clementines, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup finely diced celery

½ cup finely chopped bell or roasted peppers

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup fresh clementine juice (from about 6 clementines)

Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets plastic wrap or parchment paper, spacing apart. Using mallet, pound chicken to a uniform 1/4-inch thickness.

Mix clementines and next 9 ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Salsa can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.

Uncover chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until slightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter. Add clementine juice to skillet; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring often, about 2 minutes.

Drizzle sauce over chicken. Spoon salsa over and serve.

Clementine Wings

I am not that into wings but this recipe was really good with the combination of Asian ingredients and the honey. This will certainly be on my list of party food when I am looking for a quick and easy recipe to whip up.

I liked this recipe so much I made another batch and brought it over to my neighbors. They really enjoy wings and the verdict? Batch number three coming up!

Good Eating and Bon Appetit!

Clementine Wings

1 1/2 lb chicken wings, cut apart at the joint

1 T rice flour

salt and pepper

2 T oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed/minced

2 T soy sauce

2 T hoisin sauce

4 T honey

1 T sesame oil

a good pinch of chili flakes

a squirt of chili sauce

juice of one clementine

Preheat the oven to 450. Dredge the chicken wings in the flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil until it shimmers, and brown the wings on all sides. While the wings are browning, combine the remaining ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat 30 seconds to a minute and stir well. Dump the browned chicken wings in the bowl with the sauce, turn to coat, and spread them out in a glass dish. Bake 15 minutes, flip, then bake another 10-15, until the sauce is thick and sticky and the wings are cooked through. Serve over rice.

Clementine Granita

Alas – my favorite dish of any meal – dessert!
You can use just about any fruit in this recipe. I tried it with fresh pineapple and loved it.

This icy version of Clementine Granita is the perfect way to finish off this entire coobook of Clementine recipes. Too bad all my cuties are gone.

Does the rum make it? I love rum so not fair asking me because I can’t be one little bit objective. Too much time in the Caribbean perhaps!

Bon Appetit!

Clementine Granita
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse (Food Network) Serves 6 to 8

3 cups fresh clementine juice, pulp removed (about 12 to 14 large clementines, juiced)

1/3 cup superfine sugar, or to taste depending on sweetness of clementines

2 tablespoons light rum, optional

Combine clementine juice, sugar and rum, if desired, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Adjust the sweetness with more sugar, if needed.

Pour mixture into a 9-inch square pan or dish. Freeze, stirring and crushing lumps with a fork every few hours. Serve in hollowed out clementine rounds, if desired.

M Burger

At 161 N Huron, this is Lettuce Entertain You’s focus on high-end burgers, fries and shakes.
The butterscotch shake – which is on Time Out Chicago’s list of the best 100 dishes of 2010 - is no longer available. Was hoping for 2 down and 98 to go. It was the shake of the month in January so what replaced it in April? The Nutella milkshake drizzled with chocolate. I’m not a huge Nutella fan but if you are, bring it on because people that do love it.

The M’s burger was drenched in some mysterious sauce that I would not even try to duplicate at home. Not a fan… but didn’t dislike it either. Quality of the burger: Average. Take a lesson in great burgers from Edzo’s. Quality meat and you can taste the difference.

Maybe I need to return in January when they bring back the butterscotch shake.

Bon Appetit!

Casio’s TRYX

I love the new TRYX camera. With a unique, shape-shiftng body that is under 0.59” thick, it can be twisted into a number of shapes and still comes out aiding every difficult shooting situation you have…and I’ve had many.

I don’t endorse a product but have to admit that the close up photo of the Ricotta and Lemon Pancakes at Praire Fire is pretty good for a quick shoot.

Here Is The Link

Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 18, 2011

If Only In Your Sweet Dreams...

                            Delicious Peppermint Cupcakes from Wildflour Bakery, Lake Bluff

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Google recently did a salute to the Ice Cream Sunday with this cute logo.

Of course, I bit the suggestion to do my own.