Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Garlic, Chive and Asiago Knots

Thankfully, my violent little battle with the common cold has met its end and I can now function like a normal human being. In celebration of that, I decided to bake some bread. Only natural, right?

Aside from using my mother's breadmaker back home as a 12 year-old, I have never baked bread from scratch. When a recipe calls for dry active yeast, I turn away in fear. But as I've recently discovered... it's just yeast! You toss it in, let it do its work, the dough rises-- nothing to it!

The original recipe calls for dried Italian seasoning, but the fresh chives at the grocery store were calling me with their fantastic greenness, so chives it is. I also had some shredded asiago lying around, so I added a pinch after the knots had been baking for a while.

Let me tell you, these darlings will cause your kitchen to smell like a happy little garlic and butter paradise. And when they're fresh out of the oven, they are warm and soft and quite simply... the perfect partner for your dinner.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Popcorn with truffle oil, grated parmesan, chives, sea salt and cracked pepper.

Beef shortrib sandwich with pickled shallots, watercress, horseradish and shoestring potatoes.

Orange-ginger soda.

I was curious about Graham Elliot's new sandwich shop, and it met all my expectations. How I love you, Grahamwich!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I never thought I'd get here, but here I am... the long nights and boring critiques of the semester behind me. I still have plenty to do for the next year, but I am going to enjoy doing nothing for a few more days.

So, it's Christmas! I was so excited about the holiday season: putting up a tree, listening to an insufferable amount of Jackson 5 Christmas music, and even throwing a small ugly sweater soiree. Unfortunately, I spent Christmas Day itself with a sore throat and a healthy dose of lethargy. Sad, really. I was hoping that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I'd hit December 25th without picking up some awful bug, but nope! Somehow, Paul and I ended up sick.

We had to skip out on his sister's Christmas meal so I decided to make our Christmas feast (ha!)-- congee with shiitake mushrooms and egg. Perfect food for the infirm. This is a good guide to making congee. I used minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and plenty of scallions. Nothing quite to it, so I won't go into great detail... just remember to crack an egg in towards the end.

I hope we feel better soon, because my sister and brother-in-law will be in town for New Year's and the last thing I want is to be this bumbling tired mess of germs. I have a nice plump list of restaurants to dine at-- determined to show them what Chicago's made of! Maybe I'll even cook a bit.

Well, one thing's for sure. I'll be updating a bit more frequently now that I am no longer plagued with finals and critiques, perhaps some of you even missed my updates. :)