Archive for the ‘Diced & Slices’ Category

French snob

May 11, 2011

Yes, I’m a totally a French snobby snob when it comes to French Onion Soup.

Winberie’s, French Onion Soup, Oak Park

I happened to find myself in Oak Park last week for a meeting that ended right at lunch time, so I made a pit stop at Winberie’s before I caught the Green Line back to the city. It’s a cozy place that’s great to eat solo.

Oh, and I had the BEST French Onion Soup of my life. That completely made the hour and half train ride worth it.


French Country breakfast

March 21, 2011

Yesterday was a dark and rainy Sunday here in Chicago, so I whipped up this super quick French Country breakfast. Made with Trader Joe’s Country Potatoes, this fancy veggie mix combines haricots verts, wild mushrooms and potatoes. I added an egg (over easy, please) on top to round everything out. It seriously took about 10 minutes to make the entire meal. Viola!

Trader Joe's Country Potatoes,


February 14, 2011

I made Nutella Chip Cookies for my Valentine. They are kind of amazing. And if you are thinking, “I thought she hated VD?” you are still correct!

But any excuse to bake for the one you love, right?

I’m just going to link to Love and Olive Oil’s recipe because I didn’t change a thing about it. Okay, I lied. I had to divide everything in half, as it calls to make 24 cookies. And 24 cookies is a bit much for just two people.

Blast! They turned into squares. Had I thought a bit more ahead, I would have bought a heart shaped cookie cutter.

In the end, I used a bit of wax paper, baker’s twine and a left over ribbon to wrap the cookies for an after school surprise. And yes, that is card stock with embossed hearts. How sweet. Blah!

Hasselback Potatoes

February 4, 2011

Hasselback Potatoes, My Heart Behaves, Blackened Tilapia

I think Hasselback Potatoes are my new favorite things. Better than a baked potato (and tastier, too!), they are just about the cutest things ever. I sliced a couple up as a quick side to the blackened tilapia we were having, giving them some extra spices to make it a bit more complimentary.

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes

2 medium-sized potatoes
1 thinly sliced garlic clove
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon Cajun Spice Mix
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and dry potatoes. This is important: lay potatoes flat side down. Thinly slice from each end, almost all the way through. Place garlic in between slits, as desired. Drizzle EVVO on top of each potato, then sprinkle with Cajun spices and salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, longer for more crispiness.

Chicken Scallopini

January 24, 2011

I’ve had a gift card to Cinemark in my wallet for over two years, so after a bit of Googling we found a theater in Evanston and decided to make the journey to the burbs. It’s funny because downtown Evanston looks shockingly similar to Mockingbird Station in Dallas. Same stores: UO, American Apparel, Gap, etc., lots of apartments and a giant theater in the middle. Sadly though, no Angelika where they play the good stuff.

Moving on, (and I’m rambling here, I know) we had enough time to squeeze in dinner before at an Italian place literally right next door called Bravo, which had your standard chain restaurant grub. I opted for the chicken scallopini because I’d never had it before.

Oh my, I was hooked and had to make it myself. And quite frankly, mine was better. It’s super simple and could be pretty elegant for a dinner party if you wanted to substitute the chicken for fish. (Which I will the next go around.)

Chicken Scallopini, mikasa mediterrania pink


Looks like a lot, but I had most on hand.
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers or to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 thinly sliced provolone
1 box Barilla Whole Grain Linguine
2 tablespoons EVVO
1/2 cup flour
oregano, to taste
Thyme, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
half a tomato, chopped
feta, to taste

In a sauce pan, melt butter and combine lemon juice and garlic, wisking thoroughly. Add capers to taste. I bought my chicken thinly sliced, but if not, you will need to butterfly the chicken. Then using a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken breast out until it’s an even thickness. Combine flour, oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a shallow pie plate. Coat both sides of chicken, then pan fry around three minutes each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and top with a slice of provolone. Cook linguine according to box directions. After shocking pasta with water, combine EVVO, oregano, pepper, thyme, minced garlic and a bit of feta in bowl. Place chicken on top of linguine, add sauce, tomato and feta. (Yes, more. Don’t judge.) Serves four.

German Katz

December 15, 2010

UPDATE: Apparently Katzenzungen means chocolate cat tongue in German and there’s a Flickr pool. Brilliant.

So there’s this little German village called Christkindlmarket set up in Daley Plaza right now. It’s totally touristy fun and has an amazing Christmas tree right in the middle. We made a couple of pit stops with family and friends visiting just to look around.

Then the boy went on his own … at lunch time, no less … and bought loads and loads of German candies and treats. He likes his chocolate.

Everything tasted pretty amazing (aside from a batch of cookies that had the distinct taste of pepper), but what gets me the most? Obviously the packaging.

I mean it’s a pack of katzenzungen and the treats inside seriously look a lot like … well something you’d find in the katz litter.


December 9, 2010

I made Hershey’s “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake and frosting, ya know from the back of the cocoa box.


Mostly I just like baking and taking photos, so basically this was all for no reason. And I’m okay with that.

Turning lemons into … money

November 29, 2010

Have you noticed the indoor citrus tree trend? Yeah, I want to jump right on that. Call me cheap, but I hate paying a dollar per lemon, so to have five or so growing in my kitchen?

Well, I’d actually call that a money tree.

Indoor citrus tree, indoor lemon tree, My Heart Behaves

Photo via AT.

Chicken and wild rice soup

November 10, 2010

I’m going to be honest, I made this chicken and wild rice soup this week and it was just okay. I’m really only sharing because I took the picture and thought it was pretty. The soup … it was pretty blah. Being from Texas, I really like things spicy. Not spicy hot, but with lots of flavor. I know now how to make it better for the next go around, so this is the improved recipe.

1 package (6 ounces) long-grain and wild rice mix. I used Trader’s Joe’s, but I think Uncle Ben’s is better. (Sorry!)
1 cup boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
8 cups (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth (I used mine from the chicken I boiled. Way better than canned.)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan. Add chicken, mushrooms, chopped onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink. Add rice, broth, tarragon, thyme, salt and pepper and cornstach; bring to a boil, then simmer.


October 14, 2010

I totally get the Trader Joe’s thing.

I’m completely addicted to the affordable organic food, even the frozen foods like the chocolate croissants. Better than Paris.

Trader Joe's chocolate croissant, Ikea tea towel, yellow plate