It was a pinch myself moment. Yesterday I taught my first class at Elawa Farm, the beloved and beautifully restored gentleman’s farm and garden in the heart of Lake Forest. Elawa’s mission is to enrich our community as a unique center for hands-on learning, and to inspire an appreciation for gardening, healthy living and historic preservation.Continue reading
Ahhh, sweater weather. I love everything about you! Crisp air and crackly, technicolor leaves. Boots and jackets and blankets and bonfires. Trading in bright whites for body warming reds. And best of all, gathering friends and tucking into cozy suppers at home. Continue reading
This is one of my favorite summer-into-autumn dishes, when the low-slung sun and cooler nights are teasing the coming season but the days’ warmth reminds us that summer isn’t quite ready to let go. Hardy winter squash made its first appearance at the farmers’ market today, giving me serious cravings for the creamy miso and ginger laced soba noodles, crispy carrot chips, juicy tart apples, and sweet roasted squash in this recipe. Continue reading
Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be a grilling occasion. A few weekends ago we invited friends for a casual dinner on the porch, where we skipped the open flames for a light, creamy risotto. And if you want the full truth…I was dying to set the table with my hand-painted shellfish bowls. So this time I let the table setting dictate the main course, and I knew my summery shrimp and corn-studded risotto would be a match made in heaven. Continue reading
I know what you’re thinking. Zucchini? Apricots?? Please, please hear me out.
Something magical happens when you shave vegetables rather than chop them. Zucchini, which can be bland as cardboard if left to its own devices, will fall into crisp-tender ribbons and soak up whatever you choose to drizzle over it. Continue reading
Who’s ready to dive into relaxation mode? Please tell me you are! Summer certainly took its sweet time arriving this year, as everyone from the Midwest to the East Coast knows. Now that the weather has turned glorious, there has hardly been a moment or a meal I’ve spent indoors, which equals heavenly summer casual. Bare feet, simple food, sunshine, the end. Continue reading
Chicagoans take St. Patrick’s Day seriously. Irish, until recently, was estimated to be the top ancestry of our great city. Tomorrow morning the Chicago River will be dyed green and 800,000 people will gather to observe the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade (fun fact: Harrison Ford running through the parade as Dr. Kimble in The Fugitive was entirely unscripted and shot with a hand-held cam – with the mayor’s permission, of course). Continue reading
Be honest. Don’t you think most fish tacos are bland, bland, bland? Do you consistently order them at your local Mexican joint, then scan the table, coveting your companion’s dinner three bites in? I can’t be the only one!
I’ve come up with a solution for all of us. A fast, easy, and economical one to boot! These ancho-rubbed fish fillets broil in five minutes, becoming a perfectly spiced base for your mango salsa and avocado crema laced tacos. The margarita is up to you. Continue reading
Whenever I gather friends for lunch, salad is the number one request. It feels virtuous and leaves room for dessert, allowing us to linger in conversation without a food coma. Certain boxes need to be checked though, before I’ll put it on the table. Will it delight their tastebuds in a new way? Is it visually delicious? Will it carry them to dinner without hunger pangs striking at 4pm? Check. Check. Check.
Seared salmon is a staple in our home. In fact, it’s the only fish preparation my definitively non-fish loving son will eat without complaint! Once you make it this way, I doubt you’ll ever go back. The salad is best at room temperature, so you can serve it immediately or prepare it a day in advance and set it out an hour before serving. The salmon isn’t make ahead, but it cooks in eight minutes max! By the time you set your table, the entire meal is ready. Continue reading