Summer produce waits for no one, so don't be late for dinner with me. Can I get a sign like that made? It would come in awfully handy, especially when I was in my crab cake phase. If you came over for dinner in 2012 I probably cooked you crab cakes with a raw corn and tomato salad. Or that was at least my planned menu. The crab cake always appeared but the corn and tomato salad usually wavered between totally raw, slightly warm or in the case of one very late dinner guest a mixture that was so cooked it could no longer be called a salad. No matter the temperature or level of cook, corn and tomatoes are such an easy pair in the summer. If you go raw then toss the two of with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If it's warm then add a little bit of garlic when lightly sauteeing the corn. High heat quickly cooks the corn and softens the garlic, toss that with with the raw tomatoes and you've got an easy side. Or at least that's the plan, until your friend is late and you're [Read more...]
My sister talks A LOT. It's not like a lot where she dominates every conversation. It's a lot where if she is telling a story then it will take a very long time and if she senses you're not paying attention then the story will be restarted. Usually these stories unfold during dinner and when my sister and I still lived at home, my mom was basically Courtney's hostage. And it's not just big stories that are given detailed retelling. It can be as small as no one refilling the water for the office Keurig, with every detail broken down to extreme minutiae. It's fine, it's fine, all of this forced listening made me a very good reporter. When you're trapped at a table where you're punished for even daring to look away from the storyteller for a moment you can get a little hungry. Dinner becomes a distant memory as stories about the doctors my sister works with come tumbling from her lips. To placate Courtney and to keep our blood sugar from running low, my mom in [Read more...]
Most of the recipes I made when I started cooking were total clunkers. There was a lemon chicken that called for lemon curd, the offensive cauliflower that I have since redeemed, and I once sliced my hand open slicing chicken for a stir-fry. The one recipe that I'm still making all of these years later is an easy Caesar dressing.
"Come to Chicago," Marc's family said. "We're going to a wedding in Chicago," they said. But as the rental car pulled out of the parking lot at O'hare and the Chicago skyline shrunk in the rearview window, I realized I was not going to Chicago. A far-flung suburb of the Windy City was a better description for where I ended up that weekend in March. But no matter my destination and the freezing temperatures, my eating tour of Illinois could not be stopped.