Archive by Author

“All By Myself” Remix: Food Edition (feat. hotdogs)

30 May


Dear Zoe,
So, here’s the thing: since Thursday I have been home by myself for what has been the start of a two week stint of solitude during which I ought to be packing up my house in preparation to move. So far, pitifully little packing has progressed leaving, as you might suppose, plenty of time for this sometimes food blogger to make trips to the grocery store or the farmer’s market (hello spring!) for prime ingredients to transmogrify into magnificent, single-portion meals. But yeah…no.
Rather, for the past four days, I have been taking time out from reading online news blogs and playing the same songs over and over on my guitar, to fix myself this lunch.
Continue reading


Just Add Wine Cocktail – Yields One Chichi Summer Outdoor Experience

20 Jul

Dear Jess,
Thank you and Shannon so so much for coming all the way down to Canada (down, technically, right? when you’re coming
from Minnesota to South-Western Ontario…) in order to celebrate the 4th with us!  Your  patriotic cynicism and Shannon’s grill-mastery made the evening.
After this excellent string of BBQ’s, which you anticipated in April with your Portobello Mushroom grillers, I am starting to feel, well, thirsty.  And while Coors Light and Molson Canadian may have been appropriate for an All-American, er, Canadian cook-out, our subsequent ‘cues have lacked a certain classy, refreshing, thirst-quenching element.
Thus, I dedicate this post to summer, to sparklers, and to you, dear sister, who always bring the culinary class!
Love, Bec

happy plants from the Spring enterprise

Earlier this summer Nina requested permission from our landlord to plant a garden in our back yard.  Three days of dedicated digging and fertilizing and hoeing (bow chicka bow…oh nevermind) and deliberating about how much space tomato plants really need and how deep the holes need be (no bow-chicka intended) we finally had 1/2 of the plants we’d bought in the ground.  The other half has remained in their seedling pots on our front porch until today which, for anyone keeping track, is JULY! Continue reading

Summer Solstice with Sally (and Brunhilde) = Savory Satisfaction

21 Jun

Dear Emma,

Your cherry-rhubarb preserves look incredible – what a perfect favor for your guests!  When Nina and I had our love-ratification party, we gave everyone seed bombs – little packages of three clay-and-dirt balls with seeds inside which you can throw anywhere and flowers will sprout.  Unfortunately, we forgot to explain this to anyone, which is how my poor cousin Suzie ended up trying to eat one!  Yours look much more self-explanatory.  Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures in party planning.

Love and luck!


About one week from today last year, and the year before that, and the one before it, I get a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach that summer is passing and I haven’t been paying enough attention.

For today is that dependable day when the sun seems like it might spend the night. It’s still bright at 8:00 and by 9:00 twilight is still lingering and all the little children are giving their parents a hard time because the sun is still up and the big children are still outside yelling and running around and why can’t I?

Today is the summer solstice.

And so, in the desperation to cling to summer like there is no summer tomorrow, Nina and I sacrificed most of a perfectly good work day to create the ultimate homage to the longest day of the year: BBQ.

And not just BBQ…

also strawberry shortcake!

Continue reading

Sour Jerks and the Women Who Love Them.

24 May

Dear Bec & Nina,

I’m writing this from my stuffy Chicago apartment just a day away from departing for your love ratification festival of joy (aka wedding). This meal is a lil’ mixture of your old Caribbean hood in Brooklyn and the Eastern European vinegariness of Chicago. Hope you all enjoy it. I’ll do a repeat of whatever you would like to sample when I see you on Friday! 

Love you, Margie

The slow arrival of summer in Chicago is always a relief. Not because of the end of the bitter winds, drifting snow, and constant gray sludge attached to the bottom of my jeans, but because I can finally accept that my neighbors were not eaten my zombies. Snowmagedden, what we fondly call the blizzard of 2011, made my back deck a wasteland of snowdrifts and rotting lawn furniture. After a few months of teasingly warm temps and nights in the 40s, we’ve reached a plateau and I’m finally beginning to see life in the neighborhood again. Back doors have slammed open and my neighbors have appeared again, alive, and ready to grill.

Cooks should ensure that there’s room in the fridge for a couple of loiterers as these babies will need 24 hours chillin for maximum flavor.  

People of all genders can love the Jerk.

Jerk chicken is one of the easiest, most flavorful dishes to grill. Some folks turn to spice rubs and bottles o’ jerk but the results are just not the same!  Continue reading

Fancier Mac n’ Cheese

7 Apr

Dear Zoe,

When we were both still living in Brooklyn and I was mostly eating beer and ice cream for dinner, I remember you suggested I try Ramen. I believe I thought that would be too unhealthy (as though I were in a position to complain) but you suggested that I could add healthy vegetables, like frozen spinach and mushrooms and peas and green onions.  Add a little Siracha sauce (was it you or Caroline that liked to call it Hot Cock after the rooster logo?) and you’ve got a lazy meal fit for a queen.  Nina and I applied this genius to the other college stand-by: Macaroni and Cheese. Continue reading

Rich rich rich

21 Mar

Dear Nina,
I am still jealous that you get to be in New York this weekend with its spring flowers and friends and fashion while I am stuck in London, Ontario where all we have are glacial ice perimeters, drunk undergraduates, and strip malls.  That said, even though to me you are still the best thing in London, this weekend without you has been pretty delicious.  Today I went to a maple syrup farm that serves an insane $10 Sunday brunch.  Plus, I got inspired and dinner tonight was bomb.  There’s a tupperware in the fridge for you when you get home!

Caribbean Bibimbop

Today I got interested in umami, the most elusive of the five primary flavors which also include sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  These tastes are primary in the same way red, blue, and yellow are: all other flavors can be created using these five fundamental flavours.  Apparently umami is not a taste that can be achieved by combining any other flavors; what umami is, however, is not, apparently, apparent to anyone. Continue reading

Fajita Omelet

21 Feb

Dear Jess,

Remember when you were in high school and thought it was funny to say “Teflon” whenever anyone insulted you?  As I recall, it was like a shorthand way of saying “I’m rubber and your glue so whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”  Teflon: nonstick.  I don’t own any teflon pans because I always forget and scrub them with the steel wool and then the teflon gets all flaky and gives my dinner guests cancer, which isn’t cool.  But yesterday I wished I had one because they really do make the best omelets.  But you know what?  With enough olive oil, cast iron works almost just as well!


So, this is neither original nor creative, but it is delicious so just in case there is some reader out there who has never had this thought, here is my recipe for Fajita Omlettes. Continue reading