Rösti = What to Eat on Election Night

Last winter we drove up to Madison, Wisconsin, with our friends Katie and Justin. Winter had us all feeling a little shack-nasty* and we thought a trip out of town might do us good. On the way home from Madison we stopped in New Glarus, a town famous for its brewery and weird alpine architecture. The brewery is fantastic, and totally worth a stop (though admittedly is more fun in the summer when you can sit outside drinking beer). And New Glarus is a charming enough place to spend a few hours. The bakery in town is pretty great and I always pick up a few pastries for the drive home. We had dinner at one of the several touristy Swiss-themed restaurants in town. It was as expected, huge portions and lots of fat, but also pretty satisfying. Among the things we ate was a giant potato rösti. As delicious as it was, about three bites in I felt defeated by the amount of fat (butter and cheese) in the dish. But I’ve been thinking about the potential. read more+++

Smoky Eggplant Puree with Pine Nuts + Urfa Pepper

About a year ago, we spent an eventful week in the great state of Massachusetts, during which a lot of delicious food was eaten. Nothing more delicious than our meal at Oleana in Cambridge. It remains one of the best restaurant experiences of my life. It was one of those meals where everything kind of collides to make it special—we were on vacation, it was a perfect summer night, and we were seated outdoors. An outstanding parade of dishes came and went from our table and we enjoyed each dish more than the one before. It was all very special. One of the best things we ate was a smoky eggplant puree, and I recently remembered that the recipe was included in Ana Sortun’s cookbook. Why did I wait so long to try it at home?! I made it for the same dinner as the marinated mozzarella. The eggplant was almost as delicious as I remember it being at Oleana—if only we were on vacation! read more+++

Marinated Mozzarella

Last week Chicago experienced record heat. It is certainly the hottest I remember this city which is more famous for its extreme cold than sweltering temperatures. In the middle of the heatwave, my oven broke. I know, I should not be using my oven in a heatwave—but the 4th of July requires cake! I managed to get the cake baked, but it wasn’t easy. All I could think about was heat—both a lack of it, and an overabundance.


Carrot Puree + Dukkah

Last summer, while Bryan and I were in Massachusetts, we had one of the best meals of our lives at Oleana, Ana Sortun’s Eastern-Mediterranean inspired restaurant. it was as close to perfect as I have experienced. The restaurant was recommended to me by several readers who sold me when they pointed out that the kitchen is almost entirely female staffed.

On a perfect summer night we sat in the beautiful garden and enjoyed some crazy delicious food. It is a bit of a happy blur, but I remember it feeling like a perfect evening: grilled peaches, lamb, haloumi, a chickpea terrine, plenty of wine. I love Chicago, and wouldn’t trade our restaurants for any other, but I admit that I am jealous of Cambridge for having Oleana. We don’t have anything like it here and I desperately wish we did.


Potato Skins

You can blame the Super Bowl for this recipe.

I’m not as into football as you might have thought, but I love the food traditionally served at Super Bowl parties. I used Super Bowl Sunday as an excuse to make potato skins. read more+++

Zucchini Pickles

In the past, I have publicly expressed my dislike of bread and butter pickles. Honestly, I just don’t love sweet pickles. Usually. But maybe I think I don’t because so many are overly sweet and lacking in flavor. So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I tried this recipe for zucchini pickles from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. My friend Sandra was the first to recommend the recipe, and she is a very trustworthy source. Judy Rodgers ain’t bad either.


Asparagus with Butter and Soy

Time for something savory.

This recipe comes from a really beautiful book, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Andrea Reusing. Just when I thought I had enough of seasonal cookbooks, Reusing created something fresh. The book manages to keep one foot in the professional kitchen (she is the James Beard Award-winning chef behind Chapel Hill’s Lantern) and one foot in the home kitchen. The resulting recipes are home cooking inspired by professional experience and a real love of ingredients. It is a charming read and one of those cookbooks that I actually sit down and read from front to back. I have about ten recipes bookmarked to try. read more+++

Escabeche + Savory Granola (+ Las Manas Tamales)

Sometimes a recipe stops you in your tracks.

A few weeks ago Bryan and I attended a dinner party for my friend Amber’s new business, Las Manas Tamales (more on that in a minute). The first course was described as a spring vegetable escabeche with savory granola. I didn’t really know what to expect and certainly had no idea I would be so moved by the dish.


Tomate Confite au Sirop d’Érable

Now is the time when we Midwesterners get desperate. We’re about as far as we can get from fresh fruits and vegetables. Storage apples, onions, and root vegetables have all but disappeared. I just want some variety in the produce I can buy! This is when I inevitably think it is a good idea to buy a plastic carton of cherry tomatoes, which are almost always a disappointment. read more+++

Lottie + Doof + A COLLECTION OF =

[What better day to share something I love? A COLLECTION OF (ACO) is one of the most beautiful, creative, and inspiring sites on the web. It is produced by two very special artists, Stefani Greenwood and Gilda Davidian, who live in Southern California. I am one of their biggest fans and am so glad they agreed to be guests here. And I am also super excited for the giveaway that they are offering!]

Hello, friends! We are so very excited to be guests on Lottie + Doof. We have been fans since the start of the blog and when we started A COLLECTION OF, Tim was one of the first people we interviewed (see it/read it HERE). Today we are making muhammara, a middle eastern dip with walnuts, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses and red peppers. I learned to make this dip from my grandmother who lived in Lebanon for most of her life, and learned it from her mom when she was young. The dip is complex – a bit nutty and chock full of flavor. The pomegranate molasses is the only tricky ingredient. You can find it at your local middle eastern store or order it online. One bottle goes a long way, so don’t let it keep you from trying it out. The dip is really easy to make and can be served with pita bread, crackers, cucumbers (or whatever you’d like, really). read more+++