Friday, November 27, 2009

Egg-cellent: Part 1

I love scrambled eggs.

Here is how I make the perfect scrambled eggs:
  • 2 eggs
  • dash of milk
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
  1. Crack eggs into medium sized bowl.
  2. Add a dash of milk.
  3. *Important* Whisk eggs until nice and frothy. Use an actual whisk, not a fork! Even better, use a hand held blender. Sounds a little over the top I know, but the eggs come out super fluffy.
  4. *also important* Cook until the eggs are no longer runny but still "shiny". I can't stand over cooked scrambled eggs, and I think most people don't realized that they overcook them.
  5. Plate and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy!
When I don't care about calories...I use cream instead of milk, and toss some butter in the pan. When I'm feeling fancy... I add some goat cheese just before the eggs are done so the cheese gets melty. Sprinkle with chopped chives.


I started thinking about my perfect eggs after I stumbled upon a Gordon Ramsey recipe for his perfect scrambled eggs. Tomorrow morning I'm going to try his recipe, and we'll see which eggs I like better.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love today because it's one of the biggest cooking days of the year. Getting the turkey and stuffing just right can be difficult, but let's face it, plopping cranberry sauce out of a can or pouring a can of pumpkin pie filling into a pre-made crust is not difficult or any fun! I've noticed that some people are super stuck on tradition and need their cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, and they can have it! Just spice it up a little. Here's a few recipes on my Thanksgiving table this year.

Instead of cranberry sauce try this Cranberry Apple and Ginger Chutney (don't let the name scare you, not complicated!):

Instead of pumpkin pie, I made Pumpkin Roulade.

I guess Izzy isn't a stickler for tradition, she wants to try the Pumpkin Roulade.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

C is for Cookies

I'm watching Good Eats and Alton Brown just said "The recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip package is the Magna Carta of chocolate chip cookie recipes."

I couldn't agree more. My grandma makes the best chocolate chip cookies on earth (real original I know, but true!). We always rave about them, but she insists she just follows the Nestle recipe. Curious, I took a shot at the recipe myself. While my cookies were pretty close to Grandma Nancy's, I still think hers are a little better. What's her secret? Somehow she can bake in the love (awww).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hot Lava? Hot CHOCOLATE Lava!

I was watching a Food Network special (shocking, I know) about Thanksgiving desserts and noticed a serious lack of chocolate! Today also happens to be my mom's birthday so what better excuse to make something chocolatey.

These Chocolate Lava Cakes look and taste amazing, but they are surprisingly easy to make! I only wanted to make 3 cakes, and made that super easy. Just type in how many servings you want and it will recalculate the amounts for you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Authentic Mexican Food: No Passport Required

Last Spring, someone recommended that my coworker and I try an authentic Mexican Restaurant with a weird name. We wandered the streets, reading the Spanish signs until we finally found it. We walked in, and it looked more like a factory than a restaurant. No one spoke English. Luckily, my Spanish speaking coworker asked where the restaurant was, and we were pointed next door. I guess when you wander into a tortilla factory while in search of tacos, you're in good shape.

But wait, I wasn't in Mexico, I was in West Chicago.

Mmm, tasty authentic Mexican food without getting out your passport! Yes please.

I scoped out another restaurant in Chicago's Spanish speaking neighborhoods: Cemitas Puebla. I saw it on DDD (Diner's, Drive Ins, and Dive's) and I have been dying to go for almost a year now, but it's a little out of the way and I just never made it until my most recent visit.

The story? The family that owns the restaurant returns to their "puebla" once a month to get ingredients, including the awesome cheese that comes on your Cemita in generous handfuls. Check out their website and drool over the video of Guy's visit.

Cemitas Puebla
3619 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Love at First Bite

I went on an amazing two week bus tour called "The Best of Europe". The tour's website listed reviews and people raved about a lunch stop at a pizzeria in a tiny town in Italy. I looked forward to this from day one. I didn't know anyone when I started the tour, but I made friends with a lady named Kathy, who loved to watch me eat because she couldn't believe how happy it made me. She had the camera ready for my first bite of Italian pizza. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves on how I felt about the pizza.

Ketchup vs. Mustard

Spending a year working for Oscar Mayer and with the informal job title "Hotdogger" I think I have earned the right to call myself a hot dog expert. This is my first, but certainly not my last, hot dog related post.

I'm headed to Chicago this weekend and that has me thinking about the Ketchup vs Mustard debate. Die hard ketchup fans will be surprised to find out that Chicago natives despise the stuff. Chicagoans reserve ketchup for the 10 and under crowd, and maybe french fries. Ketchup on a hot dog? Blasphemy. Unassuming tourists have been known to ask for ketchup on their hot dog, and vendors refuse to apply it for them. Some hot dog vendors don't even carry the stuff, and will point ketchup lovers in the direction of the nearest McDonald's.

Surprising, I know, why so much hate for a simple condiment? The answer is as simple as it is justified. The Chicago hot dog of choice? Vienna Beef. It's not your 99-cent-off-brand-mystery-meat dog. Vienna Beef hot dogs are juicy and flavorful. The sweetness of the ketchup over powers the flavor of the meat, while mustard enhances it. Add relish, tomatoes, onions, sport peppers, a pickle spear, celery salt, and a poppy seed bun, you have the perfect Chicago hot dog and an amazing flavor combination. Next time you are in the Windy City, get your hot dog Chicago style and I promise you won't miss the ketchup.

Can't get enough on the Ketchup vs. Mustard debate? Check out my friend Meathead's blog.