Monday, May 16, 2011

Seeing Green

Fresh asparagus & handmade pasta
Finally it's Spring (could someone please tell the Chicago weather that? I'm sick of carrying around an umbrella and wearing my purple rain boots everywhere!) and the fresh produce is here. I went to Chicago's Green City Market on Wednesday AND Saturday. Throw in a happy hour at Old Town Social to benefit the Green City Market's Junior Board and I was most definitely seeing green!

With yucky weather most of the week I stayed inside more than usual and made a bunch of tasty dishes with all my fresh produce purchases!

Saturday am at the Market - Homemade tamales - mushroom yum

Breakfast radishes! I made several of these small sandwiches.
Benison's bread, Brunkow cheddar spread, red cabbage sprouts & radishes!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fortune Cookie Quotes

I got the most fantastic fortune cookie quote. Yes, I know that fortune cookies are a fabrication of Americans' need to have a sweet cookie at the end of the meal, but the little fortunes themselves have become a treat I look forward to (don't we all?)

"Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure." Fabulous. I love it and couldn't agree more.

Have you had an memorable fortunes you'd care to share? Please don't get too dirty here ;)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Looking back on a Michelin Dining Experience

Beautiful Piedmont!
The Michelin Guide launched here in Chicago last November with much fanfare. I still don't think that the little red book has that same sort of clout here in the states that is does in its native Europe where it's been part of the culture for nearly a century. The guide was originally published as a means to help drive car travel (yes this Michelin is the same as the tire folks). Isn't it interesting how these things evolve? The guide awards one to three stars to a limited number of restaurants of a very high caliber. One star indicates a "very good cuisine in its category", a two-star ranking represents "excellent cuisine, worth a detour," and three stars are awarded to restaurants offering "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey".

Look at all those glasses. Serious meal underway.
Back in my International Kitchen days,  going to a Michelin star restaurant on a familiarization trip was almost de rigeur (how fabulous right?) It was pretty special and definitely something I miss. On my last trip to the Piedmont region of Northern Italy (known for its wines and truffles) I was treated to an elaborate lunch at a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Anyone who knows me understands that I want to try every morsel on my plate. I physically could not eat any more of this divinely decadent meal and it pained me NOT to finish!
 Piccolo Lago sits on Lake Mergozzo in Stresa. The views are phenomenal and the food is creative, modern and fun.
This tremendous plate of desserts? It was all for me!!