Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pizza, The Cooking Channel & a Long Flight

“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good.”

Photo by Forza-Pizza. The guy who made this one lives in the burbs of Chicago! I might need to steal his pizza oven

My favorite food is pizza. I love it. I love shitty pizza. I love delicious pizza. I love it all. It's so simple and yet so delicious. I could eat pizza three times a week and I really don't eat leftovers. Unless it's pizza.

This past Christmas the husband and I flew to Florida to visit my family. My mom was born there so growing up we traveled down there a couple of times a year, but this has been my first trip in four years. It was amazing! I wish we could have spent more time, but alas, adulthood calls and that means we have to pay the bills, which means we have to work. I enjoyed my cousins, my aunts and uncles and of course, seeing my parents and sister. I also enjoyed a ridiculous amount of food. But with all the delicious southern dishes surrounding me, I couldn't stop thinking about a dish I saw on the plane.
I know you might be thinking, "Plane food? Seriously Haukom? You're crazy" Calm down. On our flight to Florida they had the option of paying to watch TV. It was $4. How could I resist? I mean you are talking to a self diagnosed television addict here. I swiped my card, sat back and enjoyed 2 hours of The Cooking Channel. One of the programs was called David Rocco's Dolce Vita. It wasn't that great. The guy is kind of...I don't know...snobby, and the recipes on that particular episode were all similar and super simple. So simple I thought "Well shit, if I lived in Italy and wore Marc Jacob's every day I could have a cooking show too!" But what was great about his simple recipes was that I memorized them and made one the day I got home from Florida.
After the consumption of fatty and salty food all weekend, I needed something light. I made David's Grilled Foccacia Sandwich but instead made it into an Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto and Parmesan.

Pizza Dough
(if you have a recipe you use, use it or prepackaged dough is fine! I like Trader Joes)
Three Handfuls of fresh baby Arugula
Half of a lemon
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Minced garlic (optional)
5 thin slices of Prosciutto
Fresh shaved Parmesan

Preheat the over to whatever temperature the dough needs to bake.
I rolled out my dough. drizzled 1 tbsp of Olive Oil on the dough and rubbed a little minced garlic over it. I put it in the over for about ten minutes, or until the dough was a nice golden brown. While that is cooking, I tossed together the arugula, lemon juice and remaining olive oil in the bowl with a little salt.
When the dough is cooked, take it out of the oven, and lay the prosciutto on top. Place back in the oven for about 1 minute (or not at all, it's up to you). Remove from oven, and top with the arugula mixture. Then add shaved Parmesan. As much or as little as you like.
There. You're done.

After eating a lot of delicious yet heavy food all weekend, this was a perfect post travel meal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Most Food-Filled Hoilday

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land - Jon Stewart

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? - Erma Bombeck

Photo by Mark Thomas not me.

I celebrated Thanksgiving this year. It's a tradition. The husband's parents flew in and we spent most of our 4 day vacation at his sister and brother-in-law's house. With all holidays spent with families it was a stressful one but we had a good time and I made an AMAZING pie. Seriously, I rocked the shit out of this pie.

Now I like cooking, but I really love baking. My secret dream is to own my own little bakery where I can whip up delicious treats for my friends but also have a kick-ass food menu that resembles Hot Chocolate, The Bristol, and Longman & Eagle. You know what I mean. Now that you know my little secret, I will tell you one thing that for sure will be included on the menu and that is Apple Cranberry Pie.

I like to brag from time to time, but only when I totally deserve the right to do it. This pie is one of those times. Hot damn was it good!
First the crust, it was flaky and buttery and basically perfection
The layer of tart but sweet cranberry sauce covered the bottom of the pie crust and then it was topped with thinly sliced (I FINALLY used my mandoline) golden delicious and granny smith apples that had been tosses with flour, sugar, cinnamon and a little nutmeg.
I baked that bitch for like an hour and SCAGIMAGOWZA (pronounced sca-ja-ma-gow-za) it was amazing. My family enjoyed the hell out of this pie. As did I.

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice

2 cups cranberries (about 8 ounces)

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

1 3/4 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

(makes top and bottom crust)
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Make dough:
Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in processor) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated, then test again. (Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.)

Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all of dough together with scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. Chill dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour

Stir 3/4 cup sugar and juice in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Toss all apples, flour, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl to blend.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Spread cranberry mixture over crust bottom. Top with apple mixture; dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round; drape over apples. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press crust edges together to seal; crimp. Cut 1-inch hole in center. Brush crust with milk. Mix remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and pinch of cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over crust.

Bake pie 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool at least 2 hours. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I've been incredibly stressed lately. School is kicking my ass and anytime I start to feel a little overwhelmed I get incredibly nostalgic.
For me food is the number 1 nostalgia trigger. Movies and music are a close second, but I always associate everything that is good with the food that was consumed during that time.
Lately it's Ike's BBQ

My mother is from Florida, so I have a ton of family there. When I was little we would go there once or twice a year, sit around with family, eat way too much food and talk a lot. But every now and then we would get Ikes BBQ.
Now in my mind this is how the day would go.
We would wake up, eat a huge breakfast and start moving. We would start in Orlando where my Aunt Connie lives and we would all hang around, watch court shows and Maury Povich. We would perhaps go shopping at some discount outlet mall and then we would head over to Eustis. My mom would yell at my dad about something, my sister would hang out with my Cousin Stacy and I would sit quietly in the back seat of whoever's car we were in or in someone's living room watching my family maneuver around one another. I would start shooting hoops alone in the driveway of my grandparents house while my grandpa watched and congratulated me with each shot I made. I would avoid the creepy kid from across the street who had a crush on me and convince my grandpa to watch MTV (when they actually played videos) with me after the Young and the Restless. As I got older, my sister, father and I would all do some huge project like paint the outside of my grandparents house or the inside for that matter because the three of us can only relax for about two days before we get restless. We would work hard, and sweat hard all day long and get incredibly hungry. My dad would always ask if we wanted to grab some junk food which for the most part was always a quick and viable option but every now and then my mom would surprise us and always plan on making an Ike's run.
Ike's BBQ is amazing. They use a mustard BBQ as opposed to the hickory red goo we are all accustomed too. And the meat is always incredibly tender. They wrap everything in parchment or wax paper and hold it together with a strip of masking tape. What the best part is, is that they always add a layer to white wonder bread underneath the cooked meat. It doesn't get soggy because the meat retains all it's juices and they only lightly slather the ribs or chicken in the the delicious sauce. It's all perfect.
After we finished our days of painting or watching Soaps with the family patriarch, we would convene outside, sit around a little fold out table that was stacked with ribs, chicken, paper plates and napkins and dive right in. These moments are some of the most incredible moments of my life. No matter how angry or bored or tired we were that day. No matter how much we had already talked to one another that day, we always sat around talking and eating and just enjoying one another.
I honestly feel that food brings people together, and it is one of the best de-stressors known to man. I don't know what it is but there is something amazing about "breaking bread" with one another that makes relationships stronger and, well, better.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Publican

How could anyone be a vegetarian? - Elisabeth Jansen, while partaking in the deliciousness that is the Publican's Pork Belly

Go to the Publican. Trust me. The first time Karl and I went was for our 1 year wedding anniversary and it was very good. We enjoyed our taste of ham and the country ribs but something about this last visit was even more amazing. Maybe it was because we shared the moment with our friends Brian "B-Thomp" Thompson and Elisabeth "Liz" Jansen or maybe it was because something has changed for the better at The Publican.
We started with The Taste of Hams. 3 types of prosciutto spread evenly on a large platter. Shame on you if you think all prosciutto tastes the same because this my good friends was outstanding. One was extra salty, the other a little more mild and the last almost sweet.
We devoured our Spicy Pork Rinds just in time for the amazing Potted Rillettes. A three meat combo, cooked down to meaty tenderness so good we all contemplated licking the tiny mold clean.
Then came the Feijoada, which is a Portuguese dish made up of chorizo, Kale, beans, and pork belly, the lamb sausage with fingerling potatoes and a tzatziki sauce and the Rib Eye which was SO TENDER! I mean, we cut the meat with a spoon and a butter knife, THAT'S how tender it was.
We also shared a delectable piece of the pork belly. This pork belly was insane! It was tender, juicy and covered in a maple glaze. Brian put it best, that pork belly was having sex with his taste buds.
We shared a dessert that consisted of peaches in a light but sweet sauce, sweet corn brulee, and a brown sugar crumble. It was excellent. Just sweet enough, but nothing overpowering.

Honestly, I think this is one of the better restaurants in Chicago. Easily on my top ten and I recommend this is all the omnivores out there. You walk in an you might feel a somewhat pretentious vibe, but it's not like that at all. It has a tavern feel and although you might have to sit at a communal table you don't feel as if your privacy is being invaded.

Right now Pork is rage with restaurants like Mado, The Purple Pig and Longman and Eagle, but I like this fad. I was never a huge pork person and maybe that's because all that was given to us was bacon (which I LOVE! Never doubt that) or an over cooked pork loin or a funky smelling pork chop. But with quality meats and quality cooking I think pork just might be my new favorite meat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lady of the Night Lasagna Rolls

Violet Baudelaire: Dinner is served. Puttanesca.
Count Olaf: What did you call me?
Klaus Baudelaire: It's pasta... Pasta Puttanesca.

Pasta Puttanesca. According to my endless internet searching Spaghetti alla puttanesca literally translates to "whore's spaghetti." Yeah, a little harsh but the theory is that these working girl's rarely have time to shop and the only things they have in the cupboards are basic Italian staples: Spaghetti, olives, tomatoes, anchovies, capers, chili peppers & garlic. Mix those all together and what do you have? Puttanesca

Now I never realized I loved the combination of said ingredients until I went to the new-ish Logan Square spot Revolution Brewing. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! I always seem to get the Puttanesca Pizza. A nice crispy crust covered in mozzarella, onions, anchovies, olives, capers and tomato sauce. It is heaven. After a recent trip there, I realized I could make this combo into a nice lasagna. So, I did.

As some of you might remember I have a CSA that I share with my friend Maureen. We got a nice bushel of basil, kale, garlic, cucumbers and some other things. But to our surprise and, perhaps, dismay, we received an eggplant. We both aren't huge fans of eggplant, but we decided to cut it in half and see what would come out of it. So, when I decided to create these Puttanesca Lasagna Rolls I decided to add some Eggplant and Spinach. Just to thicken it up.

First, I boiled some lasagna noodles.
Second I started chopping. I had some help from my lovely assistant and partner in crime, Karl. He chopped the basil and mozzarella. I chopped the onion, garlic, Olives, spinach and Eggplant.

I sauteed the onions, garlic and eggplant first then added all the other veggies.
Then, I added the can of diced tomatoes, capers and anchovy paste (you need more than you think in order to get a good flavor). While all that is cooking, Karl whipped up the ricotta mixture. Just a little fresh basil, some oregano, red pepper and nutmeg.
Then it came time to roll.
We laid the cooked noodle out, spread some ricotta on it, added a little sauce and started rolling.

We then place each roll in a baking dish, covered it in the remaining sauce, topped it with fresh mozarella and baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
And it was AMAZING!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm a cheesecake connoisseur, and it was awfully good. - Jim Les

Chandler: The other cheesecake came. They delivered it to the wrong address again.
Rachel: So, just bring it back downstairs. What's the problem?
Chandler: I can't seem to say good-bye

I love cheesecake. I love it a lot. My husband, on the other hand, dislikes it. He HATES cream cheese, which unfortunately keeps me from making any desserts that include it. That is unless I have a group of people I can make it for and July 4th was just that day!
I was feeling pretty patriotic when it came to food choices. We went with the All-American Hot Dogs and Burgers (please refrain from lecturing me on the true origins of said meats), cold beers, and random samplings of potato chips. But for dessert I wanted to go all out. I wanted to show the world (aka my friends at the BBQ) that I loved America and I loved Freedom (really I wanted to make a cheesecake and nothing more) and therefore I decided to go with a Patriotic Berry Cake of Cheese Dessert (again just a cheesecake with blueberries and raspberries on the top).

The recipe was simple and was taken from with a few variations.

Make a graham cracker crust - use 1 1/2 packages (3 come in a regular box) of graham crackers,
5 tbsp. of butter melted, 1/3 C. of sugar and a little salt. Add all to a large ziploc and pound the
hell out of it. Press into your springfoam pan. Secure springfoam with tinfoil so that it doesn't open accidentally. Also, if you are setting the pan into a hot water bath, this will protect from leakage.

Preheat the oven to about 500 degrees
Five (5) 8oz packages of Cream Cheese
(Full fat! Nothing's cheesecake!)
1 3/4 C. of sugar
3 tbsp. Flour
Zest of one lemon
Cream all of these ingredients together add
5 large eggs, one at a time
2 egg yolks, one at a time
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Pour into your crust. Place on rack (or in water bath) and bake for about 12 minutes or until it's puffed up. I just did 12 minutes without the puffing. This may have caused some issues later on.
When it's puffed reduce heat to about 200 degrees and cook for 1 hour more. Then remove from oven and chill for at least 6 hours.

Now I have a very fussy oven. It's old and crappy. It doesn't even have a window on it, so whenever I bake I have to constantly open the oven door. So after the first 12 minutes, I decreased the temp and baked it for 60 minutes. It was NOT done, by any means. So I cooked it for another 15 minutes. STILL nothing changed. So I cranked up the heat to 350 degrees, and let it cook for about 15 minutes. It finally puffed. The top, a nice golden brown. I removed it from the oven, left it on the counter and let it set.
Once it was cooled, I made slices and added the berries.

The next day at our BBQ, I brought it out. I was a little worried because I hadn't tasted it yet and I wasn't sure if it was overcooked or what! But according to the people who ate ALL of it (yeah I kinda wanted one slice later for a midnight snack) it was great!
Patriotic Berry Cake of Cheese Dessert Success!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cooking from my CSA

We got our CSA and I was very excited about what I found.
Garlic Scapes
Onion Blossoms
I had a night off and I decided to do a little cooking. It had been so long I forgot how much I enjoyed it and how relaxing it can be. I had some salmon fillets and decided to make a nice little dill sauce to put on top. Just some mayo, fresh dill, pepper and fresh lemon juice.
I seasoned the salmon with salt, pepper and a little onion powder. I chopped up some of the fresh dill and sprinkled it on top of each fillet and then roasted those bad boys for about 15-20 minutes...I think.
I roasted the broccoli with a little olive oil and sea salt. This is the only way Karl will eat broccoli so we have it often. Oh and don't think I am complaining because it is A-MAZ-ING!
I needed a starch. Whenever I make big meal I like to have a veggie, a protein and a starch. Call me old fashioned if you must, but it's how I roll.
I decided on Garlic Scape Mashed Potatoes.
I was worried. I had just learned what a garlic scape was THE DAY BEFORE I GOT THEM and never really had time to research recipes or anything, but I decided I was just going to go for it.
I whipped up my mashed potatoes how I usually do (boil the potatoes in a nice salt water, drain, add heavy whipping cream, butter, salt and pepper....yeah I can't make these that often or I would be 752 pounds) but instead of just adding roasted garlic to make the potatoes I added the scapes. I minced those suckers and sauteed them in an olive oil and butter mixture. Once they were a little tender I just tossed them into the potatoes. The light garlic flavor with a chive texture mixed into the creamy potatoes was...well...bomb as hell!
I was proud of myself
I also created a little salted monkey bread, but it was from a package and it was only mediocre. I will try that little recipe again worries. All in all a great meal.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The CSA is coming

My friend Maureen and I are splitting a CSA this year and I am extremely excited about it. For those who don't know CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, it's from farm to table with little travel in between. Every week a box of local, fresh and in our case organic vegetables are dropped off for us usually at a farmers market or a predetermined destination.

Even though I am pumped, I am also a little nervous. There will be so many new vegetables that I may have tried in a restaurant or two but never cooked at home. I see many cookbook research projects and recipe blog hunts in my future.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Haute Stoner Cuisine

Photo Illustration by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

All over the US chefs are using marijuana as a way to develop and enjoy delicious food. Apparently it's not that new of an idea, but now chefs are much more open about it.

Some HIGH(get it?)lights of the article

"Haute stoner cuisine is a way to reach a generation that was raised on Sprite and Funyuns and who never thought fancy restaurant food was for them..."

“We’ve shattered who is getting good food now,” he said. “It’s this silent message to everyone, to the every-day dude. It’s like come here, here’s a cuisine for you that will fill you up from the inside and make you feel whole and good. Weed is just a portal.”

"Slow-cooked quail eggs and caviar...[is called] the Lincecum, after Tim Lincecum, the star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants who was arrested last fall after police found marijuana and a pipe in his car."

"Even for people who don’t use illegal drugs, the deep flavors and sensory appeal of dishes like the breakfast burrito pizza at Roberta’s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, have an undeniable appeal. They plug directly into the reptilian portion of our brains, the side that wants what it wants and wants it now — and also a big bowl of it, please"

Honestly, I think this idea is really interesting and extremely smart. Weed isn't found only in the basement where a twenty-something dwells wearing tie-dye t-shirt, listening to the Grateful Dead with a Bob Marley poster on the wall. It's found in the urine sample of IT guys, teachers, editors, accountants and stay at home parents. And yes these people aren't all rushing to Blackbird after they take a hit. More often than not they are walking over to Charcoal Delights or to 7-11, but they should have options.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Five Guys Burgers and, oh yes, Fries

I love burgers and fries. Seriously. I love taking a bite of a delicious burger, covered in my favorite toppings, with a perfectly toasted bun with a side of hot, salty fries. HOT DAMN! How can you not love that!?! If you don't love burgers and fries something is wrong with you. There I said it. (Vegetarians and Vegans are not included in that last statement. Although, you are missing out. I'm just sayin')

With that I give you Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
Probably one of the better fast food burger joints around.

Now I know what you're thinking "Sterling! What about Kumas or whatever other burger joint people love?" Yes I love places like that, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I am talking about a quick burger place that satisfies your cravings without having to wait 45 minutes to get a table. Five Guys does just that.

My sister used to talk about Five Guys and she would always ask if Chicago had one yet. I would sigh, say no and continue to eat my Burger King in utter disappointment. That is until about a year and a half ago when Five Guys opened a few locations in this glorious city of ours.

What I like about Five Guys is that their menu is small and they cook it when you order it. No microwave patties here just deliciousness. If you are a West Coast native craving In-n-Out I think you will like Five Guys. No there are no Bible verses on the cups but the burgers will more than likely satisfy that unfulfilled craving for a double-double.

So basically all I am saying here is that you should go. It's good eatin'.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mr. President's favorite restaurant

On Sunday morning I woke up and was really excited that one, there was no alarm buzzing in my ear and two, it was bright and sunny. I turned to the husband and said "We should go get brunch" "I'm down with that" he replied. That's usually where the excitement ends because ever since we've been together we have gotten super pumped about brunch and then we always get stuck eating at a shitty diner where I order flavorless french toast and he get's some chorizo and eggs concoction. But that didn't happen this time. It was like God was smiling down on us and said "Hey, you deserve a delicious brunch for once" So with that I say thank GOD for the Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop.

We drove up California/Dodge all the way to Evanston, had a fifteen minute wait, and got out food in less than ten minutes! Usually I am a little wary of places that deliver food with such speed, but this was pretty damn good. The husband ordered the Cajun Biscuits and Gravy, I had the Fried Catfish with Cheesy Grits and for an appetizer, the Beignets: deep fried dough doused in powdered sugar.

While eating I thought about how excited I was to bring my parents and in-laws here. Specifically my mom. Growing up and visiting family in Florida Grits and Catfish were kind of a staple and I've never been able to find a place outside of my aunt and uncles house that could do it right. But now, I think I have.

So all in all I'm really happy I finally found a go-to brunch place and I am also pretty pumped that Obama has such awesome taste in restaurants. AND if you want to go next Sunday I'm down. For real.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh that dinner party

So I like to cook. Obviously. I never claim to actually be a good cook, I just can cook. I can read a recipe and make whatever it is prepping me to make. I can start cooking something and when it starts to fail I can turn it into something else without panicking. I can come home, look in the fridge, toss a few things together and voila dinner. And it's actually pretty good.
I just thought I would share that. Mainly because this was one of the many topics we had during a dinner party last Saturday

A few friends got together and had a very fancy dinner party. We had wine pairings, a cocktail hour and different courses. It was AWESOME! My friend Adrian made this amazing bbq pork and excellent wheat bread that was made with a little extra yeast and a whole lotta love (bahaha sorry).
My friend Maureen made a white bean soup, and a crepe cake that was made up of layers of wheat crepes, mascarpone cheese with a little whiskey and orange zest. YUM!
I made mushroom mac-n-cheese which was only so so in my opinion, scalloped tomatoes which were pretty damn good and a key lime curd tart with dark chocolate ganache and a graham cracker. It seemed like a people enjoyed it, and not just Karl.
We had Manhattans and Sazerac's made by Chaz which were super tasty! Chocolate Martini's by Chad, many toasts done by Celia, and great conversations with Kate.

All in all a great dinner party!

Now for some recipes
(FYI the pictures are not my own but they will be up soon!)

Scalloped Tomatoes
The Barefoot Contessa came up with this delicious recipe. I really enjoyed it
Half of a baguette chopped
2lbs of Roma Tomatoes chopped
1/2 C. of Parmesan cheese grated
Two cloves of garlic
FRESH basil (must be fresh! for reals)
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
So heat up the olive oil in a pan, add the bread. Toast it up
Add the tomatoes and saute for a few minutes
Add garlic
Add Basil and take off the heat.
Pour into a dish a sprinkle the cheese on top
Bake for 35 minutes
The smell is outstanding and it tastes so fresh. It's so simple, but really delicious
Next up
Key Lime Tart with Graham Cracker Crust and Dark Chocolate Ganache
Basically I took three separate recipes and mashed them together. Oh and after making this I discovered a better way cook the chocolate

Key Lime Curd
I used the recipe from Bon Appetit for the curd. BTW, I made the curd 5 hours in advance and it turned out really well. There was very little need to have it chill overnight. Also, the curd was good, but it didn't cover the tart pan so next time I might double it just to get a bit more and use the left overs in the morning for my yogurt, or to add on top of chocolate chip pancakes.

Graham Cracker Crust
I used a recipe I've had for awhile, but here is one for you. Remember this is for a tart NOT for a pie so maybe you should half the crust recipe. Also, I like my crust a little more crumbly so I don't pound the graham crackers into a dust and then press, I just crunch them up, add the sugar, add the butter and mix and press.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
Basically get about 10 oz of good dark chocolate and make sure it's 65% cocoa. Melt it in a double broiler with a little bit of cream and a bit of sugar. Add it to the top of the tart and let it set a bit in the fridge before serving.

If you chill the tart, make sure you have it out on the counter for like 30 minutes before serving. That way the chocolate can melt a bit and it's easier to dig into.Again this is NOT my photo (no meringue on top for me!)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gene's Sausage Shop and Delicatessen

A view of Gene's from the second floor

So after eating lunch at Garcia's karl and walked over to the Chopping Block where I purchased cookie cutters and a Mandolin which was TOTALLY AMAZING. On our way out I looked up and saw this massive building with large windows and pig and cow statues on the outside. Karl and I walked in and I fell in love.
Gene's Sausage Shop and Delicatessen is a grocer/specialty shop/butcher and, of course, sausage shop. The grass fed beef was everywhere, meat was being cut up in the back, and sausages were hanging out to dry all over. It was a omnivore's dream! The rest of the store was great. Organic fruits and veggies, great chocolate selections, real honey and other magical items from all over.

Karl and I left with a bag full of chocolate and licorice. We're going back soon for steaks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time's Top Ten Foods That KILL!!!!

Alright so apparently Time posted an article on the Top Ten Foods That Kill
Here is my take

1) Hot Dogs - apparently they are a huge choking hazard for kids. How about telling your kid to slow the hell down and chew their food OR being a good parent and chopping it into tiny pieces so the kid doesn't choke on a hot dog...hahaha. Sorry I know kids choking is not funny but I was thinking about a grown person walking up to the pearly gates and St. Peter saying "So I was looking over your file and it says Cause of Death was Hot dog..BAHAHAHA! PAUL! Get over here. This dude's cause of death was HOT DOG!"

2) Fugo (aka blowfish) - Three years of training just to cook it, a lethal dose of poison is as small as the head of a pin? Yeah, I think i am okay never eating Fugo. At least if you die it's cooler than saying you choked on a hot dog.

3) Ackee - I've never heard of this, but it looks like a tulip stuffed with banana and grapes.

4) Peanuts - well this is deadly for those allergic to peanuts. Sucks to be those folks (she says as she stuffs another Reeses Peanut Butter cup into her mouth)

5) Leafy Greens - FROM RESTAURANTS! Okay if you eat out just accept the fact that the people who touch your food probably touched his or her ass crack at one point during the day and didn't do a thorough washing of the hands

6) Rhubarb leaves - this is probably the most interesting so far. Consuming the leaves of rhubarb leaves is toxic! Crazy!

7) Albacore Tuna - I will avoid this when I am pregnant but as of right now keep it coming!

8) Cassava/Tapioca - I've always hated Tapico and I think it should be banned! I will openly preach against the use of tapioca and this just fuels my flame!!!!

9) Coffee - No. This is bullshit. It doesn't kill it burns the shit out of you if you spill it all over yourself. Here's how coffee really kills. You try giving it up and you're only on day one. Someone hassles you at work over and over again about some stupid budget that they need today but didn't tell you until this morning when you received the text on your iPhone on your way to work, and you stab them in with a pencil. That is how coffee kills.

10) Mushrooms - Clarification. Mushrooms that grow in the wild. Unless you are the man vs. wild guy why the hell are you eating these things? I mean, am I the only one who was told over and over while out and about in parks and what not never to eat the mushrooms?

Basically don't eat peanuts if you are allergic, stay away from ill prepared blowfish and don't eat wild mushrooms. Problem solved.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Garlic tomato thing with a poached egg over toast

I got home last night and I needed to eat ASAP.
I didn't really have anything prepared so I just kinda winged it
I made this Garlic tomato and bacon thing with a poached egg on Whole wheat toast
It was pretty good
I have to perfect the recipe but for a quick meal (mostly organic by the way) it wasn't bad!

1 can of diced tomatoes (I used wild harvest)
3 strips of bacon (I used turkey bacon and it wasn't organic...wah wah)
all sauteed together with spices (garlic, onion powder, basil and oregano)
I made some whole wheat (organic suckas!) garlic toast, covered it in the bacon tomato mixture and topped it off with a poached egg!
I've never poached an egg in my life but it turned out alright. I was pretty proud of myself

Oh and the yolk mixed with the bacon, and tomatoes and all the garlicky goodness was pretty awesome.
Perfect for Brinner (you know, breakfast for dinner) or brunch (followed by a mimosa)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Going Organic

So after wanting to go organic for about two years I've decided this is the time to do it. What pushed me over the edge was this article that my sister sent me. 7 foods that should never Cross your lips
After reading about the apples (which I eat every single day), the potatoes, and tomatoes I figured it was time to make a change. Now because I am married, this is then forced upon my husband whether he wants to make this change or not since I do the grocery shopping and cooking. But after running it by him, and him giving me the "Yeah, I don't care" we have officially begun the turn to go organic.
Now, this doesn't include eating out, which is one of my favorite things to do AND it probably won't include Karl's love of ice cream and my love of shitty pastries, but for the most part, the Haukom Anderson household is going organic!

Now I don't think it's that hard to go organic and it doesn't cost that much money depending on where you buy and how you buy. For me these brands and places make it easy to switch to the organic lifestyle.

Organic Money Saving Tips
This is extremely helpful! Even if you can't afford to go 100% organic (let's face it, most of us can't) this will give you tips and ideas to go as organic as you can without going broke

Top Ten reasons to Go Organic
You'll find at least one or two reasons in this list that might push you over to the organic side

Green Grocer
A little grocery store right by my office! They are small, but they have a good selection of organic and local items

The Dill Pickle Co-op
This is the place that made it easier for me to go organic. It's in my neighborhood and the selection is pretty great for such a tiny establishment. It might be a little pricey for some, but you can find good deals on produce, meat and nuts.

Local Harvest
This place gives you lists of farmers markets in your area, organic restaurants and grocery stores.

The Wild Harvest Brand
Seriously, this make's going organic pretty easy! They offer organic milk, eggs, cookies and tons of other things PLUS it's sold at Jewel, Albertson's, Supervalu and Cub foods so it's at your local grocery store! How convenient is that!?!

Whole Foods
Mecca for Organic foodies. If you think Whole Foods is a little too out of your price range, think again. Buy Whole Food's Private Brand 365. It is organic AND cheaper than other organic brands out there! It's like buying Jewel Brand at Jewel. And they offer coupons online so check it out!

I know! They don't have a massive organic selection BUT what they do have you can buy in bulk and it's pretty inexpensive! This includes a pretty decent selection of produce. But remember you have to have a membership or a friend with a membership in order to get inside. (pssst...I have one)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I made a feast for football

So last September for our anniversary karl and I got a new tv. The moment we set it up and turned it on I knew I wanted people over for The Superbowl. I don't even care about the superbowl, but I wanted to see it clearly on our new television.

I also wanted to cook. So I did.

Twice Baked Potato skins. Two cheeses, a little baking, a little butter and there you have it.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders. Battered and fried and tossed in sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Dates. Seriously, I make these for every party. Sticky, salty, sweet and delicious.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches. These turned out a million times better than I thought they would. Two moist pb cookies with a sweet and creamy PB filling.

All in all a fantastic Football feast!

Monday, February 8, 2010


The advice: Have just one bite of dessert.

Why it's useless: That's like telling an addict to have just a little crack.

So true

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dinner Last Night

I was exhausted
But I needed to cook. PLUS I got a new grill pan so I had to test it out

I did caramelized onions with a little Clover Honey on low heat in my Dutch Oven

Marinated some lean steaks with some Olive Oil & Kosher Salt

Put together a nice salad with Red Pepper, Cucumber, walnuts, honey mustard dressing, apples and mixed greens

Then I roasted broccoli
Now My husband hates broccoli but for some reason he loves this.

What I do...

Cover a cookie sheet in tin foil
Break broccoli into large pieces (use the fresh stuff) and place onto foiled sheet
Toss some olive oil over it
Add slivered almonds and flax seed
Take 1/2 cup of water and just kinda toss it around the broccoli
Roast in a 350 degree over until tender

Seriously delicious. I won't make the broccoli any other way now

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bagels from bagels on damen. They are excellent and the coffee there is amazing!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Foodies & Yogis Collide!

I really am only posting this article because of the last few lines.
“What yoga teachers do and what chefs do is not so different,” he said. “We take everyday actions like moving and eating, and slow you down so you can appreciate them.”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I had sweetbreads for the first time ever at lulas cafe. It was the best part of the meal. Crispy and delicious. Gotta love the pancreas...sp?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beer bottle shaped sausage? really? Haha

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I took this for a coworker. He gets greif for liking ketchup on his hotdogs

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Second bottle of water from my dave and busters bottle

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I made granola

It is one of those things that you never really think you could do because it would take so much time and effort. On the contrary. It was super easy
And even though I cooked it too long it was still a delicious breakfast treat this fine Tuesday morning.

2 Cups of oats
1/4 c. of honey (I used Beeline honey. And so should you! It's made here in Chicago, so it's local, AND it helps people facing significant barriers to employment, particularly those with histories of criminal conviction)

1/4 c. PURE Maple Syrup
1/3 c. Olive Oil
Three hand fulls of slivered almonds
Three hand fulls of craisins
(you can also use whatever dried fruit and nuts you want.)
Cook for 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven
stir after 20 minutes
Put in for another 15 minutes
Lay out the granola on a piece of tin foil to cool
Once it hardens break into pieces

I had mine with yogurt for b-fast

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Go-To Salad

Salads get really lame really fast.
And when you are trying to lose a few extra pounds they get lame before the leafy greens even hit your lips.
I found a salad that I like. That the husband likes. That I don't get sick of because there are no leafy greens involved.

Thank God.

Alright. It kinda has a Waldorf salad feel but more veggies and fruit.
Here it is.

Chop up...
an apple
half of a bell pepper
half of a cumcumber
half of a tomato
half of an avocado
Toss in some...
berries (blue, black, straw, rasp, whatevs)
nuts (I used spiced walnuts, I usually use almonds so whatever floats the boat)

Now! Mix in a few drizzles of Newman's Own Lighten Up Honey Mustard Dressing.
Mix it all up
There you go!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Crab cakes from wishbone...meh. The eggs are good though

Friday, January 1, 2010

The husband eating soup

The almond crusted salmon

The Diet

I am on a get fit program
The nutrition month started

Today I made peas (my fave) with almond crusted salmon with yogurt sauce

Chopped up some almonds in the food processor
added spices
coated the salmon fillets with egg, dipped themin the almond mix
put them in the oven for like 12 minutes at 425 degrees

Mixed some plain yogurt with lemon juice and parsley


High protein, good fat meal.