Tuesday, August 31, 2010

to market to market

to find a band!
and eat some basket fruit.
or purchase me that!
yes, those balls.
you are peachy keen!



{the northfield farmers market}

Saturday, August 28, 2010

week 34: los huaraches

i'm proud. so proud of my little neighborhood.
all of the dry-cleaners and the gas stations and the juicy couture are officially worth enduring for this itsy-bitsy place i stumbled upon a few days ago:
i don't know a thing about it.
i don't know when it opened...
it's sort of dumpy,
but  if there's anything new york has taught me besides how to sweet talk my corner pastry stand guy into giving me a free donut,
it's to embrace the little dumpy places!
so mum and i did just that and gorged on tortas that picked us up right where xoco's left off last week.
we got a 
hawaiian torta
pineapples, ham, cheese, avocados, mayo{?}, jalapenos, tomaters, and onions
and a
chickens torta
chickens {cluck cluck}, avocado, tomaters, onions, jalapenos, beans {?}, mayo {?}, and no cheese {sad pandas sad pandas}
and girls, this is what a torta should be.
i apologize for not confirming the localness of the chickens,
but how can you say no to pillow soft, buttery, almost focaccia-y bread?
and omg. hawaiian torta. it really is as good as it sounds. for a fruit that sort of freaked the begeezies out of me until a few months ago, pineapple is kind of winning.
maybe the taco truck outside of my apartment will let me pitch this idea to them.
of course:
my fave! with overtones of bubblicious that almost had the marshmallow peep effect, but a horchata nonethefewer.
well by gum. this place. it's oggle-worthy. who knew a torta of this caliber could be found out here in the stix?
it's like glenda the good witch's magical bubble just appeared out of nowhere and then burst open with magic and pink and beans. and everyone is gleeful. 
and lunch is fun again.

...18 to go, señor sillies!



los huaraches is on milwaukee, a bit north of lake. in the north suburbs of chicago!

Friday, August 27, 2010

bánh mì at home

in life,
the best way to really screw yourself over,
is to realize your craving for bánh mì after you've boarded a plane to leave new york and go to illinois for a month.
{because apparently the deli counter at the jewel-osco has yet to experience this phenomenon. no offense}
but since mum and i have been crafty little minxes lately,
we made our own!!
we found this food network recipe,
schlepped to the super h market,
and only had mild conniption{s} when the request for vietnamese-style pork roll was met with confusion, speechlessness, and ultimately a recommendation to substitute it for corn dogs made from fish, or grutinous rice balls. 
oscar meyer to the rescue.
and just like that, three more types of pork wiggled their way into our house...
and legit bánh mìs were accomplished!!
these were really, really, go-to-the-back-of-a-jewelry-store {r.i.p} legit ...crises averted.
so, if your bánh mì depot is nonexistent, get your paws on some daikon and make these!



Thursday, August 26, 2010

a greyhound party

mum's friend hosted a greyhound party!!
all of these puppies are from the same litter... save for their mum {who is the one with the black-ish/dark grey-ish coat}
aren't they handsome?
the greatest thing about a greyhound party, or any puppy party, is that you can pee wherever you want. and people won't think you're wasted!



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

watch out, eddie huang!

i finally convinced mum to bring pork into our house. 
i was going through withdrawal... being 300 miles away from baohaus is a lot harder than it looks!
so mum and i pretended to be eddie and made our own baos.
we made the steamed buns that we make during our annual dumplings of the world festival {recipe below}
and instead of forming them into the old school ball shape, 
we made the taco thingies that are so much more conducive to adding cucumbers and cilantro {no crushed peanuts here, sadly. mum is allergic}
i wasn't lucky enough to score pork belly-mum got the leanest loin she could find-but beggars can't be choosers.

the result was unbelievable goodness. maybe the best thing mum and i have ever made.

they were so doughy and sweet and comforting! the kind of comfort you can only get from mum's home-cooking. 
and pork. 
pork, how i've missed you.
these were almost better as good as baohaus' :-)

george gershwin tried to get in on the fun but nobody would help him fill a bun :-(
i don't usually post recipes, but it would have been cruel of me to keep this from you:
steamed buns!!
adapted from grace wiertz young's recipe 
{i don't know who grace is, but this recipe has been in my family since i was two and only wanted to fill them with kraft cheese}

1 package yeast
3/4 cup warm water {110 degrees}
4 cups flour
1/4 cup warm milk {110 degrees}
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup veggie shortening + additional shortening for greasing the middle of the buns

dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl until it bubbles
put 3 cups of flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center
add the yeast mixture, remaining 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup of shortening, the milk, and sugar --> stir to combine
add remaining cup of flour in fourths until a dough forms and is no longer sticky
knead for 5 minutes on a floured surface
put the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise for 2 hours
punch down the dough, knead for 2 or 3 minutes
melt the additional shortening in the microwave
divide dough it into 12 equal pieces and shape into flat oval-shaped circles on top of individual squares of wax paper
brush the top of the circles with shortening and fold them in half
let rise for half an hour
steam in a bamboo or metal steamer for 10-15 minutes
fill them with whatever you want! if you're lucky, your mum will buy you pork belly. 
if not, other kinds of meat will do...
top them with cukes, cilantro, and crushed peanuts
dip them in soy sauce and sriracha!

if you don't make these, you are seriously a dufus.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

week 33: xoco

at home
in the suburbs
there are not so many places to eat.
there's the steak n shake {which is really embarrassing to be seen in if you're older than 17}
and there's mum's kitchen {which is quite yummy... but has never seen pork}
and so on the occasion,
we make a voyage to the city to try out whatzbingoinon in the chicago foods scene.
an hour of traffic and minimal driving-induced panicking by mum got us to
the newish restaurant by chicago's greatest goateed celeb chef, rick bayless
home to a zillion kinds of local/organic/bougey tortas. 
hot out of a woodburning oven.

{hallelujah! tortas are my fave!!! but does this mean i'm cheating on my beloved taco truck??}

after a batman-ride-at-six-flags-sized line,
victory was had and guacamole was in our tummies 
it was maybe the best damned guacamole i ever had, but shh don't tell stoop... she's the family guacamole maker
and tortas were ready to be eaten! yay yipee!! 

stoopie got a piggy torta with beans, pink pickled onions, and habanero salsa {which came with a nice little lecture about how we should proceed with caution}
and mum got chickens with beans and avocados.
while they really didn't resemble their taco truck brethren, 
they were quite tasty!
everything was really fresh and seazonedgood and mum/stoop seemed to enjoy them lots and lots!
however the crustiness of it all made me miss the soft white bread that made me fall in love with tortas in the first place.
...which is why it was a good thing that i got a griddle torta instead of the wood-fired ones that mum and stoop got.
this was on a softer white bread and was filled with
 prosciutto, beans, avocado, 
chipotle mustard <--- hell yeah that's what swayed me.

it was like a really really scrumptious* panini.
it wasn't anything at all like the tortas i've had.
but it was good...
even though half way through i had to extract some of the prosciutto because i was on salt overload. 
but do you know how good an avocado and chipotle mustard sandwich is?! 
really good, apparently. 

*what the thesaurus in my head recommended after "tasty" was overused

dessert was a churro + vanilla soft serve
the churros in my elementary school's cafeteria < this churro < county fair churros
closer in goodness to the county fair churros. 
but, i mean, you all know that i'm a doughy food kind of gal. 
these were light and airy... good if you like that kind of thing. 

but the bottom line is:

where's the horchata, mr. bayless?!

i will wait on that line again if and only if that dude makes a horchata. and can it be boozey.

xoco is good. 
just bring snackees for the line, as to not cause a scene when you throw a hungry tantrum.

...19 restaurants to go. omg i'm in the teens!!



xoco is in the chicago loop. 
and because chicago's streets aren't numbered, i have no idea how to direct you there.
UPDATE: the website says it's on north clark and illinois. but that don't mean nuthin to me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the crack that is cookie in a bowl

if ever there was a really good reason why my friends and i showed up to marching band practice on tuesday nights during the summer,
this was it:
d'agostino's cookie in a bowl
a just-outta-the-oven cookie that would crush levain in a smackdown
a few scoops of homer's ice cream
and drizzly stuff.
since we had just spent four hours in the sun marching our little buns off,
we figured we could take the fattyness.
{and be "we" i mean "they." i didn't actually ever march. i was in the pit. so what. i still wanted cookie in a bowl}
there was never any question. after practice, the first stop was d'ag's.

and since yesterday was tuesday {or because we just had cravings...}
we relived our sweet high school memories 
and gorged.
and gorged.
and gorged some more.

and then drove around listening to the backstreet boys.
viva boybands.



Monday, August 16, 2010

ohhh home!

tell me, practice gods,
how am i supposed to concentrate on bach and excerpts 
when there are sunflowers and a puppy outside?



Saturday, August 14, 2010

week 32: addis abeba

my knowledge of ethiopia is:
which is in fact no knowledge at all.
{but it's funny. watch this}
so i took it upon myself to learn more.
or rather,
mum made me.
she woke me up yesterday at the wee wee hour of noon and said,
if you're not ready in fifteen minutes to go eat ethiopian food with me and stoopie and marshy, you're starving.
here it is. 
{oh and that's stoopie imitating something}
evanston's finest ethiopian.
i want a bagel.

instead i got a deconstructed plate of what happens the day after you go to chola and then sing karaoke. 
and a plate of shamwows {they were sour and made me want to vom}
but they made good masks.
marshy and mum and stoop seemed to be enjoying themselves.
and everybody talks about how awesome ethiopian food is.
but i thought this experience was more reminiscent of those family friend dinners you're dragged to when you're five and you spend the entire time sitting impatiently until your parents finally decide to leave so that you can beg them to go to burger king or mcdonalds or, for heaven's sake, 
can they just make you a giant bowl of oatmeal?
am i missing something?

maybe i need to try it again when i haven't just gotten out of bed...
and go to a place that's not puketastic...
20 to go.



addis abeba is on chicago ave in evanston.
around the corner from will's old apartment.

Friday, August 13, 2010

schnitzel month days 9, 10, and 11

in the words of the schnitzel father:

yesterday i took a sample bite of a schnitzel burger @schnitzel and things it was awesome and i kinda felt like i was cheating on schnitzel but not really.....help i have a schnitzdentity crisis

and really,
that's how it feels.
it was like i was in a tangent universe
because the ciabatta and the mustard are the same...
and the meat is fried
but instead of the usual paper thin chickens
it's big and honkin and grouuuuund.

i was afraid that if i ate the whole thing i wouldn't survive my forthcoming trip to the natural history museum. so i ate half the patty, and downed the bun. 
is that weird?
i'm just so obsessed with this darn ciabatta.
i'm never going to be able to have other ciabatta.

and since we're playing the rhyme game
{wait, no we're not}
i also had panna cotta
{panna cotta, ciabatta, panna cotta, ciabatta}
this was my first panna cotta!! ever!!
and certainly not to be my last because this stuff was not too sweet and
 sooooooooo goooooood.
i'm going to pretend like it's healthy, too.



p.s. oh and in case you're wondering what happened to the other two days,
their beauty shots got lost because in a freak runway accident.
{no really, my baby camera was stolen out of my checked bag at jfk wtf}

on one of the days i had
a brat with beets
and it was fine. the beets didn't really add or detract from the taste. the only thing they added was a hot pink hue all over the bread.

and on the other day i had
chicken schnitzel with chipotle sour cream
tater salad
chickpea salad
and the chipotle sour cream blew my mind. like i gotta have more of this stuff. but i kept having to tell myself, "molly, you cannot die."
the tater salad was good as usual {so what if i dipped it in the sour cream?}
and the chickpea salad was as good as a chickpea salad can be, but let's face it, do you people really enjoy the texture of chickpeas? i mean, isn't that why they invented hummus?
...oh no.
i just realized that on my stolen camera there was a really cute picture of my chicken schnitzel with a face:
mustard for the eyes,
a lemon wedge for the mouth.
crap it was so cute.
i'll just have to make another.

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