Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this week:

First of many beach days

Our first official beach day over the long weekend was a tremendous success. FINALLY, we understand why people actually live here.


 We found yet another great local Asian restaurant: Koco Table. This one specializes in Korean food, and Dan-the-kimchi-conniosseur gives it two chopsticks up.


 The fuchsia flowering plant is one of my favorites for spring. Until now, I’ve only found them as hanging plants. But our grocery store had the topiary version, and I couldn’t resist getting one for our balcony.

Lyfe Kitchen

 Our effort to eat more fruits and vegetables (especially before 6:00 p.m.) gets a boost from a new restaurant called Lyfe Kitchen, which specializes in healthy foods, including tons of vegan and gluten-free options. We give them four (meat-loving-and-missing) thumbs up.

Condo drama

We had a little excitement (for lack of a better word) at the condo this week, when the building-wide fire alarms went off, notifying us that a fire had been detected and we needed to evacuate the building. It was a small grease fire in our neighbor’s kitchen. Thank goodness that the fire was quickly contained and our neighbor is fine, other than a few burns on her hand. And thanks to the Evanston fire department for responding so quickly with multiple trucks and firefighters. The experience is also a good reminder to everyone to keep a fire extinguisher readily available in the kitchen.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Martha Stewart’s got nothing on our sister-in-law in Brooklyn. When we recently visited her, Dan’s brother and their adorable boys, she made her own version of Martha’s slow-cooker buffalo chicken recipe, and we were most impressed. After just a few bites, we knew it was a crave-worthy dish that would be added to our regular meal rotation. And we were excited to share it with pretty much anyone we know who cooks and happens to like the spicy, tangy goodness that is buffalo sauce. Our first attempt turned out a little more BBQ than buffalo (I think because I went off-recipe and used chicken stock instead of water to de-glaze), but we loved the classic, low & slow cooking that resulted in tender, juicy, flavorful “pulled” chicken without the use of a smoker or grill. After minimal prep steps of browning the chicken, sauteing the onions and mixing up the sauce ingredients (which can be adapted to the spice and tang levels of your liking), the slow-cooker does all the work, making this dish as easy as it is delicious. We envision ourselves making buffalo chicken often this summer—setting it up in the morning to cook for hours while we read/relax/play at the (lakeside) beach, then strolling home to a mouthwatering dinner that requires no more effort than shredding fork-tender chicken, spooning it onto buns and opening a chilled bottle of Rose wine. As Martha herself would say, “It’s a good thing.” Indeed.

Continue reading “Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken”

Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed the last couple of weeks:

Girl & the Goat

Thanks to a gifted reservation and friends who appreciate food as much as we do, we finally got to eat at a restaurant where we’ve wanted to go for years, Girl and the Goat. Everything was so good that we have trouble singling out a favorite, but if we were forced to choose, it would probably be the goat liver mousse.

Tiptoe through

 Unfiltered photo of gorgeous tulips in a sidewalk planter during our walk to dinner one evening.


We took the train into the city to meet friends for dinner at a great restaurant called Sepia. We originally thought our friend picked the place because it’s close to the train station and he knows we are new to finding our way around downtown, but it turns out that he picked a Michelin star winning restaurant with amazing food where we enjoyed a lovely dinner.

Farmer's market

 The local farmer’s market is officially open! You’ll find us there pretty much every Saturday morning.

Ready for summer

With new window shades and a couple of ceiling fans (expertly installed by Dan himself!), our condo is ready for summer. Which we hear should arrive any day now. Even though it snowed last Friday morning.


 We left snowy Chicago for a much-needed weekend in Dallas reconnecting with old friends and dining out on various patios around town, including Jasper’s.


For us, no trip to Dallas is complete without a stop at Chuy’s for the best chips & salsa, Tex-Mex and margaritas around.


While in Dallas, we took a quick side trip to Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma for a nice dinner and gambling with dear friends, as one does.


Food for Thought


  • A fascinating peek into the items that 11 New York chefs keep in their refrigerators at home. Randomly, two of the chefs had Asian Kit Kat candy bars in their fridges. And one of the chefs has to tape his refrigerator door shut to keep his cat from opening it and stealing meat from inside. Who says cats aren’t smart?
  • We’re intrigued by Mark Bittman’s recommended “vegan before 6 p.m.” diet (actually more of a lifestyle) that helped him lose weight, reduced his cholesterol and blood sugar and cured his sleep apnea. As Bittman points out, “Science says that we should be eating more foods from the plant kingdom and less processed food and fewer animal products.” Adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet certainly can’t hurt, so we bought his new cookbook for recipes and inspiration.
  • We are fortunate to be able to procure those fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market within walking distance of our condo. And we can look here for a preview of what fruits and veggies will be at their peak in the coming months. Type the name of the fruit or veg in the search bar, or click on the “what’s in season right now” link to get information for the current month. The green areas show peak ripeness, yellow means less ripe and red means the fruit or veg is not in season.


Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this week:

!Quatro de Mayo cumpleanos!

 Rare find in our area, and perfect for my birthday lunch — surprisingly decent Tex-Mex!


 Our favorite Evanston restaurant offers an excellent “Selection of Local & European Cheeses & Meats.”

Terrace garden

 We planted a balcony herb garden: basil, dill, oregano and thyme. Plus 2 tiny tomato plants.

Nacho lunch. MY lunch!

 Our sister-in-law cooked this amazing slow-cooker buffalo chicken for us when we recently visited our Brooklyn family. My attempt to re-create it tasted a little more like pulled BBQ chicken with a hint of buffalo sauce, but it was still delicious and the leftovers were perfect for nachos a couple of days later.

Toast of the town

Who knew how much better our favorite breakfast of avocado toast could be with the simple addition of sliced tomatoes and leftover crispy bacon?

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

With ingredients including coconut milk, curry paste, lemongrass and kaffir (dried lime leaves), this recipe sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is. Not only is it easy to make, but it tastes so good that you’ll want to stock your pantry with these items to keep this soup in your regular meal rotation. When we cook new dishes, we often make notes on changes we made to the original recipe or comment on how the dish turned out. The first time we made this soup, my notes on the printed recipe included the statement “holy sh*t GOOD” because we loved it that much! We adapted the original recipe a bit and followed some of the suggestions from this version, and now we have a crave-worthy soup recipe that we look forward to making at least once a month. Whenever I see a can of coconut milk (surprisingly, readily available at the grocery store), I think of this soup in the best, most mouth-watering way.

Continue reading “Thai Coconut Curry Soup”