Food for Thought


  • One of the farm-fresh vegetables we have enjoyed the most so far this summer is kohlrabi. We first sampled a raw piece of this strange-looking vegetable at the farmer’s market—it tastes a little bit like a very mild radish—and purchased it when the woman with an interesting accent who was shopping next to me said her favorite way to eat it is sauteed with butter and garlic. Turns out, that’s our favorite way to eat it as well, although we also like it raw and chopped up in a salad, and we even added some to the slaw in our fish tacos recently. If you’re interested in trying it, we’ve heard that the smaller sizes are more tender (but one of the farmers at the market had a variety of giant ones last week that he claimed are just as good), and be sure to peel or cut away all of the tough outer skin and the fibrous layer underneath before cooking or eating it raw. We’d love to hear if anyone tries it!
  • Here’s an interesting list of 7 Superfoods you’ve never heard of (with commentary about the overuse of the word “superfood.”)
  • A story has been making its way around the Internets about a restaurant that has been doing about the same amount of business for the past decade, but in recent years has been getting bad reviews with complaints of slow service. According to the article, in an attempt to figure out the service issues, the restaurant owners supposedly compared security camera footage of diners and servers from 2004 with footage from 2014 and concluded that the reason service was perceived to be slow in 2014 was because customers spent more time distracted with their smart phones than responding to wait staff attempting to serve them. For example, the average time of a meal in 2004 was an hour and 5 minutes, while the average time in 2014 was almost 2 hours, with an average of about 20 minutes (spent busy with the phone) between the time the customer was seated and ordered food and 20 more minutes (again with the phone) between the time the customer finished eating and requested the check. There are a lot of reasons the story is probably fake (including the claim that some diners spent an average of 3 minutes taking pictures of their food, really?) but it’s interesting to consider how people’s dining habits may have changed now that just about everyone owns—and often brings to the table—a smart phone.
  • We’re big fans of the Top Chef franchise and are looking forward to the newest installment, “Top Chef Duels,” featuring chefs from prior seasons of “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters” in one-on-one cooking challenges. Premiers next Wednesday!


Friday Favorites

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


When our friends from Dallas came to visit a few weekends ago, they brought us a beautiful and unique vase as a housewarming gift. The vase is pretty enough on its own, but looks even better with some snap dragons from the farmer’s market.


Last weekend our home owner’s association hosted the annual “building social.” It was a nice way to meet and chat with some of our neighbors, one of whom brought this huge chocolate cake with a picture of our building on it. And peace signs. Let’s just say he’s kind of an eccentric guy.


Another summer weekend, another art festival. We certainly aren’t complaining, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Ethnic Arts Festival out by the lake.


One of Dan’s best friends from law school was in town this week and treated us to an amazing dinner at Tru. Although the restaurant is a bit on the formal side (removing your jacket is frowned upon, even while seated at the table), the service was impeccable and the 11-course meal was deliciously inventive. But the best part of the evening was Dan getting to catch up with his old friend and both of them regaling me with tales from their law school days.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Okay Chicagoland, we get it now. Afternoon trips to the beach, Saturday morning shopping for fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market, neighborhood art festivals nearly every weekend, dinners on patios with a sweater in case it gets chilly when the sun sets—summertime is why people live here. And we are enjoying every single second of ours. One of our favorite summer activities is finding new ways to cook the vegetables we pick up from the farmer’s market each week. This recipe from Martha Stewart has become one of our go-to side dishes of the season because it’s easy to make, it complements a variety of main courses, and the char flavor from the grill makes it taste like summer.

Continue reading “Grilled Baby Bok Choy”

Friday Favorites

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

So let's dance!

While walking to dinner one night, we randomly came upon a gathering of people listening to live music and dancing. On six Thursdays during the summer, our little city hosts a free event featuring a dance lesson with accompanying music in a different dancing style each week. We didn’t partake this time, but enjoyed the music and people watching as we dined al fresco at a nearby restaurant. Summertime here is pretty great.


Our dear friends and their two kiddos drove all the way from Dallas to come visit us this week, on their way to a family reunion in Wisconsin Dells. We had a great time showing them around our ‘hood and doing a little sightseeing in downtown Chicago, including the obligatory tourist trip to the Bean (I mean “Cloud Gate“) in Millennium Park. The kids had fun creating optical illusions with their reflections, exactly none of which I captured with my phone’s camera. All of our friends are what we miss most from Dallas (even more than Tex-Mex!), and it was wonderful to have them here to share a glimpse of our Chicagoland life.

Tilt! (OMG)

Another must-see during our Chicago tour was the view from the observatory deck on the 94th floor of John Hancock Center. Our friend Matt was the only one of us brave enough to try the new Tilt! feature, which allows you to lean 30 degrees out from the building and look down to the street that is 1,000 feet below. Nope. Matt said it was awesome, and we sincerely took his word for it.

Leggo my Liege waffle

We recently tried the authentic Liege Belgian waffles from a little cafe near our condo, and they did not disappoint. The waffles are made with dough instead of batter and are dusted with pearl sugar (imported from Belgium) that caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when it is baked in a special waffle iron (also imported from Belgium). Topping options include homemade whipped cream, Nutella, and fruit. You do not want to put syrup on this waffle, lest you ruin the lightly crispy, sugary outer crust by making it soggy. We may never eat any other kind of waffle again.

Cuban Sammie

Ever since we saw the movie “Chef” (which we highly recommend), we have been craving a good Cuban sandwich (also a good grilled cheese sandwich, but those are more readily available). We found exactly what we were looking for at the aptly named Taste of Cuba restaurant, and we’ll go back there the next time we are jonesing for that perfect combo of thinly sliced ham and roasted pork with cheese, mustard and pickles, expertly pressed between two slices of buttery bread.

Friday Favorites

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


Festival creepers

 We love a good arts festival, and there was a nice one in our town last weekend, with lots of unique art and jewelry.

Cutting board

 We picked up this cool cutting board at the festival.


 The chef at Found, one of our favorite restaurants, is a genius and has come up with yet another crave-worthy dish: a sandwich with house-cured salmon, caper cream cheese, radish relish and sprouts on rye.


The weather today was absolutely perfect for attending the local Fourth of July parade. We’re headed to the beach soon to stake out our spot for watching fireworks, and we hope that you and yours are enjoying the holiday as much as we are. Happy 4th!


Food for Thought


  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Here’s a list of frozen treats, each under 200 calories, to enjoy when you’re in the mood for something sweet and cold this summer. Number one on the list is the Cadbury caramello ice cream bar: vanilla ice cream on a stick, with a swirl of caramel in the center and dipped in milk chocolate. Want. We also want to try the Enlightened ice cream sandwich in mint. With 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, but only 100 calories and 2 grams of sugar, how could we not try it?!
  • Good to know that someone already tested this strange food trend from Taiwan and reported their results. My favorite taste-tester comment: “Can I be done?”
  • We’ve linked to a video of how to cut a spiral hot dog before, but it’s cool enough to warrant a second link, especially in light of the upcoming July 4th holiday. If you have trouble cutting the hot dog using the skewer and knife method, someone invented a tool for getting that spiral shape, no skewer required.
  • Just for fun, a few food jokes we haven’t actually heard before (among others that everyone on the planet has already heard). The first one made me laugh out loud.