Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Happy Hour: Bacardi

We're definately getting into the season of rummy, refreshing drinks. Let's have a Bacardi!

It's actually almost a Daiquiri -- practically kissing cousins. Here's an authentic recipe from "back in the day:"

Happy Memorial Day, and cheers!

This week's Friday Happy Hour is brought to you by ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday's Food Section: Pancakes and Waffles

This will be ideal for your Memorial Day brunch! And, you'll be surprised at how versatile pancakes and waffles can be! Here's the basic recipe:

And here are some suggestions on how you can dress them up:

Onion? Spicy? See what we were talking about! Here are some more surprising variations:

Interesting -- you'll be the talk of the Lady's Auxiliary when you serve these! Here are some additional ways to impress:

So, you really can't go wrong -- so may options! Bon appetit!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Happy Hour: Collins (Tom Collins, John Collins, et al.)

There's your classic Tom Collins! (and it's going to hit the spot!) The Tom Collins is the chairman of the board of a group of Collins drinks. Let's learn a little of the history of the Collins:

Here are some of the clan members by name:

So, you can see how versatile the Collins is. Start with lemon juice, add sugar, some ice, a booze of choice, and soda -- and some colorful garnishes! Here are some vintage takes on the Collins:

Looks like the whole family is listed there -- Daddy, Mickey, Sandy, Joseph (he's the stuffy one), and Johnny. Where's Mommy? Here are more:

So, you can run with this formula and make a Collins to your taste. We should also notice how refreshing they are -- just look:

Indeed, effervescent, bubbling and alive!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday's Food Section: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Does the picture do this dish justice? Let your mouth decide!

Thanks Quaker Oats! Bon appetit!

May 18 in Chicago history

Abraham Lincoln is nominated by the Republican Party for president at its convention in Chicago on May 18, 1860.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15 in Rogers Park history

Germania -- the area of Rogers Park north of Howard, east of the L, and south of Calvary Cemetery -- is annexed from Evanston to Chicago on May 15, 1915.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Happy Hour: "Imaginative Happy Hour"

Boy, do our good friends at Southern Comfort have all the good ideas!

Ready to hula?

Or, how about a Mardi Gras party -- or Derby day -- or a fiesta -- or the Gay 90s? Yeah!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday's Food Section: Date Buttermilk Pancakes

Perfect for a weekend brunch, these buttermilk pancakes -- with all the sides, too, please! -- from our friends at Bordo look great! Here's the whole spread:

Bon appetit!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9 in Rogers Park history

St. Henry's church, at Ridge & Devon, is dedicated in 1852.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Happy Hour: Juleps

Tomorrow is the 137th annual Kentucky Derby, and to honor the occasion let's have a julep! Specifically, we'll have a mint julep, the signature drink for the occasion -- but let's learn about the broader julep family while we're at it. The julep is another one of the classic drink categories we've been exploring the past several weeks -- in the case of the julep, everyone has heard of the mint julep, but maybe aren't aware that there are other juleps, too. As always, let's go to school on our repeal-era recipe books to learn more:

First, the basic concept of a julep involves these elements: (1) ideally served in a silver glass (but more on that in a moment), (2) combine some sugar and mint (more on that in a moment, too), (3) pack the glass with shaved or crushed ice on top of the sugar and mint, (4) add your booze of choice (as we see above), and (5) top it off with a generous sprig of mint as an aromatic garnish! Here's another couple of recipes from ye olden times:

We said we'd talk more about that first step, involving the sugar and mint. This step is where some personal preference and style enter the equation. You can simply add the sugar and get it dissolved and move on to the ice; you can muddle the sugar with mint (to make it a little extra minty; but the drawback being that you'll probably get little bits of mint leaves floating around in the drink); you can use powdered sugar, granular sugar, or simple syrup. Gosh, now that we think about it, this is getting complicated .... and it's only the first step! Let's make it simple: we suggest using simple syrup because you won't have to deal with the aggravation of dissolving the sugar (and, by the way, never use powdered sugar in drinks -- it' amateurish); if you like it extra minty, use a mint infused simple syrup. Anyway, let's move on past this confusing first step. Let's look at another recipe:

This is pretty much the traditional mint julep for the Kentucky Derby. Let's talk about the glass. As we've been seeing, the traditional glass for a julep is a silver glass. If you have them, go ahead and use them. But, don't sweat it too much if you don't have them. In fact, maybe breathe a sigh of relief. We've heard someone remark that drinking a julep from a silver glass is like sucking on a mouthful of nickels. Yum. So, feel free to use glass. Here's another julep variation:

And, we'll close with another presentation of the classic mint julep that we'll be enjoying for the big race:


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Food Section: Scrumptious Scalloped Potatoes

Plain old vegetables get a new lease on life when you cook with condensed soups! The good folks at Campbell's bring us four different irresistible dishes: scrumptious scalloped potatoes, carrots with celery cream sauce, broccoli with chicken cream sauce, and easy stuffed peppers! Let's get started:

Easy and scrumptious! Here are the carrots and broccoli:

Healthy and delicious! Let's not forget the stuffed peppers (which could be our main course!):

Well, now we know what's for dinner tonight! Bon appetit!

May 4 in Rogers Park history

The Howard Theatre opens in 1918.

May 4 in Chicago history

May 4 is the 125th anniversary of the Haymarket Square riot, which happened in 1886.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3 in Chicago history

The Sears Tower is completed in 1973.