Archive

for December, 2009

Formerly known as Urbano Paninoteca

Formerly known as Urbano Paninoteca

December 16, 2009

And I could never pronounce paninoteca so I’m glad the name has changed to Urbano Cafe. So much easier for me to say. Not only has the name changed, but the location and concept has changed as well. I liked Urbano Paninoteca, I did. But I LOVE Urbano Cafe. It could possibly be my new favorite restaurant in Dallas. Last night I visited for the third time, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. First of all, it’s BYOB. How can you go wrong? Second of all, this pint-sized restaurant has a chalk board that lists the daily specials and a la carte meats and sides. There’s something about a chalkboard in a restaurant that immediately evokes coziness. And lastly, the food is incredible. So far I’ve tried the following from the menu/blackboard:  Caprese S’mores  (Melted Buffalo Mozzarella between toasted Crostini with tomato and balsamic syrup), Prosciutto wrapped fig bruschetta with Texas honey comb, Red and Yellow tomato salad with blue cheese, extra virgin olive […]

Better than kidney stones

Better than kidney stones

December 14, 2009

I adore finding interesting and unique gifts for the holidays. I start my search months before – pouring over gift suggestions in every magazine, scouring etsy for the perfect homemade item, and only visiting the mall as a last resort (or gifts for uncool cousins). This year, I discovered whiskey stones on thinkgeek.com. They’re basically stones that act as ice cubes that never melt and can be re-frozen for the rest of your life. So your lucky grandchildren can inherit them. I’m not sure why the example is whiskey (not that I’m opposed to it), but I assume you could throw the stones in any delicious concoction. Happy gifting.

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Holiday Cookie Exchange

December 14, 2009

Friday night I went to my dear friend Lesley’s Holiday Cookie Exchange party. ~What a wonderful way to kick off the holidays! Everyone brought a batch of their favorite homemade holiday cookies, along with copies of the recipe to pass along to everyone. We all walked away with a sugar rush, and bags full of treats to sample.

Homemade Holiday Oreos

Homemade Holiday Oreos

December 10, 2009

I’m going to a Christmas cookie swap party on Friday and thought this would be the perfect holiday treat. I adapted these home made oreos from a recipe found  on my favorite go-to foodie blog- ~Smitten Kitchen. My favorite part about the Oreo cookie is the cream! So I made extra icing and double stuffed these cookies. Then for a festive splash of color I just rolled them through some red sugar sprinkles.

Hot Potato in Hot Maui

Hot Potato in Hot Maui

December 10, 2009

So yesterday I returned from beautiful, 80 degree Maui. Not a bad way to spend seven days in December. And while I was there I ate. A lot. This was my first trip to Maui, and I was honestly impressed with the meals we had there. I ate everything from butter poached lobster to pork sandwiches from a roadside stands to the best shaved ice in North America (no kidding – check it out here). I’ll do my best to recap the highlights. Sansei Really great sushi. Atmosphere is typical American sushi restaurant, but the sashimi and rolls were fresh and unique. The only roll we weren’t super crazy about what the dragon roll – the unagi pieces were underwhelming. Unfortunately, we ate at 6pm with all the elderly, but if you eat after 10pm the sushi is half-price and there is karaoke to be heard. Maybe next time! Kimos We stopped here for lunch after our surfing lessons in […]

Gourmet Regrets…

Gourmet Regrets…

December 8, 2009

So this is what has become of my beloved Gourmet magazine- a crappy black and white postcard with a bad printing job on cheap stock paper. Couldn’t they have at least gone out with a kick-ass recipe, or a heartfelt letter from Ruth? I’ll miss her dearly. It’s been two months now, and I’m still trying to get over the shock of this loss of my monthly bible of all things culinary. Gourmet art director, Kevin DeMaria posted some pictures of the Last Days of Gourmet on his blog. It’s so sad to see all those boxes piled high. PS- who gets to walk away with the Gourmet kitchen tools? Because I know of one or two hot potatoes who would love a piece from that kitchen! Thanks for sharing Kevin ~We are all mourning this loss. I keep thinking ~surely Gourmet will bounce back soon, and this is all just a publicity stunt. Well until then I’ll be waiting, […]

Foie Gras & Pop Rocks?

Foie Gras & Pop Rocks?

December 2, 2009

I wasn’t quiet sure what to think about this combination when it was placed in front of me at Graham Elliot last night. What is essentially a duck liver mousse, garnished with nostalgic popping candy blew my mind! The buttery foie gras instantly melts as soon as it hits your tongue, and then the surprising pop, pop, crack mingles in. The flavors were surprisingly light, but then the velvety richness punches you in the face with the burst of another pop rock, one after another until you look down and  there is nothing left except the sad remnants of your lollipop stick. Graham Elliott is quite playful with the food at his restaurant, and I would expect nothing less from this celebrity chef. I enjoyed root beer bbq pork belly, and a deconstructed orange dreamsicle for dessert. All was utterly delicious, but nothing was quite as memorable as these pops. Stephen never disappoints when taking us out in Chicago, and […]

Joe’s Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Joe’s Prime Steak & Stone Crab

December 1, 2009

Joe’s Stone Crab has been a favorite of mine for many years now. What started out as my favorite go-to restaurant for client dinners, has now become the one of the first places I crave as soon as I land in O’Hare. This restaurant costs a pretty penny, but the food is worth it, and the ambiance is exceptional. However if you’re not looking to entertain clients, and you need to save money on a great meal ~you can still have your steak, crab, and cake… and eat it too. I’ll let you in on a little secret ~It’s still possible to eat at this restaurant without a reservation, and still walk away without needing to dip in to your 401K Joe’s does half orders, and add ons of many of the favorites on their menu. My favorite way to share a meal is to sit at the bar, split a steak, add on a side of the king crab […]