Salad art

I'm thrilled by the inherent beauty in freshly picked herbs, shimmering with dew; cracked pomegranates with glowing crimson seeds; rustic french bread, steam billowing from an airy interior; and the list goes on---I could wax poetic about edible inspirations (did I borrow that from a fruit bouquet company tagline?) for hours. And capturing this beauty in a photo is almost as satisfying as devouring the finished product. So imagine my delight ...

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Eat your brussels sprouts (no really, they’re fantastic)

  Why brussels sprouts (and broccoli, for that matter) get a bad rap is beyond me. When prepared well, they're a fantastic accompaniment to just about any meal. Also, it's a fallacy that you have to add bacon to make them taste good. Of course, a little bacon never hurt anyone. Take it from my new fave paleo blogger and partner in crime, Nicole over at BaconIsHealthy.com. I digress. To prove to ...

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dry rub chicken wings

Dryglazed wings

Our sad little  gas grill is extremely neglected. After a few winters left uncovered, blanketed in snow, it's now pocked with rust, covered in a thin layer of dust and coated with remnants of burger and bratwurst from a rare summer BBQ in 2012. So when it came to testing out my Grill Master Kit and Dryglazes, courtesy of the folks at Urban Accents, I took the stovetop route---with a little ...

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Smuggling pumpkins

It's an impossibly beautiful, crisp and sunny Chicago fall, my uterus is now the size of a pumpkin (how festive!), and the cooking strike in Casa DiCosola continues. Dinners these days consist of cinnamon toast crunch, apples and peanut butter, fun-size snickers, english muffins and string cheese (yes, all in one night; no, not necessarily in that order). Good thing I have this little fall-themed gem of a post in my ...

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Pickled pink (or blue?)

Hello my wonderful readers, are you still there? I've been MIA for a couple months, but I think I have the best excuse of them all: I've got a bun in the oven ... and it ain't sourdough : ) We're over the moon! But the nausea, food aversions and fatigue wreaked havoc on my blog activity---not to mention Dave's dinner. In the first trimester, most of the time I could barely ...

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Greens on greens on greens

My garden is filling in nicely, and all this green has me inspired. This pasta salad is a little taste of spring---exploding with nutritional superstars. There are enough greens to make it healthy, but enough pasta and cheese to make it a treat. Dave devoured it, so you can trust that it's delicious in spite of itself. Don't skimp on the lemon---it brings the taste to the next level. Go green pasta salad You'll ...

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Ravishing radishes

Spring has not quite sprung here in Chicago, and the natives are restless. We're all ready for it, and the husband is ready for the plants to go outside. My seedlings---now more like full-fledged plants---are spilling out of their containers, straining toward the windows and begging for fresh air. Despite less-than-balmy temps, I'm willing the warmth to arrive---and maybe some fresh seasonal recipes will help. I don't ever cook with them, but ...

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Take me back to Tuscany

The weather in Chicago is seriously wearing on me. These days, I'm checking the 10-day forecast obsessively, waiting for the day that breaks 50 degrees. Come on 50. Fifty and sunny. And I'm dreaming about travelling, far, far away ... ... back to Tuscany and its rolling hills, dotted with grape vines, olive trees and medieval castles. Alas, a European vacation is nowhere in the foreseeable future, so I'll have to settle on giving my mouth ...

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Cheeseburger poppers

I can't always come up with witty post titles. Fortunately, this one should catch your attention in spite of itself. You really can't go wrong when you stuff fresh, fiery jalapeños with ground beef and melty cheese, drench them in beer batter and fry them to golden-brown perfection. The homemade ranch is the icing on the cake. They're big and gooey, which makes them a little tricky as a finger food. Still, the ...

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