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    Belated Yummy Links: 8/22/09

    Never heard of scrambled eggs in a quesadilla, but I’m intrigued. Thanks Greg. I love croquettes, but never have made them before. I might start with this recipe from SweetSmart. This article peaked my interest. Does anyone else belong to a Co-Op? Mmmm … Vanilla. These Princess Cupcakes are beautiful. The Beantown Baker held Cupcake Week and shared these yummy looking Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes.

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    YUM-O: How we crashed Rachael Ray’s Big Block Party

    Never a dull moment in Chicago. Yesterday, it was all about crashing the taping of Rachael Ray’s Big Block Party. A few of Dave’s friends who live in Wrigleyville received letters about the taping on August 21. The event was invite only, and residents would be allowed to cross the blockades to get into their apartments, but only with an ID showing a valid address. When I got wind of this, I immediately called Doug (who also happens to be enjoying Furlough Fridays) and roped him into being my party-crasher partner-in-crime. We had another good brunch with Liz at Kitsch’n and set out on our mission. First, we snuck around…

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    A tribute to Rick Bayless

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Rick Bayless is officially my new favorite celebrity chef. Sorry Paula. I love you too, it’s just that Rick has really won me over during his rise to the finale, and subsequent win on Top Chef Masters. Is it just me, or does he truly seem like one of the nicest, most sincere and passionate people you could ever want as a culinary idol? Of course this would mean nothing if his food wasn’t PHENOMENAL. Joe’s wins as my favorite Chicago restaurant, but only by virtue of their stone-crab stronghold. But Bayless’ Frontera Grill is right up there as…

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    Jamaican me hungry

    It’s my belief that when you go to a good, unique restaurant, especially an ethnic food place, you MUST order the house specialty at least once. Case-in-point: The whole red snapper, escovitch-style (marinated in vinegar and spices and lightly fried) at Ja’Grill in Lincoln Park. If the head freaks you out, they’ll even cut it off for you. They do red snapper filets as well, but the only way to really order this dish is bones, eyeballs, skin and all. Am I freaking you out? On to the appetizing portion of this post. The fish is incredibly tender, juicy and light. The spices from the marinade deliver a slow-creeping heat…

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    Challah back

    I was at Trader Joe’s AGAIN today on a bread/bagel run (love TJ’s breads) and I spotted this Challah (for all you non-jews out there, it’s pronounced HA-LA). I was debating between this and some brioche rolls, and then I thought, who am I kidding? I LOVE Challah! Of course this loaf probably won’t compare to the fresh Shabbat Challah from the Tucson JCC. Candice knows what I’m talking about. Not quite sure what I want to do with it. Challah french toast is pretty amazing. I was also daydreaming about a tuna melt, which in my opinion are best on soft, fluffy breads. Maybe I’ll get really crazy and do both.…

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    Smart shopping, smart cooking

    I think I know one of the many reasons many people don’t cook. I’m not generalizing here, but for me personally, Portions and Price were the two P’s that hindered my culinary experimentation. Cooking for one or two people is hard because the portions are always too big and you can only stomach the leftovers of one dish for so many meals in a row. Also, I hated myself for buying and then throwing away unused, perishable ingredients (mostly fruits, veggies and dairy products), hence the price variable. But I’ve since smartened up. Now, when I grocery shop, I keep several recipe ideas/”themes” in mind, and only buy perishable ingredients that…

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    Yummy Links 08/14/09

    Orange Slice Jello Shots from Liesl’s Confection Dissection Homemade Fruit Leather from Hot off the Garlic Press The Threadless cake contest, Threadcakes, at Serious Eats Homemade street fair food at Kitchn Melissa’s Orange Creamsicle Cupcake at CupcakesOMG

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    Bad Economy Brunches

    So yes, the economy is in the crapper. I was laid off several months ago from my job as a copywriter at a downtown ad agency. Several of my friends are either in the same boat or are experiencing the joy of Furlough Fridays (unfortunately accompanied by a not-so-joyous pay cut). But this isn’t a pity party. Oh no. My freelancing and furloughed friends and I have adopted the “this economy sucks so let’s brunch” position. Apparently this has become a collective outlook, because for the past five or so weeks, our regular Friday brunch spots (so far Bongo Room, Ann Sather, Nookies and today, Uncommon Ground) have been packed…

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