You definitely want to keep it simple with morel mushrooms because they’re such a delicacy that it’d be a shame to loose their unique, buttery flavor in an over complicated dish (see the previous post for super simple creamy morel toasts) but sometimes you gotta mix it up. This is where these morel mushroom potstickers come in. They’re different from what I usually use morels for but their flavor still shines through and they’re crazy addictive. This recipe will make approximately 24 potstickers which you can use as an appetizer for a party or you could choose to just share them with a few friends and make them more of a lunch. I chose to pair these with a creamy dip because I love morels and cream but you could definitely serve these with a more typical soy sauce and rice vinegar dipping sauce which would make this dish completely vegan. (more…)
There are places around town where I am simply known as the hummus girl. Like, Hey! So glad to see you! You’ve got the hummus right?! It’s quite an odd thing to be known for and you’d swear with the feverish way people ask about it that it would actually be code for marijuana. It’s really not though – it’s just that the hummus I sell at these pop up markets is that good! (more…)
I had just moved to Chicago with Sheila and my friend Erika with absolutely no job prospects. I had committed to a lease that was higher than I had ever paid and had very little money saved. I needed a job fast. It was December of 2008 – the recession was hitting hard. You could see it in the empty store-fronts and the boarded up foreclosures but worst of all you could see it in the faces of your family and friends. Times were hard. People were losing their jobs, their homes. It was a hell of a time to be a recent college graduate. I had been working as a CNA in a nursing home and in home healthcare settings since I had graduated in 2007. It was truly humbling to take care of people’s most basic of needs, day in and day out. The work was hard but there were moments when you’d connect with the people you were helping and it would be undeniably rewarding. Even during the good times though I wanted something different so when I moved to Chicago I figured now was as good a time as any to try something new. It was by chance one morning I was able to connect to a neighbor’s wifi and peruse craigslist for job postings. I must have applied to 20 jobs, none that actually stood out. I just wanted to be in an office, working with other people. Using my education and my creativity would be great but I really just wanted to be challenged to complete tasks and projects or hell, even just organize files. I was done feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing. (more…)
Spring has definitely sprung around here! In true Chicago fashion, one day it was negative ridiculousness and the next 50 degrees! My block went from an isolated winter wasteland to a children’s utopia bursting with bikes, big wheels and jump ropes. Seriously the amount of kids that live on my block makes it seem like there’s a 5 year old’s birthday party everyday. While the weather has me thinking about grilling and drinking Tecate we still have some time before the local growing season really catches up. Scrolling through my instagram feed I see all of my California peeps enjoying asparagus, strawberries & peas already but we are far from that here in Chicago. I mean they’re calling for snow showers this weekend so yeah, not much is coming in anytime soon.
Color. I am in desperate need of COLOR. Late winter in Chicago is pretty bleak. The salt white washes everything to a dull gray and even the once white snow is now just a darker shade of slush gray. Whenever the sun comes out you have to drop everything you’re doing and bask in it – exposing any skin you can to soak in the warming rays. I often feel like Powder whenever this happens. A bright blinding white reflecting the sun’s rays so fully you have to avert your eyes or risk losing your sight.
The one saving grace of winter is that even though nothing is growing here the most amazing, delicious & COLORFUL citrus grows heavy on tall branches in warmer climates. Valencias & Navels give way to Minneolas, Satsumas and Cara Caras. I practically squeal once the Blood Oranges arrive! Beyond just eating them hand over fist I love to put them together in a simple salad. There’s nothing game changing about this salad but its simplicity really let’s you focus on the amazing, soul satisfying citrus! (more…)