Joanna Miller's Recent Articles
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Lunch at the Office: What’s Your Kitchen Situation?
If you work in an office, how you eat your midday meal depends a lot on the kitchen facilities you have available and their, er, conditions. Do you have access to a microwave? A stove? Is the refrigerator overflowing with rotten food? Moldy sponges in the sink? Or are you blessed with an ample, tidy space?Compared to some horror stories we’ve heard, our office kitchen experiences haven’t been too bad.
Jan 13, 2009
Good Product: In Praise of Better Than Bouillon
This little jar is a constant presence in our refrigerator and has become indispensable when making vegetarian meals.If we had the time, we’d always make our own vegetable stock, but more often than not, we just don’t. Which is why we’re never without our trusty jar of Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon vegetable base.With a paste-like consistency, the base works much like a bouillon cube, but you can measure out as much or as little as you’d like.
Jan 8, 2009
Recipe: Butternut Squash “Winter” Rolls with Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Last week, we mentioned spring rolls as a possible holiday appetizer that can please a wide variety of eaters. But since spring is several cold and snowy months away (at least here in the Midwest), we thought we’d try a more seasonal variation.We adapted this recipe from Recipe Girl’s Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls with Cranberry Chile Dipping Sauce, which was adapted from a recipe in Veganomnicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.
Dec 10, 2008
Recipe Recommendation: Ralphie’s Mom’s Braised Red Cabbage from A Christmas Story
Now that it’s officially holiday movie season, we thought we’d highlight a classic recipe from a classic seasonal film – “A Christmas Story.”The movie marks its 25th anniversary this year, so there’s even more celebration of all things Ralphie.My family decided not to wait until December to try Ralphie’s Mom’s Braised Red Cabbage and served it for Thanksgiving instead, but it would be a great addition to any winter meal.
Dec 2, 2008
Pushing Daisies: The Pies
We know some of you are fans of “Pushing Daisies,” and we recently discussed the show’s honey-related story lines, but we could hardly let this month pass without a mention of the show’s primary food theme: Pie!Read on for recipes from the show, including one that requires a certain magical power.Many of the show’s episodes center around pie, and much of the action takes place at Ned’s restaurant, the Pie Hole.
Nov 19, 2008
Pies on Film: Waitress
In 2007’s “Waitress,” Keri Russell’s character Jenna is an unhappily married waitress who doesn’t want no trouble and doesn’t need no baby — she just wants to make pies. Read on for a clip from this delightful (at times sad) movie, and recipes for some of Jenna’s pies. Waitress Jenna’s refuge from her troubled relationship is making pies.
Nov 12, 2008
Home Cooking While Sick: TJ’s Quick Prep Favorites
Of all the things we love about fall, one thing we’re not so crazy about is the beginning of cold and flu season. Some of us have already been suffering through an early bug.We’re nearly useless in the kitchen when we’re not feeling well, but keeping a few heat-and-serve items in our pantry keeps us from constantly reaching for the takeout soup menus.
Sep 18, 2008
Pickling: Choosing a Vinegar
As summer winds down, we’ve been pickling a lot, preserving as much of the season’s fresh produce as we can. But as a somewhat novice pickler, we’ve found ourself wondering: What’s the best vinegar to use? We recently made a batch of pickled wax beans using a recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables that called for cider vinegar.
Aug 30, 2008
Back to School Recipe: Peanut Butter and Fruit “Sushi”
We’re not usually big on gimmicky recipes, but the beginning of another school year put us in the mood to make something fun for lunch boxes, even if our own school days are long behind us.We’ve seen a few peanut butter and jelly “sushi” recipes, but they are usually more like thin wraps, and we wanted to make something with a little more structure.
Aug 26, 2008
Movies in the Park Menu: An Affair to Remember Chicago
The Outdoor Film Festival returns this week with 1957’s “An Affair to Remember,” starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. For this week’s menu, we’re sailing through the French Riviera along with the characters. Food is mentioned in the early minutes of the movie as a news announcer discusses the engagement of playboy Nickie Ferrante (Grant) to a wealthy (and apparently attractive) heiress.
Aug 18, 2008
DIY Mochi Ice Cream Balls
Now that we’ve got our ice cream makers churning away this month, we’re looking for fun ways to play with the results. Mochi ice cream balls have popped up everywhere from swanky restaurant dessert menus to the freezer case at Trader Joe’s.But why not make a batch of your own?
Aug 9, 2008
Recipe Variation: Edamame Dip
We’re big fans of Mark Bittman and his Minimalist approach to cooking. When he came up with 101 easy picnic recipes, we couldn’t wait to try them out. We used his video recipe for edamame salad with fresh mint, lemon and Pecorino cheese a couple nights ago. Paired with bruschetta and a little herbed goat cheese, it was a perfect light summer meal.We liked the recipe so much, we decided to make it again last night to take to an outdoor concert.
Jul 12, 2008
Chicago Grilling Classes: July Lineup
Looking to expand your grilling repertoire but not sure where to start? A grilling class might be just the thing. Chicago cooking schools are firing up their grills this month and covering a variety of topics, from meats and marinades to vegetables and wine pairings.Here’s this month’s lineup:The Wooden Spoon (5047 N. Clark) offers several hands-on grilling classes throughout the month of July: Couples’ Grilling: Light My Fire! 6:30 p.m., Thurs.
Jul 1, 2008
Quick and Easy Cocktail: Blood Orange Gin Fizz
Now that we’ve learned a few tips for creating our own cocktails, we’ve been experimenting a bit. We’ve found one combination that’s super-simple and refreshing using Trader Joe’s Villa Italia Blood Orange Italian Soda. OK, so we didn’t exactly follow the fresh juice tip, but it’s still really tasty …Blood Orange Gin Fizz1 ounce gin Blood orange soda Lemon slices Fresh mint Muddle the mint and lemon slices in a glass.
Jun 28, 2008
Chicago Ingredient Spotlight: Peppadew Peppers at Provenance Food and Wine
Peppadew peppers have become one of our go-to appetizer components. Honestly, our relationship with these sweet, tangy and slightly spicy peppers borders on addiction, and they’re pretty much guaranteed to impress any guests.Peppadews are great on their own, but find out how to make them really sing…Peppadew is actually a brand name for sweet piquanté peppers grown in South Africa.
Jun 5, 2008
Stress-Free Weekend Cooking: Muhammara
Earlier this week, we mentioned our newfound love of muhammara – a tangy, spicy spread made with roasted red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Well, we can’t seem to get it off our minds, and we’re making another batch this weekend.Originated in Syria, muhammara is a great addition to our usual rotation of hummus, tzatziki and baba ghanoush – particularly when friends stop by – and its bright color and flavors make it a standout.
May 31, 2008
Shopping for Ingredients in Chicago’s Albany Park: Andy’s Fruit Ranch and Al-Khyam Bakery
A recipe for vegetable skewers with muhamarra – our new favorite dip – from Supernatural Cooking by Heidi Swanson sent us to Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood this weekend. We were in search of one authentic Middle Eastern ingredient in particular – pomegranate molasses. But as usual, we found many more irresistible buys on a small strip of Kedzie Avenue.
May 27, 2008