Tacos with Braised Pork Shoulder + Pickled Onions

Taco garnishes, ready for prep

Taco garnishes, ready for prep

Traditionally, pork carnitas are cooked in lard – delicious, but perhaps not the best way to fuel up for a long run. This recipe relies on a bit of olive oil, the fat in the pork shoulder, beer and citrus to achieve a tender braise without the lard. That’s not to say it’s a lean protein, but a small amount packs a lot of flavor, and on a corn tortilla it’s a great vehicle for plenty of healthy toppings. Continue reading

Greens with radishes, almonds, pecorino + creamy herb vinaigrette

Greens with radishes, pancetta-toasted almonds, pecorino and creamy herb vinaigrette

Greens with radishes, pancetta-toasted almonds, pecorino and creamy herb vinaigrette

Inspired by my favorite salad of all time (little gems with radishes, fennel and crispy pig ears from Publican), this salad has plenty of crunch and a bright, creamy dressing with fresh herbs. Serves 2. Continue reading

Rhubarb-almond cake

Rhubarb-almond cake from Bon Appetit | April 2015

Rhubarb-almond cake from Bon Appetit | April 2015

From the time I was three to about eight years old, my family lived in a tiny house with what felt like a massive backyard with big trees where we could run wild. In the spring and summer, my sister and I would pick tender stalks of rhubarb from the garden, dip them in a bit of sugar in a repurposed yogurt cup and eat them raw.

Rhubarb is a perfect combination of tart and sweet, and this rhubarb-almond cake from Bon Appetit, with a crust of sugar sprinkled on top, reminds me of my childhood snack. Continue reading

Favorite Bay Area Food + Drink

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

I maintain that Chicago is the best food city in the country, but when it comes to ambiance, northern California wins. From shuck-your-own oysters on Tomales Bay to In-N-Out Burger after a long hike, to a wine-filled picnic in a Sonoma vineyard, when I’m there I find myself thinking at regular intervals, “BEST DAY EVER.”

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Holiday meals with the family

When your brother is a classically trained chef, your sister is an impressive baker and cake decorator, and your mother used to own a catering business, you don’t mess around with holiday meals.

We have a few traditions – Dad makes cocktails and breaks out the good wine, Mom makes tourtiere, a French-Canadian savory pie with pork, mushrooms, and sage – but the holidays are also a rare occasion to cook together and get creative.

Some highlights:

Mom's tourtiere, a French-Canadian tradition

Mom’s tourtiere, a French-Canadian tradition

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Photos: Eataly Chicago

I was a little skeptical of Eataly at first – the idea of heading downtown and fighting tourists hungry for Nutella and pizza was not appealing – but I was so wrong. Since Eataly Chicago opened, we find any excuse (birthdays, parents in town, Tuesday…) to have a leisurely, boozy meal and buy fresh pasta to cook at home.

Cooked at home - fresh pea ravioli from Eataly with pecorino and pine nuts

Cooked at home – fresh pea ravioli from Eataly with pecorino and pine nuts

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