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daniellewiley

eG Foodblog: daniellewiley - Interactive Wanderings in the Windy City

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Max looks like he was ready to give you a tongue-lashing over schlepping him hither and yon!

Did he enjoy what you fixed him later that day? You did fix him something nice later that day, didn't you?

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Max looks like he was ready to give you a tongue-lashing over schlepping him hither and yon!

Did he enjoy what you fixed him later that day?  You did fix him something nice later that day, didn't you?

But of course!!

Here was dinner:

gallery_19707_3742_28112.jpg

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For tonight, dinner is just me and the kids, so I'd like to keep things simple. I'm also on a deadline for work, so time is at a premium. We can do a rotisserie chicken from Costco, with fun sides. Any suggestions? What do you guys eat with your rotisserie chickens?

I like to cut the meat from a rotisserie chicken and make wraps on the fly, using either tortillas, other flat breads, or lettuce leaves as the wrappers, with a variety of shredded veggies, raw and/or cooked, as add-ins, plus condiments/dipping sauces as desired. Depending on the choice of wrapper, veg, and condiment, you can take this in a number of directions--Mexican, Vietnamese, Middle-Eastern, etc. Depending on diner's preference (and the cook's/mom's patience! :smile: ), you can pre-wrap these, or let diners build their own.

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Lucky you to be in Chicago. It's top of my list to visit - I am a huge architecture fan and would love to some Frank Lloyd Wright's works amongst others.

I am really enjoying following your daily life of feeding your family. Your kids are so beautiful. As a mother of two young boys, it is nice for me to see someone feeding their kids with thought and confidence. This is not easy to accomplish. You are setting them off for a lifetime of good eating habits. Well done!

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We are trying to find one now, for next year. My friend has suggested the Farmer John CSA (I'm blocking on the name. Angel something?).

Try Home Grown Wisconsin, they are not taking anymore families for the rest of this year, but they are for next year. Their produce is excellent and you may be able to get stuff for the holidays.

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YAY!!! I love this blog. I live in Chicago, and like you I too reside on the border of two neighborhoods. I am on the border of Lincoln Park anbd Old Town. A bit closer to the city than you are. I am technically in Lincoln Park, but walk a block south, and I arrive in Old Town. Like you, I love love love the farmers markets. I have been to many, but I am a regular on Wednesday's...havent missed one all year (rain or shine!) on Clark, just south of Armitage. I walk - its close :). Its the Green City Market. The BEST goat cheese vendor comes every 2-3 weeks....6 hour drive for her, each way! Capriola Farm....BEST cheese...O'Bannon and the Pyramids are my Fav's. O'Bannon is a fresh goat cheese that is circular and wrapped in Oak Leaves that are soaked in Bourban...DELISH. Pyramids...one dusted in ash, one dusted in paprika. Both fresh, soft, crumbly...make the same week as purchased...AMAZING. I also buy tons of fresh fruit, corn on the cobb, and other cheese from A cow cheese vendor - Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin....great cheeses (one with muchrooms and onions is yummy, so are the 6 and 10 year aged cheddars and the 3 year white cheddar!). Today I bought some great red delishious apples from a farm in Michigan. So - you know theyre gonna be good. Okay, enough on my beloved (as if you cant tell that I am obsessed...I will probably go into depression in December - April.....when there is no market...BOOOO).

Love Pascal (wait, thats not spelled right...well you know the cheese shop that I am talking about). In wrigley - on Broadway jsut North of Diversy). Great Olive loaf...as someone else said on here. Love thier goat cheese with huge chunks of garlic right in it...cant think of the name, ask one of the guys working there...theyll know it. Great cheese's all around. Can you tell...I love cheese.

Love Sams Winery...LOVE THIER CHEESE...thats why I go there. TONS of great options...Goats, Cows, ANYTHNG.

Love Binny's Winery as well...this has yet to be mentioned on here...on Halsted right near where Halsted and Clark intersect. Good cheese selection there too - but smaller than Sam's winery.

LOVE STANLEY's...much better than the fruit you'll ever find at jewel/dominicks/Treasure Island...and they have great items on sale...all the time. Which makes Stanleys a bargan. They rule...they have a few other special offerings others than fruits/veggies too....breads, crackers, yogurts, cheeses....nuts...dried fruits...etc..

CHICAGO IS GREAT for markets...huge fan here. I am the food shopping condesour...especially cheese food shops.

For eats...Pizza and Oven Grinders is like 2 blocks from our place....GREAT PIZZA POCKETS....love em' so much I havent tried the grinders...but they too look great. Anyhow - go there. I too like NY style, thinner pizza more than deep dish, but Pizza and Oven Grinders rocks. You have to have thier big salad to start...its a must...youll see all the tables having it - you mix the three dressings and its served family style. One of the 3 dressins is a homemade creamy garlic...its awesome...hard to find good homemade creamy garlic and thats my FAV! Thier flat cread for appetizer is a must as well. Same applies here - all tables seem to get it. Big flat thin bread that the table shares (you rop it apart) and it comes with all the seasoning (garlic, parmasion, herbs, oregano, etc etc etc). this bread, in my opinion, is even better than the pocket (pizza). You'll be in heaven.

Beware - if you go on a fri or sat....around 6:30-8...be prepared to wait for 1-2 hours for a table. No reservations!

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Very glad to see you blogging this week. And excited that I get to make a guest appearance! See you Friday!

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Well, I've determined that Costco is the best place in the world to go with Dylan after school. As I mentioned the other day, she is always starving when I pick her up. Today, we went straight to Costco. She had peanut butter pretzel sandwiches, animal crackers, spaghetti with tomato sauce, granola bar, peaches and cream gunk, and then was still hungry. So, she ate half of a giant chocolate frozen yogurt (purchased for $1.25). What a deal!

At Costco, we picked up the rotisserie chicken. We then headed east for a spur of the moment trip to Pastoral. What an awesome store - I will definitely be back!!

Here is a strange side view of the front (the street was too busy for me to get a better shot):

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The Jams and Jellies section (and the bread - they were out of Olive, which was a bummer):

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Grumpy child telling me to stop taking photos so that we can go home:

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The bread again, as well as the wine:

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One of the owners, Greg O'Neill (on the left) and Jason, who I'm assuming is an employee, as I don't see him listed on the website. He was VERY helpful, though, and did a great job selling me cheese.

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The cheese he sold me:

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As you can see, this cheese was very expensive, but it was phenomenal. Kind of tart, with a very distinct fruity flavor. Very obviously a raw sheep's milk cheese.

The pickled cranberries I bought to accompany our chicken:

gallery_19707_3742_2361.jpg

They were terrific. A little sweet, lots of great spice flavor. I can't wait to try them with the cheese.

Our dinner (very boring, and very salty - the chicken is tasty, but I think it's brined for about a month, from the taste of it):

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I had some potatoes that were on the verge of being scary, so I mashed 'em.

Oh, one more pic. Dylan and Max both loved the berries. Here she is serving him some more:

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I'm off to watch Project Runway while munching on some of my expensive cheese and cranberries.

(P.S. lunch was leftover soup from yesterday - I forgot to post about it!)

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Glad to see you liked Pastoral. We don't live far from there now, but we'll be even closer after we move at the end of next month (so dangerous). I believe Greg only hires culinary students to work in the store, which I think is a nice touch. It's also a perfect place to stock up for a picnic.

Like Tammy, I eagerly await my foodblog debut on Friday!


Edited by jesteinf (log)

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Quick poll:

Which would you guys prefer I have for dinner?

homemade pizza, using ingredients I bought earlier in the week at the Italian market

chicago pizza - takeout or delivery.

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So glad you made it to Pastoral! It's a phenomenal shop with some great wine selections also. There is a Viognier that I get there that is sooo good with cheese and also that fennel raisin bread...I know, you don't like raisins...too bad. The bread comes from Bennisons's bakery in Evanston. That's a whole other trip...get the croissants! Your kids will love them, as will you. When my girls were your kids age, I was very big into Julia Child (and everything French) and they love to tell everyone how I made them chocolate filled croissants for their after school treat because that's what all of the little French school children ate. I think it's great that you're introducing your kids to so many different foods. I know it made mine more adventurous.

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Quick poll:

Which would you guys prefer I have for dinner?

homemade pizza, using ingredients I bought earlier in the week at the Italian market

chicago pizza - takeout or delivery.

Homemade, absolutely.

And those are a couple of very cute kids you've got there.

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Take away pizza! You deserve a break!

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Quick poll:

Which would you guys prefer I have for dinner?

homemade pizza, using ingredients I bought earlier in the week at the Italian market

chicago pizza - takeout or delivery.

I think you should have both -- a taste-off. Don't worry about leftovers. A friend taught me this recently. Take cold or room temp. pizza, any kind. Heat up a non-stick skillet, drop in some butter, place the slice in topping-side down, saute for a few minutes, flip and do the other side. Don't think of it as pizza exactly, but it is really good.

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Just finished a childish breakfast of fruity cheerios. Not bad. Too oaty, IMO. If I'm gonna have froot loops, they should taste of pure sugar. :raz:

I'm heading to Hot Doug's for lunch today with a friend. Here are today's specials. I'm tempted by that kangaroo sausage. A lot of these sound good, though. I'll need to see how I'm feeling in about an hour.

In the meantime, here are some shots of our kitchen, for your nosy pleasure:

Our rack:

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Our house in Toledo was nearly 5000 square feet. Our apartment here is about 2000 square feet. We consequently have some storage issues (understatement of the year). This is our Metro shelving rack. It's in our kitchen. It is very ugly and messy looking. You'll see that the bottom shelf has stuff that the kids can pull off without major injury.

Shot one of our fridge:

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Can you tell yet how messy I am?

Shot two of our fridge:

gallery_19707_3742_54380.jpg

And my cookbook collection:

gallery_19707_3742_77184.jpg

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:wub: Handwriting :wub: I wish every blogger would do this. There's just something so personal about the hold of the pen, the forming of the letters, the flow of the script. Thanks.

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Danielle, your blog is not only taking me through one of my favorite places in the world, but through a favorite time of mine: those crazy years when I was working, the boys were little, and a 'break' for me was grocery shopping alone. Your kids are gorgeous and I'd love to hear their words for things. Example: My older called lasagne, "na-NON-a." When we tried to correct his pronunciation, he changed it to "nah-NON-ya."

what does Mr. Max call ravioli?

Pizza, delivered. You deserve it! (Have the salad delivered, too. :smile: )

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Hey Danielle, Happy to see you're blogging.

How are the bagels in Chicago?  Thats one of the first things I like to find in a new place.  I'm currently in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and the bagels are fabulous.

So far they have been crappy. I hear the good place is in Lincolnwood, just north of the city. Haven't had the chance to make it up there though.

Ha! Back in my days of my writing restaurant reviews and food articles, here and in Detroit, the article that generated the most irate letters was about a bagel tasting, with ratings, that I organized. In this article I wrote about my criteria for a perfect bagel, which, of course, mirrored the incredible freshly baked ones of my childhood in New York City. (Two other judges also were native New Yorkers.) However, I "forgot" that I now was living in the heartland, a few hours from Chicago. Readers were quick to point out my geocentrism. :shock:

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Ah, I've never been brave enough to show a photo of our fridge during any of my four blogs (as witnessed today when I actually cleaned out the damned thing and found something slimy vaguely resembling scallions lurking in a plastic bag under the veg drawer :shock: )

And, when we moved a few years ago from a small house with a HUGE kitchen to a big house with a teensie kitchen, I can related. Worst of all was that in order to get the old house ready to put on the market, I had to get rid of tons of stuff in order to move into a big house!

I vote for homemade pizza (late to the party, I know). Bonus points if you grill it!

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Today, for lunch, my friend and her daughter joined me at Hot Doug's. Hot Doug's has become a bit of a Chicago institution. Doug Sohn is the owner of Hot Doug's, and there have been tons of great articles written about him. He is a very charasmatic guy, and one of my favorite things about him is the way he talks with every customer who comes in. And it's not just small talk. My friend Joni called it schmoozing, but it's more than that, I think. You can tell that he truly is interested in all of his customers. When I brought my dad and stepmom there a couple of weeks ago, we had a great conversation in the two minute time that we spent ordering. They shared that they were visiting from NY. He shared that he was a philosophy major at Columbia once upon a time. And he laughed at where that got him (plenty far, if you ask me - he is a happy man, doing what he loves). He told us about his memories of riding the LIRR over Passover and savoring all of the smells of the food people were taking with them out to their family's homes on the Island.

So, anyway, I ate at Hot Doug's today.

Here is the front of the store:

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Here are today's specials (I got the corned beef sausage described on the left):

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Ordering from Doug:

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The fries:

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My sausage:

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Interior of sausage:

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Yum. You're certainly hitting many of the top spots in Chicago! I can almost taste it! Was that chicken liver mouse with your sausage? How did you like it?

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Yum.  You're certainly hitting many of the top spots in Chicago!  I can almost taste it!  Was that chicken liver mouse with your sausage?  How did you like it?

Yes, it was chicken liver mousse. I feel bad saying this because I love Hot Doug's, but I didn't love it. It was kind of funky tasting. And, I'm a big liver fan. The corned beef sausage was also a bit dry. In retrospect, I should have tried the kangaroo - the juniper/gin thing turned me off though.

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Danielle, your blog is not only taking me through one of my favorite places in the world, but through a favorite time of mine: those crazy years when I was working, the boys were little, and a 'break' for me was grocery shopping alone.  Your kids are gorgeous and I'd love to hear their words for things.  Example:  My older called lasagne, "na-NON-a."  When we tried to correct his pronunciation, he changed it to "nah-NON-ya."

what does Mr. Max call ravioli? 

Pizza, delivered. You deserve it!  (Have the salad delivered, too.  :smile: )

oh man. Grocery shopping alone. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. :-)

Max calls most things "da da" at this point. He DOES say pizza, but it sounds like, "peetzaaaaaaa." And he pronounces water like Vinny Barbarino; "wahtehr."

Dylan speaks beautifully - she has always been super verbal. Her only food pronounciation quirk these days is fudgsicles. She calls 'em fudgicsles.

P.S. I will surely not be partying on Rush Street this weekend, but if you ever make it to town again, I promise to meet you down there. :cool:

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I ended up doing a compromise with dinner, but it is a very good reflection of our reality, so I think that's a good thing. We bought pizza dough at Trader Joe's and then used it to make our own pizzas at home. I think this is the third week in a row that we've done this.

The dough is excellent, and a bag of it (enough to make one large pizza) is just 99 cents.

Here is the kids' pizza raw (tomato sauce, TJ Quatro Formaggio blend, fresh mozzarella, sliced olives):

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And cooked:

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And the parent pizza raw (same as above with the addition of sliced, dried hot sausage from the Italian market):

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And cooked:

gallery_19707_3742_27972.jpg

and the verdict:

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Big thumbs up from both kids.

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pizza, any kind. Heat up a non-stick skillet, drop in some butter, place the slice in topping-side down, saute for a few minutes, flip and do the other side.

I unhesitatingly share my honorary Goddess of Lily Gilding title (conferred some time back, regarding using up some five pounds of cream cheese, if I recall).

Pizza fried in butter. I might oughta just abdicate in your favor.


Edited by racheld (log)

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