Guest Blogger: Patrick!

In goes the Fat Tire

If I've ever wanted to be a stockpot...

I’m a big fan of cooking with beer.

A well-crafted blend of sweet malt and acidic hops, when added to almost any dish, produces a nice complexity of flavor. This same blend, when added to my diet, produces a modest tolerance for cooking. Thus many of my recipes involve liberal use of beer in support of both of these goals.

One of my favorite summer recipes uses a balanced amber ale to pull together a wide range of spices to complement and enhance the flavor of fresh gulf shrimp.

From broth to finish product

Ready to peel...

Patrick’s Shrimp Sandwiches

Makes 2 large servings

Ingredients*

  • (4) 12 oz. bottles ice-cold Fat Tire Amble Ale
  • (2) lbs fresh, raw gulf shrimp: in shells and medium in size
  • (3) sprigs fresh chervil, de-stemmed
  • (3) sprigs fresh dill, de-stemmed
  • (3) sprigs fresh parsely, de-stemmed
  • (3) sprigs fresh tarragon, de-stemmed
  • (4) bay leaves
  • (1) tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • (1) tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • (1) tbsp. coriander seeds
  • (4) cloves garlic, diced
  • (1) rib celery, chopped
  • (4) tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • (4) slices pepperjack cheese
  • (4) large sandwich rolls, toasted

    *I don’t use measuring cups. So while approximate amounts were added in deference to my wife, I suggest you amend them according to your own seasoning-related prejudices.

Steps

  1. Immediately open and begin enjoying a Fat Tire Amber Ale
  2. Place everything except the shrimp, sandwich rolls, cheese, and Old Bay into a stock pot or large sauce pot, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes
  3. While the pot is boiling, rinse shrimp and remove heads (if present and likely to cause your wife to refuse to eat)
  4. Don’t neglect your Fat Tire (bonus points if you kept it in your hand while performing the previous two steps)
  5. Add rinsed shrimp to boiling water and stir, then cover the pot, turn off the burner and let sit until the shrimp are cooked through (about 8 minutes)
  6. Strain into a large bowl and let cool
  7. Finish off that beer to steel yourself for shelling and cleaning
  8. Remove the shells (grab the legs and twist, then pull sideways to slip off the shell), remove the tails and de-vein
  9. Toss with Old Bay, pile onto toasted rolls, and top with pepperjack cheese
  10. Split the four sandwiches between two plates, pop the tops on a couple more beers, and breakfast/lunch/dinner is served
Patrick's Shrimp Sandwiches

Voila!

5411 Empanada

I’ve been loving the food truck movement that has hit Chicago. I think it’s pretty awesome that I can get a variety of delicious food right on the street. I’ll I have to do is find out where the trucks are going to be via Twitter, show up at the location, grab some food and chow down 😀

You know what else I really like, empanadas. I have fond memories of these delicious pockets of goodness ever since my trip to Argentina. Empanadas are the perfect on the go food!

Okay, now try to imagine how happy I was when these two great things were brought together as one:

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Oh, yea the 5411 Empanadas truck has made me a very happy girl! Looks like I’m not the only one digging this truck, check out the line of people.

The line is like that from the time they open until they run out of food.

I looked over the menu while waiting my turn:

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I was really happy to see the Argentina flag on the truck. This gave me confidence that these were going to be good!

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It was finally my turn at the window:

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And I placed my order:

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Food Truck + Empanadas = Love

Wednesday Eats

Breakfast

I wanted to start my day off with some protein so I got some scrambled eggs topped with hot sauce:

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Lunch

I bet you can guess what I had for lunch. Empanadas of course!

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I had two of them:

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Both were filled with ham and cheese:

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These babies were good and reminded me of the ones I had in Argentina. So excited to have found this food truck. I’m sure you will see these again on VC&C!

Dinner

Breakfast and lunch lacked veggies but I more than made up for it with dinner. I chopped up 3 peppers, celery, carrots and lots of lettuce for a salad Patrick and I split.

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It was really good and exactly what I needed!

Calories: 1681

Question:

Have you ever had an empanada?

Tiring Weeks

Hello everyone 🙂

What a couple weeks I’ve had jammed full of things to get done. Both patrick and I have been crazy busy which makes us crazy tired. I’ve mentioned many times that I’m not a morning person. Well, during these last few weeks it’s taken all my energy to pull my butt out of bed in the mornings.

I’m not the only one who dislikes waking up in the a.m…. Seems like my feelings rubbed off on the dog:

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I think you can tell he is not much of a morning dog 😀

If you follow me on twitter you already know not 1 but both my laptops broke within a couple days of each other. This would be the reason I haven’t done a real post in weeks!

Nothing to exciting happened during my time away. Here are some photos of some of the things that did go on.

Yummy breakfast:

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Fantastic lunches with my husband:

My love of Pom mock-tails continued:

Pizza Fridays are going strong:

St. Patricks day sights:

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St. Patricks day eats:

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Shoes being made:

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Cupcakes consumed:

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That is just a little peak into what I was up to over the last couple weeks. Lots of food was consumed. I think my husband enjoyed not having a camera present at every meal. 😉

Im looking forward to getting back to blogging! I have a lot I want to discuss.

Blog atcha’ later!

Meatyballs !?!

I can’t wait until the day that work doesn’t consume my thoughts and my time both day and night. Not only will I have a better work life balance and be a happier person all around but my blog will be much more interesting!
Breakfast
Starbucks grande skinny vanilla latte:

Lunch
I’ve been a fan of Chef Foss’ food and humor for some time now. When I heard that he was moving on from his gig at Lockwood and starting a food truck featuring meatballs, I was excited.
My husband and I have been stalking following his twitter account to see where the food truck would be parked. We were not very successful, either the truck was too far away or he was sold out of sandwiches by the time we go to the truck.
This all changed on Monday. We finally tracked the Meatyballs Mobile down:
Ordered 2 sandwiches to split.
The first sandwich was the Meatyballs. I always like to try the food named after the restaurant (or in this case, food truck)!
However, this was not the sandwich we were expecting. We were expecting meatballs with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese – YUM!!! Instead we got the meatballs with mushrooms, shallots and 4 cheese sauce.
I don’t like mushrooms so this sandwich didn’t taste all that great to me. I found it kind of bland but it would have been good with tomato sauce or BBQ sauce.

The second sandwich was the Thai’d Turkey Balls – Coconut Milk, Chili Sauce, Lemongrass. This sandwich was very tasty and the chili sauce gave it a really nice flavor.

Looking forward to going back and taking a bite out of the BBQ Pork Balls!

After our ball themed lunch my husband decided to get a shoe shine.
The shoe shiner actually lit Patrick’s shoes on fire, totally crazy! Can you see it?

Dinner
We have no food in our house so we went to Flo & Santos. I just love all the exposed brick in this place:
Crispin cider to drink:

Sauerkraut and Canadian bacon pizza:

Flo & Santo’s has become one of my favorite places for thin crust pizza. So flavorful and I really like all the different types of toppings.
Question:
Have you ever eaten out of a food truck? If not, would you?

Chicago Food Tour

A couple weeks ago the folks over at Chicago Food Planet Food Tours asked if I would like to participate in one of their food tours. I jumped at the chance! I’ve been wanting to go on one of these tours for along time and I was super excited!

The concept is really cool. Basically you get a 3-hour guided walking tour through one of Chicago’s neighborhoods. During the tour you will learn about the history of the neighborhood and get to try the delicious foods (which I think is the best part).

I chose the Bucktown/Wicker Park Food Tour.

First stop, George’s Hot dogs.


Traditional Chicago hot dog which includes the dog, poppy seed bun, mustard, onions, relish, dill pickle, tomato, sport peppers and celery salt.

I’m not a fan of tomato so I pulled that off my dog and dug in. I would rank this up there with the top Chicago dog I’ve ever had!

Second stop, Hot Chocolate.




I was so excited to try this place because of all the rave reviews it’s been getting. And it did not disappoint.

House made marshmallows:

With Medium Hot Chocolate – chocolate with a touch of dark chocolate and a hint of caramel. I can’t believe how good this hot chocolate was and I can’t wait to go back and try all the other flavors.

Third stop, Goddess & Grocer.


The interior of the grocer/deli was decorated perfectly.

The display case was filled with lots of goodies:

Lots of unique items to purchase and bring home.

I wanted to shove this cake in my mouth. Thankfully it was behind a case so I was saved from embarrassment;)

I sampled one of the pasta salads.

Fourth stop, Piece Brewery & Pizza.

Patrick and I really liked the rustic interior:

You could tell the brewer had fun naming some of the beers:

I sampled the Golden Arm. I’m not a beer drinker but I thought this was pretty decent. With that said I must admit I fell in love with the little glass but resisted the urge to shove it in my bag;)

Slice of pizza with cheese, basil and tomato:

Fifth stop, Sultan’s Market.

Great decorations:

I wanted to dive into this fruit bar! A lot of variety and everything looked so fresh.

We were able to sample the Falafel Sandwich: A warm pita lined with hummus, stuffed with falafel, Tomatoes, Topped with Jerusalem Salad:

I had never had falafel but judging from this sandwich I will be having it again.

Sixth stop, iCream.

By far the coolest ice cream place ever! If you are in Chicago and love frozen treats you have to check this place out.

The process:

1. Select your base

2. Choose your flavor

3. Add a burst of color


These pipes are how the liquid nitrogen is put into the mixers:

Yeah, you read that right. Liquid nitrogen is used to turn your selections into ice cream, yogurt or sorbet. Check out the smoke:

I devoured my sample:

As mentioned previously we walked around the neighborhood and looked at some beautiful homes.

Does anyone recognize this building from a John Cusack movie?

Who doesn’t have a canon in their yard?;)

A couple reasons why I liked this tour:

  • Knowlegeable and personable guides
  • Reserved spaces in popular restaurants
  • A ton of food
  • Learning the history of the neighborhood

This tour would be perfect for people who are visiting Chicago as well as those who live in the city. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon!