Female. Lives in United States/Illinois/Chicago, speaks English. My interests are Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking/Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.
This is my blogchalk:
United States, Illinois, Chicago, English, Female, Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking, Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

IMBB 18: "Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying" Round-Up, Part 2

OK, we’re back with Part Two of this month’s IMBB Round-Up. Kicking off today’s festivities is J of Kuidaore. Based in Singapore, J treated us to not one but several amazingly good-looking fried desserts. Click here to see the Cappuccino Semifreddo with Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, the Chocolate Truffle Ravioli and Confiture de Lait, Jelly Beignets and Deep Chocolate Cream with Raspberry Coulis, and Churros con Chocolate. No, I’m not making that up. All those decadent treats were submitted by one person. Wow, J!

Our next entry was a departure from the sweet side taking us back to something more savory. Chefdoc of A Perfect Pear prepared Pan-Fried Diver Scallops with Lettuce Sauce and Fennel Pickels. Doesn’t that sound delicious? My husband loves scallops and I am always looking for new scallop recipes. This one is definitely a keeper.

Jennifer of Taste Everything Once wasn’t able to fry up any food herself this time around as her kitchen is all packed up and ready for a move, but she was able to indulge in some Corn Dogs and French Fries from her local burger joint. As Jennifer says, “food just tastes better when eaten off a stick.” Now those are some fast food words of wisdom.

Next in is Grommie from The Power of Cheese with Puffy Apple Fritters with Refreshing Lemon Sauce. Yum. I think that lemon sauce would complement with apple fritters really well.

Rosie of Bitchin’ in the Kitchen with Rosie filled her Columbus, Ohio kitchen with Fried Green
Tomatoes Rosie Style. These sound like they would be great accompanied by Rosie’s barbeque

June of June’s Blog submits a Fried Hamburger Stuffed with Onion, Seasonings and Mashed
Potatoes. This must be a very familiar recipe for June since she knows it by heart and doesn’t
require exact measurements to make it. Thanks for sending us this idea from Jakarta, June!

I always love reading what Anne of Anne’s Food has come up with in ker kitchen and this time
is no different. For this month’s IMBB, Anne made Pyttipanna, a Swedish favorite. This dish is
all about using leftovers and Anne combined meat, potatoes, onions, and chanterelles into
something that looks very satisfying.

Nupur of One Hot Stove says that she does not suffer from sizzleophobia, or the fear
of immersing edible objects into heated oils. I’m glad she doesn’t because otherwise
we wouldn’t get her terrific recipe for Vada Pav. Don’t those look perfectly crisp and delicious?

Celia of English Patis checks in from London with a recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Prawns. Celia
provides some good advice on the type of prawns to use and notes that this sauce isn’t too spicy
hot, but a pleasant mix of garlics, green onions, ginger, bean sauce and ketchup for a “sweet-sour
tang.” Looks really good!

Every time I read Grab Your Fork, I can’t help but smile at seeing that it’s written by Augustus
Gloop. Augustus made Vietnamese Banh Xeo Crispy Pancakes. Dubbed “the perfect
compromise for the fried food fanatic on a health kick,” these caught my attention immediately.
It’s a crispy fried crepe, embedded with prawns, pork and sprouts and then covered with greens
and nuoc cham sauce. My mouth is watering over these.

I’ve been having Internet problems since Monday and haven’t had web access for much of
every day. Coupled with Blogger formatting problems, it's been a tough few days to get the
Round-up completed. Thanks for your patience though; more of this Round-Up will be
coming as fast as my technology troubles allow.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

IMBB 18: "Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying" Round-Up, Part I

Well, frying certainly seems to agree with people! As I type this it’s only noon on IMBB day and I have already received more entries than I know what to do with. It’s fun to see people from all over the world frying all types of food in many, many different styles. Since the entries seem to be pouring in pretty fast and furious, I think the best way to do the round-up this time is to share them as they come. So here is the first post of our IMBB 18 Round-Up. Stay tuned for more in the days ahead.

The very first submission I received was from Fast Recipes. Kevin prepared some seriously good-looking Potato Skins. Yum, yum. A delicious and decadent way to start us off.

Next I received an entry from Soycap of WOG: Without Garnish. A lover of fried foods, Soycap decided to fill her Pasadena, California kitchen with not one but several fried snacks. Click here to see her absolutely lovely array of fried treats, including Deep-Fried Rice Balls, Tempura’d Baby Brussel Sprouts, Nori “Scotch” Eggs with Elephant Heart Plum Chutney, Mini Funnel Cake with Concord Grape Reduction, Creamy Caramel and Candied Flowers and finally Deep-Fried Banana Chocolate Truffle.

Lynn of To Short Term Memories then sent in her entry from Tokyo, Japan.  Earlier this year
Lynndecided to enhance her knowledge of Chinese cooking, noting that frying is a staple in
Chinese food preparation. Lynn made
General Tsao’s Chicken, Sea Bream and Fried Tofu in Lemongrass Sauce. Great job, Lynn!

Checking in from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is Babe_KL of Babe in the City. Like Lynn before
her, Babe mentions how frying is used very frequently in Asian cuisine and she brings her
Pan Fried Patties to the table. Don’t they look great?
Right on the heels of Babe’s entry comes another submission from Kuala Lumpur.  This time
Alex of notions of aC checks in with Homestyle Char Koay Teow. Alex said he wanted to
taste some of this dish right out of the frying pan, before even getting it to the plate. I can see
why; it looks terrific.
When I decided on frying as a theme for this month’s IMBB, I thought it might give people the
chance to indulge in the guilty pleasure of fried foods. Mika of The Green Jackfruit
fell right into that category, saying that this IMBB gave her the chance to make some things she
often craves but resists making because they are deep fried and therefore not necessarily the
healthiest. Glad this gave you an excuse to prepare your Punjabi Samosas, Mika.
They look tasty!
Cathy of A Blithe Palate  shares thoughts on the “religion” of frying in the Deep South and
prepares a delicious–looking plate of Fried Soy-Sake Shrimp Wontons with Ginger Aioli. I like
her nod to Southern frying, while selecting a dish that’s a unique departure from the traditional
cooking of that region of the US.
Nic from BakingSheet filled her Los Angeles, California kitchen with
Not-So-Fried Green Tomatoes. Inspired by the fried green tomatoes she had at B. Smith’s in
New York City, Nic prepared these delicious oven-fried beauties.
Any entry that includes the phrase “heart attack on a plate” gets my attention.  
Niki of Esurientes-TheComfort Zone went retro with a
Whole Breadcrumbed Deep-Fried Camembert. Looks absolutely decadent and how lucky is
Niki to have a German deep fryer built into her kitchen bench?
I’ll conclude this first edition of the IMBB 18 round-up with two entries from Farid of Algerian
and Ya Rayi Our Rai. Farid made Brik bil Tunn, a very interesting and apparently
addictive Savory Tuna Pastry. He also prepared Fried Potatoes Algerian Style. I love how
these potatoes puff up when cooked to produce a thin, crispy top.
I’ll take a pause in the IMBB 18 Round-Up here but more entries will be posted in the days
There’s such an interesting variety of fried goodness coming in from around the world
I hope you’ll check back in to see what’s up next. Thanks to all for participating!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cooking with Lima Bean

Today our Lima Bean, now 2, looked at me and very seriously said “Mommy, I need that bowl. I am going to make my recipe.” Not knowing what her recipe could possibly be, I grabbed the blue plastic bowl she was gesturing toward and handed it over.

Now that she had her bowl, she informed me of what ingredients she needed. She asked me to get some ice out of the freezer, some flowers from our deck, the handle to her sippy cup, and a wooden spoon. Ok, not traditional but I’ll play along. So I gathered up her ingredients and she very happily stirred them together in her big blue bowl.

When I commented on how delicious her “recipe” looked, she said “I can’t talk now, Mommy. I need to focus on my cooking.” And she continued stirring her masterpiece. Then she went to my desk and found 2 colored paperclips, one green and one pink, to add to her mixture. She seemed very, very pleased to have found that last magical ingredient.

Maybe this sudden cooking enthusiasm was sparked by her recent reading of A Chef by Douglas Florian. This book is really interesting and fun and it’s one of the few children’s books I’ve seen that discusses the real work of a chef. The book explains how chefs and kitchen staff come in to work early to place orders, accept deliveries and prep food for that evening. Florian explains the different people who work in the kitchen and shows how a pastry chef brings a dessert to fruition. If you have a budding young chef in the house, this book is worth a look. It provides a really nice look at kitchen and restaurant life, in a way that’s appealing to the very young.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

IMBB 18: Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying!

I’m pleased to be hosting the 18th edition of “Is My Blog Burning? This month’s theme is Summer’s Flying, Let’s Get Frying! (Apologies to people in parts of the world where it’s not currently Summer. Let’s call your IMBB Winter’s Flying, Let’s Get Frying!)

The goal this month is to use any style of frying to prepare a dish. Pan fry, stir fry, deep fry…you name it. It can be any type of food, from appetizer to main course to dessert. Break out your fanciest frying skills or indulge us with one of your tried and true simple family favorites.

The event will take place Sunday, August 28, 2005. Please e-mail your submission to atourtable@hotmail.com sometime on the 28th. Please be sure to include your name, your blog’s name, your city, and the link to your post.

I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, fry, fry again!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

French Bistro Fare at Mon Ami Gabi

Win’s sister recently gave him a gift card for Mon Ami Gabi. She lives in Maryland and has dined at the Bethesda location a few times, always enjoying it. As such, she thought it might be a good place for us to try.

Mon Ami Gabi is part of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group. This group includes establishments such as Ambria, Maggiano’s, Tru, Brasserie Jo, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, Wildfire and Everest. While I’ve mentioned before that I usually prefer smaller, independently operated restaurants to those owned by large corporations or management groups, I must acknowledge that Lettuce Entertain You does an excellent job with their restaurants and Mon Ami Gabi was no exception.

Mon Ami Gabi feels like a bustling French bistro. Its lovely interior is full of leather banquettes and cozy tables covered in crisp white tablecloths. The walls are lined with signs written in French and other art to try and convey a French feeling.

Mon Ami Gabi served warm baguette with an interesting sliced carrot “tapenade.” I don’t really know what to call the sliced, seasoned carrots accompanying the bread, so I’ll use tapenade as the closest thing I can think of to describe it.

For an appetizer, I ordered Steamed Mussels Mariniere. They were delicious. Fresh seafood served in a flavorful broth.

Win selected Onion Soup au Gratin for his appetizer. It was a large portion of really outstanding, cheese-laden onion soup.

Filet Mignon with Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce was my entrée. It was a nice cut of meat with a pleasant sauce. The red wine and mushrooms created a very effective flavor combination.

Win’s entrée was Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon and Served with Gratin Dauphinois, Dates, Raisins and Cider. He really enjoyed this dish.

Despite being quite full, we couldn’t pass up dessert. Win selected Mon Ami Gabi’s Profiteroles and I opted for a special dessert that evening, their White Chocolate Rice Pudding. The profiteroles were really good, as would be expected of such a classic dessert for this kind of restaurant. The white chocolate rice pudding was rich, creamy and really good, but I couldn’t detect as much chocolate favor as I would have liked. It was very good, but it kind of left me wondering how many additional calories this white chocolate was adding to my meal without really contributing that much to my tastebuds.

We enjoyed our night out at Mon Ami Gabi. The food was good, the service pleasant and helpful and the atmosphere comfortable and charming. Their menu features mostly French bistro classics, so if you are in the mood for that type of food you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for something French with offerings beyond the more traditional chicken, fish, and red meat types, I’d also suggest checking out Café Matou.

Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
Telephone: 773-348-8886
Web Site: http://www.monamigabi.com