Friday, September 24, 2010

filling a spring roll

Father Nam didn't like my Spring Rolls. he went to his Vietnamese store and bought the ingredients and then made the filling with what I had prepared for dinner that night. I think my Spring rolls looked the same but what I do know is, that my wrapper was different than his. If you look at the label on the wrappers- they all look the same and have the same wording. I think I have to have Fr. Nam buy them for me. I don't know squat when it comes to shopping in the Vietnamese stores, here in Chicago.

I'm glad I had filmed him as he is on his way to Vietnam. He escaped from prison years ago as a Catholic priest; fled and became an American citizen also, many years ago. He wants to visit his mother's grave. She died the day he escaped and he did not know that till quite a while later. Please, if any of you read this, please say a prayer for his safe return.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu for the week

This week I'll be making the following~
Grilled, Beer Marinated, Chicken
Cheesy Potatoes
Iceberg wedge with bacon and choice of dressing
Chocolate Candy Cake

Pork Chops and Potato/chive Perogis
Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes
Tossed Salad

Chicken with Parmesan Noodles
Monkey Bread
Autumn Salad
And I'm still looking for two more desserts.....

Butterscotch Apple Pie Squares

On a search for something different, I came across this recipe on Mixing Butterscotch Apple Squares

It looked similar to making that old bar called Hello Dollies, or 7 layer bar. This recipe also has 7 layers. With the Hello Dollies you don't have to press down on the layers as this recipe calls for that.
But it didn't help. The finished product looks good but try cutting into it! It really fell apart. I was going to put these on my menu for the week but not now. I did practice ( obviously) and took them to my friend Judy's house last night. To make them look presentable, fortunately I have these little 2" plates and mini forks left over from an event I did years ago.

I'm glad I never got rid of them. So, today I snapped a picture of one of these squares. Oh, I thought maybe these bars need to 'rest' overnight. Maybe they will firm up in the fridge. It didn't help. You can see how 'loose' they look.

I kept thinking, maybe I didn't press down hard enough on the layers but I thought I was as the milk starting oozing out of the sides in some places and almost over the edges of the plate.

Not all recipes turn out great. I'm sure someone out there can figure out how to make these turn out perfectly square. Here is the recipe:
1/4 c butter
1 1/2 c graham crackers
1 1/4 apples
6 oz. butterscotch chips
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 c flaked coconut
1 c chopped nuts
In a 9x13 baking pan, melt butter in a 350 degree oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter; top with apples. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt chips with the milk. Pour butterscotch mixture evenly over apples; top with coconut and nuts; press down firmly all over. Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. ( I had to bake mine for 40 min.) Cool. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Magic of 3

I was trying to figure out a title for today's post and realized something about the number 3~
Three of us decided to go downtown Chicago and our goal was to visit an address: 1447. That's when I realized that 1 from 4 =3; and 4 from 7 = 3.
I don't know what magic there was for the rest of the day as nothing 'different' occurred but I wanted to share some sights with you. Not knowing what to call this post, it's just called the Magic of 3~even though you only see one or two of us( there was no place to hold my mini tripod).
As we started out our adventure on a Chicago "L"........
We quickly took some crazy pics before the L filed up. This one was a tame picture. We got off the L at Clark and Division and walked to our destination. It's a place we haven't been to in.....28 years, maybe?

We saw so many old photos and so many that reminded us of the days when we sat in long, long meetings and I particularly focused on the old photos of past presidents; the first one from 1912- I see another '3 in there! But I did not capture any of the history we reminisced.
Our next stop was to visit a friend who lives 1/2 a block away. Oh mg, what they go through for security! They used to live in the city, moved to the burbs and are back in the city- but the SECURITY~
From there we took a nice long walk past our previous apartment buildings where we lived back in the day....1400....1360....1150...and talked about the 'personality' each building, in between, held.
We were getting quite hungry so stopped for lunch in Water Tower Park- I don't know if that's what it is called but that's what we call it! Never had park benches back in the day but what a wonderful, quiet respite! We talked about how quiet it was in there. I said, it was because there weren't any sirens howling. Uh, oh, we finally got a siren or 3. Oh! 3!!!

And of course, no lunch is complete without a bloody Mary and freshly baked cookies! We had some protein too.

Time to move on~
Our next stop was a clothing store- so rude! One of was dressed to the nines, ok, maybe 2 of us were dressed to the nines. Staff was SO RUDE! ( time to write a letter to management!) Not worth it. But we planned to visit Garrett's Popcorn and Van Cleef where another good ol dear friend works. Our feet were killing us and we needed to head back to the 'L'. We didn't want to take a cab because we didn't want to miss any windows!
And then, had to stop in at Neiman's- poddy time and time to sniff new scents!
But first, we had to check out some of the clothing items on display- they were different. Even for a city person....

On to find the 'L'.....

And what to our wondering eyes did appear, but another beautiful cafe called: Whisper!
The ice creams~ TOO DIE FOR! PRESENTATION! My photos couldn't quite capture the display- and I have a reason~

I spoke to some guy with a waiter's hat and chef coat and apron. Not the originator of the ice creams because this guy introduced me to the young man who created the beautiful presentations. I remarked that I wanted to take a picture of these for my food blog. Well, the creep had me so shaken, the images are not great. He wanted me to pay for the photos I took. I said, puhlease, we are not in Morocco.
If you are visiting Chicago, and are in this neighborhood, please visit this beautiful cafe. It is such a good use of a small strip that was always ugly. It's between Rush ( Street of Dreams) street and State street. It looks triangular. The guy who made all the ice creams- he's a sweetie. Ignore the waiter. Well, if you want to take a picture, ignore him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wine and Cheese Party

......sort of~

The party was lots of wine and every edible thing had some cheese in it....or wine!

We had stuffed dates, French Breads with 3 dipping oils;

pates;fruits;cheeses; some that smelled nice and some that didn't! We had beef carpaccio; coq au vin;

We wanted the food to be grab and stand/talk.......

Skewered Mozzarella and tomato~
The menu was quite lengthy............

Spicy nuts
Marinated olives
Goat cheese kebobs
Artichoke quiche bites

Coq au vin
lamb lollipops
3 kinds of olive oil and breads


Menu for the week

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Baked Beans
Grilled Vegetables
Tossed Salad
Baked Apple

Beef Short Ribs
Hot, Buttererd Noodles
Sauteed Apples
Green Beans
Velvety Chocolate Pudding

It's a short week! Yay!!!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Menu for the week

Chicken Paprika
Butternut Squash Gratin
Tossed Salad
Colombian Cheese Bread

Spaghetti Pie
Eggplant Parmigiana
Tossed Salad

Swiss Steak
Baked Potato
Glazed Carrots
Tossed Salad

Menu for the Week

I'm a little behind getting this past weeks menu posted. I'm ready to post next week's as well.
Grilled Marinated Pork Roast
Lettuce Wedge
Mango Salad
Grilled 3 cheese Potatoes
Asparagus with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ice Cream with pound cake

Roast Turkey Breast
Noodles Alfredo
Waldorf Salad
Tossed Salad
Chocolate Cake

Pork Diane
Sauteed Tomatoes
Baked Potato
and probably some caramel brownies!
Tossed Salad....sounds so boring. This image makes it look delicious!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How to set a table

I have a client who always changes the way I set the table. I don't know why. So, I have a Chicago Tribune article that was published earlier this past Spring and I think I'll let it sit on the kitchen desk for a little while. And I think I'll post some of my pictures; maybe I'll just decorate their walls with place settings. I went to the Internet to find info on how to set a table and I came across a very pretty and inspirational website called: Between Naps on the Porch.
So my first post is from that site:

I tried to add a link to the site on my sidebar but it's too big and covers my blog links. I have tried to figure out how to reduce it and I am close but can't quite figure out those funny symbols....I'm challenged!
Back to table settings~
Here is a very simple one

But as you can see in the next pictures, it's fairly basic: fork on the left and knife on the right.

Even in the far off land called Morocco, the table is set with a fork on the left and knife on the right!