Saturday, January 24, 2009

Foiled Again!

It's truly amazing that I haven't learned my lesson yet. I've lived in this apartment for nearly 10 months, and I haven't yet come to terms with the fact that my oven is a gaseous beast from hell. The thing generally runs about 50 degrees too hot, and when left to its own devices (if the oven door isn't opened at regular 20 minute intervals), the heat continually increases from there. I've lost dozens of baking experiments to that oven, and these lemon cranberry muffins are no exception. I was planning to take these to a friend's brunch tomorrow morning, but I've been thwarted.

Do not adjust your monitors. The bottom of that muffin is (unfortunately) black.

Now, I'm out of cranberries and lemon zest. What's plan B?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quotable, if nothing else

Chocolate Doesn't Crumble kind of got a shout out on Citysearch today. Sort of. I'm the "local food blogger" in the blurb about Michael McDonald and onesixty blue.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


tid·bit (tĭd'bĭt') Pronunciation Key
n. A choice morsel, as of gossip or food: "The book is chock-full of colorful tidbits about theater and theater people" (Alec Guinness).

Welcome to the first installment of Tidbits. The notion of physically sitting down to write and revise a lengthy blog entry makes me nauseous as of late. I've already apologized for the lack of content in the past month. It's not for lack of subject matter; I've been doing a lot of good marketing, dining out, and drinking lately. To curtail the workload on you and me, I've decided to start a selection of sleeker posts, pared down to give you maximum information and/or maximum entertainment about the Chicago food scene. Let me know what you think!

Also, I just like saying the word out loud. Tidbits. Tidbits. Tidbits!

Tidbit Cellar Rat, an indy wine shop on North Avenue, is owned by Dean Schlabowske. He's a former buyer for Binny's or Sam's or one of the other big boxes. "Corporate Wine Still Sucks," the store's motto, is displayed prominently in the window. At a free tasting on Saturday, I asked a question about a wine that was poured. Schlabowske, looking very put out from having to answer questions from peons potential customers, was appallingly patronizing as he uttered, "Burgundy is a region in France."

Um, thanks dude, I already know that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be taking my business over to Lush Wine and Spirits, where the non corporate juice is served with a lot less condescension.

Tidbit You know what's a really great idea? Taking coconut macaroons and putting them in a pastry crust. Brilliant! The folks at Real Tenochtitlán have morphed the flourless chewy cookies into a tart, Pay de Coco y Almendra. I ate it with some of my best girls on Saturday, and have been dreaming about it since. Moist and incredibly flavorful, it outshone the rest of our meals.

Tidbit Damn it, Jim Oberweis is an asshole. He puts an addictive chemical in his chocolate milk that makes you crave it fortnightly, smartass!* Might as well get something free out of the bastard.

*Massive props to anyone who can name the movie!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Productivity At An All Time Low

When even a midweek lunch at Blackbird doesn't spark a post, something is definitely amiss. Excuse me for just a little longer while I wallow in my lack of ambition. I just can't seem to get anything down on paper, or on screen, lately. Thanks for your patience. I'll be back soon.