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MickyN

Delicious meals, made with quality ingredients: my review of Relished meal delivery service

UPDATE: Relished has recently been rebranded as Home Chef.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I love to cook, yet cooking fresh meals every night is not always possible. I wish I had more time to go to the local fresh markets and to find culinary joy and inspiration in the fruit and veggie aisles, or lean sources of protein over in the meat aisles. Sadly, more often than not, my job and my school get in the way. So when Relished contacted me and wanted to send me some fresh ingredients to prepare a few of their dishes, I jumped at the chance. Keep Reading

Chicken liver paté: Less waste, more deliciousness

I’ve always been a big fan of using chicken liver, hearts and gizzards in cooking. I like their unembellished appearance and enduring humbleness, and I am in love with what they represent to me. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: I grew up in a time when every bit of meat was much appreciated, and getting hold of a small pack of chicken liver was a reason for celebration. I remember my mom and my aunt chopping them finely and using them to make a “diluted” meat dish, made up of a small amount of meat, a whole lot of bread, some water to bind it all together, and very few spices. I grew up with the idea that chicken liver was an expensive delicacy, and that you could only eat it on special occasions. Keep Reading

Ham and mushroom panini: It’s versatile, nutritious, and satisfying

This is one of my husband’s favorite panini, and he likes to eat it as a dinner upon getting back home from work. It is a comforting and filling “double meaty” panino, in which the wholesome texture of the mushrooms works in harmony with the energetic flavor of the smoked ham. This is a good source of energy and replenishment during the winter season: it’s a nutritious “winter warmer,” which delights your senses and fuels your body. Keep Reading

My review of Gino’s East: a brilliant night out in the city, with pizza, sliders… and more!

Up until now I have never posted about my dining and nightlife experiences in Chicago. There is a simple reason behind it: I just haven’t gone out much lately! I remember the first year after my husband and I came to Chicago: We used to meet on Michigan Avenue and go to concerts, visit museums or watch movies at the various theaters downtown. Those were the days when Chicago and its all enchanting magic drew us in – and hardly let us go. Sadly, this past year we have been very busy with work – so busy that we’ve forgotten all about the magic and vibrancy of our city. Isn’t that a shame?

Luckily, a first change for the better happened earlier this week, when I was invited to attend the grand opening of Gino’s East River North. Keep Reading

Apple and celeriac panini: a combo that works!

Making the Méro cake has inspired me to cook more with apples, so last week I bought a few from the grocery store, and I decided to use them in panini. I remembered a recipe for an apple and celeriac salad my mom used to make when I was little, and I thought it would be great if I used it in my panino. On paper, apples and celeriac sounds like an odd combination for a panino, but I assure you it works. The apples make the panino light and refreshing, while the celeriac provides a touch of assertiveness – and lots of healthy fiber. Keep Reading

I played with apples and went back in time: The story of my beloved “Méro” cake

It all started last week, when I bought some Granny Smith apples from the local grocery store. Initially I wanted to use them in a salad, but then I got very busy with work and school, and time flew by like in a dream. On the plus side, those extra few days gave me the chance to reflect more on my options, and in the end I changed my mind completely – for the better, I think. I decided that I should try to make a special cake – a cake that meant the world to me when I was a child: Méro. Keep Reading