Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Number 66: Lavender honey shortbread

If you walk into The Spice House, you will walk out smelling like paprika.

The Spice House is one of my favorite establishments in Chicago.They sell three varieties of vanilla beans, several varieties of cinnamon, and dried lavender - perhaps the most elusive ingredient I have used so far.

So last week I picked up a packet of lavender at The Spice House in Old Town and proceeded to make lavender honey shortbread cookies. A commenter mentioned that such savory herb cookies are the best. 

Unfortunately, these weren't all that favored by my friends, so perhaps another recipe is worth a shot? Maybe more sugar? More honey? A better oven that lets me know when it is preheated? We shall see. 

In the meantime, here is the recipe. Personally, I enjoyed the cookies, but I think I like my rosemary shortbread cookies better. 

P.S. Any other ideas for lavender?
Lavender honey shortbread
adapted from Serious Eats 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Food adventures: Weekday specials

I always like trying something new on weekdays - it makes the day less mundane. Especially if it's a Wednesday.

One of the editors this past summer was telling someone about how she loved Los Angeles because you could go somewhere different or nice to eat in another area of town, and it will feel like a mini vacation. Say, lunch at Beverley Hills. And then you see a celebrity.

I never saw a celebrity, or had a mini vacation, but that's because I usually made lunch. But I get it, a little break from the everyday.

So that's what happened last Wednesday. Roomie and I went for a late lunch at Fraiche, a cafe and bakery a couple blocks north from the dorm. It is, in short, super cute.

Anyway we had trouble choosing between the grilled cheese (with apple butter, ham and white cheddar) and a brie sandwich (brie, poached pear, basil, honey mustard). We ended up going with the grilled cheese and a orange curd cupcake, but we'll definitely go back for the brie. And their almond crusted brioche french toast. New favorite lunch/brunch spot?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Food adventures: What's wrong with mall restaurants?

Especially when it's in the Bloomingdale's plaza on 900 N. Michigan Ave.

There's a pizzeria on the fifth floor that I've fallen in love with. Boyfriend doesn't like pizza, or Italian food in general, which I think is somewhat preposterous but he's hardcore Chinese so whatever, but Roomie and I are pretty partial to it. We can easily split a single pizza and still overeat. Also, the "outside" dining area has excellent soft light around lunchtime.

So on a shopping day sometime in the past few weeks, Roomie and I stopped by for a pizza. We ordered the Rita D, with ricotta, marscapone, mozzarella, asparagus, truffle oil and a farm egg.

And then Roomie got a sweater from Zara. Success story.