A Simple Recipe for the Holidays

With several get-togethers scheduled during the holidays, I was perusing some of my simplest-and most reliable- recipes. The following recipe for Raisin Brown Bread fits both criteria. Better yet, it’s delicious. Raisin Brown Bread Preheat oven to 325-degrees F 1 cup raisins 1 beaten egg 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons cooking oil 1... Read more »

No Fuss Christmas Dinners

Mac and cheese isn’t really a great choice for Christmas dinner, despite lobbying by the kids. On the other hand, neither do you have to spend the day cooking or search for a restaurant that’s actually open.The following restaurants and markets make a festive Christmas dinner a snap. Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen (546 N. Wells Street... Read more »

Hanukkah Minus the Latkes

Forget the latkes. Deep- six the jelly-filled doughnuts (soofganiyot). It’s Hanukkah, and I’m serving cheese. Jews were celebrating Hanukkah long before the first potato was shipped from the New World to the Old, probably in the first half of the sixteenth century. As it turns out, potatoes weren’t an overnight success. Only when famine threatened... Read more »
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A Menu for Christmas Morning

When I asked Greg Mosko, the pastry chef at North Pond (2610 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago 773.477.5845) for a suggestion for breakfast on Christmas morning, he opted for a buffet of Christmas breads, a game plan that makes it possible to assemble everything ahead of time. While “buffet” implies variety, the spread doesn’t have to... Read more »

The Feast of the Seven Fishes: A Christmas Eve Tradition

Many of the Italian restaurants in the Chicago area will be celebrating The Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve in observance of La Vigillia di Natale, a traditional fast day that ends with the birth of Jesus at midnight. Meat and dairy products are off limits, but even so, dinner menus are definitely... Read more »

The Barefoot Contessa Made Me Do It

I confess: Ina Garten (a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa) made me do it. On page 101 of her newest cookbook “Make It Ahead,” she gives directions for a “Make-Ahead Roast Turkey.” OMG! For weeks, I had tried to come up with a workable plan for bringing a cooked, 23-pound turkey to my son and daughter-in-law’s house... Read more »
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Cooking in Foil: Easy Prep, Easy Cleanup

For a home cook, nothing beats easy, unless it’s an even easier alternative. Here’s a good example. I love Asian food. But Asian recipes usually require a lot of prep time, and much of the cooking is hands-on. Buying veggies that are already trimmed and cut is a partial solution for the first problem, and... Read more »

Thanksgiving Leftovers Get A Make Over

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and that gigantic turkey you bought because the price was so amazing is now-officially- a leftover, nothing more than a bag of bones and a large container filled with oddly sized pieces of turkey. What happens now? If you’re Chef Chris Gawronski of The Gage (24 S. Michigan Ave., 312.372.4243),... Read more »

Cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey : A Stress-free Memoir

Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be stressful. Back before I knew there was more than one way to cook a turkey, I started by pre-heating the oven to 325-degrees F. I put a rack in my largest roasting pan, put the turkey on the rack, tented it with foil, and then popped it-unstuffed-... Read more »
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Thanksgiving Desserts Easier Than Pie: Crisps and Crumbles

Pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. Pumpkin is virtually a given, but for many people, offering a second option (usually fruit-filled)is also a must. To be honest, a slice of apple or blueberry pie paired with a scoop of ice cream is my idea of a wonderful dessert, as long as I don’t have to... Read more »
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    Barbara Revsine

    Pantry-to-Plate is a food-focused blog written by a lifelong foodie with an insatiable curiosity about the interaction between food, history, and culture.

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