Introduction

Introduction
Hello, ChicagoNow readers! Welcome to Quips, Travails and Braised Oxtails – I’m very glad to make your acquaintance! I’m a food enthusiast…and an easily bored household engineer, or whatever the most professional-sounding euphemism for housewife is these days. People tell me I have too much free time, so I fill that with culinary experiments I... Read more »

Sundays with Sparky: Pork Chops with Thyme-scented Apples

Sundays with Sparky: Pork Chops with Thyme-scented Apples
This dish has a history that’s important to Sparky: it’s the first meal I ever cooked for his father, who was hooked immediately. For Sparky, I really wanted to show him how to sear and cook meat because that single skill can be applied to pretty much any fine-grained protein: chicken breast, fish, steak as... Read more »

Policy Point Wednesday: Critical Thought, Scientific Studies and the News

Policy Point Wednesday: Critical Thought, Scientific Studies and the News
This is a re-print of an older post I wrote, but I thought it was timely because of this recent article in the New York Times. The news is full of attention-grabbing headlines:  Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity, Study Finds That School Junk Food Doesn’t Lead To Childhood Obesity, and Obesity rate... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Wayback Machine: Stompin' Savoy Cabbage Rolls

The Wayback Machine: Stompin' Savoy Cabbage Rolls
I’ve been thinking about giving Sparky a cookbook as a Christmas present, compiled from the pages of this site, so I took a gander at the Recipe Index to see where we were: Hmmm—we’re a bit dessert-heavy, don’t ‘cha think?  Because most desserts involve baking and chemistry, they’re a really good starting place for novice... Read more »

The Food Desert Project: Giardiniera Kimbap

The Food Desert Project: Giardiniera Kimbap
You know, I always leave my cooking until the last possible minute.  I have all kinds of recipes I’ve tagged and saved and they’re all percolating up there in my head…until Tuesday night (or Saturday night, depending on which post I’m writing!) I’d wanted to make “maki” for the Food Desert Project for a while,... Read more »

Sundays With Sparky: Reverse-Spherified Yogurt Blobs

Sparky and Dr. Lasergonapus followed the directions, putting sodium alginate in the yogurt, and creating a "bath" by mixing calcium lactate and water.
This holiday season, Dr. Lasergonapus and his mother surprised Sparky and I with a beautiful molecular gastronomy kit.  It contained a number of cool cooking gadgets and several chemicals: agar-agar, sodium alginate and calcium lactate, xanthan gum and soya lecithin. Sparky and I have actually used some of these ingredients before: agar-agar is a type... Read more »
Advertisement:

Policy Point Wednesday: The Female Athlete Triad Syndrome

You may not have heard of the Female Athlete Triad Syndrome – I hadn’t, until just recently.  I knew, of course, that women athletes sometimes stop menstruating, but I didn’t know about the risk of bone density loss and fractures.  According to Femaleathletetriad.org, the Triad is “a syndrome of three interrelated conditions that exist on... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: The Eleventh Doctor's Fish Custard

The Wayback Machine: The Eleventh Doctor's Fish Custard
By now, I suppose, it won’t shock you to find that we’re a nerdy family, right? So, when the 11th Dr. Who threw down the gauntlet of fish fingers (sticks) and custard, what else was left for us but to pick it up? April 3 has been officially adopted as “Fish Fingers and Custard Day”... Read more »

The Food Desert Project - Jai Rava Dosa with Blatjang (Oat and Farina Crepes with Chutney)

The Food Desert Project - Jai Rava Dosa with Blatjang (Oat and Farina Crepes with Chutney)
So, today we are going to make Indian-style Farina, Oat and Rice flour crepes with South African Chutney.  ”But wait…” you say, “How on earth are you going to make farina and rice flour crepes – where will you find farina and rice flour in a food desert?  Aren’t those only available in natural food... Read more »
Advertisement:

Sundays with Sparky: Carrot Torte

Sundays with Sparky: Carrot Torte
So, I went a little crazy buying carrots. You see, Sparky puts in his lunch order for the week on Sundays, and I happened to go shopping on Monday and remembered he’d asked for carrots, and then I ran out on Wednesday and had that niggling feeling that I’d forgotten something and bought carrots…and by... Read more »

Pi Month Special: Pie On Demand

Pi Month Special: Pie On Demand
I am always in search of good ideas to steal from.  The other day, trolling for recipes, I came across this post and immediately fell in love (and seriously started considering whether or not I need to change the title of this blog, considering how often pie comes up!)  At any rate, the idea is simple... Read more »