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: Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mi (Caramelized Tofu Hoagies)

Sundays With Sparky: Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mi (Caramelized Tofu Hoagies)
Yes, yes, I know. Tofu is for other people: people who grew up with it, or people who put health before flavor, right? WRONG! I have to admit, I never liked tofu, even was a bit afraid of it… until Sparky ordered it at a local restaurant. I learned a lot from that dish, mainly... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: Campfire Apple Muffins in Oranges

A while back, we went on a short car-camping trip to Blue Mounds, WI (an excellent campground which I highly recommend, if you’re in the area)  I particularly enjoy the challenge of cooking over an open fire, which is easy enough to do when you’re grilling meats and vegetables, or toasting marshmallows, but a bit... Read more »
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Sundays with Sparky: Salted Mizuna and Nukazuke-style Pickled Turnips

Sundays with Sparky: Salted Mizuna and Nukazuke-style Pickled Turnips
One of the best parts of summer is that I’ve got friends with an overabundance of produce – and this post is brought to you by a particularly generous friend who has a CSA. The haul included significantly more than just turnips, onions, and Mizuna, so I thought some kind of preservation might be in... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: Ice Cream Cones, or Love and Burnt Fingers

The Wayback Machine: Ice Cream Cones, or Love and Burnt Fingers
Yes, this is a story of love, and also a story of the sometimes unpleasantly surprising elements of a recipe. Eventually, this is a story of redemption. You see, at our Winter Farmer’s Market, Sparky had discovered Sweet Collective‘s Ruth and Phil’s ice cream – so, along with our popcorn and hardneck garlic, we came home... Read more »

Sundays with Sparky: Baked Crab Rangoon

Sundays with Sparky: Baked Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon are one of those quirky American recipes that we file under “exotic.”  I’m sure that was the intent of the infamous Trader Vic’s, where the recipe seems to have originated. They claimed the appetizer was based on a Burmese recipe (hence the name Rangoon, really Yangon – a former capitol of Myanmar, whose... Read more »
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The Wayback Machine: Slightly Faster Boston Baked Beans

The Wayback Machine: Slightly Faster Boston Baked Beans
As I’m sure I’ve said before, sometimes a recipe will pop up in the most unexpected possible place!  Sparky – who has an insatiable sweet tooth – had asked if I would teach him to make Baked Beans from scratch, and so I trolled the internet in search of acceptably healthy recipes.  I happened upon... Read more »

Don't forget - you saw them here first!

Don't forget - you saw them here first!
We’ve been big fans of Piccolo Theatre for many a year, and now they’ve gone and found a way to work Crudmuffins into a fundraiser! Buy early and often – help a camper out! Enjoy!    

Sundays With Sparky: Easy Custard and Fruit Tart

Sundays With Sparky: Easy Custard and Fruit Tart
I have to admit, I get more than a little annoyed at the plethora of recipes across the internet claiming to be “one-ingredient,” or “two-ingredient” where one or both of the ingredients is some kind of mix with a bunch of stuff in it. So I won’t make that claim for this custard, even though... Read more »
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Summer Wednesday Hiatus

Hi, Quips fans!  Just a short note to let you know that we’ll be taking a hiatus from our Wednesday posts for the summer.  Stay tuned for Sundays with Sparky, which will keep going on indefinitely (or until Sparky refuses to cook with me )

The Wayback Machine: Apple Cinnamon Rolls

The Wayback Machine: Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Everyone in our family loves wonderful, gooey (and bad for you) pull-apart cinnamon rolls, and I thought adding apple to the mix would make them even better. In the interests of our health, however, I thought I would find a recipe that was slightly better for us than running down to the Cinnabon.  Cooking Light... Read more »