Category: Cooking

The Cooler Kitchen: An All-American (and Part-Mexican) 4th of July

Barb and I are invited to attend a friend’s 4th of July cookout in the Chicago ‘burbs. It’s a pot luck, so what to bring for this most-American of all holidays? Well, for any of you who have been kind enough to check out the Cooler on the Lake Shore blog, one of the answers... Read more »

Got Bacon-mania? I May Have The Cure For You

One expression of my distinctly non-kosher upbringing is that I developed early on a great appreciation for bacon. And while I haven’t developed bacon-mania to the degree some people have — with their bacon-wrapped everything and bacon explosions and for heaven’s sake bacon ice cream — it is still my favorite partner with breakfast foods... Read more »

The Cooler Kitchen: Cajun Surf and Turf?

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this cooking-from-scratch thing. I’ve been doing most of the cooking at home for roughly 30 years. But for most of that time, I was pretty much a by-the-(cook)book kind of guy, lacking the confidence to just look in the fridge or pantry and see what I... Read more »

Green City Diary: Vegging Out At A Chicago Farmers' Market

So is my farmers’ market habit getting a bit obsessive? Yes and no. But mostly no. The photo above is my haul from my visit Saturday morning to Chicago’s Green City Market, located at the south end of Lincoln Park — the actual park, not the neighborhood. This still life includes peaches, apricots, sweet cherries,... Read more »

The Cooler Kitchen: Making Panini Is A Pressing Matter

If you like grilled cheese sandwiches — and most people I know do — then you almost certainly like the Italian version known as panini. The difference between the two is that panini are pressed. That means they are weighted down and flattened, which allows for faster and more even cooking. The cheese and other... Read more »

From The Cooler Kitchen: Risotto Primavera

There’s a fair number of delicious dishes that many of us eat only in restaurants because they just seem too complicated to make at home. Risotto is one that, for a lot of us, has always had a bit of mystery attached to it. This Italian preparation of short-grain rice requires a lot of stirring... Read more »

Cobbler-mania: The Secret Is In The Sauce

Okay, I guess it serves me right. You can’t post outright food porn — like this photo of the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler I made earlier this week — without having people ask for the recipe.   Now the first thing I have to admit is that this is not a personal recipe, but one that I... Read more »