February 2013 | chicago foodie girl


Diana's Friday Five: My Favorite Kitchen Ingredients

*Guest post by chicago foodie girl contributor, Diana

I'm back with another Friday Five! This one is going to be interesting, because whittling down the list to just five items may be difficult. But here goes my top five favorite kitchen ingredients:

1.  Truffle Salt
I discovered truffle salt at my very first cooking class and I was ah-mazed! Once the taste of earthy mushrooms and sea salt touched my tongue, I was hooked! It's one of the most expensive condiments in my pantry, but it's worth it.

And it works with everything. My favorites: mashed potatoes, eggs, tater tots (haha!), grilled chicken, steak, grilled or roasted veggies of any kind, and it works great in all kinds of vegetarian dishes as well.



Chicago Restaurant Week: Mexique

Welcome to another edition of Starr is way too busy with her giant stacks of papers to grade and homework to complete (and while we're being honest, a fabulous, but overwhelming social schedule) to actually write a blog post or two. Wah wah wah. Yes, it's true: I am scheduled solid from 5:00am until 10:00pm (or later) just about every day. However, that's no excuse to neglect my fabulous readers, right? :-)

I'll tell you one thing I absolutely did not neglect: Chicago Restaurant Week. I ate and ate and ate. I took a break over the weekend to attend the Cider Summit (more about this in an upcoming post!) and then I went back and ate some more. Seriously. I only went to three restaurants during the week, but I think I ate more during those three meals than the entire rest of the month! Chicago Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times of the year - it's a ten-day long culinary celebration involving over 250 restaurants. Participating restaurants offer special RW prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33/$44 for dinner. It is the perfect opportunity for diners to try out some pricier restaurants for a fraction of the price and also to visit some of the popular favorites for special dishes you won't find on the regular menu.



Diana's Friday Five: My Go-To Restaurants, Part 2!

*Guest post by chicago foodie girl contributor, Diana

Hi all, happy Friday! I'm back with another installment of my Friday Five Go-To Restaurants! I hope you enjoyed the previous post and I've tantalized you with some of my favorite gems that Chicago has to offer.

This installment is a mixed bag of restaurants, but every single one has so many great things on their menus, you should really get out there and try them if you can!

One more thing - I've included links to all restaurants as well as addresses this time around. I'm hoping that this information will get you there sooner!  :)

1.  Central Kitchen & Tap (American Comfort)
4800 N Central Ave, Chicago

I can't believe I missed this place in my last post! CK&T is in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, which I recently moved to. Prior to moving I had read about this place in a local magazine and made a mental note to try it out since it's so close to home.

And boy, am I glad I did!  CK&T is a renovated diner, and they kept a lot of the charm of the old diner but added a few modern touches here and there. I can best describe the food as "amped up" comfort food.  I've been there several times since I moved into the neighborhood and they have yet to disappoint me.

This restaurant is counter service style. You walk in, check out the menu, decide what you'd like, ask the counter guy as many questions as you'd like (everyone there is very friendly), place your order, pay (if you live in the 'hood you get 10% off), grab your drinks (self-serve soda fountain, your glasses are Mason jars, how cute is that??), have a seat, relax and wait for your grub (they'll bring it out to you).


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