December 2016 | chicago foodie girl

12.30.2016

Imperial Lamian


Ever since its opening last March, Imperial Lamian has been on my long (looooong!) list of restaurants to try. I spent months drooling over the highly Instagrammable baskets of rainbow xiao long bao and shedding a few tears of envy over photo after photo of steamy lamian. After feeling I was losing some major cred by being the last food blogger in the city to visit the first U.S. location of this Indonesian import, I finally(!!) made my way down to River North with Diana to indulge in a leisurely lunch filled with rainbow dumplings, noodles, and more.

Imperial Lamian features modern Chinese cuisine with dishes prepared by three Master Chefs... yes, three chefs! Chef Kok Lam Andy Foo, Chef Lim Kee Tiong, Chef Wang Hong Jun are each trained in their individual crafts (wok/plated offerings, dim sum and xiao long bao, and lamian respectively); the three work together to create a large array of authentic Chinese dishes. During our lunch, Diana and I had the chance to chat with Imperian Lamian's CEO Vincent Lawrence and he explained that each of the chefs have honed their individual techniques for a number of years in kitchens around the world.

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12.12.2016

Recent Foodie Finds (and a giveaway!)

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fab weekend. I spent Friday and Saturday out with friends (checking out the new brunch menus at the oh-so-adorable BOHO and Robert's Pizza Company) and then spent Sunday cuddling with Mario on the couch while binge-watching Insecure (best new show I've seen in a long time!). We had our first real snowstorm of the season, so it was the perfect day for staying in; as much as I enjoy exploring and eating my way through the city, nothing makes me happier this time of year than lazy, snowy days at home filled with cozy blankets, hot chocolate, and time with Mario.

We're just days from the end of the fall semester, so I've been in the thick of portfolios, conferences, and grading for the last few weeks. Last week it felt like it would never end, but now I can finally see the light... I'm so, so close to submitting final grades (yay!). As much as I enjoyed my students this semester, I am beyond ready be done with school so that I can officially switch into hardcore baking and shopping mode (starting with our annual visit to the Christkindlmarket).

Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more!)...


OMG! Burger at Burger 21: this double-stacked burger with applewood-smoked bacon, a fried egg, and loads of cheddar cheese on a toasted brioche bun is most definitely worth its name! Diana's longtime friends opened the first Burger 21 Illinois location, so we took a little trip out to Orland Park with a few of our favorite foodie friends and spent a fab Sunday afternoon eating out way through their menu. Along with this beast of a burger, I also fell hard for their Spicy Thai Shrimp Burger with Sriracha aioli and sesame Thai slaw.
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12.02.2016

Asian Meatball Subs with Farm Rich Turkey Meatballs

Happy Friday! I am two weeks from the end of the semester and I have to say that I've never been so ready for a break. Between all of the end-of-semester conferences and grading craziness, Thanksgiving prep, cookie baking, restaurant visits, and holiday parties, I'm a tiny bit burned out. Of course, most of what I mentioned firmly falls into the fun category, but still. A girl just wants to have fun, but she also needs a solid eight (okay, more like nine) hours of sleep every night. #oldladyproblems

As much as I normally enjoy making meals from scratch during this time of year (especially after my summer cooking hiatus), I've been on a quest to simplify our weeknight dinners. Thanks to a combination of clashing work schedules and general over-scheduling, Mario and I are only at home together for dinner an average of three nights each week. Let's be real; I don't want to spend the bulk of the little time we do have together in the kitchen. I want to be in and out of there in less than thirty minutes (just enough time for Mario to watch his sports round-up show that I hate!); however, I also want good food with bold flavors that doesn't taste like I cut corners. Enter Farm Rich Meatballs.

Mario and I both love meatball subs, so as soon as the fine folks at Farm Rich offered me the opportunity to create a recipe using their products, I immediately knew I wanted to try my hand at an Asian-inspired version of a meatball sub. Keeping in mind my desire for quick meals, I also knew this was the perfect opportunity in which to create a sub recipe that is packed with flavor, but still not too complicated to assemble (thankfully, using the pre-made turkey meatballs eliminates the most time-consuming part!). With the heat from the Sriracha mayo balanced out by the sweetness of the hoisin sauce, this Asian Turkey Meatball Sub is perfect for anyone looking for a quick and easy recipe with a twist on traditional flavors.

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