April 2018 | chicago foodie girl


How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

Not counting the month in which I decided I didn't like cheese unless it was powdered and found in a macaroni box (it was one of those weird/defiant kid stages), cheese and I go way back. I began my love affair with it at an early age, all thanks to my grandmother, who had an afternoon cheese break built into her daily schedule (3:00 was always cheese and Coke time in her house). While she favored various Italian cheeses and sharp cheddars, I grew to realize that my cheese love had no bounds. I definitely have my favorites (it's an alarmingly long list!); however, I'm always down to try new cheeses. So of course, when the good folks at Caputo Cheese Market invited me to tour their store and sample some of owner/cheesemonger Nat Caputo's favorite picks, I immediately grabbed my fellow cheese-obsessed friend Jess, jumped in the car, and headed up to Lake Forest to get my cheese nosh on!

Caputo Cheese Market (or cheese heaven, as Jess and I named it) is a family-owned market that has been in business since 1978. They carry high-quality cheese offerings from around the world, with an emphasis on locally produced products and Italian cheeses that are either imported or produced by the Caputo family in their Melrose Park headquarters. At any given time, you can find over 400 types of cheese (including their award-winning mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta) in their Lake Forest shop/café and over 1,000 varieties at their Melrose Park location. Jess and I spent the afternoon touring the market, eating our way through delicious cheese after delicious cheese, and talking the business of building the perfect cheese board.


Recent Foodie Finds

Happy spring! I know that technically it has been spring for just over a month, but up until this weekend, it was still very much winter here (there's nothing quite like a series of late April surprise snowstorms to dash your hopes and send you into an angsty tailspin). However, it seems like we've finally pulled through (yay!). Between several bouts with icky winter sickness, some unexpected work stress, a persistent feeling of dissatisfaction with everything going on in the country, and some scary health situations involving close friends, it was already starting to feel like 2018 was setting up to be one of those years. However, after a few days of nicer weather and quality time with friends, I'm feeling slightly more optimistic (I maintain the right to revert back to my previous grumpiness if we get hit by any additional late-season snowstorms!).

I kicked off the weekend with a visit to LiqrBox (boozy juice boxes FTW!) and then spent some time soaking up the sun on the rooftop of The Godfrey with friends. On Saturday, Diana and I paid a visit to Easy Street Pizza, where we sampled some drool-worthy mac & cheese pizza. I spent the rest of the weekend putting in some quality time with the DVR (Mario was in Vegas for a birthday celebration, so I used my time alone to binge-watch the shows he hates), planning an upcoming trip to NOLA (it's my first time and I am ridiculously excited!), and writing a few sorely overdue blog posts (there's more coming very soon!).

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

Hawaiian Classic Poké Bowl with ahi tuna, ogo seaweed, cucumber, mango, and classic sauce at Pokéworks. I don't know about you, but I am absolutely loving this poké explosion! After years of being poké-less, there are so many poké joints in Chicago; one of my favorites is the super popular fast-casual Pokéworks, where you can choose from a menu of their creations or build-your-own bowl. Their ingredients are always fresh and they have a wide assortment from which to choose.
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