Tuesday, June 24, 2014

InstaEats May-June 2014

I'm a little late to the game, but I finally joined the fascinating, eye-catching world of Instagram earlier this year. I am a visual person and it is amazing to see the ways people capture the world on this social media tool. Instagram is where I am spending most of my social media time these days, but I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the stuff I share on there, particularly the meals out that don't make it on to the blog when I don't have my big, fancy camera on me. Here are some of the things I have shared and if you are so inclined, follow me on Instagram.

I traveled to California at the beginning of May and it was a week long of working out, eating out, and green juicing.

Lunch with my mom at In-N-Out Burger. I had the cheeseburger animal-style and well done fries. I miss this place all the time.

We had a pretty epic meal at BOA Steakhouse. We ended the meal with a selection of cronuts and now I finally understand the cronut craze.

Dinner at POT at the Line Hotel. Get thee there immediately.
An amazing brunch at Sqirl. The Malva pudding cake is pure sugar heaven and a good way to balance the perceived healthiness of the crispy brown rice bowl with egg.
Back in Chicago, I have had a steady social calendar the last few months. Waffles Cafe is the home of the wonut, but they also make a mean chicken and bacon waffles dish.
This recipe for Green Shakshuka from The Kitchn is to die for. Make it immediately and then make it again.
My take on Joy the Baker's strawberry chopped salad.
I love when friends come to visit, because I can try new places on my extremely long list of restaurants to try. H.C. and I visited Three Dots and a Dash for some tiki cocktails and followed it up with spicy miso ramen at Ramen-San.
The next night more friends were in town. We got the evening started right with cocktails and appetizers at Maude's Liquor Bar and RM Champagne Salon.
We chased those cocktails with incredible ramen from High Five Ramen. Get there early to avoid a long wait since there are only fifteen seats in the whole restaurant.
Work colleagues in town meant an extravagant dinner at Sunda. Definitely order the brussels sprouts salad if you go.
Breakfast mac and cheese with bacon and a fried egg from Taverna 750, one of my favorite brunch deals in Chicago.
After all the decadence, black bean and tomato quinoa salad will help right the ship. This time I doubled the black beans and lime zest, but reduced the oil to 1 1/2 teaspoons, the juice to 1/2 lime,  and left out the sugar.
Life is certainly pretty tasty right now, and I am enjoying all of it.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon-Thyme Buttermilk Biscuits

A few years ago, I discovered how wonderful strawberries, lemon, and thyme are together. I've thought about that dessert often, but also other ways I can incorporate those flavors into a different dessert. Lemon and thyme buttermilk biscuits seemed like a nice pairing for balsamic and sugar sweetened strawberries. These biscuits are easy to make and the strawberries come together for a quick dessert on a summer evening.

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for ingredients by Driscoll's Berries and Whole Foods Market. Opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon-Thyme Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 4 Servings

For the biscuits (Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 1998):
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon raw sugar for sprinkling

For the strawberry filling:
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

To make the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, thyme, baking powder, and salt. Use two forks, your finger tips, or a dough cutter to add the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Gradually stir the buttermilk into the dough with a fork until large clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into four pieces. Roll each piece into a 3-inch round and place on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of the sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of each biscuit comes out clean. Transfer the biscuits to a rack to cool.

To make the strawberries:
In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Strawberries can be prepared up to two hours ahead of serving. Refrigerate the berries if you are not serving them right away. Serve the berries with the slightly cooled biscuits.

Printable Recipe

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