Category Archives: Food and Drink

Celebrate May with pickled eggs!

The first time I ate a pickled egg, it was a red one, sliced in half and laid yellow-side-up on top of a Greek salad at the deli counter in WaWa, a women-owned convenience store chain in New Haven. On … Continue reading

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Victory Brewing Company’s Storm King Imperial Stout

Stout, stout, stout, stout. I love stouts. So when I found a bottle of one I’d been wanting to try for a while – this very brew, as it happens – I grabbed it up immediately. I’d heard great things … Continue reading

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McKeever & Danlee Confectionery Co.’s Liquorice Allsorts

Licorice (though the company spells it with a “qu”, I’m used to the “c”, so I’ma go with that) allsorts are so darn pretty. All the colors, shapes and styles, all in one bag. Who can resist? Not me. And … Continue reading

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Orchard Valley Harvest’s Sweetened Cherries in Dark Chocolate

Dried cherries and dark chocolate. Two great tastes y’all. I’m not a chocolate covered berry kinda gal; the berry ends up mushy and the chocolate ends up damp. It’s a downer no matter how you look at it. But dried … Continue reading

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Specially Selected’s Chocolate Truffle Eggs

Easter chocolates can typically be found in two forms: the egg, and the bunny. Eggs tend to get a classier treatment, because they’re filled, so they can be called truffles. Truffles are classy y’all. Aldi’s foray into classy Easter isn’t … Continue reading

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Choceur’s Dark Chocolate Marzipan Mini Eggs

I used to avoid almond flavor like the plague. As a matter of fact, I had been accosted by marzipan when I was a small child, thank you for asking. Those syrup-oozing “strawberries” fooled me one too many times. I … Continue reading

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Greasy food revisited: Baked Eggs

This is the kind of thing you cook when it’s still cold out, darnit, and spring should have been here weeks ago, and coffee isn’t doing the job, and you want something solid in your stomach. It’s very, very solid. … Continue reading

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Whisky-cherry brownies: the first one’s free

When I go to a conference or a doctor’s office or a small gathering of drunk authors, I bring these brownies in those tiny plastic “snack” boxes from the dollar store. This recipe makes about six pounds of brownies. They’re … Continue reading

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Scrapple: the white trash polenta with benefits

Scrapple is classic white-trash breakfast food, best served fried in bacon grease with honey or maple syrup on top. For more authenticity, top with sorghum molasses. You can get a debased version without the pork at places like Bob Evans or … Continue reading

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Reese’s Outrageous! Pieces bar

I love peanut butter, I love chocolate, I love caramel. And I really dig Reese’s Pieces. But Outrageous is less the sum of its parts. And that’s a real shame. The bar has a nice weight to it, and the … Continue reading

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Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark

Lindt chocolates have a long and illustrious history: David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his son, Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann began manufacturing chocolates in Zurich in 1845. Rodolphe Lindt, one of the foremost chocolatiers of the time, in 1879 developed a method of making chocolates … Continue reading

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Thick Thai-style seafood chowder for a cold day

Somehow the middle of a polar vortex seems exactly the moment to cook up a pan of seafood chowder full of tropical Asian flavors: ginger, curry, lime, garlic, and cilantro. It’s like putting the promise of Spring into your mouth. This … Continue reading

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Quick ‘n’ dirty crab ‘n’ corn soup: a tump recipe

*tump: [white trash] 1: v open a bunch of cans and boxes and tump ‘em together 2: adj quick and dirty, quantities and proportions flexible 3: warning, don’t tell your doctor you’re eating this I got this recipe from Greg … Continue reading

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Stay warm stew with south-of-the-border heat

My supermercado, Rogers Park Fruit Market, is a continual inspiration to me. I was in there Wednesday getting the usual stuff and as usual browsing the yummy things I can’t have (fresh fruit, Jamaican meat patties, locally-made rum-raisin ice cream … Continue reading

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Chipotle-garlic potatoes to warm your heart

I ate this dish first in a restaurant in Miller, Indiana, a tiny town nestled inside the Indiana Dunes State Park. I was visiting an old, old friend whose mother had recently passed. We were engaged in clearing out the … Continue reading

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Hot peppers and smoked oysters

Early in my marriage, wok cooking became fashionable. Everyone owned huge arrays of dried peppers and seaweeds, chili oils, rice wines, vinegars, light, dark and mushroom soy, regular garlic and elephant garlic, five kinds of dried mushrooms, white and green … Continue reading

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Gino’s East Classic Sausage Patty Frozen Pizza

Once upon a time, late in my college career and for some time therafter, one of the places we used to go for a good, relatively inexpensive meal was a restaurant called Gino’s, on Rush Street on Chicago’s Near North … Continue reading

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Heavy Seas Brewery’s Blackbeard’s Breakfast Salted Caramel Porter

I’m not one of the cool kids. I typically can’t handle bourbon-barrel aged brews. Too much like actual liquor; if I wanted a shot of booze, I’d grab tequila or vodka. When I want a beer, I want a beer, … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate and Ghirardelli’s Dark Twilight Delight and Peppermint Bark

I’d never had sipping chocolate before trying this tin from Trader Joe’s. To my ears, even the name —‘sipping chocolate’– sounded amusing and a bit decadent. It’s nothing like the chocolate drinks most Americans like me grew up with— it’s … Continue reading

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Oskar Blues Brewery’s Death By Coconut Irish Style Porter

Oskar Blues is a brewery that can’t do wrong in my eyes, ever since I stumbled upon their Old Chub Scotch Ale. So I’d been dying to try their seasonal coconut extravaganza for quite some time. And Death is right … Continue reading

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Black-eyed peas and ham hocks

Long ago and far away in one of the grimier neighborhoods of New Haven, Connecticut there was a food co-op, the New Haven Food Co-op. This was a true co-op, a hippy-dippy affair with meetings and volunteerism and guys with … Continue reading

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Carletti’s Jakobsen Coffee Time chocolate collection

Danish chocolates? Don’t mind if I do!  Especially when the package itself gives me a great excuse to indulge. Coffee time? Yes please! And while these chocolates  would go great with coffee, I had mine with a stout, and then … Continue reading

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DeLallo Flat Fillets of Anchovies

I don’t like pineapple on pizza. I think it’s an abomination, and a waste of perfectly good pineapple. But what do I know, I like anchovies. So for part of my Feast of the Seven Fishes, here comes some ‘chovie … Continue reading

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Specially Selected Cold Smoked Salmon Deli Sliced

Smoked salmon seems to be a mainstay around here, especially during the holiday season. But while it’s a great treat, it often becomes cost prohibitive to really get your salmon on. Cue Aldi! Farm raised in Chile, their smoked salmon … Continue reading

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Specially Selected’s Cajun Flavored Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot smoked salmon? I’ve never heard of this. Or maybe it’s just that I tend to focus on the better known cold smoked salmon that typically graces bagels and brunch plates. But hot smoked is just that; a piece of … Continue reading

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Smashmallow’s Cinnamon Churro marshmallows

‘Tis the season for warm festive beverages! And for all the things to top ’em. Nutmeg for nog, a cinnamon stick for mulled goodness, and for folk who partake of animal products (ex: gelatin), marshmallows for coffee and chocolate-centric libations. … Continue reading

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Bar Harbor All Natural Smoked Wild Kippers

Tis the season to be fishy! While Christmas is almost a month away, I love planning a Fest of the Seven Fishes. Yes, at this house that includes Goldfish crackers and Swedish Fish, but I won’t judge you if you … Continue reading

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better corn bread than ya muthah’s

A few years ago my husband entered a bake-off with the cast and crew of Motown: The Musical when it was showing at the Oriental Theater in Chicago. Bless him, he wanted to enter my corn bread. I said, “Hey, it’s … Continue reading

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TCHO: Three Chocolates

TCHO is an American chocolate maker (and they differentiate between “chocolate maker” and “chocoatier”) that is, according to their website, determined to make the best chocolate possible. Like so many others, they are focused on fair trade organic chocolate. While … Continue reading

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin – Snack Size

Milk chocolate and peanut butter. What a great combination. Even I, a dark chocolate fan, can appreciate it. Especially the tangy salty bite of a Reese’s cup’s peanut butter. Reese’s makes their usual cups, but sometimes they shape them for … Continue reading

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Treat Street’s Zombie Hand Gummy Lollipop

Gummy candy feels like cheating. All the fun of candy, but without the fat and cholesterol of chocolate. That means I can eat more, right? For Treat Street’s gummy lollie, I think I’ll stick to one. Not because they’re not … Continue reading

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Jelly Belly’s The Original Gourmet Candy Corn

JB started as Goelitz candy back in the mid-1800s, but Jelly Bellys wouldn’t come around ’til 1976. And thank goodness; I don’t know how I’d get along without their Buttered Popcorn, Margarita (from their Cocktail Classics® line), Toasted Marshmallow and…well, … Continue reading

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Wonka’s Halloween Fright-Tins: Vampire, Mummy and Ghost

I love Wonka candies. Everlasting Gobstoppers, Fun Dip, Spree, Bottle Caps…they’re all the stuff my childhood summers were made of. And of course Nerds and SweeTarts, which tended to bleed over into Halloween, thank goodness. (I realize we can all … Continue reading

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Sour Patch Kids’ Sour Patch Kids’ Zombie candy

Sour Patch Kids are a candy I tend to like, but only sometimes. And by “sometimes”, I mean “I only eat the red, blue and pink flavors.” Because let’s face it, these candies aren’t fruit flavored more than they’re flavored … Continue reading

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Flying Cauldron’s Butterscotch Beer

For the past twenty years, with Halloween comes Harry Potter. And Hermione, Ron, Tonks, Sirius, and the crew. I’ll admit to donning my own version of a Slytherin costume (well, as a Hufflepuff why not go as my polar opposite?) … Continue reading

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Cheetos’ Bag of Bones*

Like Eric Cartman, I love cheesy poofs. The crunchy ones are good too, but there’s something special about letting a savory, cheesy bit of air and corn melt onto your tongue. Weird, yes. But damn it’s good. During this, the … Continue reading

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The “Marianne” Pork Chop Casserole

This one-dish-meal recipe was given me orally by my neighbor Marianne, who learned to cook it during WWII when she was taken away from Poland by the Nazis to become a cook for a German family.  She gave me to … Continue reading

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Cheesy hash brown casserole

Here is a tump* recipe I got off the back of a bag of hash browns and then messed with. There are no rules with tump recipes. Change the ingredients, the proportions, the oven temperature—this is your recipe now. *tump: … Continue reading

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Chewy grains and sausage casserole

Well, that didn’t work. I tried adapting a recipe yesterday and it was a total frost. The right way to cook this recipe creates a great side dish for a pot luck, or a solid meal for two with leftovers. The grains … Continue reading

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Ritter Sport: Two Limited Edition Candies, Raspberry Creme and Buttermilk Lemon

As you will remember, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is a major German chocolatier and candy manufacturer. I happen to have recently received two of their Limited Edition candies for review — which means, sadly, that I wasn’t allowed … Continue reading

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Halva Licorice Bars – Sweet and Salty

Everyone around here knows I love black licorice. Wasn’t always so; I absolutely hated the stuff when I was a kid. But my dad would grab it gleefully, so after a while I decided to give a mini-box of Good … Continue reading

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Stork’s Toffifay

I remember being a kid and seeing Toffifay. It looked so elegant, so grown-up. Now this was a classy candy, obviously made for ADULTS, thought Little Me. Naturally, I had to try it. And I loved it. But I seldom … Continue reading

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Taza Chocolate’s Guajillo Chili Discs

There are lots of tastes that taste great together. Peanut butter and jelly. Buttered popcorn and champagne. (Seriously, try it.) And, of course, chocolate and licorice. But there’s one that doesn’t get enough love here in the States, and that’s … Continue reading

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Greenbriar’s Halloween Candy Bracelets

These strange, Fruit-Loops looking candies strung on a bit of elastic string, with or without a “pendant” or “charm” made of the same kind of candy were a must when I was a kid. They were fun, they were cheap … Continue reading

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Golden Island’s Sriracha Pork Jerky

Pork jerky! I’ve had beef and bison, but never pork. So I dug into this bag, curious…and hungry. The first piece out of the bag, and I got something that was stringy and thinly sliced. This is a jerky you’re … Continue reading

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Mexican-style casserole

This stuff will kill you, but you won’t care.  It’s intense, dense, and more-ish. I’ve never really settled on one definitive recipe. It’s more about what’s in the house when the craving hits. Resist the temptation to add more ingredients, because … Continue reading

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Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Co.’s Smoked Beef Chipotle Cracked Pepper Jerky

I get a carnivorous hankering every now and then. And when I’m too lazy to throw a hunk of animal muscle on the barbie, I grab some jerky. I love dried meat; it’s got a lot of flavor, a lot … Continue reading

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Kedgeree

I’ve been reading about kedgeree in English novels all my life and decided to try it. This is regarded as intensely British food, meaning, they got the smoked fish from Scandahoovia and the curry and the basmati rice from India and … Continue reading

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Boozy chocolate trifle

This dessert is highly alcoholic. And huge: the finished recipe weighs about 8 pounds, not counting the heavy glass trifle bowl, without which it really isn’t worth doing. I developed it after reading, yes, way too many English novels and … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Boneless Skinless Mackerel in Sunflower Oil

Omega-3 is good for you. That’s what “everybody” says. And by everybody, I mean doctors and other health professionals.  But if you’re like me, you enjoy fish but are too damn lazy to cook it most days of the week. … Continue reading

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