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Explore the Store: Terrain

9 Aug

I have been a huge fan of Terrain, the home and garden website, for quite some time.  Earlier this summer, I was chatting with my dear friend, Sara Goodstein, who heads up communications at Anthropologie and she told me that Terrain was opening a store in Westport, Connecticut.  Of course the masterminds behind Anthropologie and BHLDN also created Terrain!!  I was so excited because Chris, Jack and I were planning a visit to see my sister Cheryl and her family, Pete and Will, in Bronxville so I knew they would be up for a short trip to Westport.  And, Chris’ sister, Natalie, and her family live near Westport so we would be able to see them, too!

The Saturday during our trip, we drove to Terrain and soon realized it was the perfect destination store.  The enormous store and its outdoor garden department, with its perfectly curated product vignettes, makes you feel like you’re roaming around a giant cabinet of curiosities…with some amazing gourmet foods, dishware, and beauty products thrown in!  We all had a ball walking around and shopping.  But the pièce de résistance had to be Terrain’s farm-to-table restaurant, Terrain Garden Café.


The French Market Opens in Manhattan – Photographed by Ed Baynard

3 Jul

The French Market officially opened last week in Chelsea Triangle, on Ninth Avenue between 14th & 15th Streets, and artist, photographer, and dear friend Ed Baynard was there to document his findings for On My Plate.  For you Chicagoans, this market is under the same ownership as the year-round Chicago French Market.

Open every Friday and Saturday from 10am to 3pm now through November 24th, the market features farm fresh fruits and vegetables, organic local pastas, breads, and French baked goods, pizza, homemade cheeses, and organic meats.  It also sells crafts and home goods from local designers.

Ed couldn’t leave without buying an organic lavender scone (below).  And the mushrooms he photographed are absolutely divine.  They look surreal! …as does the rose vendor….ooh la la!



Spices, Rubs & Marinades

1 Jul

Last Fall David Trout opened a franchise of the Savory Spice Shop in my home town of Hinsdale, Illinois.  Some of my family had shopped there shortly after it opened and they insisted Chris and I go.  Our pantry is now chock-a-block full of spices and rubs from Savory Spice Shop and we use them practically everyday!  One of my new staples is Tomato Powder.  I use it in pasta sauce, on pizza, and sprinkled on tomatoes before I roast them.  It takes tomatoes to a completely different flavor level – very savory and richer tasting.

David was kind enough to share some of his awesome BBQ seasoning tips for steaks, pork, salmon, and burgers. Chris and I use David’s Team Sweet Mama’s BBQ Chicken Rub practically every week on butterflied, boneless, skinless chicken breasts for dinner with spinach or on a bun for a delicious and spicy chicken sandwich so I also shared our super simple recipe below.


Pie for Breakfast… And I’d Proudly Do It Again!

31 May

Today I splurged. I had a slice of apple pie and a cup of Metropolis coffee for breakfast.  My friend, Nena, and I have a standing monthly breakfast date and after months of meeting at the same place we decided to take our breakfast on the road to discover new eateries around Chicago. Our first new stop was Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Noble Square, near East Ukrainian Village.

The incredibly talented, Chicago-based fashion designer, Maria Pinto, raved about it over lunch a month ago and I’ve been meaning to try it ever since! My slice of apple pie can best be described as “other worldly”! It had the perfect crust-to-fruit-filling ratio and was sweet but not too sweet.  Uhh!  It was divine!  And the shop itself makes you feel like you’ve fallen back in time to your grandma’s kitchen in the 1950s complete with a floral vinyl tablecloth on the front table with vintage cookbooks and pie tins lining the walls.

The pie menu changes daily and on Fridays the menu features a “flight” of three mini slices of pie for dine-in service only. You choose three flavors from five pies offered. And for those of you who don’t have a sweet tooth, they also offer savory pies and quiche, like chicken pot pie and cheddar vegetable pie. Run, don’t walk.  Seriously!!


Weekend = Pancakes!

30 Mar

So I have a confession to make…but I should start by saying that I have never, ever liked pancakes – EVER! Last month Chris decided to try his Mamaw Dunagan’s griddle cake recipe and I have made him make them literally every weekend since!!  His pancakes have a slightly sweet flavor and an almost cake-like consistency.  Chris very lightly butters each pancake and that’s it!  As he says, the mark of a good pancake is one that doesn’t need syrup.

The recipe comes from the 1986 edition of The Wednesday Study Club Cook Book, a community group Chris’ grandmother was involved with in Monahans, Texas, where she lived for the majority of her 97 years of life. The ingredients are the exact same as the pancake recipe found in the Joy of Cooking, but the measurements are different.  Chris shared his tips with me on how he makes such a darn good pancake so please follow the instructions word for word and you won’t go wrong. Dee-lish! (more…)

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