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.

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Birthday Smoothie

27 Jun

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again, but here it is! My birthday! It’s also my last year before a new decade…gulp! Last year I posted Chris’ insane chocolate sheet cake recipe as my birthday treat but this year is a little different.  I decided to embark on a 21 day vegan cleanse starting this past Sunday so my birthday treat is a Chocolate Almond Milk & Banana Smoothie my trainer, Rebekah, turned me on to.  For another layer of flavor and a little protein, add real, no sugar added peanut butter. Once you try this, I’m certain you will agree that it has all of the taste with none of the guilt!



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Bird Crazy

20 Jun

Birds are everywhere this season in both fashion and home décor.  Jil Sander, Reed Krakoff, and Erdem all featured bird prints for Spring 2012 while Tibi has a graphic black & white bird print for Fall 2012. I’ve also found some cool bird-inspired jewelry. With bird motifs being more of a classic theme in tabletop and home designs, here are some more unique interpretations…along with a few classic favorites!

For another classic, try Art Smith‘s Hummingbird Cake recipe for a nutty, fruity and fabulous dessert perfect with any Summer meal!


1. Twos Company Set of 4 Bird and Tree Measuring Cups, Burke Decor  2. Jil Sander 3/4 Length Printed Skirt, TheCorner  3. Tibi Fall 2012 Runway Look  4. Elizabeth & James Bird Claw Ring with Onyx, ShopBop  5. Wedgwood Golden Bird Print Tableware, Michael C. Fina  6. Reed Krakoff Print Trousers, Colette Paris  7. Medium Bird Bowl, Jonathan Adler  8. Double Pewter and Porcelain Bird Dessert Stand, Vagabond House  9. MARC by Marc Jacobs Bird-Print Knit Dress, Neiman Marcus  10. Exclusive Alexis Bittar Jeweled Calamus Cuff Bracelet, Anthropologie  11. Claw Candlesticks, Jayson Home  12. 9″x 14″ Rectangular Decoupage Parrot Trays, John Derian  13. Jason Miller Set of 4 Dinner Plates, Areaware

Heritage Bicycle General Store

14 Jun

I haven’t ridden a bike in probably 20 years.  Having lived in New York City and San Francisco for the majority of my adult life, I never felt compelled to battle the streets on a bicycle.  That said, my feelings have completely changed now that I’ve met Melissa and Mike Salvatore and live across the street from the beach here in Chicago!

Melissa and Mike recently opened Heritage Bicycle General Store, a locally handcrafted bicycle store, repair shop and café extraordinaire!  Regardless if you ride a bike or not, you will want to go there for the Stumptown Coffee (one of Portland’s finest!) and delicious sandwiches and sweets.  OnMyPlate had a few questions for them…

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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!!


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