Chicago: Acadia

Eating Out, Food

acadia-chicago-16A few weeks ago, I made a short weekend trip to Chicago – one of my favorite cities in the world!  I know I’m from NYC and now live in KC, but Chicago is seriously amazing – the extensive food, arts, and culture scene would keep me busy for ages.  Not to mention that the city itself is picturesque, with its location right on the lake.  I can’t wait to make a return visit!

Although our schedule was pretty packed, we did have an evening free for an indulgent dinner. We were lucky enough to score reservations for Acadia, which not only received two Michelin stars, James Beard recognition, and numerous distinction, but also has a reputation for delicious yet unpretentious fare presented in a welcoming, non-stuffy setting. We were psyched for the experience!  And since we were making the trip, we went with the 10-course tasting menu. I mean, why not!

My eating buddy for the evening and I both agreed after the meal that it was one of the best tasting menu experiences either of us has had. So, I can’t wait to share my photos with you! Unfortunately, the printed tasting menu lists only the featured ingredient of each course, so the details I provide below are from my memory.  But, let’s be real here – you’re mostly here for the pictures anyway, right?  Let’s get started then 🙂 Continue Reading

Lucky Rice Cookthrough: Tea-Smoked Eggs

Cooking / Eating In, Events / Giveaways / Partnerships, Food

lucky-rice-tea-eggs-2

I know 7-Elevens sometimes get a bad rap here in the U.S. (nevermind the prepared foods that are offered within), but I discovered a few years ago that 7-Eleven’s are legit in Asia.  I’m talking about pretty good sushi in the Japanese locations (not the best sushi, like, ever, but surprisingly delicious), prepared hot meals in Taiwan, and the like. The stuff is actually good.  One of the snack foods that was especially popular in the Taipei 7-Elevens I visited were tea eggs marinating in a cauldron of delicious broth.  Hard boiled eggs from 7-Elevens? You betcha! Don’t knock it till you try it (in Asia, at least – can’t speak for the eggs you get here in the American 7-Elevens!).

Luckily for me, my recent discovery of the fabulousness that is Asian 7-Eleven was not my first foray into the world of tea eggs.  My mom used to make tea eggs when I was a kid, before my capricious young self decided I didn’t like them anymore.   Silly me – I tried them again as an adult, and tea eggs are pretty much the best way to prepare hard boiled eggs.  The soy/tea/spice “broth” in which the eggs steep is intensely flavorful and lends a warm and spicy aroma that I haven’t seen replicated elsewhere.  And from a purely fun standpoint, the rolling and cracking of the shell before steeping yields some pretty cool looking eggs!  When I saw that the Lucky Rice cookbook featured a recipe for tea eggs, I knew I had to try it for the second recipe of my Lucky Rice cookthrough.

As you’ll see from the short ingredient list, you can probably find all of these ingredients in your local grocery store… Continue Reading

Kansas City: Shio Ramen

Eating Out, Food

Shio-Ramen-6

One thing that’s been pretty fun (and delicious) here in Kansas City is the recent rise in popularity of ramen shops.  When I lived in NYC, I had my pick of ramen joints, with varying degrees of quality and popularity, from “sure, I’ll pay 6 bucks for izakaya ramen at 2am” to “omgggg Ippudo best ramen EVER!”  When I moved to the Midwest last year, I was pleasantly surprised with my go-to ramen joint here in KC, the relatively new Columbus Park Ramen shop. Their tonkatsu ramen is the bomb!  However, recently Shio Ramen Shop opened up, and I knew I had to try it out. So which noodles reigned supreme? Read on to find out. Continue Reading

I <3 My Jini Beauty Box Subscription

Beauty

jini-beauty-july-1True story – when I was little, I was a sucker for toy commercials (I mean, what kid isn’t?) and even more so – magazine ads and circulars featuring toys and offers.  Ever optimistic, I would circle things I wanted in the Sears catalog or point out special deals to my parents (“hey mom – this toy WAS $19.99 but if we order right now it’s only $14.99!”).  One thing that I still remember wanting was a $9.99 “Mystery Box” that was guaranteed to have over 100 toys in it.  100 toys! I mean, come on – who can resist that? My young brain never made the leap to the thought that a 10-cent toy would probably have little appeal or quality, but when I was that age I definitely valued quantity over quality.  A 10-cent toy? Meh. How about 100 of them? Now you’re talking!

As you might have guessed, Continue Reading