Friday, April 27, 2012

Postcards from Bunny

Greetings friends!  Bunny just dropped us a quick note from her current station in Myanmar to make sure we told you all about an exciting event!  In celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage month, Macy's on State Street is hosting an cooking demo with Culinary Council member (and Bunny and Brandy favorite) Chef Takashi Yagihashi  Here's all the info you need to attend:

Macy's on State Street
Chicago, IL
Lower Level Culinary Kitchen
May 12, 2012 at 1PM
For More Info Click Here

Bagel on Damen or Hole in the Wall

The Slow and Savory Review

Greetings dear readers!  Right away, we must apologize for our absence last week.  The following post was prepared to go out last Friday at our regularly scheduled time, but unfortunately our lovely hosting platform decided that would be a good time to update its interface, and with the update, wipe out anything that had been saved in draft form.  And as Brandy was out of town and could not give us access to her notes, we thought it best to simply wait for her return.  So, without further ado:

Brandy knew it was going to be a strange day when she woke up one morning to find a pool of water about a foot deep had somehow found its way into her living room.  After a lot of searching and snooping, Brandy could not detect the source of the water herself, so she decided to call in several professionals: a plumber, a carpenter, and a restoration expert.  Unfortunately, as this happened to be very early on a Sunday morning, the three men's concentration seemed to be somewhat lacking.  In hopes of spurring on their deductive reasoning skills, Brandy offered to run out for some nourishment while they milled around her parlour in search of the source of the leak.

Brandy's grab and go venue of choice was Bagel on Damen.  Having checked the restaurant's website before leaving (quite the accomplishment for a woman who refuses to use a smart phone unless it can psychically predict who she wants to call) Brandy was quite surprised to find the Bagel on Damen in Ravenswood to be utterly deserted, desolate, and devoid of people.  Rather annoyed by this turn of events (as she had had to catch a bus and a train to get to the location) Brandy hopped onto a Damen bus and headed for the other location in Wicker Park.

Finally arriving at her destination, Brandy found a smallish, yet bright and vibrant store front with a few scattered tables and chairs, most of which were filled with that particular brand of young person known as The Hipster.   Avoiding their ironic glares, Brandy headed for the counter, where a stack of menus was available.  She noticed several unfriendly notices posted like "Cash Only!" and "No Custom Sandwiches," which put her off a little.  She also watched as friendly young people from behind the counter brought sandwiches wrapped in butcher paper and resting in paper boats to the tables beside the window.  After a bit of a wait (for which a sweet faced young man apologized immediately) Brandy headed for the bus stop, her bag of goodies clutched tightly to her chest.

So finally, after a full 2 hours worth of transportation (bus and train to Ravenswood, bus to Wicker Park, and 2 buses home) Brandy arrived back in her water logged abode to find the three men still puttering about in the puddle.  Excusing herself to the kitchen, she began to quarter the four sandwiches she had ordered, because, of course, she had to have a taste of each.

First was the Breakfast II, a combo of bacon, egg, cream cheese, and avocado on what was referred to as a "Mish Mosh" bagel (Brandy supposed this was their equivalent of an "Everything" bagel).  Although the bagel had a lovely chew that can only be produced through the proper technique of partially cooking the bagel in boiling water, Brandy was disappointed that, although the menu had stated the bagel would be toasted, it was quite cold.  She also thought that the combo of the creamy avocado and cream cheese was a bit overkill, and she wished for a crisper veggie, such as a nice leaf of ice berg lettuce, to add a bit of crunch.  Other than that, she found the whole thing to be a rather nice combo of traditional breakfast flavors.

Next was the Garden; a crispy and fresh mix of cucumber, tomato, and lettuce, with avocado and green onion cream cheese, again on a "mish mosh" bagel.  Though a little sloppy to eat, as the veggies attempted an escape from the sandwich with every bite, Brandy thought the refreshing cucumber and subtle cream cheese reminded her of the tea sandwiches of her youth.

After that was The Brunch, a name Brandy could not possibly hope to resist.  This sandwich consisted of egg salad, tomato, and greens on an onion bagel.  Again, although the menu promised toastiness, Brandy found it to be cold and devoid of crunchiness.  The egg salad itself was rather bland, which Brandy was extremely disappointed by.  "Even a hit of black pepper, or maybe some crunchy celery could have livened this up.  I'm ashamed to see the word "brunch" attached to such a boring offering," she mumbled to no one in particular.

Lastly was what proved to be Brandy's favorite of the bunch, a concoction of onion bagel, turkey, bacon, green apples, gouda, avocado,and Russian dressing known as the Alexander the Great.  The smokey cheese mixed well with the crunchy bacon, the crisp and tart apples, the smooth avocado, and the succulent turkey, and when combined with the sweet and sour dressing, which had soaked into the chewy bagel, a wonderful cornucopia of flavors and textures was to be found.

After chowing down on these little tidbits, one of the repair men noticed a security camera Brandy had installed after her wallet was stolen, and upon reviewing the footage, the source of the water was finally identified; apparently Brandy had been filling her table-top water feature in her sleep without realizing it, thus slowly filling her lovely parlour with liquid.  "That does explain the squishy slippers," Brandy said, chewing her lip.

So although they weren't the most delicious, most delectable, or most delovely bagel sandwiches one can find, Brandy was happy enough that her brain food from Bagel on Damen did the trick.  And from now on, her water feature will be placed in the bathtub at night.

The Short and Sweet Review

Bagel on Damen (Wicker Park) on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 13, 2012

From the Kitchens of Bunny and Brandy

Greetings friends!  As promised, we bring you the delightful concoction that Brandy cooked up over the holiday weekend.  She calls it:

Breakfast Jambalaya

1 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of stone ground grits
1/2 cup of milk
Salt to taste
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
1 lb. of rainbow chard, roughly chopped, including stems
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 sweet breakfast sausages (such as a chicken/apple)
4 eggs, prepared to your liking*
*Brandy suggests over easy or poached

For the grits:
In a medium sized sauce pan add the water and butter.  Bring to a boil, then add the grits and stir.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed.  Add the milk, stir to combine, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until well combined.

For the greens:
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until most of the fat has been rendered off and the pieces are crisp.  Drain excess fat.  Add the chard and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add the apple cider vinegar and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Assembling the dish
In a bowl or a plate, lay down a bed of the grits, then add some of the greens.  Take the fully cooked breakfast sausage and cut into small pieces, then place them around the grits.  Lastly, add an egg on top of each plate.  Serves 4.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Postcards from Bunny


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner!  Congrats to JB for guessing 11 ingredients.  Please send us an email at with your full name so that we can send you your prize!  Thanks to everyone who competed, have a very happy Easter and Passover, and keep your eyes peeled for the recipe itself in the coming week!

Greetings friends!  Once again we have received word from our beloved Bunny, and just in time for Easter too (we suppose that makes her the Easter Bunny... get it? Hu? Nevermind).  This time around, it appears she is traveling the farthest reaches of Siberia, looking for traces of the supposedly still living, yet elusive Woolly Mammoth.  Hearing word of Chicago's unusually warm Spring weather has made poor Bunny rather jealous, as she is stuck out in the furthest, most frozen of tundras.  And while hunkering down in her tent, frigid fingers clutching a pen in order to write to us, Bunny couldn't help dreaming of warmer fair; steaming cups of artisan coffee, spiced sausage, hot cakes with hot sauce, or even a big plate of Huevos Rancheros with extra chillies.  If only there were some way she could get that kind of food in Siberia...

Well, we can't speak for Siberia, but there is a way to get your favorite foods delivered to your doorstep through companies like Seamless which offer to make whatever you happen to be craving appear at the click of a button.  Wishing for a service like this where she is, Bunny has provided us with $20 from Seamless to give away to one lucky reader! Here's the all important rules:
  • Brandy is planning on treating us all to one of her delightful original recipes for Easter Brunch.  Bunny has asked that everyone take a guess as to how many ingredients will be in said recipe, and the person who comes the closest will win! 
  • Leave your guesses in the comment section.  You can make up to 3 guesses per username/email between now and Friday April 6th at midnight (Central Time).
  • In the event of a tie, the person who guessed the number first will be declared the winner.
  • Ingredients include everything listed in the outset of the recipe, including water, salt, pepper, etc.
  • If you don't live in Chicago, don't worry, you can still compete!  Seamless is available in cities all across the USA.
  • Any and all questions/concerns should be addressed to
So take your best guesses and we will announce the winner the morning of Saturday April 7th.  Happy guessing!

P.S. For more info on Seamless, check out their new mobile app for iPhone and iPad: