Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Outdoor Dining

I can't tell if this is the worst idea ever, or just unbelievably bad. Alright. It is the worst. Dinner on an amusement park ride, strapped into an unattractive seat? Attached to a piece of construction equipment? And forget wearing a dress.

The only things that would make this a good idea: The table is suspended smack-dab in the center of Rome. It is free despite almost every dish containing lobster, and dinner is prepared and served by a very flirtatious, half-dressed Rocco DiSpirito.

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Zebra Cakes

I've always had a soft spot for Zebra cakes, those chemical-riddled bits of sugar and vegetable shortening made by Little Debbie. But there is a much more grown-up cake that resembles everyone's favorite jungle horse creature, zebra cake.First you mix up the vanilla batter, turn half into chocolate with the addition of some cocoa, then painstakingly pour the batter 3 Tablespoons at a time, alternating colors into a cake pan to create the stripes.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Vegetable Deceit!

Did you know that the Jerusalem artichoke is neither an artichoke, nor does it have anything at all to do with Jerusalem? It is a tuber that grows from a sunflower, and tastes somewhere between a potato and a (SURPRISE!) artichoke.Let's get some at Whole Foods and make them into soup! Shallots, fresh sage, garlic, celery, cream, potato. Served cold and topped with fried leeks and bacon.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coffee Table Books!

New apartment calls for, at the very least, a new coffee table book. So it's time to replace the old, 'People You Know, Horses They Love" with something else. My current top options:

1.) TARTAN: Romancing the Plaid- Fashion, history, delicious plaids.
2.) Bernd Munsteiner: Reflections in Stone- No one else can facet gemstones like this. From creating new, unique cuts for small stones to carving entire pieces of rock, everything in here is breathtaking.
3.) The Complete Keller: The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon- My latest chef obsession with both cookbooks chock-full of shiny obscene drool-worthy photographs.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuna Tartare

Let me tell you one of my fantasies- to eat an entire tuna, much like a bear eats salmon. Only the fish has no scales or bones or guts and is pretty much 100% sushi-grade tuna. So really, just a big plate of tuna.

Sushi is too much work. Cooking rice might warm up the house. But how about some Spicy Tuna Tartare? 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce mixed together. Add chopped chives and about a cup of finely diced tuna.

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How annoyingly adorable are these laser-cut cupcake wrappers from Paper Orchid Stationary?

Teapots AND dinosaurs? Plus, if you are not so good at cupcakes these will make yours look 100% good with 0% effort.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Sausagefest 2008

The 4th annual Sausagefest is this weekend, and promises to be even meatier and juicier than ever before. And involve red velvet cake. My favorite sausages are the spicy red-hot thuringers at Schmeisser's Home Made Sausage (7649 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL 60714).
Thuringers! These sausages originated in Thuringia, and are lower in fat than most other German sausages. Wikipedia suggests that you prepare them, "roasted over charcoal or on a grill rubbed with bacon." I agree.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


So I know the last thing I need is a new handbag, but I ran across these at work today: Sea Bags.
Good (hilarious) company name, adorable handbags made out of recycled sailboat sails. I want vintagey ones in every size.

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Last night was pappardelle and Project Runway night. The menu was Pappardelle with Tomato Basil Cream Bolognese.

(Actual picture of my actual dinner!)

Recipe: Combine 1 lb. ground veal, and brown. Add 2 cups homemade tomato sauce and
1/2 cup dry red wine. Simmer as long as you care to simmer. Add papparedelle (homemade or cooked to package directions), 1 cup of chiffonade basil, a splash of half and half, and a handful of fresh grated Parmesan.

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Monday, July 14, 2008


What's the best thing to come out of Yugoslavia since 1959? Vegeta! It is an all-purpose seasoning for your foods. Sure, it is loaded with MSG, but so what? I also wouldn't call it gourmet.

1 tsp. + 2 cups couscous = deliciousness

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Frrrrench Fooods

The past few days I've found myself more than usually obsessed with Thomas Keller. And who isn't? He has one of the greatest restaurants in the world (The French Laundry), he was a consultant for one of the best food movies ever (Ratatouille) and my most favoriteist blog is based on his cookbook.
I will probably never cook his food, as it is super time-consuming and takes days to prepare a single dish. Unless it involves poached eggs.

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Monday, July 7, 2008


I don't know if you guys like puppies, but I do. Especially Miniature Australian Shepard/Poodle mixes. Especially those named Josie, (as in the Steely Dan song). ESPECIALLY those that like to nomnomnom on furniture and drywall and alarm clocks...

Did I get a puppy? The answer might probably be yes.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Salmon Sadness...

Turns out, commercial salmon fishing was canceled along the West Coast this year. Although this still allows for the Copper River salmon in Alaska to be sold this season, the price has jumped dramatically to $30-$40 a pound.

Now we'll have to make the most of our salmon. I suggest filling puff pastry with a nice fillet, some homemade pesto, and some wilted arugula and garlic. Extra points for making the puff pastry pocket look like a fish.

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