Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prawns with roasted asparagus and baby zucchini

It is hot here, and cooking in a sweltering kitchen sucks. So, I like to cook in the broiler when I can. I keep shrimp from Costco in my freezer- they're a great deal and are HUGE. This weekend I went over to Chicago's Green City Market and got some fresh produce- lots of asparagus and sugar snap peas and baby squashes. Here's what I did with it:

Prawns with roasted asparagus and baby zucchini (Serves 2)

8 giant shrimps, in their shell
1/2 bunch asparagus
6 baby zucchini
olive oil

Wash and cut veggies into sizeable chunks. Make sure they are dry. Shell shrimps, pat dry with paper towel. Throw everything on a baking sheet- drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. I like to use Argumato Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is pressed with lemons. Toss everything until evenly coated. Throw under broiler- after a couple minutes, turn shrimp. After a couple more minutes, remove shrimp and set aside. Continue to cook veggies till crispy.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Monday, June 29, 2009

Skorts, etc.

Target is selling the best Skorts. They aren't shorts made to look like a skirt, they are just shorts with a skirt over them, so they look like a skirt. I got them in blue.

This week on OMG, SAMMICHES!:

I met Gale Gand. I asked her about Paris patisseries. I will tell you about it.

Farmer's Market! Garlic scapes! Portabellas the size of your head!

Recipes: Roast shrimp and spring vegetables, whole wheat ricotta ravioli with spring vegetables, Pistachio raspberry cream cheese macarons.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice Things from France You Can Have*, Pt. II

* But you still need to find them, and they're still kinda pricey.

Jam! Who doesn't love jam? All kinds of jam! In France, a lady named Christine Ferber is in charge of jam (at least that is what I can tell by my translations). She has her jam in the best shops, and you cannot get it in the US. She even- and this sentence makes me very happy- has a line of jam for Pierre Herme. In France, pastry chefs collaborate on jam. I would one day like to have a jam collaboration.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nice Things from France You Can Have*, Pt. I

*If you can find them, and also they are still reasonably expensive.

This post incorporates so many wonderful things that I'm not exactly sure where to start- the Parisian Beekeeping, the Paris Opera House, Honey. It also reminds me of the recently departed 'Pushing Daisies' which also featured rooftop urban beekeeping.

Since the mid 1900s, Paris has been a hotspot for urban beekeeping. The Beekeeping School (Rucher Ecole) in the Luxembourg Gardens teaches apiculture to the cities many rooftop beekeepers. Honey and honey products can be found at Les Abeilles.

One of the cities most famous beekeepers is Jean Paucton, who tends to the hives he started on top of the Paris Opera House. He sells the honey at the Opéra de Paris gift shop, and at the gourmet store Fauchon when in season.

NYT article on Paucton's Opera beekeeping can be found here.
NYT article on the bee epidemic and it's impact on Parisian beekeeping can be found here.

I am buying so much honey in Paris.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meringue secrets...

The secret to perfect mint chocolate chip meringues is that you need to chop the chocolate into the itty-bittiest pieces that you possibly can. If you use the tiny chips, then the airy, sugary meringue melts in your mouth and you get stuck with a mouthful of chocolate chips. If you grind the hell out of some milk chocolate chips, the chocolate and the mint meringue melt together and the whole thing tastes like a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Becca's Mint Chocolate Meringues:

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
green food color
mint extract
cream of tarter
1/2 a bag milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 225ish. Beat egg whites, and add a dash of cream of tarter while mixing. Once they get foamy, slowly add in the sugar- hourglass style. Once the sugar is in, beat it till it gets all creamy and shiny. Now, and this is important- add the food color (four or five drops) at the same time as the mint (Careful! just a drop, you can always add more. Too much and the whole thing tastes like Scope.) Beat till food color is evenly distributed. In a food processor, puree the chocolate chips into dust. Add chocolate dust to meringue. Scoop by spoon onto a foil lined cookie sheet (Piping this meringue will 1.) waste meringue and 2.) deflate the meringue). Bake in the oven 90 minutes, turn off oven and leave meringues in to cool overnight.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Friday, June 19, 2009


OMG, Sammiches is going to France! Duck confit! Macarons from Pierre Herme! Van Cleef and Arpels! French cheeses! French wine! So, I am trying to learn a little bit of French. I'm using Rosetta Stone, and it is totally the best- both because I am actually picking up some vocabulary, and it is fun to "play." Highly recommended.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Father's Day Gift Idea

Father's Day is coming up, and you're going to have to find a gift. Golf balls? No. Shaving kits? No. Polo shirts? No. Cologne? YES. Vintage men's colognes that will remind Dad of when he was younger, but also have the best names of all time ever? YES AGAIN. My favorites:
English Leather. Launched in 1949. This fragrance possesses a blend of citrus, woods, moss and leather. My mother once admitted to spraying it on her stuffed animals when she was in her 20's and snuggling with them.Royal Copenhagen. Amazon says, "Fragrance notes: orange, lemon, jasmine, moss, and amber, a woodsy and manly aroma. Recommended use: evening." Manly aroma. Evening.British Sterling. BONUS! Vintage commercial. White snow, white horses, white clothes, and bottles of British Sterling on silver trays.

I'm getting a bottle of English Leather.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Truffled Parmesan Popcorn

You know what sounds good? Truffled parmesan popcorn. Here's how:

1.) Pop a bag of your favorite microwave popcorn.
2.) Get a big stainless steel bowl. Drizzle a teeny bit of truffle oil into it- careful, the oil is hardcore. Swirl bowl around or use a pastry brush to coat the outside of the bowl with the oil.
3.) Pour popped corn into bowl and toss lightly to coat with oil.
4.) Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of parmesan and a bit of your favorite sea salt.

This Food & Wine recipe does a bit of a more complicated process with real truffles, but they are dead on with their suggested drink accompaniment- a cognac sidecar.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Monday, June 8, 2009


I'm decorating my bedroom with a shellfish theme- Posters of edible mollusks, german glass glittered lobster sculptures, jellyfish and crab pillows. But what I really want is an Omersa Seal for the corner. They are leather! They are animals! They are furniture!

You want a hippo and a pig and a basset hound and a dachshund. Then you can use them as seating for the world's most adorable sunroom. Tea party mandatory.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weekend Cupcake Update!

Last weekend I excitedly prepared to make the above cupcakes, Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow from Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes. I'm a sucker for recipes that let me use my butane torch. I watched the video. I read the user comments. This is what I ended up with.

They looked like sunken flourless cakes. They tasted OK, they were fluffy. But all of the delicious graham and chocolate topping sunk to the bottom. The batter was WAY too thin, and I even subbed buttermilk for the regular milk. So I had to try AGAIN, and used a buttermilk chocolate pound cake recipe I made up with ingredients I had leftover from the original failcakes.

Yay! Second time they came out. The cake tasted weird, but it held up to the toppings. Nothing like cupcakes with a huge swirly peak of meringue, toasted caramel brown on top.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beforebear and Afterbear

Giantbear attacks Happysteak.

Puppy bear went to the groomer this week. Before Bear is pictured above. Look how cute and fluffy. And knotted and hot and uncomfortable. Now, Afterbear!Oh boy does she look stupid. At least she's more comfortable.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thinking Bobby Flay things

Today someone asked me what I thought of Bobby Flay. I said that I think he seems like a bit of jerk, like he would make comments about ladies being fat behind their backs (or sometimes NOT behind their backs(!)) and would laugh at inappropriate things like if you touched your eyes after chopping a hot chili, or if you didn't know what kind of tequila was the best, but also he would sometimes be fun to be around and have a couple drinks with, and I bet he likes dogs, too.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter


My French-Canadian umbrella arrived today. I got it in navy, with silver screenprinted text. It is the most lovely thing, and it makes me almost wish it were raining. It has a solid wood handle and wood tips and should stand up to the Chicago winds.

I'm going to try and bring this back, friends, really I promise.

Follow OMGSammiches on Twitter