Archive for March, 2011

OK, so I’ve been bad and haven’t written for a while.  I do have a good excuse though. I’ve been looking for a place to live and studying for my insurance license.  I found a small bungalow for rent and we’ve been slowly moving in. On April 1st it became our home.

In-between all of this my mother-in-law turned 75!  My brother-in-law, Larry was in town working on music project and the three of us were going to take her out for Sushi, per her request.  About a week before Matthew received a phone call from his older brother Jeffrey who lives in Brookline, Mass with his partner Leslie and their daughter Tova (Miss fabulous).  Jeff thought it would be a great idea to have a surprise birthday party for Eleanor and invite some of her best friends.  We all agreed that it was a great idea and started making phone calls, everyone was very excited about it.  We were able to get three out of five to be present at the party.

For hors d’oevres we had a sushi tray from the Lawrence Fish Market and Asian deviled eggs which I made. For the entrée I cooked Mediterranean sea bass and a vegetable paella with an aioli sauce which was so good that I think it deserves its own blog.

Everyone was in place on the appointed night and Larry and Eleanor arrived at our house around 7p.m. and when she walked into the dining room I thought she’d fall over!  Her very best friends Anne and her husband Walter and Andrew were sitting there smiling at her.  We had a toast and let the games begin!


The Birthday girl                             Andrew enjoying a cocktail


Dinner                                          Larry toasting his Mom


Andrew, Anne and Eleanor               Anne and Eleanor


Eleanor blowing out the candle       Me (Tina)


Group shots (from left to right)

Left photo: Anne, Andrew, Larry, Eleanor, Tina and Walter

Right photo: Anne, Andrew, Matthew, Eleanor, Tina and Walter


Read Full Post »

Lawrence Fish Market is located on the northwest side of Chicago in a neighborhood known as Albany Park.  It’s a true hole in the wall that most people would walk right by.  The glass windows in the storefront are nondescript and often there are Korean newspapers and magazines in them.  They have a small blue and yellow sign that’s barely visible. Upon entering the store you are greeted by the sight of a car seat where the owner can often be found taking a nap. He also sells fish to some local sushi restaurants.

A co-worker of mine used to date his son and I stopped with her on the way home from work one day.  She was having family over and had ordered ahead.  I was really surprised at the platter of fish she came out with.  A few weeks later my husband and I gave them a try, and it was really very good and beautifully displayed, and the price was right!  I will say that it can be hit or miss.  I have had a few meals that were just ok, but overall if you’re in the mood for some carry out sushi, give it a try and don’t be afraid of the way the place looks.  Call ahead, but not hours ahead because you don’t want the fish to be just sitting there waiting for you.  Bring cash.  They don’t except credit cards.

Lawrence Fish Market

3914 N. Lawrence Ave



Read Full Post »

Rabbit by Vincent

Here it is finally!  I received the e-mail over the weekend from the master of rabbit himself!  I have to warn you that I’m not confident that this will work with a frozen American rabbit.  The rabbit we purchased in France was fresh and large and included a liver the size of a golf ball, which he cooked along with the rabbit.  There are sources for farm raised rabbits http://heritagefoodsusa.com but they can be expensive.  Also he doesn’t measure anything so it’s not possible to give you exact portions.


Rabbit cut up

French mustard

Heavy cream

Fresh thyme



Olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Linguini pasta

Sauté a pound of mushrooms in a little olive oil and set aside.  Salt, pepper and flour the rabbit, shaking off any excess flour.   Heat a little olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the rabbit and mushrooms comfortably.  Brown the rabbit. Once it is browned, start smearing the mustard all over the rabbit and add a large branch of thyme and a glass of water. Cook for 10 minutes turning the rabbit.  After 10 minutes start gradually adding the cream and more mustard until the sauce looks nice and thick and you think you have enough to cover the rabbit and the pasta. (I will say that I think you will be using a lot of cream and mustard because there was a lot of sauce when he made it for us.) That should take around 20 minutes.  Add the sautéed mushrooms and let it simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes or until the rabbit is tender.  Meanwhile prepare the pasta in the usual manner and set aside.  When the rabbit is done serve over pasta and enjoy!

Read Full Post »