Archive for the ‘C&C Kitchen’ Category

Tasted our first Mast Brothers Chocolate last night… incroyable. My notes:

Sweet battles savory. Dark and gamey, nutty and bitter. It chips like slate and lets off the most satisfying crack between your teeth—think the exact opposite of a Hersey’s bar. I hate Halloween, and I hate Halloween candy, but, if this was handed out, I would gladly wear a costume and work the neighborhood. This includes the hand-made dirty tampon costume that a girl wore to my high school, resulting in her suspension. (more…)

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If you’re someone with a bucket list, put this on it.

837 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

[Publican’s dining area, with bar seating. You can sit at one of the gorgeous, communal farm tables, or in booths that line the perimeter of the restaurant, complete with shutter doors. Your very own hog stall.] (more…)

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So I went to my first chili cook-off last week.

I ate 25 little cups with varying degrees of spice and meat assemblage including beef, turkey, duck (I think), wild boar, venison, and lamb (I also think). The evening was genius and concluded with a very restless night’s sleep and bubble guts that spilled over into the next day. Was it worth it? Yes! But in retrospect, there was no need for seconds—that was just foolish.

[Many of the finest dining establishments in Manchester brought chili to the contest, held at the Equinox Resort. Local schools, clubs, and organizations made a damn good showing too—especially the kids at the Long Trail School.]


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This may seem like a little photo overkill for a post about a soup place (without any photos of the soup, to boot), but for someone who has a tremor, I’m super proud of these:

Smokin’ Bowls: the lazy wife’s savior during a blizzard.

Shoot the moose if I’m not tired of telling you about the weather, but on this particular night, after hitting Rob with a “no food in the fridge, dude,” just when he’d managed to pull into the driveway after 7, tire-spinning attempts, our options were indeed limited by the drama of the snow.

Pfff—of course. Our favorite hashish-humored soup shack. (more…)

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Rule #1. Sustenance is key.

[Tea from clever avian tea set.] (more…)

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A few things:

Tell me you see the -17 dealio right there. Oh, and Monday looks like a good day to try out my new assless pants. (more…)

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It was cold, so we ate phở and drank hot Sake. The end.

Phở (foe). Such a simple word—a word Carey spoke so confidently while we discussed the menu. “Remember when we had phở in Richmond?” “Fishballs, meatballs, or chicken for your phở?” I was so impressed by her confident Asian-ness. I even requested she place the order. But when our 90 pound, kimono clad server touched tip of pencil to tongue, the proud assurance slipped away. All was not lost though, and with a quakey finger and a flick of submissive eyes, Carey pointed to her formidable phở. Yum.

[Editor’s note. I am crying laughing right now reading this, Rob.]


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[Cream Style Block Island Honey from Littlefield Bee Farm, Block Island, R.I.]

A mainstay in my kitchen cabinets since I was around 9 years old. Gone in every cup of tea so far this winter; comforting in the most sincerest meaning of the word. Ok, I’ll be frank… it’s spent more time on top of microwaveable nuggets, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m such a believer in Littlefield Bee Farm’s honey and its power to summon good feelings, I found a way to incorporate it into our wedding ceremony:

[An ancient Persian wedding ritual in which each person feeds the other honey off their pinkie finger, said with a blessing about sweetness in life.] (more…)

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I am supremely stubborn. If you tell me I’m going to love something, I will resist imminent pleasure before I give in and let you be right. Similar to being in the car with my father (who, according to Rob, I borrow most of my traits from)—when a song comes on and you remark that it’s one of your favorites, he’ll subconsciously switch the station moments later. I’ve wasted years missing out on things until deciding I’d come to my own conclusion about them, and in my own sweet time—sushi, vodka, Macs, Yankee boys, going to bed early…

The Fireplace, though, was one big exception to the rule. (more…)

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Last March, Carey and I happened upon a truly extraordinary restaurant. We were trying to go to Bombers, I recall, but parking was not to be found anywhere on Lark Street. I don’t handle looking for a parking spot very well; within ten minutes of circling my pulse was elevated and I was willing Carey to break the silence just so I could snap. I felt a phantom prickly heat rash inching up my neck. Then I saw McGuire’s—and a sign for valet parking. Change of plans, hunny! (more…)

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[Image courtesy WGACA blog.]


Reblogged via What Goes Around Comes Around (who also happen to make really awesome pants):

Fall officially began a few weeks ago, but this weekend in NYC we were treated to a respite from the cold and wet recessional into Winter. With temperatures in the mid 70s, it was easy to forget that snow boots and heavy coats will be in our near future. The farmer’s markets were still flush with summer produce, and my backyard garden has some peppers and tomatoes ripening on the vine as we speak.

Let’s all enjoy a Pimm’s Cup and some green foliage while we can.

For this you will need the following: (more…)

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[Let’s hear it for our new external flash. I don’t look 75.]

This afternoon I was wheeling my bicycle into the building when a man materialized from inside and held open the door.

Hi, there! Listen, you did great last night—I don’t care what anybody says. I mean… should I even let you in? You look pretty shady!

Nutter. Seriously, I had never seen this man before in my life. I just laughed awkwardly and said “Yup…thanks,” and wheeled my bike in. That’s just sort of ‘how I do’: weirdos are weird, I’m polite to a fault, and one day I’ll probably get abducted by someone offering to check my bike tire pressure with a Twizzler. Live and learn. (more…)

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Well done, Spain! To celebrate, we opened our second-to-last bottle of Pagos de Quintana and whipped up a Burden household favorite, Flamenco Eggs.

Coincidentally, I’m also midway through The Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon. [If you’ve read it, you know, and are sighing, sort of embarrassed. If not, go get a 99¢ used paperback copy, a huge glass of wine, and call me in the morning.] So it’s like all the little pieces are falling into place: horny, Spanish nuns… throbbing members… Tempranillo… baked eggs… cayenne… World Cup finale… stick with me, people.

This recipe is a great excuse to buy a bunch of cool little personal casserole dishes. Enjoy!


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Flag appetizers.

{Reblogged from Miles to Go.}

It’s the little things:

[Switzerland flag appetizer. For more, check out above linked post from Taylor B.]

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Proud to be… aborigine!

We did it old school, pioneering out onto Saratoga Lake on the hottest day so far this year looking for a little relief. How Pocahontas worked it in a suede tunic, I’ll never know.

Rob visibly hesitated next to the canoe before we shoved off. Being so cosmically in-tune with my mate, I said, “Don’t worry. If there are spidies, I will dispose of them.” And we were off.


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And you might as well put some spirits in it. And lime juice. And some bloody ice cubes, for Christ’s sake—reaaallly.

And that’s how you end up with a bottle of makeshift V&T’s in broad daylight on a Sah-turr-dee.

God save the Queen.


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[Prepping the impressive Wolf range for dinner in a Mara Hoffman caftan.]

While my brother and his wife tested the waters of parenthood back at the hospital, Rob and I took over their more than adequate kitchen to make a few flatbread pizzas for the parents. There was a general, collective sigh—an easy, smiley daze—it was a huge, fantastic day. I tend to think wine is the perfect companion to moments like these.


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Rob’s most annoying daily question: “What do you want for dinner, hun? Anything in particular?”

Carey sags a little at the thought of coming up with ideas for dinner, and my ideas are always the same—flatbreads, or baguette burgers. Most of the time she puts on a gas face, starts picking at the ends of her hair, and we just end up with pierogies. But, last night was different.

It was Friday—and she actually answered the dreaded question. “What if… we get some different cheeses… and some grapes. We can pair wine with them.” I put a bottle of white wine, a Bonny Doon Viognier, in the fridge and off we drove the 150 feet to the Putnam market, where we chalked up another 5000 feet circling the parking lot. Nerts to efficiency. And foreshadowing. (more…)

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[All images via Better Homes & Gardens.]

[I love a lot of elements from this—the cottage-y barn doors, blue trim, and hey, yellow spicket: get out of my dreams and into my yard.]

Rob and I frequently talk about what it’d be like if we could design a home from the ground up some day. Or, rather, have some sort of say in things that you do not when living in a condo. This would include really big deals like the pile of the door mat. Once I heard a rapping at the door and murmurs, and looked out the peep hole to see two tiny, white-haired ladies kicking at my violation mat with their toes. This was shortly after a letter had gone out explaining maximum dimensions for door mats. I didn’t answer the door. (more…)

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Carey and I got the opportunity to sample an exceptional wine this weekend: a wine that I have picked up many times, spun around in my hand, brushed the dusted off of, acknowledged the cool, tribal sun and soil-matching rusty/brown bars, but inevitably set back down and moved along. So you can imagine my surprise and joy when I was presented with this celebrated Super Tuscan by a generous friend and fellow wine lover.

Lupicaia is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, vinified from only the best of the carefully selected grapes, and aged for 18 months in new French Allier barrels.


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Sidewalk seating is in full effect, and Maestro’s was the place to be last Saturday night. I was so excited for our first outdoor dinner that I even selected our wine from the Maestro’s website before we left the house. I have a tendency to get lost in the pages of those leather bound books, causing a undo amount of stress and performance anxiety while I run processes of elimination through my head, ignoring my pretty wife all the while.

This one was easy though, the 2004 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains, a slightly old world Cabernet blend with great vegetal notes and a better acidity than you might expect.


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First, you replace your grandparents mismatched, hand-me-down, 3 oz. wine glasses with some nice Riedel stems—perhaps the standard Bordeaux glasses, but the collection will expand if you have a wedding registry. Maybe you start filling a big glass jug with old corks—art evolution—then you buy your first overpriced decanter, obscurely shaped, highly breakable, and nearly impossible to clean.

You receive a few Vinturi wine aerators for Christmas, and/or various other filtration devices, amass more wine books than you could ever read, and start growing your stack of Wine Spectator magazines but all the while fighting conformity.

Of course, you are purchasing and drinking wine, refining your palate, amazed by how fast it changes. At this point, your reality has become so warped you start giving nerdy and/or very expensive gifts that you will probably be the only one who appreciates, because not every person’s day is consumed with thinking about wine. But you can try to change that. Here are 5 of those items:

1. USB Cork

2. Knuckle Duster Corkscrew $12.99

3. Sommelier Corkscrew and Leather Case by Mulholland Brothers $50

4. Wine bottle thermometer $10

5. Vintage Waxed Canvas Two Bottle Wine Carrier by Mulholland Brothers $285



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I have an amazing wife—one who currently is sleeping on the couch under a blanket, under Eli, wearing a crazy Aztec-looking shirt, with cucumber slices over her eyes—no doubt dreaming of crash-free adventures on her new bike. I vetoed her idea of wearing a pith helmet in lieu of the nerdy ones that, quote, “remind her too much of Wheelers.” We settled on a horseback riding helmet: horses are higher up and go faster, so they must be safe enough. No crop though, it  could get caught in the spokes.


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After attending the reading at Lange Vineyards, we drove back down from the Dundee Hills and got to squeeze in a few more hours with new friends. Farm to Fork in Dundee, OR is an outstanding restaurant with a killer wine list and sweet, sweet escargot—boogers of the gods, I say. (more…)

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[My gramps’ bar glasses.]

I don’t watch Mad Men (yet… Netflix), but I imagine these bar glasses would fit right in next to the decanters of scotch in the offices at Sterling Cooper. Although, they’d probably better fit in down the island up in the World Trade Center in a broker’s office who, in anticipation of a 3-martini lunch, told his secretary not to let him sign anything important that afternoon.

I nicked these from my grandparents during a downsizing. I knew I could give them a good home. Now, they are home to Rob’s evening tonics [and my rum and tonics]. (more…)

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