Monthly Archives: March 2006

Gazpacho Andaluz

I’m attending a dinner party this evening and was asked to bring a soup.  While looking at the Saveur website recently, as I often do, I came across this recipe for Gazpacho Andaluz.  After wandering around in the sun in search of sherry vinegar and the perfect country-style bread to thicken the soup I came […]

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Jennifer - The best way I have found to get pesky seeds out of your tomato dishes (especially soups) without losing half the fruit is to boil the tomatoes and pass then through a seive when they are still hot. I generally just quarter them and toss them straight into a pot on high. There is so much water in the fruit that it turns very soupy on its own very quickly, and you dont need to mess with your proportions by adding more water. When they have been boiled to mush, which takes just a few minutes, i just poor them in bit by bit into a wire mesh seive and work them through with the back of a wooden spoon. It adds an extra step, but really doesn’t take all that much time or energy to do.

Anne - Another way to seed a tomato is to cut it in half and then cut each half into 3 equal wedges…use your knife to cut under the seeds from one end of the wedge to the other. Works for me!

patrick - cut a tomato in half width-wise and squeeze. this gets out most of the seeds. it gets them all out if the tomato’s slightly cooked.
what was the bread accompaniment?

gemma - Thanks for the good ideas. I will try them out soon!

Sushi Night

My friend Emily invited over some Hyde Park ladies for a male-free evening of kirs and sushi prepared by the host herself (with a little help from the early arrivals, that is Mindy above.) Emily knows where to find some of the best fish in the city. My favorite rolls from the evening had eggplant […]

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kristina - i like the new layout. i love the sushi photos! :)

Tu Cong Van - sounds you had a good time and food looks great.

gemma - Thanks both of you!

Lise Sveen - I’d like to know the names of some fish sources in Chicago, please!

gemma - Hi Lise, she goes to Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop on Clybourne.

Pam Zutell - Do you know where we can purchase the soda pop “Ting” that was so popular for 20 -30 years? It is bottled in the Waupaca, WI area, however, I cannot seem to find anyone who sells it for us to purchase. I would absolutly love hearing from someone who could let me know how to accuire this beverage sold in cases with returnable bottles. The soda is so good, less carbonation, less preseritives and takes like good old fashioned soda before everything was added to it. It would mean a great deal to us. Thank you.

gemma - Hi Pam. Do you live near Waupaca? If so you can go to the corner store in Rural that I mention in my post on Waupaca (you can find it here: I will email you this information too so I am sure you get it. Good luck. Ting is wonderful!

bonni - Hi,
You can also buy Ting at Cas Liquor in downtown Waupaca. I think it’s bottled in Shawano, Wisconsin.

Brian - You can also get Ting at a liquor store in Slinger on Hwy 175 accross from the post office


As you can see I have tweaked the site a bit. I may be doing so a bit more over the next few days as well. I would appreciate hearing about any problems viewers might have in different browsers. Thanks!

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Twice-Baked Potatoes with Vegetables

I had extra buttermilk on hand that I wanted to use up and I came up with this recipe to do so. Regular milk, sour cream, or yogurt could be subsituted if you don’t have buttermilk. I think any vegetables on hand would work well also. For this recipe I used broccoli rabe, the kernals […]

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Michelle - That potato looks delicious! I am going to have to try that one!

Gemma - Thanks Michelle!

Chiditarod Race and Food Drive

This past weekend my friends John, Jen, Ligaya, Ben, and I participated in the first Chiditarod, Chicago’s very own urban Iditarod.  Teams of five sign up to wildly steer their souped up shopping carts around Chicago, stop in at check-points, and race to the finish line. Our team, Snakes on a Plane, came in 8th […]

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Becca - what a great idea … never heard of these races before! Pittsburgh needs one …

gemma - Hi Becca,
I bet if you contacted one of the organizers they would be happy to give you some information about starting one out by you. All of the organizers that I met were very nice and excited. It was a lot of fun.

Snakes on a Blog - Hey, do you have more pictures of your cart? I’d love to do a link to your story/cart at
Let me know if you have any more pictures, I’d love to seem them.

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