Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's only a few days until Kendall and I fly out for our annual trip to Chicago. We go to visit one my dearest friends, Mary, and try to squeeze in some time with my cousin Jonathan and his husband Chris. We are so excited to see all of them!

We're also stoked to get out of this triple digit heat and into weather with a forecasted high in the mid-70s... Heaven! We haven't been to the Windy City in the summer, and I am looking forward to strolling around in the sun, taking in some sites, but mostly, visiting with some of my favorite people. We always have a blast with Mary and her always-cool-forever-hipper-than-us friends. I've never met a single one I haven't liked!

Chicago is also home to some great chow. Deep-dish pizza, of course, is a Chicago classic, and is so deeply hearty and satisfying. But Mary's also taken us to some great little spots, including an unbelievable Lebanese restaurant and a better-than-Grandma's Swedish kitchen with some of the best French Onion soup I've ever had.

After a wretched dinner this past winter, there's now an unfortunate legend of my off-the-cuff homemade broccoli cheese disaster. It was 17 degrees below zero, and after freezing our way to the Shedd Aquarium, we decided some hearty soup was in order. I decided that making broccoli cheese soup would be simple enough. I figured you'd make a white sauce, add some cheese, thin it with a bit of milk, add the broccoli and presto. But my plan went awry...

After successfully making a white sauce, I slowly started to add some shredded Cheddar. It didn't melt slowly into the sauce, but rather curdled. Panicked, I added milk and turned the heat down. No luck. Turned the heat up. No luck. I added the broccoli. Nada. After 20 minutes of trying to tame this thing down, and no other options, I threw it in the blender. It was... not good. It was pretty much tasteless, had a horrid texture, and felt spongy between your teeth. But my loving friends still ate it. My husband gave me grief.

This time, I feel compelled to take along a few recipes in my suitcase to try to wow them again... Any suggestions?

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