European

Cherry Tomato and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Quiche

One of my favorite things about pie crust is that it’s so versatile once you have some ideas of what to do with it. It’ s a whole new tasting experience to try savory dishes using pie dough instead of just the typical (but deliciously sweet) fruit pies.  Another thing I love is the technique involved in learning how to make quiche, ... Read More »

Chicago French Market

When you live in a big city like I do, it doesn’t mean you always get a chance to see the touristy spots like visitors usually do. We are busy on weekends, working during the week and so most of the time the only real excuse we give ourselves to enjoy Chicago is when family or friends come to visit. ... Read More »

How to Make Creme Fraiche

creme fraiche 375

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably already know that I have a pure affinity for crème frâiche, or French style cream. If you haven’t tried it before, I urge you to begin with this recipe or even a store-bought one to lure you into the wonderful ways it can enhance the flavors of ... Read More »

Gelato at Trattoria Oliveri

Do you ever just have a craving for a nice cold gelato after a long walk? Recently, after exploring our nearby forest preserves and parks (we have some great ones in Chicago) I thought a gelato would be a perfect way to end the walk and relax on a warm spring day. The only problem was finding one. We headed to downtown ... Read More »

Corrallini Pasta with French Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

corralini pasta

This is such a light pasta, perfect for warm early spring or summer days. Bring home fresh vegetables from the garden or farmer’s market and come hone to enjoy cooking a quick and easy meal. If you can’t find corrallini pasta, which is a tiny, bite-size pasta, you can use ditalini or any small noodle instead.  Corralini Pasta with French ... Read More »

A Recipe for Spring: Asparagus Burgers

Asparagus Burgers Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the budding spring flowers on trees and, of course, the beautiful, colorful tulips. We also saw asparagus, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe for asparagus burgers, which is one of my favorite dishes.  Here’s the beautiful purple asparagus plant I spotted on our last leg of ... Read More »

City Hall Bake Shop: Home of “Cake Boss”

Italian Flag Cookies by Cake Boss

  Many visitors to Manhattan miss out on the great opportunity to visit nearby Hoboken, NJ.  I have done the same on past trips to The Big Apple, but my most recent trip afforded me the great pleasure and impetus to try visiting the bustling bakery of Buddy Valastro (a.k.a. “Cake Boss”) and his family. Cake Boss is a reality ... Read More »

Chez Colette and Breakfast Eggs with Smoked Salmon

On a cold, blustery winter day in search of some comfort food in a warm setting, we trekked out to a French-American restaurant called Chez Colette.  Actually, anything would have been warmer than outside at that time, but this place was especially inviting. Conveniently located inside the Sofitel Hotel in Rosemont, IL near Chicago’s O’Hare airport and the Rosemont Convention ... Read More »

Simple Foccacia Bread

Foccacia dough doubled in size

Ever since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I’ve felt it quite frivolous to go about daily tasks such as recipe developing, recipe testing and writing about the intricate details and characteristics of food while an entire island nation of people suffer from lack of the most basic necessities: shelter, water food and medical attention. As I write this, people are ... Read More »

Italian Herb-Stuffed Mushrooms

Fresh Mushrooms

My family has been making stuffed mushrooms since I can remember eating savory foods. They look tedious to make, but I promise you they are super simple. I only cut off the stem to use in the stuffing, not the core of the mushroom. I think it makes the recipe easier, less messy and I don’t have to worry about ... Read More »