Beef, brandy, two kinds of mustard, generous aromatics, carrots and mushrooms braise into a robust, soothing stew. Recipe below.

Dijon Beef Stew with Shallots

Comfort food. Are there two more comforting words? They conjure up very different things for all of us, I’m sure, but for me, they often look/smell/taste like this meaty, stew-y dish. But comfort isn’t just in the food—it’s in the making of food, time spent in the kitchen. [click to continue…]



Curried Lentils with Poached Eggs

I claim to be an omnivore, but if I’m being honest, I’m more of a carnivore who also appreciates decent sides. I’ve been known to say, “A day without meat is like a day without sunshine.” That said, some really delicious vegetarian recipes have appeared here over the years, some of them even cooked by me. Here are six of our favorites. [click to continue…]



Gin, elderflower liqueur, Campari, lemon juice and club soda make an easy-drinking, end-of-summer cocktail (that you just might drink year-round). Recipe below.

Gin, Elderflower and Campari

Gin plays a big role in our summer cocktail rotation. So does Campari and soda for Marion. And we always seem to have St-Germain elderflower liqueur around. So when I came across a cocktail recipe combining all of those, I knew we had to try our own version. [click to continue…]



Some eggplant roasted ahead of time is the base of this weeknight quick vegetarian pasta. Basil, garlic and Parmesan are the other key ingredients. Recipe below.

Linguine with Japanese Eggplant and Basil

Our tiny, abundant garden continues to be, well, abundant. So one recent evening, I came home to find Marion roasting eggplants, beets and potatoes. Okay, the potatoes were from the fridge, not our garden, but they weren’t getting any fresher. The beets and potatoes were sides for dinner that night. A few nights later, I turned the eggplant, some basil from the garden and a few always-on-hand ingredients into this quick dinner. [click to continue…]



What can you do?

by Terry B on August 23, 2017


This week’s post was either going to be a cocktail or maybe a compound butter with fish. I had the ingredients for both, more or less, and some basic ideas on how I was going to make them. Only I didn’t. So instead, you’re being treated to an image I nabbed off the Internet. There was no name listed with it, so I can’t even give credit where photo credit is due. Please come back next week. I’ll try to have one of these two recipes or something completely different.



Miso paste, sesame oil and soy sauce turn slender Japanese eggplant into an umami-rich side. Recipe below.

Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sherry Sauce

Our tiny garden is going gangbusters. We have one shishito pepper plant, and it is giving us enough peppers for a very ample side for four at least once a week. We have three Sun Gold tomato plants, and they are giving us a couple of generous handfuls of tomatoes every day. The basil, the beets, the beans—all crazy. [click to continue…]



Five burgers, no beef

by Terry B on August 9, 2017

Lamb and turkey stand in for ground beef in these five burger recipes.

Lamb Burger

I’ve been thinking about burgers lately. Big, juicy, beefy burgers. So imagine my surprise when I dug through the Blue Kitchen archives and didn’t find a single beef hamburger. But I did find these lamb and turkey burgers, and I remember every one of them fondly. [click to continue…]



Arroz verde peruano: Peruvian Green Rice

by Terry B on August 2, 2017

A traditional Peruvian dish, green rice gets its green from cilantro and its plentiful flavor from onions, carrots, peas, garlic, cumin and chicken stock. Recipe below.

Peruvian Green Rice

Since moving into our new old house a little over a year ago, we often talk here about how much we love our neighborhood, Pilsen. And we do. But Marion and I also both fell hard for our first Chicago neighborhood, now called Lakeview, but back then, New Town (and less officially but more permanently, Boystown). So we’re always up for an excuse to visit our old nabe. This time, our excuse was a new fast casual Peruvian chicken restaurant, Chopo Chicken. [click to continue…]



Our take on a traditional dim sum favorite, eggplant stuffed with a shrimp/pork mixture, sautéed and steamed. Recipe below.

Dim Sum Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp

For quite a few years, one of our most beloved dim sum dishes was the eggplant stuffed with shrimp prepared at Hong Minh on Cermak in Chicago’s Chinatown. It was light and luscious and suave, and we were crazy about it. [click to continue…]



Leave it to the French to tame the sharp bite of vinegar with lots of butter, shallots, garlic and tarragon in this classic Lyonnaise dish. Recipe below.

Braised Chicken with Vinger and Shallots

Chicken. In vinegar sauce. After me somehow never hearing of this ever, suddenly it was everywhere. Within the span of the past two weeks, three very different recipes popped up on my radar from three very different sources. A little digging turned up more. And despite my ignorance of it, chicken in a vinegar sauce wasn’t some new chef-driven trend. It was rooted firmly in “my grandmother used to make this” and “based on a traditional Lyonnaise dish” territory. [click to continue…]