A Few of My Favorite Things: February Edition

Fresh & Foodie

February is the shortest month of the year, and that’s OK considering it was brutally cold and snowy for a majority of those 28 days here in Chicago. So let’s move on, shall we?

But before we jump into March, let’s reminisce about some of my favorite things from February.

February Favorites from freshandfoodie.com @freshandfoodie

Ham and Cheese Croissants from Bake Chicago
Double Daisy Cutter from Half Acre Beer Company
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook
Jumbo Doughnut from Glazed and Infused

Have any February favorites of your own to share? Post in the comments section below, or send me a tweet @freshandfoodie.

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The Garum Factory

Seared Green Beans with Whipped Feta-3531

PANMASS CHALLENGE WEEKEND: On Saturday and Sunday Jody and the other members of Team Rialto-Trade will make their fifth ride in the annual PanMass Challenge, raising money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  This year’s route, divided over two days, runs 192 miles from Sturbridge, in western Massachusetts, to Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod.  Cancer connects all of us.  This year will bring the team’s aggregate total to almost $500,000.  Please help Team Rialto-TRADE strike a blow for cancer research.  You can make a donation here.  Thank you.

This recipe is so simple I had trouble envisioning exactly what I was going to photograph, which was fine, because given the temperatures of the last couple of weeks, who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?  Seared Haricots Verts with Whipped Feta and Preserved Lemon will have you in and out in no time and then you…

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Orange Infused Goji Berries and Yogurt

The Hungry Artist


Goji berries are said to be one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods on the planet. Some claim that it boosts one’s immunity system, improves one’s brain function, and even extends one’s life expectancy! They are high in vitamins C and A and are also a good source of iron and fiber, and have some protein. I buy them in bulk at a local market, but they are also readily available at health food stores.

The dried berries are quite hard in their dried state. Unlike dried cranberries, they are not very chewy either. In Chinese cuisine, they are used in cooked dishes, so I decided to reconstitute mine in very hot orange juice. I heated 1/4 cup of orange juice and soaked about 1/4 cup of goji berries in it for about 10 – 15 minutes. This really softened them up and made them much easier to chew. I then mixed them in…

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Flawless Fresh Peach Pie


It’s been a jam-packed summer at our house.  We’ve been catching rays, catching waves and enjoying time with our family and friends.   I’ve stayed up all hours of the night reading and promising myself that I’ll shut out the lights at the end of the next chapter.  And then the next chapter, and then one more.

Isn’t that what holidays are all about?


The kids are sleeping in late every morning and I find myself in the kitchen, rolling pastries or kneading dough.  It’s such a soothing way to start the day, and sometimes the only sound in the house is the noise of the rolling pin on the counter.  I’m happiest when there’s a pie or two cooling on the stove.  Even happier to give them to a friend who will enjoy them.


It’s definitely pie season in this house.  What better way to showcase all of the fruit that summer has to offer…

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Swiss Chard Cakes and Accidental Omlettes

darla cooks

Chard Cakes with Horseradish Sour Cream Chard Cakes with Horseradish Sour Cream

The Esalen Cookbook inspired these delicious vegetarian fritters. Esalen Institute is a fantastic place on the West coast that has incredible everything- including a fantastic kitchen. One day I hope to visit there. Until then I’ll peruse the beautiful cookbook, make these amazing fritters-meditate and visualize myself soaking in the healing waters while looking up at the stars.

I was given an exciting gift at the end of testing the recipes for these chard cakes, and that was an accidental omelette!
The first recipe I tried was directly from the Esalen Cookbook, It doesn’t call for flour or buttermilk, only eggs, a little bit of water and some salt. Super simple, but a “runny” batter.  Once I finished cooking the first batch I had a decent amount of egg mixture with tiny bits of chard and onion left in the bowl. I decided just to toss…

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Another Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Conference Cocktail

Cold Glass

I learned two important things when I first encountered the Saratoga cocktail. For starters, I discovered that I like the Saratoga even more than I like the Manhattan—and that’s saying something.

But more significantly, I discovered that rye whiskey and brandy go astonishingly well together.

And the knowledge of that happy combination led to delight when I came across Brian Miller’s riff on the Old-Fashioned, the Conference cocktail.

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