The Local Ladle

Tips to Quick Pickling Just About Everything!

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Being an absolute crazy pickle lover, I will never really understand people who don’t like pickles. Not to mislead you into thinking I do not have pickle hating friends… I do.  Before the burger can even touch the table they are throwing all their pickles my way… I mean c’mon, it cant get much better than that!

This weekend it was my goal to dive into learning how to pickle some of these delicious summer veggies, without necessarly having to learn how to/buy the equipment to can.

Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving an assortment of vegetables from the market or your garden. It also gives you the freedom to get a little creative with the different types and quanities of herbs and spices!  I highly recommend all my pickle lovers to give it a try for themselves!  Read more

Coffee Roasted Carrots

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The talented Daniel Patterson, Chef owner of Coi, in San Francisco’s North Beach brought to life the idea of “Carrots/Coffee.”  Daniel’s “Coffee Roated Carrots with Chicory Granola” dish has meat lovers even leaving his restaurant saying that the carrot course was the standout favorite.  Experimenting with these two unique ingredients brought together a genius combination of sweet, smoky, and earthy flavors.

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Soba Salad with Seaweed & Miso-Ginger Dressing

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When I went to school in Ireland, I was lucky enough to live walking distance from the ocean.  It was the first time in my life I could ever say I lived by the smell of sea salt in the air.

At least 3 times a week, I would either walk or run to the water to escape the chaos of class and also at the same time do a little “grocery shopping.”  My favorite things to pick up along the way were blackberries that lined the streets and also my favorite… seaweed.  I was fascinated by the health benefits and also all the variety of uses it had in the kitchen!

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3 Easy Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Lunches

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One of my new year resolutions is to bring lunch from home at least 4 work days a week. As all of us know…. harder said than done, especially working with a restaurant group!

So my plan is to make use of my favorite inventions, my zucchini spiralizer and mason jars! Here are a few recipes below that are some of the most simple and efficient ways to spice up your lunch and by day 4 still not wanting take out!

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One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

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It’s 5 degrees outside today and I have very little to no motivation to even step outside into the frozen Windy City! Grocery shopping… no thank you! So quickly I became a contestant on the show Chopped with my fridge of 5 ingredients being my “basket.”

Now I wasn’t given the challenge of wasabi candy canes or banana ketchup…. but rather chicken breasts, vegetable stock, Brussels sprouts, onions, and carrots!  Probably the easiest Chopped basket ever given.  Not much of a “challenge,” but one pretty darn good soup on such a cold day!  Read more

Spiral Mediterranean Veggie Salad

Spiral Mediterranean veggie salad

The effort put into this salad doesn’t even come close the beauty and flavor that comes out it.  The earthy and deep raw flavors of the vegetables seamlessly compliment the creamy richness of the chickpea hummus. The addition of cilantro and sumac not only add great color, but celebrate the Mediterranean pops of flavor!

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Sesame Teriyaki Chicken with Ginger Carrots

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Most of you have probably purchased eggs and chicken from the grocery store recently and I am sure have noticed the push of “cage-free” or “free-range” in the packaging, but what does this all mean? Is it worth the few extra dollars? These labels can be confusing, so I am going to try to make it as clear as possible! The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines free-range as “allowing chickens to have some access to an outside area.” This doesn’t include how long or under what conditions. To ensure you are purchasing meat and eggs from free-range chickens that foraged on plants in a natural environment, look for indications on the packing that the chickens were pastured or find the label “Animal Welfare Approved.”

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Easter Carrot Cake

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My love for carrot cake goes way back!  On my first birthday, my mom had called up my dad to grab a cake for me on his way home from the office. Out of all the chocolate, sprinkles, and ice cream cakes, my dad decided to go with carrot cake . Lets just say my mom was rather confused by his choice, but little did she know I would have a carrot cake for my birthday every birthday since!

I thought I would share my favorite carrot cake recipe with you for this Easter holiday! Read more

The Ultimate Homemade Sushi Burrito

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The original Sushirrito restaurant chain is in all over the California area and seems to be all over my Instagram with their mouthwatering sushi burritos. Why hasn’t Instagram invented a way to actually eat the picture yet? My solution to get a bite was to make my own!  My version of the sushi burrito is healthier, and it’s made with ingredients that you can easily find in your supermarket. Read more

Quick Chicken Coconut Curry

Healthy Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

When I have left over chicken, the last thing I want the next day is chicken. This recipe is the perfect way to add a new bold flavor and completely transform your leftovers.

Curry always takes me back to my study abroad trip in Thailand. You know when people say that the Westernized versions of worldwide cuisines are dramatically different? They are completely right. No American Thai restaurant could have prepared me for the street food in Bangkok. When unfamiliar food becomes your basic diet, no matter how adventurous you are, I found that my whole group after week one would lean towards a dish that brought out familiarity and comfort to them. For me, this dish was the Coconut Thai Curry! Read more

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