The Local Ladle

Vegan Corn Chowder

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I will definitely not take credit for the carved pumpkin soup bowls.  This is a Shirley (my mom) staple for sure!  One of my favorite High School memories was having all of my friends over to my house for dinner before the big Homecoming Dance in the fall.   My mom served up Wild Rice Soup in carved out pumpkins (keep in mind there were about 16 of us…).

Ever since then, I want to eat my soup out of nothing other than a pumpkin!  Warm up in this chilly weather and enjoy this delicious, yet simple Vegan Corn Chowder!  In a pumpkin bowl of course…  Read more

Grilled Watermelon with Chili & Lime

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have a crazy addiction to watermelon. A watermelon a day keeps the doctor away?  Well… I wish that was true!

So it’s absolutely not weird that I would be the person to put watermelon on the grill!  This recipe below is the perfect dessert or side dish to any grilled meat and BBQ.  It’s refreshing, yet caramelized flavor, pairs perfectly with the fattiness and juiciness of any meat.

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Miso Soup with Bok Choy & Tofu

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I work with a restaurant group in Chicago, that has an amazing Asian restaurant called Sunda with a “Build Your Own Ramen” option for lunch.  I’m telling you I eat it about twice a week it’s so delicious and perfect for the chilly weather!

These beautiful ramen dishes really inspired me to dive into Asian flavors and fusion.  Not only was the ramen in general addicting, but to me it was the miso broth that really stole the show.

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Citrus Ricotta Toast

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Artisanal toast… a trend that has taken off like crazy and even as much as I roll my eyes at the trend, I do admit I have a hard time passing up avocado toast on any brunch menu. The toast below uses ricotta, which is similar the creaminess of the traditional avocado. The creaminess pairs well with the citrus punch and earthiness of the pistachios and pine nuts!

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Asparagus, Brussel Sprout, & Pancetta Salad

Asparagus Brussel Sprout Salad

This past weekend I moved into the city and I am no longer living out of my large bag, or more familiarly known as my “traveling studio apartment.”  Chicago has finally become my home after a long dreaded job search and I can officially call myself a Catering and Sales Manager at Rockit Ranch ProductionsRead more

Cappello’s Gnocchi with Salmon & Spinach

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This recipe is very simple! Almost too easy for how delicious it is. Sometimes all you need is a combination of a few really beautiful ingredients to make something memorable.

Gnocchi (or as my family pronounces it, “Naki”) has always been my most beloved pasta dish! I just love the texture of the dumplings and how they soak up the flavor of the dish. Cappello’s gnocchi is different in the fact that it is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. Let me tell you though, you honestly would never know the difference! Read more

Mexican Corn on the Cob

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At culinary school I had I learned more about food than I could have ever imagined, but nothing has tested me more than starting my own food blog. Recipe testing can be one of the most exciting, rewarding, yet frustrating jobs. The most difficult challenge that I face is that the possibilities are endless! For me, it’s either making the most of what is in my pantry or casually strolling around the grocery store until an ingredient inspires a dish. From my experience so far, my favorite and most memorable dishes have simply allowed one ingredient be the star of the show.  Whether it is jazzing up that one ingredient with spices or herbs, my new moto is “The simpler the better!”

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Spotted dog is what the Irish Americans call “Irish Soda Bread.”  Irish Soda Bread is a traditional product of a poor country. This was because it was made with only the most basic of ingredients, which included flour, baking soda, soured milk to moisten and activate the soda, and salt. One of my favorite facts is that a cross was traditionally cut on the top with a knife to ward off the devil and protect the household. From the earliest of times in Ireland,  bread-making was an integral part of daily life in almost every home.

Made in just about 2 or 3 minutes and baked in only 30-40 minutes, this Irish Soda Bread might just be the easiest bread you will ever make . By the end of culinary school in Ireland, I probably could have made this bread with my eyes closed! This bread is also terrific canvas for experimenting with different variations and uses. Some of my favorite variations are with olives, sun dried tomatoes or caramelized onions. Read more

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