December 15, 2008

Bento boxes- taking it to a new level

If you search the web for bento boxes, you will find no end to the creative lunches packed just so if into tiny bento boxes, Japanese style. But I just found this amazing site that's got to be the cake wrecks of the bento world, Anna the Red's Bento Factory. Take a peek at her Pokemon- themed edible arrangements. Now I'm feeling bad about the plain old sandwich my boy will be eating tomorrow.

December 08, 2008

What's in your child's school lunch?

I'm listening to a great video over at SwitchedOnMom (click to watch). It's a talk by Ann Cooper, the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley (California) Unified School District, at the TED Conference. A conference that brings together some of our nation's most brilliant minds.

According to the TED website, Cooper is an outspoken activist for serving fresh, sustainable food to kids. Her lively website,, rounds up recipes, links, and resources for food activism.

December 06, 2008

He's a-blogging

Yep, DH is writing a weekly blog over at Chicago's He's The Backyard Farmer and will chronicle his attempt to break his "self-sufficiency record."

He invites us all to follow his ups and downs, fact-finding, foibles, and forced alliteration.

Check him out.

December 02, 2008

A taste of Chicago wherever you are!

The other night DH brought home a delicious buttercrust Lou Malnati's pan pizza. It's a local favorite. Of course, Lou's deep dish pan variety is not to be confused with stuffed pizza, another deep dish Chicago favorite, but I digress.

He also brought home a brochure for Tastes of Chicago, a delivery service that ships our local delicacies around the globe.

To be fair, most of the food isn't all that delicate. Tastes of Chicago ships out hearty stuff like dense, creamy Eli's Cheesecake, artery-clogging Portillo's Italian beef, Vienna Chicago-style hot dogs, Hackneys half-pound beef burgers, Carson's ribs, and brown bag apple pie from Long Grove Confectionery.

Now that I've typed that out, I fear sending a taste of Chicago is like snail mailing a heart attack! Would you do this to a friend? Oh, yes you would. It's all delicious.

Be sure to order before the new year; these foods don't mesh well with healthy resolutions. Though, they are perfect addition to any Super Bowl party. By then all diet bets are off and everybody's gambling on the big game instead.

December 01, 2008

Do you really want to eat there?

Have you ever walked into a restaurant's washroom only to find it's filthy, and by the way, lacking basic hygiene supplies like soap?

Or gotten a glimpse of a filthy kitchen on the way to the restrooms and wondered if you should stay for your meal?

Wonder no more! The Chicago Tribune has an online database that lets you see the inspection results of any restaurant in town. Well, most of them, at least.

When we were in California, we noticed each restaurant prominently displayed a grade from their most recent inspection. Why would you eat anywhere that did not receive an A? The system rewards sound hygiene and food prep practices. We thought it was a great idea.

At least we've got the Trib list, which, I imagine, is easier than sifting through the city records on ones own.


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