Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

While there is a kitchen in my dorm, I rarely use it because it is not a very good kitchen, and there isn't that much you can make without having a lot of wasted food. Yesterday afternoon I was really feeling like something good to eat, so I looked a bit online and found that I could make a really easy and minimal-waste soup! I asked Richard if he would help me cook, and also help me eat it. The soup is really simple - just a few vegetables, stock, and chicken. Richard gave me a great idea to help make the chicken a little bit tastier (you can see how he did it in the recipe below). 

The soup was great and I even have some leftovers that I can have for dinner tonight!

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 large (or 3 small) carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Onion salt
2 chicken breasts, shredded
1 cup pasta (I used penne, but you can use whatever you want)
8 cups chicken stock
Olive oil

First, make the chicken. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Take the two chicken breasts and generously season both sides with onion salt, and a little bit of pepper. Let them sit for a few minutes to absorb the flavor. Then add the chicken breasts into the water and boil until cooked through, when there is no longer any pink in the center. It is okay to take them out and cut them since they will be shredded anyways. When they are cooked, remove them to a plate to cool off, then shred into small pieces and set aside.

Next, cook the pasta until it is a little underdone because it will continue to cook in the soup.

Place the vegetables and thyme in a pot with some olive oil, just enough to coat all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender. Then, add the chicken stock. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Then add the chicken and the noodles, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Slow Food Cafe

There is an organization called Slow Food USA which supports good, clean, and fair food. Their website is if you want to check it out. They have a chapter at UW Madison which is great! Slow Food UW Madison has a lot of great things like working with local farmers markets, making CSA market baskets available to students, and (my favorite) a Slow Food cafe! On Wednesday's at lunch they have a cafe that has really good, healthy, and sustainable food. The menu always includes a few sandwiches, salad, soup, and dessert. Richard and I go every week and I always look forward to it!
We couldn't decide what to get, so we got one of everything.
This week the food was really good.
Brat on Pretzel bun, Root veggie salad with carrots and sweet potato

Challah grilled cheese, Parsnip pancakes with house-made apple sauce

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cream puff

Richard's favorites were the two sandwiches, while I loved the broccoli cheese soup. Overall, it was a great lunch and I can't wait to go next week!

Lunch at Steenbock's

This next post is a little late because this week I have been so busy with homework and papers and tests, so sorry!
On Monday Richard and I went to Steenbock's for lunch. Every week they have a different special, and if it sounds good we usually try to order it. This week it didn't sound amazing, so we decided to just get regular menu items, which were both delicious.

Lobster Club with avocado and sprouts
Mediterranean Shrimp Salad

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yummy Breakfast

I love breakfast. And I love it even more when my family visits! Both Saturday and Sunday morning we slept in and went to our favorite places for brunch here in Madison, Marigold Kitchen and Graze. (I know I know, I just went there for dinner on Friday. But it's just so good!)

Egg Scrambler with Onions, Tomatoes, Cream Cheese, and Marigold potatoes

French Toast with Berries

Cocoa Pancakes with Tart Cherries and Whipped Citrus Mascarpone


Egg Scrambler with homemade tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo

Croque Madame 

Part of why I love Graze is because they put a large emphasis on local and sustainable farming. As we were leaving the restaurant we saw this really cool sign - it's a map of a Wisconsin with pins showing the names and locations of all of the farms that they get their food from! I thought it was really cool.


This weekend my family visited me! It was so fun to spend time with them :)  They arrived Friday afternoon and Friday night we went to Graze for dinner. They had never been so I was really excited to take them.
(described to me as "Korean comfort food"... it was so good! I definitely want to make this at home)


My favorite cookies!!!

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake 

Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day last week, Richard and I went to one of our favorite restaurants here in Madison called Fresco. They had a special Valentine's Day menu, and we ended up ordering everything on it plus a few other things.

Salad with Balsamic Strawberries, Chèvre, and Almonds

Prince Edward Island Mussels with parmesan-bacon fondue, potato, and grilled bread

Flatbread with tomato sauce, fingerling potato, turnip, mushroom, onion, tomato, mozzarella, thyme creme fraiche

Panko-Crusted Salmon with caper-dijon marinade, cauliflower, leek, fingerling potato, horseradish cream

Steak with lobster risotto

Chocolate crepes with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and strawberries

Everything was so good and I left the restaurant so full! But I was able to take back some leftovers which made a great dinner the next night!

Richard also got me these beautiful flowers. They are gorgeous and smell amazing, but they are about half the size of me and were pretty embarrassing to carry all the way up to my room!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Update

I really like to read, but I am also a really picky reader. Last semester I didn't read very many books outside of the things I was assigned in my classes, but over break I got a lot of new books and I have actually been finding time to read them, even though my schedule this semester is much harder than last.
I just read another book by Kathleen Flinn. (The first one that I read I posted about a little while ago).
The book is called The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry.
It is essentially her story of going to cooking school at Le Cordon Bleu, and also about falling in love. Cooking and love? I couldn't imagine a better pair.
I loved the book and if you enjoy food and cooking, I'm sure you will too.


Richard and I went to Steenbock's for lunch again, and forgot to take pictures :(
But again, we remembered for dessert!

Carrot Cake with candied nut crumble, crispy carrot, sweetened mascarpone, carmel, and vanilla ice cream


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Truffle Salt Popcorn

In one of my classes the other day we went around the room and said a food or a taste that we can't stand. Mine was mayonnaise. I don't know why, but I've never liked it. I've actually never had a homemade version so maybe I would like that if I tried it, but I can't stand the store bought stuff.
Anyways, a boy in my class said that he hated truffle salt. When he said that, I was speechless. Truffle salt? How can anybody hate truffle salt? It tastes like truffles which are probably one of the greatest tasting things ever!
Coincidentally, Richard had recently bought me some truffle salt. When I told him this story, we decided to use it. So we watched a movie and made Truffle Salt Popcorn! It is so good. If you ever have truffle salt, you have to make it.
Richard suggested that I sneak a little bit of truffle salt in my purse next time I see a movie in theaters. I laughed at first, but now that I think about it, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

Tapas Rias

Last night, Richard and I went to dinner again. Two great dinners in a row... I couldn't be happier! We went to a new restaurant that Richard found called Tapas Rias. The food was really good and there was live music and flamenco dancing! It was a really fun place. The whole thing reminded us of being in Spain and we couldn't stop talking about it! We had a few tapas and then shared a paella. I haven't had paella since Spain (where Richard and I had it a lot...) and it was delicious!

Championes Ala Plancha (Grilled Mushrooms)

Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with garlic)

Croquetas de Pollo (Chicken Croquetas)

Paella Rias (Saffron Rice with Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Calamari, Mussels, and Chorizo)

43 North

On Friday morning, Richard called me and asked if I was free to go to dinner that night. I said yes, of course! We went to a restaurant here in Madison that we really like called 43 North. While we have been there a few times, the menu is seasonal so it is always new and exciting. 

Lobster Bisque with Lobster Crackling, Tarragon Marshmallow

Green Salad with Avocado Fritter, Avocado, Scallions, Herb Vinaigrette

Mussels with Scotch Ale Soffrito, Chili Aioli, Parsley

Duck breast with Parsnip Puree, Braised Turnip Greens, Maple Sauce

Lamb Rack with Tomatillo Salad, Sweet Potato Puree, Feta Cheese

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Steenbock's on Orchard

As I was walking to a class yesterday, I saw a sign on the sidewalk for a great looking restaurant. Always on the look out for good food, I immediately looked it up on my phone. The menu looked delicious, and I texted Richard, kind of freaking out. He looked it up and confirmed that it looked great, so we decided to try it today. We both had a lunch break at the same time for lunch, so we met up and went to the new restaurant called Steenbock's on Orchard.

Sandwich Special: Pulled Pork Sandwich with mixed greens

House-Cured Salmon Salad

The food was so good, and the restaurant is right in the middle of campus! We loved it and are so excited to have another great restaurant so close by.

Monday, February 6, 2012


No good food to write about yet, so this is going to be a short post.
I just wanted to say that yesterday I went running outside for the second time last week!
The weather was so warm and it was beautiful!
I hope this week will be amazing too!