Recently in Food Category

Holiday Cooking

I love to cook. Baking is one of my stress relievers. My schedule these last few months has kept me from my regular cooking adventures, so I took full advantage of the time off over the break. Please enjoy this selection of things that we made recently:

Ninjabread Cookies

Dutch Oven Bread (I make this a LOT. Recipe from BUST Magazine.)

Duck on Christmas Day (Fuzzy)

Christmas Day Meal: The duck, braised celery, braised shallots, roasted squash, & roasted brussel sprouts.

Duck Tacos (Fuzzy)

Eggs in Hell (eggs poached in tomato sauce! Crazy!)

Calzones from scratch! I even made the pizza dough! Amazing! They were filled with breakfast sausage, onions, green peppers, goat cheese and parmesan.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake (from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook)

Roast Pork with apples and onions, cornbread, New Years black eyed peas and greens.

Fried Oyster and Bacon Sandwich (Fuzzy)

Homemade Baguettes!

Baker, I hardly knew her!

Ok, so incredibly long story short, I offered to make my dear friends Elizabeth and Bryan's wedding cake for their wedding last Sunday. Lucky for me, I have the most amazing friends, and so my awesome friend offered to be my co-conspirator on the operation. The operation that became #operationweddingcake.

Leigh has an extremely wonderful lifestyle blog called Fun Things to Do While You're Waiting (which you should check out), and she blogged about the wedding cake in a way better manner than I ever could HERE.

So--after 5 hours of baking, here was the finished product!


The proud bakers!


Thanks, Leigh! It was a blast baking with you!

Party in New Orleans


Marathon write-up, continued.

In the marathon info booklet, we had learned that there was going to be letter markers at the post-race party to meet up with your family and friends. I said early on that we would meet at Q. So all weekend we talked about meeting at Q. When Fuzzy finished, it wasn't hard to find him, cause I was right there, and so was he. So when we were walking around to get our free beer, etc etc, Fuzzy suddenly said "Oh! There is Q!"

So we looked for each other at Q.

Fuzzy Looks for Erica in Q

Fuzzy Looks for Erica in Q

Fuzzy waits for Erica in Q

But couldn't find the other.

Erica Looks for Fuzzy in Q

Erica waits for Fuzzy in Q

Turns out, we were on opposite sides. We eventually found each other.

Marathon Super Hero!

Fuzzy, Marathon Super Hero

After a shower, we met up with Chad and Elizabeth, who met us down there for the day! Happy fun times! They are the ultimate foodies and drinkies, so they introduced us to some amazing new restaurants and bars.

Oh! But first, I saw this cat IN a table at a cafe!

New Orleans Feb 2013

Floating kitty!

New Orleans Feb 2013

Elizabeth models the classy "I'm what happened on Bourbon Street in New Orleans" baby onesie.

New Orleans Feb 2013

C&E at the Wine Institute of New Orleans.

New Orleans Feb 2013

New Orleans Feb 2013

True Love!

New Orleans Feb 2013

We had an amazing dinner at Domenica, then hopped over to the amazing Sazerac BarĀ  for a nightcap.

New Orleans Feb 2013

New Orleans Feb 2013

New Orleans Feb 2013
The next day, we packed and checked out of our hotel and ventured on our last day in the great Crescent City.

"Yes, I DID run the marathon. How did you guess?"

New Orleans Feb 2013


Kissy Chad


Erica snakes Elizabeth



Fuzzy had a drink with Chris Owens!

New Orleans Feb 2013

Watch for "ARRRRS"

Watch for Ars

Good food! Great Friends!

New Orleans Feb 2013

New Orleans Feb 2013

We ate outside in the rain!

Dedicated Eaters, Cochon Butcher

Pretty Signs

New Orleans Feb 2013

New Orleans Feb 2013

Then we said goodbye to C&E, and did a bit more exploring.


And had more beignets!

New Orleans Feb 2013

Oh, New Orleans, I love you so. I can't wait til the next time!

Roasted Duck, sweet potatoes with roasted grapes, soda bread, braised celery, chocolate chess pie
Toffee, Sugared nuts, Peppermint Bark
Gumbo (from scratch!)
Drip Beef sandwiches
Vegan Pumpkin Soup

I also made


It's neat and yummy!



This cabbage recipe I am making jsut called for 6 tablespoons of sugar.

I feel dirty.

UPDATE! It was delish. The best cabbage I ever made.

The Next Level of Coffee

I'll start with an obvious statement: Coffee is very important to me.

So recently, Fuzzy sent me this link to making iced coffee concentrate to dilute with milk. I've been making it the last 2 weeks, and it is amazing, delicious, and beautiful. However, I like a LOT of coffee, so it is hard to not drink 40 grams of espresso in one sitting. But it is not a good idea to do that. Learn from my mistakes.

Another obvious statement: I love mason jars. We've started using them for a lot of kitchen storage, and we use them for all sorts of beverages. So then Fuzzy found the Cuppow, which I think is just about the best invention in the history of the world. 



Look at this perfection! My life is forever changed.


Coffee drinking will never be the same.

Breakfast Fail

A few months ago, at KOKO brunch, I made some cinnamon rolls from scratch. The recipe makes way too many, so I put some in our freezer to save for later. Our yeast, however, was questionable, but I we thought--what the heck. Most of them came out good that day, so I was sure they would keep. When I uncovered them this morning, they were shriveled and gross looking, but I cooked them anyway. Here's how they turned out:

Sad rolls

A translucent, gooey gross mess. Inedible.

Yesterday, I tried to make some iced coffee based on this recipe. However, I misread the instructions and didn't use enough coffee. The resulting coffee was bitter and undrinkable. I poured it out.

Last week, Fuzzy surprised me with a copy of Big Easy Express (which I've watched twice in one week). I like to make espresso at night so it can chill in the fridge overnight.  That night, I got so caught up in the movie, I forgot about the coffee, and it boiled in the pot for a really long time, melting the rubber ring and making the kitchen smell like burning. I used the pot a few days later, and it didn't work. I tried it again this morning, didn't work.

Sad coffee

So I finally got another pot of coffee going (luckily, Team Gerdes has 1000 ways to make coffee in our house), and I opted for an English Muffin while Fuzzy wanted cinnamon raisin toast. I told him I would watch the toast. Guess what happened:

 Sad toast

So, yeah. Let's hope lunch goes better...

National Doughnut Day!

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In honor of National Doughnut Day, here are some photos of a Slug Queen doughnut I had from Voodoo Doughnut in Eugene, Oregon.


She's wearing a crown and has antennaes made of pretzels.


She was HUGE, filled with chocolate, and weighed about 4 pounds. Hand for scale:


It cost a mere $2.00. Shannon and I ate it for 2 days. The frosting/glaze was amazing.


I wish I had one now.

(Or a Shipleys anywhere near me.)


Birthday BBQ

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Forever ago, Claire and I decided to celebrate our birthdays at Lillie's Q, a new(ish) BBQ place in Wicker Park. Claire had been a few times before, but I was new to it (ok, maybe a few weeks ago we got some carry out food the night we met Jodi's baby). We put a date on the calendar and anxiously counted down the months and days till today. What a glorious evening!

Take a minute to look at this menu. I'll be here when you get back.

I know, right? And did you see the magical thing on there? SMOKED FRIED CHICKEN. Damn.

We decided to order a shit-ton of food--it's our BIRTHDAYS afterall--and then we would take whatever leftovers we had back home to our husbands.

We ordered:
Fried Pickles (appetizer)
Smoked Fried Chicken (it comes with a crock of honey)
Taste of LQ (sampling of 3 meats): Hot link (my fave), Tri-tip, and baby back ribs
Side of Baked Beans
Side of Green Beans
(I also had a bourbon and a beer. They were both served in Mason Jars. Heaven.)


Look at how happy Claire is: Claire and meat!

And we ate every last drop. It was amazing. Even the waiter was impressed.

For dessert, we split a scoop of "grasshopper ice cream", with mint ice cream and Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. DAMN it was good. AND it came in a tiny cast iron skillet! I wish I had gotten a better pic of the skillet. Trust me that it was cute. The perfect end to our meal.

Grasshopper ice cream

But the best part about the meal? The company. Awwwwwwwwww.