art, history, film, books for the culinary enthusiast

Recent Posts

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

White Lady, Side Car, Main Brace, or Between the Sheets? NOTE: to go straight to the Vintage Cocktails and recipes, proceed to bottom of post. If someone asks you what your favorite movies are, often times the list will change over the years. But for […]

Food Lover’s Movie: Toast…and Pain de Mie recipe

Food Lover’s Movie: Toast…and Pain de Mie recipe

An indie movie that leaves a lovely taste…and a Pain de Mie recipe to accompany it Toast is the memoir film about famous food writer and chef Nigel Slater’s beginnings in a household that was anything but gourmet. It stars Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie […]

Chocolat…Vianne’s Spicy Hot Chocolate Recipe

Chocolat…Vianne’s Spicy Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot Chocolat and a Movie…

Joanne Harris has written several books, but probably her most famous is Chocolat, the one that was made into a movie. It happens to be one of my favorite films because it mixes three things that I love – food (the chocolate), France, and a time period outside of the present – it’s set in the late 1950s.

It also has a bit of mysticism and mystery about it in the way the main character (Vianne) and her daughter are drawn by the North wind, destined to  spend their lives traveling, never settling in one place for long.

After watching Chocolat several times over the years, I was intrigued when I saw that the author had written a cookbook – with of course, a chocolate section.

(more…)

Delicious, a British television series for Foodies

Delicious, a British television series for Foodies

Delicious, a show for food lovers (sort of)… If you’re a British television lover as I am, you may also be a subscriber to Acorn TV. If you’re not and you’ve never heard of Acorn, then most likely you’ve missed Delicious, a British television series […]

Bite of History: Victorian Tennis Cake

Bite of History: Victorian Tennis Cake

Tennis Cake, a Victorian Charmer Victorian Tennis Cake, anyone? I have to admit, I’m a big Great British Baking (or Bake-Off) fan. And I especially like it when they do theme weeks. In the series that’s showing in the U.S. right now, they have a […]

Bite of History: Charlotte Russe

Bite of History: Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe, A Very Victorian Dessert

Charlotte Russe is an uncooked dessert which features an exterior and bottom of lady fingers (sponge), and an interior filled with a Bavarian Cream or Mousse. Often the latter is flavored with coffee, or fruit (as shown, Strawberry). Because there is gelatin used in the Bavarian Cream, once it’s chilled, the dessert is able to stand, and cuts like a cake.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, Charlotte Russe  was created by French pastry chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784–1833). Originally it was called Charlotte à la Parisienne but apparently during the Second Empire, Russian dishes were all the rage and so the name was changed to Charlotte Russe.

The original Charlotte dessert came about in the latter part of 18th century England and was most likely named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

(more…)

Time Travel Shopping in London

Time Travel Shopping in London

Shopping in 1970s London Cleaning out some files, my husband found a stash of old receipts from a vacation his parents took to Great Britain in 1978. I never met my Father-in-Law but these papers left a trail of clues for me to follow…and what […]

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

P.O.S.H. Chicago, Vintage shopping in River North Last weekend I visited P.O.S.H., a unique shop in Chicago that I make it to about three or  four times a year. It’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and it inhabits one of the many long, narrow retail […]

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea at The Allis in Chicago

You know I love Afternoon Tea…or maybe you don’t.
Well, I do, and I am well on my way to sampling all that Chicago has to offer in the way of this pleasing between-meal repast. Let’s see…I’ve enjoyed Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula , The Drake, The Langham, The Celtic Knot, Russian Tea Time, and now The Allis.
(more…)

Outlander Kitchen Cookbook Review

Outlander Kitchen Cookbook Review

Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for Outlander Kitchen. There’s something about books that are sort of ‘off-shoots’ of bestsellers that often disappoints. This was not one of those. After watching the Outlander series on […]