Search Good Living

Friday, August 31, 2007


In a small nook of a converted warehouse, off a parking lot in downtown Geneva, lies Nosh, a modern and cozy spot to eat brunch or a lovely lunch. There's a covered area for outdoor seating, and the menu leaves your mouth are some highlights:

Nosh's French Toast-challah bread soaked in a vanilla-orange zest infused batter, served with a puddle of lemon creme anglaise sauce

Huntington Beach Turkey Club-sliced roast turkey, bacon, melted cheddar, cucumber, tomato and avocado aioli on ciabatta

Mango BBQ Chicken Flat Bread-chopped chicken and bacon over a mango bbq sauce topped pita with cheddar cheese and shaved red onion

Banana's Foster Pancakes-three pancakes topped with sauteed bananas, candied pecans, dried cherries and caramel sauce

Hot Chocolate French Toast-chocolate-chunk chocolate bread stuffed with marshmallow fluff, served with chocolate ganache, topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips (bonus points if you can fit the word "chocolate" into this item two more times)

With a host of freshly squeezed juices and creative lemonades (black current or mango), Intelligentsia coffee and Mighty Leaf iced tea, there's really no need to eat anywhere else, ever.

Just kidding. The only downer to this place are the prices, pretty much everything on the menu is $8.99 and the portions aren't huge. In their defense, they do offer "tasting" portions of the breakfast items for $4.50 or so, but again, the portions aren't very large so consider it to be a true "taste" size.

My friend and I split the Nosh french toast, Mango Chicken BBQ pizza and each had the mango lemonade. The french toast was utterly delicious, mainly due to the lemon "frosting" that was so brightly tangy and refreshing that I wish they would bottle it. The flatbread pizza was just ok, we both liked the flavor but voted that it was too dry and needed more bbq sauce.

And for dessert....a tasting portion of the hot chocolate french toast. Oh baby. This was sinfully rich and, I can't believe I'm saying this, almost TOO much. Can't recommend it as a breakfast item, but it was a creative dessert. Don't think I'd get it again though.

Overall, a delightful spot that I'll be glad to visit again when I'm in the mood for a special treat. They serve breakfast all day and are open Monday-Thursday 7:30 am-2:30 pm; Friday-Sunday 7:30 am-3:30 pm.
My fellow food critics, Sam and K :)

211 James Street
Geneva, IL 60134

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


As a recent new mom, I find myself dragging in the afternoons sometimes, hankering for a little caffeine and sugar to help me through the remainder of the day. Can anyone else relate?

At $4 a pop, my favorite Starbucks foofy drink (currently a grande, non-fat, no water Chai Latte, got to stay seasonal, folks!) is not a daily or even tri-weekly option.

Meet my new afternoon friend, named Godiva.

I can highly recommend this delicious chocolate coffee drink, SO much better then the bottled Starbucks Frappichinos. Milk Chocolate, not shown here, is my favorite flavor...but they are all great. And addictive. Be warned.

$1.50 a piece at the Ultra Foods by Target in Wheaton, not bad.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Worth the trip

Take Roosevelt Rd (Rt 38) west FOREVER until you run into Rt 47. Make a left and head south for 2 miles and now you're in Elburn, the little known suburb which is also home to one of our state's hidden jewels: Ream's Elburn Meat Market.

Best known for their award-winning, house made sausages (Everything from cheddar stuffed beef hot dogs to knockwurst to amazing brats), the fabulous steaks, succulent pork and stuffed chicken breasts that await you there are at prices lower then Whole Foods and of superior quality.
A few weeks ago I loaded up a cooler with porterhouse steaks, rib eyes and filet's for S's birthday weekend up at the lakehouse. The general opinion was that these were the best steaks anyone had ever had...a pretty big complement when you think about the places we've each eaten steak at: Gibson's, the Chophouse, Joe's, and even Morton's. Of course the way they were seasoned and grilled had much to do with it, if only I could replicate my two uncle's grill secrets.

Here was our method:

An hour before grilling/searing, pull steaks out to sit until they are room temperature. Sprinkle liberally with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Slice up a garlic clove width-wise into thin pieces. Take a small paring knife and cut small holes into the thicker cuts of meat, insert garlic pieces.

Grill over medium hot flame, flipping every five minutes until the steak reaches your desired doneness. A charcoal fire is far superior to gas as far as taste goes, and throw in some hickory chips if you have them.

Allow the steaks to rest, covered in tin foil, for about 10 minutes after removing them from the grill.

Fill up the gas tank and bring a cooler so you can stop at the Premium Outlets off Farnsworth and I-88 on your way home. :) Life is good.

The Wonders of Basil

It's that time of year again, time to break out the Cuisinart, olive oil and parmesan and get cranking!

Time to make and freeze multiple batches of PESTO! It's such a delight in mid-January to reach into the freezer and grab a bag of this emerald jewel to marinate chicken breasts in, put over pasta or just smear on toasted bread. Here's one of my favorite recipes:

Pesto alla Genovese
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or you can just throw the whole cloves in)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I like Olio Santo for this recipe, or use a good Italian one)
the juice of half a lemon, more to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


The moment of discovering that, you, in fact, have hands.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Last One

I can hardly describe the utter delight that this year's Red Haven peaches have been. Sticky sweet, juice running down my chin, the pure taste of summer, bite by bite.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Highlights from the Family Vacation

1) Yes folks, that IS in fact, a bat. A nasty, furry, wriggly, clawed, bat. One afternoon a family of them decided to come visit the back of our borrowed house. They hung from the screen door, flew so low around our heads the girls screamed out of fear for our hair, landed on the umbrella, and crawled all over it like the ugliest flying gerbils you've ever seen. Ask me how I sat still in a chair underneath them to get this picture, just ask me.

2) Eating the first sno-cone I've had in years by the light of the setting sun one night, it tasted SO good. Almost as fun as watching my niece polish off the rest of it. Too cute.

3) Watching Baby S interacting with his eight cousins who love him so much!

4) Eating salt water taffy until my teeth ached: key lime pie, carmel apple, blackberry, chocolate mint, marshmallow and more.

5) Finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's.

6) Getting to buy a panini maker with my share of the vacation "fun" money. S played golf twice with his share. Grilled cheese here I come!

7) Wearing jeans in late July because it was going to be 52 degrees that night. I love fall and can't wait for cooler weather!

8) Baby S's first family vacation, he did great.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Today was our weekly coffee date at Starbucks.

I had been looking forward to this time with S all week, sitting down across the table with him, breathing in the aroma from my now $4.25 decaf, grande, non-fat Carmel macciato and fighting over halves of their delicious old fashioned donut. We've been doing this for a couple years now, usually Thursday mornings are our special day. We'd show up when they opened, at 5:20 am back when I was commuting into the city, and sit there until the sun came up. Nowadays, I'll wait until Baby S wakes up and pray that he can contain himself while we sip our coffee.

Anyways, this morning I fed the baby, clothed the baby, wiped curdled spit up from off: myself, the bedspread, the changing pad, Baby S's outfit #1, Baby S's outfit #2, and then at last we were on our way. I decided to walk over because it was a beautiful morning, with the hope that I'd pre-burn off some donut calories.

We finally arrive at the local Starbucks, S comes walking up at long last and says to me, "Did you bring money?"

Hmm. Did I bring money. NO, I did NOT bring money, I'm married to a BANKER who wears a suit every day and works at the money tree where money comes from. It's not my job to think about those things, right? I worry about wiping spit up off of various surfaces. As it turns out, his wallet was back at the house.

Sigh. He shuffled his shiny banker-shoes back to the bank and returned with a $20 bill. That's my buddy.