Posts in: Food

Breakfast lumpia is the best.

(This should wind down my holiday Filipino comfort food obsession for the season. And after the last of this, my eating habits should get back on track. 🤞🏼)


First attempt at making lumpia from scratch (except for the wrapper, which was store-bought). My sister talked me through the basic ingredients of our mom’s recipe (ground pork, julienned vegetables [carrots, snow peas], bean sprouts, and sliced water chestnuts), and I took it from there.

Okay for a first attempt, though I need practice in wrapping them. Cooked them in my new air fryer, and I find I miss the greasy sheen of deep frying.

Most of all, I miss being able to ask Mom how to pull these off.




A few thoughts on this New York Times piece on the multiculturalization of Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich:

  • I love living in an area that has Korean-Polish delis and a 1950s-style diner that serves halal meat.
  • I am intrigued by Kasama’s version of “Italian beef” with thinly sliced adobo meat, longanisa, and giardianera. But I won’t try it until I’ve tried their combo longanisa/tocino combo breakfast.
  • Portillo’s is not the best Italian beef in the area. Not by a longshot. (Chris converted me months ago to the cult of Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park, but Buona is good, too.) But I’m not as fussy about such things, and I’ll tolerate it more than Chris does.
  • I love how protective Chicagoans are about their food.
  • All that said, the sandwich purists really need to get a grip.

Christmas fudge season is officially under way. Experimenting here with a vanilla mint batch. (Annoyed that I had to get my preferred Guittard mint chips online because they’re not sold here anymore.) The swirling and red nonpareils were Frannie’s idea.

So far, we’ve also produced batches of milk chocolate, plain (using fat-free condensed milk and sugar-free semisweet chips made with stevia), snickerdoodle, walnut, almond joy, and mocha.

Before the weekend is out, looking to create chocolate mint, vanilla mint (stevia and fat-free condensed milk version), and possibly a vegan fudge using condensed oat milk I found at the grocery store today. Still need to try making caramels (regular and vegan) after some uselessly hard batches made a couple of weeks ago.

And then I can start packing little boxes to ship to colleagues and a few friends and family members. Will make fresh batches later for Frannie’s friends and teachers/counselors next week.


Posting this a day late. We hit our favorite Polish smorgasbord for Thanksgiving after missing it last year. (Sawa’s, like most restaurants about this time last year, had shut down because of the pandemic.)

We really missed this place over the past year and a half. The extra carbs were worth it.







My list:

BBQ pork rinds
“Ted Lasso”
Fried chicken (Popeye’s or Jollibee)
Coke Zero Sugar


F and I created our first batch of shortbread this afternoon. I think we have another recipe to add to our list of baking standards.

Worth the 17 grams of carbs (per bar) and two sticks of butter (whole recipe).

Ted Lasso would be proud.


I’ve seen this grocery store cake in my nightmares. Happy Easter.


Birthday Eve takeout dinner, straight outta Skokie. Jollibee’s pancit still isn’t as good as Mom’s. No one’s pancit is.