Another summer day, another opportunity to try ice cream. The line at Brown Cow in Forest Park was longish, but the ice cream was worth the wait. Ice milky in texture.
This one melted quickly. Messy but fun to eat when the temps are in the 90s.
The indoor lighting was dim, but the ice cream tubs were so bright. The yellow one in the lower right corner is vanilla cupcake.
Norske Nook. If you’ve hustled your way north to Eau Claire, you might know to pull off at Osseo for this Norwegian American bakery and restaurant.
My family has been pulling over for the Nook for more than 30 years because PIE.
I pulled over yesterday and promptly plopped myself down by the counter. Wanted to try something new, and Strawberry Sour Cream looked like a good wager.
It was. Very light, with a strawberry whipped cream topping. I ate the entire slice.
Osseo is a small town; approximately 1,700 people call it home. I don’t live in a small town but admire the persistence of places like Osseo. And bakeries with pie.
I had resigned myself to ordering iced coffee when I wanted ice cream, and I stuck to that goal for… about three days. Ice cream somehow tastes better in the summer, so why not take advantage? Petersen’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in Oak Park was a new place to try, so try I did.
Mackinac Island Fudge was the flavor, and the ice cream was surprisingly fluffy.
This ice cream is 18% butterfat. Pretty decadent. Kind of makes me want to visit Mackinac Island for their storied fudge. Summer goals.
Need to beat the heat and to kick it Little Italy style? Mario’s Italian Lemonade on W. Taylor is a sure prescription.
Founded in 1954 by Mario and Dorothy DiPaolo and still operated by the DiPaolo family today, this lemonade stand is a beloved gathering place. It serves Italian ice in an assortment of flavors. The signature lemon ice includes pieces of lemon rind and zest, which balances this drink’s sweetness. If salty snacks are your thing, Mario’s sells seeds, nuts and my favorite–pickled lupini beans, which you can eat with or without the shells. Nom.
Bright colors are my jam, if I’m being honest. In a world of grey, beige, and greige, why seek any of those when you can surround yourself with vivid hues? I stopped at Cupcakes for Courage on Lake Street yesterday to pick up some baked items for a friend and was taken with the bakery’s bright green walls.
The baked goods are also decent and worth checking out. Cupcakes for Courage donates a portion of the proceeds to fund medical research for non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma. To learn about this bakery’s mission, visit here.
Saw this print yesterday at All She Wrote in Lincoln Park and had to have it. Since relocating back to #Illinois, I’ve noticed all the hot dog stands. They’re everywhere, it seems.
And a Chicago-style hot dog is distinct from other dogs. The ingredients? An all-beef frankfurter tucked into a steamed poppy seed bun. Add yellow mustard, white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, and sport peppers–topped with celery salt. Ketchup is a major no-no, as in no ketchup. No ketchup ever. To read up on this distinct dog, head on over to this Chowhound article here.
Mardi Gras is serious fun in the South–especially New Orleans and Mobile–where the Krewe fêtes are plentiful, the parades are noisy and joyful, and King Cake comes in all different flavors and varieties. In the North where you can find Polish bakeries, Mardi Gras means pączki (pronounced ponch-key). And these calorie-busting, jelly-filled doughnuts at local bakeries draw long lines.
Source: Melissa Wang via Flickr
Pączki are also enjoyed on Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek), and the reason for making pączki is to use up all of the ingredients (lard, sugar, eggs, fruit) before Lent kicks in. Bridgeport Bakery on S. Archer in the South Side of Chicago has an unassuming storefront, but you’d never guess they sell tens of thousands (yes, tens of thousands) of pączki on Fat Tuesday, also known as Pączki Day. If you didn’t make it to Bridgeport Bakery this week, don’t fret. They sell four different varieties of pączki all year round.