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Bison Salad with Mountain Mint, Isan-Style

Bison Salad with Mountain Mint Isan-Style
It’s a kind of mint,” a vendor at the market said to me as I inquired about the herb on the table between us—the herb I’d never seen before. He seemed unsure about its identity but said he believed it was a type of mountain mint that had just been foraged. He didn’t seem confident about how to use it either. “You can use it in, you know, whatever you usually make that has mint in it, I guess.” He then shrugged and distorted his face. “Ice cream?.”

Rational, cautious people would have walked away. Not me. Curiosity—the kind that historically must have killed several cats—made me hand him the money and bring this herb home. I had no idea what would happen to me, but I knew lap* would be happening in my kitchen that afternoon. Continue Reading →

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Mike Sula and Spicy Thai Lao Egg Rolls from Spicy Thai Lao Restaurant, Chicago

An Interview with Chicago Reader Restaurant Critic, Mike Sula, and an Egg Roll Recipe from Spicy Thai Lao Restaurant in Chicago
James Beard Award-winning journalist Mike Sula has been writing for the Chicago Reader for 20 years, covering various topics in various formats and styles from short blog posts to long-form features. One of the city’s most respected restaurant reviewers, Sula scours the nooks and crannies of Chicagoland in search of stories to tell you. Sure, he has a reputation for both being difficult to impress and being very capable of vividly articulating why certain things don’t impress him. But if you have followed his work for several years, you will know that Sula is actually impressed with a lot of things.

Sula is also a writer whom I deeply admire. He has always been generous with his help and advice whenever I, a relatively new writer, ask him for it. I have always felt grateful for that. And I would like to dedicate this post to him.

But, first, I asked Sula a few questions. Continue Reading →

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My Holiday Gift Recommendations for Cooks and Bakers

2014 Holiday Cookbook Gifts
I’ll keep my intro short, because I want to direct your attention to the books on this list as quickly as possible. This is a list of books released in 2014 that I’ve bought for myself and felt compelled to buy them for my friends and family as holiday gifts as well.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s the list of my holiday cookbook gift recommendations. Please click on the cover photo of each book in order to be taken to its listing on Amazon. Continue Reading →

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