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  • The Chopping Blog

Boston's Best New England Clam Chowder

  I visited my college town this weekend and spent much of the time on the hunt for the most delicious clam chowder. Growing up in the Midwest, I didn’t have occasion to enjoy New England Clam ...

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Crossroads Diner: At the Intersection of Hospitality & Community - L.A. Edition, Part 2

  Returning to the scene of the criminally delicious, this month's edition of Crossroads Diner delves back into my recent Los Angeles eating and drinking spree. I would be remiss, however, if I were ...

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A Culinary Adventure in Mexico

  For years now, I’ve written blogs about my love for the city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I’ve written about the food, culture, restaurants, chefs, places to visit, as well as some of the ...

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Crossroads Diner: At the Intersection of Hospitality & Community

I don’t know about you, but my best travel pals are my taste buds. What better way to feel connected to a place and its people than to eat as they eat. It’s a fact of being human, the need to eat to ...

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Travel to Mexico with The Chopping Block

  After fun and delicious culinary adventures in France and Italy, it’s time to head south to another fabulous food enthusiast destination: Mexico!

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How I Spent a Six-Hour Lunch

There are business lunches, power lunches, liquid lunches and Ladies who Lunch, but none of them compare to the six-hour lunch I just had in Spain. El Celler De Can Roca, recently featured on the ...

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6 Ways to Make Your Diet More Mediterranean

Of all the places on my list to travel, Greece has always been at the top. I recently had the pleasure of checking this one off the list. The most common post trip question has been, what was your ...

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A Chef’s Travels Through San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Food and Faces

  If you read my blogs, you know I love to write about my travels to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.   I’ve been traveling to San Miguel de Allende for 11 years now, and usually for at least a month ...

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Happy New Year of the Pig

My husband & I lived in Beijing, China for three years in the late 1990s. We frequently talk about how, for us, it was the perfect time to be there as an expat. A lot of the old, traditional ways of ...

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Try Something En"Thai"cing like Lamb Laab

  I rang in New Year's Eve at one of the world’s best restaurants, Eleven Madison Park in New York. It was a dreamy dinner of elegant plating, impeccable service and subtle perfection. The food ...

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Street Food Delights from Germany

  I just returned from Germany, where I spent the holidays with my family and indulged in a lot of different street foods. I have to admit: it is quite nice to travel on Christmas day since everyone ...

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We Loved Italy So Much, We're Going Back

  Travel and cooking are deeply intertwined. It has been accurately said that you must taste a culture to understand it. There is nowhere better to do this than Italy. 

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It’s Getting (Nashville) Hot In Here!

  Nashville has been on my list of places to go for a while. Between the food scene and the music scene, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.  So when my friend and I found some cheap plane tickets, we ...

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To Market, To Market, We Go

  It’s mid-summer in Chicago and the local farmer's markets are in full swing. Throughout the city – and in many suburban neighborhoods – you can find the freshest fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and ...

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I will Never be Fooled by “Greek Salad” Again

  I feel bamboozled. I feel hoodwinked. I feel like all things I’ve learned in this world should be questions all because of a recent trip to Greece. Some friends and I were out ordering food and I ...

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12 Supermarket Foods You Won’t Find in America

  We tend to think about the food we eat in terms of “country of origin” – Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc… and our perspective of food in America is closely tied to specific cities ...

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Do the Hokey-Poké

  I just returned from a fantastic 10-day trip to Hawaii with my family. We really took advantage of all that the island had to offer. From the crystal clear waters to the incredibly fresh seafood ...

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You Don't Have to Be a Frequent Flyer to Explore Global Cuisine

Last week, when I landed at O’Hare and de-planed from a direct flight from Dublin, Ireland, it occured to me that I would never be able to summarize my week-long trip in a short enough amount of time ...

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Greece: A Spectacular Culinary Adventure

  Two weeks ago, I was packing my bags for my big trip of the year – last year was Paris, Rome, and Florence – this year was Greece. I was looking forward to new sights, experiences, good weather, ...

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April in Paris

Last year, when I came back from my trip to Paris in May, I shared the art of making homemade croissants.  Recently, while planning my upcoming trip to Greece, I realized that I never properly paid ...

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I’m Getting Hungary

  For the last few years, my husband and I have taken to international travel, particularly trekking across Europe, the Baltic, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, and (coming this fall) the Adriatic. ...

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The Latest Chapter of a Chef’s Travels Through San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  I’ve been traveling to the quaint city of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico for quite a few years. Whenever we visit, we always rent the exact same house that’s located close to the city’s historic ...

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Travel to Italy with The Chopping Block

  Travel and cooking are deeply intertwined. It has been accurately said that you must taste a culture to understand it. There is nowhere better to do this than Italy.

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A Culinary Trip Around Southeast Asia: Part 2

“Once you love it, you love it forever, it grabs you and never lets go.” ~Anthony Bourdain on Vietnam We left off on our trip around Southeast Asia saying goodbye to Thailand and flying into Siem ...

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A Culinary Trip Around Southeast Asia: Part One

It’s never easy to leave such a great and beautiful city like Chicago behind, especially around the holidays. Last year around Thanksgiving my fiancé and I took a trip around Southeast Asia. More ...

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A Chef’s Tour of Lyon, France

  When the prestigious James Beard Foundation predicted the resurgence of French cuisine in 2017, we thought it was an ideal time to visit Lyon, France’s capital of gastronomy, to stop at our ...

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Culinary Adventure on the Orient Express

This past summer my family and I set off across Europe for an adventure of a lifetime on the Venice Simplon Orient Express. The trip was a journey back in time as we retraced the historic route made ...

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A Kebab, a Calzone and a Pita Walk into a Bar

  I just got back from a whirlwind vacation across Europe, gorging my way through five countries before rolling into Istanbul. Ahhh Istanbul--land of lamb chops so pink that even Mary would have had ...

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Went to Memphis for the BBQ, Stayed For The Fried Chicken

I’ve always associated Memphis with barbeque, and I love barbecue, so naturally when I found a roundtrip plane ticket for $89, I had the perfect excuse for another food adventure. Our first stop was ...

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Take a Trip on the Wild Side

  A little over a year ago, I assisted in putting together a Guide to Campfire Cooking with The Chopping Block. That was shortly after my last trip into the wilderness. This week, I am very thrilled ...

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Everything But the Bagel on Everything

I first heard about Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel seasoning when fellow blogger Biz used it in her Everything Bagel Quiche. Soon after, I walked into my friend Margaret's kitchen in Nashville ...

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The Argument for Returning to the Same Place on Vacation

  Last week I went to San Francisco and the coast with a dear friend, and we had some of the most fantastic food of our lives. But here's the kicker that might raise an eyebrow or two: of the handful ...

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Our Upcoming Chef's Dinner Brings Back Memories of Italy

  I have been to Italy twice in my life, once when I was 17 with my fellow high school students and once when I was 24 with my family. As you can imagine, both trips served very different purposes.

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How to Buy Prosciutto

  I hope you've had the pleasure of eating prosciutto. Of course, I’m referring to the delicious Italian ham which comes from different parts of Italy in various forms. I see it more and more in ...

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Tackling a Flaky Foe: Croissant Making in Paris

  For many who love baking, homemade croissants represent a particularly challenging prospect. So for those of us that don’t even like to bake, croissants can be downright terrifying! And let’s just ...

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The Continuation of A Chef’s Travels Through San Miguel de Allende

  Every year, for an entire month I travel to one of the most charming, beautiful and quaint colonial cities in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato. For those who have read my ...

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Passport to Paris

When I realized that Bastille Day was coming up this Thursday, July 14, I figured that was a good excuse to indulge in some French food (as if I even needed an excuse)! Bastille Day, for those that ...

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Big Apple Food Frenzy

I recently returned from a mini-vacation to my favorite city outside Chicago, New York City. I try to visit New York every year to catch up with friends, explore neighborhoods, and try new and ...

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Festival Food Worth Making at Home

It's now summer, so it's a great time to relive Summercamp and dream about other festival food I will eat this summer. Festival food has evolved into its own subculture, such as Crawfish Monica at ...

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The Quest for the Best Bloody Mary

I love summer in Chicago. Admittedly, and not surprisingly, a large part of my affinity for Chicago’s summer has to do with food. I love the variety of food at street fests (Burger Fest is my ...

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A Look into the History of Spam and Why You Should Try It

With Memorial Day now behind us, a long weekend that many take advantage of for quick, mini-vacations, I found myself reflecting on some of my past travels. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose a ...

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Exploring Island Cuisine

  I love to travel because I find exploring local food to be one of the best ways to experience other cultures. My friends and family have learned to accept that I’ll ask cab drivers to pull over at ...

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Something Missing in your Dish? Add a Dash of Tabasco Sauce

I grew up with Tabasco sauce on the table, right next to the salt and pepper. Sometimes the salt even has Tabasco in it. Avery Island in South Lousiana, where Tabasco began, is just a few miles away ...

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This Bird is on Fire: Nashville Hot Chicken

I took a quick food tour through some Southern states sampling BBQ, shrimp Po’ Boys, grilled oysters, crawfish and beignets last week. Despite a bevy of delicious meals, the standout winner was a ...

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A Small Peek into the World of Japanese Snacks

  There's nothing like traveling to Japan to make you call into question things you assume to be routine. Hand soap in the bathrooms? Optional. Rare, even. But a flush system with more buttons than a ...

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How to Eat and Drink Prickly Pear

Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the Southwest knows about the deliciousness that is the prickly pear. Yes, that spiny cactus is edible!

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Travel the World in Each Bite and Sip

  I am a big lover of travel, especially when it involves food and wine. There is no better way to learn about a culture and what it holds dear than tasting its foods and wines and sharing them with ...

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Feeling "Le Bern"

I had the pleasure of revisiting one of my favorite restaurants, Le Bernardin in New York City, a few weeks ago. I’ve been lucky enough to have celebrated a few milestones tucked into its chairs or ...

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The Cake Cafe: Dublin, Ireland

  I have been feeling the need to travel these past few weeks. It could be the slowly approaching summer months or it could be the need to stumble across a new restaurant. In lieu of my wanderlust ...

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Drinking Craft Beer in Kansas City

  Since my start at The Chopping Block, I have become much more accustomed to trying new food. It becomes a hobby when everyday there is a new flavored popcorn or appetizer for the store tasting. So ...

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First Encounter with a Purple Pig

It has been a while since I have ventured out to try a new restaurant, so last weekend I made plans with my girlfriend to stay downtown and try something different. We decided to visit The Purple Pig ...

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Ringing in the New Year around the World

I love New Year’s Eve. I love the excitement as the clock strikes midnight around the world, and the anticipation as the new year heads steadily towards me in whatever time zone I may be in. Last ...

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A Hidden Gem in Massachusetts

  Five years ago, I moved to this beautiful city of Chicago. Five years ago, I let go of the habit of visiting my hometown bakery at least three mornings a week in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Yes, this ...

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Escaping the Chicago Winter to South Florida

Allow me to tell you about my recent Florida escapade! A dear friend of mine, living in Germany now, is in charge of planning our annual vacations. We have known each other for a very long time and ...

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