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  • The Chopping Blog


Crystal Zaragoza is a Class Assistant at The Chopping Block. She grew up in Nebraska and also lived in San Francisco before landing in Chicago. Crystal has a deep-seated appreciation for food styling and presentation. Her favorite cuisines are Japanese and Thai. She loves throwing together a hodge podge of ingredients on the fly to create new, unexpected combinations. Crystal also greatly enjoys exploring the cuisines and food traditions of other cultures. When she isn't in the kitchen, Crystal can be found carrying out her passion for teaching in another avenue, as a coach for a high school color guard. She can also be found hanging out in local coffee shops or trying out new restaurants and brewpubs with her husband.

Recent Posts

A Recipe to Convert Brussels Sprouts Haters

You either love it or you hate it. That’s how it goes with some foods. One such vegetable that most people tend to skew heavily one way or the other on are Brussels sprouts. As I teach the young ...

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How to Beat Breakfast Boredom

Now that it is officially bathing suit season, this is the time when many people start to get really serious about healthy eating to keep that beach bod in check. One of the hard parts about ...

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The Art of Sushi

Sushi. There is a lot to be said about sushi. There are also a lot of key components that go into high quality sushi – things like properly seasoned rice and the freshest of fish. Unmistakably, nice ...

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Cookies for Breakfast

I have a really bad habit of mismanaging my time before heading off to work or some other engagement. I will get into a productive mode that is hard to detach from, which then means a rush to get out ...

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Weekend Woes: Avoiding the Brunch Barrage

Chicago is a brunch city. There’s no doubt about that. On any given Saturday or Sunday morning, you’ll find yourself facing a one to three hour wait at the majority of establishments. The wait is ...

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A Cheesy Valentine Meal That Can't Be "Beet"

Valentine’s Day is just under two weeks away. Did you forget? It’s easy for this holiday to sneak up on a person, and next thing you know it, you are scrambling to find a dinner reservation. Do not ...

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A Cure for your Winter Blues: Snacks and a Movie

Now that the holiday season is winding down, but the weather outside is still chilly, hibernation season is in progress. This is a time when we’re licking our financial wounds from spoiling our loved ...

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The Dish to De-Stress: Homemade Pasta

I have three great loves in my life: my husband, my puppy and making homemade pasta. Okay, okay… maybe there are a few more things and loved ones that rank above making homemade pasta, but it is ...

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The Gift of Good Fortune... Cookies

One of the big-time benefits to living in the great city of Chicago is the vast array of cuisines that are at our fingertips. It doesn’t take much to happen upon authentic food offerings from a ...

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Make Your Pipe Dreams a Reality with These Piping Tips

Somewhere along the line, cupcakes became “the thing”. They are all the rage these days with their interesting flavor combinations and beautiful decorations. The only problem is that their growing ...

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