Chicago-style Baked Polenta

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Pizza and I have a bit of a history together. One of my first jobs as a teenager was in a big chain pizza restaurant, and I grew up making homemade thin crust pizzas with my dad. I had no concept of deep dish anything really. Even more so, that it could be such a varied dish. The weather this past February was brutal; it was so windy and cold tights became a necessity, and my mind inevitably went to Chicago.

The last time we were in Chicago, Davis and I were attending the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2011. We found the city in the middle of a heat wave so intense my pasty self turned lobster red, even sitting in the shade. I enjoyed hearing Beach House’s set as I lay down like a grassland lion and napped under an umbrella in the harsh sun. We got to see some old friends and see all the landmarks from one of my top five all time favorite movies – High Fidelity. Even despite injuring my foot on a 4 mile run and Michael Bay cutting off most of the city due to filming Transformers 3, I had a fantastic time.

Upon our return, I even took virtual real estate tours of available rentals to try and imagine a life where we lived there. It wasn’t a bad life, but I have moved on to imaginary real estate tours of other areas of fine nature when a little downtime leads me into a geographical daydream.

Culinarily, I fell in love with the vegetable, meat and sauce-laden pile of deliciousness that is the Chicago Deep-Dish style pizza. Things are finally starting to move beyond the freezing temperatures we saw earlier in the year, but hopefully this dish can warm up your day.

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Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

We’re no stranger to roasted vegetables here at Roxie Ginger, but it’s fun to see the different combinations that can come together and taste amazing. Carrots and dill never seemed to make much sense to me once upon a time, and what do you know – they sing together in perfect harmony.

On a grocery run this week, we found a really interesting sounding package of chicken sausage stuffed with spinach and gruyere and decided to give it a shot. I head scratched for a bit to think of what would be a good accompaniment. For me, sausage always matches with potatoes, but catching in the corner of my eye was a pretty head cauliflower and I thought, “well don’t you look interesting.”

This is a really simple recipe good for a busy night. While individual ingredient tastes wonderful on its own, but the combination of all three goes together like bread and butter. Or cauliflower and fennel and chicken sausage. Whatever you prefer.

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