[spring blossoms at floriole]

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting one of my ‘bloggie heroes’, as I like to call him, Tim of Lottie + Doof. Tim’s site, along with The Fashion Face [owned by my uber-talented friend Erika] and Cupcakes and Cashmere were the three blogs that inspired me to start up my own. I remember upon discovering Lottie + Doof, I was so excited to jot down several of Tim’s recipes. To date I’ve made his caramel cake and pumpkin whoopie pies [yum!]. Still on my to-dos? Blood orange bars, garlic dressing, and gooey butter cake. In short, getting to meet Tim was extremely special and gratifying for me.

I have to say after meeting Tim he is exactly as I imagined; humble, gracious, and sharp as a tack with a wry sense of humor that keeps you on your toes. He’s the type to cook a four-course meal …for 40+ peoplefrom scratch… with original recipes all while donning a grin and a casual “oh, this old thing?” cool-as-a-cucumber charisma. The opposite of stuffy and pretentious [although he has every right to be]; I’d like to think Tim’s personality is the equivalent to a bowl of chicken noodle soup [must everything relate to food? uhh, yea.] ~ inviting, warm, and genuine.

Side note, kudos to Tim for his feature in ReadyMade [among other appearances in Saveur, Apartment Therapy, design*sponge, and Time Out Chicago for starters], but unlike the rest of his fanfare, this time Tim and his fiancé Bryan are getting props not for food but for their beautiful home. Congrats!

So where were we. Ah yes, like a mad science experiment that formerly existed only in my dreams, last Wednesday Tim teamed up with Sandra Holl [the prodigal mind and petite powerhouse behind Floriole], to create a scrumptious [I never use that word but it's apropos here] four-course meal with the theme of … drum roll please… springtime! Since spring decided to skip us this year it’s only fair we get to experience it on a plate.

[ wildflowers picked on a trip home]

The dynamic duo of Tim and Sandra artfully wrangled up the light, airy, fresh, earthy components of spring to create a decadent meal that left me clamoring for more. It certainly helped that I was seated [in my humble opinion] at the best table in the house, where I met several more gems: Karin, Karin’s mom [I wish.. alas, she was there only in spirit], Jaclyn, and Melissa – the unrivaled reigning queen of handcrafted syrup and the owner of Jo Snow Syrups [as swooned over here]!

Before I go into the menu, take another swig of your coffee and allow me to digress for I must sing Melissa’s praises. Melissa left behind the comforts of a full-time job to start this fun [and highly successful] venture. The day of Tim’s dinner I was tweeting with Melissa describing my excitement to meet her. To my delight, not only was I seated at her table but she also thoughtfully brought me a bottle of syrup to take home as a gift. Seriously, how sweet is she? Such a generous act of kindness and one I won’t forget. In fact, I’m putting together a post on the many different ways I’m using my prized bottle of cardamom rose water syrup… stay tuned on that.

Back to the menu:

[the snacks] a perfectly salty trio of popcorn, peanuts, and olives to compliment jo snow’s rhubarb & basil syrup beer cocktail.

[lemon ricotta ravioli with spicy asparagus] this pillow of heaven had a tangy, creamy filling with a welcome crunchy kick from the asparagus.

[sorrel soup with poached eggs] eggs + soup, why have i never tried this combo before? also my first experience with sorrel, it had a pleasantly sharp bite that contrasted nicely with the velvety texture of the egg.

[dessert] i think this was my number one but i don’t like to play favorites. let’s just say tim + sandra’s homemade cheesecake = religious experience.

So there you have it. Although I had my camera in tow, I was enjoying the company at my table too much to take photos. I did manage one of dessert:


[like buttah]

The team at Floriole, including Sandra and Rachel Post [Floriole's head bread baker], will be holding another dinner this summer – a pizza party to top all pizza parties! Tim let me know he’ll be on our end this time enjoying the ‘za.  We’re all looking forward to it, thanks again everyone for a stellar night. It was a real treat.






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  1. Great Post. It was a lovely evening, and I agree that we had the best table. Though, I normally would have fallen into a full-fledged panic attack at the thought of a communal table, you all made it quite enjoyable! We should set up a Logan Square farmer’s market date and stalk Melissa and her snow cones! Maybe Karin’s mom can come.


    1. this cracked me up, karin’s mom’s daughter. i had so much fun with you all and i must also admit, i was terrified as well! at least you had jaclyn with you! it all turned out better than i could have planned though.

      let’s do a logan farmer’s market date for sure. a hot day + one of melissa’s snow cones.. could it get any better? oh but it could – if karin’s mom would grace us with her presence!


  2. Great bunch of new, interesting and tasty information.

    I jumped over to the Lottie + Doof blog.
    Super presentation of all their wonderful recipes.

    I haven’t figured out where the name Lottie + Doof came from…
    Maybe Eittol + Food ??

    Anyway it was a magnificent presentation to behold.

    What a great group all in one message, Tim, Bryan, Erika, Sandra, Karin, Melissa, Jaclyn, Rachel… did I forget anyone.
    Such talent all in one space.

    Thanks for bringing this illustrious group to our attention.

    Also I can’t wait to get the inside scoop when you unleash your talents with the cardamom rose water syrup.

    Boo Hoo !!!
    The Cleveland palate is soooo far behind…
    BUT our Indians are in first place…
    for now.


    1. thank you and i’m glad you popped over to Lottie + Doof to check out tim’s site. it’s beautiful isn’t it? such fantastic photos and recipes… i love it! so the name lottie is from tim’s grandma and ‘doof’ is … you got it, food spelled backwards!

      the cleveland palate is right on, look at all the talented chefs to come out of c-town: from michael symon to hector boiardi, a.k.a. chef boyardee!! but in all seriousness, there may not be the quantity as other big cities but there is certainly the quality. travel & leisure also recognized cleveland as one of the most visionary cities in 2011 (article here). cleveland rocks!


  3. Yes, what a lovely evening. Lots of laughs, great company & of course, amazing food. Please plan a Logan market excursion and bring your mom, Karin!You totally captured the memorable evening in your lovely blog post. It was fun reliving it! Now if I just had that popcorn to snack on!
    Hope to see you soon .


    1. thank you so much melissa! it was a wonderful night and i’m still thoroughly enjoying my delicious cardamom rose water syrup! mmmmmm thanks again. unfortunately i wasn’t able to make it to the first dose market, i trust you had a great time and shared your goodies with the masses. can’t wait for the next one, i want to stop by and shop ’til i drop. : )



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