Bob Vivant

in pursuit of delicious beauty

Bob Vivant

Bob Vivant
Chicago, Illinois, USA
August 21
Coffee, black, French press, Intelligentsia. Two poached eggs, runny yolks, coarse ground black pepper, Maldon salt. Wheat toast, extra thick slice, dense with millet and seeds, European-style butter. Summer melon, fresh mint.



Bestselling author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle often reminds us that what we resist, persists. But when the object of resistance has the ability to stain anything it comes in contact with and jeopardize marital bliss, how can you do anything but resist it?   

Eac… Read full post »

We got the bug, so to speak, a couple of years ago when my dear friend Chantal, the loyal keeper of my secrets and loving reminder that blood is not thicker than water, got her first hive and became an urban beekeeper in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chantal, affectionately known as Mistress BeeRead full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2009 9:40AM

A Virtual Box of Cookies

Like my mother before me and many of the food lovers here at Open Salon, I use cooking and baking as a way to show I care. When Bird and I finished our baking this weekend, we carefully packaged the fruits of our labor and delivered them to our friends and family.… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2009 8:50AM

Calling All Coconut Lovers

Do you love coconut?

Do you think the only thing better than coconut is the sinfully delicious combination of coconut and chocolate?

Then please read on.

 BVM 2009

Coconut Haystack Cookie

With just five ingredients, including the chocolate for dipping, these cookies are easy and foolproof. Y… Read full post »

DECEMBER 18, 2009 1:27PM

This Sort of Thing Isn't Funny Here Yet


It's freezing cold and dry. Really dry. Itchy, scratchy skin dry. So dry, Bird decides to use body lotion. Bird is a man of minimal products meaning no aftershave, no hair product, just shave cream, toothpaste, shampoo and soap.

Bird: Where do you keep your lotion?

Me: Under the sink.… Read full post »

My dear friend made this delicious Shortbread with Crystallized Ginger last weekend - bliss.

 "I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place, I’d do it with cookies."  ~ Ana Pascal, Stranger than Fiction

It's easier for me to imagine a Christmas without Santa than it is to imagine the holiday without cookies. When I was a kid my… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2009 4:27PM

Holiday Baking is Cheap Therapy

Uhm, so rich!

The crunch of raw sugar crystals between my teeth.

Lightly crumbling apart in my watering mouth.

Butter, yes, yes!

Ooh, cardamom, what a lovely surprise.

Lightly sweet.

Pure bliss.

What better start to the holiday season than that first bite of shortbread fresh from the oven?

It's magic… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2009 11:11AM

It's National Brownie Day!

BVM 2009   

Happy Holidays to you!

No, I didn't mean Merry Christmas.

Or Happy Hanukkah.

Or Happy Kwanzaa.

Specifically, I meant Happy Brownie Day! Oh come now, don't pretend you didn't know there was such a thing.

When I first discovered it, I was a bit perplexed mysel… Read full post »

It's December 1st and you know what that means--holiday madness is officially upon us. There are trees to trim, menorahs to polish, stockings to hang, cards to write, lists to make, gifts to buy, cookies to bake, guest rooms to tidy, parties to plan and host, parties to attend, guilt trips… Read full post »

Considering the contents of my over-stuffed, post-Thanksgiving refrigerator always brings to mind that proverbial notion of making a silk purse from a sow's ear. In this case, my sow is what remains of a 25 pound turkey recently ravaged by 20 plus dinner guests.

Turning Thanksgiving leftove… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 24, 2009 9:40AM

Good-Bye Pumpkin, Hello Cranberries

Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, and I'm already tired of the requisite iterations and bastardizations of pumpkin. So, this year it's all about cranberries. 

I combined a few of my favorite recipes and came up with this surprise hit. (It received rave reviews when I tested it onRead full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2009 3:06PM

A Good Egg (Foodie Tuesday)


Have you ever tasted a fresh egg? 

Not an egg 'fresh' from the store, but an egg fresh from the farm--just a few hours old?

If you've tasted a fresh egg and love eggs, especially fried ones with runny yolks, then you already know how special they can be. It's/… Read full post »

Last weekend marked the end of the Chicago farmer's market season. It was a vibrant swan song - giant orange pumpkins, cauliflower heads the color of amethysts, red and green apples of every shape and size. Surrounded as I was by delicious beauty it was hard to savor the moment. My… Read full post »

Bird and I were cruising through New Mexico on our way from Arroyo Hondo to Albuquerque where our friends were getting married the following day. I was on a mission to reach our destination before noon, but Bird, the driver was hungry.

"Santa Fe, 15 miles," I said. Neither of us… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2009 1:30PM

Finding Peace in Imperfection

Bird and I were clipping along at a steady, hurried pace. Our London Heathrow gate was in sight – just a couple hundred yards to go, and we’d be boarding our plane for Chicago.

And then I froze.

“Wait!” I yelled to Bird who hadn’t noticed I was absent from his… Read full post »

I made my first trip to London nearly ten years ago. The must see and do recommendations I received from my well-traveled colleagues and friends were wildly diverse, but overlapped on one point - the food is disappointing.

Fortunately, they were all wrong.

It's true that if you limit your… Read full post »

OCTOBER 6, 2009 10:56AM

Breakfast with Bird

I treasure overcast fall weekends. The cool grey sky threatens of rain and all outside work is put on hold. This is bad news for Bird. He logs too many hours behind a desk during the week, and by Friday he is craving manual labor and tangible accomplishments. Our hundred-year-old cottonwood… Read full post »

Bird worked in a Midwestern pizza joint for a few years when he was in high school and therefore, considers himself a connoisseur of all things pizza. I'm a pizza lover too - Bird would never have married me otherwise. In Chicago it's easy to satisfy our pizza craving, though we don't alway… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 2:16PM

Sleeping With Cookbooks

My mom slept with cookbooks.


She shared her bedroom with my snoring father, two boxer dogs and enough cookbooks to fill a floor to ceiling bookcase – not that she ever put the books on a shelf. Instead, they were stacked haphazardly around her side of the king-sized… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 7:40AM

Foodie Tuesday: 29 Minute Mozzarella

The urge to make my own cheese came last winter when I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Was it possible that cheese, my favorite food group, could be created by my mere mortal hands? In my very own kitchen? Barbara's lilting prose made it sound so easy - like anyo… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 12:44PM

Does Size Really Matter...In the Kitchen?

I recently bought a mortar and pestle the size of my head.

Okay, that's a bit of an understatement. Upon further inspection, I can see that my head is actually smaller than my beautiful, smoky grey, solid granite prep tool. And while I have no efficient and painless way of confirming it,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 12:59PM

Don't Fear the Lobster (Foodie Tuesday)

 I love lobster. It was love at first bite.

I fell over a “surf and turf” dinner at a Chicago steakhouse on a generous business expense account. When I was finished only the shells of the surf remained though my turf was mostly untouched. I was 28.

The culinary adventures… Read full post »

AUGUST 27, 2009 1:25PM

Introducing My Husband on OS

Like many writers here at OS, my SO serves as a frequent muse in my posts. The fearless taster of my kitchen experiments. The occasional though forgiving butt of my jokes. The enduring love of my life.

Usually he appears as 'my husband' – a most uninspired reference. He has… Read full post »

Saturday night my husband and I joined the legions of cooking enthusiasts that have attempted Boeuf Bourguignon immediately after seeing the movie Julie and Julia. And before Saturday night I never would have considered my husband to be the least bit enthusiastic about cooking.

(The s… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2009 2:07PM

Falling Off My Soapbox For Figs

I’m a hypocrite when it comes to food.

For 364 days a year, I preach on the importance of eating locally and sustainable food supplies to anyone who will listen.

"Say 'no' to plastic looking strawberries in January when you can see snow outside your Midwestern window."

"Plant a garden," I… Read full post »