New Flash. March is National Noodle Month!!!!  Did you know that?  Do you need an excuse to eat more noodles?  I don’t. I was all excited to write this awesome blog on Udon Noodles and then I got corrected that “technically” Udon Noodles aren’t noodles.  This is where the food world is confusing to me.  Noodle is in the name….so it is a noodle…right? Nope.  I guess in the U.S., a noodle must have a certain percentage of egg in it to be considered a noodle….and udon is not made with eggs…it is just flour, salt and water. But according to the UN (University ofRead More →

There is something about the end of winter that brings out the worst in people.  I don’t know if it is the cold or lack of sunlight.  Maybe it is the fact that you don’t get out to see as many people you would like to because the roads are bad.  It could just be that people are tired of plans being cancelled due to the many colds and flu.  Who knows?!! It is this time of year that is the hardest to blog.  It is really easy to go to the “dark” side and be mean.  I see actions every day that I couldRead More →

When you hear about “chemistry” what do you think?  Do you only think of chemistry as the affinity of two people together?  Or maybe you understand it is the “study of matter and the how and why substances combine or separate.”  Some folks see chemistry as a necessity to create great food. Food? Chemistry? What? Think about it…bread rises because of the reaction between leavening agents, cheese is made from proteins being broke down in milk by rennet and your burger tastes better due to the Maillard Reaction. If you’ve never heard of the Maillard Reaction, it is commonly known as browning when cooking.  (TechnicallyRead More →

Do you observe Lent?  I’m not even sure anymore which religions necessarily practice this custom.  I have a handful of friends of different denominations who give up “things” for lent.  I’ve heard about sacrifice of things like snacks, smoking and even their social media accounts.  (The irony is not lost on me that I read about it ON their social media account.) In some religions, it is to honor the sacrifices that were made for people and to heighten awareness in their faith.  (I could go into more detail but I’m sure I would say something wrong and get an email or hit by lightning.)Read More →

Comfort food.  We all have our own favorites.  The things that make us smile and fulfill our souls when we are the emptiest.  The thought of these dishes can erase the worries of a hard day.  They warm us from the inside out and our life wouldn’t be the same without them. I think when you are married for a longer period of time, you become like a comfort food to your spouse.  It may not be the most romantic way to phrase it but there is nothing people like more than comfort food and there is no one I like more than my husband.Read More →

Today will be my last preview of Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week but luckily it won’t be your last chance to make reservations during  February 23-March 4 (Click here for participating restaurants.)  For me it is like counting the medals for each country as I remember all the different courses I devoured.  (For the record I stopped counting after my 5th appetizer, 7th entree and 3rd dessert) My last Winter Olympic event occurred at Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine (555 Mall Drive Schaumburg, IL) and I will say with all honesty it was probably as life changing as an Olympian performing in their first ski event. Imagine theRead More →

Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week preview continues today and if you read my Monday post on Birch River Grill, you will know that I’m trying to give an Olympic Spin to this year’s event.  (Remember to check out the menus and make some reservations during February 23-March 4 Click here for participating restaurants.) Speaking of spin, throughout the Winter Olympics there isn’t a sport that is more popular than figure skating.  I thought of this a lot during my preview week after I went to Cooper’s Hawk Winery ( 798 W Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, IL).  From the minute you walk into the restaurant, you areRead More →

Are you ready?  Do feel like your own personal torch is lit and you are running gleefully as the world watches?  Is this the one event you’ve been waiting for all winter?  No, I’m not talking about the 2018 Olympics…I’m talking about Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week coming up on February 23-March 4.  (I’m giving you a heads up early this year so you can get your reservations in and peruse the menus at your leisure.) To me Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week is a lot like the Olympics….it is a huge event and there is a lot to cover.  (If you’ve never heard of a RestaurantRead More →

Every year the same discussions occur this time of year during the Super Bowl.  I hope it is a good game or that the commercials make sense.  Will the half time show make you stay in your seat or will you take that opportunity to run to the bathroom?  Is the game worth they hype or is it just something you watched because you thought you’d miss something? I think all of those talking points can also be about Super Bowl food.  You want it to be good and worth your time.  You hope your munchies are fantastic and you don’t want to skip aRead More →

It is award season (if you are a fan of TV and movies) and Super Bowl time (if you like sports) which means only one thing….time to make snack foods. I, personally, don’t entertain much but I still like to have a couple of awesome snacks up my sleeve in case we have to go somewhere.  (I sometimes have snacks up my sleeve when I go to the movies too but I’m not sure I should discuss that.) The hard thing is when you ask your hosts “what would you like me to bring” it usually becomes a volley of suggestions. Me: “How about aRead More →