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 →