I am a firm believer that life is like a book.  It can be long or short.  It can be well written or it can be a bit of a mess.  It can be of great historical importance or it can be almost so surreal that it seems like science fiction. There are chapters that capture our hearts and there are chapters we would soon rather forget.  It can be so fascinating that there may be volumes or it could be so slow you may just want to peek at the cliff notes. And in most good books you can look at the people whoRead More →

When you get up in the morning, do you ever think to yourself….Have I made a difference in anyone’s life? It doesn’t matter if you are the teacher of young minds, a doctor who heals, the barista with the perfect cappuccino or the housewife who greets everyone with a smile….you want to make a difference. I am a firm believer that we are all small pebbles capable of making ripples of waves in other’s lives….we just might not realize it sometimes. I woke up this morning thinking about this because I wanted to wish The Chopping Block in Chicago a Happy 20th anniversary. (The celebrationRead More →

Three million one hundred fifty three thousand six hundred minutes Three million one hundred fifty three thousand moments so dear Three million one hundred fifty three thousand How do you measure-measure 6 years In food posts-in pictures In laughter-in plates of beauty In humor-in made up stories In vulnerability-in a weekly log Three million one hundred fifty three thousand Six hundred minutes How do I measure my life in a blog? For those of you who know the play “RENT”, you may recognize the theme of how I started today’s post. The song Seasons of Love was going through my head last night as IRead More →

I am the person who just stands and takes a deep breath. I am the one who likes to touch the leaves on the tree. I am the woman who has to lean on a rock during a hike up to Laurel Falls. I’ve held onto a fence post in awe as I’ve looked at the scenery. I smile at the Meemaws as they sit on a bench waiting on their grandkids to finish shopping.. I giggle when someone calls me honey or sweetie. I pick up a southern accent in the first day of being in this community. I feel a peace within asRead More →

Pretty sea of blue Wafting slowly past my eyes Ebbing up and down A roar of pure emotion With a cheer of Go Cubs Go Today will be anything but a food blog (I did brush up on my poetic tanka skills). It is just purely a post of a lifelong Cubs fan. It is not that I am the kind of baseball fan that can rattle off stats, name line-ups or even know who is National League or who is in the American League. I can’t match jersey numbers with players or sometimes even know their field positions.  Like most Americans, I grew upRead More →

One of my favorite things about the 9th year of Chicago Gourmet is the fact that I learned so much. By tasting so many wonderful dishes, my mind was opened even more on how to intermingle texture, flavors and cultures. (In case you missed it, click here to see some of my favorite bites this year.) The education goes beyond “just” eating for hours. Over the years, I have enjoyed numerous enlightening cooking demonstrations. (I think there were 23 this year not including the wine seminars!) This year I went to five of them. I thought instead of writing a long, drawn out post onRead More →

Believe it or not, every week I give myself a writing assignment for the blog. It helps me stay dedicated to cooking something new each week and then having a topic for Felt Like a Foodie. But these last two weeks have been absolute cooking disasters….or maybe I should specify baking disasters. I thought it would be a nice change of pace to cook some treats for my husband’s birthday. I thought it would be a great post about how much I loved baking it for him and how he could taste the love…blah, blah, blah. Instead, it was a day of baking horror. Hubby’sRead More →

When I moved to my small town in Indiana almost 18 years ago, it was an adjustment.  I missed my friends, family and job.  I had to adjust to a town that was not near everything (and by everything I meant shopping and my usual restaurants).  It was a learning experience and not always easy. I was lucky and made a lot of new friends to add to my batch of Illinois friends.  My family remained a phone call away and there are members of my husband’s family who love me like I’ve been part of the group my whole life.  And as for myRead More →

500. One day you are sitting on your favorite corner spot on the couch and your spouse says, “You should start a blog. People are always talking to you about food and this would be a great way for you to share everything you have learned. Make it funny and be true to yourself. Add some pictures of yourself too because you are also the most beautiful person to walk the face of this Earth.” (Okay, parts of that may not be a direct quote but the conversation went something like that.) Okay, I’ll do it!!!! I started slowly and tried to learn my voice.Read More →

Sigh. I made it. My heart feels so happy as I close out my 45th year. Like every year of life, I can find lows and highs. There are moments that I wouldn’t mind erasing and there are others that I want tattooed on my memory. I have shed a few tears and have had countless hours of laughter. I have learned this past year that I am plain and simple. I’m good with that description. I am the woman who rarely puts on makeup and loves a good case of bedhead. I feel the most comfortable in jeans and pair of Converse. I knowRead More →