Have you ever heard of the phrase “post prandial narcolepsy?”  It is defined as that state of sleepiness that we sometimes feel after eating a large meal. I am tweaking the definition to also include the state of sleepiness that occurs after a weekend of eating dozens of little meals at Chicago Gourmet, which occurred this weekend at Millennium Park in Chicago. With Mother Nature providing sun and temperatures in the 70’s, hundreds of Chicago’s finest chefs came out and not only entertained our palates with their cuisine but also entertained us with numerous cooking demonstrations, book signings, seminars and friendly “smackdowns.”  (I’ll do aRead More →

There is nothing more exciting in a small town than the opening of a new restaurant.  (If you read the headlines on our front page you will realize the truth in that statement!)  It can be anything from a small independent sandwich shop to a larger franchise coming to the area.  If it involves new food, people will come.  (Heck, the food doesn’t even have to be new, people will still come!) So about 3 or 4 years ago, a little Mexican restaurant opened up in a neighboring small town.  It was a pretty neat place because it didn’t serve only the usual “Americanized” MexicanRead More →

As promised earlier this year, I was going to try to be better at putting up my recipes BEFORE holiday celebrations are over.  So when I looked at my calendar and saw that May was around the corner, I knew I had better start thinking about a couple of recipes for Cinco de Mayo. Contrary to what many people believe, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.  (It also has nothing to do with mayonnaise for those of you who flunked high school Spanish.)  The 5th of May commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-MexicanRead More →

One of the most challenging parts about cooking in a small town is staying “authentic” in ethnic recipes.  It may be something you grew up eating or a flavor you only tried once but trying to recreate it with limited resources may be just enough of a hitch to keep you from attempting the creation at home. I have had this battle with one of my favorite Korean dishes for years.    The dish is called “Bibimbap” and it is considered one of Korea’s iconic dishes.  I have not attempted it at home because I hold my first taste of it so dear to my heartRead More →

As someone who loves to spend time in the kitchen, I am always challenging myself to learn new techniques or to finesse some old ones.  So when I found out that RA Sushi in Lombard, Illinois was offering a Sushi 102 class, I was ecstatic at the thought of learning a few new tricks.  (And eating some sushi!) A compliment to their already successful Sushi & Sake 101 class, Sushi 102 is the class to take when you want to master sushi making techniques, etiquette and learn some neat sake pairings.  (And eat sushi!) Now I hadn’t taken the Sushi 101 at RA but luckilyRead More →

When a gal gets married, there are a lot of wonderful benefits that come along with the husband.  You have a partner.  You have a friend.  You have in-laws!!!!!! In-laws, the little secret no one warns you about before you marry.  (I did warn one of my brother in laws but he didn’t listen to me).  It is another entire family that you will be required to love no matter how they act.  They in turn are required to love you and include you in their group.  (I’m not speaking from experience because everyone knows my in-laws are perfect!) Along with your immediate in-laws (father,Read More →

It is springtime, which means a lot of things to different people.  I love seeing the green growing on the trees and the early buds of a flower’s first bloom.  It is also the time of year when people celebrate Easter and Passover.  (FYI:  My birthday is also in the spring and there are only four more shopping days left.) And let’s face it, our grocery stores are really set up for Easter and like a lot of other holidays, Passover, is overlooked.   (You could even say it was “passed over” but let’s not go for the obvious pun.) I thought that even if myRead More →

Over the past year, I have shared a lot of stories with you.  (By stories, I mean my issues that my therapist says I need to let go.)  One of my favorite stories is about dying Easter eggs with my sisters. Every year, my mom would hard boil a bunch of eggs, break out the Paas kit, and set us kids up at the kitchen table.  Our excitement levels would gain momentum, as Mom would divvy up the eggs between the three of us. The first five minutes of egg dying were the best.  I’d take my little metal dipper thingy and slowly dunk myRead More →

Texas Chunky Chili

Neighbors.  Love them or hate them, they are part of your life.  I am VERY fortunate to be surrounded by one of the best groups of neighbors a gal could ever ask for.  (This is the part that I am buttering them up because I am posting one of their recipes.) We are a multifaceted group brought together by one single decision we all made and that was to live on this particular block.  (Okay, my husband grew up here so I wasn’t a huge part of the decision process but I do really like where we landed.) Last year, the neighbors  (only the reallyRead More →

Stir-Fry Udon Noodles

To continue on with some of my previous discussions about comfort food, I have to talk about noodles today….Asian noodles. A meal in one bowl (and you have to eat them in a bowl), Asian noodles offer a versatile option for dinner (or lunch or snack.)  You can get all of your protein, veggies and carbs in one simple dish.  My only issue with Asian noodles is that I don’t have a quickly place to grab a bowl when I don’t feel well and REALLY need the comfort. My sweet husband always will ask what he can do to make me feel better and IRead More →