My favorite week of the year is finally here….it is time for Chicago Gourmet!!!!  For those of you who are new readers, Chicago Gourmet is an annual food event set in Millennium Park.  To call it a “food event” is an injustice, it is a weekend filled with celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, book signings, lots of wine/spirit tastings and, of course, there is the food from Chicago’s best restaurants.  (And yes, I’ll take plenty of notes for those of you who write asking for recommendations.) Every year I’ve gone, the event has gotten better and better and I can only imagine what they have plannedRead More →

Would you be shocked if I said I can be kind of jealous and mean at times? It is not a quality that I necessary like about myself. Sometimes I see things and my mind goes to a dark place and inevitably a snarky (yet hysterical) comment pops out. I thought about this character flaw in myself after it came out at two separate events. The first was a rather large party we go to almost every year. There is one gal in particular that for some reason gets under my skin. We’ve never spoken or even shared a polite nod of acknowledgement but IRead More →

I will have to apologize to all my anti-gardening, tomato hating readers. I think the next couple blogs are going to be tomato-centric. When I planted my garden this year, I went a little bananas on tomatoes. (I would not recommend actual bananas on tomatoes. Besides the fact that I really despise bananas, that combination sounds dreadful.) I started my plants indoors from seed and went a little overboard. I kept thinking my plants seeds weren’t going to take. I decided that if I planted 28 plants, I’d lose about half. I was really, really wrong. I think I only lost about 5. (Actually thatRead More →

I’ve got kind of a buzz going.   My head is in a cloud and I’m having a hard time focusing. I have taken so many hits lately; I even have the munchies. No. I am not taking drugs….legal or recently legalized in some states. (Seriously, I am anti-drugs….hugs not drugs is my motto!) I am on a tomato high. Our days have finally been consistently warm enough that the tomatoes in my garden are turning all shades of red. From the first flower on the vines to seeing the little start up of the fruit to watching them grow and turn colors, I look outRead More →

There are many reasons why I love the month of August. First and most importantly, it is the month my beloved husband was born. He definitely makes my world a better place. (Um, do those sweet words count as a birthday gift?) I also love August because kids start going back to school and my mommy friends all have time to sneak off to lunch again!! (We do go to lunch with their kids but then we can’t giggle and talk about boys like we usually do.) But the main reason I love August is because it means my garden is really producing some tomatoes!!!Read More →

One of my favorite parts of summertime is the abundance of fresh tomatoes.   I would love to say I have a green thumb and grow them all myself but I didn’t inherit that gene from my mother.  I am fortunate to live near some wonderful gardeners who always share their bounty.  (They don’t grow anything illegal so please don’t ask.) I went to a neighborhood barbeque and wanted one of my dishes to be something easy to make and yet scrumptious.  My immediate thought was bruschetta.  I hadn’t made it since last summer so I started searching for recipes. I couldn’t believe all of theRead More →

Of all the Mother Sauces, Tomato sauce is the one people are most familiar with eating or cooking.  I could even dare to say it is the mother of all Mother Sauces.  I have never met a person who doesn’t like tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is probably the only mother sauce that can be made with a minimum of 3 ingredients.  You can cook a tomato (skinned and seeded) in some olive oil and add some salt, and create the most basic of tomato sauces!  It is almost like the tomato is magic! A good tomato is juicy and has a rich flavor makingRead More →

I was given a challenge this past week.  I was asked if I could post a recipe that had less than five ingredients.  Actually, I wasn’t really asked.  It was more of a sarcastic comment from a friend that I chose to hear as a challenge. Some people I know (and love) claim that their eyes glaze over when reading a long recipe.  I do admit that most of the things I cook include a lot of ingredients.  It isn’t done on purpose; it is just how I cook.   If I don’t dirty my counter and half of my measuring devices, my cooking experience justRead More →