When you think of putting a little cowboy in to your get-up, it's usually during the summer months. What better way to show off your Southern Style than wearing a pair of cowboy boots to a summer music festival, usually complimented with a fringe vest and some ripped jean shorts, am I right? Well, winter time welcomes the Western look as well. Given my obsession with Country Music, this casual Americana look has always been a go-to. But now I'm going to show you a way to make it even more chic...and keep you warm this winter.Read More
Filtering by Tag: chicago
Ahh it's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting crisp, and the food is getting quite comforting. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and experiencing a unique spin on typical Turkey Day fare can really elevate the holiday. I was so excited to be invited by Morton Salt to the "Next Door Chef" Pop-up dinner to indulge in Thanksgiving favorites...with a twist.Read More
Staying connected to your girlfriends does not only make for a great time, but it makes for a healthy and sane mind. It's so important to nurture your female relationships as those ladies will be there for your through thick and thin, No matter what is going on in my life, I know that my close friends are by my side no matter what. And having a fun GNO on the reg is necessary to let loose and nurture that bond.Read More
For me, like most people, summer is a time for travel and exploration. It means getting out there and enjoying the beautiful weather and all that life has to offer. This summer was no exception, and fortunately, it's been full of magnificent travel. But all good things must come to an end, so I'm going all out... to get in as much summer travel fun in the remaining several weeks of my favorite season.Read More
Ahh the challenges of the 21st century. So many conveniences, everything can be delivered right to your door. We literally don't even have to go to the drugstore anymore if we don't want to (and why would we?!). But with all of these modern technological advances comes a problem. Not there are SO many competing companies who are just dying to help you stay glued to your couch.... which do we choose?? Why are our lives so hard?!?!Read More
Wicker Park is home to some of the hottest AND coolest restaurants and bars in the city. I've always loved the gritty, real vibe. Of course it has changed over the years and has become more approachable and less of an "up and coming" neighborhood. New restaurants are popping up all the time, and with the high expectations of the local culinary scene... ya gotta be good.
B. Bim Asian Eatery, (1324 N. Milwaukee Ave.) which opened Dec. 5th, is such a cool new addition to the Milwaukee strip. They call themselves a "Korean inspired fast casual restaurant with a dive bar complex". This is so on point. It makes Korean food approachable to people who may not be quite familiar with the cuisine all while staying true to the typical Wicker Park casual watering hole. Chef/Partner EJ Kim (graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and protegè of Rodelio Aglibot) helped create a menu that provides something for everyone: Vegetarians, seafood lovers, carnivores, health nuts, or people who just want to indulge in fine yet quick Asian cuisine. Did I mention they have a full bar (yummy selection of Korean Beers) and play killer tunes (lots of 90's)?!?
Check out what I ate (yes, I was intensely full after my visit.)
This weekend I got to see the HP Sprout in a totally different way... on the road!! The Sprout 3D Scanner, All-In-One Desktop actually has their own truck that they tour around the country so that tons of people can actually experience it's incredible 3D capabilities. This IS the wave of the future, so it's important that as many people as possible can have the opportunity to get hands on access to this technology.Read More
Nothing makes me happier that wearing bold fall basics that are soft, versatile, and warm. The entire fall/winter line at Gap is just that. Endless sweaters, flannels, cardigans, jeans, cords, and accessories that are easy to mix and match, and can appease anyone who loves neutrals and basics.
I just don't have the patience to have to worry about coordinating pieces on a daily basis...especially when it's chilly out and all I want is to be warm and cozy. Gap's lineup right now is so impressive because EVERYTHING in the store feels like it's giving you a big warm hug. Plus all the basics are versatile and coordinate easily. So you can pick a few top options, and a few pants/dresses options and have a TON of great fall/winter outfits at hand.
The accessories are great too and can really add some fuzzy flair to any outfit choice.
Even better is that you can see for yourself tomorrow at Gap's Grand Re-opening. at 555 N. Michigan Ave. This is Gap like you've never seen it before. Not only can you shop all of these amazing styles, but you can listen to some live rock music from Cults. By shopping, you can also get VIP access to 3 other live performances in November! (Nov. 5th, 15th, and 25th). If you love fall, fashion, and music... you MUST get over to Gap!!! RSVP here!!
Last week I had the pleasure of dining with Nutritionist and Healthy Living Concierge, Ashley Pettit. I've respected her talent and career for a long time, and even though our lines of work are quite different...we knew there had to be some way we could synergize. We decided to have a collabo lunch at both of our favorite spot, Beatrix. Beatrix has amazing foodie finds, and all of their food is health oriented, fresh, organic, and delicious. Win-Win!! Read below for Ashley's insider take on our awesome meal together!
"Lunch dates…they are a pretty common thing, especially during the work-week when you may want to catch up with a girlfriend or colleague. However, so many of my clients always tell me that when they are trying to be healthy, they don’t eat out and abstain from hanging out with friends so they can keep on track.
Get this: there is absolutely NO reason to become anti-social when you are adopting healthy eating habits. If I can do it with my friend + ridiculously awesome food, music, + travel blogger; Ms. Kelly Rizzo (aka: Eat, Travel, Rock,) then you can eat out with just about whomever, wherever you want!
I love being able to dine with all sorts of people, anytime I want. It just takes some simple consideration and a determination to eat right while being a social butterfly! I managed to maintain my composure when Kelly ordered something that came with my biggest weakness: French fries (see below- doesn’t that fry look amazing?) And sometimes I have some fries, but this lunch was not my time to indulge. Yet, in the end, I did not miss them! Here is a glimpse into our meal + the main APL tips to eating out socially." CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Hey all!! Lollapalooza is this weekend and if you're like me, and planning on rocking out in Grant Park for 3 days, you're gonna need some tips, tricks, and a survival guide. Read below, and don't forget to share your favevtips and tricks with me!!
Make sure to look your best while protecting your assets. I always use a tinted moisturizer with a bit of shimmer. (Full coverage foundation is TOO much for the heat.) My fave is Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. It gives you a great festival glow, a bit of coverage, and good protection so you can party in the sun!
Always wear some head gear. What screams festival-goer more than some awesome cranium accessories? PLUS, if it's windy, or the weather is inclement, it will keep your hair secure and out of your face. Fedoras or wide brimmed hats are a NO-GO for the same reason, if it's windy you'll lose it... plus you'll annoy all the people standing behind you.
Shoes. For the love of God, NO heels people. And no open toed shoes or sandals, especially flip-flops. We all know that Lolla can get muddy, and if you're wearing flip flops they will constantly get sucked off your feet. And your feet will look like you've been on Survivor if you wear sandals of any type. Wear comfy boots or comfy gym shoes. PERIOD. Converse or combat/cowboy boots are not only going to keep you feet happy, but you'll stay clean, protected, and look stylish too.
Bags: Do not bring any type of bag you have to carry. Belt bags or Cross body bags are life savers for festivals. You want your arms free for jumping, dancing, and carrying multiple beers for you and your friends. Belt bags are not only functional, but these Gabby Fringe bags from 84 Rockwell SCREAM festival. My favorite cross body bag right now is my new Coach Rhyder cross body in pebble leather.
Lolla Cashless- Did you know you can link your Lolla wristband to your debit card/credit card? You can pay for all of your food, booze, and merchandise just with a tap of your band. Brilliant! To activate, click here.
Phone chargers- The only thing worse than having no cell service while at Lolla, is having a dead phone. Keep that from happening with these handy little portable chargers that can fit in any pocket or purse. Urban Outfitters
Got lost??: Download the app Glympse. Glympse is a fast, free, and simple way to share your location in real time with the people you trust. So this way you can find the friends you were with if you get lost, or find the friends you're supposed to meet up with easily.
GETTING HOME and POST LOLLA:
Surge Protector: Uber is ALWAYS the way to go, but sometimes the surge pricing, especially after a huge festival or event, can be astronomical. Surge Protector finds locations close to you with lower surge pricing, and helps call an Uber close to those spots. Genius!
Walk!!! Always my choice.... thankfully I live close. But walking home from Grant Park is usually a great way to wind down after the craziness AND get in a bit of exercise after a day filled with food and a ton of drinks.
Hydrate: Drink a ton of water throughout the day as well as benefit from drinks like Ginger tea and coconut water to help combat hangovers and keep you ready to rock for the next day!!
Thanks to all who came out to the first Eat Travel Rock Unplugged event at Chop Shop last night! Robbie Gold performed and we had some great wines by Fabio Viviani Wines. It was a blast and I had so much fun teaching my simple and tasty Italian Valentine's Day recipes. In case you missed it... the recipes are below!
Appetizer: Figs and Prociutto di Parma
Take approx 12 fresh figs (if you can't find fresh you can rehydrate dried figs by boiling water, adding figs and turning stove off, and letting them soak for 2 hours). Wrap the figs in a long thin slice of the prociutto (should be di Parma.. it's the legit imported from Italy prociutto...the best) seal with a toothpick and add a small dollop of raspberry preserves on top.
Salad: Crazy Caprese- My version of Caprese Salad (Insalata Caprese)
1 container ciliegine -fresh mozzarella (halved)
1 container cherry tomatoes red (halved)
1 container cherry tomatoes yellow (halved)
1 red pepper diced
1/3 cup kalamata olives (halved)
1/4 cup good quality IMPORTED FROM ITALY/SICILY extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp good quality imported balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. Drizzle olive oil, vinegar on top, add spices and fresh herbs. Mix together well and serve. Can be chilled in fridge for up to a couple hours before serving.
Pasta with Zucchini and Goat Cheese
2 large or 4 small Zucchini
1/2 large onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes (imported italian if possible)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
5 oz. goat cheese
High quality imported Italian hard cheese (pecorino romano, gran padano, or pref Incanestrato)
Fresh Basil (chopped)
1/2 lb Pasta (Rigatoni or other wide tube pasta)
Peel and Chop Zucchini (I live a bit of skin on for color and nutrients) into cubes. Put in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp salt and toss. Set aside for 10 min until moisture starts to come out. Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet and add onion. Cook 2 min and add zucchini. While zucchini cooks (3-4 min), boil water in a medium/large pot and cook pasta according to instructions. Add 50% of can of crushed tomatoes to zucchini, add red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 min over medium heat. Add goat cheese and basil and stir until creamy and smooth. Strain pasta into skillet and mix to combine. Pour into serving platter/bowl and garnish with a lot of fresh shredded italian cheese and a bit more basil.
Kelly's Version of Pork Chops Pizzaiola
2 thin cut Bone-in Pork Chops (please use local/sustainable i.e. Slagel Farm)
1/2 onion sliced into long skinny pieces
1 large clove fresh garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
Remaining 50% of can of crushed tomatoes from pasta recipe
1/4 cup chopped hot red cherry peppers in brine (Mazetta's)
1/4 cup chopped mild red cherry peppers
salt and pepper to taste
High quality imported Italian hard cheese (pecorino romano, gran padano, or pref Incanestrato)
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to heavy cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Once hot add pork chops and sear... appox 2 min on each side. Remove chops from pan and set aside. Add a bit more olive oil and onions, then add garlic, scrape up all the little brown bits from the bottom while sautéing the onion. Add the white wine to help deglaze the pan. Salt and pepper. Cook for 2 min. Add the crushed tomatoes, cherry peppers, and more salt and pepper to taste. Add the pork chops back into the sauce. Finish cooking for approx 2 more minutes or until pork chops are cooked through (no pink) but NOT dry or over cooked. Transfer all to a serving platter and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a LOT of grated cheese.
Eating and Traveling are 2 of my 3 favorite things. And they occur simultaneously, often. Eating food at an airport is usually either a hassle, or a quick necessity...and rarely delicious. What if airport dining could be a pleasure? Crazy concept?....maybe.
So I'm kind of weird. I actually enjoy spending time at airports. I'm fascinated with air travel in general and just like being around it... watching the planes land and take off, seeing the pilots hustle about the terminal. Air travel definitely isn't as prestigious and romantic as it was several decades ago, but I still like finding ways to enjoy it. I like to get there as early as possible prior to my flight, of course for logistical reasons, but I also like to have a good meal before I board. Unfortunately, options can be limited, especially at my home bases, O'Hare and Midway.
Yes, Chicago airport food has definitely improved, but it is far from haute cuisine and chic dining. No, we don't need 3 star Michelin restaurants at our airports, but how about things other than soggy or overly dry and processed genetically modified turkey sandwiches? Even the "Wolfgang Puck" restaurants still offer the same boring dry turkey sammies. Yes, Rick Bayless makes an appearance with Tortas Frontera, and there is a sushi spot called Wicker Park Seafood (I haven't tried it, reviews seem positive). But for the most part, you're stuck with all Chili's-esque options. Processed and microwaved "bar" food. Is it THAT hard to bring in some fresh and organic options?
I'm spending a lot of time in New York lately. Laguardia is a cesspool of nastiness. Zero options for a good meal. JFK on the other hand is like the Garden of Eden of airport dining. High end steak and sushi options, healthier fast casual options, and streamlined bars at every other gate. I had a delicious sushi dinner last night in the Jet Blue Terminal at Deep Blue. It was sexy and sleek and the food was actually great.
I do have one way to ensure that you can at least get the best meal possible at ANY airport you go to. There are a few great apps out there can be very helpful. Gate Guru is my favorite. Not only will it give you the updated arrival and departure boards at every airport but it also has a complete list of all food, shops, and amenities and what terminal and gate they're at. It also features reviews of other travelers so you know which to hit up, and which to steer clear of. Happy travels all, and please share with me which airports YOU feel have the best food!
Food trends have been quite, well, trendy as of late. There is always something new that is "all the rage" and Chicagoans buy into the trends (literally and figuratively) whole heartedly. Are we jumping on the bandwagon because we are yearning to try new and interesting foods, or are we absorbing all of these calories just because it's what everybody in town is doing? Which brings me to the next point... Are these trends making us fat? Are ANY of these trends healthy? How long can these trends be sustained?
Meat. Ahhh meat. So delicious, so satiating, and so controversial. If you follow my blogs you will know that I have recently become outspoken on trying to be more socially responsible with my meat intake. For now, I'll put this aside. Chicago is a meat city, and these meat trends have been on a steep incline. Is bacon something new? No. Is seeing it in and on everything imaginable new? Yes. A few years ago, you didn't see bacon on your doughnuts, and in your chocolate, and garnishing your martini. Yes this CAN BE delicious. But an immense intake of bacon can't be good for us and our waistlines, correct? What has come along since bacon became so En Vogue? Pork Belly. This fatty splendor can be found everywhere. On burgers (as if that's necessary), in tacos (this I have ZERO qualms with), in eggs, and in/on pasta and pizza. This is where trend separates from indigenous foods. When you see a pork belly taco, that is a regional Latin American specialty. When you see pork belly on a 1/2 lb "Santa Fe" burger at a local "gastro pub" it's a food trend. This all becomes silly and unnecessary when people start throwing bacon and pork belly and foie gras on EVERYTHING just because it's a fad. Maybe I don't want foie gras on my PB&J!!!!
What is up with the doughnut and cupcake trends?? I mean, yea they're freakin' delicious, but could we be shoveling our faces full of anything worse for us? The problem is; that because you just HAVE to try Doughnut Vault, or you haven't lived until you've had Sprinkles or Sweet Mandy B's, people flock like lemmings to these places and consume vast amounts unaware of how bad it is for us. The occasional dessert is fine, if not necessary. But to have full venues, restaurants, and shops dedicated to these trends may be too much. I think the public is starting to speak, however, when entire chains like Crumb's Bake Shops are going under. Maybe a 2,000 calorie cupcake isn't on OUR menu anymore. Also, stores like Sprinkles and Glazed and Infused which had lines around the corner or were sold out by 11am, now are much more tame. Is the trend on it's way out? Are we becoming more health conscious, or just sick of certain trends and waiting for the next big one? What are your thoughts friends? Does Chicago have room for a potentially healthy food trend? Why can't omelets or healthy soups be the next big thing? Don't throw "but Kale and Brussels Sprouts are huge right now!" at me... entire restaurants or menus dedicated to these items aren't springing up left and right... they're just side dishes... and half the time they're loaded with bacon and pork belly anyway.
I'd love to know your thoughts! Leave me a comment!
First off, I want to start by saying how appreciative I am of all the support I've received from all my friends, family, and "supporters" since Chantel (my manager/producer) and I began this crazy project. No one even knew what the hell Eat Travel Rock TV was, yet you all were on board. Well now it's here and it's LIVE on my site... Just click HERE for all the available episodes... yet you still may not know what the hell it is.
Eat Travel Rock TV came about from the frustration I had while working on other TV projects, coupled with my desire to put my specific brand on camera. I've had a vision of a show that fully integrates food, music, and travel in a unique and unexpected way. There is nothing like it on television, nor the internet (as far as I've seen... those interwebs are a mighty huge place). Plus I get to be ME! There are no network constrictions, nor producers/directors who don't share my vision and let me do what I want to do and act how I want to act.
Here are some examples of who you will meet along this journey: I interviewed Chase Rice at the Windy City Smokeout (music and food, baby!) I interviewed Love and Theft in Key West, FL (music and travel!) I had Ryan Chiaverini give me a guitar lesson in his home (unexpected music!) and I brought Down With Webster to Fulton Market Kitchen. We have launched 5 episodes today, and we will be releasing 1 episode each Wednesday.
No two episodes are alike, and I have MANY ideas for the future. Stay tuned for many bands, musicians, famous chefs, innovative restauranteurs, Chicago athletes, notable personalities etc. I plan to Eat a ton, Travel a bunch, and constantly rock out... so please join me on this journey. I truly hope you enjoy this labor of love and I welcome your thoughts, feedback, and requests. Thank you!!