Today, I was featured on the Thanksgiving Day Special on WCIU, You and Me This Morning. It was a blast because I found a way to sneak some booze into all of my food... and of course pair each dish with a complimenting cocktail. I mean, a little booze helps to make it through the crazy holiday season, am I right?! I covered the 3 major food groups, Vodka, Bourbon, and Cachaca. Here's what I made!Read More
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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
Ahhh cooking. Depending on who you are, it can be a blessing or a curse. What if, no matter what your level of culinary expertise, you could enjoy and master cooking from home?! I have the answer, folks. It's Home Chef. I absolutely LOVE to cook. Whether it's for my friends, family, or date night... there's no greater satisfaction that creating a meal that your loved ones will love. Even though my culinary ability is a bit above average, there are still some negatives to cooking at home. The biggest being waste. When I go grocery shopping for the week, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. I buy SO much, most of it never used, or it goes bad before I have a chance to use it. Then I have to deal with the shame of throwing out hundreds of dollars of perfectly good produce. So sad (tear).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.)
Everyone loves comfort foods. Sometimes you want all the decadence of your favorite foods but the guilt that comes with it can be crippling. What if you could have it all. Your favorite satisfying foods, but with a healthy twist?! Here you go!
Mac and Cheese is a comfort food staple. But it's usually loaded with so much heavy cream and cheese that it could take a month just to work off two bites! While I was perusing Instagram recently I came across a pic of my friend Lauren Nolan, aka The Lakeshore Lady's, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Arugula. The heavy cream is replaced with roasted cauliflower puree and it's outstanding. You do NOT feel like you're eating a healthy substitution. Get the whole recipe here!
Who doesn't like to end a satiating dinner with something sweet?! But as we know, most of our favorite dessert indulgences are "a moment on the lips...a lifetime on the hips" But what if you could actually be eating your favorite desserts but also have it be healthy?! Mind blown, right?!
Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts * are the best of both worlds. It comes in a dual sided container (we're all familiar with these). One side has the little crumbles and crunchies we love, and the side has the fruity goodness or creamy part of the dessert incorporated into it. I swear it's as if you are eating the actual desserts, and the fact that you get all the flavor for under 220 calories is outstanding.
Now I am VERY picky about yogurts. I used to be naive and think that any yogurt was automatically healthy for you. Then I realized that most of the yogurts we eat have artificial flavorings or sweeteners (which are incredibly harmful). Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts have NO artificial flavorings, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. They’re a good source of calcium and protein and best yet, they’re made from cows not treated with hormones. So now it’s ok to indulge in your favorite desserts and say adios to all the guilt that comes with it. Also, you've gotta check out this hilarious video that The Girls With Glasses made to show you how Muller Dessert Inspired yogurts are a delicious lifesaver. Click HERE to watch. Here’s to our sweet-tooths! #yogurtwithbenefits
*The second half of this blog (yogurt portion) was sponsored by Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts.
Healthy Italian Quinoa SaladRead More
My Chicken Marsala has become the go-to recipe everyone in my family always wants me to make (I made it for my beloved fam on Christmas). My mom insists it's now "famous". I'm not quite so sure about that, but I will say it's damn good, and probably one of the best dishes I cook at home. Now a warning: I've never put the recipe on paper, I've always done it all in my head, so this was a bit of a challenge. The good part is, you can add and subtract a bit here and there and season to your liking and it will still be DEELISH!! Please enjoy and let me know how yours turns out!! Buon Appetito!!
2 lbs of thin cut ORGANIC chicken breasts (the butcher can cut them)(approx 6-8 pieces)
1 large package of organic baby bella mushrooms (can substitute white or button)
1 half large organic yellow onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1/3 cup organic low-sodium chicken stock
2 tbsp Wondra flour (a bit more or less to thicken)
Fresh parsley or basil for garnish
Grated parmiggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. First we need to make the dredging station. Fill a medium size tray or tupperware with the all purpose flour, garlic powder, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. After thoroughly washing chicken and patting dry, lightly dredge chicken in flour mixture and set aside on another tray.
Heat half olive oil in large non-stick skillet. Sautee chicken approx 3 min on each side until golden brown. Chicken should NOT be cooked through yet. Place chicken in a baking dish that's large enough to fit all the chicken in one layer along the bottom (or close to it).
Rinse out or wipe skillet and heat remainder olive oil in pan on medium high heat. Add onions first, then garlic, sautee for 2 min then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. After they soften, add the Marsala wine. Let the wine cook down with the veggies for approx. 3-4 min until very fragrant and slightly (but not completely absorbed) then add the chicken stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 more min. Start adding the Wondra flour a hefty sprinkle at a time. There isn't a perfect science to this and I always eyeball it. I will add a bit and let thicken until I reach my desired consistency. I'm not a fan of clear and runny Marsala sauce, I like mine creamier. So that's the reason for the milk and flour. Once you get it how you like it (salt and pepper again to taste), let it simmer for a few more min.
Pour the mixture over the chicken and make sure to spread it evenly and coat everything. Bake covered in tinfoil for approx 30 min. Check chicken to make sure it's cooked through as bake time can vary based on chicken thickness. Do NOT overcook as chicken can become dry.
Sprinkle with fresh basil or parsley and grated parmiggiano (or incanestrato cheese if you can find it) Makes 6-8 servings. (Great as leftovers too!)
It's ok, I'll let Food Network piggy back off of Eat Travel Rock. Quite flattering the hashtag for their event last weekend at Ravinia Music Festival was #EatDrinkRock... haha, ok seriously folks. My manager, Chantel, and I headed up to Highland Park to explore what was sure to be incredible food and incredible music...sounds right up my alley!! I also managed to snag 2 quick interviews with some heavy hitters in the culinary world.
The first chat was with Billy Dec (Co-Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions) and Chef Kevin Hickey (Executive chef of Bottle Fork and the upcoming Duck Inn). They were FRESH off their win for BEST HOT DOG. Quite an accomplishment being in Chicago and all. Check out the Video HERE!
Next, I had a chance to interview a Food Network Chef/Host I've been a fan of for a while. She has a simple yet bold take on Latin American food... hence her show's name, Simply Delicioso! Check out this video of Chef Ingrid Hoffmann !!!