Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blueberrry dump cake

After returning from our blueberry picking adventure this year, I opened a brochure I'd picked up at the U-pick farm with some recipes. One was for a blueberry dump cake.

2 cups blueberries (sweetened to taste)
1 small can crushed pineapple (with 1/2 of juice)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 1/2 stick butter melted

Put berries in a greased baking pan and cover with pineapple. Pour on dry cake mix and scatter pecans on top. Drip melted butter over top. Bake about an hour at 350 degrees.

I didn't have any yellow cake in my cabinet other than a 4th of July one that had bits of red and blue sprinkles in it. LOL! So, that's what I used. Look closely and you'll see them. Turned out just fine, though. It's hard to call this a cake. It's really more like a cobbler that you have to scoop out of the pan rather than slice, but it is sooooo good, especially if it's still warm and you add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Just sayin'.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Working that panini press again

My panini maker is one of the most used appliances in the house. Aside from the refrigerator and stove, it sees most of the action. The coffee makes, waffle iron, blender have nothing on it.

Hubby made me this for lunch recently:

One slice Italian bread
One marinated chicken breast cooked on the grill the night before
A couple slices of some two-year aged smoked white cheddar I picked up at Drier's Market on our last visit to Three Oaks, Michigan
Fresh spinach from the garden

It was so good! I had to give him a kiss after lunch. I hope he makes it again for lunch sometime soon.

Wanted: Tomato recipes

I got an e-mail notice of a contest of tomato recipes, so I wanted to share it.

Dei Fratelli, a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated company, announces its first ever Pin It To Win It contest on Pinterest and Twitter.
•  This nationwide contest will take place from July 30 through August 30, and asks participants to share their favorite tomato recipes, photos and love of tomatoes on Pinterest.
•  A weekly chance of winning Dei Fratelli prize packs is up for grabs.
•  Dei Fratelli is creating this contest to promote healthy eating habits, delicious recipes and reward consumers who love tomatoes.
•  There are four ways to earn points toward weekly wins:

  1. Like Dei Frateli’s “Pin It To Win It”  board on Pinterest
  2. Repin one of Dei Fratelli’s Pins
  3. Commment on one or more of our Pin It To Win It photos
  4. Follow our Pin It To Win It board overall

Visit DeiFratelli.comPinterest.com/DeiFratelli or Twitter.com/DeiFratelli for details.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Super fresh spinach

We have a small garden on the side of our house. Not a very big space, but enough to grow half a dozen tomato plants and a few pepper plants each summer. Once in a while we throw something additional in there.  This year, there are also pea pods climbing up some fencing on the edge of the garden. The boys planted some carrots, which for some reason didn't seem to grow. We always have some sunflowers outlining the garden. And this year we also added some lettuce and spinach. I LOVE spinach. I think this is the first year we've done spinach...or if we've grown it before it's been a long time.

Anyway, it has been so nice to go out and pick a few leaves to throw in a salad or place on a sandwich in place of lettuce. We didn't get a whole lot, just two plants about this size, but that's been just enough.
What are you growing in your garden this year?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deviled eggs: simple and satisfying

My husband and a couple of my boys are very fond of deviled eggs. I make them mostly on special occasions or for holiday get-togethers, but once in a while, I'll boil a few eggs and tell the boys that if they peel them for me, I'll make them into deviled eggs. They are usually game.

Recently I made up this batch. I always top mine with paprika. This time I had some special paprika to use - my sister brought it back from her trip to Hungary. :)

I've made deviled eggs various ways over the years, sometimes experimenting with different ingredients, but the basic one are mayonaise and mustard and sometimes that's all I use. That's all I used here - mayo, yellow mustard and some spicy brown mustard. And I got no complaints.

Another thing I love about having deviled eggs is that I get to use a plate that is super special to me. It belonged to my grandmother, who died about 30 years old in her early 80's. It was given to me by my aunt when I was first married. When I made eggs this last time, I told the kids about the plate and about their great-grandmother. Once I thought hard about it, I figured that the plate is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 or 80 years old...maybe even older. My dad said it's possible his mom even got it from her mother!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who can resist pretty dishes for a dime?

I'm not much of a thrift shop or garage sale shopper, simply because I live in a small house and just can't fit much in it. There are seven of us in a home with two upstairs bedrooms and two more bedrooms crammed into the basement...and there's a small kitchen and almost no closet space in a our brick cape code style 1940's home. 

But, I can't pass up a bargain when I see one. Recently I was helping out with set-up at a garage sale that our local historical society puts on each summer. I found these delightful dishes marked ten cents each. Two each of two different designs. I couldn't pass them up. :) Just forty cents! I added it to my collection of dishes, many of which are mismatched singles or pairs.

Picked up this, too...total score. A CD player still in the box, looked like it was never used for $10...and a 3-disc John Denver CD set that was still in the plastic wrap - never opened. Not everyone would consider that a score, but my dad is a John Denver fan, so I got it and passed it on to him. He used to sing "Sunshine on My Shoulders" to us when we were kids. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Farmer's Market Meal

Tonight I had a big plate of veggies for dinner. Most of it came from our local Farmer's Market. I love the summer months when fresh fruit and veggies can be picked out of my own backyard or purchased from local farmers. In my town there is a Farmer's Market each Wednesday evening from 4 - 7 p.m. This is the third or fourth year for the market, which is organized by our park district.

So far this year, it's been kind of a sad sight at the market. The customers are fewer and fewer and in response to that the vendors are fewer and fewer. Then customers say they stay away because there aren't enough vendors. It's a vicious cycle. And I sincerely hope things pick up a little because I would hate to see the market cease to exist. There are some vendors who are there sporadically. Most weeks you can find a vendor selling cheese or bread or honey or Tastefully Simple products. A constant each week is a couple that comes from a farm in neighboring Lynwood. They always have wonderful produce. I have been getting most of my vegetables from their stand for the past couple months. I've been getting these wonderful cremini mushrooms there that are wonderful.

So, tonight I was feeling like having something light since it was 4:30 before I got around to eating lunch at work. I scanned the fridge and counter to see what I'd picked up at the market. I'd gotten some sweet corn that I soaked and then had hubby throw on the grill. I decided to make a big bowl of fresh salsa with chips. And I also made a bowl of potatoes.

Here's a rundown of what I used:

Corn on the cob (from market)

Salsa using:
tomatoes (from market)
cucumbers (from market)
peppers (from my garden)
chives (from market)
cilantro (I have gotten cilantro plants from the market this year, but they didn't survive, so this was store bought)
lime juice (limes from market)
flavored olive oil (from market)
garlic salt

Potatoes using:
baby red potatoes (from market)
chives (from market)
flavored olive oil (from market)
tomato basil feta cheese (from Aldi)
crumbled bacon
* And I just realized that some of my market mushrooms would have gone great in this dish.

So, the market goodies are going to good use. And what about dessert? There's peach cobbler in the oven with some Illinois peaches I got at the farmer's market.

Aldi Italian ices are refreshing on a summer day

Just a quick post here to show you this.

There are a lot of frozen treats to choose from during these sweltering summer months. I tried these recently and they are now a favorite when i don't want something as heavy as ice cream, but something colder than a glass of lemonade. These hit the spot. They squeeze out like an icee, but taste so much better! And several flavors come in one box. They're available at Aldi. I think I paid $4 or less for a box of 32. Next time you're there, get yourself a box. Your welcome. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Concert Between Courses Dinner Series continues at Niche restaurant

I've never been to Niche Restaurant in Geneva, Illinois, but it is definitely on my restaurant bucket list. I love getting updates on the creative and fun events at the eatery. Just thought I'd repost this press release I got to give you an idea of what they offer there. Doesn't this sound fun?



GENEVA, Ill. (July 17, 2012) – Niche restaurant (www.nichegeneva.com) continues its 2012 “Concert Between Courses” series with a country music themed dinner on August 8 featuring vocalist Mary Hunt and guitarist Brandon Thies. Influenced by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, the exceptional duo teams up with Niche for an evening of fine food and music. The August 8 country performance begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m., and dinner and the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. The evening is priced are $60 per person, and reservations can be made by calling Niche at (630) 262-1000.

The Menu
Guests at the Mary Hunt Duo “Concert Between Courses” country dinner will experience country music themed cocktails like the Alabama Slammer, Tennessee Jed, and Rebel Within. In addition, a custom three-course meal will be served prepared by executive chef Serena Perdue, inspired by her favorite country music artists and fresh ingredients from the continuing harvest of Niche’s farm on the Bull Run Estate in Elburn, Ill. Following Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” legs fried frog legs with curry and cabbage slaw and Gene Autry’s “Back in the Saddle” beef saddle with wild mushrooms and parsley vinaigrette, guests will enjoy desserts that will cool and delight with Sweet Tea ice cream and apple tatin.

The Performer
The Mary Hunt Duo has been performing music in the Chicago land area for the past seven years.  Mary Hunt, vocalist, is a Berklee College of Music Graduate and currently has her own voice studio in St. Charles.  Brandon Thies, guitarist, studied at Roosevelt University and DePaul University, and is a guitar instructor at PM Music in Naperville. 
The duo performs many music genres, including: jazz, blues, rock and are now taking on country.  This past January, the band recorded a 4 song EP.  The music was written and arranged by Mary and Brandon.  They hope to return to the studio in the fall to begin recording their first full length album.

Upcoming “Concert Between Courses” dinner series dates include:
·      September 25: Nicole Kestler Jazz Concert
·      November 13 & 15: Niche on the Broadway - Larry Dieffenbach and Friends for a night on Broadway
·      December 20: Naughty Christmas
·      December: Candlelight Dinner

 About Niche
Niche is a fine dining restaurant in Geneva, Ill., serving a constantly evolving menu of American contemporary cuisine based on the freshest Midwest ingredients.  Chef Serena Perdue skillfully blends her traditional French training with her love of newly picked, seasonal products from local suppliers as well as from Niche’s own sustainable farm at The Bull Run Estate in Elburn, Ill.   Niche has earned accolades for its all-American wine list, handpicked by general manager and wine director Vince Balistreri.  With 270 different wines that highlight the best in American wine, Niche was awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator in 2010 and 2012.  Visit www.nichegeneva.com.

Texas Sheet Cake

So on a recent trip to the library, one of the boys played a game on the computer in the kids' section while I sat on a nearby sofa and did some reading. I always grab a couple kid books to checkout when I'm there. Because food was the theme for the summer reading program, there were all kinds of food related books and cookbooks standing on display on the tops of the bookshelves. I noticed one titled "Texas." When I opened it, I found that it had a bit of history on the state and the way people eat in the state. It included maybe twenty or so recipes with enticing color photos of regional foods. I love to see photos in cookbooks. Often I skim through and don't read much text, I just look for a good picture and that makes me want to try it. I'd marked the page with a picture of a decadent chocolate dessert called "Texas sheet cake." I'd never made it. I'd never heard of it.  The cookbook said that the recipe yields about three dozen servings, making it "perfect for a crowd."

On my son's 9th birthday, he was spouting out all kinds of cakes he wanted me to make. I told him he had to decide on just one. Then I pulled out the book and showed him the picture of this cake and he was sold. And it was as good as it looked in the photo -- very, very rich. That's why it yields so many pieces. You'd go into a sugar coma if you ate a piece that measured 4" X 4". Anyway, here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Let me insert here that I miss the old symbol on typewriters that had that degrees symbol. I need to go look in my fonts and find that symbol since computers don't have one on a keyboard.)

Grease and lightly flour a jelly roll pan. I used a 1/2 sheet size one that I have. I had a hard time spreading the batter out to cover it all, but when I saw how it filled out after it cooked, realized I should have spread it out even more, no matter how thin it looked.


2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract (I didn't have any on hand, so I used vanilla extract)
1 box Devils' Food cake mix
1 21-ounce can of cherry pie filling
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter or margarine (go for the real thing!)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk the eggs and vanilla in mixing bowl. Stir in cake mix and cherry pie filling and beat well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. (Took a full 30 minutes for mine - and timing is important because you need to have the icing done at the same time as the cake.)

For the icing, pour milk into a saucepan and stir in sugar. Add butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are dissolved and icing is smooth. Pour over warm sheet cake.

If you like black forest cake, you will love this!

The birthday boy cleaned his plate so fast...before I could even get a picture of him enjoying it. :)

I love cookies with personality

I am constantly amazed by the cookie and cake creations I see on blogs in the foodie world. It takes someone who is not only a master baker, but someone with true artistic talent to be able to create such lifelike features and make desserts with such careful detail. It's a talent I don't possess. I can whip up some great soup, make you a good steak or create some tasty salads or side dishes, but baking something really pretty just isn't something I'm good at. Kudos to those who can do it!

Our sister, Jen, who lives in central Illinois has a friend in Eureka by the name of Cheri who makes wonderful cookie creations. Jen has brought them to lots of family get togethers. Last year her kids had a dinosaur-themed party and she had cookies to go with it. When my youngest had his birthday party earlier this year, she brought some Star Wars cookies. We also had a sisters weekend with the girls this past spring and Jen brought a box of lovely flower cookies for us to enjoy. A couple weeks ago she had a party for her three kids with a pirate theme. These are some of the cookies she had. Aren't they adorable? Find her Facebook page, Cheri's Cookie Page here. She does ship orders!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Taco Bell offers menu that is lighter, fresher and healthier

Taco Bell's new Cantina Bell menu debuted on July 5. I'd been getting e-mails and seeing postings about the new offerings, so I was anxious to give it a try. The weekend it was introduced I printed off a buy one, get one free coupon I'd seen on Facebook. So, off I went to try it out. The Cantina Bell items include burritos and bowls - either steak, chicken or veggie. Each item is under $5. The menu was developed by Chef Lorena Garcia. You can catch her on the new Top Chef Masters, which debuts this Wednesday on Bravo.

I opted for a steak burrito, which was loaded with generous amounts of meat, beans, rice and veggies and nicely browned. It was a BIG portion...way more than I could eat in a sitting. For my free item, I tried the chicken bowl, with seasoned white rice, beans, corn, tomato, shredded romaine lettuce and hints of cilantro and lime. I cut the burrito in half and scooped out about a quarter of the bowl and shared the rest with my son and there was still some of the bowl leftover.

I know the buzz was that the new menu items were being added in competition with Chipotle, but you know what? There's not a Chipotle very close by and I have never tried it, so I had nothing to compare it to. But, I was impressed with both items and happy to see the healthier (yet still incredibly flavorful) items added on to the menu while still keeping all the classics on the menu that their fans have come to expect. I'd definitely opt for a either when I'm on that three or four-block fast-food stretch on Calumet Avenue in Munster that includes Wendy's, Burger King, Boston Market, Arby's, Wendy's, Munster Gyros and a couple others. In fact, as we were running errands the other day, my 8-year-old asked if we could stop for one of those burritos he'd tried and liked. That's saying something when an 8-year-old passes by the golden arches, yet requests a burrito with steak, beans and rice! They are also quite appealing to the eye. Take a look:

Cantina Bell steak burrito and chicken bowl.

Oh, and by the way...if I were you, I'd wash it down with a frozen strawberry lemonade. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

A family fond of fish

We live in a suburb south of Chicago. Not exactly the best spot in the world to enjoy seafood. We have had some great fresh salmon and trout out of Lake Michigan, though, on my husband's fishing trips in southeast Wisconsin.

Most of the fish we eat at home is not fresh, though. Lots of it is frozen from the local supermarket or from Market Day or Schwan's. Two of my boys love any kind of seafood. When I make shrimp, I have to set a few aside to make sure I get some. All of the boys love salmon and we have it often. I've been making more fish for the boys lately and it's gone off pretty well. In the summer, my husband makes fish often on the grill by placing it on top of foil for cooking to prevent burning and then loading on the seasoning. Orange roughy is one that the kids seem to like, lightly seasoned. I found some seafood rub recently at Aldi that seems to work well on just about any fish. Pictured below is some tilapia from Strack and Van Til followed by some blue hake fillets from Schwan's. I love that they have come to love fish that isn't breaded and formed into sticks. Any suggestions on other fish I should try out that the kids would like?

Things are looking green in the garden

There's lots of green in the garden.

We had a recent hailstorm that beat up the sunflowers a bit.

Spinach is doing well.

So is the lettuce. 

And I cannot wait for the tomatoes to ripen. We've had one ripe one so far. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Enjoying spinach quesadillas at Tacos and Burritos Rancho Grande

I've posted before about this Lansing eatery. But I went there for lunch this past week with my foodie friends, Michelle. I call her my "foodie friend" because whenever we get together it is to have lunch or breakfast together. We used to get together on occasion to play tennis, but I think she realized how bad I am and gave up on our tennis matches. :) LOL

Anyway...here's what Michelle had - I believe she ordered an enchilada suiza and tostada combo.


I got a spinach quesadilla, which is what I usually get when I go there. And I'm not big on refried beans, so I get a double helping of rice. :) Good stuff!

Tacos and Burrittos Rancho Grande is located at 3444 Ridge Road in Lansing, Illinois.

Taste of Wisconsin kicks off Friday in Kenosha

Is there any better place for foodies to gather than festivals dedicated to food with sampling of goodies from a variety of vendors? Coming up next weekend is the Taste of Wisconsin held along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Kenosha, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away for us Chicago folks.

The event will include nearly 50 food vendors and over 60 live musical performances on four music stages with local and regional musical artists representing several genres, including country, rock, pop, indie, jazz, classic rock, big band, folk and blues.

The fest begins Friday, July 27 at 3:00 p.m. and running until 11:00 p.m. and continuing on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., taking place at Celebration Place, an open-air festival space at 54th and Ring Road, overlooking Lake Michigan. Admission is free.

For more information on the 2012 Taste of Wisconsin, visit www.tasteofwi.com or Find it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TasteofWI.

Meatloaf Bakery releasing new cookbook

One of my favorite little eateries in the city is the Meatloaf Bakery in Lincoln Park. Most customers carry-out, but there are a couple little tables if you want to stay and enjoy your meatloaf cupcakes, which they will gladly warm up for you. I stumbled across the place a couple years ago when doing a Foods article for the Times of Northwest Indiana on meatloaf recipes.

I got my whole family hooked by introducing my sister to the place and popping in there when we are in the area for a Cubs game. Once my sister, dad, a friend visiting from Japan and I stopped down the street for sushi. Sushi is not my dad's thing, so knowing he loves meatloaf, we took him over to meatloaf bakery to try some loafies in place of sushi. He was immediately smitten.

Owner Cynthia Kallile has created wonderful recipes for that ultimate comfort food in the most interesting and beautiful of presentations. Her cupcakes and miniature-sized "loafies" are covered in mashed potatoes, stuffing, pasta or other side dishes, which presents a colorful and lovely sight while combining unquestionably delicious flavors. I'm very excited that she'll be sharing many of her signature menu items along with many new concoctions.
And you'll find that meatloaf article here, which includes one of Cynthia's meatloaf recipes. The book is available from Amazon for pre-order.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blueberry Banana Milkshake

I buy bananas almost every week. Almost every week, there's at least one that gets more ripe than anyone likes them. That's when hubby peels them, adds some milk, ice cream and ice cubes and makes milkshakes.

With all the fresh blueberries we've had lately, he's been making banana and blueberry shakes, and I must say...they do rock!

He doesn't measure at all, so when I tried to get him to recite how he made it, he estimated. So, here's an estimated recipe:

2 over-ripe bananas
5 scoops vanilla ice cream
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 TBSP sugar
4 ice cubes

Place all in blender for 2 minutes.

Pour into cup. Garnish with a dab of Cool Whip or whipped cream and place one blueberry on top. Makes 4 - 6 servings.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easy potato packet

Made another yummy grill packet to go with this meal. I diced a couple red potatoes in the microwave for about 3 minutes to speed up the cooking. Then I put them in foil with a couple pats of butter, salt, pepper and onion. It stayed on the grill for about 15 minutes. I took it off, added some shredded co-jack cheese and chives and put it back on the grill for a couple more minutes. Pulled it off and the cheese was all gooey. Mmmmm....delish!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blueberry pancakes and many more to come

On our recent trip to go blueberry picking, we came home with 24 pounds. Much of it went into the freezer so that all year long we can have blueberry pancakes or blueberry muffins. I've discovered that if you don't thaw them and throw them right into the batter, they just "pop" as they cook and you get a taste of all that wonderful juice.

This one was made with fresh berries right after being picked. Looking forward to many more all year long. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Now that's how to top it

Remember a couple weeks ago I posted a picture of a blah burger and wrote how I'd fallen into a funk of ketchup-mustard-American cheese topped burgers? I vowed I would do better. Well, promise fulfilled. This was pretty darned good...a burger topped with smoked gouda, sauteed cremini mushrooms and sliced romas on a toasted wheat bun.

Went great with grilling beans and watermelon on the side!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Good utilization of leftovers

I was making a pot of angel hair past the other night. I'm not that big on pasta, but the rest of the family likes it. And they like it covered in tomato sauce. I prefer mine with some olive oil and diced tomatoes.

So, I reserved some noodles for myself and dumped sauce on the rest for the kids and hubby. I added some marinated artichokes I had in the fridge and a mix of veggies I'd made on the grill the night before that had zucchini, carrots, peppers and mushrooms. And I added a few jumbo shrimp. Not a bad concoction. And a good use of leftovers.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Medium rare

I used to be a well done girl. I usually go for medium well now. But one of these is pretty good once in a while. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shadow's Wild Black Blackberry Lager worth a try

I'm not a big beer drinker. Or a big wine drinker. I'm really not a big drinker, period. Honestly, I can't handle my liquor like I used to. And by that I mean that a full bottle of beer or a full glass of wine and I'm yawning. I'm not ready to party, I'm ready to sleep. But I do love to sample and taste.

Last night I attended a wine tasting at the Center for Performing Arts in Munster, In., which was sponsored by Strack and Van Til. There were 10 wines to try and three beers. I prefer wines on the sweeter side or middle ground over the dry and found a New Zealand Nobilo Sauvingnon Blanc that suited me fine. I ordered a couple bottles. Now I just need someone to help me drink it. :)

I also tried out Shadow's Wild Black Blackberry Lager...and I was sold. I like beer, but mostly mild flavors that aren't dark and heavy and don't have that strong aftertaste of the hops. I do like the fruity wine coolers and mixed drinks and this leans toward one of those. It obviously has more than just a hint of blackberry flavor, but not too much. It's not too sweet. Just right. I'll have to pick some up on my next trip to Strack and Van Til. They also had a raspberry lager at the tasting that I didn't try.

Fresh from the garden spinach salad

This salad was inspired by a recipe I found on the label of the grill planks I got from Fire and Flavor. I changed it a little as the recipe called for arugula, which I didn't have on hand. I substituted with some mixed greens and some fresh spinach from our garden.

1 cup mixed greens
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Place in large bowl.

In smaller bowl, add:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Whisk together, then pour into large bowl with vegetables. Toss to coat. In the recipe that was on that grilling plank label, there was a lovely photo. They suggested serving it over steaks.

Spinach is the first thing in our garden that was ready for picking.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another tasty veggie blend

Several times a week I slice up veggies, throw them in some foil, add a couple pats of butter and sprinkle with seasonings and the results are always delicious!

This batch had some sliced zucchini, sliced cremini mushrooms and diced red pepper with a little Italian Seasoning on top. Went nicely with the steak and grilled corn on the cob.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Girl Scout Cookie candy bar you'll want to try

Have to share a yummy foodie find. I'm a fan of girl scout cookies. Have been ever since my kick-ass cookie selling 4th grade year, when I sold the most of anyone in the region (still one of my proudest accomplishments.)

Anyway, if you love Thin Mints, you HAVE to try this. Just like a Thin Mint Cookie...maybe even better???

In a moment of weakness (and hunger), the clerk at the Walgreen's check out asked if wanted to buy a candy bar. They were 3 for $2. I had two of the boys with me and we each picked one out. She recommended this one. Glad she did. Sooo good! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Indulgences

Earlier this year, we were invited to a media luncheon for the opening of the Seasons 52 restaurant in Oak Brook where we sampled items from the spring menu, which included tastes of their "Sweet Indulgences." The concept of the place is using fresh, seasonal ingredients, but also limiting each dish to 475 calories...even the desserts. And just look at the options...

Key Lime

Pecan Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Rocky Road