Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Terra Cotta Pizza Stone allows you to make homemade pizza Bengali style

Just wanted to share this info that popped up in my inbox. Sounds like a great source for wonderful hand-crafted imported items and it's great that it helps a non-profit. Read more about this pizza stone used in Bangladesh and how you can get one and check out the recipe below.

From a region where some of the first flatbreads were introduced, the Bangladeshi people have used hot stones to cook their breads for thousands of years.

Ten Thousand Villages, the leading Fair Trade source for unique handmade items made by artisans from around the world features the Terra Cotta Pizza Stone, to create a twist on your family’s traditional dish. Proudly handmade by HEED Bangladesh, a non-profit organization committed to upgrading the socio-economic condition of the disadvantaged and underprivileged, the Terra Cotta Pizza Stone ($39.00) includes a recipe for Bengali Style Pizza – perfect for a unique family pizza night or a change in the way you look at pizza at home.  

Bengali Style Pizza from Ten Thousand Villages
                                                                  Terra Cotta Pizza Stone.JPG
Servings: 1-2 (10” pizza)
 Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-12 minutes

• 1 10 inch pizza dough or bought shell (uncooked)
• ¾ cup crab meat
• ¾ cup chopped shrimp
• ½ cup crushed pineapple
• 5 mushrooms, sliced
• 4 ¼ oz. canned sliced black olives
•1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
• ½ cup crumbled feta
• Dash of corn meal

Step by Step Procedure:
1.Place baking stone in oven.
2.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
3.Remove hot stone from oven and place on heat resistant surface.
4.Sprinkle corn meal onto stone to inhibit dough sticking.
5.Spread pizza dough onto stone making sure not to burn yourself in the process.
6.Brush dough with oil.
7.Top with crab, shrimp, pineapple, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella and feta cheese.
8.Bake at 450 degrees F. until cheese is bubbly.
Other uses: Bread, bagels, dinner rolls and cookies are also good with baked on a pizza stone.

About Ten Thousand Villages:
For 65 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. The commitment to support artisans around the globe is strengthened through fair trade compensation practices including cash advances and prompt payments. As the company continues to grow, Ten Thousand Villages has deliberately married the concept of fair trade with healthy and environmentally sustainable business practices. From store operations to product sourcing to marketing practices, Ten Thousand Villages strives to meet the “triple bottom line” of economic, environmental and social sustainability.
Founded in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has grown from the trunk of founder Edna Ruth Byler's car to a network of more than 390 retail outlets throughout the United States. Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art & sculpture and personal accessories made by artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and the Fair Trade Federation, Ten Thousand Villages strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 35 countries. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. For more information, visit

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Foodies say Fleming's

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar showcased their new menu last week featuring dry-aged steaks, complete with an interactive wine menu for guests. With the new menu launched this month it features the dry aging technique for a new flavor spin along with newly added steak companions to complement your meal. Featured in Chicago Magazine 2013 best steakhouses, we can definitely understand why.

The select cut steaks are broiled at 1600 degrees and age a minimum of 21 days creating a distinct full flavor, available  for the Prime New York Strip and the Prime Dry Aged Ribeye. Among the newest steak companions featured are the Truffle Poached Lobster with bearnaise sauce or below, the King Crab with Herb butter simmered with fresh herbs and garlic, topped with caviar.

Guest can also enjoy wet aged prepared steaks also a flavor infused selection, complete with a iron-crusted finish for those Prime Bone-In, New York Strip, Bone- In Ribeye and Filet lovers.

No meal is complete without a lovely wine selection. Fleming's has launched the Fleming's 100 which features those go to classics and new highlights to jazz up your meal. Not sure what to order? Ask for the WiNEPAD. This is a nationwide presentation at Fleming's which features a full application of 100 wines by the glass and includes 30 wines at $10 dollars or less. The application features choices based on your meal selection, and include details such as varietal, vintage, and blend. Not sure which wine to choose? Spin the bottle, a selection that features one of the Fleming's 100 that is not to miss.

Diablo Shrimp Steak Companion

With over 65 locations nationwide, foodies rejoice. Whether your planning a special occasion or want to dine out and experience one of the best meals in the city look no further than Fleming's.

Photos courtesy of Fleming's

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chicago Gourmet brings big appetites to Millennium Park

On Sunday September 29th, I had the pleasure of tasting my way through a wonderful celebration of food and wine. Bon Appetit presented the sixth annual showcase of Chicago Gourmet held in Millennium Park over three days, which hosted over 150 of Chicago's top restaurants and chefs. For those who have not attended, this is an adult food theme park, complete with premium breweries, and spirit makers.

The daily events included live cooking demonstrations, wine classes, tastings and book signings. The most anticipated event of the day was the Grand Cru. New to Chicago Gourmet this year, this special VIP treat featured Michelin- starred chefs from Chicago as well as around the world.

One must be strategic in planning out the events of the day, with several tasting tents on the grand lawn there is not a thing your taste buds will want to miss. I had the pleasure of sampling my way through the afternoon and included some of the highlights below.

Chef Carrie Nahabedian of NAHA

Wine Bags

Chef Chris Nugent- goosefoot
Grab a fellow foodie and plan to attend next year, this is a true celebration of the culinary delights in Chicago.

For more information and ticket info visit

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lansing Autumn Fest Second Annual Chili Cook-Off

So last week at Lansing Autumn Fest there was the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off. Last year I judged, which was a really fun experience. This year I helped line up some celebrity judges. Because I was at another festival event during the actual judging time, I missed out on tasting and the announcement of winners. But I did drop by during set-up and took a look around and snapped some pictures. There were some really serious chili cooks this time around.

This is my friend, Bob. I did get a little taste of his, which was quite yummy.

And here's Vivian, the organizer of the event.

And here are some of the other cooks getting ready to serve up their chili.

The winner was Debra Hunt of Markham, IL. She won $100 in cash, a trophy and free entry for the ICS Chilly Willy Chili Challenge in Orland Hills, Ill.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nominate a giving person and you can both win

Everyone knows someone who is generous of their time and talents and does a lot of good for others. I happen to know A LOT of people like this. Last weekend our community held a 3-day festival. It was the second year for it, so things are still getting off the ground, but it was amazing to see how many volunteers came together to put on this event to bring our community together. You had the high school football team there moving tables. You had church groups organizing games for youngsters. You had a Marine mom organizing a ceremony to honor our military. And many, many others who were part of making the event a success. And most of them are active volunteers in other ways. And knowing each of them enriches my life and inspires me.

Cooking Planit wants to hear all about the most giving people that you know. The folks behind this cooking app are looking for inspiring stories about the giving people in your lives. And they want to reward them for their generosity and you for sharing their story. Tell us about the most inspirational local leader who demonstrates what giving is all about.

This holiday season I am partnering with Cooking Planit to celebrate the Givers in our lives and communities. Tell us their story in 300 words or less. Five stories will be selected for a $250 reward. And the grand prize winner will win $1,000 for the charity of their choice.
Five winners will be chosen from all the entries based on how inspiring their story is and how they empower others through their efforts.

In your story, tell us how they:

Make a difference in the lives of others in your community

Donate their time, energy and love to help others without expecting anything in return

Work to improve the lives of others

If your inspiring person is chosen, they win a $250 gift card to help them celebrate Thanksgiving. You will win $100 as our way of saying "Thanks" for inspiring us with their story. Contest deadline is November 1.

You may enter on Facebook or on the Cooking Planit Blog - Giving Thanks ( page. See the entry page for all the contest details and rules

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fried Goodies at Holiday World

For the past several years, I've felt a little out of the loop when visiting fairs and festivals because I felt like I was missing out on the deep fried experience. I still have never tried a deep fried Twinkie. Mostly. I never want to spend the money because I know a bite or two will be more than sweet enough and I won't be able to eat the whole thing. And there are usually a lot of other choices, too, and I've just never been willing to sacrifice the grilled sweet corn or bratwurst or other fair fare for a couple bites of fried goodness.

Well, I finally couldn't stand it anymore. On a recent visit to Holiday World for the Halloween Weekends, I spotted a stand with Deep Fried OREOs and at a much lesser price than I'd seen at other places. I believe it was $4.25 for an order. So, I sent my husband for an order figuring we could share. 

I am glad I did share because I was totally correct -- a couple bites was more than enough. In fact I could only eat half of one. I think half an order would be enough to send you into a sugar coma. Since we had four of the kids with us, it was polished off quickly. My husband also got a cup of cream cheese frosting on the side and that really put it over the edge. So, I'm glad I finally got a chance to try out the sweet bites that were enough dessert to last me all day! So, next summer maybe I'll give the Deep Fried Twinkies a try now that someone has taken over where Hostess left off.

And who can resist a funnel cake? :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Artisan Table Honey Dinner

Its All About The Bees!

The Artisan Table in the Marriott Naperville Hotel loves and supports honey bees so much that I had the pleasure of attending The Honey Dinner. We had a wonderful evening enjoying the honey inspired chef's creations, paired with a journey of learning all about the bees.

The staff greeted us with wonderful Hors d'Oeurves consisting of a fabulous artisan cheese display with fruits, nuts and honey, and a Crispy Pork Belly, with Garam Masala and Mango relish. My favorite appetizer of the evening was the Honey-Braised Chicken Flat Bread, Pumpkin Guancalle, Fried Sage, and American Grana. Let's not forget the signature cocktail of the evening, "The Bee's Knees" made with Honey Bourbon, and house made honey ginger ale.

As we sampled all the wonderful appetizers, we moved into the main event. The first starter was the Honey-Glazed Scallops with Yellow Pepper Aioli, Bacon Powder, Micro Herb Salad and Roasted Golden Beets. 

The scallops melted in your mouth and the presentation was beautiful. The scallops were paired with a Poached Pear Mead that had an nice oaky flavor that worked well with the flavors of the scallops. 

There was even a Green Tea Sorbet with Honey Caviar in between dishes to cleanse your palet.  I enjoyed the Martini Marinated Filet for my main entree followed by the most fabulous dessert of Honey Rosemary Donuts with Honey Carmel, White Chocolate Mouse and edible Flowers.

The honey used for the evening came directly from the 4 hives of Native Italian Honey Bees onsite, producing over 200l bs of honey from each hive. We were thrilled to attend this wonderful event, and learn about the honeybees and the joys of beekeeping. Be sure to check out this wonderful venue!

- Post by Kelly

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Popcorn Flavor-Off champ will be named today

Remember when I posted about the contest that the Popcorn Factory was hosting to find their next new flavor? You didn't? Well, click here to see it -

So, today is the Flavor-Off - a fun competition between the three finalists. I'm thrilled that one of the three finalists is a Chicago Foodie Sisters reader who learned about the contest through our blog. I'll be off this afternoon to attend the event at the Chopping Block at the Merchandise Mart.

The three finalist flavors are:

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Bananas Foster
Sage Brown Butter Crunch

Can't wait to see who the winner is! I'll fill you in soon!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Returning for another fabulous breakfast at Loubie's

It had been quite a while since I had been to Loubie's, a new breakfast place that opened in Lansing this past spring, so I hinted to hubby that we should go have breakfast together the other day as the kids were all at school. 

He started out with coffee. Me? Not a coffee drinker. It was water and chocolate milk for me. :)

I mentioned to my husband how impressed I was with the decor at the transformation of the building - going from a video store to a restaurant.

I weighed a few options, but had to go with a skillet again. The Loubie's Skillet includes ham, potatoes, green pepper, onion, American cheese and eggs, cooked to your liking with a side of toast. It was fabulous - everything was perfectly cooked and loaded with flavor from those green peppers and onions sauteeing. :)

Hubby went with French toast and some Virginia ham. :)

The restaurant at Fair Oaks Farms

When you stop in to the cheese shop and cafe at Fair Oaks Farms, you likely find more that you would expect. Besides a big section of cheeses and an ice cream counter, there's also the spot where all the sandwiches and salads are made. And there are many to choose from. I haven't taken a bite of anything from the place that hasn't been AMAZING!

One of the boys had a grilled cheese. I always require that I get a little taste whenever we are out eating in a restaurant. This was as gooey as they come!

Another boy got a hot dog. It was good quality with good taste and the pretzel bun gets it some extra points, even if my son does eat it completely plain.

Quesadilla...need I say more. I already pledged my undying love for the cheese and this one is loaded with it.

The Reuben WAS SUPERB! I am picky because I have my favorite place where I get my favorite rueben, but I'm always up for trying the sandwich at a new place and seeing how it fairs. It did well. Very well.

Another boy had a Chicken Ceasar Salad. Very good!

If you go, don't leave without some cheese!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chili cooks wanted for Lansing Autumn Fest

Ok, foodie friends, I know there are some of you out there who make some great chili. The Lansing Autumn Fest committee wants you!!!! This Sunday, during the 2nd Annual Lansing Autumn Fest is a chili cook-off starting at 2 p.m. Contestants are asked to supply a minimum of 2 gallons of their chili to compete for cash prizes. Top winner gets $100, a trophy and entry into the Chilly Willie Chili Cook-Off coming up in Orland Park.

For more information on the contest and for an application, go to

I was fortunate to be a judge last year for the contest. Read about my experience here: This year, I've joined the board of the Lansing Association for Community Events, which organizes the fest and we have some celebrity judges lined up for the competition, including Times' food writer, Phil Potempa, television producer Megan Baher and 33rd District State Representative Marcus Evans, 34th District State Representative Elgie Sims and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore.

Best Buy in Downers Grove to host Chef Dough Psaltis from RPM Italian

Chef Doug Psaltis of RPM Italian will be in Downers Grove on Saturday, October 12 highlighting Best Buy small appliances to create some delicious, gourmet recipes. He will be at the store from 1 - 4 p.m. doing the demos. The store is at 1432 Butterfield Road. Stop by to meet Chef Psaltis and get some great ideas to use in your kitchen!

Black Forest Cups

A club that I am a member of had a recent progressive dinner. It sounded like a lot of fun with stops at four homes. I ended up making it only to the last stop because my son had a soccer game that afternoon. So, since it was the last stop, it's where the dessert was. This was one dessert that was available and it sounds so easy.

Prepare chocolate cake and cut into small squares. Place a couple in the bottom each disposable plastic cup. Spoon on some cherry pie filling and a little Cool Whip. Repeat and add some sprinkles and a cherry to the top of each cup. Since I love Black Forest Cake, I loved these....and thought that Black Forest Cups was the perfect name!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bonefish Grill: Orland Park, Illinois

I've been so busy lately (and much of that busy stuff has involved eating!) that I'm falling behind on posting and I can't let any more time go by without sharing some details of a wonderful media dinner/restaurant opening that my husband I attended at the new Bonefish Grill in Orland Park.

I promise that I'll get another post up with more details on what we tried that night. I will say that I was crazy about the grouper and the salmon and the sea bass!

And the lovely crisp and colorful veggies could have been a meal on their own. Loved everything!

More to come on this outstanding restaurant that is a must for any suburban seafood lover!

Bonefish Grill
15537 South LaGrange Road
Orland Park, Illinois

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sweets at Holiday World: Santa Claus, Indiana

I took a recent trip with the family to Southern Indiana to check out the town of Santa Claus in the fall season. I had only been there in summer until this year. What fun it is during the fall when it is all decorated for Halloween and you can take a hay ride out to the corn maze. can also pick up some of these treats in the sweet shop there.  There's everything from cookies to fudge to big gourmet caramel apples. Talk about hard to resist...

Visit for more details on the park's fall schedule.

Jason's Deli: Oak Brook, Illinois

When I made plans to meet my sis for lunch, I told her to pick a place close to her work. She suggested Jason's Deli. "A deli?" I thought with slight disappointment knowing there are so many great eateries in that area -- Italian spots, steakhouses, seafood restaurants. A deli was something that wouldn't have been my first choice. But, Becky is very pregnant and due at the end of the month, so I didn't even hint at changing the place. When you go out to eat with a very pregnant lady, you let her call the shots. :)

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong about my lack of enthusiasm for this place. Jason's Deli ROCKS! I'm a big salad fan and this is one of the best salad bars I have ever seen with a huge variety of veggies, lots of pasta salads, hummus, nuts, seeds, garlic toast and their own crackers. It would have been a lovely lunchtime meal. But, I had ordered a side salad in additional to my sandwich. I ended up having my salad and trying a bite of my sandwich - a scrumptious turkey muffaletta - and boxing up the rest to take home. I've never been to N'Awlins to try out this specialty of that region, but Becky assured me it is the real deal.

Another awesome feature is free ice cream. Who wouldn't love that? A soft serve machine has vanilla, chocolate and twist with some rich chocolate sauce you can add if you'd like, which I did, of course.

I had no idea that Jason's had 240 locations across 28 states! Chicagoland locations include Oak Brook, Oak Lawn, Naperville, Park Ridge and Schaumburg and there are two locations in Chicago.

I tried a little taste of Becky's pot roast with provolone and OMG - superb!!!

Jason's Deli
2060 York Road
Oak Brook, IL