Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deviled Eggs Three Ways

Deviled eggs are a favorite of my hubby. As I am in the kitchen making them, he circles around like my kids do when I'm making cupcakes. The other night, I told him that if he'd put some on to boil and then peel them I would make him a few different flavors.

Let me also insert here that I know they do not look pretty. My deviled eggs never do. It takes an almost an hour to make them from start to finish. It take less than four minutes for my husband and sons to inhale them. Therefore, I've determined that it's not worth the extra work of piping in the filling and working on a beautiful presentation. I'd be lucky to get a photo before they were gone.
So, here's what I did:

Start with 14 boiled eggs, peeled
Slice in half, longways. Scoop out yolk and place in large bowl. Repeat with each egg. Add about 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise. This amount will vary a little depending on how creamy you like yours and how big the yolks are. Add about two or three teaspoons of spicy mustard. I love to use the mustard I pick up at Drier's Meat Market in Three Oaks, Michigan when we are up there. It's delicious! You can get it online, too, at driers.com.

So, I stopped there and filled about 6 of the egg halves. I scooped out almost half the filling, moved it to a different bowl and then added about 3 teaspoons of horseradish, stirred it well and added it to about 8 of the egg halves. 

Then I scooped out most of the yolk mixture that was left and added a couple teaspoons of sriracha sauce. I stirred it well and filled in the rest of the egg halves. With the little bit of original yolk mix that was left, I turned a few into double deckers with the sriracha mix on the bottom and the plain mix on the top. 

Sprinkle with eggs with smoked paprika and enjoy! :)
A few other nice additions for deviled eggs:
bacon bits
and my mom's secret ingredient - pickle juice

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Return to Noodles & Co.

I've been to Noodles & Company on several occasions, but my husband had never been there, so when a buy one bowl, get one free coupon showed up in my e-mail, I figured it was time that I introduce him.

He isn't a big pasta fan and needs some meat in his meal, so he decided on the Japanese Pan Noodles with marinated steak. He's also not a fan of sprouts, but I totally am, so I gladly took them off his hands. I tried out the noodles and veggies, as well. Loved the al dente veggies and had the noodles been a tad milder it would have been a winner for me, but with the wimpy taste buds I have, it was a bit over the edge on my spice-o-meter.

I opted for a dish I've had a couple times before, the Alfredo MontAmore. I always forget to order a small, which is usually a perfect portion for me, but ended up with the regular size. All was good, though. I took the other half home for a lunch the next day. I love the creamy sauce with spinach, mushrooms tomato and parmesan-crusted chicken.

If you're not familiar with Noodles & Company, they offer a nice variety of Italian-style pasta dishes and Asian-inspired bowls along with American classics like mac and cheese and buttered noodles. There are about a dozen different options for the noodles & pasta and you can add meat or tofu and then you can add a side of soup, salad or extra veggie for $1.25. You'll also find usually three or four soups another four salads, four sandwiches and then some other small bites that include potstickers and cheesy garlic bread. There are also yummy desserts!

It's a nice, casual place that's a step up from fast food drive-thru windows with fresh ingredients where you don't have to eat out of a styrofoam container. Give it a try if you get a chance! Visit noodles.com for more info.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Urban Accents Hot & Spicy Habanero Brine

**Disclosure: I did receive complimentary product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own.

Brining is definitely not a new method of preparing meats, but it seems be a trend in the food world as of late...or maybe I'm just becoming more aware of it. A lot of posts regarding brining have been showing up in my feed. When Meatheads opened a location not far from me and I visited with their marketing rep on opening day, I learned that they brine their chicken tenders in pickle juice - and let me tell 'ya, those are some of the juiciest and most flavorful ones I've ever eaten.

So, when my friends at Urban Accents sent me some samples of their new brine kits, I was pretty excited to try them out. The first one I'm trying out is the Hot & Spicy Habanero Brine, which according to the package works well for pork and poultry. I always have boneless skinless chicken breasts on hand, so decided to give it a go with those.

The directions recommend placing it in brine solution in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours (the longer the spicer). Mine was in there for about 21 hours.

I like spicy, but wondered if it might be too spicy for me after that long soak. After you remove it from the fridge, you rinse and pat dry and then sprinkle a little more brine spice over the meat before baking or grilling. I went easy on a couple pieces just in case.

We decided to put the chicken on the grill and have a nice meal outside on the patio.

Hubby put the chicken on the grill and I made some baked Yukon gold potatoes (served with some sour cream, cheese, bacon bits and fresh chives from the garden) with a side of Fire Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Butter Sauce from the freezer section at Trader Joe's.

Since I was expecting some major heat, I drizzled with some ranch dressing to cool it down. It was full of flaming, nitty-gritty, make-you-sweat heat that you know is coming when your recipe has "Habanero" in title and the couple of pieces I reserved with just a dash still had some good zing, but tamed down for sissies like me, so if you have non-spicy fans in your house you can adjust it to make it tolerable for them. :)

While it's a great centerpiece for a grill meal, you can take it indoors to bake or roast - it's sure to heat you up even after the weather cools down. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Food Network series "Burgers, Brew & 'Que" premieres July 17

Fellow foodies, set those DVRs! A new food show is coming your way highlighting some of the best burgers, barbecue and brews on a road trip across America. It sounds delicious!


Symon Sets Out to Visit Some of the Best All-American Fare Summer Has to Offer

Series Premieres Friday, July 17th at 10:30pm ET/9:30pmCT on Food Network

NEW YORK - June 15, 2015 - Michael Symon is taking a summer road trip to taste the best of American classics in Burgers, Brew & 'Que, premiering Friday, July 17th at 10:30pm ET/9:30pm CT on Food Network. Whether it is mouth-watering, mile-high cheeseburgers or slow smoked, fall-off-the-bone ribs, Michael is going to eat and meet his way through some of the best All-American spots to get your grub on. And what better way to wash it all down than with local beers and brews, sure to make any meal perfect!

"Michael is not only a world-class chef, but a fan-favorite for our viewers," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Michael's down-to-earth style, humor and expertise makes him the perfect guide on a road trip sampling the best burgers, brews and BBQ the country has to offer."

Over six episodes Michael visits some of the most well-known establishments to experience the unique and best Burgers, Brew & 'Que. In Nashville, Michael visits a new burger joint that encourages you to construct your own custom creations. And while in the Music City, the local tradition is hot chicken, which has Michael pushing his personal limits to find out just how much spicy chicken he can take. In New York City, special guest Bobby Flay joins Michael as they visit an over-the-top BBQ joint for a Brontosaurus Beef Rib. Mario Batali also joins Michael as they try one of his favorite late-night indulgences at New York City's most classic burger joint. And family friend and fellow chef, Alex Guarnaschelli, joins Michael at one of his favorite Manhattan spots, where they combine a bottomless beer selection with high-octane hot dogs.

And no trip would be complete without Michael traveling to his own backyard in Northeast Ohio, where a former NFL star's top secret ribs de-boning process was inspired by his wife who doesn't like getting messy. In Cleveland, Michael tackles the mother of all burgers - the Brunch Burger, topped with massive onion rings and an over easy egg. And a visit to a newcomer has Michael pushing the boundaries of pub food and house-made brews.

Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his award winning restaurants Lola, Lolita, Roast, Bar Symon, B Spot and the forthcoming Mabel's BBQ. Symon also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style with viewers, most recently on Food Network's All-Star AcademyIron Chef America and as a co-host on ABC's The Chew. He is the author of three cookbooks, "Michael Symon's Live to Cook - Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen," "Carnivore," and "5 in 5."

Visit FoodNetwork.com/BurgersBrewQue to discover more about the locations featured in the show. Join in on the conversation at #BurgersBrewQue.

Burgers, Brew & 'Que is produced by Relativity Lifestyle Television, a division of Relativity Television.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Humana Healthier Choices return to Taste of Chicago with nearly 50 healthy options

*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Humana, which is providing tickets for a giveaway on the Chicago Foodie Sisters blog. Humana will also be providing me with complimentary tickets to enable me to sample Humana Healthier Choices items to share my honest opinions. I am receiving no compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.   

Coming soon is the grand foodie fest that Chicagoans wait all year for. The Taste of Chicago is a gathering of some of the most iconic and revered culinary spots in the city. ALL. IN. ONE. PLACE! It's an opportunity to nosh on the best of the best that Chicago has to offer...or at least the best of what you can eat while you walk around in the summer heat. No doubt there will be fried grub galore, but that's not all you'll find. Humana is once again working with the Taste of Chicago on their Humana Healthier Choices Program and for the first time in the 8-year history of the program, it has now identified vegetarian options to its designated offerings. 

This year's healthy food listing features 48 healthy food options, 34 of them vegetarian, from 24 of Chicago's participating restaurants. They've also identified additional Taste items that are gluten-free. That's huge! The gluten-free diet is becoming more widespread between those who opt to follow it for better health and those for whom it is a medical necessity. 

“By expanding Humana Healthier Choices to include vegetarian options and promoting gluten-free alternatives, we’re looking to help a greater population of Taste-goers pursue a healthy eating experience that inspires lifelong well-being,” said Charles Dow, Humana’s Regional President of Senior Products in the Great Lakes in a released statement. “I encourage everyone to try these delicious, healthy foods and immerse themselves in Humana’s rewards program for a fun, active experience at the Taste of Chicago.”

With strict guidelines to qualify as a Humana Healthier Choices menu item, a panel of five top Chicago-area physicians with expertise in diet and nutrition collaborated to compile this year's list.

The panel included Amy Hess-Fischl, M.S., R.D, advanced practice dietitian and program coordinator at University of Chicago’s Kovler Diabetes Center; Kathleen Duffy, M.S., R.D., Diabetes Nutrition Educator, Rush Oak Park Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center; Rob Sargis, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Adult Endocrinology, University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center; Donna Perisee, M.D., Ph.D., Humana Medical Director, Medicare Great Lakes Region, Health Services Organization; and Neal Fischer, M.D., Humana Regional Medical Director, Medicare Operations, Great Lakes Region.

The Humana Healthier Choices will be identified by a green apple on the menu boards at participating restaurant booths. The Humana Healthier Choices list of items will be handed out at the Humana tent, located on Columbus Drive between Jackson Boulevard and Buckingham Fountain, and can be downloaded at the Taste of Chicago website and via facebook.com/TheTasteOfChicago

The 35th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 8–12 in Grant Park. Hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, call (312) 744-3316 or visit tasteofchicago.us. Find a full listing of Humana Healthier Choices items below.

Humana Healthier Choices for Taste of Chicago 2015 (vegetarian options noted by a V):

Appetizers/Starters – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

·         Taste Portion of Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
·         Taste Portion of Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
·         Taste Portion of Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s
·         Corn on the Cob (V) – Mariano’s
·         Roasted Celtic Corn on the Cob (V) – O'Brien's Restaurant
·         Doner Shot – DönerMen
·         Shrimp – Haire's Gulf Shrimp
·         Taste Portion of Eggplant Sandwich (V) – Gino's Steaks Truck

Main Dishes – Less than 500 calories, 500 mg sodium and 4 g saturated fat

·         Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
·         Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
·         Grilled Steak Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
·         Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
·         Smoked Alligator – Chicago's Dog House
·         Smoked Rattlesnake with Rabbit  – Chicago's Dog House
·         Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho (V) – Farmer's Fridge
·         Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer's Fridge
·         Vegetable Spinach and Plantains (V) – Iyanze
·         Jerk Chicken – Iyanze
·         Chicken Ke-Bob Curry Rice with Vegetables – Kasia’s Deli
·         Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s
·         Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad – Star of Siam
·         Doner Kebab – DönerMen
·         Kebab Salad – DönerMen
·         Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju
·         Eggplant Sandwich (V) – Gino's Steaks Truck
·         Chicken Tacos – La Cocinita
·         Black Bean and Queso Fresco Arepas with Guasacaca and Cabbage Slaw (V) – La Cocinita
·         Grilled Cheese (V) – The Fat Shallot
Desserts – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

·         Limone (Lemon) Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
·         Blood Orange Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
·         Peach Cobbler Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato
·         Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato
·         Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
·         Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
·         Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
·         Mango Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
·         Lime Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
·         Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
·         Seedless Watermelon (V) – Mariano’s
·         Mango Sorbet (V) – Star of Siam
·         Chocolate Frozen Baby Banana (V) – The Fudge Pot
·         Chocolate Dipped Strawberry (V) – The Fudge Pot
·         1 Dinky Donut (V) – Dinky Donuts
·         Southern Red Velvet Morsel of Love (V) – Ms. Tittle's Cupcake
·         Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
·         Taste Portion of Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
·         Frozen Original Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
·         Taste Portion of Frozen Original Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
The following items, available from Dia De Los Tamales, do not meet the Humana Healthier Choices nutrition criteria but provide options for Taste-goers with gluten-free dietary restrictions:

·         Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
·         Taste Portion of Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
·         Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
·         Taste Portion of Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
·         Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Tamale
·         Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese Tamale (V)
A panel of five top Chicago-area physicians with expertise in diet and nutrition collaboratively judged each item to assure that nutritional values were met. The panel included Amy Hess-Fischl, M.S., R.D, advanced practice dietitian and program coordinator at University of Chicago’s Kovler Diabetes Center; Kathleen Duffy, M.S., R.D., Diabetes Nutrition Educator, Rush Oak Park Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center; Rob Sargis, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Adult Endocrinology, University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center; Donna Perisee, M.D., Ph.D., Humana Medical Director, Medicare Great Lakes Region, Health Services Organization; and Neal Fischer, M.D., Humana Regional Medical Director, Medicare Operations, Great Lakes Region.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of: 

·         Annual reports to stockholders;
·         Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
·         Most recent investor conference presentations;
·         Quarterly earnings news releases;
·         Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
·         Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors); and
·         Corporate Governance information.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Food Trucks Gather for Good Cause This Weekend

One of the biggest food trends in recent years has been the expansion of food from within the walls of a restaurant by taking it to the streets in food trucks where it can be appreciated and enjoyed by the masses at outdoor events.

Bank of America has partnered up with the Chicago food truck community to sponsor the Chicago Food Truck Fest on Saturday and Sunday in support of the EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES initiative, which raises funds to fight AIDS through culinary events. 

The EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES initiative is coordinating a series of food truck rallies across the country, hosted by Bank of America and the National Food Truck Association. For each meal purchased from a food truck at the events made with a Bank of America debit or credit card, Bank of America will donate 40 cents toward the fight against AIDS.

Fifteen food trucks have joined on to part of of this food gathering for a good cause, held at 2400 S. Dearborn in Chicago (parking is available at U.S. Cellular Field with free shuttle bus service) on June 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

So, put on those stretchy pants, grab your forks and mark your calendars for this big celebration of food truck cuisine. The food trucks you can expect to see there are The French Food Truck, The Crave Bar, Cupcakes for Courage, Auntie Vee’s Cupcakes, Chicago Cupcake, Starfruit Café, La Cocinita Food Truck, Husky Hog BBQ, The Fat Shallot, The Slide Ride, Pierogi Street, DonerMen, Caponies Express, Naansense and Giordano’s.

Learn more about the initiative at eatreddrinkred.orgLearn more about the Chicago Food Truck Fest at chgofoodtruckfest.com.

Connect with (RED) + BofA:
·         Facebook:        facebook.com/joinred
·         Twitter:              @RED  | @BofA_Community                
·         Instagram:         @RED                                     

·         Hashtag:           #OneStep4RED

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ham and white cheddar sliders

I've been trying to come up with some quick easy meals to throw on the grill now that the heat has finally hit in the Chicago area. My husband hates when I use the oven in the summer months as the air conditioning just doesn't like to keep up after a marathon morning of making cupcakes and pizzas and other goodies. So, most of the cooking is happening on the grill these days.

This meal was an easy one and one that I simply adore. I have always loved hot ham and cheese sandwiches. I've seen recipes similar to this one called "Funeral Sandwiches" or "Dutch Sandwiches." I call them sliders as they're made on mini-sized rolls. Plan to make them in big quantities because most people could easily eat two. Probably three. Maybe even four if you are talking about a famished teenage boy.

So, here's how to make these easy, yummy sandwiches for a quick lunch or dinner.

One dozen potato rolls or Hawaiian rolls
One pound of sliced ham (I like honey ham)
A dozen slices of aged white cheddar
Spicy Mustard
seasoning for top of buns (You can use an onion soup mix, an Italian spice blend, dried onions. I used Big Guy BBQ Chicago's Windy City Seasoning Salt.)

In a large foil pan, lay out bun bottoms. Add two slices on top of each bun, followed by a slice of cheese. Add a thin coating of spicy mustard to each bun topping and cover bottom buns.

For the next step you can either melt your butter with seasonings and brush it on the top of buns or add about a 1/3 of a pat of butter on top of each bun then sprinkle with seasoning. My brush went missing somewhere between the indoor kitchen and the outdoor kitchen, so I had to go with the second option.

Cover with foil and place on a grill heated to about 300 degrees on indirect heat. Leave on grill for about 10 minutes or until cheese and butter has melted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Stop at Quaker Steak & Lube in Portage to help support military families

Quaker Steak & Lube doesn't have any locations in Illinois, but there is one not too far over into Indiana in Portage. It's a chain that I have never visited, but I have heard great things about the food. This press release that I received makes me love the place without even taking a bite.

The franchise is partnering with Folds of Honor and a portion of proceeds from all sales at its 55+ locations through July 4 will go toward scholarships for military dependents. Read below for full details.

- Family-Dining Brand Establishes Relationship to Help Military Families across the Country - 
SHARON, PA. – The Award-Winning casual-dining franchise Quaker Steak & Lube®, known for its Best Wings USA and more than 25 sauces, announced today that it launched a partnership with Folds of Honor to help raise funds for military families across the country. From May 25 through July 4, a portion of proceeds from sales at all Quaker Steak & Lube® restaurants will go towards The Folds of Honor Fund, which helps provide educational scholarships to military families.
Folds of Honor is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded by Major Dan Rooney, with a mission to empower military families by providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of military service men and women who have fallen or were disabled while serving our great nation. Since its inception in 2007, it has awarded more than 7,500 scholarships to recipients in all 50 states. In the fall of 2014 alone, The Folds of Honor Fund donated $10 million in scholarships. 
“We are extremely proud of the partnership we have developed with Folds of Honor and the relationship we’ve created with Major Dan Rooney. We look forward to giving back to military families in our communities,” said Greg Lippert, President and CEO of Quaker Steak & Lube®. “It’s time for Lube Nation to stand together to support the future of our great nation. We encourage you to join us for a meal with your family and help us give back to those who have fought so bravely for our freedom.”
Guests can learn more about the partnership by visiting http://youtu.be/Jnkm8qxL3j0. Lubies who would want to do more are encouraged to visit https://www.crowdrise.com/quakersteakandlube to find out how they can donate directly to The Folds of Honor fund. For more information on Folds of Honor, please visit www.foldsofhonor.org
Founded in 1974, Quaker Steak & Lube® now has more than 55 locations across 16 states. The compelling décor, including race cars suspended from the ceilings, motorcycles, Corvettes and motor-themed memorabilia, combined with its craveable food and SuperCharged events, has created a cult-like following for The Lube® for more than 40 years. 
Follow The Lube® on Twitter and Instagram at @QuakerSteak and on Facebook at Quaker Steak and Lube. For more information, visit www.QuakerSteakAndLube.com. Join Lube Nation today by signing up for our e-mail club at http://thelube.com/qsl/email_club.html.
For more information about franchise opportunities, contact Zeb Hastings at 1-877-MYLUBE1 (1-877-695-8231) or by email at zhastings@thelube.com, or visit www.lubefranchising.com.

About Quaker Steak & Lube®:
Founded in 1974 and built in an abandoned gas station in Sharon, Pa., Quaker Steak & Lube® has expanded to more than 55 locations throughout the United States. The unique décor, including gas station memorabilia, classic cars, motorcycles, race cars and corvettes suspended from the ceilings combined with the crave-able food and high-octane events has afforded The Lube® a cult-like fan following. Today, Quaker Steak & Lube® has become one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country, and has won hundreds of national and international awards for its wings and more than 25 different wing sauces.
About Folds of Honor
Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled in combat while serving in the United States armed forces. Our educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 7,500 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 2,000 in 2014 alone. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.

From the inbox: Celebrate the Fourth of July at Shaw's Crab House

From the inbox this week, check out what Shaw's has in store for Independence Day.

(Chicago and Schaumburg, IL)- This Fourth of July, Shaw's Crab House will celebrate the red, white and blue at both Chicagoland locations!Loyal customers and new Shaw's diners alike will enjoy a landmark ½ Priced Oyster Deal in the Oyster Bar, the entire day. Guests will have the option of both an East Coast and West Coast oyster variety. Upping the ante further, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. the Schaumburg location will serve up plump, briny, hand-shucked bivalves for just $1 apiece! And because Shaw's opens all its oysters upon request, kindly limit per-person orders to two dozen at a time, so our shuckers can keep up!

Also at Shaw's Chicago, the Fourth of July extravaganza will feature a New Orleans Crawfish Boil. For $30 (plus tax and gratuity), guests can chow down on all-you-can-eat Crawfish with potatoes, sausage and all the fixin's (while supplies last). For more information please visit www.shawscrabhouse.com

Shaw's Crab House, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, features a 1940s-style take on the seafood dining experience, with retro leather banquets, polished wood floors, and Art Deco touches. The Oyster Bar provides a more casual setting for diners and serves up live music five nights a week at the Chicago location. Shaw's- The King of Crab! For more info, call 312.527.2722 (Chicago) or 847.517.2722 (Schaumburg), visit the website at www.shawscrabhouse.com, tweet with The Shaw's Mermaid at www.twitter.com/shellyfromshaws,or keep up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shawcrabhouse and www.facebook.com/ShawsCrabHouseSchaumburg. 

Dessert at Redamak's in New Buffalo

Living in the south suburbs of Chicago, we are lucky to have many great sites and activities within a short drive. In five minutes I can be across the Indiana border. In 20 minutes I can be at a Lake Michigan Beach. In anywhere from 25 minutes to two hours, depending on traffic, I can be in downtown Chicago. In a about an hour I can be in Wisconsin or Michigan and enjoy even more Great Lakes shoreline.

Southwest Michigan is somewhere we visit often for a day trip since it's so close. We recently went up to Three Oaks for their Flag Day Parade, which we love. After the parade we had lunch at Nelson's Saloon then went over to the beach in New Buffalo for a while. I love that with the time change it stays light out until nearly 10 o'clock. So, we stayed 'til the sun was going down then decided we were hungry for dessert. The ice cream places close to the beach were closed, but Redamak's was still open.

So, we made a stop and the boys got milkshakes. There really isn't a big selection for dessert, but I did notice that they had Deep Fried Brownie Bites and Bananas Foster, served with some warm chocolate syrup. Yum....couldn't resist giving them a try. And I would try them again (and again and again!) Visit redamaks.com for their menu and hours. Their burgers are pretty awesome, also, and I've had one on every previous trip. 

Cookbook highlights recipes to counter sugar addiction

Sugar is something that can absolutely become an addition. A new book, authored by Jacob Teitelbaum gives readers a look at different types of sugar addictions and ways to overcome it by substituting with flavorful healthy meas.

The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press May 2015) by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, offers 50 easy-to-prepare, delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. 

“Start with one or two sugar-free recipes until it becomes a habit and then add more. Feel free to mix and match; many of the lunch meals can be used for dinner, and don’t forget dessert,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. 

”There are four types of sugar addiction and depending on your specific type, there are meals best suited for you.  For example, the Type 1 sugar addict needs easy-to-prepare recipes, which is a big plus for their hard-charging lifestyle where sustained energy is required.”  

Below is a sample recipe from the book, ideal for a Type 1 sugar addict, the "Super-Charged Spicy Salmon."

 “Super-Charged Spicy Salmon”

Salmon is a super fish. High in protein and loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids, salmon helps regulate blood sugar levels, quiets inflammation, improves circulation, and boosts brain health by feeding necessary neurotransmitters. Together with coconut, this salmon, healthy oil and veggie dinner works great to keep blood sugar stable. The zucchini, carrots, and red onions in this dish are high in key vitamins C, A, B6, B1, and folate, as well as zinc, calcium, magnesium, and tryptophan, plus dietary fiber that all support metabolism, energy production, and overall health. Serve with a side salad, steamed veggies, or over a bed of steamed brown rice for extra fiber, protein, and nutrients.
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil or (15g) coconut oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1 can (14 ounces, or 425ml) light coconut milk, unsweetened
1 cup (235ml) chicken stock
½ to 1 tablespoon (8 to 15g) red curry paste, depending on desired spiciness
4 salmon fillets (5 ounces, or 140g each)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium zucchini, julienned
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing until the onion is translucent. Mix in the coconut milk and stock. Add the curry paste and then bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and cook until the liquid becomes slightly creamy, about 20 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini to the coconut milk mixture and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the salmon on baking sheet greased with olive or coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then broil until the fish turns opaque, about 10 minutes. Place the salmon on serving plates and spoon the sauce over the fish. Top with sliced scallions.
Yield: 4 Servings
Each with: Calories 435.41; Calories from Fat 233.84;

Total Fat 26.17g; Cholesterol 89.3mg; Sodium 426.05mg;

Potassium 909.64mg; Total Carbohydrates 15.01g; Fiber 3.92g;

Sugar 3.49g; Protein 34.36g