One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is to create something from scratch, an item that I just don’t have time for on a normal week night. I’ve made homemade soups, pizza dough, bread, pasta and more; I love that I have the time to prep properly and enjoy the whole process. It’s like running my own personal restaurant for the day. I must say though, there are some things on my Sunday cook-list I’ve been too intimidated to make on my own just by following a recipe. This is where cooking classes can come in handy and I recently discovered an amazing discovery and booking tool for local classes, called CourseHorse that has a wide variety of cooking classes in Chicago.
Upon graduating from college I found the existence of a magical new meal called “brunch.” Growing up our family was always up by 9:00 a.m. on weekends thus necessitating “breakfast” and in college I slept well past noon. But the combination of post college partying on Lincoln Avenue with the internal clock of a 7:00 a.m. weekday wakeup soon found me in the 10:00-11:30 a.m. weekend brunch zone and it was glorious! Seven years later I am still a big brunch fan and there are more and more fantastic options than ever before.
If I was forced to choose one food item, and this one thing would be all I was able to eat for the rest of my days, I feel pretty comfortable saying that pizza would be the way to go. You can go NY style, thin crust, deep dish, marinara, pesto, meat lovers, veggie; the options go on and on. Just as your choices of toppings are never ending, in Chicago your choices of where to order your pizza from can seem endless as well. There are the old staples we all know and love, be it the deep dish spot you take your family when they are in town, or the spot in your neighborhood that is perfect on a cold winter evening. But where to go, when you are in rush before a meeting, hungry because you forgot to eat breakfast, or want to grab something tasty for home as you depart work for the weekend? Persona Pizza, located right in the loop on Washington and LaSalle is your go to for quick, delicious pizza.
There is only one event each year that combines three of my favorite things: wine, food, and home furnishings I can dream about having for my future home someday! LuxeHome®, in partnership with Wine Spectator Magazine is hosting its tenth annual CHILL, an international wine and culinary event featuring some of the best wines from vineyards worldwide, being paired with small bites from some of Chicago’s most distinguished chefs. The best part is that you get to wine and dine your way around the Merchandise Mart’s collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation all in the name of charity.
A few weeks ago I received an email from friend and fellow food blogger, Amanda Topper of The Ghost Guest inviting me to Sip, Simmer and Savor, a Culinary Event Series by the Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. The event was being hosted by Boka and featuring chefs Paul Liebrandt and Lee Wolen for a special five-course paired dinner with cocktails made from Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. Boka has been one of those restaurants on my “Must Try List” for years so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to attend and finally be able to recommend the Boka experience.
Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet is one of my favorite foodie events of the entire year! It’s a chance to mingle with friends, celebrity chefs, and taste food from not only the hottest restaurants in Chicago but from several visiting global restaurants as well. I’ve been attending now for the past few years (see my post from 2014) and every year the weather turns out to be absolutely beautiful for this September affair. Amidst all the foodie fun I realized I had forgotten to take photos of most of what I ate during Chicago gourmet! I did manage to take photos of what really counted, my top 5 favorite bites of the day! Initially my day at Chicago gourmet began slowly as I was running solo without my number one taste tester in tow. I’m still adjusting to not having a partner by my side day in and day out! Luckily about an hour in, Seth of ChiCityFoodie arrived and I found another foodie friend, Allana of AllanaBytes and some of her coworkers. Writing this blog and attending these events is all about having fun and meeting new people and I’m lucky that the food blogger/Instagram community are a really nice and welcoming group.
Growing up in Northbrook, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for restaurants in Chicago’s north shore. I grew up running around the warehouse-style space at Bob Chin’s, attending Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s at Bucca Di Beppo, and most recently celebrating my bridal shower at Cooper’s Hawk. These three restaurants along with nearly two-dozen others from Wheeling’s restaurant row along with other north shore favorites are part of the Taste of the Town event happening this Wednesday, September 14.
Post written by Sarah Callahan, Stephanie’s sister and the current Chicago food correspondent!
This March, I was thrilled to attend an event that brought together two of my favorite things, delicious bourbon and the exceptional Chicago dining scene. Maker’s Mark collaborated with Longman & Eagle bar and restaurant to host an intimate dinner that I was lucky enough to be included in. In addition to this stop in Chicago, Maker’s Mark traveled to three other cities across the United States, selecting individual, unique restaurants that complement the flavors of Maker’s Mark, to host these thoughtful drinking and dining experiences.
Post written by Stephanie’s sister, Sarah Callahan, the current Chicago food correspondent!
Over the past several years since graduating college, my sister and I have been frequent visitors to Derby in Lincoln Park. It is our go-to spot to band together with fellow Mizzou alumni and cheer on the University of Missouri Tigers to victory. Therefore, when Derby reached out and asked me to try some of their new Southern inspired menu items, I was more than happy to pop by for a visit.
Derby, a bar under the Big Onion Tavern Group umbrella, sets itself apart from typical bar food by offering approachable Southern inspired food items with a modern twist. You may initially notice that several of Derby’s menu items are staples at all of the Big Onion restaurants and bars, like their mouthwatering skillet cookie, loaded nachos (so much excellent cheesy goodness!!) and their freshly baked Bavarian pretzel.
Bake425, a bake at home, farm-to-crust pizza concept recently approached me to taste their unique easy-bake pizzas along with a fresh salad and a giant cookie! The folks from Bake425 are the same people that brought you the former Homemade Pizza franchise, but now with healthier options! Bake425 sources as many ingredients as possible from nearby farms in order to bring eaters the freshest flavors while supporting the local economy. At this time they are currently located in Highland Park, Winnetka, Lake Forest, Hinsdale and Evanston.