Dining on the Freshest Seafood at Sullivan’s Steakhouse Naperville

Posted by | Restaurants | No Comments

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Going to a steakhouse as a non-meat eater can sometimes be concerning. Will the fish that they offer me be at the same standards as the steaks being served? Will I have choices or just that one line item of salmon? Had I gone to Sullivan’s Steakhouse from the start, I would never be asking these questions. The fish is outstanding.sullivans-board-roomIn the quaint downtown of Naperville, Illinois, you will find a Sullivan’s Steakhouse. There are many reasons to be celebrating at Sullivan’s in Naperville. From the newly remodeled restaurant with a contemporary feelsullivans-decor-picmto the holiday season to a girl’s gathering to family dinners to a work meeting.… Read more

Gingerbread with Crystallized Ginger

Posted by | Recipe | No Comments

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There are so many things about the holiday season that I just love. The decorations, the parties, and of course, the food! From soups to stews to braised meats to spiced sauces and breads to desserts, creating recipes that use rich and aromatic ingredients not only tastes amazing but will make your home smell warm and welcoming. Gingerbread is one of those treats that just feel right to eat during this time of year. 


Gingerbread with Crystallized Ginger

The trick with making gingerbread loaves is to find the right balance of those intense spices like gingercloves and cinnamon.… Read more

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan Cheese

Posted by | Recipes | 5 Comments

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Brussel sprouts. You either love them or not. But, I will bet you never had them made in a good way if you say you don’t like them. There was a time that you would see recipes that showed boiled or mushy sprouts. I don’t blame anyone for not eating them. I didn’t grow up having them at dinner. And my Mom is an amazing cook!

I started making them three years ago for Thanksgiving. I found a recipe that sounded good on “paper”. Once I made them, I realized how delicious they are! The funny part was, while they look like little cabbages, they don’t taste like that.… Read more

14 Ideas for a Stress-Free Holiday Season of Cooking

Posted by | Holidays, Housewares | 7 Comments

Ok, did you realize Thanksgiving is in 6 days?! 6 days! Are you ready? Does hosting a big meal stress you out? I would understand if you say “yes”. All those recipes, grocery shopping, cooking, setting the table and personalities can make for an emotionally charged dinner. But, since I love Thanksgiving and the tradition, I am going to share some secrets with you on how to actually enjoy the day and no longer dread that Thursday in November.

Inspiring Kitchen vegetable turkey platter appetizer final

There are a million websites that will tell you what to make for dinner, how to roast the turkey and how to set the table.… Read more

For The Children: The Jackson Chance Foundation and One Step Camps

Posted by | Fundraiser | No Comments

This has been a month of fundraising for wonderful organizations tying together restaurants, hotels, wine and spirits and VERY generous people. Last week, I shared how a prestigious cooking school, Kendall College, and fresh and modern, Fig and Olive Restaurant, were able to raise funds for their scholarships and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, respectively, over fried chicken, champagne and salmon!

Today, I have two new experiences to share with you:

 


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When a child is ill, all we want to do is make them better.… Read more

LuxeHome Chill at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

Posted by | Culinary Event, Fundraiser | 5 Comments

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As someone who works in the home design and cooking space, attending LuxeHome Chill each November is one of the highlights of the year for me. This year, we celebrated the 10th annual LuxeHome Chill International Wine and Culinary event. Held at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, designer showrooms filled with the most gorgeous housewares, fabrics and lighting grace the vignettes which are the backdrop for over 50 world class chefs and over 150 wines to be offered to guests.luxehome-housewares-picmThis premier food festival is presented in cooperation with Wine Spectator Magazine with the evening’s proceeds benefiting three Chicago charities:

The Lynn Sage Foundation – Dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer, this foundation has raised over $2 million to support the Lynn Sage Scholars Program which is 100% local to Chicago and fully research based. 


Saturday Place – This academic enrichment program for 3rd and 4th grade students from Chicago Public Schools is a proven model for improving students’ academic performance and creating a lasting love of learning. 

Respiratory Health Association– An independent not-for-profit lung health organization that has been serving Chicagoland since 1906, their mission is to prevent lung disease, promote clean air and help people live better through education, research and policy change. 

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As we wandered the hallways and showrooms, elegantly dressed guests sampled dishes made by Chicago’s finest chefs and restaurants while live music played all around us.… Read more

Sweet and Tart Lemon Curd Cookie Cups

Posted by | Recipes | 4 Comments

These Sweet and Tart Lemon Curd Cookie Cups are the perfect dessert to share with your friends, family and guests this holiday season. 

Sweet and Tart Lemon Curd Cookie Cups Inspiring KitchenWe are heading into a crazy fun time of year when you love to entertain. The opportunity to have last minute guests over, let alone planned parties, just means having your pantry full of helpful resources is a really good thing. Which is why I am glad to share my little secret solution with you. The one and only “Baking Queen”, Betty Crocker, has made filling your pantry with cookie mixes to grab for a quick (and creative) dessert so easy.… Read more

The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Posted by | Recipe | 6 Comments

Fall is my favorite time of year. Cool temperatures make for the perfect climate to make soup. Who ever said preparing soup has to be complicated and time consuming hasn’t cooked with me.  First of all, I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen. Honestly, I wish I did have the time because the opportunity to invent recipes for fun is just my ideal way of relaxing. But, I digress because that is not my world. 

the best roasted butternut squash soup recipe inspiring kitchen

Having gone to the market, the fall vegetables were calling my name. So, I bought a large butternut squash. The ability to use fresh ingredients whenever possible is always a plus.… Read more

Food, Champagne and Fundraising at Kendall College and Fig & Olive

Posted by | Fundraising, Restaurants | 5 Comments

Food brings people together. No matter what the reason, whether sitting at the table, standing in the kitchen, in a restaurant or for a cause, it is the glue that holds people together.

This past month, I have had the pleasure of participating in 4 different types of events all designed to raise money for amazing organizations. Some are medical and some are education focused but all took place over a meal. This post will share Kendall College and Fig & Olive’s events. You can read about the Jackson Chance Foundation Ping Pong Ball and the FLIGHT event next Tuesday. 

When you think “fried chicken” what comes to mind?… Read more

How to Make a Homemade Mocha Using Instant Coffee

Posted by | Food, Holidays, Recipes | 5 Comments

I love this time of year. The types of food available, the recipes I am able to create with the abundance of seasonal ingredients and the opportunity to cook for those I care about. But it can be so stressful to find the right dishes that accommodate everyone’s dietary preferences. Which is why I am happy to have the opportunity to sit at the table today and get organized for Thanksgiving.

nescafe coffee mocha inspiring kitchen


With a big cup of steaming hot mocha, my favorite cookbook authors and my recipe box, I am slowly paging through cookbooks finding recipes that will be a welcome addition to our table.… Read more

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