Sweet and Tart Lemon Curd Cookie Cups

Posted by | Recipes | 5 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

Parmigiano Reggiano: Understanding the King of all Cheeses

Posted by | Foods | 9 Comments

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese? I decided to do some research to better understand this storied and delicious cheese.

parmigiano reggiano

There are a number of characteristics that define Parmigiano Reggiano:

  • The only Parmesan – it means of/from Parma, Italy.
  • It is lactose free.
  • There are only a little more than 300 producers.
  • Rich in high quality, easily digestible proteins.
  • There are 900 years of tradition.
  • There are only three ingredients: raw cow’s milk, rennet, sea salt.
  • It has a PDO or Protected Designation of Origin.

The naming aspect makes total sense when you consider the history of this cheese.… Read more

Contemporary Italian Food at Tocco Ristorante in Wicker Park

Posted by | Restaurants | 5 Comments

Adventures in the Chicago restaurant scene are never ending. Thankfully! The ability to have a week of global tastes and flavors needs no plane ride or passport. This week, my friends and I experienced Italian cuisine at Tocco Ristorante. Tocco means “touch” in Italian. Each dish we enjoyed was created with the Chef’s personal touch incorporating fresh local produce and the finest imported ingredients from Italy.

Tocco’s contemporary design is open and airy with private tables for intimate dining as well as a community table in the center of the restaurant. This is a local neighborhood spot that offers a warm greeting from Chef Bruno Abate in appreciation of your visit.… Read more

My Favorite Pumpkin Dessert Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted by | Desserts, Holidays, Recipes | 5 Comments

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin. In everything these days. I am totally good with that! I love pumpkin. I use it in sauces, pasta, salads, roast it and of course, bake with it. It’s extremely versatile whether doing sweet or savory dishes.

Every family has recipes that have meaning to them. This one is mine. My Mom has been making these bars since we were kids. In fact, she used to make them and put them in the freezer for when guests came over. The problem is, we discovered that is where she was “hiding” them and ate them frozen.… Read more

Abt Electronics Launches Luxury Kitchen Design Studio

Posted by | Appliances, Kitchen Design, Retailer | 7 Comments

The kitchen is the heart of the home. No matter how beautiful your living room is, it’s the kitchen where everyone will congregate. If you are fortunate to be able to design your dream kitchen, then there is a new place for you to visit before making any purchases. Abt Electronics and Appliances launched their Inspiration Studio this past Thursday evening to a thrilled and in awe audience of media and interior designers.

Abt Inspiration Studio Inspiring KitchenIf you are not familiar with this retailer, they are recognized throughout the country for their outstanding customer service. This family owned company first launched in 1936 by Jewel and David Abt and has remained in the family all these years later.… Read more

Chicago’s Premier French Restaurant: Le Bouchon

Posted by | Restaurants | 2 Comments

If you love French food but going to France for dinner is a bit of a distance, then I highly recommend you stop by Le Bouchon in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. This French bistro is an area hotspot that consistently pleases its guests as is readily apparent at the always-bustling space.  This is a big clue to make a reservation!

When you first walk in, you realize that this quaint space is just like a Parisian café. The artwork, vast assortment of French wines, tin ceiling and traditional dishes (think escargot, foie gras, French onion soup) transport you to France. None of this is surprising given the history of the late Chef/Owner Jean-Claude Poilevey who was known as a pioneer in bringing French style cooking to Chicago.… Read more

Organize Your Kitchen and Life With Hefty® Slider Storage Bags

Posted by | Housewares | 4 Comments

I don’t know about you but I find my life is so much easier when I am organized. Now, I realize that term is in the eye of the beholder, but I do try to think one step ahead as much as possible. There are many ways to implement organization into one’s life from keeping a calendar to scheduling bills to be paid online to how you organize your cabinets and closets and so on. I use all sorts of resources to make this happen but the one I am going to share with you here is so simple and inexpensive, it will be an easy addition to your daily life.… Read more