Chicago Tribune Food Archives - InspiringKitchen.com

Gingerbread with Crystallized Ginger

Posted by | Recipes | 7 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. I think this recipe achieves the sweet spicy goal.… 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. … 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

pumpkin bars

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