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rice pie finland

A Culinary Wonderland: 12 Foods and Flavors to Try in Finland

Posted by | Foods, Travel | 10 Comments

To truly immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting, exploring the culinary space is not only educational but delicious. Finland’s landscape of sea, farm and forest offers a diverse food scene filled with traditional items that support their philosophy of eat local and simply, to dining on the dishes created by extraordinarily talented chefs. 

The following is a small sampling of foods and flavors that exemplify the Finnish lifestyle. As you plan your trip to this beautiful Nordic country, check out this list of places to visit along your foods of Finland journey and tips on how to try it all. Read more

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

Posted by | Culinary Event, Festival, Restaurants, Tourism | No Comments
 
Grab your cowboy boots and hat and make your way to the Windy City Smokeout happening this weekend in Chicago. Gates just opened for the 5th year of this food and music fest with two stages filled with artists from around the country entertaining fans all weekend long. 

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

With over 25 country music bands playing throughout the three day festival

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

and 20 of the world’s best pitmasters sharing their BBQ creations, this is an event you just can’t miss. … Read more

sprecher beer and pretzel

A Foodie’s Day Trip to Milwaukee

Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | 11 Comments

A Foodie’s Day Trip to Milwaukee – Exploring 5 culinary spots from Danish pastry to coffee roasting to craft beer to custard to seafood in the area. 

When you think of Milwaukee, what foods and beverages come to mind? I bet I can guess: brats, cheese and beer. All true! Yet, Milwaukee has a vibrant culinary scene that you need to hear about.

Exploring the food world within a city doesn’t just mean what you find in the city’s downtown. In fact, creative and innovative options can be found all around town. The first gem on my road trip to Milwaukee started in Racine.… Read more

Chicago Gourmet Turns Ten

Posted by | Festival, Restaurants | 10 Comments

Chicago Gourmet Turns Ten – Celebrating ten years, attendees enjoyed bites from prestigious Chicago restaurants, chefs, wine and spirit brands at festival.

The HOTTEST event of the year, both literally and figuratively, took place in Chicago’s Millennium Park September 23-24. Chicago Gourmet, celebrating its 10 year anniversary, opened to a weekend of soaring temperatures, blue skies and big crowds. The 94 degree temperatures made an already warm and welcoming group of people even more so. Chicago Gourmet Turns 10

Opening ceremonies for this momentous occasion included Illinois Restaurant Association president and CEO, Sam Toia, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a wealth of Chefs from near and far.… Read more

Choosing Healthy with my 6 Favorite Snap Kitchen Meals

Posted by | Healthy, Restaurants | 7 Comments

`Cooking is one of my favorite ways to relax. Immersing myself in a recipe or creating one from scratch is simply a happy place to be. Especially when life is super busy or stressful. But there are days, weeks and even months, when life is just too crazy busy and I don’t have time or energy to cook. Which is why I am so thrilled to have found Snap Kitchen stores.I first learned about Snap Kitchen last year and have become a regular customer ever since. With stores in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Chicago, customers have the opportunity to come into the stores and choose the meals, snacks, beverages and desserts that fit their specific nutrition and health goals.… Read more

How to Make a Homemade Mocha Using Instant Coffee

Posted by | Foods, Holidays, Recipes | 7 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

A New Look at Nescafe® Taster’s Choice® Instant Coffee

Posted by | Beverage, Coffee, Recipes | 20 Comments

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love coffee. I don’t just drink it for the energy – although that is a nice perk (pun intended). I actually like the flavor! And that is why I am so picky when it comes to the brands I choose to drink.

nescafe coffee inspiring kitchen

 

When Nescafe® Taster’s Choice® reached out to me to try their instant coffee, I was willing to learn more. As I read about their approach to responsibly sourced beans how they roast them, brew and flash freeze their coffee to lock in freshness, I got the feeling that what I knew of instant coffee was no longer current.… Read more

Caffeine Crawl Visits Chicago

Posted by | Coffee, Festival | 9 Comments

As you know, I am a coffee addict or enthusiast if you will. So when I heard about the Caffeine Crawl I knew I had to jump on the (caffeinated) bandwagon!

Inspiring Kitchen Caffeine Crawl Crawls Through Chicago

Originally started in Kansas City in 2011 by LAB 5702 (a Kansas City-based beverage marketing company), the Caffeine Crawl has since expanded nationally. Each crawl is “built around the (host) city’s personality, culture, traffic structure, and local event flow”. This year was Chicago’s second annual Caffeine Crawl. It contained 11 different routes over the course of a weekend. Each route explored five different local coffee or tea shops in the Chicagoland area.… Read more

The Coffee Lover’s All In One Ninja Coffee Bar

Posted by | Appliances, Coffee, Favorite Finds, Housewares | 23 Comments

I love coffee. It’s not really a secret. I talk about it on Inspiring Kitchen and in social media pretty often. I don’t drink it for the caffeine. I drink it because I love the taste of good coffee. And that is the key: Good Coffee!

Inspiring Kitchen Ninja Coffee Bar

If you could see my kitchen, you would notice all my coffee machine vices. I like learning about new machines, how they work, and if they will accomplish my goals and make tasty drinks. With that said, let me share my newest discovery. The Ninja Coffee Bar. Have you caught the commercials yet? You know, the one with Sofia Vergara.… Read more

Debut of Chicago Food + Wine Festival

Posted by | Culinary Event, Education, Festival, Travel, Trends | 16 Comments

In a food town like Chicago, having the opportunity to learn about new restaurants, dishes, foods, wines, spirits, beers and cocktails is always a reason to gather. Food makes us happy after all. Something that the Chicago Food + Wine Festival knew as they launched their first fest this weekend in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

Inspiring Kitchen Chicago Food + Wine Festival

This two-day food and wine celebration highlighted our local chefs and their restaurants including those that are soon to be opening in Chicago. (See Monteverde from Chef Sarah Grueneberg and Earl’s Kitchen and Bar). The fest was held in a beautiful park just to the north of Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile.… Read more