Category Archives: Food

New Product News From My Friends at Chobani – Tubes and Bites

I’ve posted about my family’s love for Chobani here and they won me over again when a little shipment of yogurt goodness arrived on my doorstep last week. It was filled with Chobani’s new Champion Tubes – which rock because they are portable! The girls gobbled them up so fast I had to run out and buy more. Thankfully this new product (as of January) was at my local grocery store.

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Also in the box was a treat for the adults – Chobani Bites – 3.5 ounce cups of yogurt with just 100 calories and 8 grams of protein. They are the perfect substitute for my 3 P.M. latte. They are much more nutritious than a cup of coffee AND they come in coffee flavor with dark chocolate chips. Perfect!

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If you want to win some Chobani yogurt, visit their Facebook page to enter their weekly giveaways!

Ode to a Chicago Mom Blogger’s Thanksgiving Prep

Was the day before Thanksgiving and what did I do?

Went to Sunset Foods to pick up my turkey and fight the old people, it’s true.

Then off to Bent Fork Bakery to purchase my pies.

Cherry, apple and pumpkin…I can’t wait to try.

I brined my bird with a dry rub of pepper, sugar and salt.

Baked Aunt M’s carrot cake, some cornbread and cranberry sauce – oye gavelt!

My table is set with napkins, plates, glasses and forks.

I’ll be glad tomorrow when the bottle of Preseco uncorks.

Tonight’s the biggest party night of the year.

While the young folk are out, I’ll be in bed my dear.

A Happy Thanksgiving to you I wish.

Stuff yourself silly and try every dish.

The Best Meal I Ever Cooked

NaBloPoMo – Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – Talk About the Best Meal You Ever Cooked

I don’t often brag, well at least not about myself (always about my kids), but I’m a very good cook. It was kind of a surprising discovery. I didn’t have a lot of interest in food or cooking growing up. My mom cooked dinner every night of the week, I was used to having home-cooked meals. Naturally, I wanted to do the same for my husband and family.

mom bloggers make pie

I recently made my first apple pie

After I was married, I took a few classes at The Chopping Block, watched a lot of Food Network and realized that not only could I whip up some pretty delicious meals, I actually enjoyed it. There is something soothing to me about being in the kitchen. Maybe it’s the OCD in me, but I love lining up my ingredients and kitchen tools and getting to work.

I definitely have my quick weeknight standbys that I know everyone likes and they don’t take a lot of time to prepare. And I try to make everything very healthy and clean.

When I have time to really get down and cook, I think the best meal I make is Beef Bourguignon with Potatoes Gratin. I use Ina Garten‘s recipe for my inspiration.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been busy preparing my menu. I’ll be hosting for the second time this year. Last year I was eight months pregnant and hosted, so this year should be much easier.

Dream Job: I Would Replace Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

NaBloPoMo – Thursday, November 8, 2012 – If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

I’m a little obsessed with reality cooking shows, the Food Network, the Chicago dining scene and celebrity chefs. I love to eat and try new restaurants. Right now I’m very into local farm-to-table places. The food is just so fresh and so good.

So if I could have any job in the world and instantly have the qualifications to do it, I would be a celebrity chef and host my own show.

I think that chefs are absolute rock stars. I love that some are total divas (mostly it’s the men), but I love it even more when chefs are friendly and just so glad you came to eat at their restaurant.

I’d would totally replace Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This is one of my favorite shows and I just have to look past that he is the host. I don’t really like when he goes dipping his fingers in everything and taking enormous mouthfuls of food. BUT this show is like food porn for me. Travel and greasy spoons…amazing.

What a great gig that would be.

If you could have any job, what would you want to do?

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween

This weekend was jam packed with Fall festivities.

On Saturday night we braved our way through the thick crowd at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival. This festival, now in its third year, is becoming an annual tradition in my neck of the woods. It wasn’t around when I was growing up, but watching 32,000 pumpkins going up on large  scaffolding and then being lit all at once to break a Guinness record has become part of our fall family repertoire. It was more crowded this year than ever before, but still worth attending. Watch HGTV’s Pumpkin Wars on Halloween to see what it’s all about.

On Sunday, we went to Apple Holler in WI. We had never been apple picking, and while the pickings sure were slim (thanks to a draught this summer), it was more about the experience. The trees are small enough that you don’t need ladders to reach the apples. Mia had a great time trying to spot apples in the trees and then picking them to haul home later. I’m going to make an apple pie for the first time ever with what we brought home.

Tonight we carved our pumpkin. I have to admit we picked up a pumpkin at the grocery store this year. We just ran out of time to visit our local pumpkin patch. I thought we might grab a pumpkin at the apple orchard, but everyone was too tired to look for one after a long day of picking apples. This is the first year where Mia really understood what it was to carve a pumpkin. She was so excited, but when I cut the hole and pulled off the top with the stringy guts and seeds, she got totally grossed out. She did make up a song about carving a pumpkin, which went something like “scooping out the guts is fun.” I ended up gutting the pumpkin myself, but did call her back over to help dictate what his face should look like (triangle eyes, circle nose and smiley mouth).

The seeds are drying out now waiting to be roasted. Here’s my post from last year about roasting pumpkin seeds.

On Thursday, October 25, my city will hold a Halloween festival downtown with trick or treating at local retailers, pony rides, pumpkin carving and other fun events. Come check it out! We went last year and it was very cute. We’ll be there again this year!

Happy Halloween!

This Post is Sponsored By Chobani Champions

A few weeks ago I was invited by the great folks at Chobani to an afternoon of cooking at the Chopping Block. When you put Chobani, Chopping Block and cooking together, I’m all about it. At the event, we were going to have the opportunity to taste all four flavors of the new Chobani Champions, the first Greek yogurt made just for kids.

Sidebar: I LOVE Chobani Greek yogurt. I have it almost every morning for breakfast. Peach is my favorite flavor and I love to throw a few slivered almonds in it to give it some crunch. I was so excited to see a variety made just for kids, because Mia loves yogurt.

But I was totally bummed, my family was going to be out of town the weekend of this fun event. Sadly, I had to decline.

Lo and behold, a few weeks later, a box appears on my front doorstep.

When I opened it up there were cases upon cases of Chobani Champions. I have to admit, I was dying to try the new Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, so my husband and I tore right into a box and sampled it. It was the perfect amount of chocolate bits to compliment the creamy vanilla yogurt. It makes a great dessert and we actually hide this flavor and save it for the adults.

Mia has been enjoying the other flavors – Orange Vanilla, Honey Vanilla (her favorite) and Verry Berry. She’ll eat a container for breakfast with a side of cut up fruit, or have a serving for her afternoon snack.

I love Chobani Champions because:

  • I know it fills her up (it’s packed with protein)
  • It doesn’t contain any processed ingredients along with artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, and sweeteners.
  • It’s made with milk that is not treated with rBST. This is a huge rule in our home – only diary products from cows that are rBST free. I’m raising two girls – we’ll have enough hormones in this house.

I was going to serve my product samples at Mia’s third birthday party, but on second thought we decided to keep it all to ourselves. It was just too good to let out of our fridge.

Disclosure: As mentioned, I received Chobani Champions courtesy of Chobani. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

A Taste of Halloween

I have very distinct childhood memories of carving pumpkins. You see my father has a bit of a pumpkin seed obsession. He loves to roast his own seeds. Every year we would carve our pumpkins, he would make homemade pumpkin seeds and we would eat them up.

Now that I have a proper front porch and Mia is old enough to get into the spirit of Halloween, I decided it’s time to start this tradition with my own family. We went to the pumpkin patch at Didier Farms, picked out a pumpkin to take home with us and carved him up over the weekend.

I diligently scooped out the guts, sorted through the seeds and left them to dry overnight. The next day I simply popped them in the oven and baked them at 350 degrees until they were a nice golden brown color. Mia is too young to enjoy the seeds now, but hopefully as she gets older, she’ll come to love them as much as I do!