5 of the Best Cocktails to Enjoy This Fall

5 of the Best Cocktails to Enjoy This Fall

Forget the traditional beer and wine at parties—you don’t want to be like everyone else. Keep reading to discover five of the best cocktails to enjoy this fall!

Apple cider mimosas

Apple cider mimosas are the perfect fall drink. The cocktail combines refreshing champagne with a fall favorite, apple cider—and it’s super-easy to make. Simply fill a champagne flute a third of the way with the apple cider of your choosing and fill the rest with champagne. For an extra touch of autumn, use stylish champagne flutes with cute fall patterns for an extra touch.

Caramel apple mule

A caramel apple mule is the best fall cocktail for anyone with a sweet tooth. The inventive fusion of caramel vodka, ginger beer, and apple cider will satisfy any craving you have. This drink is amazing for anyone who wants to enjoy a cocktail on a brisk autumn evening. Combine the ingredients however you see fit—if the caramel vodka is too overpowering for you, pour in just a splash of that and add in more ginger beer.

Pumpkin spice martini

People who love pumpkin spice lattes will go crazy for a pumpkin spice martini. The mix of vanilla vodka, Irish cream, and pumpkin-flavored liqueur will remind you of your beloved coffee drink with an extra kick. Again, it’s okay to distribute the ingredients however you’d like. If the Irish cream is a little too heavy for you, simply use more vanilla vodka or pumpkin liqueur when making the drink.

Pumpkin beer float

This fall cocktail is great for ice cream-lovers. The blend of vanilla ice cream with pumpkin beer will make you feel like a kid again. For thematic purposes, try chilling a beer mug the night before you prepare the drink. Placing the cocktail in an authentic chilled mug will give it that true “float” feeling.

Autumn sangria

Typically, sangria is associated with summertime. However, by simply adding a touch of apple cider, you can have the perfect fall drink. Mix together a full bottle of red wine, a can of seltzer, a splash of orange juice, half a cup of brandy, and a dash of apple cider, and you’ve created one of the best cocktails to enjoy this fall.

Five Perfect Gifts for People Who Love Wine

Five Perfect Gifts for People Who Love Wine


Choosing the perfect gift can be stressful. You want it to be personal and memorable, and you don’t want it to end up at the bottom of a storage box collecting dust. As such, it’s important to consider the recipient’s interests. If wine happens to be one of those interests, you’re in luck! There are so many wine-related gifts ideas to choose from that any oenophile would love. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, these gifts for people who love wine are sure to impress.

Customizable wine glasses

Whether they enjoy drinking merlot, chardonnay, or riesling, the recipient is sure to enjoy a customized glass for their wine of choice. To make the gift more personal, consider labeling the glassware with their name, their monogram, or a fun logo.

Wine pearls

Give the gift of a cold, refreshing drink with wine pearls. Even if a drink is served cold, it’s likely to become lukewarm over time. While one could simply put ice cubes in their drink, doing so can dilute the taste. To keep the wine cool while maintaining the flavor, wine pearls are a great option.

Wall-mounted corkscrew

A wall-mounted corkscrew ensures that your gift recipient will never again have to dig through their drawers to find a corkscrew. These screw into your wall, and they’re designed to give you the perfect leverage to quickly and easily open your wine bottle. This gift is perfect for someone looking to take their in-home bar to the next level.

Wine bottle stoppers

An unfinished bottle of wine should never go to waste. Help your special someone preserve their half-finished bottles by gifting them with a wine stopper.

Gift cards to their favorite bars

Gift cards might not seem very personal, but when you buy multiple cards to your recipient’s favorite bars or wineries, they can comprise a meaningful present. Simply purchase a few cards with enough money to purchase a glass or two at each location, and your loved one will be geared up for a fun night of drinking.

How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken

How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken
Grocery stores don’t have to have a monopoly on the rotisserie chicken market. They make a decent product, to be sure, but you could be making a better one at home. Learning how to prepare a rotisserie chicken doesn’t take years of study. A few simple grilling tools, some spices, and a plucked bird are all you need to cook like a master chef.

Set up the Grill

First things first: take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature. This will allow it to cook faster. Before you start the grill, get the rotisserie set up and remove the spit: you don’t want to reach over a hot grill and burn yourself. If you have a gas grill, turn the burners to medium and close the lid so that the inside can heat up. If you have a charcoal grill, light the coals; once they have all turned white, divide them and push half to either side of the grill—the chicken should cook over indirect heat.

Prepare the Bird

Once the chicken has come to room temperature, remove it from the packaging, remove the innards, and dry it off with a paper towel. Next, truss the chicken with butcher’s twine so that the chicken will remain stable on the spit and rotate smoothly. Tying the legs and wings so that they’ remain close to the body of the chicken will keep them from burning and allow them to cook evenly with the rest of the bird. Finally, slide the spit through one end of the poultry and out the other. Make sure the bird is positioned in the middle of the spit.

Season the Bird

With the chicken on the spit, it’ll now be easier to season. Have someone help you turn the spit to get the seasoning all over. Rub olive oil all over the chicken first; this will make the skin crispy and help the seasoning stick. Mix your favorite seasonings in a bowl so that you can rub them on all at once. There are a lot of good spices for chicken, but the best are the simplest: salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

Take it to the Grill

Now that the chicken is tied, skewered, and seasoned, it’s time to put it on the grill. Put the spit into your rotisserie and turn it on. Before you close the lid and walk away, make sure it’s turning smoothly. A lopsided rotisserie will have to work harder, and you run the risk of burning up the motor. The total cook time should be about 90 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is. Use a temperature probe and make sure the internal temp is at least 165 degrees. Anything less than that, and you could get sick. Once you’re sure the chicken is done roasting, take it off the grill and let it rest for 20 minutes or so. Cutting into it right away will let all those delicious juices escape, and then you’ll have dry chicken.

How to Create an Original Recipe You’ll Be Proud Of

How to Create an Original Recipe You’ll Be Proud Of

When people are coming to your restaurant, they’re coming for your food in particular. There’s no better way to improve your restaurant menu and show people what makes your palate unique than by crafting signature dishes. To bring your restaurant to the next level, here’s how to create an original recipe that your guests will love.

Stick with what you love

This is key when it comes to how to create an original recipe—stick with what you love. It’s all too easy to lose sight of your own unique tastes when trying to keep up with what’s trendy. If you feel stuck, turn back to those dishes that always bring you joy, comfort, and conjure up happy memories. Channel those flavors and feelings to understand the direction in which you should go.

Be creative with your cooking methods

To create something that will really blow people away, you’ve got to think outside the box. Don’t just stick to the same old methods; instead, get creative with how you prepare your dishes. From broiling to baking to frying, each preparation technique will craft something entirely different. Keep on thinking outside the box, and soon enough, you’ll hit on something that is pure gold.

Don’t be shy to have others try it

If you’re the only one tasting your dish, you’ll never get a true sense of its potential. Step outside of your own bubble and make sure tons of people try it. Have both culinary professionals and those outside your chef’s circle give it a try—this way, you’ll get a wide variety of opinions. There’s no need to be worried about others trying it, as the aspiration is to share it with the world at large anyway. Think of it with that mindset and serving it up won’t seem quite as daunting.

Keep on trying until it works

Whatever you do, no matter how discouraged you might get, don’t give up on crafting the perfect original recipe. As with anything, there will be plenty of trial and error. Not every experiment will work, and it’s very unlikely you’ll create the perfect recipe on the very first try. Just keep at it, continue tweaking aspects and perfecting flavors, and eventually, you’ll land on a dish that’s unlike any other. There’s no better aspiration for a chef than to create an original dish, and with the right strategies, you’ll land on it in no time.

Calling all Foodies: 7 Countries with the Best Food Around

Calling all Foodies 7 Countries with the Best Food Around

One of the greatest pleasures while traveling is trying a smorgasbord of foods. From the heavenly spices of Indian cuisine to the timeless dishes Italy has to offer, an essential part of experiencing any culture is tasting the food. For all the traveling foodies, here are the countries with the best food.

Mexico

Colorful, varied, and flavorful, Mexican cuisine always makes for a delicious meal. Rich and spicy, fans of avocado, tomato, beans, and rice will be in heaven. Mole, an ancient sauce, is delicious on nearly everything, and there’s nothing tastier than well-made tamales. You’ll want to have a margarita on the side to wash it all down before you go back for seconds.

Italy

Any list of the countries with the best food would be remiss without Italy. With its incredibly fresh ingredients, comforting dishes, and simple recipes, just about everybody loves what the Bel Paese has to offer. When you’re there, a slice of authentic pizza, a plate of spaghetti, and a piping hot cup of coffee are all musts.

France

Food and romance go together like wine and cheese, making this romantic country a perfect destination for food lovers. Its bread, cheese, and wine are renowned around the world, so no matter what you pick up in a café, it’ll be fresh and delicious. Standout dishes include bouillabaisse, ratatouille, and coquilles Saint-Jacques. On the sweet side, indulge in some macaroons—there’s nothing quite like them.

Greece

Greece has put olive oil—the gift of the gods—to good use in over the years. Spread upon almost every Greek dish, it adds depth and deliciousness to each bite. Spanakopita is another delicacy here, filled with spinach, feta cheese, and part of a wonderfully flaky pastry. It’s hard not to be happy in this land filled with beautiful views and top-notch dishes.

Japan

Foodies around the world have Japan to thank for bringing sushi to life. Beyond those delicate and intricate creations, Japan is home to miso soup, tempura, and udon. Versatile and stunning to behold, Japan is the perfect destination for those who want to try something new.

India

Although a haven for vegetarians, there are incredible dishes for meat-lovers in India as well. Known for its abundance of spices, Indian food is flavorful in the extreme. You can’t go wrong with curry, but for something outside the box, try dosa. It’s a pancake stuffed with cheese, vegetables, and any spices that will punch up the flavor. 

Thailand

Although pad thai is a mouth-watering dish, there are even more delicacies that Thailand has to offer. Street food is the way to go in this country, and each bite will offer up a plethora of flavors. Each dish is awash in spices, creating complex and satisfying flavors. Som tam is a must-try dish, with its combo of sour, spicy, and sweet. Whatever you pick up from the vendors, it’s sure to be a divine culinary experience.

5 Delicious Drink Recipes for Summer Parties

5 Delicious Drink Recipes for Summer Parties

Throwing a party this summer? Once you figure out your menu, it’s time to think about drinks! Barbeques, beach parties, and outdoor dinners all benefit from a drink table. Stock it up with water, drinks for children (if appropriate), and a big batch of cocktails. To ensure your next party is a hit, we put together some of the best drink recipes for summer parties—you won’t be able to get enough!

1. Moscow Mule Punch

Moscow Mule Punch

How can you go wrong with a massive batch of Moscow mule? It’s the perfect mix of light and refreshing for a hot day outside. It also pairs wonderfully with food right off the grill. All you need is ginger beer, your favorite vodka, lime, and mint. Get the full recipe here.

2. Giggle Juice

Giggle Juice

Perfect for a dinner party with the girls, this light pink drink is sweet, bubbly, and sure to get you laughing. Giggle Juice is great for when you’re tired of or don’t have time to prepare sangria. Grab a bottle of Moscato and pour it into a pitcher with three cups of pink lemonade, a can of Sprite, a cup of vodka, and as many strawberries and sliced lemons as you’d like. It’s super delicious!

3. Pineapple Rosé Sangria

Pineapple Rosé Sangria

The heat won’t be a bother when you’re sipping on this tasty drink. Whether inside or outside, this drink is simple and refreshing. Combine a bottle of rosé and two cups of pineapple juice, and you’ll be slurping down this treat in no time. Throw in raspberries, blackberries, and pineapple so it’ll look as good as it tastes.

4. Strawberry Gin Smash

Strawberry Gin Smash

This simple recipe makes the perfect quick drink for barbeques. Muddling, mixing, sipping—it can all make for a scrumptious summer drink. This recipe calls for gin, club soda, mint, lime, and strawberries. Find the recipe here so you can see for yourself what a hit this drink is.

5. Margarita Punch

Margarita Punch

If you’ve been looking for a delicious big-batch of margaritas, we’ve found the perfect recipe for you. This margarita punch contains all the best ingredients—it’s light and delightfully flavorful. For the tequila lovers at your parties, this is the drink to have on hand—check out the recipe!

As fun as summertime parties can be, it’s still important to practice safe drinking habits—especially when you’re in the sun all day. At your next get together, remember to responsibly indulge in these delicious drinks.

Mane Event, Taste of Arlington Heights 2019 on Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3; Precedes Arlington Million

The annual Mane Event and the Taste of Arlington Heights events are coming soon to downtown Arlington Heights, at Vail Ave. and Campbell St., on August 2 and 3, 2019.

The Mane Event will be held from 5 – 11 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019

The Taste of Arlington Heights will be held from Noon – 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 3.

Each event showcases food and refreshments from Arlington Heights local restaurants with live music, and children’s entertainment.

The Mane Event and Taste of Arlington Heights events are back-to-back street festivals located on Vail Avenue and Campbell Street near the intersection of Vail Avenue and Campbell Street.



The Mane Event Arlington Heights
The Mane Event, from 5 – 11 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019, is planned by the Special Events Commission.

Mane Event Lineup Friday
5 - 11 p.m. Business Expo
5 - 8 p.m. Children’s Entertainment
6 p.m. The Jet Set Quartet
8 p.m. 7th Heaven

The fun continues with the Taste of Arlington Heights, which occurs the day after the Mane Event ...

Taste of Arlington Heights Saturday
The Taste of Arlington Heights, from Noon – 11 p.m. on Saturday August 3, 2019,  is organized by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Taste of Arlington Heights Lineup
Noon -1:30 p.m. DJ/Kids Entertainment
2 - 3 p.m. Kevin Purcell and the Root Doctors
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Indigo Band
5 - 6 p.m. School of Rock
6:30 - 8 p.m. Sugar Highway
8:30 - 11 p.m. ARRA

Parking info below ad ...



Parking for the Events
There are several convenient parking locations for these downtown events. The Vail Garage just north of Sigwalt Street and Vail Avenue fills quickly, but other parking areas nearby include the Municipal Garage at Sigwalt and Arlington Heights Road and the surface parking lots along Northwest Highway between Ridge Avenue and Evergreen Avenue. See also Downtown Parking Map.

These two events lead up to the Arlington Million, the Arlington Park Racetrack’s premiere event held on Saturday, August 10, at 2200 W. Euclid Avenue.

The Sudden Rise of Meal Kits Offered by Grocers


Meal kits are still all the rage. Why? They make life easier—meal kits are ideal for those who want to cook healthy dishes, but simply don’t have time. These kits also allow people to experiment with ingredients they never used before and concoct meals they’d never prepare otherwise.

You’re probably already familiar with online meal kit subscriptions such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh—these types of companies created meal kits to provide consumers with ready-to-make meals. In turn, their customers wouldn’t have to step foot into grocery stores. However, the truth is that people still shop at supermarkets, so retail distribution proved necessary. Over the past few years, meal kits quickly made their appearances in stores all over the country.

Advantages of In-Store Grocery Meal Kits

While people are still purchasing online meal kit subscriptions, there’s no denying that meal kits offered by grocers have a competitive edge. To start, online meal kit companies will jack up prices to cover convenience and packaging. On the other hand, supermarkets can sell meal kits at lower prices, as they don’t have to worry about these components. Additionally, customers don’t have to lock themselves into a predetermined menu each week; people can shop as needed without committing to a subscription. They also won’t have to worry about wasting food, since they don’t have to necessarily buy a week’s worth of food all at once. Plus, unlike meal kit companies that cater to a small population, grocery stores can tap into a very specific demographic—the people who still want the in-store shopping experience but will end up buying meal kits to save time and expand their culinary horizons.

Challenges Meal Kit Companies Face

Due to the clear benefits we listed above, most online meal kit companies resorted to partnering with grocers in efforts to maintain their brands’ significance. However, they encountered challenges by doing so. To ensure certain meal kits would stay fresh on store shelves, companies needed to adjust them, and perfecting the recipes isn’t a quick process. Companies also realized that they couldn’t rotate their recipes as often if they wanted to appeal to the masses.

Who Offers Meal Kits, and Where Can I Find Them?

Numerous grocery store companies, such as Albertsons and Kroger, and superstores, such as Costco and Walmart, currently sell meal kits. Some of the meal kits offered by grocers include options from Home Chef and Plated. Customers can find meal kits in their favorite grocery store’s deli section.

5 Delicious Recipes to Bring to a Picnic this Summer

5 Delicious Recipes to Bring to a Picnic this Summer

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and spend some time with your friends and family. These dishes are the perfect recipes to bring to a picnic, whether you’re packing up a basket and heading to the park or loading the cooler for a day at the beach.

Dill Scallion Dip

Dill Scallion Dip


This creamy dip couldn’t be easier to make and serves as the perfect picnic appetizer. Simply mix sour cream and mayonnaise with fresh scallions, dill, garlic, and lemon zest and set in the fridge to chill. You can make this dip in under 10 minutes and can serve it with a variety of dipping items—from potato chips to fresh vegetables.

Italian Pinwheels

Italian Pinwheels


For a main dish that’s miles above a boring PB&J sandwich, try these quick and easy Italian pinwheels. These pinwheels are extremely simple to make, so you can easily whip up enough to feed the whole crowd. Just roll together all the delicious ingredients of a classic Italian sub to create these pinwheels—it’s a lighter dish that’s the perfect recipe to bring to a picnic.

Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade

Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade


After feasting on your delicious picnic spread you’ll need something to wet your whistle. This recipe puts a sweet twist on the classic lemonade we all know and love from childhood. The fresh watermelon and strawberries in this recipe give the lemonade a bright red color that makes it the perfect addition to your Fourth of July picnic.

Southern-Style Potato Salad

Southern-Style Potato Salad


Potato salad is a classic picnic dish, and this Southern take on the recipe is sure to make it a new household favorite. This recipe takes the traditional ingredients to the next level with boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish, grape tomatoes, and savory bacon bits. Not a fan of pickles and eggs? No worries. You can easily remove or substitute these ingredients and the dish will still be delicious.

Chocolate Filled Strawberries

Chocolate Filled Strawberries


This two-ingredient recipe is the perfect dessert to finish off your summer picnic. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are delicious, but the chocolate coating has a bad habit of cracking and melting all over your hands. This recipe takes away the mess by inserting the chocolate inside the strawberries. These sweet treats travel well and are a great dessert to add to your picnic basket.

5 of the Best Summer Grilling Recipes for Your Next Cookout


It’s officially summer—the season of swimming, sun, and, of course, cookouts with friends and family. The time has come to break out the grill and invite some company over. These are some of the best summer grilling recipes you can serve to your guests at your next backyard gathering.

Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade

Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade

It isn’t a summer cookout without a rack or two of baby back ribs. This whiskey-marinated twist on classic barbeque ribs is just what you need to get into the summer spirit.

Ingredients:


Marinated Ribs
3 racks baby back ribs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whiskey
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Honey Glaze and Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Korean red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons sugar

Tip: If you don’t have any Korean red pepper flakes on hand, you can get the same flavor by using 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper instead.

Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

A perfect melding of sweet and savory flavors, this recipe is an easy way to satisfy even the most indecisive of taste buds.

Ingredients:


Skewers
16 ounces chicken breast
1/2 of a pineapple
1 onion
2 green peppers

Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ginger
1 clove garlic

Grilled Triple Citrus Salmon

Grilled Triple Citrus Salmon

Though grilled salmon is already a summer favorite, you can kick this classic up a notch with the sweet and tangy flavors of lemon, lime, and orange.

Ingredients:


4 (6-ounce) pieces of salmon
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Tip: To get a stronger flavor, save some of the excess sauce and brush it onto the salmon before serving.

Grilled Scallops with Lemony Salsa Verde

Grilled Scallops with Lemony Salsa Verde

Grilled scallops have an iconic melt-in-your-mouth texture that many wish they could have every day. If you want restaurant-quality seafood in your own backyard, this recipe will give you just that.

Ingredients:


Scallops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 large sea scallops
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Lemony Salsa Verde
½ lemon
1 small shallot
1 garlic clove
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup chives
Fresh lemon juice

Grilled Apple Pie à la Mode

Grilled Apple Pie à la Mode

When the rest of the meal is finished, you don’t need to pack up the grill just yet. In fact, simply grilling a few apples can make for a quick and easy improvisational dessert.

Ingredients:


4 large Fuji apples
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 graham crackers
2 cups vanilla ice cream

Grab the propane tank and equip yourself with some tongs, because these grilling recipes are sure to appease your taste buds—and those of your guests—this summer.

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