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.

The 6 Best Chocolate Shops in Northern Illinois

The 6 Best Chocolate Shops in Northern Illinois
When you think of Illinois cuisine, Chicago delicacies tend to get all the love and attention. Granted, there’s a ton of choices and plenty of talented people creating delicious food in the city. However, there are great things happening throughout the Chicago tri-state area.

Today, we’re focusing on the sweeter side of things. Our list includes chocolatiers residing in the suburbs—discover six of our favorite chocolate shops in northern Illinois.

Ethereal Confections

113 S. Benton St. Woodstock, IL (in the historic Square)


Ethereal Confections
Upon visiting Ethereal Confections, yousample their delicious pastries, chocolates, and unique beverages—all made from scratch. They don’t cut any corners here, especially when it comes to their own unique creations such as melting chocolate and mixing it with cream to make a wonderful “drinking chocolate.”

Riverside Chocolate Factory

2102 W. IL 120 McHenry, IL


Riverside Chocolate Factory
Shaped like the top of a medieval castle, this shop is located across from what used to be a drive-in movie theater. This environment feeds into the familiar throwback vibe of the candy shop that many recognize it for. Customers from far and wide visit the factory—they’ll even get special creations, such as the chocolate covered bacon, shipped to them.

Anderson’s Candy Shop

10301 N. Main St. Richmond, IL


Anderson’s Candy Shop
For over 100 years, the Anderson family has made the best candies and chocolates around. Four generations have taken up the family trade in order to keep the tradition alive. They have a wide range of chocolate treats; however, if they don’t make what you want, they will! All you have to do is ask.

The Confectionary

149 N. 2nd St. DeKalb, IL


The Confectionary
Started in 1982, this family-owned shop is known for its small-batch creations. Every piece of candy is handmade and hand-dipped to perfection. Their chocolate covered Oreos and pretzel rods are especially decadent. Plus, they’re planning on opening an online shop in the future, so everyone can indulge in their creations.

Belgian Chocolatier Piron

509-A Main St. Evanston, IL


Belgian Chocolatier Piron
In the 1980s, Bob Piron traveled to Antwerp, Belgium, to learn about chocolate at the hands of a master. When he returned to Illinois, he and his brother Fred decided to open a shop. Each impeccable treat is handmade and hand-wrapped in their signature gold ballotin boxes and finished with hand-tied ribbons.

Long Grove Confectionary

220 Robert Parker Coffin Rd. Long Grove, IL


Long Grove Confectionary
The Long Grove Confectionary’s chocolate creations began taking shape in 1975 in a small red schoolhouse. This location was special because it allowed customers to see the process that goes into making their treats. Although the shop expanded over the years, people can still purchase their famous candy, such as Pecan Myrtle, at the tiny red schoolhouse.

5 of the Biggest Celebrity Chefs in the World




We love to watch them dash back and forth in the kitchen and create amazing food fusion. But celebrity chefs do more than serve up our favorite dishes—they entertain us with their antics, wit, and larger than life personalities.

Gordon Ramsey



https://vegnews.com/2019/1/gordon-ramsay-kicks-off-2019-with-new-vegan-menu

The hot-tempered, foulmouthed Scot has made a name for himself with his Michelin starred restaurants and fiery behavior on his hit TV shows. Ramsey began making a name for himself when working for his mentor and fellow hot-head, Joel Robuchon. Since, he has forged his own cooking empire and now teaches people how to cook, saves failing restaurants, and runs his own businesses.

Rachel Ray



https://www.foodnetwork.com/profiles/talent/rachael-ray

Ray started off teaching people to cook 30-minute meals at a specialty foods store in New York. That led to a weekly spot on a local news broadcast, which led to her first cookbook, 30-Minute Meals by Rachael Ray, and then her first Food Network contract in 2001. She is now a dominant figure in the food industry and has her own magazine, day time talk show, and several programs on Food Network.

Wolfgang Puck



https://fact-magazine.com/index.php/2018/02/08/culinary-king-wolfgang-puck/

Young Wolfgang learned to cook from his mother who was a pastry chef in Austria. When he turned 24, Puck moved to the United States and opened his first restaurant, Spago, in Los Angeles. He pioneered the concept of using quality ingredients that complement each other in odd ways. Coined the first celebrity chef, he now has a multi-million-dollar catering company, Wolfgang Puck Express restaurants, and dozens of restaurants around the world.

Emeril Lagasse



https://vegas.eater.com/2019/1/16/18184697/emeril-lagasse-opens-new-york-restaurant

Working in a Portuguese bakery, Emeril discovered his talent at an early age. Over time, he began to master his skills and became passionate about Creole and Cajun cooking. This led him to open his first restaurant, Emeril, in New Orleans. Along with this, he was also the original host of How to Boil Water on Food Network, making him a household. With catchphrases like, “kick it up a notch,” “BAM!,” and “Feel the love,” his huge personality has made him a food superstar.

Giada De Laurentiis



https://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/baltimore-diner-blog/bs-fo-giada-20171025-story.html

Born in Rome and educated in the United States, Giada decided she didn’t want to join the family business of acting. She instead attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with dreams of becoming a pastry chef. When she came back to the U.S., she worked at Spago under Wolfgang Puck. This mentorship would open the doors to many future opportunities. In 2002, Food Network contacted Giada about developing her own show—Everyday Italian premiered in 2003. She has since turned this into more television shows, two restaurants, and a line of cooking utensils.

10 Summertime Chicagoland Food Festivals in 2019

Winter is done, spring has sprung, and it’s time to venture outdoors to hit some parties and eat good food. All summer long, Chicagoland food festivals will whet your appetite. Check out this list of 2019’s food festivals in the area.

Taste of Chicago
Grant Park, Jackson St. & Columbus Dr. Chicago
July 10-14, 2019
Still one of the biggest and best food festivals, the Taste of Chicago celebrates its 39th year. Dozens of restaurants, food trucks, and pop ups will serve tasty treats from all over the world at this free event.

Ribfest in Naperville
Knoch Park, 724 South West St. Naperville, IL
July 3-6, 2019
This west suburban party is known for awesome musical acts and piles of rich, savory ribs. Listen to Flo Rida, Billy Idol, Brantley Gilbert, and others while you munch on delicious ribs before the fireworks.

Taste of Polonia
5216 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago (Copernicus Center)
Aug. 30-Sep. 2, 2019
The largest Polish festival in the U.S. will be back in Jefferson Park with a multitude of bands, stages, cooking demos, and family-friendly activities for everyone.

Tacos y Tamales Festival
18th St. & Peoria, Chicago (Pilsen)
July 19-21, 2019
Modeled after the traditional Tianguis, the Tacos y Tamales Festival brings the sound and aroma of a Mexican market to the Pilsen neighborhood. Stages will have traditional music during the day and high energy Latin rock at night.

Windy City Smoke Out
1901 W. Madison St. Chicago (United Center)
July 12-14, 2019
Put on your cowboy boots and hat before heading to this celebration of country music, smoked meat, and craft beer. The biggest names in country music and the best pit masters from all over the country will make you forget you’re in the city.

Chicago Hotdog Fest
Stockton and LaSalle Dr., Chicago (Lincoln Park)
Aug. 9-11, 2019
Nothing says Chicago quite like hot dogs. Enjoy regional styles from all over the country and learn the history of the classic food at this event sponsored by the Chicago History Museum.

Chicago’s Only Ice Cream Festival
Antique Taco 1000 W. 35th St. Chicago
July 21, 2019
Hot summer days call for tasty frozen treats. There’s no better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day than with two scoops in a waffle cone at this Chicagoland food festival.

Ribfest Chicago
Lincoln Ave. from Irving Park Rd. to Burteau Ave. Chicago
June 14-16, 2019
Follow your nose to the wood burning smokers cooking up amazing ribs in every regional style. Celebrate ribs and rock & roll while you watch titans of competitive eating compete in Rib Mania VII.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
2000 W. Belmont, Chicago (Roscoe Village)
July 13 and 14, 2019
Have a flippin’ good time at this family-friendly neighborhood party. Burgers and fries, the Kid Zone, and lots of music make this a must attend event this summer.

Great American Lobster Fest
Navy Pier, Chicago
Aug. 30-Sep. 1, 2019
The Midwest’s largest seafood fest has live lobster, live music, and lots of libations at Navy Pier. Don’t forget your lobster cracker and extra napkins because it could get messy.

5 Vegan-Friendly Dessert Shops in Chicago

5 vegan friendly shops in chicago

Below, we share five vegan-friendly dessert shops in Chicago. Because no matter your dietary needs, you deserve to have sweets!

Defloured

defloured

Located just minutes from the Red Line in Andersonville, this gluten-free bakery has an amazing mission: to make dessert accessible to everyone. Vegans and those who live with food allergies or Celiac disease can enjoy sweets from Defloured knowing they’re free of any unwelcome ingredients. The shop uses soy-free butter and flax eggs to create their delectable desserts. Customers can choose from a wide selection of delicious vegan goodies, including cake pops, cookies, dessert bars, pies, and whoopie pies.

Loving Heart

loving heart

https://www.happycow.net/reviews/loving-heart-chicago-42807

Loving Heart is a small café with an impressive plant-based menu. In addition to handmade salads, soups, wraps, and other savory menu items, they also serve decadent, 100% vegan cakes. These desserts are made with mostly USDA-certified organic ingredients, so they’re not just good—they’re good for you, too. Currently, the café offers Apple Ginger Cake, Double Chocolate Cake, and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. The shop also brews coffee and tea, the perfect accompaniments to your sweet snack.

Swirlz Cupcakes

swirlz cupcakes

Located in charming Lincoln Park, Swirlz has created unique vegan desserts for over a decade. Their cupcakes are made from rice flours and dedicated vegan equipment, so you can trust that they’re completely free of dairy, egg, gluten, and wheat. Additionally, Swirlz makes their batters, buttercreams, and fillings fresh daily. The shop offers 18 irresistible vegan flavors, including Banana Nutella, Double Chocolate, and S’mores. Flavors vary depending on the day of the week, so stopping in for a treat is always very tempting!

West Town Bakery

west town bakery

https://www.yelp.com/biz/west-town-bakery-and-diner-chicago

West Town Bakery is a sustainable bakery you must visit. The shop has three Chicago locations: River North, Wrigleyville, and, of course, West Town. They serve vegan cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, and much more. West Town Bakery strives to use local and all-natural ingredients whenever possible. They also follow Earth-friendly practices, from using eco-friendly packaging and green lighting to recycling at the end of the day.

Upton’s Breakroom

uptons bakery

https://www.facebook.com/UptonsBreakroom/

Upton’s Naturals is widely known for their high-quality vegan grocery products. So if you love their food, don’t hesitate to visit their breakroom on Grand Avenue. Vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy the shop’s offerings; customers love Upton’s Breakroom for their cookies, malts, and shakes. Plus, they also offer delicious Temptation Soft Serve Ice Cream—when you arrive, be sure to ask about their available flavors and toppings.

7 of the Best Seafood Boil Restaurants in the U.S.


The magnificence of a seafood boil should never go unnoticed. Chow down on the wonders of the sea and enjoy an explosion of flavor—whether that be Cajun, Thai Chili, or Lemon Pepper. Delve into delectable dishes full of potatoes, your choice of seafood, sausages, and more. You won’t want to miss out on visiting these incredible American seafood boil restaurants.

Best Seafood Boil Restaurants in the U.S.


1. Skull Creek Boathouse

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
skull creek boathouse

This landmark waterfront restaurant has all the seafood boil necessities. Choose from a boil with snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, and oysters, or keep it simple with their Lowcountry Boil which relies heavily on excellent shrimp flavors. They offer a wide variety of seafood plate options as well if you want to switch it up.

2. The Boil

New York, New York
the boil

At the Boil, guests can experience authentic Cajun flavor in New York. Playing with various old-fashioned Creole cooking styles, they craft everything on the menu to bring unbelievable flavor to your taste buds. Get ready to get messy with their combos featuring crawfish, lobster, and crab.

3. The Angry Crab

Chicago, IL
the angry crab

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-angry-crab-chicago-6
The popularity of The Angry Crab is well-deserved—they give you the freshest possible seafood options and lather them up with your choice of seasoning and spice. Make this seafood boil your own by adding any of their 11 different seafood options. You’re sure to leave with dirty hands and a happy stomach.

4. The Juicy Seafood

Savannah, GA
the juicy seafood

You’ll have no problem finding excellent seafood in the south, but Juicy Seafood has some of the best. They’re the ultimate choice for all seafood cravings—start with some perfectly fried calamari and then dive right into their boil. Choose your favorite fish from their various options and get to cracking!

5. The Boiling Crab 

Cities in California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Texas
the boiling crab

People all over the United States cannot get enough of this restaurant. If you’re heading to the West Coast and need a Cajun fix, then the Boiling Crab is the perfect option. Choose from their four sauces—we recommend The Whole Sha-Bang! ®—then level up your spice flavor profile. Before you know it, you’ll be elbow deep in delicious seafood.

6. The Cajun Crawfish 

Seattle, WA
the cajun crawfish

This family-owned restaurant specializes in Vietnamese-Southern seafood cuisine. Thanks to Cajun Crawfish, even way up north you can experience a delectable home cooked southern experience. They have a wide range of seafood to choose from, from sea snails to blue prawns.

7. Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers

Rayne, LA
cajun claws seafood boilers

Specializing in crawfish, Cajun Claws boasts delectable seafood. Louisiana is home to numerous seafood restaurants that have their own spin on Cajun food—this is just one of the many tasty options. Their boiled combos come in massive portion sizes, so there’s no chance you’ll leave hungry.

5 of the Most Popular Food Trends in 2019



Each year brings a new wave of trends that revolutionize the food industry as we know it. Fortunately, 2019 is no different. From inventive takes on traditional treats to eco-friendly efforts, these are some of the most popular food trends in 2019.

“Ugly” produce

Every year, thousands of pounds of perfectly edible produce are tossed in the trash simply because the food’s physical appearance is imperfect. But that’s about to change in 2019, thanks to start-ups such as Imperfect Produce and Hungry Harvest. These companies send boxes of misshapen produce to your door for a discounted cost. You can expect to see an influx of organizations following in their footsteps as this “ugly” produce trend gains traction this year.

Dairy-free ice cream

A new wave of frozen treats made with avocado, coconut water, tahini, and even hummus are hitting the shelves this year. By replacing dairy, these nutrient-rich bases provide a tasty alternative for those who are lactose-intolerant, vegan, or simply health-conscious.

Sea snacks

Roasted seaweed has been a popular snack for quite some time, and now other ocean-inspired snacks are joining the mix. Seaworthy snacks you can expect to see on shelves include kelp jerky, puffed water lily seeds, and salmon skins. These bites provide healthier alternatives to fatty, meat-centric morsels.

Eco-friendly packaging 

Following last year’s anti-straw revolution, an increasing number of companies is trying to reduce their carbon footprints in 2019—starting with their packaging. Brands are coming up with new ways to make their food packaging eco-friendlier by using biodegradable or soy-based materials instead of plastics. Some restaurants are even trying to cut out packaging altogether by encouraging customers to bring their own food containers, cutlery, and bags.

Alternative meat munchies

In response to the growing veganism trend, alternative meat products—from veggie jerky to mushroom “bacon” chips—are piling up on grocery store shelves. These snacks don’t just taste like meat—they also include similar quantities of protein and amino acids that you would find in beef jerky or pork rind snacks.

Next time you’re perusing the shelves of your local supermarket, keep an eye out for these exciting and most popular food trends in 2019.


3 Delicious and Unique Cookie Recipes to Try


delicious and unique cookie recipes to try

While you can’t go wrong with a traditional chocolate chip cookie, sometimes it can be fun to shake things up by trying out a new flavor. Consider adding some variety to your typical desert line-up by experimenting with one of these delicious and unique cookie recipes.

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies

chocolate orange brownie cookies

These decadent orange brownie cookies combine fresh, fruity flavors with the rich taste of dark chocolate.
·         1 cup plus 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour (don’t pack your flour)
·         3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·         1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
·         ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
·         ¼ cup granulated sugar
·         1 teaspoon orange zest
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         2 tablespoons whole milk
·         7 ounces orange chocolate, chopped

Matcha Shortbread Cookies

matcha shortbread cookies

Finely ground green tea powder gives traditional shortbread cookies a whole new flavor in this unique recipe.
·         7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         6 tablespoons (1½ ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
·         1 egg yolk, at room temperature
·         ¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
·         ½ teaspoon kosher salt
·         6 tablespoons (1¾ ounces) almond meal
·         2 teaspoons matcha tea
·         2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies

brown butter bourbon spice cookies

The sweet, buttery flavor of these brown butter bourbon spice cookies will warm you up while you wait for summer to arrive.
·         12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
·         2½ cups (11¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
·         1½ teaspoons baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ¼ teaspoon allspice
·         ½ cup (3½ ounces) each dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar
·         1 egg
·         1 egg yolk
·         3 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 tablespoons bourbon

When you try these unique cookie recipes, your sweet creations are sure to stand out among a sea of classic sugar cookies.


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