Vinny’s East Coast Pizzeria

It was the day of the Illinois marathon and my husband had just run 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 25 minutes. It was amazing! I was and am so unbelievably proud and impressed. After he completed the run his muscles were tight and his whole body ached. There were only two things on his…

The Urbana Butcher Shop

Last weekend I had the pleasure of getting take away from a unique new spot in Downtown Urbana. The name of this locally-sourced organic meat business is The Urbana Butcher Shop. Owner Josh Boyd, former Sous Chef at Bacaro wine lounge located in downtown Champaign, is not a stranger to the food scene here in…

An Easter…Oops!

We were in quite a rush this morning getting dressed up and getting ready to have the family over for supper. I hadn’t gotten around to making my old fashioned sugar cookies, so at the last minute I decided on a strawberry crumble. After our family arrived and we ate a beautiful supper, I began…

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies with Lemon Icing

Lately, I’ve been craving things with fresh citrus. I of course had to make a sweet lemony treat to satisfy my craving. The cookies came out crispy and light and the icing recipe turned out so velvety and luscious you’ll have to stop yourself from eating it with a spoon. I hope these lemony iced…

Apple Wood Smoked Chicken: A Tutorial

Over the past few months I’ve had a lotย of fun, and I admit sometimes frustrations, working on all of these cooking firsts. I’ve made fresh pasta, a spin on chicken salad and even created a recipe for fruit filled cupcakes. These are things I would read about in cookbooks and see on cooking shows, but…

Rustic Herb-Roasted Potatoes

It was another warm spring evening and my hubby and I were preparing the meal. I was especially looking forward to one of the sides we had planned. The potatoes were going to be amazing! Once they were prepared and put in the oven, our entire dwelling smelled of pungent rosemary, thyme and sweet basil….

Triple Berry-Filled Cupcakes

Spring is finally here in Central Illinois! The air has turned warm and the sky is shimmering with blue. I always daydream about beautiful berries during this time of year. Strawberries, raspberries, and other delectable fruits float through my mind as I imagine myself in the kitchen creating colorful pies, cakes, and best of all,…

Fresh Pasta: Simple and Fun

I was pondering over what to prepare for dinner last weekend when it struck me. I am pasta’s number one fan but I have never attempted to make it from scratch. What! I’ve had numerous cooking first’s since staring this blog back in January, but pasta still intimidated me. That’s why I finally decided to…

Salon (gathering)

“A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_(gathering))ย  The salon was created in Italy around the 16th century and then gained popularity in France in the 17th…

Sesame Udon Noodles with Ginger-Soy Meatballs

Today I was on a mission. A mission to transform spaghetti and meatballs into a fun and delicious Asian dish my son would want again and again. I’m determined to introduce him to the flavors of the world. This dish was a first step. He is a tough critic so my mission was not an…

Chocolate Chip Cheescake Dip

I had an insatiable craving for cheesecake tonight. Only one problem, I had no eggs in the house. My son was due to arrive home from a play-date any minute and I didn’t have time to go to the store. I was sincerely devastated about this turn of events until an idea suddenly came to…