Weekend Kitchen | Shrimp and Sweet Corn Risotto

Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be a grilling occasion. A few weekends ago we invited friends for a casual dinner on the porch, where we skipped the open flames for a light, creamy risotto. And if you want the full truth…I was dying to set the table with my hand-painted shellfish bowls. So this time I let…

Al Fresco | Simple Summer Meals

Who’s ready to dive into relaxation mode? Please tell me you are! Summer certainly took its sweet time arriving this year, as everyone from the Midwest to the East Coast knows. Now that the weather has turned glorious, there has hardly been a moment or a meal I’ve spent indoors, which equals heavenly summer casual….

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner | Guinness Braised Beef with Colcannon

Chicagoans take St. Patrick’s Day seriously. Irish, until recently, was estimated to be the top ancestry of our great city. Tomorrow morning the Chicago River will be dyed green and 800,000 people will gather to observe the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade (fun fact: Harrison Ford running through the parade as Dr. Kimble in The…

Warm Up | Butternut Squash Soup with Pancetta and Sage

This hearty butternut squash soup appeared in my first cooking and entertaining feature for Sheridan Road Magazine. Created for a relaxed fireside gathering, it was  served in my great grandmother’s espresso cups (shown below) as a starter. I like it best, though, ladled into big bowls and served piping hot alongside a loaf of crusty…