Independence Day? I think not!

It’s July 4th and a time to celebrate! However, it’s not quite Independence Day from the kitchen for me. I’ve got quite a few things cooking & baking today…

To compliment our 16 Spice Chicken w/Cilantro Cream, I also made a simple black bean & sweet corn salad and mashed maple sweet potatoes. It was a fabulous dinner which brought back memories of my meal at Mesa Grill, only it was even better to have shared it with my husband.

Celebrating Chicago Chefs!

I love learning about different chefs for what they have contributed to the culinary world. In honor of the many chefs who have shaped our culture and our palates., I host monthly “Chef Spotlight Dinners”. In these “Chef Spotlight Dinners” a specific chef is highlighted where attendees prepare a recipe created by the chef and bring it to share potluck style. During the event, we discuss our thoughts on the chef, their cooking style/cuisine and the recipes prepared.In honor of Taste of Chicago happening later this month, my friends and I came together to create dishes of local chefs who put Chicago on the culinary map. Some of our very own Chicago chefs include: Rick Bayless, Charlie Trotter and Gale Gand. Naturally, our dinner table was full of many of their signature recipes:

Pork & Veggie Empanadas:

Queso Fundido con Chorizo & Rajas

shared at the event by Robert
Copyright 2000, Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate At A Time, Scribner

Classic Seviche Tostadas
Tostadas de Seviche
shared at the event by John
Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen, pgs 84-85

Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)
Shared at the event by Angelique
Rick Bayless Recipe

Corn Salad w/Citrus Lime Vinaigrette:

“Capered” Chicken
Pollo Alcaparrado

Shared at the event by Teresa
Recipe from Season 5, Mexico—One Plate at a Time

Layered Tortilla Lasagna

Shared at the event by Lori
Recipe Courtesy of Rick Bayless
Cooking Live Episode: Cook Along 70-Guest: Rick Bayless

Vegetable Frescra

Shared at the event by Ann
(Nancy Brussat/Convito Italiano restaurant in Wilmette)

Caramelized Mango Tart with Mexican Chocolate and Pepitas
Tartaleta de Mango Caramelizado con Chocolate Mexicano y Pepitas

Shared at the event by Mary
Rick Bayless recipe from Season 6 of Mexico—One Plate at a Time

Fudgy Brownies
Shared at the event by Joelen
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: Sweets By Mail

Deep Dish Cherry Pie
Shared at the event by Joelen
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: American Pie

Paradise Toast
shaed at the event by Yumi: