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Tag: foodie

Memory Road Trip Heading West

Memory Road Trip Heading West

Heading west on a great road trip with my father. This is a dream journey with my father. He took me all over the west on road trips each summer. We begin in Champaign Illinois heading west on Interstate 80.

Molina Illinois

Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store The Best Chocolates and Ice Cream

The City of Moline sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. We stop at Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store. This candy shop opened in 1908 by Angelo Lagomarino, a Northern Italy immigrant. The store is the fourth generation. They have handcrafted chocolates with the finest ingredients. The store has an old-fashioned soda fountain. The soda menu includes the Green River (A Chicago drink named after the Chicago River that is dyed green for St. Patrick’s day).

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalls the stories of going to the soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about IronPort soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge). I enjoyed a variety of hand-dipped chocolates during our road trip back west. This is a perfect place to stop and enjoy. They are the recipients of a James Beard Award.

Activities and Fun in Molina Illinois

This city is situated near the Iowa state border and sits on the mighty Mississippi River. This town is rich in history with being a part of the Underground Railroad and the home of industrialist John Deere (In 1848, he built his first Moline plow factory). There are many fun things to do here.

  • Washington Square Charles Deere built an upscale three-story five unit Italianate row house in 1890. His brother-in-law, Merton Cady, is the architect. The initial name for the complex was Deere Row and renters were said to be employees of the Deere factories.
  • Downtown murals love the Midwest and the vast varieties of murals. Molina’s downtown murals provide a view of Moline’s waterfront, as it would have looked in the early 1850s.
  • Rock Island played a large part of The Underground Railroad in Molina. This was the first stop for many slaves seeking freedom. The first state near several water sources provided transportation undercover. There is also a set of channels and tunnels underground that provide another escape route.

Leaving the mid-west I recall the experiences and beautiful people I meet. They have made a lasting impression on my life. This area of the United States provides history from slavery to the industrial age. The loss of jobs and industries is present everyday. The areas are gorgeous to visit and see. You feel the hardworking middle class that drove America into the modern world.

Iowa Road Trip

Sitting in a car all day with your father is a wonderful way to collect stories about his life. The first thing I learned is he loves to collect maps. Iowa is a great location for this collection.

Iowas Road Stops

Iowa has the best rest stops in history. You pull up to find a store, information about the area, books, and free maps. The first stop in Iowa my father returns with a collection of Iowa maps. He opens them up as we drive out of the rest stop.

Road Trip Memories

We enjoyed a day of talking about the years as a child I traveled the western US with my two brothers and parents. The summer trips to Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Southern Utah. My dad would hitch the camping trailer to a yellow rambler and off we would go. We saw so many natural beauties. The adventures from my childhood are endless. The time my mother lost the car keys in the sand dunes. My father lost his new fishing pole the first time he cast out at Strawberry Reservoir. This results in our fishing trip looking for the fishing pole. This is never seen again.

My father is a military retiree. He spent decades as a medic in the Air Force. He would bring back great dolls, toys, and white lunch boxes they would feed the crew. He tells his stories of going to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Europe. The time he spent counting hours on the cargo plane counting the hours to coming home to see the three of us fight over the white lunch box.

Smokey D’s BBQ

Lunch is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs feel right off the bone. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Lunch is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs feel right off the bone. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Nebraska Adventures

The time in Nebraska is spent traveling through various rest stops and counting up more water towers. This is a tradition my sister and I started on the way out to the Midwest in spring. Many times this is the tallest thing on the horizon. We see a total of 177 water towers on I-80 through the Great Plains.

The Great Plains is seen as little value to many traveling west in the mid-1800s. Soon many ranchers release that the Verdant Platte is of great value. Today the highway runs along this geography changing areas.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska

This location is a gathering location of the member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A stop my father looked forward to seeing. Many members of our family stayed here as they prepared to travel west to a new home.

There is a history of death, birth, and husbands leaving to fight the Mexican American War. They crossed the frozen Mississippi River in 1846. This gave them time to gather much needed supplies to make the journey across the Plains and over the Rocky Mountains.

Some of our relatives made this journey without basic needs including shoes. Some pushed their own carts. A few did find themselves in the middle of a winter storm needing rescuing to survive. This is a free museum.

We ventured across the street to the modern temple. This is a location that is used seal families together in family forever. Off the temple grounds is a cemetery. We were able to find a few of our relatives’ gravesites.

Kearney, Nebraska

We stay for the evening in Kearney, Nebraska. It was fun arriving late in the evening and walking around to stretch the legs and enjoy a few McDonald’s French-fries.

The food for the morning is oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt from Aldi’s, a wonderful grocery finds in Champaign Illinois (this is a store located worldwide).

Kearney has a beautiful museum, The Archway, that stretches over the I-80. This museum is a celebration, “For over 200 years, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once called the Great Platte River Road, has been a road to adventure.  From the Oregon Trail era through today, the Archway’s family-friendly historical exhibit tells the story of those who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.”

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The last stop before returning to Orem, Utah is Cheyenne, Wyoming. This western town is full of fun and explorations.

Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant

We find an authentic Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara, locally owned and operated. The ambience of Mexico is felt from the decor to the menu. The food is regional as well as traditional American Mexican.

I enjoy Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo. Rincon de Guayabitos in the estate of Sinaloa. This is a beautiful community that is a beach resort. It is known for fresh red snapper and other seafood including large shrimp.

This was a great dish with large shrimp, mushrooms, and a beautiful garlic sauce. It is served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a slice of orange. The heat and cold with a touch of sweet tang from the orange inside a warm tortilla is perfect after a long day of driving.

My father enjoys an Enchiladas De Mole with shredded chicken. The mole is flavorful with a nice hint of heat. Mole is a sauce containing up to 20 ingredients. The sauce usually contains fruit, chili pepper, nut, and such spices as black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and chocolate.

Exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming

The first thing you notice is the town is filled with large cowboy boots. This is a fun scavenger hunt for the family through town. Local artist paints each boot. We enjoy searching for these boots.

The town is the capital of Wyoming. There is a great museum near the capital that had maps for free. We leave with a stack of Wyoming maps.

The best stop here is the National Guard base that has F-84F And C-130 Aircraft (a favorite plane of my father). My father spent 35 years in the Air Force reserves as a medic. He worked a civilian at Hill Air Force base.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs to the frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons. There are great museums including

  • Cheyenne Depot Museum
  • Cheyenne Botanical Garden
  • Wyoming State Museum
  • Cowgirls of the West Museum

This is a wonderful town to really see the migration west and the history of settling the American west.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs, frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons to the railway travel.

This was a great journey with my father. It was great sharing memories from his childhood, my own childhood, and creating new memories. The remander of the journey back to Arizona is my dog Hyde and I.

Kanab, Utah

Kanab is the location of all road trippers on 89. It is the center of many national parks, great river rafting, and tons of fun.

The town has a great old western movie museum, Frontier Movie Town. This is a fun look at old film sets long before green screen and animation. This is a free museum behind the gift shop in the cottonwood trees. There are so many adventures near Kanab they include

  • Hiking
    • Cottonwood Wash Narrows
    • Slot Canyon
    • Paria Canyon
    • Wire Pass
    • Elusive Wave
    • Zion’s National Park
  • Drives
    • Glen Canyon Damn
    • Lake Powel
    • North Rim Grand Canyon
    • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Explore
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
    • Moqui Cave
    • Green River Whitewater Rafting

Lunchtime is at Big Al’s Burgers at the Junction Drive-in (Thank you Cherie for the suggestion). Must have a traditional Utah meal. I worked at a local diner Provo as a teenager. The best meal is milkshake, hamburger, and fries with a Utah tradition of fry sauce (mayo and ketchup dip). This was a lot of fun, good food, and super busy. What a great location for fun.

This is a wonderful time to explore and travel the US. It was great meeting so many wonderful people and tremendous adventures. What is your favorite vacation? Post your response with #4chionstyle on social media.

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What are the Elite Eating at Governor’s Ball

What are the Elite Eating at Governor’s Ball

This year the Governor’s Ball is the after party for the elite. They will enjoy an evening at The Ray Dolby Ballroom Hollywood & Highland Center®. The evening is shaping up to be a magical transformation.

Oscars Governor's Bars 4chion Lifestyle
Oscars® Governor’s Bars Menu

Governor’s Ball Menu

Wolfgang Puck Catering is preparing the Governor’s Ball. They will set the stage for Hollywood’s biggest night with a menu pairing glamour with innovation. The menu includes some of the classics and a few new dishes. There are vegan gluten-free desserts.

Governor’s Ball Amuse Bouche
  • Crostini of Compressed Watermelon with Citrus Feta Cheese
  • Crab Deviled Eggs
  • Avocado Tostadas with Crunch Cabbage and Chipotle Glaze (V)
  • Mini Taro Root Taco with Miso Glazed Eggplant and Smoked Soy Mushrooms (V)
  • Crostini with New York Steak, Classic Chimichurri
  • Spicy Ranch Popcorn
  • Housemade Potato Chips
90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview
The Academy’s® Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom
Governor’s Ball Tray Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
Governor’s Ball Small Plates
  • Caramelized Cauliflower, Golden Raisin, Lime, Labneh, Pinenut, Shiso-Za’atar
  • Frozen Golden Beets, Almond Custard, Meyer Lemon, Ice Lettuce (V)
  • Snap Peas, Asian Pear, Pomelo Salad, Cacik Cheese, Mint, Walnut
  • Compressed Persimmon, Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico, Burrata, Wild Arugula
  • Sunchoke and Fennel Soup, Chips, Truffle Gremolata
  • Potato and Caviar 2.0
  • Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie
  • Winter Truffle Baked Cavatappi and Cheese
  • Pea Agnolotti, Black Truffle, Peas Shoot, Parmesan Reggiano Brittle
  • Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Ny, Carrot Vichy, Spigarello, Yuzu Kotcho Ponzu
  • Loup De Mer, Calçot Onions, Artichokes, Fennel, Romesco Salsa, Espelette
  • Nashville Hot Fried Quail, House Made Pickles, Red Velvet Waffle
  • Torchio Pasta, Arugula, Tomato, Caper Berries, Aleppo Pepper, Black Olive Oil, Basil Flower (V)
  • Austrian Ricotta Dumpling, Watercress-Pea Pesto, Lemon Brown Butter
Governor’s Ball Raw Bar

  • Served on Hand Carved Ice Bar
  • Spicy Tuna Rolls
  • California Rolls
  • Vegetable Rolls
  • Made To Order Nigiri
  • Scallop Ceviche, Black Garlic, Satsuma Tangerine Miso, Micro Herbs
  • Sea Urchin with Eggless Custard, Dashi, Unagi Glaze, Finger Lime
  • Albacore Tataki, Sweet Onions, Ginger, Momiji Chili, Ponzu
  • Oysters
  • Snow Crab Claws
  • King Crab Legs
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
Governor’s Ball Individual & Plated Sweets
  • 24 Karat Dusted Valrhona Illanka Chocolate Oscars®
  • Ombre Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Pillow Cake with Coconut Mango and Passion Fruit
  • Coconut – Chocolate Bar (V)
  • Yuzu Religieuse
  • Passion Fruit Cookie with Chocolate Chunks
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Milk Chocolate and Caramelized Pecan Cookies
  • Strawberry Cookies
  • Hazelnut and Almond Brownies
  • Espresso Macaron
  • Matcha Cherry Macaron
  • Hibiscus Orange Pate De Fruit
  • Piper Heidsieck Golden Champagne Strawberry Push Pop
  • Mini Wolfgang Puck Dark Chocolate Bars
90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview 4Chion Lifestyle
The Academy’s® Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom
Governor’s Ball Passed Small Plates
  • Black Forest “Cherry”
  • Butterscotch Verrine with Dark Chocolate Nest
  • Tropical Pavlova with Macerated Jackfruit and Dragon Fruit (V)
  • Strawberry Ginger Cheesecake with Jasmine Gelee
Governor’s Ball Lollipops
  • Passion Fruit Cheesecake
  • Praline Almond Chocolate
  • Chocolate Oscars® with Strawberry Valrhona Chocolate
Governor’s Ball Chocolate Bon Bons
  • Chai Latte
  • Thai Tea with Young Coconut
  • Honey Jasmine
  • Earl Grey Tea Biscuit
  • Espresso Triple Shot
  • Praline Roasted Coffee Bean
Governor’s Ball Chef Stations
  • Air Bread “Sea Urchin” with Passion Fruit Caviar
  • Affogato with Housemade Ice Creams and Stumptown Nitro Cold-Brew
Governor’s Ball Vegan Sweets (made without gluten)
  • Hawaiian Superfood Spheres
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
  • Cashew Vanilla Tiramisu
  • Tropical Halo-Halo
  • Sunflower Raspberry Macaron
  • Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies
Governor’s Ball Local, ORganic AND Sustainablty

• Babe Farms
• Rising C Ranch
• County Line
• J Marchini
• Coke Farms
• Weiser Family Farms
• Pudwill Farms
Polito Family Farms
• Troy Regier
• DiStefano Cheese
• Laura Chenel
• Marin French Cheese
• Rustic Bakery
• La Quercia
• Cremenelli
• Garcia Organics
• Cuyama Farms
Heriloom Organics

Governor’s Ball By the Numbers

Governor’s Ball Numbers in the Kitchen
  • 100 pounds housemade bread and butter pickles
  • 6,500 wood-fired Oscar®-shaped flatbread
  • 3,500 sesame miso cones
  • 350 pounds Atlantic bigeye tuna
  • 300 pounds eggplant
Governor’s Ball Numbers in the Dinning Room
  • 1,500 guests
  • Team of 10 maitre d’ staff
  • 850 service and support staff
  • 13,000 glasses for beverages
  • 2,000 yards of Wine Royal Velvet and sleek Wine Satins, Textured Gold and Champagne Gold fabrics
  • • Beautiful Black and Gold Deco Dot with Black Velvet Border
  • • Ten thousand blooms from all over the world

Governor’s Ball Decor

Mark’s Garden will be overseeing the floral arrangements this year. Mark Held is creating a room of deep color and elegance for the elite diners at the event.

Held’s designs this year will feature unique floral compositions in saturated shades of deep red accented with bright gold, evoking memories of the grand movie palaces of the past. Thousands of brilliant red tulips, velvety burgundy roses, mauve orchids and dark purple calla lilies packed into a medley of mixed gold containers will line the guest tables.

MIXOLOGIST CHARLES JOLY alcoholic drink Oscars 4Chion Lifestyle b
Ancho Old FashAncho

Governor’s Ball Recipes

Eat and drink like the celebrities for you Oscar’s viewing party with these recipes.

Ancho Old Fashioned – Created by Mixologist Charles Joly

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Tequila Don Julio Reposado
Barspoon of Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
3 drops Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee Bitters
1/3 oz Rich Demerara Syrup (2 parts sugar:1 part water)
Orange Oil for Mist
Orange Twist for Garnish

Preparation:
1. Stir Tequila Don Julio Reposado, chile liqueur, coffee bitters, and demerara syrup over ice.
2. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass over one large cube.
3. Mist with orange oil and place orange twist decoratively.

Smoked Salmon Oscar with Iranian Osetra Caviar on Brioche

1 loaf brioche
1 cup dill cream (recipe below)
1 lb. smoked salmon
2 oz. Iranian Osetra caviar

  1. Cut the brioche into the shape of an Oscar statuette and toast until golden.
  2. Spoon small amount of dill cream on the brioche.
  3. Layer smoked salmon on top and garnish with caviar.

Dill Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 T lemon juice
2 T shallots, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped

Whisk ingredients together thoroughly. Pinch of salt and white ground pepper

What is your favorite part of the Oscars®? Post your comments on social media using #4ChionStyle.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 5:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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Screen Actors Guild 25th Celebrity Dinner

Screen Actors Guild 25th Celebrity Dinner

Screen Actors Guild (SAGS) 25th annual awards is just a few hours away. This year the ccelebrityfilledparty starts off with a toast on the red carpet, continues with the best in entertainment, and finishes with a star-studded dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Red Carpet Toast Screen Actors Guild 2018 4chion Lifestyle
Red Carpet Toast Screen Actors Guild 2018

Screen Actors Guild Red Carpet Toast

SAG Award® nominee Jon Huertas (This Is Us) will join Vitalie Taittinger, Global Spokesperson and Artistic Director for Champagne Taittinger, for a toast that will herald the start of arrivals for the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®.

The Champagne Taittinger Toast will kick-off the SAG Awards arrivals as it has every year since 2001. The family-owned Champagne House will ask actors entering the SAG Awards showroom to sign a Nebuchadnezzar (15 liter) bottle of Champagne Taittinger. For every signature, Taittinger will contribute additional funds for the Foundation’s critical Emergency Assistance program.

Screen Actors Guild Beautiful Decor

The Silver Anniversary arrangements, created by CJ Matsumoto & Sons, inspiration is the harmony of a much-loved garden, expressed with a simple monochromatic palette of burgundies. Green highlights accentuate the marriage of burgundies with their silver containers.

The event flowers after the event they will deliver over 100 petite arrangements to victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse at local women’s shelters and emergency treatment centers.  

Screen Actors Guild Viewing Party Ideas

This is a great list of ideas for your guest to enjoy viewing the SAGS together. There is a viewing party at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants (recipes included below).

Selfie Props

You will want to take selfies for the evening for sure. Here is a link for great props and one for the SAG statue for the evening. You can create your own silver carpet with Reynolds Wrap®.

Have the opportunity to gather your guests together before the show starts to fill in their own ballots. You can provide a great award for the winner.

The show starts hand out the bingo cards and have a set of prizes for the first bingo, filling in a t, creating an x, and blackout.

Screen Actors Guild Cocktails 4chion lifestyle
Screen Actors Guild Cocktails 2018

Screen Actors Guild Menu

This year Wolfgang Puck brings out the best for the silver anniversary celebration. The celebrities will dine and toast on:

  • Squash and endive salad with dried cherries, mustard greens, and maple vinaigrette
  • Maple and soy glazed salmon with sesame cauliflower and crispy shiso leaf
  • Grilled chicken with Meyer lemon salsa and lemon scented fingerling potato.
  • The “Happy 25th!”
  • “The Silver Anniversary”
  • “The Silver Screen”
  • A Classic Martini will also be available, featuring Chopin Wheat Vodka and gourmet blue cheese olives.

The sponsors have stepped up to celebrate the SAG Awards®, the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members and the first to present awards to motion picture casts and television ensembles. These sponsors include FIJI® Water, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Lindt Chocolates, Reynolds Wrap® and Extra® Gum. Excludsive for the celebration cocktails are Chopin Vodka® and Dorda Liqueur®.

Screen Actors Guild by the Numbers

This evening is tops for entertainment, celebrities, food, and fun. The evening will use:

  • 17,100 square feet of carpet, the traditional red being replaced this year with plush silver to commemorate the SAG Awards Silver Anniversary
  • 3,500 stems of roses
  • 1,500 stems of miniature calla lilies
  • 1,800 blossoms of cymbidium orchids
  • 1,600 Jidori chicken breasts
  • 450 pounds of Scottish farm salmon
  • 3000 endive leaves
  • 240 pounds of Meyer lemons
  • 3 gallons of Vermont maple syrup
  • 2,000 Wolfgang Puck Signature Tuna Cones
  • 3,000 crab claws
  • 3,000 cocktail-flavored macarons
  • 300 pounds of chocolate
  • 26 bottles of Chopin Wheat Vodka
  • 42 bottles of Portobello Road Gin
  • 20 bottles of Dorda Sea Salt Carmel Liqueur
  • 36 bottles of Bourbon
  • 25 bottles of Scotch Whisky
  • 25 bottles of Light Rum
  •  102,000,000 grapes to create the Artist’s Red Blend wine
  • 160 magnums of Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française at the official Post-Awards Gala

Screen Actors Guild Recipes

These recipes are servied at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants viewing parties nationwide.

Arugula, Honeycomb, Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Warm Vinaigrette

4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 one-inch x one-inch square pieces of Savannah Bee Honeycomb with 1 tsp honey
8 Tbsp Sky Organics extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 large handfuls arugula (about 24 ounces)
1 barely ripe pear, cored and sliced thin
6 ounces soft blue cheese
Directions

  1. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small
    saucepan over low heat. Gradually pour in the olive oil and continue whisking until the
    dressing has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide the arugula between four plates. Top each salad with a honeycomb square and
    equally divide sliced pear and blue cheese, then drizzle with warm vinaigrette.
Classic Tomato Bruschetta

3 pieces soft Italian bread
3 oz burrata
3 oz grape tomatoes, cut in ¼’s
1 pinch kosher salt
1 tbl white balsamic vinegar
1⁄8 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¾ tsp shallot, finely minced
1 ½ tsp basil, freshly chopped
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baby arugula
½ each fresh lemon
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp Maldon flaky sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
butter
Directions

  1. Slice bread approximately ½” thick. Brush both sides with soft butter and grill on
    both sides to make crispy and create grill marks.
  2. In a small bowl, mix grape tomatoes with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and set
    aside.
  3. Gather bruschettas and cut evenly in half.
  4. With a small spatula or spoon, place an even, thin layer of strachiatella on each
    piece of bread.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the baby arugula, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil with
    half the Maldon flaky sea salt and a grind of fresh black pepper. Mix well until evenly
    coated. Spread evenly over the plate.
  6. Mix the tomatoes and sauce one more time and place even amounts on each
    piece of bruschetta.
  7. Arrange them over the arugula.
  8. Garnish each piece of bruschetta with the remaining Maldon flaky sea salt.
The Silver Anniversary

• Chopin Potato Vodka
• Blue Curaçao
• Fresh Lime Juice
• Club Soda
• Gold Dusted Eatable rose

Start with Chopin Potato Vodka and Blue Curaçao, and then add fresh lime juice and sparkling club soda. Topping it off is a show-stopper – a gold-dusted edible rose.

The Silver Screen

• Dorda Sea Salt Carmel
Liqueur
• Amaretto
• Half-and-Half Cream

The spotlight is on Dorda Sea Salt Caramel Liqueur, blending it with the perfect amount of Amaretto and half-and-half, then poured on the rocks with a caramel wedge garnish.

The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Megan Mullally and presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC will be produced by Avalon Harbor Entertainment, Inc. andnationally simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, 

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Elevate Your New Year’s Party with a Crowd-Pleasing Grazing Table

Elevate Your New Year’s Party with a Crowd-Pleasing Grazing Table

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and the last holiday party. What a great time of the year. The best New Year’s Eve celebration is perfect for a grazing table with little work. This will be a great way to let the chef enjoy the evening events too. Kristen Seymour presents a step-by-step guide to the perfect party.

If you want the food at your holiday party or corporate event to be opulent and impressive—but still inviting—a grazing table just might be the answer to your culinary conundrum. And as a bonus, you probably won’t even have to cook.

This hot trend in entertaining isn’t exactly new. In medieval times, palace feasts often featured tables piled high with layers of food for guests to sample at their leisure. These days, grazing tables are more likely to feature local cheeses than, say, roasted peacock. But a year or two ago, a modern take on the grazing table began to take hold in Australia and New Zealand. Now it’s taking the U.S. by storm.

What, exactly, is a grazing table?

Typically, it’s a table (although it can also be a platter, a counter, a board, or any large, flat surface) with lots of visually appealing and accessible food. Most items aren’t contained within bowls or baskets but are instead arranged in piles that lavishly spill into each other. It’s artfully disheveled. Decadent, but relaxed. It’s a really flexible concept that can work for a wide variety of events, numbers of guests, locations, themes, and budgets. In a work setting, for instance, a grazing table is a great way to incorporate office snacks you already have on hand without the need to bring in or buy a ton of serveware and utensils.

Grazing Table New Year's Menu
New Year’s Grazing Table Menu

And if all that isn’t enough, one of the best aspects of a grazing table is the low maintenance set up, which allows the host to spend time with their guests. After all, parties are much more fun to throw when you actually get to join them. Interested in giving a grazing table a go? Here’s how to build your own for your next office party or gathering at home.

Planning for Your Party

The first decision to make is the shape and size of the table. Will it be large enough to hold everything you want to include? According to New Zealand caterer Sarah Jones, who was at the forefront of this trend, you can expect a table that’s one square meter (which is about three feet by three feet) to fully feed around 15 people and allow around 30 to graze. However, you can use layers to fit more food or add decorative elements to take up more surface area if the table you have is too large.

And don’t forget about location. Your grazing table should be situated in a way that makes it easy for multiple guests to access it at once, encouraging mingling while snacking. But you don’t want it to be in the way of traffic (or dancing!). If you’ll have small children or pets at the party, you might also want to use an elevated surface to keep snacks away from little hands and curious noses.

Now, onto the food!

With a grazing table, you don’t want to choose food only for its tastiness, although, that’s an important factor. You should also think about the aesthetics. Brightly colored fruit and veggies, breads and crackers with different textures and shapes, meat slices that can be folded artfully, and vibrant dips and sauces all add to the visual appeal of the table.

Be sure to pick up a variety of each type of food. For instance, when it comes to cheese, consider a soft Brie, a hard and nutty Manchego, and a sharp Cheddar—and then think about what would pair well with each type. This planning isn’t just for your shopping list, but also for your layout because you will want to make it easy for your guests to distinguish which cracker and spread complements the cheese they just sliced.

How To Create A Grazing Table New Year's
New Year’s Grazing Table Creation

And remember, this can be whatever you want it to be, so although the cheese, charcuterie, and crudités route is a common one, you can branch out in any way you’d like. Make big, brightly hued exotic fruits the main feature, layer your table with cakes and candies, or pick a sampling of easy-to-eat snacks from your favorite tapas restaurant. Living a healthy life? You can keep it vegan, paleo, or sugar-free, no problem. As long as you fill the space with food your guests can easily enjoy, the sky is the limit.

Creating Your Grazing Table

While it may look haphazard, a well-curated grazing table is anything but. It’s vital that you leave yourself plenty of time for the set-up process alone. Rushing to add the finishing touches as your guests arrive is no way to enhance that effortlessly chic atmosphere that a grazing table provides.

Step 1: Write out a list of all the foods you want to put out

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget what you’ve purchased until the party is over. A list will help you in step two. Consider whether you’ll be buying and preparing each item, or if you’ll go the corporate catering route instead.

Step 2: Plot your table

Time to decide what platters and other surfaces to put your food on. In keeping with the casually decadent feel, leave your linen tablecloth in the closet and, instead, stick with the surface of a nice, clean table, or cover it with kraft or butcher-block paper.

You can use baskets and cutting boards to organize more unruly foods, and of course, you’ll need bowls for dips or spreads. Adding a big, beautiful bowl of punch is a great way to take up space and add a pop of color, and now is the time to decide where any larger containers will go. That said, resist the urge to separate everything too precisely. You’re going for organized chaos, so just this once go ahead and let the grapes mingle with the prosciutto.

If you opt to decorate with non-food items, this is also a good opportunity to set out larger embellishments. Get creative with greenery and flowers, fresh herbs, whole fruits and veggies, unscented candles, framed art or signs, vases—anything that works with your theme and adds a bit of visual interest will increase the appeal of your grazing table.

Step 3: Use layers to create height

You can use cake stands, wine boxes, or just about anything else you have handy to add dimension to your table, but don’t use everything you have. Just a couple elements should do the trick. Place larger, more eye-catching foods—such as large cheese wheels or a pile of big brownies—on raised surfaces, and spread them out around your table. If you have large amounts of one item, such as salami slices, arrange them in two or three places around the table to break things up.

Step 4: Fill it in

Add your remaining foods to the empty spaces, making a point to separate similar items from one another. Place foods people may want to pair in close proximity (you could surround a wheel of Brie with pear slices, a crusty baguette, and a jar of fig jam, for example). The ideal grazing table will encourage people to move from one end to the other, sampling bits and bites from all areas.

Once you add your main foods, fill in the remaining spaces with handfuls of nuts, dried fruit, berries, pieces of dark chocolate, or any other small foods you’d like to sprinkle throughout. You can also scatter flowers or other decorations if you have room. Though the design is completely up to you, a traditional grazing table leaves very little bare space, so don’t be shy about adding more. Abundance is a theme that’s hard to overdo.

Step 5: Take a tour

Approach the table as if you were a guest and make sure everything is accessible (can you reach for that biscuit behind the candle without burning your hand?) and inviting. Slice a corner of each block of cheese and tear off a few chunks of the baguette to encourage guests to dig right in.

Step 6: Snap a picture before your guests dig in!

The photogenic nature of the grazing table is inversely proportional to the amount of noshing that’s been done, so ‘gram it for posterity’s sake right away.

How To Save Time And Money On Your Grazing Table New Year's
New Year’s Grazing Table Savings

Happy New Year! May you have a wonderful celebration and year filled with the best lifestyle. Thank you to ZeroCater for the collaboration and exceptional article.

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Chocolate Scrumptious and Delicious

Chocolate Scrumptious and Delicious

Chocolate is a scrumptious addition to any meal, from appetizers, to main dishes, and especially desserts. Road tripping across the US we found some exceptional chocolate treats and so much more. 

Lagomarcino’s Confectionery

Lagomarcino’s Confectionery in Moline IL is worth a diversion on any road trip. It is operated by 4th generation of Tom Lagomarcino Sr. They received a James Beard Award in 2006.

This 110-year-old soda shop is a true find in the middle of nowhere. They have the true old-fashioned feel. The have a soda counter, sandwich shop, homemade ice cream, and beautiful chocolates. The originals owners meet at a soda shop and married in 1949. They had six children and they were famous for their fudge sauce. The shop started reselling the fudge sauce with their 100-year anniversary.

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalled the stories of going to soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about Ironport soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge).

I went for their famous chocolate shake. We took salted caramel milk chocolates, dark marble truffle, pumpkin fudge chocolate, coconut dark chocolate, tiramisu dark chocolate truffle, and orange peel for the road. A few went home to mother. 

The decor in the store is old newspaper headliners. Handcrafted mahogany booths to enjoy your sandwich, soda, and dessert. The had beautiful marbled truffles. It was a true sensory experience with the sights, sounds, and smells. They were fabulous. 

Sweet Shoppe Candy Store Flagstaff AZ

Exploring Route 66 in the infamous town of Flagstaff AZ there is the Sweet Shoppe Candy Store. This fudge shop with a lollipop garden, taffy, homemade fudge, covered apples with a vast variety, and scrumptious chocolates.

This store has many great old-fashion fun with a great modern twist. It is located on 15 E Aspen Ave right off Route 66. They have so much to select from. Foodie Ellie had a big interest in the fudge but went with a sprinkled covered marshmallow.

They have homemade gelato. The chocolate is creamy and sweet. The best was the chocolate covered caramel (homemade there) with sea salt sprinkled on top.   

Kilwins Chocolate Wilmington NC

This is a must stop when visiting Wilmington You can smell the sweetness down the street. This is just the start of the sensory experience provided. When entering the story your eyes are drawn to all the beautiful handcrafted chocolates and sweets. Located in the Historic Downtown. Ice cream is a popular treat in Wilmington. Kilwins makes bomb waffle cones, exceptional chocolates, and it is worth the wait.

They make their own ice cream from their original recipe with 40 premium, unique and delicious flavors including Mackinac Island Fudge. They use local farms for ingredients. The chocolate creations are amazing.

Chocolate Specials 

GHIRARDELLI  SPECIAL

Click here use code promo code 10GHRADLI for 10% off at check out  (10/31/18 expiration date).

SIMPLY CHOCOLATE 

Get 10% off shopping online here use promo code SCGIFT at checkout. 

Godiva 

Get discount codes for Godiva Chocolate here.

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Emmys® Governors Ball ~ Under The Stars

Emmys® Governors Ball ~ Under The Stars

The Governors Ball presents an event worthy of 70 years of Emmys®. The event will be a glamours celebration on top of Los Angeles will be under the stars.

Hosting you own Emmys® Party

This is a great time to celebrate you favorite television series and actors. Invite a few friends over for an evening of star gazing and glam. Here are a few ideas for the evening.

  • Decorate the living room with  icicle lights and small strands of starlight-inspired LED lighting
  • Encourage guest to dress in the Governors Ball theme colors blues, purples, silvers, and golds.
  • Design the invites with the same colors above and use stars or small crystals.
  • Create a recipe or two from the Governors Ball
  • Create great pieces for the table or buffet server with metallic fabrics 
  • Use large pillows for extra sitting in the viewing room
  • Set up your own red carpet with a backdrop on a wall in your home
  • Provide fuzzy socks for guests while sitting on pillows
The 2018 Governors Ball Food & Beverage Shoot on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Patina in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Emmys® Governors Ball Menu

Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal and Patina Catering return to the Governors Ball for the 23rd year to bring an extensive menu matching the sophistication of their Michelin star restaurants.  

Chef Joachim Splichal is widely recognized as the chef that made LA as a premier dining capital of the world. He is hailed as a “Legendary Chef” by Bon Appétit.

The menu is diverse for all foodies. This year includes a large variety of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes. The menu includes:

PRE-SET SNACKS
  • Olive Oil Grissini VEGAN
  • Marinated Castlevetrano Olives GF VEGAN
  • Spiced Rosemary Marcona Almonds GF VEGAN
TRAY PASSED HORSD’OEUVRES
  • Ahi Tuna PokeMarinated seaweed
  • Favacado Toast Hass avocado, fava beans, yuzu citrus, toasted brioche
  • Saffron Arrancini Cured Serrano ham, pepper conserva
  • Chili Relleno Sweet baby heirloom bell peppers, vegan walnut-date “chorizo”, almond sauce GF V VEGAN
  • Bamboo Spiked Prime Short Rib Chinese BBQ sauce
  • Crispy Squash Blossom Tempura Fleur d’sel
  • VEGAN Burrata Cheese Balsamic fig relish, savory basil waffle cup
  • Watermelon Radish Baby heirloom tomatoes, lemon oil, smoked salt, savory tomato waffle cup
TRAY PASSED SMALL PLATES
  • Sweet Corn Agnolotti Lime brown butter, toasted hazelnuts
  • Truffle Scented French Fries GF VEGAN
  • Angus Beef Slider Aged cheddar, caramelized onions, tomato aioli, Martin’s potato roll
  • Gooey Grilled Cheese Griddled American cheese, Heirloom tomato soup
  • Filipino BBQ Chicken Skewers Scallion salad, banana ketchup (see recipe below)
  • Gratin of Macaroni Griddled American cheese, heirloom tomato soup
  • Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Slider Dill pickle, savory purple cabbage slaw
  • Olive Oil Poached Salmon Lime soya onions, puffed wild rice, teeny lettuce, soft herbs GF
  • Cashew “Ceviche” Lime marinated cashew, hearts of palm, cucumber, leche de tigre, tiny cilantro, avocado mousse, crispy blue corn GF VEGAN
STATIONARY SMALL PLATES
  • PATINA SPUDS, TRUFFLES AND WILD GNOCCHI
  • JBS Mashed Potatoes GF
  • Lots of cream, lots of butter Brown
  • Butter Potato Gnocchi
  • Summer Truffles GF
  • Summer truffle scented grass-fed butter
  •      Toppings All GF
  •           Smoked bacon Creme fraiche Chives VEGAN
  •           Maldon sea salt VEGAN
  •           Chives
  •           Créme fraiche         
Nick + Stef’s 
  • Hand Carved Flat Iron Steak G F­
  • Red wine bordelaise Signature N+S Caesar Salad Aged parmesan, croutons
  • Cave-Aged Mini Gruyere Popovers
FARMER’S MARKET EDIBLE GARDEN
  • Brentwood Farms Street Corn G. Lime aioli, cotija, tajin spice “Canned Beets” GF
  • Heirloom Babe Farm baby beets, Sonoma goat cheese mousse, California pistachio
  • Farmers Market Chop Salad GF
  • Red quinoa, Chioggia beet, dragon carrot, purple cauliflower, Romanesco, baby heirloom tomatoes, Bloomsdale spinach, shishito pepper, radish, figs, green goddess
  • Valdivia Farms Heirloom Tomatoes G VEGAN Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic molasses, crispy basil Peaches and Cream
  • Summer peaches, house-made ricotta, purple kalelettes, toasted farro, almonds, and honey vinaigrette.
The 2018 Governors Ball Food & Beverage Shoot on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Patina in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Emmys® Governors Ball Desert

Every party needs a little something sweet. Frania Mendivil, the Executive Pastry Chef at Patina Catering, presents a decadent dessert menu including:

  • Patina Classics ~ Hazelnut Chocolate Feuilletine, chocolate rocher, strawberry rhubarb tart, chocolate croissant bread pudding
  • Mini Mason Jars ~ Harry’s Berries Strawberry shortcake Coconut chia seed tapioca GF VEGAN (see recipe below)
  • Mini Drumsticks
  • White and dark chocolate waffle cones filled with seasonal toppings Milk chocolate waffle cones filled with vanilla Chantilly
  • Mini Tarts Apricot almond, apple vanilla, pear chocolate

There is something for everyone’s liking. Mendivil began baking in her family’s bakery in Mexico.

Emmys® Governors Ball Spirits

The completing the celebrations is a drink just for the evening Enlightenment (see recipe below). This creation is fun and plalyful. The cocktails for the evening include:

  • Enlightenment  The signature sip of the 70th Emmy® Awards Season – An effervescent cocktail featuring strawberry-infused Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, lime juice, honey syrup, Sencha green tea, Chareau liqueur, and yuzu & strawberry pearls that create an unexpected and complimentary pop of flavor with every sip. (signature cocktail at PNR Nominees Event only) 
  • Radiance a familiar yet exotic mix of floral and spice. 

Restoration a revitalizing homage to the classic espresso martini made with Fair Trade cold brew.

  • Labyrinth a refreshing garden-centric sipper boasting notes of fresh, all-natural vegetables. 
  • Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sterling Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sterling Chardonnay
  • Sterling Platinum
Emmy® Statues are seen during the 2018 Governors Ball Sneak Peek Press Preview for the 70th Emmy® Awards at the L.A. Live Event Deck on Thursday, September 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Emmys® Governors Ball Decor

Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions is set the decor to be a full stray night. The evening takes place at LA Life Event Deck. The decor is thousands of twinkling lights suspended overhead. It is sure to be an artful combination of glamorous, sophisticated décor and a visionary dining and entertainment experience. 

Emmys® Governors Ball Fun Facts
  • 600 different lighting instruments
  • 28,800 individual LED lights to create the ceiling installation
  • 1800 lbs dry ice
  • 146, 500 Biodegradable silver and service ware
  • 525 lbs of Harry’s Barries 
  • 525 lbs of Vadiva Farms heirloom tomatoes 
  • 50,400 bite-size hors ‘d oeuvres 
  • 600 Patina Catering servers
  • Lindt Chocolate is the official chocolate confectionery of the Green
    Room named the Lindt Chocolate Lounge
Emmys® Governors Ball Recipes
Filipino BBQ Chicken Skewers

Makes 12 Skewers

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup banana ketchup

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp finely minced garlic

1 tsp finely minced ginger

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

4 lbs. organic chicken thigh meat, cut into small cubes

12 bamboo skewers – pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes

1/2 cup finely sliced scallions

1/2 cup additional banana ketchup for dipping (recipe and instructions below)

Combine first 9 ingredients to make a marinade. Marinade the chicken for at least 4 hours,

preferably overnight. Thread chicken onto skewers and brush with oil. Cook over a grill, turning

as needed and brushing with reserved marinade, until charred and cooked through, about 10

minutes. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with sliced scallions and additional banana

ketchup sauce alongside.

Banana Ketchup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onions

2 tsp finely minced garlic

1 jalape.o seeded and minced

2 tsp finely grated ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground allspice

2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

Cook onions in vegetable oil over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic,

jalapen, ginger, turmeric and allspice, and cook about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste,

bananas, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and brown sugar. Continue cooking an additional 15

minutes, stirring often. Let cool and refrigerate.

Coconut Chia Tapioca

Serving Size: 12, 2.5 oz. cups

Coconut Tapioca

Ingredients

8 cups water

1 cup small pearl tapioca

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/4 chia seeds

Pinch salt

Pour 2 cups water in a sauce pan and add the . cup small pearls. Partial cover and simmer over

medium heat. Stirring occasionally, until the pearls are translucent, about 40 minutes. Stir in

the . cup unsweetened coconut milk, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Transfer

to a bowl and let it cool down. Once cooled cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2

hours

Passion Fruit Sauce

1/2 cup passion fruit puree

1/2 cup mango puree

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon agar-agar

In a sauce pan boil the passion and mango puree. In a medium bowl add the sugar and agaragar

and stir. Once the puree is boiling add the sugar and agar-agar mix, boil for 5 to 7 minutes

until there is a firm consistency. Once firm pour into medium bowl and let chill in the

refrigerator for at least 10 minutes

Exotic Tropical Fruit Salad

1/2 cup pineapple cut in 1/4 inch pieces

1/2 cup mango cut in 1/4 inch pieces

1/2 cup kiwi cut in . inch pieces

Zest of one lime

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 cup simple syrup

Cut the fruit into . inch cubes and add to large bowl. Add the rice vinegar, simple syrup, lemon

zest, lime juice and sugar and using a wooden spoon stir all ingredients until the fruit is coated

with everything

Supper Seed Brittle

1/2 cup Glucose syrup

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Sesame seed

1/2 cup Chia seeds

1/2 cup Flax seed

Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In sauce pan heat up the glucose with the sugar over

high heat until it becomes an amber color. In a large bowl add all the seeds and lightly stir. Add

the hot syrup to the seeds and stir. On a sheet pan, place waxed paper and pour the hot syrup

mixture onto it. Cover the mixture with waxed paper and place in the oven for 5 minutes. After

5 minutes take the mixture out of the oven and use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture until it is

paper thin (make sure to keep the waxed paper on it, otherwise the mixture will stick to the

rolling pan

Additional Garnish

1 package of micro cilantro

12 marigold flowers

Assembly

In a small cup place 1 tablespoon of passion fruit sauce, then add 3 tablespoons of the coconut

tapioca and 3 tablespoons exotic tropical fruit salad. Garnish with supper seed brittle, 3 micro

cilantro leaves and 1 marigold flower.

Enlightenment

1 1/2 oz Ketel One Family-Made Vodka infused with strawberries

1 oz lime juice

3/4 oz honey syrup

1 oz Sencha green tea

1/16 oz Chareau liqueur

Carbonated

Yuzu and Strawberry pearls

Combine the first five ingredients in a shaker over ice.

Pour liquid into carbonating vessel and charge with CO2.

Pour into chilled glass over yuzu and strawberry pearls.

Tie flowering herbs to the outside of the glass to finish.

The Emmys® know how to through a party that is star worthy. What is your favorite show on television? Post your answers on social media using #4ChionStyle. 

The 70th Emmy® Awards will telecast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Monday, September 17 (5:00 – 8:00 PM PT) on NBC. Colin Jost and Michael Che, will co-host.

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Food Across America ~ Road Trip Finds

Food Across America ~ Road Trip Finds

Traveling across the country you find a variety of traditional American food to traditions for each region. There is beautiful colors, smells, sounds, and exceptional people to meet. Here are a few of the food finds from Arizona to North Carolina.

Arizona Food

Cameron Trading Post Highway 89 Arizona 4Chion Lifestyle b copy
Cameron Trading Post Highway 89

Cameron Trading Post

The food made from scratch daily and is a fusion of the three food cultures. This place is perfect for travelers with their lodging, restaurant, art gallery, garden with fountains, and a massive gift shop. The trading post opened in 1916 and welcomes everyone like a guest in their homes. Prior to being a trading post, the place served as an apothecary.

  • Breakfast:

    • Navajo pancake this is a blue corn pancake
    • Prickly pear stuffed french toast this is French toast served sandwich style with a prickly pear jam and cream cheese
    • Warrior Surprise is a mini-Navajo Taco topped with one egg
  • Lunch:

    • Southwest taco salad served with a prickly pear cactus fruit vinaigrette
    • Gunslinger ham and cheese with diced green chile to the classic ham and American cheese sandwich
    • Navajo burger A juicy burger patty served on Fry Bread with salsa and all the trimmings (this was a delicious choice)
  • Dinner:

    • Nakahee Becheeyeh ( means south of the border)  includes a pork tamale, a meaty beef taco, and one cheese enchilada
      • Served with tortilla chips, our spicy homemade salsa, refried beans, rice, and your choice of red or green chile
    • Trout dinner with lightly breaded grilled fish
    • Liver and Onions Beef liver grilled with onions and bacon
      • served with soup or salad, a fresh mini loaf and a choice of mashed potatoes, baked potato, French fries, sautéed vegetables or rice pilaf.

Each dish enjoyed this evening brought a new experience to something familiar. We enjoyed the Navajo burger (with a vegetarian patty), club sandwich (served gluten-free) and Navajo taco (made with Blue Bird flour). Ellie enjoyed a milkshake and nibbling off everyone’s plate. Miss “Foodie” (Ellie) really recommends their fantastic french fries.  The menu includes the Navajo language providing a fun conversation with the staff.  We enjoyed the local flavors and expansion of cultures. The food to the ambiance provided a complete experience with cultural diversity.

89 highway Page AZ 4chion Lifestyle
Ranch House Grille

Ranch House Grille

This was a great place to meet with a high school friend and his beautiful wife. We enjoyed breakfast at Ranch House Grille. It was a very local place. Many entering the grill knew other patrons and shared stories of their families and community. It was a wonderful meal. Large portions, good café coffee, and great hash browns.

Utah Food

Ray’s Tavern

Ray's Cafe Rockey Mountain Road Trip Travel 4Chion Lifestyle

We stop in Green River just before Colorado. Lisa Sherman recommended having lunch at Ray’s Tavern. This was our first travel contest. Congrats, to Wes Hawkins at Utah Travels for knowing what city we were enjoying lunch. We ordered the chicken sandwich and a Garden Burger®. They had a Utah tradition on fry sauce, created by Don Carlos Edwards in the 1950s. It is as simple as ketchup and mayonnaise whipped together. I have seen variations with adding sour cream or buttermilk. This was a treat for sure. It was a great place. The waitress extremely friendly and the food fresh, including the fries.

Spicy Thai and Joe’s Cafe

Orem Utah Reunion Time Road Trip 4chion lifestyle
Orem Utah Reunion Time Road Trip

Meeting up with my dear friend Lisa Sherman was like we never missed even one day, even though it had been a few decades. Lisa and I have known each other since we were three. We ran the neighborhood streets as two determined little girls could. We enjoyed breakfast at Joe’s Cafe. The food was so delish. Lisa even enjoyed the grits. A dish she was convinced she did not like. Joe said, “You will love them. Nothing comes between your lips and my grits.” It was so wonderful catching up with Lisa after all these years.

Dinner was a fabulous reunion with my bestie from high school, Brenda Anderson. She and I meet at the Spicy Thai in Orem. This was an excellent choice for the food was excellent. Their menu had a great selection of Thai food with the ability to choose your heat.  The evening ended at her home where we spent time catching-up, relationships talk, and a little (very little) drinking. Her cute little dogs entertained up throughout the evening. They are both such a ball of energy.

Colorado Food

Aloha Poké Co.

Denver Colorado Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle d

Aloha Poké Co. provides a light refreshing meal with a wide choice of vegetables and rice. This is a perfect meal for this long day of road travel. Cherie and I sit outside enjoying lunch in the spring sun and looking back at the Rocky Mountains thinking a strong contrast from the last two days to the journey that lays in front of us.

Missouri Food

Sugarfire Smokehouse BBQ

Missouri Road Trip BBQ 4Chion Lifestyle b
Sugarfire Smokehouse BBQ St. Louis Missouri

St. Louis is known for its arch and barbecue. This being a late Sunday afternoon we realize that many locations are not open, but find one near the ball field, Sugarfire SmokeHouse BBQ! This is an award-winning restaurant under Chef Mike Johnson has studied with Myron Mixon, cooked under Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Trotter. It was a great experience of community, exceptional food (sweet potatoes the best) and BBQ pork and salmon.

Cincinnati, Hebron, and Indianapolis Food

food indianapolis road trip 4chion lifestyle midwest

3 Sisters Cafe

The first food stop of the trip is 3 Sisters Cafe in Indianapolis, Indiana, in business for 20 years. They serve a large choice of elegant breakfasts from sweet to savory and great lunch menu as well.

They have great beverages (no alcohol) with flair. I enjoyed the turmeric and ginger iced tea. It was a great flavor not too sweet or sugary. The brunch was perfect a great hollandaise sauce over Scottish lox, poached eggs, fresh tomato, and locally made English muffins with caviar on top. The English muffin was fresh with a nice sourdough flavor. The hollandaise sauce was perfect with just a little heat. The porridge was a new experience. It was creamy with a hint of cinnamon.

Hebron Grille

The evening meal was a quaint place in Hebron Kentucky called Hebron Grille. The waitress, Brenda, was so friendly and informative. She provides insight into the southern menu. I decide on the Catfish Grand Bayou. This was a meal for two. It was perfect for a later time as well.

The fish was perfectly cooked with Cajun spice, white wine, lemon, capers, diced tomatoes, grilled shrimp, crawfish, angel hair pasta, and grilled asparagus. The capers brought an exceptional flavor and salt to the dish. The crawfish is a wonderful additional treat.

Abby Girl Sweets Cupcakes

Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati Ohio, my niece and I stop by Abby Girl Sweets Cupcakes. This was a delightful find in the lobby of the Hilton Netherlands Hotel lobby.  This little shop has a variety of sweet and moist cupcakes. We enjoyed the coconut, black raspberry chip, red velvet, and peanut butter cup. They were perfect after a long of competition at the USA Gymnastics event.

This business is owned and operated by Nathan & Andrea Thompson (husband and wife). The name comes from their daughter, Abby Girl, she is the top taster for the cupcakes. The cupcakes are sweet and well-flavored.

Champaign Illinois Food

The Midwest food is all American. The area settled by Europeans including Germans, British, Italian, Hungarians, and Scandinavians. The simple hearty foods with strong Christian influences continue today. The fusion food trend is not found here as much. You will find that true honest food as it was from the beginning.

This town is a place you find all American food. It is a place worth stopping and checking out the food scene. This area is in Central Illinois about 2.5 hours south of Chicago. The area surrounded by small farm and dairy communities. It is known for farmers markets, fresh dairy (yes you can buy fresh milk at the farm), ethnic foods, and the classic American food.

Sleepy Creek Vineyard Road Trip Illinois 4Chion Lifestyle
Sleepy Creek Vineyard Road Trip

Sleepy Creek Vineyards

Driving in from St. Louis, you take exit 206 from I-74. The winery is a great location to come for many events. Weekly they have local musicians, wieners and wine, and Winery Mary Bar Every Sunday. The winery has great yearly events from Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and more.

The wine is sweet not a real full-bodied wine. They have a jalapeño red wine they substitute with vodka in the bloody Mary served on Sunday. The place is beautiful and serene setting. Locals bring their picnic lunches, you can buy cheese and crackers, or at times, a food truck might be here. The day we were there they had a band playing in the large barn, a strong community presence sitting outside by the creek overlooking the vineyard.

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The Courier Café Urbana

The Courier Café brings Champaign history and old Victorian styling in the decor. The main dining room has:

  • A large palace chandelier from the Opera House in Erie Pennsylvania
  • The cash register is  the first electric cash register
  •  The courier clock pendulum filled with mercury makes the time keeping right
  • The stained glass comes from a Danville church predating the Civil War
  • The Pullman lamps light the aisle for passengers on the Pullman railroad cars
  • The brass chimes a gift from George Malford, a Nickelodeon Maker, they are steamed powered

The Café’s name is for the Courier newspaper that operated for decades in the building. The building was almost lost to fire and remained empty for decades. In 1980, the current owners began remodeling and opened for business on November 10, 1980. They are a farm to table restaurant with the garden and bees on the property for the freshest ingredients.

The menu is a hearty all American menu with breakfast served daily until 11 AM then lunch and dinner menu until closing. The breakfast is traditional eggs, omelets, fantastic pancakes, and hash browns. Their coffee is fresh ground daily and they have special blends. The lunch/dinner menu is hearty with a ribeye sandwich, fries, soups, and steak. The food has that home cooked look and feel. They do have a few items for vegetarians including breakfast sausage. They do have one special treat “Courier water that is sparkling water from deep below the café. It is a great place for large parties and a sense of the community in Champaign.

"<yoastmark

Amaravati Indian Royal Cuisine Champaign

Amaravati Indian Royal Cuisine primarily brings Southern Indian cuisine to Champaign. Southern Indian cuisine based around rice, lentils, and stews. Dishes The authenticity found in the menu. The waitress knowledge of the menu and very helpful with the dishes.

Enjoying Paneer Tikka Masala with cubes of fresh cottage cheese cooked with green peas in an onion, tomato & cashew based sauce. Garnished with Kasturi methi and cashew pieces. The flavors linger on your pallet. The rice is perfectly cooked. Dessert is rasamalai it is juice and cream. It is a sweet and good amount of heat. This dish has a history of being created in Britain by a Bangladeshi chef.

Champaign Food Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyel
Champaign Food Road Trip

Core Life Eatery Champaign

Entering the eatery, you hear a local band on an early Saturday morning. The eatery is a location of freshness and wholesome. The food is GMO, grass-fed steak, all-natural chicken, and no GMOs.  The broths are center to the soups. You pick your ingredients from a fresh selection that looks like a produce stand.

The soup is heavy in a great vegetable broth the Sriracha soaked bean sprouts make a nice substitute for noodles and Sriracha brings heat to the soup. The kale and Napa cabbage are barely cooked by the hot broth this brings a freshness and crunch to the flavor. The shiitake mushrooms add texture to the soup. It is refreshing with flavors that linger on the plate.

Chicago Food

Chicago sits in the Midwest has a history of all American food. This history is changing to one of sophistication and elegance. The dining experience is one set for the various neighborhoods in Chicago. The traditional American and deep dish pizza is found in each area, but the elegance is found with 25 Michelin-starred restaurants. Chicago is known for their yearly Taste of Chicago a food and entertainment weekend usually held the second week of July. There is a covering deep dish pizza this is a bucket list trip with deep dish pizza on the list.

Lou Malnati's Pizzaria Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Road Trip

 Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

This was a fantastic place to take a crowd for lunch. There was a little bit of a wait but well worth the wait. They do allow you to order ahead of time. The entire party pizza enjoyed the pizza. They had great selections with gluten-free and vegetarian options. The gluten-free crust was one of the best. They have a real family feeling to the pizzeria.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a local favorite. The first restaurant opened by Lou, an Italian, opened a pizzeria in a Jewish neighborhood on an Irish holiday in 1971. They are always busy at all 51 locations in the Chicago area. Each pizza is hand created to each patron’s desire.

Pequod Pizza Chicago

"<yoastmark

Pequod Pizza, 25 years in business, is a popular place in Lincoln Park. We arrive with the dreams of deep crust pizza and watch the Cubs play ball. Arriving we realize that the wait is down the street. Heading into the small hostess station they tell us, “there is an hour for a table about another hour for service from seating.” We walk around the block and decide to find a place with appetizers to wait out the hour seating time. We find a great place called Distilled Chicago.

New York City mayor’s press secretary Eric Phillips has put in his vote on Twitter for the best pizza “Chicago pizza is the best pizza in America, and it’s not even close.” The tweet has a photo of Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Pequod’s. We return for our pizza as our buzzer for the table goes off.

We take the pizza back to the Air BNB for snacking and dinner on Saturday evening. It is a fabulous bucket list experience. Normally a thin crust pizza lover this was a true experience. The crust is caramelized and not as heavy as expected. The cheese strings as you take a bite making it a true cheese pizza. The sauce is the best to date. It is loud and excitable as the patrons are enjoying the final innings of the Cubs game.

Distilled Chicago

"<yoastmark

Distilled Chicago was a fantastic find just down the street from Pequod Pizza in West Lincoln Park. We sit at the bar. The decor is black and gold with an early 19th century feel. The Cub’s are playing on the TV. It is neighborhood experience as locals enter to enjoy the local menu with a modern twist on bar favorites. We enjoy a glass of wine and a beer. It is best known for being a whiskey bar with our 100 varieties. These are paired with the menu items.

The food is fabulous. We order the mac ‘n’ cheese bits, sliders with fries, and Italian beef egg rolls. The Italian beef rolls turn out to be a delightful surprise with the Au Jus Sauce. This fusion of Asian and Italian together well and our the favorite of the night. The mac ‘n’ cheese bits are crispy and tasty. The dipping sauce is house ranch. There is a good textual experience. The fries are crispy and the bacon jam brings the classic slider to a unique experience the arugula brings a fresh peppery flavor, caramelized onions, and the top quality Angus beef takes a bar classic to elegance. This became dinner. It is a great place to enjoy a ball game, the community, and an American classic menu with an elevation.

Scone City

"<yoastmark

Scone City located in Wicker Park is wonderful for a morning after bar hopping or late night in Chicago. Jessica and Tim Canning along with chef Laurie McNamara took on the endeavor in a specialized sweet and savory scone menu. This place was perfect stop as my sister Cherie is heading to the airport to return to her family in Idaho. It was so wonderful sharing this experience with here. Seeing places and enjoying the cross-country journey. I truly miss her every day. She enjoyed a sweet blueberry w/ lemon glaze scone she says, “It was delicious!! Sweet. Soft. Perfection!!! Soooo tasty.” They have savory scones as well. I enjoyed a hot Vanilla Bean Latte with the house-made vanilla syrup. It is a perfect start to a day of exploring Chicago.

Bangers and Lace

"<yoastmark

Bangers and Lace, a local bar in Wicker Park, has a rustic lodge atmosphere and is a great place for a good drink and great company. The patrons are friendly. The bartender for the evening was an instant win with a Big Lebowski shirt. The best feature is the is the classic beer tap handles. The restaurant’s name is  Bangers for the British term for sausage and Lace for Brussels Lace, the intricate veil of beer foam that clings to the glass side. This was a great evening spot near the Air BNB for cocktails and a glass of wine. They have a menu of sausages, English beans, vegetarian option, and Belgian fries.

The atmosphere is friendly, fun, and did get crowded as the night went on. It is a great place for sports, conversation, and good drinks. What a fun experience.

Kanela Chicago Foodie Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Kanela Chicago Road Trip

The last morning of the road trip in the Midwest is brunch at Kanela, the Greek name for Cinnamon. This restaurant place is Wicker Park neighborhood on a street with many older shops. It is a great place, voted best in Chicago by USA Today,  for a Sunday morning brunch. The coffee tops and wonderful after an evening at Bangers and Lace.

Brunch includes California Benedict and Fried Egg Sandwich this was an exceptional meal. The hollandaise sauce perfection with a nice touch of heat, the poach egg picture perfect. The sandwich was fabulous with the chili aioli brings the flavors together. The seasoned potatoes nicely cooked not too soft or undercooked. It was a nice brunch with my sister. We do agree that this is a great place for brunch.

New York City Food

Wild Ginger NYC

Wild Ginger NYC 4Chion Lifestyle b
Wild Ginger NYC

This quaint Asian Fusion restaurant is next door to my hotel, Pod 51, in Midtown New York. Thankful for this find after being delayed at the airport. The restaurant is full of large parties enjoying an order your favorite roll and share mine. I can hear them discussing what they like about each other’s choices. That is a fun way to enjoy a menu.  The decor is transforming, and fitting for the theme. The menu filled with a variety of traditional Asian and fusion dishes like Singapore thin rice noodles. Enjoyed steamed veggie dumplings, salmon roll, and mermaid roll. The sauce on the plate is sweet, sour, and a little heat. The food is fresh and elegant.

Milk Bar NYC

MIlk Bar NYC Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle 1
Milk Bar NYC

Super excited to try crack pie and coffee for breakfast. This is a planned find in NYC. Watching Chef’s Table on Netflix. I knew I needed to try Milk Bar. This is Christine Tosi’s and is part of the Manhattan-based Momofuku restaurant. This is my first stop in the morning. The little shop has great cookies, cakes, pies, and bagel bombs. I order an iced coffee, bagel bomb with spinach, and crack pie. The bagel bomb warm and filled with spinach and cheese. It is a nice bite for the start of touring NYC.  I save the crack pie for a little later, but it is delicious. The filling is something like a custard, but buttery. The oat crust is light and flaky. This is a must stop and see.

Pizza NYC Vacation Trip 4Chion Lifestyle Blog
Pizza NYC

$1 Pizza NYC

The little find during the day is Market Pizza. It is a small little shop off 6th ave. It is $2.99 for two slices of pizza and soda. This is a great place for a traditional New York pizza. It is good, friendly, and always ready. They have a variety of pizzas. There is a small communal area to sit to eat your pizza before heading back on my NYC adventure. Always fun to explore these great places.

Pescatore NYC

Pescatore NYC Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Pescatore NYC

Walking Midtown after a day of exploring and the fashion event it is overwhelming with the choices near the hotel. The restaurants’ selection vast and enticing aromas. The dilemma is decided as rain begins to fall. I wonder into Pescatore. It is a traditional setting with the seasonal tulips on each table. My waiter is Bryan Royas. He is very informative about the menu and attentive.

It is a really amazing experience to see spaghetti Carbonaro done tableside. This dish is pancetta, onions, pecorino cheese & egg mixed in a Parmigiano wheel. The family sitting near me order this dish. There is something about seeing the food prepared tableside. The smells, sounds, and visual bring anticipation.

I enjoy pasta ripiena, warm bread, with Bousquet Mendoza Argentina Malbec, and dessert. The staff that brings me zeppoles with fruit dipped in brandy. The ripiena is homemade pasta sheet stuffed with fresh spinach, ricotta, topped with tomato sauce and crispy parmigiana. The homemade pasta is delectable and the tomato sauce fresh. The dessert is light and sweet the vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry sauces. The raspberry sauce is my favorite brings a little tart to the sweet. The fruit with the brandy is scrumptious.

Wilmington North Carolina Food

Kilwins Chocolate Wilmington NC

"Williamington"Williamington

This is a must stop when visiting Wilmington You can smell the sweetness down the street. This is just the start of the sensory experience provided. When entering the story your eyes are drawn to all the beautiful handcrafted chocolates and sweets. Located in the Historic Downtown. Ice cream is a popular treat in Wilmington. Kilwins makes bomb waffle cones, exceptional chocolates, and it is worth the wait.

They make their own ice cream from their original recipe with 40 premium, unique and delicious flavors including Mackinac Island Fudge. They use local farms for ingredients. The chocolate creations are amazing.

Mission BBQ Wilmington NC

Williamington NC Vacation 4Chion Lifestyle d
Mission BBQ Wilmington NC

Always looking for good BBQ traveling across the country. Each area has their own special BBQ. Wilmington’s Mission BBQ is American and traditional to the area. This place brings the flavors of the region to dinner. Enjoying collard greens made with tomatoes, mac-n-cheese, and green beans with bacon, brisket and NC Style pulled pork with the vinegar BBQ (this food tradition is from original settlers, African slaves on plantations and modern ones). This is an Eastern-style sauce that is vinegar and pepper, no tomatoes. Bar-b-que is serious here making it all the way to state Congress to declare the official barbeque.

Mission BBQ opened 09/11/11 ten years after 911. There is a tradition in the 52 restaurants stops at noon on Fridays to honor the military members and stars and stripes. The decor follows this continued theme with a patriotic dining room full of tributes to those who make our country great. There is really nothing more American than a barbeque.

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Chicago Food, Fun, and Relaxation ~ Road Trip

Chicago Food, Fun, and Relaxation ~ Road Trip

Chicago is one big city that sits in the Midwest of the USA. This is a dream comes true with a visit to this city. Driving in from Champaign, with my sisters Tina and Cherie, we see this massive modern American city, but as you explore you realize that the city has great neighborhoods that swallow the big city vastness. Each neighborhood feels like you are in your own hometown.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip

Chicago Neighborhoods

Lincoln Park 

This was an excellent choice for dinner(see below). It is no the north side in Chicago. This area has some great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. This neighborhood has the Lincoln Park Zoo (America’s oldest zoo) and the Chicago History Museum. The streets this evening had many out for dinner and to watch the Cubbies play ball.

River City North

Sending my sister off in the morning was sad. She is a lot of fun to travel with and drove 1,300 of 2,400 miles of the cross-country journey. Tina and I take the subway into River City North. We enjoy a glass of white wine and watch families enjoy the riverfront. We also enjoy Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.

The neighborhood looks or feels nothing like it started as an industrial and warehouse district. This neighborhood is modern as the many buildings tower over the river. This neighborhood is known for art. It has the largest concentration of galleries outside of Manhattan. We enjoy exploring the many wonderful statues, theatre area, and the most restaurants in Chicago.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b

Old Town

Walking to Old Town was a fun adventure to see the other areas of the town. Old Town is filled with old Victorian buildings, churches, great pubs, coffee shops, and history. The streets are lined with beautiful trees.  This area was first settled by Germans. Around 1846 the immigrants established St. Joesph’s Parish. The history here is rich from buildings that survived the 1871 Chicago fire, to former speakeasies and ornate beautiful churches. We enjoyed a nice lunch at an Irish Pub.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle d
Chicago Road Trip

The Loop 

This is where you will find the “Bean” the name for the statue is Cloud Gate. The sculpture is by Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor. This was so gorgeous at the night. It is located in Millennium Park in The Loop neighborhood. The statue is a 110-ton elliptical sculpture of a seamless series of polished stainless steel plates and a 12-foot-high arch. The inspiration for the statue is liquid mercury. It is an incredible piece of art. Uber (see the discount code below) provided a great get around from one neighborhood to the next during the evening.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip

Wrigleyville

Closing out the first night in Wrigleyville. A great night to see the stadium and experience one of the great bars in the area. It is a great spot day or night. It is a great place for nightlife. We enjoyed Sluggers, a great sports bar. My sisters enjoyed the batting cages and I took in a little music with the dueling pianos. This neighborhood offers some great Chicago experiences

  • Bring chalk to write on the Wrigley wall
  • Tour Wrigley Field
  • Go to a ballgame
  • Batting Cages
  • Shopping
  • Great restaurants

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Chicago Road Trip

Wicker Park

Wicker Park is a wonderful neighborhood. It really takes to a small town feeling. It is close to the subway, has great shopping, and good bars. This neighborhood has many lush gardens with great events in the parks from movies, exercises, farmers markets, and concerts. This area is great for Wicker Park is known for local hipster culture, the art community, nightlife, and food scene. It was a great place to stay in an Air BNB (see discount offer below).

Old Navy Pier Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle

Old Navy Pier

This is a fun adventurous place to visit. Ellie (granddaughter) loves exploring the pier. The great boats, fun, and ice cream. We enjoy walking the pier. The Fifth Third Family Pavillion was so much fun. This is a beautiful place for a wedding, family fun, and weekly events.

The Navy Pier is on Lake Michigan and is 102 years old. We enjoyed an Uber (see discount code below) ride. They have this well set up for pick up and drop offs. Much easier than trying to park. The Old Navy Pier is the vitality of Chicago. Ellie enjoyed the Original Rainbow Cone even though she said it was not good she finishes it. The group enjoys a drink at the Billy Goat Tavern.

Chicago Food

Chicago sits in the Midwest has a history of all American food. This history is changing to one of sophistication and elegance. The dining experience is one set for the various neighborhoods in Chicago. The traditional American and deep dish pizza is found in each area, but the elegance is found with 25 Michelin-starred restaurants. Chicago is known for their yearly Taste of Chicago a food and entertainment weekend usually held the second week of July. There is a covering deep dish pizza this is a bucket list trip with deep dish pizza on the list.

Lou Malnati's Pizzaria Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Road Trip

 Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

This was a fantastic place to take a crowd for lunch. There was a little bit of a wait but well worth the wait. They do allow you to order ahead of time. The pizza was enjoyed by the entire party. They had great selections with gluten-free and vegetarian options. The gluten-free crust was one of the best. They have a real family feeling to the pizzeria.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a local favorite. The first restaurant opened by Lou, an Italian, opened a pizzeria in a Jewish neighborhood on an Irish holiday in 1971. They are always busy at all 51 locations in the Chicago area. Each pizza is hand created to each patron’s desire.

Pequod Pizza Chicago

"<yoastmark

Pequod Pizza, 25 years in business, is a popular place in Lincoln Park. We arrive with the dreams of deep crust pizza and watch the Cubs play ball. Arriving we realize that the wait is down the street. Heading into the small hostess station they tell us, “there is an hour for a table about another hour for service from seating.” We walk around the block and decide to find a place with appetizers to wait out the hour seating time. We find a great place called Distilled Chicago.

New York City mayor’s press secretary Eric Phillips has put in his vote on Twitter for the best pizza “Chicago pizza is the best pizza in America, and it’s not even close.” The tweet has a photo of Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Pequod’s. We return for our pizza as our buzzer for the table goes off.

We take the pizza back to the Air BNB for snacking and dinner on Saturday evening. It is a fabulous bucket list experience. Normally a thin crust pizza lover this was a true experience. The crust is caramelized and not as heavy as expected. The cheese strings as you take a bite making it a true cheese pizza. The sauce is the best to date. It is loud and excitable as the patrons are enjoying the final innings of the Cubs game.

Distilled Chicago

"<yoastmark

Distilled Chicago was a fantastic find just down the street from Pequod Pizza in West Lincoln Park. We sit at the bar. The decor is black and gold with an early 19th century feel. The Cub’s are playing on the TV. It is neighborhood experience as locals enter to enjoy the local menu with a modern twist on bar favorites. We enjoy a glass of wine and a beer. It is best known for being a whiskey bar with our 100 varieties. These are paired with the menu items.

The food is fabulous. We order the mac ‘n’ cheese bits, sliders with fries, and Italian beef egg rolls. The Italian beef rolls turn out to be a delightful surprise with the Au Jus Sauce. This fusion of Asian and Italian together well and our the favorite of the night. The mac ‘n’ cheese bits are crispy and tasty. The dipping sauce is house ranch. There is a good textual experience. The fries are crispy and the bacon jam brings the classic slider to a unique experience the arugula brings a fresh peppery flavor, caramelized onions, and the top quality Angus beef takes a bar classic to elegance. This became dinner. It is a great place to enjoy a ball game, the community, and an American classic menu with an elevation.

Scone City

"<yoastmark

Scone City located in Wicker Park is wonderful for a morning after bar hopping or late night in Chicago. Jessica and Tim Canning along with chef Laurie McNamara took on the endeavor in a specialized sweet and savory scone menu. This place was perfect stop as my sister Cherie is heading to the airport to return to her family in Idaho. It was so wonderful sharing this experience with here. Seeing places and enjoying the cross-country journey. I truly miss her every day. She enjoyed a sweet blueberry w/ lemon glaze scone she says, “It was delicious!! Sweet. Soft. Perfection!!! Soooo tasty.” They have savory scones as well. I enjoyed a hot Vanilla Bean Latte with the house-made vanilla syrup. It is a perfect start to a day of exploring Chicago.

Bangers and Lace

"<yoastmark

Bangers and Lace, a local bar in Wicker Park, has a rustic lodge atmosphere and is a great place for a good drink and great company. The patrons are friendly. The bartender for the evening was an instant win with a Big Lebowski shirt. The best feature is the is the classic beer tap handles. The restaurant’s name is  Bangers for the British term for sausage and Lace for Brussels Lace, the intricate veil of beer foam that clings to the glass side. This was a great evening spot near the Air BNB for cocktails and a glass of wine. They have a menu of sausages, English beans, vegetarian option, and Belgian fries.

The atmosphere is friendly, fun, and did get crowded as the night went on. It is a great place for sports, conversation, and good drinks. What a fun experience.

Kanela Chicago Foodie Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Kanela Chicago Road Trip

The last morning of the road trip in the Midwest is brunch at Kanela, the Greek name for Cinnamon. This restaurant place is Wicker Park neighborhood on a street with many older shops. It is a great place, voted best in Chicago by USA Today,  for a Sunday morning brunch. The coffee tops and wonderful after an evening at Bangers and Lace.

Brunch includes California Benedict and Fried Egg Sandwich this was an exceptional meal. The hollandaise sauce perfection with a nice touch of heat, the poach egg picture perfect. The sandwich was fabulous with the chili aioli brings the flavors together. The seasoned potatoes nicely cooked not too soft or undercooked. It was a nice brunch with my sister. We do agree that this is a great place for brunch.

Tina, Cherie, and Tammy Forchion Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Tina, Cherie, and Tammy Forchion Chicago Road Trip

This was a fantastic weekend with my sisters. This was one of the few trips we have taken just the three of us. It was hard saying goodbye to Cherie, but we have some fantastic memories and stories. Stay tuned as the road trip continues.

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    Book: 7/3/18 – 7/9/18 by 6:00 p.m. CT
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Follow the entire road trip here:

Discovering The Great Outdoors of Arizona ~ Road Trip

The Journey to Zions and Beyond ~ Road Trip

Over The Rocky Mountains We Go ~ Road Trip

Journey For St Louis BBQ ~ Road Trip

Motor Raceway to USA Gymnastics ~ Midwest Road Trip

The Middle of the Midwest Champaign ~ Road Trip

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Party of the Year ~ 90th Oscars® Governors Ball

Party of the Year ~ 90th Oscars® Governors Ball

This year The Oscars® is celebrating 90 years. The Governors Ball is pulling out the very best for the years celebrity party.

Wolfgang Puck and his catering company will bring the best in food, entertainment, and ascetics for the best in the film industry at Oscars®. His goal with each event he caters to is, “revolutionized the dining landscape with a singular focus: to exceed expectations whenever our guests gather for a meal.”

90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview
Lois Burwell and Master Chef Wolfgang Puck

This year’s menu brings some favorites back and new experiences. His Oscars® menu is set to meet everyone’s pallet and needs. The menu includes:

Amuse Bouche

  • Parmesan Bread Sticks
  • Everything Bagel Pretzel Bite, Scamorza Cream Cheese, Tomato Confit
  • Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese
  • Aged Parmesan Cheese
  • Candied Spiced Mixed Nuts, Pineapple
  • Dried Fruit
  • Apricot Macadamia Nut Lavosh
  • Passed Hors d’Oeuvre
  • Edamame and Black Truffle Pot Stickers (V)
  • Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Tartare, Puffed Black Rice, Togarashi
  • * Of the 28,000 Japanese Black cattle handled by JA Miyazaki, only 18,000 meet the criteria to become Miyazaki Wagyu.
  • Tiny Taro Taco, Spiced Eggplant, Lime Pickle (V)
  • Smoked Salmon Oscars®
  • Miniature Wagyu Burger with Sharp Cheddar and Remoulade
  • Signature Pizzas
  • Spicy Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones
  • Crab Stuffed Hibiscus, Lemon, Pomegranate
  • Explosion of Rhubarb, Thai Flavors (V)

90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview
The Academy’s® Governors Ball

Small Plates

  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Pea Shoots, Mezze Flavors (V)
  • Frozen Beets, Ginger Milk Curd, Yuzu, Ice Lettuce
  • Asparagus, Shiro Miso, Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes, Sancho Pepper (V)
  • White Asparagus Soup, Caviar, Yukon Potato Croutons
  • Potato Caviar 2.0
  • Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie
  • Winter Truffle Baked Cavatappi and Cheese
  • Mini Pea and Carrot Ravioli, Black Truffle, Cipollini Onions
  • Miyazaki Wagyu Beef, Forbidden Black Rice, Crunchy Red Beets, Char Siu Cabbage
  • Black Bass, Eggplant, Salsa Verde, Teardrop Peppers
  • Housemade Spinach Campanelle, English Peas, Cipollini Onions, Roasted Tomatoes (V)

(V) – Vegan

Raw Bar

  • Spicy Tuna, California, and Vegetable Rolls
  • Made-to-Order Nigiri
  • Scallop Crudo, Blood Orange, Finger Lime, Lovage
  • Sea Urchin, Egg, Dashi Ikura
  • Caviar Parfait with 24k Gold
  • Oysters on the Half Shell
  • Snow Crab Claws
  • King Crab Legs
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Clams
  • Shrimp

Pastries & Chocolate

  • Caramel-Passion Fruit Oscars® Lollipops
  • Mango-Lime Pate a Fruit with Tajin Pop
  • Marjolaine Cake Pop
  • Passion Fruit Meringue Lollipop
  • Pistachio Raspberry Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Dark Chocolate Brownies
  • Coconut Macaroons
  • Cocktail Inspired Macarons
  • Negroni-Orange, Campari, Vermouth,
  • Gin Mojito-Lime, White Rum
  • Piña Colada-Pineapple, Malibu Rum
  • Individual Blueberry-Violet Entremets Cake
  • Vegan Carrot Cupcake with Vegan Cream Cheese
  • Gianduja Cupcake
  • Lychee-Rose-Raspberry Tart
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Verrine
  • Housemade Chocolate Bonbons
  • Lemon Cheesecake
  • Pecan Pie
  • Raspberry Pate a Fruit, Vanilla Ganache
  • York Peppermint
  • Kumquat Pimm’s

Vegan Items (without Gluten)

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
  • Coconut Vegan Cupcake
  • Walnut Chocolate Cookies

Passed Small Desserts

  • Ruby Chocolate Strawberry and Cream
  • strawberry-hibiscus mousse, strawberry compote, vanilla sponge,
  • mascarpone cream, Callebaut Ruby chocolate
  • *Wolfgang Puck Catering is the first company in the U.S. to utilize and serve this new, fully sustainable, naturally colored, varietal of chocolate
  • Key Lime Meringue Cheesecake Taco
  • key lime cheesecake, graham cracker, white chocolate shell, toasted meringue
  • Mocha Beehive
  • salted sable Breton, dark chocolate Rocher shell, liquid honey ganache, mocha mascarpone mousse
  • Tropical Halo-Halo
  • coconut tapioca pudding, exotic fresh fruits, acai granita

90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview
Master chef Wolfgang Puck

Made to Order

  • Mille Crepe Cake, Caramel, Chocolate, Raspberry Filling
  • Cinnamon Sugar Beignets Topped with Caramel
  • Hibiscus Kombucha Carbonated to Order

Photo credit: Robert Gladden / ©A.M.P.A.S.

The evening was a great ending to another wonderful Oscars® evening.

@4ChionLifestyle

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The Middle of the Midwest Champaign ~ Road Trip

The Middle of the Midwest Champaign ~ Road Trip

Champaign in the Midwest is a place of community, gracious hosting, and friendliness. We spend a little more time here on our road trip. We meet up with our sister, Tina, at her home. It is centrally located to Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky. The food, fun, and adventures seemed endless in food, bars, bands, art, and nature.

Champaign Experiences

Champaign Illinois Midwest Road Trip Travel 4Chion Lifestyle Champaign Illinois Midwest Road Trip[/caption]

Japanese Tea House

The Japan House in Champaign is a great community center with beautiful surroundings. It is peaceful, welcoming, and tradition. Japanese tea ceremony is a formal presentation.  The service is the winter presentation. This ceremony is preparing and presenting the matcha. This ceremony is centuries old and is about purification, harmony, respect, and tranquility.

The Japan House motto is,  “the Way of Tea,” representing nature, heaven, and earth. This service was a winter presentation. The mats are laid in the pattern that each guest sits and the hearth is low to bring more warmth to the room. The hostess and guests bow to each other. The ceremony develops for westerners who find the traditional floor sitting difficult.  A chabana, a beautiful flower arrangement sitting to the side. The seasonal arrangement represents winter, this connects the room to nature.  There is a connection to water, earth, wood, fire, and metal with the utensils used for preparation.  This ceremony and ritual date back centuries with details being the key to the ceremony.

Things all returned the way they were except us. The ceremony brings a deeper sense of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility changing us while all else remains the same.

Japanese Tea House Midwest Road Trip Travel 4Chion Lifestyle
Japanese Tea House

William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum of World Cultures

The Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois and there is no charge. It is a great place to explore centuries of sociology and culture. The museum is very open and intimate as well. It brings thousands of years and cultures to one museum. Many of the items in the museum are replicas of famous art exhibits found worldwide. This brings the best opportunity to fully explore and see the great cultures in the world.

The fun of the day was hanging with Kaleb, my nephew, he has been to the museum with school. It was the best to see the different cultures through time in 9 areas. It was fun posing like the statues and seeing the tons of pottery each culture created. Have extra time there are board games to play. The museum offers:

  • Established in 1911 by the Board of Trustees and housed on the 4th floor of Lincoln Hall
  • The World Heritage Museum in 1971
  • Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2009
  • holds more than 50,000 artifacts from six continents from throughout human history
  • Over 50,000 visitors each year
  • Collaborates on research projects with universities and museums across the world
Homer Lake

Homer Lake is a forest preserve that has great walking trails, a beautiful lake, and a place to feed and watch the birds on the outskirts of the county. The beauty of the preserve is gorgeous spring is filling in the branches of the tree and flowers are beginning to bloom. The ducks and geese are nesting or wandering with little ones as I make my way around the park. Looking over the lake, soon a large blue herring flies low over the lake. It begins to rain slightly. What a wonderful sounds as the trees move in the winds. Homer Lake has boaters and fishermen trying to get out of the weather.

Homer Lake is free of charge. They do have an interpretive center where you learn more about the area, animals, birds, and more. They offer packs you can use for your exploration around the park. Each pack has specific adventures that are very insightful to the preserve and many trails. Inside the interpretive center, there are many displays, hands-on activities, and more.

Kickapoo State Park Road Trip Midwest 4chion Lifestyle-1
Kickapoo State Park

Kickapoo State Park

Entering the park at dusk, you hear the bullfrogs, ducks, geese, and birds give their final song for the day. There are fishermen on the shore with their families. The kids run free and explore the forest. It is green and flowers blooming. Hyde, my traveling dog, is loving the space. It is s a bright evening filled with breezes in the trees.  The best part of the exploration was watching the families of ducks make their way to the lake for a final swim. Hyde decided she needed to chase one or two sending the large flock airborne towards one of the 22 lakes in the park.

This park is free and in Vermillion County, close to Sleepy Creek Vineyard. This park offers activities for visitors to fully enjoy the park. The activities include:

  • A multi-purpose recreational trail that will cover 24.5 when completed. It will cover the regions vast ecosystems
  • Biking
  • Tubing
  • Canoeing
  • Paddling
  • Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish, and during fall rainbow trout. There is a shop for anglers in the park
  • Food stand
  • Boating
  • 6 walking trails
  • Picnic areas
  •  Community events

This was a great find and fun on our trip. Much of the beauty and diversity of the Midwest is seen here at this park.

This community is home to Eberfest, established by long resident Roger Ebert. A supporter of local bands as well as the start of REO Speedwagon with streets carrying the band members’ names. This community brings the arts, farmers’ markets, sports, and education for a great personal or family vacation.

Champaign Food

The Midwest food is all American. The area settled by Europeans including Germans, British, Italian, Hungarians, and Scandinavians. The simple hearty foods with a strong Christian influences continue today. The fusion food trend is not found here as much. You will find that true honest food as it was from the beginning.

This town is a place you find the all American food. It is a place worth stopping and checking out the food scene. This area is in Central Illinois about 2.5 hours south of Chicago. The area surrounded by small farm and dairy communities. It is known for farmers markets, fresh dairy (yes you can buy fresh milk at the farm), ethnic foods, and the classic American food.

Sleepy Creek Vineyard Road Trip Illinois 4Chion Lifestyle
Sleepy Creek Vineyard Road Trip

Sleepy Creek Vineyards

Driving in from St. Louis, you take exit 206 from I-74. The winery is a great location to come for many events. Weekly they have local musicians, wieners and wine, and Winery Mary Bar Every Sunday. The winery has great yearly events from Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and more.

The wine is sweet not a real full-bodied wine. They have a jalapeño red wine they substitute with vodka in the bloody Mary served on Sunday. The place is beautiful and serene setting. Locals bring their picnic lunches, you can buy cheese and crackers, or at times, a food truck might be here. The day we were there they had a band playing in the large barn, a strong community presence sitting outside by the creek overlooking the vineyard.

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The Courier Café Urbana

The Courier Café brings Champaign history and old Victorian styling in the decor. The main dining room has:

  • A large palace chandelier from the Opera House in Erie Pennsylvania
  • The cash register is  the first electric cash register
  •  The courier clock pendulum filled with mercury makes the time keeping right
  • The stained glass comes from a Danville church predating the Civil War
  • The Pullman lamps light the aisle for passengers on the Pullman railroad cars
  • The brass chimes a gift from George Malford, a Nickelodeon Maker, they are steamed powered

The Café’s name is for the Courier newspaper that operated for decades in the building. The building was almost lost to fire and remained empty for decades. In 1980, the current owners began remodeling and opened for business on November 10, 1980. They are a farm to table restaurant with the garden and bees on the property for the freshest ingredients.

The menu is a hearty all American menu with breakfast served daily until 11 AM then lunch and dinner menu until closing. The breakfast is traditional eggs, omelets, fantastic pancakes, and hash browns. Their coffee is fresh ground daily and they have special blends. The lunch/dinner menu is hearty with ribeye sandwich, fries, soups, and steak. The food has that home cooked look and feel. They do have a few items for vegetarians including breakfast sausage. They do have one special treat “Courier water this is a sparkling water from deep below the café. It is a great place for large parties and a sense of the community in Champaign.

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Amaravati Indian Royal Cuisine Champaign

Amaravati Indian Royal Cuisine primarily brings Southern Indian cuisine to Champaign. Southern Indian cuisine based around rice, lentils, and stews. Dishes The authenticity found in the menu. The waitress knowledge of the menu and very helpful with the dishes.

Enjoying Paneer Tikka Masala with cubes of fresh cottage cheese cooked with green peas in an onion, tomato & cashew based sauce. Garnished with Kasturi methi and cashew pieces. The flavors linger on your pallet. The rice is perfectly cooked. Dessert is rasamalai it is juice and cream. It is a sweet and good amount of heat. This dish has a history of being created in Britain by a Bangladeshi chef.

Champaign Food Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyel
Champaign Food Road Trip

Core Life Eatery Champaign

Entering the eatery, you hear a local band on an early Saturday morning. The eatery is a location of freshness and wholesome. The food is GMO, grass-fed steak, all-natural chicken, and no GMOs.  The broths are center to the soups. You pick your ingredients from a fresh selection that looks like a produce stand.

The soup is heavy in a great vegetable broth the Sriracha soaked bean sprouts make a nice substitute for noodles and Sriracha brings heat to the soup. The kale and Napa cabbage are barely cooked by the hot broth this brings a freshness and crunch to the flavor. The shiitake mushrooms add texture to the soup. It is refreshing with flavors that linger on the plate.

This town is a place to visit and stay a day or two. It has good hotels, offers Air BNB, and a friendly community. There is a lot you can see in town or a little drive.

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