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Marching on to the Best Pie Crust Ever!

I have many friends that shy away from crafting a homemade pie, due to the complexity of making a crust. This story and recipe is for them. Now, march to it and start making great pies that make great memories. It’s definitely worth the effort..which isn’t that much. My Great Grandmother Schade, famous for her […]

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish

Thanksgiving is a time to look at your life and be thankful for the big, as well as the small things. I have been blessed with my family’s Chicago history and the stories of their past. One of my favorites is about a young girl named Esther in the days before World War I with […]

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Halloween Popcorn Balls

Growing up in Mid-Century America, Halloween was a very big deal. From picking the perfect autumn colored corn to hang on the front door to finding the ideal pumpkin for carving and placing it on the front porch, these were rituals that all led to the annual Halloween costume selection.  Most of the time my […]

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Helen’s Olde Lantern Mushroom Barley Soup

With the chill of autumn in the air I thought I would share one of my favorite rich and savory dishes…Mushroom Barley Soup. This recipe is from Helen’s Olde Lantern restaurant, which is now The Maple Tree Inn; a Louisiana brasserie known for their Cajun/Creole fare and located in Blue Island. Helen’s Olde Lantern began […]

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dill pickle recipe

Shirley’s Garlic Dill Pickles

I hope you’re shopping your local farmer’s markets for the freshest and best of the harvest season. One of the many vegetables you’ll see in abundance are pickling cucumbers and I highly recommend you do what my family did when I was young. Make pickles. My mom called this special time of year, “Pickle Time” […]

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Mom’s Baked Beans

Summertime BBQs always stir up childhood memories of the Fourth of July: parades, bikes with streamers and crepe paper woven between the spokes, saluting and honoring veterans and flying the “Red, White and Blue!” high. A true favorite was always my mother Shirley’s Baked Beans served on a redwood picnic table at our backyard parties. […]

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Cream Chipped Beef

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast (S.O.S.)

With Father’s Day around the corner, I would like to honor my father’s memory with his Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast or, as the army brat in me would have heard it affectionately called, S.O.S. Dad fought throughout the European Theater during World War II and was always an army guy at heart. Rising to […]

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creamy potato salad

“Retro” Style Potato Salad

When I make retro or American style potato salad, I always think of my Grandmother Esther. She was a master of potato salad and was asked to bring it to every summer family event. At each gathering she would arrive in her vintage Cadillac Coupe Deville with multiple bowls, filled to the brim, covering the floorboards […]

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Classic aparagus soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

After the long cold winter, a sure sign of spring are the little pips pushing through the barren earth. And with me being a bit Dutch, tulips always put a smile on my face. While the flowers of spring bring joy to so many homeowners, chefs sing a song of delight as the first local […]

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Sloppy Joes made with root beer in a slow cooker

Crock-Pot Root Beer Sloppy Joes

The Sloppy Joe is a classic retro sandwich that graced many mid-century menus. If you grew up in the Midwest you might have called it a loose meat or tavern sandwich but regardless of the name, the Sloppy Joe has been a favorite for years. Its origin is somewhere between Sioux City, Iowa and Havana, […]

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