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Friday Inspiration: Fulton Seafood and Meat Markets

Who says there’s no good fresh seafood in Chicago? Stepping inside L Isaacson & Stein Fish Market to buy ingredients for Shane’s Fourth of July birthday BBQ was a revelation. I’ve heard about this place for years. I love seafood. My first Chicago job many moons ago was at Fulton and Jefferson. So I’m a …

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Indoor S’mores: How to Make S’mores Inside the House

Want to learn the best way how to make s’mores inside the house? I’ll show you how to replicate that ooey gooey campfire goodness indoors at home. So it’s pouring outside right now and I’m craving a s’more. Luckily, living in a locale with nine long months of winter has allowed me to perfect the …

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Tasty marinade recipe for grilling chicken, pork, fish or veggie kabobs

Memorial Day in Chicago means one thing: grilling! Here’s an easy, very tasty and relatively healthy marinade recipe for chicken, pork, fish or veggie kabobs, courtesy of Merriment reader Jen Martensen who created and evolved this recipe that she uses “all the time” (thanks, Jen!). And if you’re not into mustard, try Shane’s famous grilled …

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Rainy Day Green Pea Soup

Here’s one of my favorite it’s-a-rainy-day-and-I-am-low-on-groceries recipe: Green pea soup with toasted baguette slices. It’s a healthy, low fat, non-dairy recipe from Ellie Krieger, one of my favorite Food Network chefs. 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups) 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon (I subbed …

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Yummy Individual Chicken Pot Pie Recipe in Ramekins for St. Patrick’s Day

This easy chicken pot pie recipe is my favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I started making this homemade chicken pot pie recipe as a St. Patrick’s Day dinner tradition but it tasted so good that I ended up adding it into our winter dinner rotation. I like making individual mini chicken pot pies …

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Engagement Party Alphabet Cookies

We co-hosted a couple’s BBQ last July to celebrate the engagement of my friend Heather (H) and her fiance Noah (N). Our co-hostess Michelle Platts scored by bringing these festive romantic sugar cookies that she baked with her daughter Vivian. I think this is such a cute idea not only for engagement parties and couple’s …

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Hearty Soups for Cold Winter Days

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Shane and I took a cooking class at Sur La Table. While the classes there aren’t as hands-on as our beloved, defunct Calphalon Culinary Center Cooking Classes, the personable instructor was full of ad libbed tips and Shane got a spiffy Le Creuset 6.75-qt. Enameled Oval Dutch Oven soup pot. Our …

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Monogrammed coffee insulator wrap

So I was pretty excited about the success of the campfire coffee insulator wrap and decided to make a monogrammed coffee insulator wrap for my sister Krista. Perfect for coffee/tea/cocoa drinkers and the eco-friendly, monogrammed insulator wraps are personal and practical. And not only is it a great way to cut down on waste but …

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