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updated: 8/29/2012 10:51 AM

Toasting Lynfred Winery for its tourism contributions

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  • State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, center, thanked Lynfred Winery's Valerie Koehler, left, and Diane Koehler-Rasmussen for the Roselle winery's contribution to Illinois agri-tourism.

    State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, center, thanked Lynfred Winery's Valerie Koehler, left, and Diane Koehler-Rasmussen for the Roselle winery's contribution to Illinois agri-tourism.
    Courtesy of Lynfred Winery

  • Summer Finale Fizz

    Summer Finale Fizz
    Courtesy of Ketel One


A heartfelt "Cheers!" goes out to Lynfred Winery.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka saluted the Roselle winery for its contribution to Illinois agri-tourism during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield earlier this month.

Founded by Fred Koehler, considered by many to be the father of the Illinois wine industry, Lynfred Winery opened in 1979 producing more than 5,000 gallons of wine in seven varieties. The winery expanded in 1990 and today can make nearly 100,000 gallons of wine annually. Through the years, Lynfred has bottled more than 80 varietals and won numerous awards for its efforts.

The Lynfred Winery family of businesses has grown as well and now includes a bed and breakfast in Roselle and tasting rooms in Naperville, Wheaton and Wheeling.

"It is incredible to have Lynfred Winery continue to support agriculture through events year after year," Topinka said. "Lynfred Winery educates the public and promotes tourism for our state, and I thank the many people who work so hard to make it happen."

Cook of the Week challenge

Do you know a good cook? Our regular Cook of the Week feature will be on hiatus during the Cook of the Week Challenge, but that doesn't mean we've stopped looking for cooks to profile.

The popular column will return in November and we're eager to find an enthusiastic baker to feature with our annual holiday cookie package in early December.

If you know a good cook or home baker, please send us the person's name and contact information, as well as a sentence or two about why you think he/she should be featured to Self-nominating is encouraged.

Sticking with cookouts

Last hurrah? Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, and while I'm not ready yet to give up on balmy weekend cookouts with friends, you will find me waving August goodbye with a Summer Finale Fizz in my hand.

This cocktail, dreamed up by the folks with Ketel One Vodka, combines garden-fresh cucumber with some of my other favorite summer flavors for a refreshing quaff that's perfect for Labor Day patio parties.

Here's how to make a Summer Finale Fizz: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 cucumber slices and 5 cilantro leaves. Add ice, 1 ounces vodka and ounces each simple syrup and fresh lime juice. Shake well. Strain into a glass and top with 1 ounce club soda.

Baking braids

Learn how to make classic challah with contemporary tools at Thyme in the Kitchen's cooking studio inside Sunset Foods in Long Grove.

The Sept. 6 class will cover how to create the classic challah dough by hand as well as techniques for using a bread machine and food processor. Dough will be sent with students to bake at home.

Students also will learn how to make fig and honey spread, the perfect accompaniment to fresh-baked challah -- especially as we near the start of the Jewish new year.

Class meets 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sunset Foods, 4190 Route 83 (at Aptakisic Road) and costs $65 per station or $80 per two-person station. To register, call the Thyme office at (847) 810-0484 at least 48 hours before the event.

• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend on or follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram @PankeyPlate.

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