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Articles filed under Cook of the Week

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  • Cook of the week: Cook’s fundraiser dinner hot auction item at school Jul 29, 2014 5:45 AM
    Once a year Wood Dale teacher's aide Penny Kadlec cooks a full meal for 10 people who outbid the competition at a school fundraiser. Cooking daily for her family of six keeps her in practice for that special meal. “There is a ton of people who look at you and respect you as a teacher, and then you’re serving them food,” she said. “But it’s really fun to be able to do that and get to know them as people versus just parents of kids at school. It’s a nice experience.”

     
  • Cook of the Week: Volunteering, baking merge to benefit Lake Zurich Lions Jul 15, 2014 5:30 AM
    When the Lake Zurich Lions’ Alpine Fest opens July 18, it’s not likely that you will see J’Ann Tharnstrom, anywhere near the front lines. More likely, she will be working in the background, probably in the hot concession stand, aka ‘the Eat Stand,” and that’s just the way she likes it. “I like to work quietly, behind the scenes,” the Hawthorn Woods woman says.

     
  • Cook of the Week: International cuisine on her radar Jul 8, 2014 5:45 AM
    With a major in food and nutrition in college and a passion for cooking, Jennifer Noone began her career as a caterer. She soon learned one very important lesson: “Everyone’s playtime was my work time,” she laughs. So Noone, of Deerfield, decided to go into sales and has been a real estate agent in the Northwest suburbs and Chicago for years. Despite the career change, Noone has not lost her cooking flame.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Competition fuels creative spark Jul 1, 2014 6:00 AM
    Cook of the Week Marija Benson received rave reviews through the years for her oatmeal maple syrup bread and chocolate chip cake but she never had the desire to test her mettle in a competition. A baking instructor encouraged her to try and now she's on a winning streak.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Hunter tracks down recipes to feed growing girls Jun 24, 2014 5:30 AM
    With Father’s Day a recent holiday, it seems appropriate that this week’s cook of the week was nominated by his two daughters. “We would like to nominate our father, Brian Peterson, because he is a great cook and he specializes in venison…venison was the first red meat we ever ate.”

     
  • Mount Prospect mom finds success on recipe contest circuit Jun 10, 2014 3:02 PM
    Remember last January? (Here's a hint: cold, snow and ice, repeat.) Well, while we were busy shoveling our driveways for the umpteenth time, Sue Cortesi of Mount Prospect, and her husband, were winging their way to sunny California. Sue's recipe for Moroccan Lamb Bolognese took the grand prize in a recipe contest held by Kenwood Vineyards, garnering an all-expenses paid trip to Napa Valley.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Planning key to healthy family dinners Jun 3, 2014 5:30 AM
    Kate Kent keeps meals simple for her husband and four daughters. “I like knowing what’s in my food,” the Arlington Heights woman said. “I like knowing what’s going on the table and where the food came from." Kate said planning meals for her large family requires a weekly menu; she notes what to buy at the beginning of the week and when to defrost meats. “I find that without it (a plan) it is so scattered and hectic."

     
  • Cook of the Week: Feeding family a job she takes very seriously May 27, 2014 5:30 AM
    For Amy King, putting dinner on the table for the family holds a special meaning. First of all, her "family" consists of three teenagers, their children and her co-worker. Secondly, as a family teacher at Mooseheart Child City and School, putting the food on the table and providing a warm family atmosphere is her job. And she takes her job very seriously.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Barrington woman recaptures childhood bicycling, with cuisine May 20, 2014 6:18 AM
    While Marianne Anderson has made Barrington home for more than 40 years, she still lives by much of what she remembers back in Holland, including daily grocery trips and preparing meals filled with vegetables. “People (in Holland) usually go to the store every day or every other day. Everything is smaller. They have tiny refrigerators. You pretty much buy for one or two days,” she said.

     
  • Cook of the week: Inverness mom relishes baking gene May 13, 2014 6:14 AM
    The women in Kim Ault's family are bakers. We're talking three generations, and as soon as Kim's teenage daughter picks up the bug (which is perhaps inevitable,) it'll be four. Kim, of Inverness, enjoys baking whenever she gets a chance. If she comes across a signup sheet at church, or her daughter's school, she's always quick to volunteer to bake. “It just makes me feel good to bake something for other people,” Ault says. “I love to give it away.”

     
  • Cook of the Week: Teen cooks to lighten parents' load May 6, 2014 1:46 PM
    One day, Cook of the Week Tim Cruz may work as an IT coordinator by day and at night, run his own cafe. The Des Plaines teen loves cooking just as much as he loves using technology and hopes to find a way to integrate the two. For now, Tim cooks for his parents and classmates, who get to sample the lunches he brings, far from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and an apple. Tim recalls being 12 and his parents giving him the freedom to make his own meals. “It's really cool they support me and my passion for cooking,” he said.

     
  • Fettuccine Alfredo Apr 29, 2014 5:30 AM
    Cook of the Week John Keelan of Inverness shares his recipe for creamy Fettuccine Alfredo.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Technology helps Inverness dad get dinner on the table Apr 29, 2014 5:30 AM
    It isn't too much of a surprise to discover that John Keelan, a computer software salesman from Inverness, relies on technology when he's cooking. The scenario often begins at the grocery store. “I'll be standing in front of the sword fish at Mariano's and use my web browser, 'what can I do with swordfish?' Up will come a marinade and I'm good.” John hasn't always cooked and his wife still does a good portion of the family cooking, but he suspects that at this point in their lives he may have a bit more interest in cooking than she does.

     
  • Arroz con Gandules — Rice with Pigeon Peas Apr 22, 2014 5:30 AM
    Cook of the Week Maria Morales

     
  • Cook of the Week: Artists draws culinary inspiration from Puerto Rican upbringing Apr 22, 2014 1:06 PM
    Every time she cooks, Maria Morales adds Puerto Rican spin to the meal. “It might be the rice, the meats, the spices, the sides,” she said. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Maria said the cooking is similar to Creole with a tropical flair that can use a variety of meats, vegetables and seasonings.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Elgin lunch lady balances nutrition, treats Apr 15, 2014 12:52 PM
    As the manager of food services for an Elgin school district, Cook of the Week Christina Hernandez is responsible for more than 20,000 meals a day for children. Blame it on her job, but Christina is also very concerned about nutrition. “Working at the schools has really opened my eyes and has influenced me in my cooking at home." In her free time, this avid vegetable gardener also enjoys baking butter cookies and cakes for friends and family.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Mom reworks favorite recipes to fit gluten-free lifestyle Apr 8, 2014 5:30 AM
    Eighteen years ago, before gluten was the buzz word it is now, Marla Koentop, of Batavia, felt awful and didn't know why. “A team of physicians couldn't figure out why I felt so terrible. Then one of them suggested I go on a special diet. ... I cried for two days. I had two little girls at home and the only alternative flour I could find was at the health store and it was really expensive! But, when you have to, you roll up your sleeves and get busy!”

     
  • Cook of the Week: Kaneland senior shares healthy teen-friendly recipes Apr 1, 2014 4:45 PM
    Cook of the Week Melissa Cherry has made it her passion to make healthier versions of favorite foods — from stuffed peppers to macaroni and cheese — that still satisfy. “Eating healthy can be intimidating because you'll think I'll only be able to have a smoothie for breakfast, eat a salad for lunch and have a piece of broccoli for dinner. People think it's restrictive,” she said.

     
  • Cook of the Week: Winfield mom follows Greek genes to feed people Mar 25, 2014 5:45 AM
    Chris Crabtree was raised in a home where cooking was an enthusiastic pursuit of her Greek father and grandmother, but she didn’t really start to enjoy cooking until she got married. “Cooking was something my husband and I enjoyed doing together — and still do, 26 years later.”

     
  • Cook of the Week: Retiree returns to school to perfect culinary skills Mar 18, 2014 5:45 AM
    After retiring from 32 years at Oakton Community College, Marie DeMar went back to school. Three years ago the Mount Prospect woman enrolled in the culinary program at Harper College in Palatine looking to perfect the skills she gained from many years of watching her mom, Rosemary, cook.

     
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