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  • This chicken sandwich at Las Vegas’ Eat is made with pan-seared free-range chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomato, local baby greens and pesto mayo on ciabatta. Eat is part of a boom in cozy neighborhood restaurants in what was once the derelict core of Las Vegas.

    Go for the food: Simple treats in garish Las VegasApr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    You might not expect to find farm-to-table dining in Las Vegas. But that’s exactly why tourists are lining up at a rundown corner a few blocks near the old casinos in the town’s seedy core. It takes visitors arriving by cab a few minutes to locate the nouveau diner Eat on the ground floor of a motel-style apartment complex. But this is Las Vegas’ first neighborhood restaurant with an emphasis on freshness and locally sourced ingredients.

  • Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat” chemical will be entirely phased out of its bread by the week of April 14, 2014. The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

    Subway: ‘Yoga mat’ chemical almost out of breadApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat” chemical will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week. The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the FDA for use as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety products, including those served at McDonald’s and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But the petition gained attention after it noted the chemical was also used to make yoga mats.

  • Peach brandy from George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mount Vernon is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

    Peach brandy, like George Washington made itApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    It was history, not advertising, that got me interested in the peach brandy coming out of George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Hugely popular in Colonial times, peach brandy was one of the products made at Washington’s original distillery. But it had virtually disappeared until quite recently, when a few craft distillers started bringing it back.

  • Breaded and fried Asian carp at Dixon Seafoods in East Peoria, Ill.

    Asian carp could be rebranded as cuisineApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    The swarms of Asian carp that infest the Illinois River may not want to hear this, but they’re good to eat. Clint Carter from Carter’s Fish Market in Springfield demonstrated that as he prepared a carp taste test on Tuesday at Dixon Seafood Shoppe, 1807 W. Main St. in East Peoria.

  • Kellogg’s Special K cereal is on display at a supermarket in an Omaha, Neb. The fixation on calorie counts that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients. The shift is chipping away at the popularity of products like Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine, Special K and Yoplait Light.

    Dieters move past calories, food makers followApr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Obsessing over calories alone has left dieters with an empty feeling. The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients. That is chipping away at the popularity of products like Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine and Special K, which became weight-watching staples primarily by stripping calories from people’s favorite foods.

  • Chickpeas, garlic and tahini take a whirl in a food processor and turn into hummus that makes you go “mmm.”

    Move over Mom: Hummus a healthy, kid-friendly dipApr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Hummus has been around in the Middle East since at least the 13th century, but has gained popularity in the last decade. Jerome Gabriel tells us how to make a batch of this flavorful chickpea dip.

  • A Breezy Maria is made with celery bitters.

    The bitters truth — cocktail bitters are boomingApr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Cocktail expert Adam Lantheaume isn’t afraid to tell the bitters truth. Making drinks without adding a dash or two of bitters is like cooking without seasoning. “We think of cocktail bitters as the spice cabinet of the bartender,” he says. And things are getting spicier by the minute on the bar scene.

  • Hanover Park’s first farmers market headed for summer debutApr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Hanover Park shoppers clamoring for fresh produce could find a new spot in town: the village's first farmers market. Officials still have to give the green light to the long-awaited market, but could ink a deal with an operator as early as May.

  • Orange Cinnamon Coconut Pudding is a Puerto Rican-inspired treat that’s perfect for spring suppers.

    A quick, easy coconut pudding perfect for EasterApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tembleque is a Puerto Rican pudding made from coconut milk and cornstarch. The pudding was sweet without being cloying, and thick without being chewy. J.M. Hirsch gives us his take on the treat.

  • Popcorn cupcakes by Terri Edmunds of Naperville.

    Moving from Challenge contestant to cupcake baker Apr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    In this week's column, Deborah Pankey catches up with 2012 Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Terri Edmunds, tells you when and where you can catch up with Carla Hall from "The Chew" and gives you the 411 on an edible book contest at Harper College in Palatine.

  • Passover gives home cooks an excuse to try their hand at making traditional Jewish candy called ingberlach.

    Ingberlach: A Jewish homemade candy for PassoverApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Passover gives us an excuse to make a simple candy that is delicious and requires little fuss. And you don’t need to celebrate Passover to appreciate it. Ingberlach is a traditional Jewish candy flavored with ginger and honey.

  • Spatchcocking a whole chicken (cutting out the backbone and roasting the bird flat), makes it cook more quickly.

    A matzo-stuffed chicken for any time comfort foodApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Admittedly, most of us don’t have the time to prepare a stuffed turkey on a weeknight. But why not try a chicken? The beauty of a roasted chicken is that aside from about 15 minutes prep, nearly all of the time is hands off.

  • Spring vegetables give matzo ball soup a fresh, seasonal taste.

    A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinnerApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    A careful selection of vegetables — enough to flavor the broth and provide substance, yet not compete with the matzo balls — and a small amount of chicken give matzo ball soup a rich change-up without losing its identity.

  • Crisp green beans, fresh artichokes and toasted hazelnuts make a salad that even carnivores will envy.

    I’ll always have Paris — and this saladApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Few things are as gratifying to a restaurant-loving vegetarian as seeing a whole table of food obsessives unable to talk about any dish other than the one you ordered. When I sat with the inimitable Patricia Wells and friends at brasserie Lazare in Paris, it was a salad of haricots verts, artichokes and hazelnuts that stole the show.

  • Quinta de Soalhiero's 2011 Alvarinho from Vinho Verde, Portugal is Mary Ross' choice for wine of the week

    Good wine: Vinho Verde’s bubbly personality easy to warm up toApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    There’s good reason for Vinho Verde’s popularity. The wines are light, bright and crystal clean. They are easy on the pocketbook, retailing from less than $10 to about $20. They are easy to enjoy too, whether from a wineglass or in a poolside stadium mug complete with ice and straw.

  • Roasted chicken with fresh herb sauce is a simple, yet elegant entree for spring feasts.

    A healthy roast bird to help welcome springApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Our spring feasts — often centered around Passover and Easter — typically call for a center-of-the-plate star like brisket or lamb. Of course they’re delicious, but both can seriously ramp up the fat and calories in a meal that tends to put the groan into groaning board even before the main course is served. Try chicken, roasted with the skin on, but then removed before plating. Delicious!

  • Adding chopped mushrooms to ground beef raises the nutrition profile and lowers the per-portion cost of these Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde.

    Eat right, live well: Mushrooms add savory flavor without adding fatApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    One of nutrition secrets of mushrooms is their high vitamin D content. Few foods are considered good sources of vitamin D, which, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines is a nutrient lacking in the typical diet. Yet mushrooms, considered a vegetable in nutrition terms, are a good plant-based source of vitamin D. It seems mushrooms can produce vitamin D with chemical reactions energized by sunlight in the same way that people could if we lived near the equator and didn’t wear sunscreen.

  • Marla Koentop of Batavia has been cooking gluten-free for nearly 20 years. She has reworked recipes so she doesn't have to forgo such favorites as Pennsylvania Dutch chicken potpie, pumpkin muffins and focaccia. See the recipe for focaccia at

    Cook of the Week: Mom reworks favorite recipes to fit gluten-free lifestyleApr 8, 2014 12:00 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!”

  • New FDA guidelines issued Tuesday would prevent food companies from adding sugar or other sweeteners to pure honey and still calling it “honey.”

    FDA: Honey with any added sweeteners isn’t honeyApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to ensure that shoppers who buy honey are getting the real deal. New guidance issued Tuesday would prevent food companies from adding sugar or other sweeteners to pure honey and still calling it “honey.”

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