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Julie Kelly's Blog

 Steamed artichokes have always been one of my favorite appetizers. Whether served with a little melted butter or lemon mayonnaise, this odd-looking vegetable is a great portal for any flavor. It’s one of those foods that makes you think, “who was the genius that figured out this thistle was edible?”

Some of you are scrambling to get into bathing suit and shorts-shape before Spring Break…so you’re probably really hungry right now.

The mistake many people make in attempting to lose weight is eliminating satiating food from our diet. We say to ourselves, “no meat, no carbs, no dairy. No wine (ok, I try that too, but to no avail).” But this approach is destined to fail for one main reason: we are starving.

When the organic industry’s high horse takes the low road

A damning video about conventional farming is making hay on the Internet and social media this month. The video – entitled “New MacDonald” – is the latest salvo launched by the organic industry in its increasingly nasty campaign spreading fear and misinformation.

Something for St. Paddy’s Day besides corned beef and cabbage…

Obviously – with a married last name like Kelly – there is little chance I can escape St. Patrick’s Day festivities. There is a bit of Irish blood in my own heritage, even though my family didn’t like to talk about it. We considered it an hereditary aberration (just kidding, of course).

Lasagna Can Be More Than Your Grandma’s Recipe

I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional lasagna. I’m not sure why; it contains many of my favorite ingredients like cheese, sausage, red sauce and noodles. Perhaps lasagna’s unwieldy nature is what I find unappealing - it never seems to cooperate to get one solid bite.

Two Fish Preparations – One For Adults and One For Kids

Before there were chicken fingers, there were fish sticks. For most of us growing up in the 1970s and 80s, this was the only way our moms would cook fish. Unlike today, fresh seafood choices were limited – so mom trusted the Gorton’s fisherman to supply that occasional fish fix. 

During dinner with one of my dearest friends a few weeks ago, she told me about a recent stint at her daughter’s grade school cafeteria. She glanced into a large garbage can after the kids disposed their lunch left-overs and spotted a sandwich. Not a half-eaten sandwich – a perfectly composed, handmade sandwich still in the baggie. “You could see the lunchmeat, the lettuce, everything,” she said, understandably appalled.

Steak in a pan: Almost as good as grilled (almost)

I am a meat-eater. Whether it’s a juicy cheeseburger, medium rare ribeye or barbacoa tacos, I need my beef fix a few times a week. Like most American kids, I grew up eating lots of meat. My grandfather started working for Swift & Company after WWII as a lamb grader and retired as the company’s CEO 40 years later. He also served as chairman of the American Meat Institute, so perhaps “beef” is in my blood.

You don’t need the grill to prepare filet mignon; pan-seared medallions in a rich mushroom sauce can be enjoyed year-round. Celebrate a special occasion – or just the end of the week – with this decadent entrée.

Ingredients

Filet mignon (4-6 ounces each) at room temperature
Mushrooms
Shallots
Beef stock
Tomato paste
Red wine
Worcestershire sauce
Dijon mustard
Grapeseed oil/butter

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"Julie, I really enjoyed your class and took way more away than I ever thought I would. I never in a million years thought a cooking class would make me excited to try new things!! So my hat's off to you. You are a great teacher and the recipes are so good!" 

 

Susie C., Orland Park