Get your mixology on with one of Top Chef alum and Chicago restaurateur Fabio Viviani’s favorite cocktail recipes from Bar Siena, Siena Tavern and Prime & Provisions!
Fabio Viviani knows good cocktails. (If you’ve been to one of his restaurants in Chicago, you already know this.) So it’s no surprise that when he’s looking for a good drink, he keeps it close to home.
“I go to The Aviary once in a while, but [my favorite] has to be Bar Siena and Siena Tavern for cocktails,” Viviani says. “I tend to stay home for a cocktail because it’s very hard to beat my restaurants in town for cocktails. We have great cocktails.”
What’s his go-to order? “I’m a classic, I like old fashioned at Prime & Provisions and I like the #2 at Siena Tavern. I love them.”
No matter the time of year, macaroni and cheese is the ULTIMATE comfort food.
I love making this dish year-round, but it’s a favorite among my family for Thanksgiving. My sister and her husband, John, hosted Thanksgiving for their first time as a married couple, and I helped them get the menu ready to make sure we had everything we needed. Kaitlin specially requested this mac and cheese, and even though she claims she hates butternut squash, it’s her favorite dish we make every year.
The butternut squash cuts out some of the high-fat, high-calorie cheese, but the consistency of the squash means you won’t sacrifice any creamy deliciousness. I also swap in soy for whole milk, and use whole-wheat pasta and breadcrumbs, which will keep you satisfied longer. Roasted tomatoes add an extra nutritional punch.
Bonus: This recipe reheats amazingly well thanks to the smooth, creamy consistency of the butternut squash.
This recipe for Zucchini and Leek Soup from Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook, It’s All Easy, is the perfect September soup.
September’s a weird month in Chicago. It’s gotten up to almost 95 degrees this week (!), but next week will be down to the mid-60s. While it’s not quite soup season yet, this vegan Zucchini and Leek Soup from It’s All Easy (published by goop press) is super light and creamy and can be served either hot or cold — perfect for summer and fall months.
It’s vegan, gluten-free and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Plus, it only has seven ingredients. This soup will definitely be a staple healthy/detox recipe of mine going into fall.
(Check out Gwyneth’s cookbook if you haven’t already! There are more than 130 recipes that make for quick, easy and healthy weeknight lunches or dinners.)
Two easy-to-make homemade pizza recipes using fresh fruit and greens that are perfect for warmer temps.
Homemade pizza is a fun and easy at-home dinner that’s always a good idea. But for summer, I’ve been all about adding fruit to my homemade pizzas and trying different combos using whatever fresh ingredients I have on hand.
My friend Jenna first made this Strawberry & Arugula pizza for a Bachelorette watch party a few weeks ago, and her sister, Alli, makes the Peach & Basil one (I saw it on Instagram and knew I had to try it for myself!). They’re seriously so good and have both become my go-to summer pizza recipes. Plus, since the dough is pre-made they’re super quick and easy to make without a ton of prep. I always use Trader Joe’s garlic and herb pizza dough. You can buy it fresh and it’s good with every type of pizza.
These pizzas are perfect for a party, too—just cut them into bite-size pieces.
Jumpstart your summer health kick with green juice! Here’s the best juice to order at a juice bar, plus six Chicago juice bars you’ll love.
There’s nothing better in the summer than a fresh green juice.
It’s so easy to grab a pre-made juice out of the fridge at your favorite local juice bar, but if you’re making your own drink, it can be tricky to put together the perfect combo of flavors so your juice doesn’t end up tasting like grass.
After a few orders gone wrong, I’ve finally settled on the perfect combo of fresh greens and fruits that I literally crave when I haven’t had it in a while.
I saw this recipe on Kristin Cavallari‘s Snapchat (kcavsnaps) and knew I had to try it for myself.
I’m not a big sparkling water person—and my tequila days are long over—so I was skeptical about these, but after trying this “healthy” margarita recipe I’m obsessed!
These all-natural margs have no processed sweeteners and are much lower in sugar and calories than traditional margaritas. They’re so light and crisp, and the fresh lime juice perfectly balances out the tequila, with just the right amount of maple syrup to give it some sweetness. (Make sure you look for 100% pure grade A organic maple syrup.)
Plus, they are EASY to make. If you’ve got all the ingredients on hand, you’ll have a fresh margarita ready in minutes. (Note: The exact proportions may slightly differ from Kristin’s, but after experimenting with the ingredients I found this combo to be the best.)
Following up her uber-popular “It’s All Good,” health-foodie Gwyneth Paltrow is back with a new cookbook that brings delicious, healthy dishes with little or no sugar, fat or gluten to the everyday at-home cook. “It’s All Easy: Delicious Recipes for the Super Busy Home Cook” (goop press/Grand Central Life & Style) has more than 125 of Gwyneth’s favorite recipes, from breakfast to dessert.
“The food doesn’t need to be complicated to be good,” Gwyneth writes in the intro. “You don’t need to work for days to create that feeling of wholeness.”
And in this cookbook, healthy doesn’t equal boring. The Moroccan Chicken Salad Wrap, Thai Curry Noodle Pot, Cauliflower Mac ‘N’ Cheese and Chocolate Banana Milk Shake recipes are calling your name.
“That’s the idea here: Approach the kitchen with an air of easiness,” Gwyneth writes in the intro. “Because even if life isn’t all easy—far from it—sitting down and enjoying a good meal with people you really like can be. It should be.”
One of my favorite summery recipes from the book is the Cauliflower Tabbouleh. Pair this with her Falafel recipe for a Mediterranean match made in heaven.
There’s nothing like a great dessert that you can whip up in minutes.
This super easy brownie recipe has been a favorite in my family for four generations, and it’s still a hit at every single family party.
Just mix the four ingredients listed below, bake and roll in powdered sugar. Done.
When my sister and I were little, we loved helping Nana stir the ingredients and roll the brownies in the powdered sugar. This is still her go-to dessert and we always look forward to having them on holidays and at family parties. She most recently made them for Kaitlin and John‘s engagement party.
Keep these items in your pantry at all times, and you’ve got a delicious dessert in less than an hour that works for any occasion.