About Johanna

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Chicago/Aurora, IL, United States
I am just like so many busy moms out there. I want to create great meals for me and my family where the food brings us together at the end of a long and hectic day. I want to empower moms to feel like they are able to make Great Everyday Meals by using simple, accessible, and inexpensive ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It’s more about family and less about slaving away in the kitchen cooking. I have been a restaurant industry professional for about 10 years and have a great passion for cooking. I will share tips, recipes and techniques that I have learned to arm everyday cooks with the foundation to simple yet great tasting cooking! Johanna M. Cook

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Food Festival: VEGGIE FEST 2010



Chicago hosts some of the best festivals in the country. The heat of the summer attracts millions of people to food and music festivals all over the city and suburbs. Probably the most well-known summer food festival is the Taste of Chicago, which boasts cuisine from some of Chicago's best restaurants accompanied by live tunes played by popular bands and musicians.

A newer festival burst on the scene in Chicago, particulary Naperville five years ago, Veggie Fest. Veggie Fest is a FREE festival with live music, local restaurants showcasing their vegetarian menus and workshops with health professionals. This festival is not just for vegetarians nor does it try to convert carnivores into eating only vegetables. It's about showing people that a living a healthy lifestyle is fun and do-able.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food Company Review - Sugar Monkey Cupcakes



In most recent years, cupcakes have been all the rage. So many boutique cupcake shops have been popping up and people cannot get enough of them. It's size helps to satisfy a sweet tooth craving without having to purchase a whole entire cake. Some people even opt to have cupcakes at their weddings instead of the traditional wedding cake! In addition, cupcake shop owners and bakers have come up with the most creative and fun flavors to keep customers interested and coming back for more.


Sugar Monkey Cupcakes on 28 W. Chicago Ave in downtown Naperville is a small, quirky and fun cupcake shop. The walls are adorned with pink and brown stripes with 2 small café tables and chairs placed right in front of the bakery case filled with their homemade creations for people to drool over. Their cupcakes are made with no preservatives and all natural ingredients. The cupcakes are also much denser than what most people are used to, and the frosting is made from scratch with the simple ingredients of real butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour and real vanilla.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Veggies and Beef Soup


Spring vegetables are colorful, delicious and sweet. In this recipe, the soup is made with beef pre-cut from the grocery store, usually made for stews. Another great cut of beef to use in this soup is the thinly sliced, "sandwich" beef, referring that it can be used for Philly steak sandwiches. Because it is thinly sliced it cooks at a very short amount of time and is reminiscent of the Pho style, Vietnamese soup. This recipe uses the chunkier cut of beef, but feel free to mix it up. Use chicken, salmon, or just vegetables...Whatever your heart desires!

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