Sunday, May 7, 2017

Carbs for a Cause: PizzaFest Tuesday, May 16

It's May, so it's PizzaFest time.

Always a lot of fun, the Rotary Club of Evanston has organized this annual all-you-can-eat pizza and pop extravaganza for more than 30 years. Proceeds will be spent on projects and initiatives vital to the well-being of Evanstonians and other neighbors, especially kids.

Tickets are on sale at Dick Peach’s Dempster Auto Rebuilders, Gail Jones’ Saville Flowers, Elio Romero’s Chef's Station, online and at the door. (Getting tickets before you get to the door will save you a few bucks, but given that proceeds are going to some worthy non-profits, maybe paying more is okay.)

This year's servers will include WCGO's Daniel French, host of Everyday with French and Friends, which airs 5-7 p.m. weeknights online and at 1590 AM; Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty; Alderman Peter Braithwaite, Evanston Community Foundation's Monique Burson Jones, possibly some NU coaches and a lot of Rotarians.

This year’s PizzaFest collaborators include:

The Moran Center - Formally called the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the Center provides Evanston youth and their families with integrated legal and social work services to improve their quality of life at home, at school, and within the Evanston community.

The Ridgeville Foundation - The foundation supports participation in Ridgeville Park District’s camps and classes and provides free and accessible cultural programming such as Shakespeare on the Ridge and the annual 4-on-4 soccer festival.

Mudlark Theater - The theater takes children seriously as artists and creates vibrant, funny, compelling theatre that blurs the line between youth and professional theater.

It's always a good time. I hope to see you there. I'll be making pictures.

The Rotary Club of Evanston, informally called Evanston Rotary, is kind of special. Besides bringing together some of the most interesting, civic-minded and generous people in the area under the banner of "Service Above Self", our club is unique for a couple other reasons. We meet at Rotary International's headquarter's conference center, a perk for both our club and RI. On any given Thursday, we serve as host to many Rotarians coming from out-of-town to do business at RI.

If you'd like to know more about our club, you can check us out online or club president Dave Stumpf before June 30. As of July 1, Dick Peach will serve as president again.

More about this year's PizzaFest is up on Facebook.

Tickets. Get your tickets here --> TICKETS.


Heck, yeah. I’m a Rotarian. Since 2010.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Our lake is great. Show her you care. April 23

Revetment Splash by Ted Glasoe

Pitch #1: What have you done for our Mother Earth lately? This Sunday go to the beach and clean her up a bit. She'll take care of us, if we take care of her.

Pitch #1.5: Saturday is Earth Day. It comes every April. Do your Earth Day observance at Evanston's Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #2: This Sunday you can go to the gym to bend, stretch and walk or you can go to the beach to do all that, plus get some vitamin D in the process, while hanging out with some very fine people and helping the health of our planet.

Pitch #2.5: Forget the gym. Go to the Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #3: Have you met environmentalist/photographer Ted Glasoe yet? Nice guy, and talented, too. He'll be cleaning up Lee Street Beach this Sunday from 9-11 a.m. In case you need a reason to go to the beach on a partly sunny day, meeting him and other lovely people is a good one, plus bags will be provided to help with some beach cleaning as long as you're there.

Pitch #4: Got kids? Looking for something worthwhile and low-cost to amuse them? Take 'em to Lee Street Beach this Sunday. There will be things to look at, collect and catalog on the beach.

Pitch #4.5: Free fun at Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #5: Want to influence policy and strategy for reducing pollution and keeping the water clean, clear and safe? Join Ted Glasoe and cool neighbors for some beach clean-up and cataloging at the intersection of Lee St. and Lake Michigan this Sunday.

Pitch #5.5: Spend time with Lake Michigan and some nice people, while influencing policy at Lee Street Beach this Sunday.


The weather is predicted to be nice on Sunday.

A series of Chicago-area Earth Day events start on Thursday.
Chicago Parent has a nice list of Earth Day events.

Monday, April 17, 2017

BizPics: Headshots for Business shoot at Creative Coworking, Sunday, April 23

If you need a new headshot for social media, a website, media relations or other purposes, I'd love to make it for you. My next BizPics shoot is at Creative Coworking on Davis next Sunday, April 23, 2017.

If you find the prospect of getting your portrait made daunting, but you know you need one, this is the shoot for you. These shoots are fun, a cross between a fashion shoot and a party. If you come, you'll get some smart pictures made of yourself while having a good time. In fact, consider bringing a friend or loved one. 
Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow

This in from dentist, Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow, about BizPics: The business portrait that Karen made was literally the springboard for a revitalized practice image, new marketing materials, and a clear brand that truly resonates with my patients and staff. I never knew that a photograph could accomplish so much. Karen is an artist and creative genius!

From my non-profit executive Thomas Applegate: I finally took advantage of the opportunity with...BizPics to get new photos for use online at Linkedin, Facebook and all of the rest. A great current photo is essential for my professional and social image online.

Karen and her crew are great to work with at the shoot. Even though I wasn't nervous about having my picture taken, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was. Karen...made it fun and easy. I met other professionals while we waited for our turn and that casual conversation helped my photos look relaxed and natural. The process from sign up to selection of my favorite shots was quick and easy.

My only regret is that I waited so long to sign up for a shoot.

Registration and details about next Sunday's shoot are up at

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Evanston's Entrepreneur and Leadership Women’s Conference a hit

Hewn's Julie Matthei and Ellen King

Dr. Robert C. Wolcott

Marketing Intelligence on Demand's
Tricia M. Spellman

Journalist and author
Maudlyne Ihejirika


Enjoyed Evanston's first annual Entrepreneur and Leadership Women’s Conference organized by Evanston Woman Magazine. Kudos to Linda Del Bosque and the conference sponsors.

The intimate conference, held on Monday, April 10 in the Holiday Inn-Evanston's Ridgeville Room, included no more than 35 women, which surely contributed to the feeling of camaraderie among participants.

Julie Matthei and Ellen King, co-owners of Hewn Artisan Bread Co., talked about growing their business from Ellen and her family personally delivering bread to customers to a recently expanded brick-and-mortar shop on Dempster St. with a parklet and a church pew, transparency with their clientele, and brave decisions.

Dr. Robert C. Wolcott, co-founder and executive director of Northwestern University's Kellogg School Innovation Network, discussed growth, innovation and change management.

Tricia M. Spellman, founder and chief of Marketing Intelligence on Demand
talked about smart planning and patience when it comes to marketing.

City of Evanston’s Economic Development Manager Johanna Leonard reminded us about what the city is working on to spur economic success in the city and introduced the final speaker. 

Sun-Times columnist and author Maudlyne Ihejirika closed the conference with a presentation about her family's flight from Nigeria as refugees in the late 1960s, a story recounted in her mother's memoir, Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War. It's good she closed. She inspired tears.

The half-day conference was covered by the Daily Northwestern's Maggie Burakoff.

I covered it with my camera primarily for y'all who could not be there. More pictures are up on Facebook.


Maudlyne Ihejirika talks to Daniel French and I in January on WCGO's Everyday with French and Friends show.

Dr. Wolcott participated in a TEDx talk at University of Chicago in 2011.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Where, oh where to eat on Easter

You're not up for cooking yourself, so...decisions, decisions. Want to stay close to home? Check out these offerings.
Found, 1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8945; Celebrate Easter Sunday with spring-centric, family-style menu, available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Chef Nicole Pederson offers kale and swiss chard salad with cranberries, candied nuts and seeds, as well as pan-roasted salmon with crispy polenta, arugula and Meyer lemon. The family-style brunch menu is $38 for adults and $18 for kids. The standard a la carte dinner menu also will be offered from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with certain specials available.

Pete Miller's, 1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-328-0399; Listen to live jazz music by Nicole Kestler (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and Jeannine Tanner (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) while you enjoy a buffet featuring carving and omelet stations, a seafood and raw bar and a sweets table. Admission is $46.99, $23.50 for kids ages 6-10 and free for kids younger than six and entitles you to a two-hour reservation.

Hearth Restaurant, 1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400; 
Start your meal with complimentary freshly baked breakfast breads, then order a la carte. Dishes including cinnamon roll pancakes, skirt steak benedict and avocado toast. Mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee and tea are also available. Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Stained Glass, 1735 Benson Ave., Evanston, 847-864-8600; Enjoy made-to-order omelets and eggs benedict, carved leg of lamb with mint pesto and ham with pineapple chutney, and other fare including doughnut French toast, tomato mozzarella salad, and scones. Brunch is $32, half-price for kids ages 4-12 and free for kids under age 3. Adults get a complementary mimosa or bloody mary. The buffet is available from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Ten Mile House, 1700 Central St., Evanston, 847-905-0669, Brunch will feature brisket and ribs, house-smoked salmon, pastries and eggs made to order, and more, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $32 for adults, $15 for kids.

The Barn, rear of 1016 Church St., Evanston, 847-868-8041, The Barn is offering a special three-course brunch with options such as Soup de Poisson ($9.95); Little Gem Salad and Creamy Dijon Salad ($11.95); The Grand Central Caviar Sandwich ($18.95); a choice of Prime Heritage Angus steaks, Za'Atar Roasted Half Chicken ($22.95); and more.

Convito Cafe and Market, 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, 847-251-2654, Easter brunch includes grilled rack of lamb, honey lavender roasted ham and convito hash will be offered with the regular menu from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-441-3100; A three-course menu offers a choice of starters such as a duo of chilled jumbo lump crab and crab cake with sweet pea sauce. Entrees include rack of lamb and grilled garlic lamb sausage and a dessert such as strawberry soufflé with candied kumquat. Brunch is $54, $26 for kids younger than age 10 and reservations are available every half hour from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bar Louie at Holiday Inn Skokie, 5300 Touhy, Skokie, 847-763-3068. The Easter brunch buffet is spread out and includes cold and hot food tables; carving, pasta, waffle, omelet and dessert stations and a bakery corner. The $26.95 tab for adults includes a choice of champagne or mimosa; children aged 5 to 12 are charged $14.95. Service goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The weather forecast expects no rain for Sunday and to get as warm as 61 F with some clouds, some sunshine. If you’re in the mood for a drive, consider these places.

Maya del Sol, 144 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, 708-358-9800, Bring some Latin fare to your celebration, with a brunch buffet featuring tilapia ceviche, chipotle-marinated skirt steak, vegetable enchiladas and sweet corn tamales with poblano cream sauce. Brunch runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and costs $29 or $14 for kids ages 4-12. Kids younger than age 4 eat free.

Rob Roy Golf Course, 505 E. Camp McDonald Rd, Prospect Hts., IL 60070. 847-296-4653. This River Trails Park District golf course club house offers Easter champagne brunch buffet on Sunday. First seating: 9:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m. Second seating: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.. Bill will be $24.95 Adults, $14.95, Children 4-12, Free, Kids 3 and younger. Let them know you're bringing kids so the Easter bunny can deliver a special gift. Reservations required: 847-296-4653 x6.

Magnolia Café & Bakery at Lambs Farm
, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, 847-362-4636; A buffet offers carved meats, classic breakfast fare, fresh fruit and vegetables and bakery treats. Reservations are available at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. and the meal costs $24.95 or $10.95 for kids ages 2-12. Kids younger than age 2 eat free.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Nichols Hall, Regenstein Center, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440. Easter brunch menu includes breakfast pastries, turkey and glazed ham from a carving station, a spring vegetable quiche and vanilla french toast bread pudding among other dishes. Bloody Marys, Mimosas and champagne cocktails are available for purchase. Tickets are $32 for adults and $24 for children 3 to 12 years old; members get a discount. After brunch, stop in the Rose Garden for an Easter egg hunt.

Allgauer's on the Riverfront at Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, 2855 N. Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook, 847-664-7999, Choose from more than 100 items offered at this champagne brunch including oysters on the half shell, dozens of fresh salads, peel & eat shrimp, snow crab, hand-carved beef, made-to-order omelets, kids items and desserts. The Easter bunny will also make an appearance. Brunch is served from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and costs $42 or $18 for kids ages 4-12.

Monastero's, 3935 E. Devon Ave., Chicago, 773-588-2515, Champagne brunch will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entrees begin at $22, with a children's menu starting at $16. Cost includes choice of entree; soup, fruit or salad; dessert trip, coffee, tea and choice of a glass of champagne, orange juice or mimosa.

Cafe Touche, 6731 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, 773-775-0909, Full brunch offerings available between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Lucky Monk, 105 Hollywood Blvd., South Barrington, 847-898-0500, Easter brunch entrees will include corned beef hash, short rib benedict, stuffed French toast and chicken and waffles. Kids eat for $8.95, which includes an ice cream sundae station. Brunch begins at 10 a.m.
Good idea for big families…

White Eagle, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, 847-647-0660, Seatings for a family-style menu including bread, soup, roasted chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, beef brisket with gravy, Polish sausage and sauerkraut, pierogi, Honey-baked ham and dessert, will take place from noon to 6 p.m. with a cost of $27.50 per person. A buffet-style menu will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a cost of $29.50 per person and feature a breakfast station, fish station, carving station, Italian station, Polish station and a dessert station.

White Pines Golf Club & Banquets, 500 W Jefferson St., Bensenville, 630-766-0304. The Easter brunch, a family event, has a lineup that will include traditional favorites as well as some culinary surprises from Executive Chef Rich Mancini. The tariff for adults is $35.95 and for children 5 to 10, $15.95. Seatings run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bloody Mary and champagne bars are available at an additional cost.

Hyatt Regency O'Hare
, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont, 847-696-1234 Ext. 4602. This popular brunch is designed to offer something to appeal to a broad spectrum of diners as they stop at buffet stations highlighting seafood, breakfast fare, waffles, Italian specialties, sushi, carved delicacies and desserts – including many gluten-free choices. Prices are $48 per adult and $26.50 for children aged 5 to 12. Seatings will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sources: Skokie Review, Skokie Patch’s bulletin board, Northbrook Star

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kemone's Food Fight

Kemone with papayas at Mariano's.
I’ve known Kemone Hendricks since she was a high schooler at ETHS. I led and she participated in an Evanston Arts Council and City of Evanston joint workforce development project called ArtSkills 2000, which gave Evanston kids summer jobs. She was a paid photographer with 19 peers. She and I got back in touch recently to talk about the business of photography, as well as health and wellness. This is some of what we talked about.

Q: Kemone, to me you look like the same skinny kid who I met about 17 years ago, but actually your body has gone through some big changes, besides giving birth twice. You’d gained some weight and you weren’t feeling good physically. What do you attribute the weight gain to and what do you attribute your weight loss and better health to?

KH: My weight gain started when I became depressed about the relationship I was in. I had started to eat a lot and also drink alcohol almost everyday to comfort myself. Food became a drug to me and I would eat to the point I would feel like throwing up sometimes, even if I was full I would continue eating. Eating became my happy place, the only time I would truly feel happy was while I was eating my favorite foods, but the weight gain made me even more depressed. The person whom I was in a relationship with also enjoyed eating and encouraged me to eat more and applauded my weight gain.

I always wanted to break the cycle, but wasn't quite sure how to. I was disgusted when I looked in the mirror and started hating myself. I didn't even recognize the person in the mirror anymore. I became so disgusted with myself I started searching the internet for the fastest way to lose weight. I associated losing weight with also losing the unhealthy relationship I was in. That thought made me feel free and happy, because if he wasn't around I wouldn't have anyone encouraging me to eat and promoting the very thing that made me hate the way I looked. All I wanted was to be the Kemone I once was—sometimes sad, but usually really happy, energetic, not caring what people thought of me. Deep down I knew I could never get her back the wound was too deep. But maybe somehow I could create a new Kemone, someone better than her? Someone kinda like her? Someone stronger than her? That wouldn't let this happen to her again?

So it began. A journey I'm still on this very day. I'm a all-or-nothing person, so if I commit to doing something I will succeed. But I'm also very impatient. I wanted it now! I couldn't stand the person in the mirror another day. So I got a gym membership, started taking one of the best appetite suppressant pills, worked out almost everyday, barely ate, drank lots of water and ignored everything else around me and before you new it I felt alive again. Hearing people say “OMG. You’re getting so skinny" became a drug to me.

Q: Your path to better health has included paying attention to what your body is telling you it needed, not what a diet guru might prescribe. What are some of the foods your body is telling you it wants to feel its best?

KH: So I soon realized that trying to starve myself left me with little to no energy. My body started telling me it needs fruits, veggies, something else to keep it going, but not too much to slow it down. So I would fast some days drinking green tea with 100% pure honey, water, and soup broth when craving flavor. I would do that for two days straight sometimes only one and then on the days that I did eat I would eat lots of fruits, protein (chicken breast), protein bars (no sugar added, gluten free). I wouldn't eat after 7 o'clock and if I did get hungry after that, I ate fruits only. Then I would cycle that same routine thru out the week. If I did eat something “bad” I would detox it out by drinking one of my favorite detox teas.

Green tea with a hint of mint is amazing, pure honey is amazing, blueberries do wonders for you, Fiji water best tasting water ever.
Papayas. I enjoy papayas.

Q: What didn’t work for you on your quest toward wellness?

KH: As mentioned, starving left me tired. But what also didn’t work for me was eating solid foods everyday. To me even a salad was like a gateway to wanting to eat more and something less healthy. It was all or nothing with me. Once I knew this was the days of fasting I could set my mind to eat and succeed.

Q: When you fall off the wagon, what foods do you go for? Chips?

KH: Tacos. When I fall off the wagon I go for tacos! Always. There's just something about authentic Mexican tacos! ;-)  For me, anything not made at home—I would go to a restaurant—was not good for me.

Q: What are some of your favorite sources for good-for-you food?

KH: I'm not too picky about where I buy my food and I know I should be! I do love Mariano’s, Trader Joe's, Valli Produce, Village Market Place on Dempster in Skokie and Rogers Park Fruit Market

Q: What are some of your favorite sources for solid information about nutrition?

KH: While I read a lot of things on the internet and follow a couple different health pages on Instagram, I just pretty much stick to the basics and create my own nutritional plan based on my bodies needs and vitamins that my doctor says I'm lacking.

Got your own questions about how to eat better to feel better? Consider asking Chelle, Michelle Gillespie, that is. She and I are starting a column/podcast called Ask Chelle, so she can share eating wisdom in between Health Hacks workshops.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rotary Clubs of Evanston and others host Evanston Mayoral Candidates Forum February 22

The Rotary Club of Evanston (the one that meets for lunch on Thursdays), the Rotary Club of Evanston/Lighthouse (the one that meets for breakfast on Tuesdays), the Chessmen Club of the North Shore (the club having a benefit on March 18), the Kiwanis Club of Evanston (the one that hosts PizzaMania annually) and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce (the one the most engaged business of Evanston belong to) are hosting an Evanston Mayoral Candidates Forum.

Wednesday, February 22
Rotary International's auditorium, 3rd floor
1590 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL

5:00-6:00 p.m. WCGO 1590 AM starts broadcasting with pre-forum interviews

5:30-6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

6:00-7:30 p.m. Candidates Forum

All the Evanston mayoral candidates are expected: Gary Gaspard
, Steve Hagerty
, Brian Miller
, Jeff Smith
, Mark Tendam .

Christian Farr, NBC-5 reporter and neighbor, is set to moderate.

John Hewko, Rotary International’s General Secretary expected to start off the program.

Admission is free to the public, but an RSVP is requested.

Journalists and other media folks can contact Rotary staffer and Rotary Club of Evanston member Jane Lawicki before February 22 for a press release and other details.