Fall is the best time of the year.
Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, pumpkin and apple donuts… the list goes on.
But best of all, it’s time to visit a pumpkin patch and get lost in a corn maze!
It isn’t just kids and adults that want to get in on the fun, so do our furry four-legged friends!
If you’re a crazy dog parent (and who isn’t?), there’s no reason to leave Fido at home on a beautiful fall day.
After all, your pup loves the crinkling leaves and brisk fall weather just as much as you do.
You can obviously take your pup to the park, but if you’re going for the full fall experience, you’re likely making your way to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard so that they can run around, play, and socialize. It’s all especially important after we’ve spent a lot of time cooped up at home amid the pandemic.
The good news is, there’s a handful of pup-friendly farms near the Chicagoland area that will greet your whole family with open arms.
Just make your Fido also gets a #basic fall photo from the day’s activities.
*Most farms have COVID-19 protocols in place, so be sure to double-check those before going!*
Richardson’s Adventure Farm – 909 English Prairie Rd, Spring Grove, IL 60081
Open: September 11 – November 7
Fun for the whole family” takes on a new meaning here. Not only does Richardson’s Adventure Farm boast the world’s largest corn maze with 28-acres, but you can get lost in the corn maze with your dog!
“With its 9 – 10 miles of trail winding through 28 acres of live corn, you are in for a challenge and a treat,” the website notes.
There’s also a petting zoo, kiosks with food and drinks, and more!
Per the website, “you are welcome to bring your dog if it is on a leash and plays well with others!”
I speak from experience when I say this is my doggo’s favorite pumpkin patch to visit. He loves socializing with all the other pups!
Konow’s Corn Maze – 16849 Cedar Rd, Homer Glen, IL 60491
Open: September 18 – October 31
A maze, an animal barn, and fun rides — what more do you need?
Other fun activities include a corn pit, shooting gallery, and straw playground. You won’t run out of things to do here. ? Best of all, dogs are allowed on the premises.
Abbey Farms – 2855 Hart Road, Aurora, IL 60502
Pumpkin Daze Opens: September 18 – October 31
Priding themselves on ol’ fashioned fun, Abbey Farms welcomes the families + pups to explore their 40-acre pumpkin farm, sip of craft beer, get lost in a corn maze, and pick pumpkins for at-home celebrations.
If you’re bringing a pup, be sure to be courteous: “We love our furry four legged friends. A few rules do apply tho. We do require all owners to take full responcibility for their pets, clean up after them and abide by the areas of the farm that do not allow pets due to close proximity to other guests. Abbey Farms reserves the right to ask any guest to leave for any reason. Abbey Farms requires all owners to accept all liability for their pet while on Abbey Farms grounds!”
Eckert’s Farm – 951 S Green Mt Rd, Belleville, IL 62220
This one is a bit of a drive, so make sure you plan it on a weekend when you have some time to spare. But it’s definitely worth it. As the farm is open year-round, you can enjoy the summer months strawberry or peach picking, or check out the sunflower maze.
When fall comes around, you can go apple picking, taste cider, or find the perfect pumpkin to carve.
Your options aren’t limited to summer and fall either as you can pick your Christmas tree in the wintertime.
Thankfully, your best furry friend can come along for the adventures.
“We are a pet-friendly company and we welcome leashed dogs on the farm and bike path. Service dogs are the only dogs permitted inside buildings. We welcome leashed dogs to ride on the wagons. They are also permitted in the apple & peach orchards, Christmas tree fields, and the pumpkin patch. Dogs are not allowed to enter the strawberry or blackberry patch or the veggie fields. Reminder: Please be prepared to pick up after your pet,” the website notes.
The Only Cosmopolitan Recipes You’ll Need
As the days begin to get a little longer, you know that spring — and then summer — are on the horizon.
Of course, this means you can start putting away all your winter drinks (we’re looking at you, Gluhwein) and start busting out the refreshing cocktails.
If you’ve been on the hunt for the perfect Cosmo recipe that would knock the Louboutin’s off of the Sex & the City women, look no further than these 3 delicious recipes from Ocean Spray, the farmer-owned cranberry co-operative.
You can sip these when you need a little wind down, when your hosting some friends, or for all the romantic holidays coming up!
Created by Ocean Spray
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
- 1 1/2 ounce vodka
- 1 1/2 ounce Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Drink, any flavor, chilled
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- Lime twist, garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain mixture into a chilled stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with lime twist.
Created by Ocean Spray
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 50-Calorie Serving
- 3 ounces Diet Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Drink
- 3/4 ounce raspberry Flavored Vodka
- 1 Squeeze of lime
- Lime twist for garnish
- Shake ingredients, except lime twist, until cold, in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with lime twist.
Created by Ocean Spray
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier®
- 1/8 lime (juice)
- 2 ounces Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail
- Orange slice, garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, Grand Marnier®, juice of 1/8 of a lime, and Cranberry Juice Cocktail. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange slice.
Super Bowl LVI Menu: Try These Winning Recipes on Game Day
The Super Bowl commercials and halftime show are great, but really, we’re there for the food!
If you’d rather veer away from the traditional pizza and wings dishes, we have some dishes that are an absolute touchdown.
These tasty snacks are a must for your gameday lineup!
Macaroni & Cheese Skillet recipe from Grand Lux Cafe
*Serves about 2 people
For the Cheddar Cheese Sauce
|2 Tbl.||All-Purpose Flour|
|1 cup||Whole Milk|
|¼ cup||Heavy Cream|
|2 cups||Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated|
|¼ tsp.||Kosher Salt|
For the Butter-Breadcrumb Mix
|2 Tbl.||Panko Breadcrumbs|
|2 Tbl.||Butter, melted|
For the Macaroni and Cheese
|8 oz.||Macaroni Pasta, Dry/Uncooked (Or try Gemelli Pasta, which is what we use in our restaurants!)|
|1/2 cup||Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated|
|1/2 cup||Monterey Jack Cheese, grated|
For the Cheddar Cheese Sauce
- Heat the butter in a small saucepot set over medium-high heat until the butter is completely melted.
- Add the flour and whisk to incorporate. Cook until the raw flour taste has been cooked away (about 1-1/2 minutes). Do not allow to turn brown. It should remain very light blond in color.
- Slowly add the whole milk a ¼ cup at a time, whisking to prevent lumps. Then, add the heavy cream while continuing to whisk. Allow the sauce to come to a gentle boil.
- Lower the heat. Simmer and stir occasionally to avoid burning (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Add the grated cheddar cheese and stir to incorporate with a wire whisk until completely melted.
- Season with salt. Remove from the heat*
For the Butter-Breadcrumb Mix
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and melted butter. Set Aside.
For the Macaroni and Cheese
- Preheat the oven to the “broil” setting (if you do not have a broiler, set your oven to 500°F and leave your oven door slightly cracked open).
- Cook the macaroni pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Place the cooked and drained pasta into the saucepot with the cheddar cheese sauce. Using a rubber spatula, fold to incorporate.
- Place the macaroni and cheese into a small cast iron skillet or other oven-safe ramekin or small casserole dish. Then, sprinkle the butter-breadcrumb mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
- Place your macaroni and cheese skillet into the oven until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs.
- Remove the macaroni and cheese from the oven. Serve and enjoy!
*Notes: Cheddar cheese sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated.
Superbowl Breakfast Bagel from Bagel+ Slice
Buffalo Chicken Sausage
1 lb ground chicken
3 Tbs Bagel+Slice Buffalo Toss at room temperature (recipe below)
1 Tbs chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp rubbed dry sage
1/8 tsp ground bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
Add ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Do not over mix.
Bagel+Slice Buffalo Toss
2 garlic cloves 1/8” diced
3 Tbs butter
1 ½ Tbs Franks Red Hot
1 ½ Tbs Vodka
Add garlic and butter to a nonreactive saucepan. Cook on medium heat until butter and garlic begins to brown. Add the Franks Red Hot sauce and vodka and cook to reduce by one third. Cool and reserve for later use.
2 egg yolks
1 tsp cider vinegar
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
6 drops Tabasco
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 oz melted butter
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
½ tsp chopped fresh dill
¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp chopped fresh basil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Juice from ¼ of a lemon
Water as needed
Place egg yolks, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce in stainless mixing bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Whisk this mixture until it thickens then remove from heat. Whisk in the melted butter little-by-little to for a creamy emulsion. Whisk in the fresh herbs and pepper. Adjust the consistency with fresh lemon juice and water. Adjust seasoning as needed with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Reserve over a pan of warm water.
1 bagel, toasted
1 patty of the Buffalo chicken sausage, well browned in butter
1 fried egg
Franks Red Hot (to taste)
Hollandaise Ranch (to desired amount)
1/8 cup sauteed spinach
Toast bagel. Add the sauteed spinach to the bottom half of the bagel. Top the spinach with the browned Buffalo chicken sausage, fried egg, Franks Red Hot and Hollandaise Ranch sauce. Eat the shit out of this!
Pink Grapefruit Shandy
1-12 oz wheat beer
6 oz pink grapefruit juice
1 oz simple syrup (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass and enjoy with your Superbowl Breakfast Bagel!
Champagne Pizza from Bagel+ Slice
Rose Champagne Syrup
1 750ml bottle rose champagne
1 cup granulated white sugar
½ tsp dry rose petals (food grade)
Add ingredients to a non-reactive saucepan. Cook on medium high heat to reduce to 1 1/8 cup. Careful cooking over gas flame as alcohol can catch fire…which can add more excitement to your evening but can be dangerous. You will know when the syrup has reduced sufficiently as the bubbles on the top will become a bit larger. Do not over reduce or it will caramelize. Strain out the rose petals and store refrigerated until ready to use. Syrup can be thinned with water or reduced further to thicken.
8 oz mascarpone
1 ½ Tbs granulated white sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Do not over mix. Store refrigerated until ready to use.
1 bag frozen raspberries
Defrost raspberries overnight in the refrigerator. Place raspberries in a fine mesh strainer. Push the raspberry puree through the strainer, capturing the seeds in the strainer. Reserve the puree in the refrigerator until ready to use.
1 Tbs crushed raw pistachios
1 tsp dry rose petals (food grade)
¼ cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tsp chopped dark chocolate
1 Tbs cut fresh mint
2 ea pizza dough balls 150-200g
2 Tbs Turbinado sugar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup semolina flour for dusting
Preheat the oven to its highest setting at least 45 minutes before your big night with pizza with a pizza stone or oven still on the lowest rack if you don’t have convection or the highest rack if you do have convection heat. Remove one dough ball for yourself (one more if you have someone to share with). Set some dusting flour on a pizza peel and coat the pizza dough so it is no longer sticky. Stretch the dough into a 10” circle.
- Oil ½” of the outside perimeter with olive oil and sprinkle half of the turbinado sugar on that perimeter section.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of the raspberry puree into the center of the pizza crust, spreading all the way to the inside edge of the sugared edge.
- Carefully slide the pizza into the oven on the stone or steel and bake until the crust is well browned. If the sauce begins to brown, spoon on a bit more sauce to keep it lovely and red.
- Remove the pizza from the oven when the crust is well browned, and sugar caramelizes. Set on a rack while you finish building.
- Spoon 8-10 small spoonful dollops of the mascarpone and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of the chopped chocolate.
- Add about 8-12 strawberry pieces.
- Drizzle with rose champagne syrup. Garnish with crushed pistachios, dry rose petals and chopped fresh mint.
- Cut or not. Nobody is watching.
Where to Watch and Celebrate Super Bowl LVI in Chicago
The game, the Halftime Show, the food, and the drinks.
Those are the only things that matter during Super Bowl Sunday.
Super Bowl LVI falls on February 13, 2022. If you don’t feel like hosting a game day party at your place, there are plenty of restaurants and hotels in Chicago that would be happy to host you for a watch party!
And did I mention they have delicious food and drink offerings?
Want to be the real winner of the Super Bowl? Check out these unbeatable deals below!
Chef Doug Psaltis and Andros Taverna are changing up takeout on Chicago’s best authentic Greek menu to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl by offering Charcoal Grilled Greek Wings on Sunday, February 13. Chef Doug’s Charcoal Grilled Greek Wings ($18p dozen) are slowly grilled over roasting embers and will come served with spicy yogurt and greek fries. Wings will only be available to pre-order by the dozen a la carte through Tock, GrubHub and ChowNow on Gameday. Chef Doug will also release his Spanakopita and Artichoke Dip ($16), which comes served with pita crisp, his Spreads Party Pack ($39) featuring three Andros spreads along with pita crisps and cruidités of vegetable and Andros’ Olympia Fries ($10), which come topped with hand-cut gyro, tzatziki and cheese.
Bring home the best charcuterie and cheeses in Chicago on Super Bowl Sunday with Lardon’s Charcuterie and Cheese Boards! With three size options available to enjoy from your couch, pre-order yours for weekend pickups. Lardon offers 1-2, 3-4 and 6-8 person Charcuterie and Cheese Boards for your party and the cutoff for ordering will always be 5pm the day before pickup. Orders can be made through Lardon’s Tock.
Is there a better trio than pizza, beer, and football? What better place to celebrate all three than at PB&J’s where large parties are welcome and cheering is encouraged. Reserve your section today with no minimums and no deposit required and come and enjoy the best game of the year with delicious food and drinks flowing all game long. Even though it won’t be the Chicago Bears, PB&J’s in Chicago’s West Loop will be partying all Super Bowl night long.
Recess is the ultimate destination for NFL game days and the streak continues for NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl Sunday. Recess offers the Beer Down NFL Promotion throughout the playoffs and Super Bowl Sunday, which features food and drink specials all Game Day long. Football fans can chow down on Slider Towers and a la carte Sliders, wash it down with Daaa Beers import and domestic buckets, as well as slurp specialty Large Format boozy cocktails made for Super Bowl Sunday. Fans can also get a High Life and a shot of Tullamore Dew for $10. Learn more about Recess Game Day specials by visiting www.chicagoinrecess.com.
Known for its wood-fired cooking and menu featuring the Midwest’s best meat, freshwater fish and produce, FireLake is a great place to watch the game while enjoying delicious food and fun cocktails. Order shareable items, such as the 2lb pretzel with beer cheese dipping sauce or the smoked whole bone-in wings with fried pickles for the first half and endugle in the Taste of FireLake which includes Coffee Rubbed Smoked Brisket, Rotisserie Chicken with Potato Salad, Smoked Ribs, Charred Sweet Corn Skillet Cornbread post halftime. If ribs are the way to your heart, don’t leave without ordering a half or full slab of Calabrian Smoked Pork Ribs with fennel potato salad, skillet corn bread. In addition, a special Superbowl brunch will take place in Upper FireLake for $52 per person and includes mimosas. Make a reservation online or by calling (312) 477-0234.
Make Super Bowl Sunday the ultimate fiesta at home with Old Pueblo Cantina’s catering menu and takeout offerings. Guests can choose from a variety of offerings including Chips and homemade Guacamole, OPC’s famous Cheese Crisps, Taco Platter Kits, and more.
Heading to the suburbs for the big game? Sophia Steak has got you and guests covered with their to-go family style meals. Diners can choose from their choice of an entree which serves up to four guests, two large format salads, appetizers, and sides. Each order comes with 2 oz cocktail kits from the bar.
Famous for their award-winning Southern fried chicken sandwiches, Boxcar Betty’s has Super Bowl grub taken care of with their loaded sandwich boxes. Each box comes with 10 individually wrapped mouthwatering sandwiches for you and your friends to chow down on and root on your team. With sandwich options like the signature Boxcar, Chicken Not So Waffle, Buffalo, The Betty or a build your own option, every base is covered. Plus, add on delicious sides like handcut fries, fried pickles, peach coleslaw and more for the ultimate Super Bowl feast. Orders for carryout are available by placing an order online or calling the Bucktown location.
Known for elevated French fare, The Loyalist is also home to one of Chicago’s best burgers, The Loyalist Original Cheeseburger. The burger, lovingly known as the Dirty Burg, is made with pickled and charred onions and a sesame seed bun. Consistently ranked as one of the top burgers in Chicago, the Dirty Burg is perfect for any Super Bowl get together for those looking to indulge in a hearty and heavenly bite while rooting on their team. Orders for pickup and delivery can be made via Caviar.
Are you the type to prepare a game changing spread for the Super Bowl as opposed to ordering out? El Che Steakhouse & Bar has you covered with its retail market, El Che Meat & Provisions. The indy shop sells USDA premium Black Angus Beef from Creekstone Farms, South American wines, artisanal ingredients and more to help you prepare a game day feast. Grill Kits like the Parrillada Meal for 4 or the Ultimate Steak Box feature signature cuts of meat like short ribs, chorizo links and ribeyes alongside craft ingredients like chimichurri and salsa criolla, making them the perfect pre-assembled option to make for your Super Bowl party. Items are available for purchase online here or directly at the shop located inside the restaurant at 845 W Washington Blvd.
Looking for a delicious and simple local option for game day? Look no further than Hannah’s Bretzel. The local sandwich chain features healthy, natural and organic ingredients in their made-from-scratch sandwiches and has catering options for parties of six or more. Try the Sandwich Tray with your selection of whole baguette sandwiches cut in half served with locally made salt+pepper house chips. Upgrade the tray to include salad and dessert and the package will include a freshly baked dessert box with organic quinoa blondies, triple chocolate brownies and organic chocolate chip cookies and your choice of a freshly prepared side salad. Visit the website or call your nearest location of Hannah’s Bretzel to place your order.
This year the Superbowl and Valentine’s Day fall only one day apart, which means only one thing, it’s time to celebrate both the love for your team and the love in your relationship! Enjoy this rare, unforgettable weekend at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel and book the “Romance & Rivalry” package that includes overnight accommodations in the Presidential Suite with free parking and a welcome amenity of champagne and roses. But that’s not all, the one-of-a-kind package also features Valentine’s day dinner for two at FireLake Grill House & Bar with a romantic multiple course dinner in Upper FireLake, a bottle of premium wine and two cocktails and chocolate-covered strawberries to go. The next morning begins with a game-day brunch in Upper FireLake where you will load up on your game-day food favorites including two cocktails and unlimited beer and wine.
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