Val and Ryan preview the Oscars, dream about visiting Fort Myers and more

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week on Windy City Weekend, we kick off the show with an Oscars Preview! Film Critic, Richard Roeper, gives his prospective winners for five of the biggest awards!

Best picture - "The Power of the Dog"

Actor - Will Smith, "King Richard"

Actress - Jessica Chastain, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"

Supporting actor - Kodi Smit-McPhee, "The Power of the Dog"

Supporting actress - Judi Dench, "Belfast"

IRISH SODA BREAD RECIPE WITH ALESSI


We're back in the kitchen! Home chef, Chris McDonagh, gives us a taste of her home country of Ireland. Using Alessi products, McDonagh shows us how to make Irish Soda Bread with an Italian twist!

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Home chef, Chris McDonagh, gives us a taste of her home country of Ireland



Ingredients
3.5 cups bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups buttermilk
1 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1 cup black olives (sliced)
cup Sundried tomatoes (Julien)
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp sundried tomato pesto

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Blend basil, pesto, buttermilk and half the olives until smooth.
3. Add flour, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture, remaining olives, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts. Mix well until combined. The mixture should be sticky but not wet.
5. Pour the mixture into a baking dish or tray, shape into a loaf.
6. Bake at 425F for 15mins, then reduce to 400F for 25mins.
7. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20mins (very important step!)

VISIT FORT MYERS



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Located in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers and its surrounding areas are a vacationer's dream.



Of course we don't live in Chicago for the weather and sometimes we get all four seasons in one day. So why not take a trip to somewhere warm!

Miriam Dotson, communications manager with the islands, beaches and neighborhoods of Fort Myers, fills us in on the great weather, beaches and outdoor activities that Fort Myers, Florida, has to offer.

Located in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers and its surrounding areas are a vacationer's dream. This easygoing community includes more than 100 islands, over 50 miles of natural white-sand beaches and serene natural environments (like mangrove forests and tranquil waterways). As soon as visitors arrive, they get a shoulder-drop feeling that makes every day here a good day. It might spoil them, but that's exactly the point.

Throughout Fort Myers islands, beaches and neighborhoods, any day can be a good day.

To start planning your trip today, visit https://www.visitfortmyers.com/

FREE PLANTS WITH HERBS AND THE BURBS



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Every weekend, Johnson hosts "Free Plant Saturday," an event where she gives out free plants and teaches her clients how to care for these herbs.



TJ Johnson is a hair stylist based in the Chicago suburb, Flossmoor. The mother of three says once the pandemic impacted her hair salon, she had to find a new stream of income.

"I was already a crazy plant lady and I thought of a way to make some extra money," Johnson said. "So I actually started a website and then that just kind of steamrolled into what we have here today."

Now Johnson owns Herbs and the Burbs, a plant shop located in the south suburbs of Chicago.

"Herbs and the Burbs is community, Herbs and the Burbs is my passion project. Herbs and the Burbs is my own little contribution to helping people's mental health," Johnson said.

Every weekend, Johnson hosts "Free Plant Saturday," an event where she gives out free plants and teaches her clients how to care for these herbs. The entrepreneur says this has significantly grown her clientele.

"I have several regular plant customers, regular clients. They go from customers, to clients, to family," Johnson said.

RYAN RACES VAL'S SON



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It's the race we've all been waiting for!



It's the race we've all been waiting for! Ryan hits the track in a friendly competition against Val's son, Max -- who happens to be the fastest 8th grader in the country in the 300 meters!

You'll just have to watch to see who wins!
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