Val, Ryan talk 'Sexiest Man Alive,' veteran giving back through small business, easy Italian recipe

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, November 10, 2023
windy city weekend host chat
This week on Windy City Weekend, Val and Ryan are reunited and catch up on the latest topics for Host Chat!

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week on Windy City Weekend, Val and Ryan are reunited and catch up on the latest topics for Host Chat!

A big congratulations to Ryan on being promoted to Lead Sports Anchor!

In addition to Windy City Weekend every Friday morning, you can now catch him anchoring sports for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts on ABC7 Eyewitness News.

People's 2023 Sexiest Man Alive

People's Magazine has found the sexiest man of 2023, and it's Grey Anatomy's Patrick Dempsey!

2023 Special Olympics Illinois Champions Ball:

On Saturday, Nov. 11, Val Warner will be hosting the "2023 Champions Ball" at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, benefitting the amazing athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

From competitions to health education to leadership, this fundraiser will continue to provide life-changing opportunities for the athletes.

The black tie event begins with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and the program.

The night will end on the dance floor with live entertainment including a live and silent auction and special guest appearances.

To attend the evening of joy and celebration or to make a donation, visit:

Alessi in the Kitchen:

Chef Dino cooks up a Caio e pepe pasta dish over a balsamic glazed Ortaggio, with the latest installment of "Alessi in the Kitchen".

We head back over to Tony's Fresh Market with Chef Dino to cook up a Caio e pepe pasta dish over a balsamic glazed Ortaggio, with the latest installment of "Alessi in the Kitchen".


3 packs of Alessi 4 minute Cacio e pepe

.5 pounds sliced zucchini

.5 pounds sliced yellow squash

1 pound fresh mushrooms

.25 pounds radicchio peeled in pieces

5 pieces peeled garlic crushed whole cloves

1, 7 ounce jar of Alessi Julian sundried tomatoes

1, 12 ounce jar of Alessi Castelvetrano olives

2 tablespoons of Alessi traditional Balsamic reduction Alessi sea salt Fresh italian flat leaf parsley

.5 tablespoon of grated pecorino Romano


Cacio e pepe pasta:

To make Alessi 4 minute Cacio e pepe, follow package directions.

Set aside while making vegetables.

Glazed Vegetables:

Slice vegetables and saute with sundried tomato oil.

Start with zucchini, squash and mushrooms. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat.

Sear the vegetables.

Add garlic, olives, tomatoes and radicchio and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle it with sea salt and add the balsamic.

Toss vegetables in balsamic and place on a platter.

Grated pecorino romano crisps:

Cook grated pecorino Romano on a no-stick cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool.


Pour Alessi Cacio e pepe pasta down the center of the vegetables and place pecorino Romano on top of pasta.


Make sure to visit Tony's Fresh Market to gather the freshest ingredients for your family.

Be sure to check out the grocery store's website and give them a follow them on Facebook!

Tony's Fresh Market Website:

Tony's Fresh Market Facebook:

You can find more Alessi products by visiting the Alessi website and follow their socials @AlessiFoods.

CorSpice spicing up service:

CorSpice is a veteran owned and operated company that gives back to military families year-round.

Most good things in the Domenz household start in the kitchen, and the genesis of CorSpice was no exception.

Domenz's spice blends were the stuff of neighborhood legend; after barbecues and parties, family and friends would leave empty jars on the counter to be refilled with spices.

One night after a successful family barbeque, Domenz and his close family friend, Bob Moring, sat in the kitchen enjoying a few cocktails.

Recognizing Domenz's talent, Moring slammed his hands on the counter and yelled, "You're not giving this stuff away no more!"

Three months later with the help of his wife, Amber Domenz, the CorSpice website launched and spices became available online and at CorSpice vendor popups.

The peppering of patriotism throughout the brand seen in the logo, which was inspired by WWII pinup nose art, honors Domenz's military service.

Domenz served as a helicopter mechanic in the Marine Corps.

His talent for making spices began during his tour of Korea in the 80's, where he discovered that MRE's (Meal Ready to Eat) were not meals that were good to eat.

Determined to create something with good flavor, he pulled together ingredients to make a pseudo-chili.

Fellow marines came together to trade ingredients to make big bowls of Domenz's concoction.

For every meat, veggie or sauce, CorSpice makes a spice blend that will add a burst of flavor.

The spice company offers 7 dry blends that are sold separately or in variety packs.

Domenz family favorite, "A3", provides a heat that increases with each bite; so good it can be eaten on "anything, anywhere, anytime."

Other offerings include "Blacked Ops,"- inspired by a dish Amber and Bill shared on a vacation, and "Private Pork" can be used to make a zesty Italian dressing.

"If we're lucky enough to start a business and keep it sustaining itself," said Amber Domenz, who works as CorSpice's Creative Director, "we need to give back."

CorSpice donates part of their profits to K-9 for Veterans NFP, a non-for-profit organization that provides service dogs for U.S. veterans struggling with PTSD and other mental health issues after they return from service.

The donations raised by CorSpice have provided two veterans with service dogs, and they are expecting to provide the funds for a third pairing in the near future.

"The whole world is different," said Bill, speaking about the impact of CorSpice on his life, "not just for me but for everybody that lives here and for everybody I work with as well."

CorSpice hosts the K9 for Veterans NFP and Support over Stigma Fundraiser this Saturday, Nov. 11 at D and G Brewery in North Saint Charles.

Beer Yoga kicks off at 11 a.m., followed by the main event which runs from 1:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Roeper's reviews: spend or save?:

Richard Roeper shares his movie reviews for this weekend.

"The Marvels" - SAVE

"The Marvels" is the MCU's latest hero flick, starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan /Ms. Marvel.

"The Curse" - SPEND

"The Curse" stars Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder as a newly-wed couple starring in a reality tv show about eco-conscious housing when things quickly take a left turn.

"Manodrome" - SAVE

A troubled young man joins a club of incels for direction and belonging in the new film, "Manodrome".

"Albert Brooks: Defending My Life" - SPEND

"Albert Brooks: Defending My life" is a new documentary about the legendary comedian, Albert Brooks.

Passenger empowerment psa contest:

The National Road Safety Foundation is providing an exciting contest opportunity for teen drivers!

The National Road Safety Foundation is providing an exciting contest opportunity for teen drivers!

Send your idea for a 30 second PSA about Passenger Empowerment to win a cash prize and help drivers stay safe!

The top three entries will work with a production team to have their idea filmed.

All finalists win a cash prize, with first place receiving $2,000!

The contest is open to teens aged 13-19 in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Submissions must be received by Dec. 18.

To enter, visit: