CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week on Windy City Weekend, Val gets to celebrate Valentine's Day early with her hubby, Jobba!
Ryan will get to test how well Val and Jobba know each other!
ALESSI IN THE KITCHEN:
The big game is coming up, and chef Mario is in the kitchen getting us ready for kick-off.
He's preparing a one pot chili, Italian pasta salad and antipasto board utilizing Alessi's wide range of products.
ONE POT GROUND BEEF CHILI
-4 pounds 85% lean ground beef
-4 cups water
-Alessi Sea Salt & Pepper
-12 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1" pieces
- cup tortilla chips, crushed
- 4 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
-4 teaspoons dried oregano
- teaspoon dried thyme
-1 (28-ounce) can of Alessi Organic Peeled Tomatoes
-2 tablespoons Alessi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
-4 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
-2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Toss beef with 4 tablespoons water, 3 teaspoons salt, and 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda in bowl until well combined. Set aside 20 minutes. Baking Soda helps keep meat moist and kelps to brown
2. Meanwhile, place anchos in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if anchos begin to smoke. Transfer to food processor and let cool.
3. Add tortilla chips, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, thyme, and 2 teaspoons pepper to food processor with anchos and process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl. In a now empty blender puree the can of Alessi tomatoes and set aside.
4. Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring with wooden spoon to break meat up into 1/4-inch pieces, until beef is browned and fond begins to form on pot bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Add ancho mixture and chipotle; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add remaining 4 cups water, beans and their liquid, sugar, and the pureed tomatoes. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
6. Remove chili from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in any fat that has risen to top of chili, then add vinegar and season with salt to taste.
Serve with elbow noodles, pass with shredded Monterey-Jack cheese, sour cream, avocados, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and chopped red onion separately.
(Can be made up to 3 days in advance - keep refrigerated, then warm)
ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
1 16oz package Alessi Organic Penne
1/4-pound sliced prosciutto, chopped
1/4-pound sliced salami, chopped
1/4-pound sliced mozzarella, chopped
1/4-pound sliced provolone, chopped
1/4 cup Vigo Pepperoncini, chopped
1/4 cup Vigo Artichoke Hearts, chopped
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup olives
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Alessi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
Alessi Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns, to taste
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 'al dente' approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain pasta and let cool in cold water. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
2. In a large bowl combine penne, prosciutto, salami, mozzarella, provolone, pepperoncini, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, basil and parsley.
3. In a separate bowl whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to combine. Pour over pasta salad. Toss well to evenly coat.
4. Serve immediately or chill for 1 - 2 hours.
ITALIAN ANTIPASTO BOARD
The word antipasto (singular form) translates to "before the meal"
Traditional antipasti include cheese, cured meats, olives, marinated or pickled vegetables, and bread or crackers. Fresh vegetables and fruit are often featured too.
At the end of the day be creative and add the foods you like! You'll be amazed to see what you come up with after folding some cured meats and drizzling a little balsamic glaze or pesto sauce on your work of art...
WHAT WAS ON OUR BOARDS:
-Alessi Fire Roasted Red Peppers
-Alessi Pesto Sauce
- Alessi Balsamic Reduction
-Vigo Marinated Mushrooms
-Vigo Marinated Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad Mix
-Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
- Prosciutto di Parma
-Sicilian Green Olive Salad
-Red / White Grapes
Chef Mario shopped for all these ingredients at Fresh Thyme Market. Every day Fresh Thyme Market works to be a trusted resource in our communities, bringing people access to real food at real affordable prices. With a local focus on what the community needs, each store provides fresh, natural and organic food at affordable prices. By offering an immersive, intuitive shopping experience, Fresh Thyme Market meets people wherever they are on their journey to living a healthier lifestyle.
To learn more, visit freshthyme.com or keep in touch by liking Fresh Thyme at facebook.com/freshthymemarket, and following them at https://www.instagram.com/freshthyme/
You can find more Alessi products by visiting the Alessi website. And follow their socials @AlessiFoods
Author Leanne Stuckey is a vocal advocate for those with visible skin blemishes from acne and birthmarks to eczema and vitiligo. Even so, she remained a little nervous to appear on camera for this interview about her new children's book, "Beautifully Blemished."
"Even sitting here now having my birthmark out, there's a little small voice inside that's like, "What are you doing?'" said Stuckey. "But the voice that's like, "No, do it, yeah!" is getting louder and louder."
"Beautifully Blemished" is illustrated by Traci Allison and takes readers on a colorful, lyrical journey from the perspective of the skin different child. Stuckey said she wanted to write a story for kids who felt like her and inspire them to find delight in their imperfections.
"It was really important to me to compare the blemishes to things in nature that are beautiful and awe inspiring," said Stuckey. "The God who created those same things in nature is the same God who created me."
The book features a variety of children from different racial and ethnic backgrounds with skin abnormalities such as birthmarks, rashes, inflammations, discolorations, scars, and other blemishes. Stuckey said one reason she's passionate about highlighting the topic is because she believes beauty standards in the US have often angled toward flawless, fairer skin in advertising and popular culture.
"Being a woman, being a Black woman, and being a Black woman who's blemished, you could almost say I have three strikes against me when it comes to the standards of beauty in America," said Stuckey.
The book is dedicated to Stuckey's children and family as well as her father who passed away a few years ago. Although she grew up in a loving and accepting home, Stuckey said she was occasionally teased and asked questions about her facial birthmark, which resembles a bruise under her right eye.
"'Is that a black eye?' 'Were you in a fight?' 'How does the other guy look?'" said Stuckey. "I kind of grew up just smiling and nodding and saying, "No, it's just a birthmark."
Stuckey lives in Flossmoor, Illinois, with her husband Torri and children Zoe, Caleb, Tori, and Miles. Nine-year-old Caleb has a birthmark on his stomach and a character with a blemish resembling his own appears in the book.
"The book is really neat and really cool," said Caleb. "I really, really love her because she's been there every step of my life."
tuckey's husband Torri said he's proud of his wife for pouring so much of her time and energy into a book she's so passionate about.
"I've never read a book quite like this," he said.
Stuckey said her dream is that every school across the world would have copies of "Beautifully Blemished" in their libraries.
"I desire to have it in dermatology offices," said Stuckey. "I really think it should be something that should be everywhere."
The author also runs an Instagram account to foster community for those with skin differences called @beautifullyblemished365, which has grown to over 1,000 followers. To purchase "Beautifully Blemished" and learn more about Leanne Stuckey, visit her website leannestuckey.com.
ROEPER'S TOP 5 ROMANTIC MOVIES BASED IN CHICAGO:
#5: "Love Jones" (1997)
Number 5 is the 1997 film of an aspiring writer and photographer who instantly connect at a club in Chicago.
#4: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1985)
Number 4 is the classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" about a high schooler who calls in "fake sick" to school and has a wild adventure on the streets of Chicago with his friends.
#3: "Return to Me" (2000)
Number 3 is "Return to Me", about a man who lost his wife in a car crash. Years later he goes on a blind date, and finds out the woman is the organ recipient of his deceased wife's heart.
#2: "Only The Lonely" (1991)
Number 2 is about a mother who deeply loves her adult son, but feels threatened when he falls deeply in love with a young woman he meets.
#1: "While You Were Sleeping" (1995)
Number 1 on the list is "While You Were Sleeping" starring Sandra Bullock where she saves a co-worker from getting hit by a train. While he's in a coma, his family believes they were engaged... and she plays along.
THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW OPENS THIS WEEKEND:
It's time to get revved up to find your dream car when ABC 7 gives a preview of the 2023 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW, Saturday, February 11 at 6:00 P.M. on ABC 7.
Hosted by ABC 7 Anchors Jim Rose, Ryan Chiaverini, Tracy Butler, Roz Varon and Val Warner, this live, hour-long special spotlights all of the bells and whistles that come with some of the most spectacular cars, trucks, and SUVs the industry has to offer. An encore broadcast of the live special will air later that evening at midnight and again on Sunday, February 12 from 3:30-4:30 P.M. on ABC 7. The special will also stream live exclusively on abc7chicago.com and ABC 7's Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.