159. Barrington EATS: Kookin’ Up Memorial Day Burgers

Kooker's Bacon Cheeseburger

When I think about Memorial Day food, like most everyone else, I think burgers. There’s a reason they are one the most eaten meals in America. The simple combination base of beef and buns is reliably good! Like many good meals, a burger is one I refer to as a palette. Like an artists palette, it’s a meal that can be decorated with so many options and ways – whatever suits your fancy.

Kookers Bacon Cheeseburger

My favorite burgers to prepare at home include avocado and salsa, mushrooms and Swiss and fried onions with chipotle mayo.  When it comes to finding great burgers out and about in Barrington, I have long had a favorite place in Kooker’s on route 14 just West of 59.  This classic burger joint has everything you want from your hometown burger place and more.

It starts with friendly service when you walk in the door…

Every one of the many times I’ve been in Kooker’s, I’ve been welcomed by owner Bill Seger with a warm greeting that includes a reference to either the bacon or the baseball he knows my 9-year old boy loves, just from getting to know him over the counter. Following the friendly chatter are accommodations of special orders, and tremendously quick service.

With burger boutiques being all the rage these days, I decided to challenge Bill on what they might have that Kooker’s doesn’t…

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158. Grab Your Guide to Barrington’s 2012 Art Festival

Barrington Art Festival

Artists from all over the country are gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend art festival happening in Barrington this Saturday and Sunday, May 26th and 27th. 140 juried artists, representing all categories and price points, will be exhibiting along Cook and Station Streets in downtown Barrington in the community’s third annual event.

The FREE outdoor art fest runs both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and is packed with fun activities planned for the entire family…

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157. Brush Up on Poison Safety After Brake Fluid Scare

Billy and the Brake Fluid

I woke up feeling incredibly fortunate this morning after a dose of drama and a trip to Good Shepherd Hospital’s Emergency Room last night.  It all started while I was sending a quick email in my house late yesterday as my young kids played in the back yard.

My 2-year-old son, Billy, appeared at my side with bubbles in his mouth trying to spit out something that tasted bad.  His breath smelled like gasoline and I panicked when I ran outside to find my 3-year-old daughter collecting flowers and leaves in this open and almost empty container…

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156. Musée School of Photography & Digital Media Opens

Courtesy of Susan McConnell Photography

There’s a brand new school in Barrington dedicated to teaching students of all ages how to create great photography and use digital media to perfect and publish images.  Barrington photographer, Susan McConnell, is launching a new branch of her business this week by unveiling her new Barrington photography school named Musée School of Photography and Digital Media.

Courtesy of Susan McConnell Photography

Susan will be teaching a series of classes out of her downtown Barrington photography studio at 110 E. Main Street. The well lit space is equipped with the photography and technology tools of Susan’s trade which she’ll use to help teach these classes….

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155. Barrington EATS: The Coolest Thing in the Kitchen

Post - Cucumber Slices

I look forward to this time of year for many reasons… the Fox River is open for boating, the days until the Barrington pool opens can be counted on our fingers, graduation parties, gardening and baseball punctuate the weekends, and at the grocery stores, the prices of cucumbers begin their steady descent to from over $1 per cucumber to their 3-cucumbers-for-a-dollar lows (expect late in the summer).

Cucumbers are a solid staple in my household, an item that I refer to as a Smart ingredient. It’s Smart because they always get eaten (don’t rot in the crisper!), and can round out SO many meals for my family. Both my kids and I will eat cucumber slices just as a snack. Think crunchy, like chips! They are a main ingredient in two of my favorite salads, (recipes below) 4 other salads in my salads cookbook, they add a great texture and liveliness to many of my kids favorite sandwiches, such as turkey and bacon, or ham and lettuce.

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154. Discover “Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift”

glazov2

For the first time since publishing her children’s book, Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift 15 years ago, Tower Lakes author, Sheila Glazov, will have the honor of watching a musical rendition of the story brought to life on stage this Sunday night.  Performers with Lake Zurich’s Trilogy School of Performing Arts have prepared a special interpretation of the book, which is a “family fairy tale” about a young princess created to help children of all ages build self esteem.

The musical version of Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift was adapted shortly after Sheila published the book’s second edition to include paragraphs about bullying in schools.  She wrote the story as a “fairy tale version” of her popular adult book examining behavior and relationships called, What Color is Your Brain?  A Fun and Fascinating Approach to Understanding Yourself and Others.

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153. Countryside School 5K & Fun Run for Walk On Farm

Countryside Cares Student Committee, Courtesy of Kelly Henry

Fourth and fifth graders at Countryside Elementary School have organized a community 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run this weekend and they’re asking us to lace up our running shoes to join them in raising money for Walk On Farm.

Countryside Cares Student Committee, Courtesy of Kelly Henry

Walk On Farm is a horseback riding center on Cuba Road in Barrington devoted to making life easier for people with disabilities. Families who live many miles from Barrington drive their kids to Walk On weekly to experience the joy of horseback riding and the confidence and strength it builds in special needs riders like Danielle Sulaski from Aurora, Illinois.

Danielle is living with Cerebral Palsy after suffering a stroke at birth. Danielle’s grandfather, Bob Hunt, says she’s a different girl when she loses her walker and climbs on a horse.

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152. Eat, Drink and be Booky with Hip New Social Club

Post - Eat, Drink and Be Booky

There’s a new book club in town that’s a little more social than serious—which is perfect if you’re a reader who likes to enjoy a cocktail or two over discussions of plot and symbolism. “LIT” is the name of the Barrington Area Library’s brand new social book club for adults designed to let you have just that kind of light-hearted experience. And with a motto like “Eat, drink and be booky,” you’ll get exactly what you sign up for!


LIT
is an out-on-the-town kind of club that will be hosted at a variety of local restaurants instead of at the library. The first one will be held at Park Avenue Restaurant &Wine Bar from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. next Monday, May 21…

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151. Barrington Women Share Mother’s Day Mom Advice

Post - Mother's Day - Suzanne Luby Advice

Today is my fourth Mother’s Day celebrating the holiday as a mom. I have three children, age three and under, and the one thing I know for sure is that I have A LOT to learn about raising kids.  How I wish there were a manual with all the answers and the best way to react when your 3-year-old daughter says, “Mommy, I DO NOT love you to the moon and back.” Making things up as I go is my motherhood M.O. So I decided to turn to local moms I look up to for a little advice, starting with my own mom, Suzanne.

Suzanne & Liz Luby, circa 1974

For tips on how to be a better mom, I decided the best question for the pros is this:

“What do you know now about how to be a good mom that you wish you knew when your first baby was born and are there any secrets you’ve picked up along the way?”

My own mom, Suzanne Luby, answered that question by saying, “Being a mother isn’t a job with a start and a finish. It’s an ongoing process filled with joy, discovery and wonder.” (To me, that sounds like the “nice” way to put it ;))  Read on for more priceless words of wisdom and a Mother’s Day gift from ten Barrington women on that “ongoing process” of motherhood…

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150. Barrington EATS: Treat Your Mom’s Taste Buds

Minolta DSC

If you want to treat your mom to a special Mother’s Day brunch or dinner in Barrington this weekend, we’ve collected the details about some delicious dining options.  They include a wide range of international samplings you can try at local restaurants as well as two special recipes you can prepare for mom at home, giving her a  well  deserved break from, you know the place …..


L’Eiffel Bistrot & Creperie

L’Eiffel will offer several types of French crepes,  benedicts and salads for brunch, and for dinner items such as Chateaubriand and Boeuf Bourguignon. Brunch from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., dinner from 3-9 p.m. 847-428-4783.

PL8 Simply Asian
pl8 is celebrating Mother’s Day as they do in China and Japan with both their fare and some special traditions. Moms will receive a traditional carnation, and a card that includes a $10 gift certificate on their next visit to PL8. There will be Mother’s Day specials along with their regular menu which includes sushi, Sichuan and traditional Chinese and Thai items such as pot stickers, Pad Thai and Sweet and Sour. 3 – 9 p.m.
 847-382-1988.

Pinstripes
Pinstripes at the Arboretum of South Barrington will be rocking a Canadain-invented chocolate fountain in addition to three types of waffles and an omelet station. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 847-844-9300.

Millrose Restaurant
Mother’s Day at Millrose includes a Brunch with Italian flair including Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Pork Loin with Marsala Sauce and Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella, and Southwest dinner selections including chicken quesadillas, fried calamari with chili cilantro sauce and Chicken Milanesa.

Onion Pub
Enjoy fantastic Seafood selections like Chilled Alaskan Crab Legs, Beer Steamed Mussels, Shrimp Cocktail and Hardwood Smoked Salmon. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 847-381-7308.

Barrington Country Bistro
The Bistro’s Mother’s Day french fare will include Shrimp Beurre Blanc and beef Tenderloin Steak Béarnaise. Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dinner 4 – 7 p.m. 847-842-1300.

If you are cooking at home this Mother’s Day, here are two of my popular breakfast recipes from other ends of the globe. Round either out with an array of fresh berries or other fruit and have your own International-inspired event at home. Whatever you do, I hope you and the Mom in your life enjoy!…

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