208. Barrington EATS: Pizza in a Pinch

208.  Barrington EATS:  Pizza in a Pinch

Smart Ingredients are those that can open up dinner options without and extra trip to the store.  There’s one Smart Ingredient that is not a common pantry item, yet its potential for dinner success is enormous. It’s yeast.  To be able to whip up a loaf of homemade bread to accompany some soup, or especially a super-easy homemade pizza crust, your dinner options are suddenly multiplied.

Homemade Pizza

In my family, anything on a homemade pizza crust equals a successful dinner.  And with endless topping possibilities, I can always put one together with what I have on hand at home…. traditional red sauce and cheese, potatoes and cream sauce, goats cheese and roasted veggies, or in the recipe below, some leftover barbequed chicken.

RED STAR yeast is easy to find at your local grocery store, and comes in convenient single-serve packets or small jars. I find it very reliable for a great, easy pizza dough like this recipe with barbecue chicken on top…

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207. Score Big Bargains at Barrington Sidewalk Days

207. Score Big Bargains at Barrington Sidewalk Days

The 36th annual Barrington Sidewalk Days begin today and it’s a big and very busy weekend for business owners offering incredible discounts all over town.  But with quite a few new shops that just opened in Barrington this year, the sidewalks are buzzing today with more activity and excitement than I’ve ever seen plus deals at every turn to feed the shopping frenzy.  My first stop (and purchase) today was at Notice Accessories for Living on Cook Street.

Notice Accessories for Living, 202 S. Cook Street

Notice opened for business in Barrington this spring. Many of the shop’s hottest items are on sale, with discounts of up to 80% off on things like lotions, candles and clothes. They’re making way for new merchandise and store owner, Mari Barnes says this is a great weekend to tackle your gift shopping to-do list. “If you get good stuff at these prices, how can you not buy gifts for the holidays?”

Sidewalk Shoppers at “Notice Accessories for Living”

Right next door, Angelina shop owner, Katie Kuempel says she ordered extra merchandise just for this weekend’s community-wide sale.

Angelina, 200 S. Cook Street

Katie is offering some of Angelina’s best selling bracelets at two and three-for-one prices and says things are selling fast.

Accessories at Angelina

But I really scored across the street at Grassroots, known for their stylishly relaxed everyday apparel & accessories for the entire family. My husband, who told me yesterday that he needs new shorts, has about five new pairs now, all of which I bought at Grassroots today, with the help of owners, Todd and Joy Rhodes.

Grassroots Owners, Todd & Joy Rhodes

Also at Grassroots, I picked up an adorable strawberry-print sundress for my three-year-old daughter for ONLY $5!  With a major shopping high, I decided to go check out the new Barrington Running Company that just opened on Park Avenue.

Barrington Running Company, 133 Park Avenue

I met the owners, Mark & Leanne Konicek, who told me a little about their Tuesday night Fun Runs, free yoga classes and the free video gait analysis they offer with the purchase of any pair of shoes!

Barrington Running Company Owners, Mark and Leanne Konciek

My last stop was the Douglas Automotive tent, where I convinced owner, Doug McCallister and General Manager, Pat Moody to let me take their picture in front of the NASCAR vehicle they have on display.  Douglas is featuring the car, courtesy of NASCAR driver, Dave Blaney,  in the Sidewalk Days New, Exotic and Classic Car Show taking place Saturday in the Jewel parking lot.

Doug McAllister and Pat Moody of Douglas Automotive

Doug and Pat told me the picture might look better without them in it, but I have to disagree!  😉

With that quick look at some of today’s Sidewalk Days action, here’s the schedule of exciting events planned through Saturday…

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206. Guess Where Wednesday: Name that Dude!

206.  Guess Where Wednesday:  Name that Dude!

We’re adding a little twist this week by making “Guess Where Wednesday” more like “Guess WHO Wednesday”.  Why not?  We love trying new things here at 365Barrington.com.  Plus, when I suggested the idea to our mystery model today, he was all for it!  So, for this week’s contest, all you have to do is guess where I was when I took this guy’s picture. If you’ve ever been to this place before, odds are you’ve seen him standing right here. And, if you know his name, your guess counts twice!

This mystery man is a pretty popular guy in town and he’s buying lunch for the winner.  So if you know the answer, just submit your guess in the comments box below. You have through Tuesday, August 7th to submit your guesses before we draw and reveal the winner in TWO WEEKS, on Wednesday, August 8th.

And now, it’s time to reveal last week’s mystery photo and announce our winner and her name is…

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204. Best of Barrington Survey Results: “Shopping”

204.  Best of Barrington Survey Results:  “Shopping”

We’ve tallied the votes in the Shopping category from our Best of Barrington survey and are excited to share the list of Barrington’s top shops, according to our readers.

As with all of our survey categories so far, the votes were close in this one.  And that’s why we’re sharing all of the shops that received votes, to offer a list of places for you to check out or revisit during your next Barrington shopping spree…

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203. Barrington EATS: Quick Bites on Barrington Road

203.  Barrington EATS:  Quick Bites on Barrington Road

I’ve lived in Barrington a long time. Long enough to remember no stop lights on Kelsey Road, and also to remember a time when there were very few dining options in town. It’s been a pleasure to experience things improve over the years. This summer alone two new quick-service restaurants joined several other town favorites on the six block stretch of Barrington Road from Route 14 to just past Lake Cook.

For the first time Barrington feels like the downtown I always thought it could be. Not your average run of the mill drive-thru mecca, but a destination of great places to lunch. Not that I mind drive–thrus, because our first stop on Barrington Road, just South of 14, has one. And it’s one for which I have been eternally grateful over the years…

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202. Guess Where Wednesday & Last Week’s Winner

202.  Guess Where Wednesday & Last Week’s Winner

Who says we can’t play Guess Where Wednesday on Thursday? A special birthday party made me a day late with our contest this week. But we have a cool new mystery photo which might be a little tricky.  I was standing outdoors in a very public location in the heart of Barrington when I took this picture.  But I zoomed in pretty tight to try and keep you guessing and you can enter yours to win anytime through next Tuesday, July 24th.   The top left edge of this photograph might give you a little hint and you’ll find another clue if you read on.

If you know where we took the photo, just enter your guess in the comments box below. The rules are simple and the prize is pretty cool!

But first, it’s time to reveal last week’s mystery photo and announce our winner and his name is…

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199. Summer Sidewalk Sale at Deer Park Town Center

199. Summer Sidewalk Sale at Deer Park Town Center

If you’d like an excuse to do some major shopping this weekend, I have a great one that’s good for the next three days! Deer Park Town Center is hosting their 3rd annual Summer Sidewalk Sale, starting today, Friday, July 13th.

Deer Park’s 70 retailers and restaurants will be rolling out the red carpet for shoppers excited to find deep discounts during the 3-day sale. Many merchants will set up tables and racks out on the sidewalk in front of their stores to make it easy for shoppers to browse for the hottest deals of the summer before the sale ends this Sunday, July 15th….

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198. Concours D’Elegance Rare Car Rally, Show & Gala

198. Concours D’Elegance Rare Car Rally, Show & Gala

Some of the world’s finest and most rare classic vehicles will be cruising through Barrington this weekend as part of the community’s annual Concours D’Elegance road rally, rare car exhibit and charity gala.  Tickets are still available to all events and there are some exciting new highlights planned for this year.

Courtesy of Barrington Concours D’Elegance

Concours D’Elegance is a two-day event, taking place on both Saturday, July 14th and Sunday, July 15th, 2012.  It’s an opportunity for fine car owners and enthusiasts from Barrington and beyond to gather, share and appreciate some of Chicagoland’s most prized collector vehicles.  It’s a popular social event that benefits an important local cause and they’ve opened everything up to the public this year. Here’s a look at the itinerary, the cause and what’s new for Concours D’Elegance 2012…

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197. “Guess Where Wednesday” & Last Week’s Winner

197.  “Guess Where Wednesday” & Last Week’s Winner

United Way’s painted horses are back in Barrington and on display at locations throughout the community.  They just started putting the horses up and you’ll soon be spotting them all over town, giving us some great “mystery photo” material for our weekly Guess Where Wednesday photo contest.  Can you guess where in Barrington this United Way painted horse is standing?  Take a close look at the bricks in the background.  If you’re super sleuthy, they just might be the clue that gives it all away ;).

“Roundup II” is the United Way’s second painted horse campaign in Barrington.  The horses will be on display throughout town until they’re auctioned off to support community causes during the United Way’s Roundup II Gala Horse Auction this October 13th.  For more information, visit BAUW.org.  If you know where I was standing when I took the horse photo above, just enter your guess in the comments box below. The rules are simple, the prize is super cool and I even have a clue for this week!  But first, it’s time to reveal last week’s mystery photo and announce our winner and her name is…

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196. Best of Barrington Survey Results: “The Active Life”

196.  Best of Barrington Survey Results: “The Active Life”

It’s time to reveal the second round of results from our Best of Barrington Survey.  We started to unveil our winners last week in the first of our ten survey categories called Out on the Town. And today, we’re sharing our readers’ recommendations for Barrington’s “Bests” in our next category that’s all about health and fitness and called The Active Life.

With The Active Life category, we hoped to get a feel for some of our readers’ favorite fitness experts, facilities and ways to stay in shape here in Barrington.  And the results revealed a great list of local fitness professionals that we’re eager to learn even more about…

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195. Barrington EATS: Feast Your Way Through the Farmers Market

195. Barrington EATS: Feast Your Way Through the Farmers Market

The Barrington Farmers market may be small, but it is mighty in the flavor department. There are many ways to bring home delicious, fresh and one-of-a kind tastes from our market each Thursday afternoon with a quick and easy trip to town. And, thanks to Barrington photographer Anthony Tortoriello, we can feast our eyes on the following beautiful images which capture the many colors of our market.

I like to start out at the East end of the market, entering from the “Harris Bank” end by the corner of Park Ave. and Grove St. My first stop is Wayne Miller Farm’s booth where the most delicious, fresh fruit is brought straight from Michigan…

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