Category: Kelly Donlea

155. #HeinensSundaySupper – Dinner with the Donleas

 With stone fruit back in season, fresh peaches are reappearing in recipes around Barrington.  They’re playing a special role in this week’s Heinen’s Sunday Supper, shared by none other than Kelly Donlea, the Chief Operating Mom of one of our favorite foodie families.
For a look at Sunday Suppers around Barrington, Heinen’s Grocery is offering a gift card to one local family each week to shop for ingredients and prepare a special Sunday meal.  In turn, each participant will share their photos and thoughts at 365Barrington about their family’s favorite dishes and the personal significance of gathering weekly for Sunday Suppers.
Dinner with the Donleas

by Kelly Donlea, Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author & founder of
Family dinner is one of the most honored traditions at the Donlea house. While what goes on the table is important to me, it comes second to the goal of how many times we make it to the table as a family each week. The stress of a perfect dinner can mean that you miss the moment, or that the cook can’t sit, and we value, above all else, the time together.
For me, the key is being organized and having Heinen’s Grocery on my chauffeur route where I can get organic produce and the best meats, making dinnertime easy. When the ingredients are high quality, the amount of preparation, or “masking” is minimized, as they can be served after simple cooking with light seasoning.  And with the fresh packaged extras available at Heinen’s, I can easily supplement a course or two with prepared items that will make an ordinary meal extraordinary.
For Sunday Suppers I do try to make things a little more special. Even if we are landing at the table after a long day of church, birthday parties and baseball, a fresh flower arrangement, some candles, or using our good china can add festivity to the night.
Seafood is always a draw for a special occasion dinner and, for that, there is no better place than Heinen’s. They source their fish from the best possible ports, and have them shipped overnight for the freshest fish-to-table option in our area. One of my favorite fish-accompaniments is Peach Pepper salsa and, with peaches coming into their season, I knew that would be the base of our Sunday meal.
This salsa can top most any type of whitefish or shellfish prepared with a honey-lime-soy sauce and garlic marinade.  When I saw the size of the scallops in the case at Heinen’s, I knew that would be my choice.
Their peaches were perfect, which can be hard to find up until this time of year, and the rest of the produce, including onions, garlic and green peppers were, of course, perfect too. I grabbed some baby artichokes from the prepackaged vegetable case, some fresh organic cilantro and a bag of Heinen’s brand organic brown rice. One cheese they had out for sampling was Vermeer by Beemster.
I am always on the hunt for a perfect dry Gouda, and this full-flavored Gouda variety is one of the best I’ve ever tried.
A Vermeer has lower sodium and fat than a traditional gouda, so even better. I grabbed a block to use in my artichoke stuffing and enjoy as a meal appetizer.
I blended the Vermeer with panko, garlic cloves, fresh basil and cream cheese for the artichoke stuffing.
I served the scallops and artichokes with a side of Cilantro-Lime Rice.
I enjoyed a fruity, crisp La Merika Chardonnay that Heinen’s had on special for just $7.99/bottle.
For dessert, I made a stop at Heinen’s Bakery and my kids loved every bite of  Heinen’s Raspeberry-Stuffed Pillow cookies.
Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit
CLICK HERE for Kelly’s Sunday Supper Recipes……

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120. Barrington EATS: Celebrate Dads with Ribs 2 Ways

 At my church, Willow Creek this past Sunday, our pastor Bill Hybels was discussing the importance of celebrating Dads on Father’s Day. He claimed that being a Dad takes tremendous dedication and that, for years, the lack of attendance at church on Father’s Day weekend made him think we may not be appropriately celebrating the importance of this role. Willow Creek has changed Father’s Day to the most attended weekend of the year with an event called Dadfest.
This event includes a rib cooking contest, a car and chopper expo, and a performance by comedian Michael Jr. All are welcome and you can CLICK HERE to see Michael Jr.’s video invitation to Dadfest.
I included two recipes below for making delicious ribs at home, and you can also order ribs to go from Heinen’s or Ciao Baby, or dine-in on ribs at Pinstripes barbecue buffet, Coopers Pizza’s Iron Horse BBQ or Kelsey Road House.
As I was getting rib-crazy in this post, I began to wonder if ribs were really what it’s all about to the Dads out there or if that has become a cliché for Father’s Day. I decided to ask 365Barrington’s resident Dad-Around-Town and father of two, Carlos Randolph. Carlos says he finds “…that being there for the family is the most important thing on Father’s Day. Just make the day about spending time with the family. A card from the kids and a happy Father’s Day kiss is good enough. While I do like to eat out and love Barrington Bistro, I’m quite content having normal family meals, and cooking steak, fish or just soup myself.”
Whether you decided to go all-out rib crazy this Father’s Day, or just enjoy a simple meal at home, I think the most important thing is to remember Carlos Randolph’s tip and just be there for each other in your family. Thank you Carlos, and Happy Father’s Day to all you Barrington Dads!
Ribs Two Ways; Sauce or Rub
There are two very popular ways to eat ribs. One is with barbeque sauce, the other with a barbeque rub. Following are two easy and delicious recipes to enjoy ribs either way……

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71. Barrington EATS: Make the Most of Your Cinco de Mayo

 With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we have a recipe duo to get you in the mood. Nothing says “fiesta” like fabulous food made with less money and time spent in the kitchen.

Yes, there is a lot to be said for cooking once and eating twice, especially when the second meal is as good as the first. And I can’t believe I’m still talking about soup in April, but this Spring, it’s unfortunately still on the menu. I’ve thrown in a mango margarita recipe to warm you up as well.

Using leftover fajitas to make tortilla soup is rewarding in the areas of both effort and taste. Make two great meals this week with the effort of one with Chicken Fajitas and Tortilla Soup. The same recipes can be made with steak by substituting 16 ounces of strip or flank steak for the chicken.
Flavorful chicken fajitas are marinated in delicious Mexican seasonings. So when there is some leftover, the seasonings infuse an added broth to make an incredible tasting soup with very little effort. Even more delicious is that the only other things you need to add besides a rich broth are the leftover rice and beans detailed in this recipe. Quick and easy food never tasted so satisfying.

The following recipe for chicken fajitas serves four with enough leftover to make four servings of hearty restaurant-quality soup. If you are cooking for more or less people, adjust amounts accordingly……

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20. Barrington EATS: The Forbidden Fruit for Tasty Tuesday

 It’s Tasty Tuesday time again at District 220 schools, and the ingredient of the month for February is grapefruit.  Tasty Tuesday is a new healthy eating initiative in our elementary schools where students are served a sample of a fruit or vegetable on the first Tuesday of each month.  Then, the same food item will be offered intermittently on the school lunch menu for remainder of the month.
Since the district also recommends we try to serve our kids the food of the month in our own homes, we have a family-friendly recipe for you try, starring the ingredient of the month.  I couldn’t be more excited to share a few tips about serving grapefruit, which is my favorite fruit and affectionately known as “The Forbidden Fruit” by those, like me, who love it.
Others may just remember the grapefruit diet fad and perhaps only think of grapefruit as a cleanser for the fruit’s low glycemic index, which helps the body’s metabolism burn fat when digesting. It’s also a great provider of Vitamin C, fiber and lycopene and can help lower cholesterol. These are all good reasons to incorporate grapefruit into your diet. But how about because it tastes great? And I find it truly reliable in texture and flavor in all seasons.
I agree with District 220’s Tasty Tuesday program that we should all try to get our families to eat more grapefruit. Grapefruit has a reputation for being bitter, which happens if you get a bite with too much of the abundant pith, the part that surrounds and separates the segments. Here is a way to cut the fruit that eliminates the majority of the pith, and allows you to easily eat or carve out just the juicy pulp……

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