A Birthday at Café des Architectes

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 5, 2013

in dessert, dinner out, family, friends

When Lizz and I were first living on our own, way back in 2003, we would treat ourselves every few paychecks to what we called “grown up dinner.” The requirements were simple: The restaurant had to be a sit-down place, complete with servers. There had to be at least one “OH MY GOSH SO GOOD” […]

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Jean Banchet 2012

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on February 9, 2013

in dessert, dinner out, family

Here in Chicago, there is an annual award likened to the “Local Emmy’s for Chefs” called the Jean Banchet Awards, named for the renowned Chicago chef. Many months ago, nominations for the annual awards began, and Chicago’s chef and foodie community wrote in the names of their favorite local chefs in many categories including the […]


A Chocolate Malt

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on January 7, 2013

in dessert, family

It’s been two years. Two years since my life as I knew it was turned upside down. Two years since we said goodbye to my dad. I can hardly believe it. In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in some ways, forever… There are so many things that will always remind me of my […]


Downtown Sister Date: Sixteen, avec, NoMi

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on January 5, 2013

in dessert

For the last six or so years, my sister and I make a point to spend at least one day together downtown to take in the amazingness that is Chicago during the holidays. It really is beautiful, and it’s so much fun to have a day to just be goofy with my sister! We pretty […]


Buttery English Toffee with Almonds

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on January 3, 2013

in dessert, family, friends, simple recipe

For as long as I can remember, New Years Day has been “Christmas” with my mom’s best friend, Eo, and her family. We use it as an opportunity to spend time together, exchange gifts, and eat delicious food. For as long as I can remember, someone has gotten English toffee for Eo’s husband Bob. It’s […]