Category Archives: Planning

The Chopping Block: Cook yourself up a Date Night this May!

As mentioned before, my husband and I love spending our date night’s at one of the Chopping Block’s couples themed cooking classes. It’s hands-on, a perfect opportunity to learn and new skill, it’s also a great time to spend with other couples, indulging in some wonderful food.

Please check out some of the classes offered this month:

Date Night: Hangin’ at the Hacienda – Vamanos! Bring a date and have fun making these all time Mexican favorites.
Queso Fundido; Authentic Carne Asada with Corn Tortillas, Salsa Verde, Queso Fresco and Mexican Crema; Mexican Rice and Borracho Beans; Flan Misterioso (Chocolate-Cajeta Flan Cake).

Couples Cooking: Hawaiin Luau – Immerse yourself in the sun-drenched food of the Hawaiian Islands.
Mango and Shrimp Spring Rolls; Macadamia Nut-Crusted Mahi Mahi with Volcano-Spiced Pineapple Relish; Coconut Rice; Passion Fruit Chiffon Pie.

Table for Two: Spring Dinner Party – At the Chopping Block, every table is the chef’s table. Bring a friend and watch one of our expert chefs work some kitchen magic to create a soul-satisfying feast. This cooking lesson includes a full meal, so come hungry!
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Focaccia; Celery Root, Parsley, Shaved Fennel and Watercress Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette; Pan Roasted Chicken

The Chopping Block has two locations – One in Lincoln Square and the other at the Merchandise Mart. If the class you desire is booked, be sure to check both places!

Culture Yourself! A Free Visit to a Museum

Money is tight but you and your partner need to get out? Chicagoland offers many great museums, quite a few with ‘FREE musuem days!’

  • The Field Musuem: The second Monday of Every Month.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art: Free Tuesdays – Every Tuesday
  • The Art Institute of Chicago: Every Thursday up until May 26th, After May 26th every 1st and 2nd Wednesday of the Month.

Also many of our cultural centers have free admission EVERY day. To name a few:

  • Chicago Cultural Center
  • The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College
  • Jane Addams Hull House Museum
  • National Museun of Mexican Art
  • DuSable Museum of African-American History

Please try these out and let us know about your visit. We will continue to keep you updated on special events as well!

2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

“Free-For-All” Festivals Return To The Lakefront
2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

Summer will be here before you know it and The City of Chicago is proud to present three of summer’s marquee events as free admission festivals, once again. Returning to the summer schedule is the 28th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, June 10-12; the 53rd Annual Chicago Air and Water Show, August 20-21 and the 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4.

The 28th Annual Chicago Blues Festival kicks off the lakefront festival season June 10-12 in Grant Park. For three days blues artists from Chicago and around the country will celebrate a blues legend with music rooted in this year’s theme, Sweet Home Chicago: A Centennial Celebration of Robert Johnson. The full line-up will be announced soon. For more information on the Chicago Blues Festival and updates on the schedule please visit www.chicagobluesfestival.us.
Continue reading 2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

Care for a Scare?

What better way to spend a date night than clinging to each other? Seriously though, a haunted house can be an inexpensive, fun way to enjoy your evening together, specifically in the month of October.

Chicago Park District hosts their “Trails of Terror” at a few locations, the most popular being Peterson Park at 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. It’s a $10 admission, they do serve some concessions and you’ll walk approximately ½ mile of wooded fright through the park. Trails of Terror runs through Halloween, starting October 22nd.

Another option, this one indoors, is the Chicago Tribune’s very own “Chronicles of the Cursed: The Sinkhole”. Located at 560 W. Grand, 20,000sf of space, the Tribune’s Haunted House is billed as the largest in the city. $15 regular admission, tickets available on line. http://www.cursedchicago.com/ Prepare yourself by taking a tour of their website, read the story… and take a quick peak at the ‘Opposition’s Story’, why you shouldn’t put yourself at risk.

Get into the Halloween Spirit and do something a little different this month.

Go in costume if you dare and please tell us all about it!

Ideal Date Night Cooking Classes at the Chopping Block: November

Again here I am STRONGLY encouraging you to try out one of the following Couple’s Nights at the Chopping Block. Two locations, one being in Lincoln Square and the other located in the Merchandise Mart, make it an easy date night to get to, no matter your location. Both are accessible via public transportation and we’ve never had issue finding near by parking in Lincoln Square.

Not only are you assured a delicious meal, you may:

  • Meet other couples.
  • Learn a new technique in the kitchen, or try a new food.
  • Challenge your partner with your knife skills and knowledge of all things culinary!
  • Impress, impress, impress.. both yourself and your date.

So here are your options for the month of November:

Couples Cooking: Fireside in Vermont

Bring a date and warm up with these cozy recipes.
Gruyere Cheese Fondue; Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Bacon Vinaigrette; Maple Glazed Salmon with Celery Root and Potato Hash; Pumpkin Donuts with Chocolate Sauce.

Date Night: Mambo Italiano

Authentic Italian cooking. Mamma mia!
White Bean and Sage Bruschetta; Porcini Mushroom and Herb Risotto; Eggplant Parmesan; Fresh Ricotta and Chocolate Filled Cannoli.

Wine and Dine

Have a blast learning fresh, new ways to make dinner fun!
Mushroom, Bacon and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart; Herb Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Potatoes and Root Vegetables; Chocolate Ganache Tart with Fig Balsamic Glaze.
Two glasses of wine or beer per student are included in the price of the class. You must be 21 or over to attend.

As always take a look at their calendar and try something else that interests you as well. Make any cooking experience your ideal date night.