Showing posts from May, 2011

Top 5 Things To Do and See in Chicago

As a born and raised Chicagoan, I’m pretty persnickety about what passes for essential Chicago tourism. Yes, the Magnificent Mile is pretty but  this glitzy stretch crammed with designer shops really doesn’t define the Windy City or its sensibilities.  So I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 things that in my opinion, truly reflect Chicago history and attitude.  1.  Pizzeria Due:  Deep dish Chicago style pizza is an absolute must. You may think you’ve tasted it before but if you’ve never been to Chicago, you’ve never experienced true deep dish pizza. It is dripping with cheese, it weighs about 5 pounds and it neatly reflects brash Chicago style and heavy Midwestern palates. The iconic Pizzeria Uno chain is credited as one of the first to serve the delicacy. Pizzeria Due is just as iconic and is my personal favorite because it’s slightly less crowded than the original. 2. Untouchable Tours:  No matter that Al and the most notorious hoodlums are gone, this is a gangster town, always

Kaua'i Purple Pie

Purple has always been my favorite color. To me, everything looks and tastes better when it's purple. So I was thrilled to discover that two Hawaiian staples glow with  a lovely violet hue. Poi, or mashed taro root, plays a major part in any truly Hawaiian meal but the Hawaiian sweet potato, called uala, comes in a close second. Also referred to as the Okinawa sweet potato, I saw them grace tables mashed, in soups and my favorite, in a pie. Growing up, sweet potato pie was the finale for all holiday meals, which was of course, my favorite part. So imagine my excitement when I gazed at my beloved dessert drenched in a vibrant version of my favorite color. I almost forgot to eat it, I was so busy staring at it. The pie was covered in another Hawaiian favorite, haupia or coconut pudding. The flavor was smooth, delicate and only slightly sweet. Filled with antioxidants, Hawaiian  sweet potatoes pack a  powerful nutritional  punch with a low glycemic index and more antioxidant 

Prince Kuhio Celebration

The essential element that really attracted me to Kaua'i was its history and culture. Not the legendary beauty. Not the cliffs and canyon.  As the oldest of Hawaii's islands, Kaua'i cradles the ancient legacy of Hawaiian culture and traditions and I felt compelled to discover it.  The annual Prince Kuhio Celebration, held every March in observance of Prince Kuhio day on March 26, provides one of the best ways to experience Hawaiian heritage personally. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole Pi'ikoi  pictured above, was born in 1871 and was known as the people's prince. He worked to uphold Hawaiian rights and culture after the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1883 . Prince Kuhio  was the first Hawaiian elected  to the the U.S. Congress and served  for 10 years. He also established the Hawaiian Home Commission, which preserved land for native Hawaiians. Although he died in 1922, Prince Kuhio's legacy of  preserving traditional Hawaiian practices remains vibrant.