Tuesday, September 24, 2013


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The Fresh Fish Experts Bring Innovative Recipes and New Brunch Options to Orland Park

Local dignitaries celebrate the opening of the Orland Park Bonefish Grill with a ribbon cutting. (From left to right: (unidentified); Trustee Pat Gira, Orland Park; Trustee Kathleen Fenton, Orland Park; Nick Kapellas, Bonefish Grill; Mayor Dan McLaughlin, Orland Park; Ryan Rogers, Bonefish Grill; Trustee Ed Schussler, Orland Park; Orland Chamber Director Keloryn Putnam, Orland Park; Marc Lochow, Orland Park; Walter Krop, Tinley Park; and Kathryn Staniero, Tinley Park.)

ORLAND PARK, IL (Sept. 17, 2013) – Orland Park’s dining scene now has a new hot spot in town. Bonefish Grill opened its doors on Monday at the restaurant’s newest location at 15537 S. La Grange Road, Orland Park, Ill. The grand opening follows a charity event which took place on Saturday, September 14, benefitting Together We Cope and helping the group to raise $8,815. Proceeds from the event will support Together We Cope as they work to assist families in temporary crisis in 22 of Chicago’s south suburban communities.

“This weekend’s event with Together We Cope was the perfect way to begin our relationship with the Orland Park community,” said Nick Kapellas, Managing Partner of Bonefish Grill in Orland Park. “Together We Cope and their supporters welcomed us with open arms, and we look forward to welcoming the rest of the Orland Park community in the coming weeks to show them what we do best: attentive chef’s coat service that brings fun, inviting dining and a big-city bar to the area.”

The ZAGAT award-winning, polished casual restaurant brings its wood-grilled fish, seafood and chops, innovative sauces and indulgent desserts to the area’s top dining and shopping destination. Coupling great-tasting food with a welcoming bar that features an array of “bar-fresh” cocktails, extensive craft beer selections, and an adventurous wine list, Bonefish Grill will excite and delight guests.

The “fresh fish experts” will tantalize taste buds with signature appetizers and handhelds including Bonefish Grill’s famous Bang Bang Shrimp, Ahi Tuna Sashimi, PEI Mussels Josephine and“American style” Kobe beef burgers. Guests can choose simply-grilled fish with a choice of four signature sauces or truly indulge with market-fresh specials to offer guests a variety of seasonal flavors and selections from around the world. Happy Hour drink and food specials run Sunday – Thursday from 4 – 6:30 p.m.

Orland Park will serve Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and diners can decide between the beloved Traditional Eggs Benedict and other new menu additions including Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict, Huevos Benedictos with crispy corn tortillas and chorizo, and Spinach and Mushroom Eggs Benedict. Other new dishes include “American Style” Kobe Beef and Egg Burger as well as the Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Garden Fresh Omelet, and Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal. For health-conscious guests, all omelets can be prepared with egg white substitute upon request.

The restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week:  Monday through Thursday, from 4 – 10:30 p.m., 4 – 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 – 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday.

While reservations are not required, they are available by visiting the Orland Park website, www.bonefishgrill.com, where a new online reservation system is offered (for select Bonefish Grill locations) or by calling (708) 873-5170.


Founded in St. Petersburg, Florida, Bonefish Grill specializes in market-fresh fish from around the world and other savory wood-grilled specialties. Guests receive “chef’s coat service” and are guided through an innovative, seasonal menu and specials featuring the highest-quality, fresh ingredients. Combined with a big-city bar, Bonefish Grill offers hand-crafted cocktails and an affordable list of 30 wines by the glass offering a great match for any food pairing. The restaurant provides a fun and lively place to eat, drink, relax and socialize on any given day of the week. The experience is based on the premise of simplicity, consistency and a strong commitment to excellence at every level. In thirteen years, the award-winning Bonefish Grill family has grown to 188 restaurants in 32 states. For more information, visit www.bonefishgrill.com, facebook.com/BonefishGrill or follow on Twitter @bonefishgrill.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Go out and cook a Mediterranean meal. It's fun, easy and healthy

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Go out and cook a Mediterranean meal. It's fun, easy and healthy

Ziyad Brothers Importing offers the best in Mediterranean food ingredients so you can make some of your favorite, or first time, Mediterranean recipes.

It's not hard. Go to Ziyad.com to get ideas or just do it on your own.

This is roast lamb on a grill, with basmati rice with browned walnuts slices, and tabouleh salad on the side.

Enjoy it.

Put the lamb leg on the barbecue grill, or roast it inside the oven. To keep the juices in it, cook it quickly, high flame on the broiler for 45 minutes. You want the inside to be tender and outside grilled so it keeps the juices inside.

Make the rice. It's easy. Ziyad Brand basmati rice comes with directions, but maybe you have your favored recipe or methods.

When you are ready to serve the rice, brown sliced walnuts to add as a garnish to the rice.

Now, make the tabouleh salad. Click here for a recipe from Ziyad Brothers web site. You'll need medium Crack Wheat (you can buy it from ZIyad Brothers or ask for it at your local ethnic store). Put it in a large mixing bowl. Add Lemon Juice, White Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your liking. (The cracked wheat absorbs the juices while you dice the remaining vegetables: tomatoes, parsley, green onions, cucumbers

 With the diced parsley on the cracked wheat as it soaks.

Add the cucumbers

Add the diced tomatoes

Dice the green onions

Mix it well. Add lemon juice, olive oil and spices (salt, garlic powder, etc) to your liking.

It's that easy.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Baby Boomers: Sweating out a Good Samaritan Act at the Red Box

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#Babyboomers, Sweating out a #GoodSamaritan Act at the #RedBox next to the Jewel. What would you do?
Click to read the column

Thursday, September 19, 2013

OVERCOMING THE ODDS: Christ Medical Center and Children’s Hospital to Honor Patients Who Never Gave Up

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Christ Medical Center and Children’s Hospital to Honor Patients Who Never Gave Up

WHAT:       Five special patients who have been the victims of serious disorders, including West Nile virus and Legionnaires, will be celebrated for undergoing extensive rehabilitation and overcoming the physical challenges left behind by their diseases.
WHEN:       Friday, September 20, beginning with lunch at 11 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony at noon
WHERE:    Advocate Christ Medical Center Conference Center – 93rd and Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Lawn. Enter through the imaging center entrance on Kilbourn Avenue about a half block north of 95th Street.  Advocate Christ Medical Center’s formal address is 4440 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn.

# # #

Five patients, ranging in age from 4 to 73, will be recognized at a special rehabilitation awards ceremony for successfully overcoming the physical challenges left by disease.  Among them are residents from the Chicago suburbs of Addison, Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights -- even Terre Haute, Indiana The patients and their family members, as well as the physicians, nurses and therapists who treated them, will be available for interviews, photos and video.

The group includes:
·      Evergreen Park’s current mayor who is recovering from West Nile virus
·      a 56-yearold man, who lost both legs and an arm to Legionnaires disease
·      a 4-year-old child who suffered a stroke
·      heart transplant patient, and
·      a hospital chaplain, who also was a stroke victim

More information about Friday’s event is available by calling Mike Maggio, manager of public affairs and marketing, at mike.maggio@advocatehealth.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gorman and Tobolski call meeting to consider vacancies on METRA Board

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Commissioners call meeting for West Suburban
Metra District #3 to deliberate on Metra Board Vacancy

Chicago, IL – Cook County Commissioners Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman and Jeff Tobolski have called a meeting to deliberate on the board vacancy for West Suburban Metra District #3.  The seven Cook County Commissioners who represent Metra District #3 will hear from prospective candidates who have submitted resumes for consideration.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 1:30PM in the Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark Street, Room 569 in Chicago.  All candidates wishing to present his/her credentials are invited to attend this meeting and will be given 3 minutes for his/her presentation followed by questions from the Commissioners. 

The appointment process for West Suburban Metra District #3 is by weighted vote and includes Commissioners Tobolski (39.5%), Gorman (36.04%), Collins (11.74%), Murphy (5.53%), Daley (4.56%), Garcia (2.53%) and Silvestri (0.10%).  The geographic composition of the district includes the townships of Berwyn, Cicero, Lemont, Lyons, Orland, Palos, Proviso and Stickney. 

The selected candidate will serve out the remainder of the board term which will expire on June 30, 2015.  The 11-member Metra Board of Directors made up of members representing the six-county Chicago metropolitan area, generally meets once a month to discuss various matters including Capital Oversight, Audit & Finance, Real Estate & Contract Management and Employment Practices.

“I’m pleased with the resumes we have received to date so I’m quite confident through this open process we will come away with a fine candidate to serve on the Metra board,” stated Commissioner Gorman. 

“Our main goal is to restore public confidence in Metra and to make sure that there is both accountability and reliability on the Metra Board of Directors,” said Commissioner Tobolski.  

The Commissioners intend to have a replacement selected and in place for the next Metra Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Friday, October 18, 2013.

Members of the public wishing to be considered for the appointment, please contact Commissioner Tobolski’s office at 312-603-4735 and kevin.fanning@cookcountyil.gov; or Commissioner Gorman’s office at 312-603-4215 and peg@lizgorman.com.   

Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Republican from Orland Park, represents Cook County’s suburban 17th District. She has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, and budget and operational efficiencies. Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation.


The trials and tribulations of banking for the poor

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The trials and tribulations of banking for the poor

I have a friend who is handicapped slightly physically and slightly mentally. She's a good person but she has to have someone serve as her "Designated Payee" for her disability payments.

So they asked me to help.

She set up her own account at TCF Bank on Archer Avenue. It's close to where she lives and uses an ATM card to access funds. That makes life a little bit easier for her to buy food and other necessities each month.

As the Designated Payee, I have to receive the checks, put them in an account set up for her benefit and then manage the funds each month so she doesn't give the money away or lose the money. She's done that before.

One time I took her to Jewel to buy groceries. We were at the cashier's register and she was with the basket of bagged food as I was busy paying for it. When I looked over, Is aw that she was giving food from her basket that we just purchased to another homeless man. She was helping him shove the food into his coat jacket.

I asked her, "What are you doing with your food?"

She turned to me and said, "Ray, he doesn't have any money and he needs food."

I told her, "You don't have any money and you need food."

The handicapped, homeless, the poor and the disabled are always very generous, but I had to make the point what she has, she needs.

That's why it's good to have a designated payee.

To make life easier, I figured in this world of computer technology, I would set up an account at TCF Bank and then connect it online to her bank account to help expedite the movement of money. For the poor and disabled, getting their money and disability checks efficiently makes their lives more comfortable and easier.

When they have no money, they just don't eat. I've seen her where she looked malnourished and scrawny. I'd go get her some chicken sandwiches from White Castles or Wendys -- these fast food restaurants are not the most nourishable places, but you just don't have much choice. Good restaurants are just too expensive and they take forever to make food. She already eats all the time at Subway.

So, I went to TCF Bank and opened an account to have her Social Security Disability checks deposited there under the Designated Payee name given to me by the Government.

Seemed simple. I could have the checks automatically deposited in the account, now that it is set up, and then go online when she needs money and transfer funds so she can get food if she runs out of money before I can see her.

They told me I could connect the new accounts to her accounts, once everything was set up.

It sounded great in theory. TCF Bank boosts that it gives you free checking. I set up a checking account and a savings account for her deposits.

The next day, I went online to transfer funds. Of course, it didn't work. I waited a few days and tried it again. Again, it wouldn't work.

Turns out I can't connect the accounts I set up with her accounts, unless I give her access. That defeats the purpose of a designated payee. She would just take out all the money and give it to people she thinks are needier than her, and she would starve to death.

Then i discovered the most disturbing part of banking at TCF Bank.

The employees are all courteous and good people. So nice. Believe me. This isn't about them. But their system sucks. TCF Bank requires an 18 day hold on all deposits into the Savings Account.

Now you tell me!

So for the past 18 days, I have been paying her rent and her food bills from my pocket because once we deposited the Disability check into the new account, we couldn't touch it for 18 days. We did it on the 5th, so the bank said I probably have to wait until Sept. 23 to access the funds.

They'd let me take a little.


That's NOT a solution It's NOT helpful.

I was at the bank and saw all these poor people bringing in cans of coins they were processing through the coin counters int he lobby and wondered how much the bank must charge to convert their pennies, nickels and dimes into dollar bills. It made me feel sad.

I drove to Harris Bank and within a few minutes, set up a new account so the disability checks can be deposited automatically when they are issued on the 3rd of each month.

Guess what? Harris bank said the money would be accessible ON THE SAME DAY it is deposited. And they gave me a free overdraft policy to cover any overdrafts.

Last month she over drafted a check for $2 and had to pay a $37 fee to TCF Bank. Yikes! That's why I have to help her. And then she told me each time she withdraws money using her ATM card, she has to pay a fee, too.

That's what needy people need. They need it right away. There is no 401 K savings, or stock market investments or long term CDs with high interest rates for them. They don't have any money. They need to be able to use what little they have to cover their expenses and put food in their mouths.

The past month has been insufferable as I wait for the disability money to become available so she can use it to cover her expenses. It's been so frustrating, I had to share this experience.

I'm not mad at TCF Bank. But clearly, they really don't understand the people they service, especially those who live on accounts measured in pennies, nickels and dimes.

Later this week, I will be able to start depositing money into her account, to manage it so she spends it properly and doesn't feel at one moment like she has so much she can give it away to other needy people. I divide it by each week of the month so she will only have that portion she needs after her rent is paid. (The rent payment check for last month bounced because TCF Bank said the money wasn't available yet.)

Understanding the people you serve is important.

But I think society needs to do more and start thinking about the people out there who are poor and on limited, fixed incomes. They should have to pay $37 when they overdraw their account by a few dollars. That's immoral.

We need to help the poor. Banks should give them free accounts and make the money available immediately, not make them wait weeks.

And they should eliminate fees for ATMs on designated accounts belonging to the poor and indigent.

It just seems like the right thing to do.


Bill Daley explains his decision to withdraw from Governor's race

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Bill Daley explains his decision to withdraw from Governor's race

Dear Friend --
This morning I spoke to the media and announced that I will no longer be a candidate for Governor.  I did so with a heavy heart.

We all know that Illinois faces many difficult challenges and that it will take the next Governor a while to dig Illinois out of the hole it's in.

I've lost sleep thinking about whether, at age 65, this what I want to do with my life.

Because of that, I felt the voters of Illinois deserve someone as their Governor who will commit not just to a tough campaign, but to the more difficult job of governing.

As I've surveyed both the rigors of the campaign and the enormity of the challenge of fixing Illinois' problems, I concluded that I can't commit to what the voters need.

I didn't get into this campaign with any illusions.  I knew it would be tough.

But, I also believe I could have won because I have a vision for our state that takes us from the bottom to the top.  I felt we built a great team and had bold visions for where we wanted to take the state.

As part of a family that has public service in its blood, I've always been motivated to serve.  I've been honored to serve our nation and two of our Presidents in leadership positions, and I've also been given the opportunity to succeed at the highest levels in the business world.

However, those responsibilities also taught me that if I was to serve you as your Governor, I needed to give it 110%.  At this stage in my life, I couldn't make that commitment to you.  Throughout my life, I have looked forward to serving as an elected official, but I discovered, it isn't to be.

To those who have supported my campaign so far, I want to say thank you.  I've been touched by your support -- whether it's through a commitment to volunteer, give me advice or financial support, or stand with me to bring change to Illinois.

I thank you.


P.S. If you made a financial contribution to the campaign, we will be returning your contribution as swiftly as possible as we perform a final audit and reconciliation of our records.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


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Through Partnership with Jewel-Osco, Philadelphia-based Brand of Premium Meats & Cheeses will Donate a Half Pound for every Pound Sold

PHILADELPHIA – Dietz & Watson, a family owned and operated business, wants to introduce itself to the market the best way it knows how, by feeding people. From Wednesday, August 14 through Friday, September 13, when you buy 1 lb. of their premium deli meats or cheeses at Jewel Osco stores, they’ll donate ½ lb. to Northern Illinois Food Bank. Just like that.

With a goal of donating 20,000 lbs., Dietz & Watson wants to make an impact in Chicagoland very quickly.

“We believe in good food and good people.” says Ruth ‘Momma Dietz’ Eni, company chairman. “We’re not a faceless corporation writing a check and walking away. We’re a family company. We believe in deeper bonds. So we’re partnering with Jewel Osco and Northern Illinois Food Bank to help.”

Visit a local Jewel-Osco supermarket, and you will see a new selection of premium roast beef, turkey breast, chicken breast, Italian and other traditional deli meats adorning the deli case. They’re here straight from a national deli stronghold - Philadelphia’s own Dietz & Watson, whose mission is to bring truly delicious, healthy and premium meats & cheeses to Chicagoans.

Ask for a sample slice at the deli counter, and you will taste what separates them from other deli meats. A four-generation family owned & operated company, Dietz & Watson has remained true to an unwavering dedication to using only the best ingredients.

“I learned a lot from my father, but one thing always stood out,” said Momma Dietz. “He always said ‘If it’s not good enough for my family, it’s not good enough for anyone,’ so we have always run the business with that philosophy. The food has to be amazingly delicious and healthy.”

Along with the influx of European immigrants to America in the early part of the 20th century came founder Gottlieb Dietz, a German sausage craftsman. Little did he know, he was to build a Philadelphia icon; one that his daughter and the fourth generation of his family still runs today.

What started as a small neighborhood company now manufactures more than 450 items in their Philly headquarters, employing more than 1,000.

The company was a pioneer in the category, introducing their healthy Gourmet Lite line back in 1979 – before “healthy eating” was de rigeur. Today, these lower sodium, low fat deli items are flagships, meeting the National Salt Reduction Initiative’s standards that many food companies are still catching up to (D&W has met them since the ‘70s).

“If it didn’t taste great, we probably would never have made our Healthier Lifestyle line,” says Louis Eni, CEO and grandson of the founder. “When my grandfather talked about quality, the key was in the ingredients, so to this day, none of our products use fillers, MSG, or artificial flavors, and the meats are hand-trimmed, hand-prepared, and hand-seasoned.”

They continually develop new, bold flavors in deli; items like Santa Fe Turkey Breast, Buffalo Chicken Breast and Bacon Lovers’ Turkey Breast wrapped with strips of real bacon. Their latest item is a Chicken Parmigiana deli meat - one of the most unique deli items ever.

Dietz & Watson also remains one of the best-selling hot dog brands on the East Coast, preparing traditional skinless franks, New York Style natural casing franks and dozens of others. Their delicacies are sold in all 50 states, in delis, restaurants and supermarkets.

So whether you call it a hoagie, sub, or hero; whether it’s hot dogs or franks—and whether you’re a foodie or counting calories, Dietz & Watson’s old-world values and surprising new flavors will be a welcome sight in Chicagoland.

About Dietz & Watson—Dietz & Watson was founded in 1939 by Gottlieb Dietz, a talented young German sausage maker. His primary goal was to produce the most flavorful, highest-quality deli meats in the marketplace to please even the most discriminating palate. His old-world recipes and commitment to “quality above all” demanded nothing less than the freshest lean beef, ham, pork, turkey breast and chicken breast enhanced with fresh, all-natural spices and seasonings.  Dietz & Watson never uses artificial flavors, colors, fillers, extenders or MSG.  Today, from their headquarters in Philadelphia, the third generation of the family—aided by Gottlieb Dietz’s daughter, Ruth Dietz Eni (Chairman)—continues Dietz’s dedication and commitment in preparing Premium Deli Meats and Artisan Cheeses. They are the grandchildren of company founder Gottlieb Dietz – Louis Eni (President and CEO), Chris Eni (COO) and Cindy Eni Yingling (CFO).  Learn more about the company at www.DietzandWatson.com.

About Jewel-Osco—Established in 1899, Jewel-Osco, owned by New Albertsons, Inc., is working to become the favorite food and drug retailer in every market it serves throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond. The company operates 176 stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, and employs approximately 30,000 associates while continuing to grow. Find more company information at JewelOsco.com and follow their social channels at Facebook.com/JewelOsco, Twitter.com/JewelOsco, and YouTube.com/JewelOsco.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank—For 30 years, Northern Illinois Food Bank has led the northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Since 1983, food manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations, and individuals have come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to 700 network partners serving more than 60,000 hungry neighbors each week across 13 counties. That commitment provided 42 million meals last year to those in need.  Find out how you can Volunteer – Donate – Get Involved at www.SolveHungerToday.org or follow us on Facebook.