Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Sweet Deal I'll Make Sweeter

The Willett Family is offering a $20 gift certificate for $10 through WEEK-TV. The deal starts today and goes through Friday. Here is the link to the coupon: COUPON

While you can use this coupon at any Willett property, I, Chef Kevin, am going to make it worth your while to come to the Ironstone Room in Manito for lunch or early dinner. This EXTRA deal is ONLY good at the Ironstone Restaurant through Aug. 18...not the winery, not the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. PLEASE NOTE!! There is no expiration date on the $20 certificate; you can use it whenever....the Aug. 18 deadline is only for the the below drawing/giveaway at the Ironstone Room.

I'm going to hold a drawing. When you use your certificate, tell your server that you heard about this deal on Chef Kevin's Blog, (legibly) write your e-mail on the back when you redeem it and you will be entered into a drawing for:

A fifty dollar gift certificate good at any Willett's outlets: the winery, the Ironstone Room or Willett's Wines at Grand Prairie.

Two bottles of Willett's wine of your choosing. This will be issued in a form of a gift certificate designated solely for this purpose; it won't be usable for anything else.

Sometime during the week of August 21, we will draw a winner. We will e-mail the winner and determine at that time how to deliver said certificates.

OK, if THAT isn't enough to lure you to "my" restaurant (and that Manito has cheaper gas than Peoria.....)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Interesting stats

I have a stat counter and Feedjit on my blogsite. It is interesting to see where hits are coming from and for what people are searching.

Locally, it seems a lot of hits come off of Peoria.com...especially if I blog about something as it shows up on their "local blog" roll. Aside from that, I get a lot of hits from people leaving Peoria Chronicle. Guess I owe CJ a Pepsi or something.

From outside the area, I get hits from everywhere and probably due to the food nature of the blog in its younger years.

The subject matters that get the most hits: cooking classes in Peoria (which I wish I was still teaching those from time to time, but, as far as I know, there isn't a place for "freelance" teachers and I just don't have a lot of spare time) and the recipe for "Pasta From Hell" made famous by The East Coast Grill in Cambridge, MA. And I still get a lot of hits for Big John's BBQ and CiCi's Pizza, which are odd.

Just some observations from my air conditioned office on a getting hotter day in Peoria.

Nice Parenting

I'm traveling a VERY BUSY 4 lane Peoria street today. What do I witness? Two adult females and 5 children ages unknown, but I'd say under 7 years old, taking a stroll. The children were RUNNING, while playfully pushing each other on the side walk at least 30 feet in front of the adults, one who was on the phone.

Are you shitting me? I'm sure if one of these kids ran off, got pushed or tripped and fell into traffic and got hit, it "wouldn't" have been the adults' fault as they were watching them. Does that phone double as a long range taser that will shock the kids back onto the sidewalk?

City sidewalks, I don't care WHERE you are, aren't playgrounds...that is what yards, parks and playgrounds are for.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lies, Lies, Lies

EDIT: I have decided to delete most of what I wrote here mostly as not to give a person who allows lies to be written about me "press" via my blog. So anything you read about me on a silly little blog named Attracted To Shiny Things, are lies. Y-vonne, Y do you believe C.C. about my post blocking prowess? Y-vonne, Y do you let my name get slandered? Y-vonne, Y do you let it stand when it obviously isn't true? Y-vonne, Y did you allow or perhaps write yourself all the lies about me? What did I do to you? Is it because I'm friends with someone you don't like? That is pretty petty.

Well, Yvonne can't delete the truth here. So, if you want to support bloggers who support lying internet trolls or perhaps pen the lies themselves, you have the name of her web site. Send her a message with lots of lies in them; apparently she loves being told lies and maybe will print them on her blog. She has once; maybe you will get lucky and have your lies posted on her blog, too!!!

And of course Y-vonne shut the comments off. Hmmmm....where was Billy Dennis' post on slander vs. libel? Any lawyers out there?

But From WHAT Farm?

I'm probably going to get in a shitload of trouble for writing this, but it has been under my skin for about two years and today just has set me OFF!!

I was at a local farmer's market today. When I see "Farmer's Market" I associate it with products grown locally and maybe even within the state if the "farmer" has land elsewhere or on the far outside terminology of things, part of a small region growing co-op. I think very fresh produce grown here supporting the local produce raising economy. What I DON'T think is farms in Florida, California, Arkansas and Michigan.

When I see lemons and mangoes at a PEORIA, IL farmers market, I seriously doubt even the best Illinois hot houses are growing those. When I see zucchini that are all perfect and nearly the same size, I have to wonder. When I see box after box after box that says Arkansas and Florida tomatoes on them, I scratch my head. One could argue that those are just boxes used for transportation. Hmmmm...I think I would put my tomatoes in a lettuce box not to be so obvious.

I'm not an idiot. I know what grows around here and when. Grandma used to plant right when the ground thawed and if her precious produce newbies were in danger of frost, she'd run out and cover them with straw. We always had leaf lettuce in early May, peas by Memorial Day and corn on the cob by July 4. Unless this stuff is hot housed, it ain't going to be here any sooner.

REALLY??? SWEET POTATOES and WATERMELON?? The melon fields in Manito have only had blossoms on them for about two weeks now and I'm supposed to believe watermelons?

So, right now, my sainted mother, who plants as early as anyone has broccoli, green beans, apricots, raspberries, spring mix lettuce, Jostaberries (I don't think you'll see those) cabbage and green onions the last time I wandered the produce "farm". The corn is close. Her apple trees aren't EVEN close so who has apple trees producing NOW around HERE (because I saw those for sale today, too)? Hot house apples?

Next, and a dead give-a-way I'm not full of shit. Boxes of fruit with the UPC STICKERS on them. You know the sticker I'm talking about...the one with the four number UPC on it that the cashier has to enter...like 4303 for black plums. PLEASE don't tell me the LOCAL farmer put these on so IN CASE he doesn't sell them he can drop them off at the nearest supermarket and they are ready for them to sell.

I guess what I'm saying is if you want LOCAL FARM items, you better ASK if what you are planning to buy is a LOCAL FARM item if that is important to you because I didn't see an outpouring of given information disclosing the items province. If the items are coming off the back of a distributors truck, it isn't anything different than you can buy at Schnucks or Krogers.

I also challenge all the Farmer's Market sellers to openly display the origin of each item you are selling.

Lemons? REALLY? Lemons at a Peoria farmers market. Snicker.