Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s 5K: The aftermath guide to race recovery

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The whole running process and prep for a race is like the dreaded 5 paragraph essay.  Yes let’s school you since we’re back to school n’ all.  There’s an intro (lots of hooping and hollering and sweating and prepping for the race), your 3 body paragraphs, known as running your race, which includes topics such as “Why am I doing this?”, “Oh dang, this isn’t so bad”, “No really, I’m going to passout” and your conclusion.

We, being baby runners, didn’t know all the cool stuff you can do after a race to make sure your next race is even more kick a#*!  (We don’t like to swear…for the kids ya’ know).  But for the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s 5K, we had a guardian race angel, Terra Castro, retired triathlete and Luna Chix Pro, guiding our journey.  If you missed our previous post on Terra’s pre-race tips read it here.   Before the race, pro athlete, Lauren Fleshman, got us pumping with a motivational warm-up.

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During our race, we took her advice and took a warm up walk from the car to the start line (cheap parking in the Chi is rough).  We took advantage of all the CLIF Shot Bloks (yumm caffeine in a fruit chewy form) that Luna shared with us and downed a bit of water to give us the get up and race energy we needed.  Kate’s fave is the Tropical Punch because of the hit of caffeine and gummy bear flavor.

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Snack sized Luna Bars (mmm Chocolate Covered Coconut) were also on hand at the Mag Mile race for any racers lacking a pep in their step.

As we amped our way to the start line, we found our corral and prepped to run.  The weather was perfect and as we began, we jaunted past Wildberry cafe, smelling the delicious brunchy scents of bacon and waffles as we jogged down Randolph.  The best part of the Mag Mile run was the view on Michigan Avenue.  Friendly onlookers urged us on with signs promising us free snacks at the finish line.

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And somehow, we made it to the end!  And the end was awesome.  There were angelic gentlemen handing us dark chocolate covered frozen bananas from Diana’s Bananas.  There were free juice samples from Naked Juice.  We also got free sport massages from Athletico staff and had our first experience with compression boots.

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Ok, so they look like the moon boots of the 80s but what these puppies do is tighten around your legs like a blood pressure cuff and move all your lactic acid (bad stuff that makes you super sore) up towards the fattier tissues in your pelvis area to reduce the amount of oww you feel the next day.

What else can you do after a run?  Let’s hear it from our LunaChix Pro and expert running coach, Terra Castro.

POST RACE:

-refuel with protein/carb- helps you recover (Dark chocolate covered banana! CHECK!)
- cool down if just a light walk to loosen up body (We wandered all over the post race area to stretch it out. CHECK!!)
- remember a change of clothes/dry clothes so that you can GO CELEBRATE AT BRUNCH!
And now looking forward to your next race.  How do you improve?
POST RACE EVALUATION:
Once you have completed your 5k, you can visit www.mcmillianrunning.com and plug in your race time to calculate training paces to improve your fitness level/ability to reach a personal best at your next race.  It will give you paces for easy runs, long runs, and intervals etc.  Love using this for my athletes and I even bought the app for my iPad.
And Boy Oh Boy do we need to think about improving our fitness level!  Kate has lost her mind and decided to take on a 10k in a month.  Monica will provide her with nursing care afterwards.  Are you inspired to try your first 5k?  Get off that couch and get out there!  You can keep your pjs on if you like.

Be Healthful Retreat: A Holistic Health and Wellness Retreat

The Healthful Guide Presents:

The Be Healthful Retreat: A Holistic Health and Wellness Retreat

Event: Be Healthful: A Health & Wellness One Day Retreat

Hosted By: The Healthful Guide and In Good Taste Magazine

http://behealthfulretreat.eventbrite.com/?aff=IndustryAffiliates&afu=87145668223

Oh DANG! Workout classes all day, mini spa treatments, juicy samples

#BeHealthful will partner with In Good Taste Magazine, Whole Foods, Karyn’s Raw, and other health and wellness leaders in Chicago for an all ­day wellness retreat and holistic health industry event at Moonlight Studios.  Get ready to be educated, entertained, and inspired!

Be Healthful will offer a series of pop­ up fitness classes, workshops given by wellness professionals, healthy eats, and over 20 health conscious vendors.  The retreat will provide an oasis for guests to recharge and reset for the week ahead.  All will leave pampered and energized.

Thirty percent of ticket sales will be donated to the official charity beneficiary of the event, Charity4LIFE.

The one day retreat is an “open ­house” meaning guests can come and go throughout the day and can build their own itinerary. Upon registration, guests can reserve their spot in what workshops/yoga classes they want to attend, and also the times that they want to visit each vendor for their spa services and wellness consultations.

What is included in the registration fee ($39.00) and $10 OFF code: CHIORGANICGIRLS

  • ­ 10 yoga and pilates classes (you can take as many as you like throughout the day) Moksha Yoga, Exhale Spa, Pilates Pro Works, Abigail Simon of Joffrey Ballet, Yoga Six, Tru Body Yoga, Yoga Loft, Flex Pilates, and more.
  • ­ 7 workshops including Ayurvedic detoxes, reflexology workshops, nutrition and motivational talks, cooking demos, and more.
  • ­ Spa services including: full body spray tans, facials, oxygen treatments, light therapy sessions, scalp and shoulder massages; mini makeovers including makeup consultations and hair styling, and more.
  • ­ Wellness consultations including: detoxing consults, posture examinations, tongue examinations, mind and body consultations, and more.
  • ­ Food and Beverage tastings including juices, a variety of plant ­based cuisine, vegan and paleo baked goods, artisan teas, and herbed popcorn. (guests have the option to purchase goods from vendors at guests discretion)

Oh DANG! Workout classes all day, mini spa treatments, juicy samples…what are you waiting for?  Come join us because we all need a chance to recharge and pamper ourselves.

About The Healthful Guide:

The Healthful Guide is a plant based dining and healthy living directory for the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Healthful is dedicated to bringing more awareness to living a nourishing and holistic lifestyle. Their core belief? That life is all about being Healthful. To learn more visit http://eathealthful.com

Go Deep or Go Home: The Art of #Chicago Style #Pizza

What do a deep dish pizza and a magician have in common?  They both have good taste!  Ok, that was a stretch but did you  know magicians could have more than just doves up their sleeves?

Recently, Now We’re Cookin’ invited members of Chicago Food Bloggers (including lucky saucy us) to learn to make the Chicago style pizza at their Evanston cook space.  To our surprise, instead of pulling rabbits out of hats, our chef, a professional magician, pulled a fantastic pizza out of the oven.

Chef Brian Kirshenbaum keeps his pizza dough straightforward (yeast, warm water, all purpose flour, cornmeal and oil) but sneaks in one secret ingredient (since a magician can’t reveal all his tricks).  He demonstrated the proper way to press down the dough into a deep pan with the slight of a hand.

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Next, he created the sauce by squeezing the juice from fresh whole peeled plum tomatoes and sprinkling in fairy dust…or spices (oregano, black pepper, salt, and garlic) as we non magicians call them.  Then guests partnered up and got to work pressing their own pizza dough and prepping their chunky sauce.

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Finally, the show came to it’s climatic point as fresh deli sliced mozzarella was pressed on the bottom.  Guests picked up to 3 vegetables/meats to fill their own pizza.  We shuffled through the ingredients and chose spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and few thinly sliced fennel.  Veg head Monica loaded up on the plants and a dash of spice instead of sticking with just the traditional thick chunk of gooey cheese (Mon is not fan of xxxtra cheese but will eat deep dish to support her city).

Finally, we spread the chunky tomato sauce over the top of the pizza and sprinkled Parmesan cheese and viola; a magic Chicago pizza appeared :).  Notice the delicate saucy finish.  As we marveled at the fresh flavor of the pizza, Chef BK astounded us with magic acts to titillate our other senses.

 

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We had a blast learning from Chef and Illusionist Brian Kirshenbaum at Now We’re Cookin’.  And now Mon loves Chicago’s own deep dish pizza!

Running towards Labor Day: 1st time (or 2nd or 3rd) 5k Tips for Success

We have a confession to make.  It’s been 2 weeks since our last post…and quite awhile since our last good run and yet, we have decided to run a 5K this weekend!  AHHHH the agony.  We have every intention of getting up at 5:30 am and running to prep but then our beds call us back loving and tenderly.  Maybe tomorrow we will start again.

For those of you who want to stretch your runnin’ legs with us and challenge yourself anyways, the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday has super fun pre and post race events that may convince you to jump out of your bed!

The Magnificent Mile® Fitness Meets Fashion Market

Schedule of Pre Race Events

Where: Fleet Feet Sports – South Loop

What: Sneak peeks into fall apparel from trendy fitness brands, live music and giveaways!

Friday

10:00-8:00 pm: Fitness Meets Fashion Market hours

4:00-7:00 pm: Q+A, chat with running coach and Runner’s World columnist, Jenny Hadfield.

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Saturday

10:00-7:00 pm: Fitness Meets Fashion Market Hours

9:15 am: Official Magnificent Shakeout Run led by Professional Oiselle Runner Lauren Fleshman and Jenny Hadfield.

10:30-11:30 am: Complimentary Yoga for Runners class presented by Yoga Six Studio.

4:00-6:00 pm: Meet Professional Oiselle Runner, Lauren Fleshman for a Q+A, photo opportunities, mingling and more!

 

Race Day! Sunday

Register here and get a high quality racerback top to wear while traveling along the fab Mag Mile, a sexy finisher medal and access to a crazy post race party at the historic Buckingham Fountain.  Keep an eye out for delicious LUNA treats at all pre and post race activities.  What a good way to tighten up before Labor day!!  And to really prepare…check out the following pre-race tips for newbies like us from Terra Castro, recently retired professional triathlete and LUNA Chix Pro fitanista!!

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Morning of the Race

  • Warm-up: remember this is short speedy distance.  Warm-ups are essential to get the muscles ready to push at the faster speeds.  No need to hurt a hamstring!  Make sure to get in 10-15 min of light running and pick ups (strides- increased speed and leg turnover).
  • Seed yourself: This means make sure you pick the right corral or group to start with.  If you are ready to rock- go to the front and be aggressive.  If you are middle of the pack,steady approach, place yourself mid group but be ready because it will be a little crowded.  It is OK to be aggressive and seed yourself a little faster than you think as it will give you more room to get moving.
  • Breakfast: Make sure you eat your pre-race breakfast 2 hours or more before because you don’t want the food to cause GI distress.  Coffee, bagel with PB and banana is always a great starting point to try.  If needed you could use a clif shot right before with some water.  Keep it simple.
  • NO NEW THINGS: don’t get excited and try any new product, shoes, socks, or routine on race morning.  Do what you did in training.
  • Race plan: I always have my athletes write out a simple race plan (strategy) of how they will approach the race.  Not only is this good for the race splits (knowing your mile splits to go for) but I also have them write out the mental side of things to process nerves and know how they will handle the WHAT IFS etc.

 

Terra Castro is a recently retired Professional Triathlete who works as an Elite Sports Massage Therapist and Endurance Coach at Detroit Tough.  Terra works with age group athletes of all levels, and has a specialization in Youth/Junior Triathlon Coaching.  Her passion to BE BOLD is something she shares with all her athletes and within her community. (Head Coach/owner of Be Bold Crew LLC).  You can follow Terra and up your run quotient @terracastro (Twitter & Instagram).

Her tips and tricks will be featured in our next few running blog posts to improve your run game (and ours for sure sure!)

 

 

 

Post Run Recap: Running the Night with Energizer

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This year has brought a lot of awesome first for us, including our first 5K run together!  A few weeks ago, we headed to Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront to complete the Energizer 5k Night Race and had a blast in our efforts to help raise funds for solar lighting for people with unsafe lighting conditions.  We prepped a few weeks before by building up our stamina in Humboldt Park.  Later we picked up our race packets the week of and found our snazzy Energizer race shirts.  Our race bag also included our Energizer headlamps and some race prep samples like Dove clinical deodorant and Schick razors (hey gotta look and smell good for those other competitors, right?).

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The race had validated parking set up at the Radisson Blu hotel….which was the terrible thing!!  The lot was small, maze-like and confusing, thus we were late for the race :).  So late that the starting line was being dismantled as we started.  Some helpful bunny ear bedecked spectators pointed us in the right direction, we set our timer and began our jaunt down the shore.  The packs of headlamp runners gave us the energy to push through swarms of fruit flies and humidity to the finish line.

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Our time was 11.30 minutes a mile!!!  A personal best.  Afterwards, we kicked back some Gatorade and water and then enjoyed the post race party.  We jammed to live music, snacked on free KIND bars (wooohoo!!) and grabbed gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Cheesie’s Pub & Grub food truck, all with a huge blow up Energizer bunny swaying in the evening breeze.  We would definitely love to participate in the Night Run next year.

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There are still runs going on internationally until the end of the year in places like South Korea, Belgium and Germany.  Anyone wanna hop on a plane?!

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Run Life: Must Have Gear for Newbie Runners

Chiorganicgirls may have briefly fallen off the face of the earth due to Kate’s wedding festivities but we are back…and better than ever due to the lack of wedding stress!  How did we survive and de-stress during all the bride and maid of honor hub bub this summer?  Exercise, of course!

We took it to the mild weathered streets of Chicago and stretched our running legs along park and lake paths.  One of the big problems we face with outdoor running is where the hell to put your keys, wallet, run jams, snacks, mace and so forth.  Your sports bra is an option for hiding stuff but, dang, it sure gets sweaty in there.

Then comes a product that frees your arms, and bra and shoes (guys you know what I’m saying) from the burden of keeping your stuff secure while you bounce about.

The DBelt!  Okay so the name is funny but what it does is D-liteful!

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Kate snagged the DBelt and never let go (as Monica didn’t want to wear Kate’s sweat anyways).  The DBelt is a wide cotton-spandex blended belt that sits comfortably around your hips or waist (depending on your preference).  Includes 2 zip front pockets, and a velcro closure, there is plenty of room for multiple credit cards, keys and your phone.  Not only did the DBelt travel around Kate’s waist to multiple 5k practices and the big show, the Energizer Night Run, but it also made it’s way to her honeymoon in Costa Rica and on the EL train to yoga class.  Quite the world traveler!  The DBelt is a must have fitness fashion item but also makes a nice purse alternative and a sneaky way to hide your valuables from robbers!

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And care is quite D-simple…ok we stretched on that one.

Handwash
Do not dry in heat
Do not dry clean
Do not iron

See!  You don’t have to use that stupid iron…and we kinda perm press washed it on accident and it came out ok (shhh…).

Is your interested Deepened?  Well Dive in!  (Sorry about all the D jokes…we had to do it).

You can purchase your DBelt online here!

Or if you are a lucky person who lives in Florida, then you can get it at POWER HOUSE gym, 6900 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach FL 33411.

So let’s go lie on the beach in Florida with our Dbelts!!  Who wants to buy our flights?

 

Oh Honey! New Henry’s Humdingers Sweet and Spicy Honeys

We been aching to keep up with all the new cool products that we been sampling and this one has been on daily rotation for the Chi Girls.  Normally, we don’t mix our sweet and spicy with the exception of a Mayan Mocha now and then but when Henry’s Humdingers  reached out to us, we were intrigued.  Not only were the products unique, raw honeys infused with varietals of hot peppers, but they aim to help the source of honey, our bee pals!  Now, if you’ve been following the news lately, you may have noticed that we have a bee crisis on our hands, which isn’t just bad for bee dudes but also for us and our food sources.  Henry Miller, founder of the company, donates part of all his profits to The Foundation for the Preservation for Honey Bees to combat the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder which is hurting our friends.

 

So what does Henry’s Humdingers have to offer?  4 different crazy raw honey flavas for yo tongue!

  • Grumpy Grandpa Cayenne and Garlic Honey
  • Phoebe’s Fireball Chipotle and Cinnamon Honey
  • Naughty Nana Pepper and Ginger Honey
  • Diabolical Dad Habanero Lime Honey

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What to do with all these combos?  Well Henry has some suggestions that range from sweet and sassy wing sauces to english muffin spreads.  So far, we’ve been addicted to the Phoebe’s Fireball in our morning coffee with some sweet coconut milk stirred in.  We’ve also used the Naughty Nana in rice wine vinegar to pickle veggies for Tofu Bahn Mi sandwiches.

Oh and who can forget the old standby of eating spoons of peanut butter as a snack.  Our afternoons have been filled with PB honey spiced dreams.

We highly recommend Henry’s if you have a willing palate!  We let some of our friends try it in tea as well and their mouths were pleasantly piqued.  You can find Henry’s for purchase at J’s Vitamins in Chicago, online or at locations listed here.

Our fave is really Phoebe’s Fireball but we don’t wanna hurt the other honeys’ feelings so keep it quiet.

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Loving Summer in Chicago: Upcoming Fun, Food and Fitness Events

Ok so our weather still isn’t too summery but the events in Chicago are in full swing!  We wanted to share all the summer goodness with ya’ll instead of keeping it for ourselves.  Here’s just a few fun, free events to keep you fit and entertained this summer.

Bikini Blast Time

Looking to get your muscles tight for your new polka dot bikini (or speedo)?  Join the Old Town Purre Barre team for a grand opening party on Thursday, June 19th from 6-8 p.m.  Pure Barre gives clients a chance to sculpt and lengthen their muscles by alternating tiny shake inducing muscle movements with stretching sequences.  Believe us, you will tighten your problem areas and wonder why such little movements can be so sweat provoking.  The grand opening party will feature drinks, light snacks, raffles as well as retail and class specials so this would be a perfect opportunity to snag a deal and step to the barre.  See the Purre Barre website for class information and more details.

Pure Barre Old Town

1350 N. Wells Street, Suite 4

Chicago, IL 60610

oldtown@purebarre.com

312.642.2922

Free Parking in the Self Park lot behind Cobbler Square is available.

 

Getting in Touch with Nature

Are you a city kid with country dreams?  The North Face, the well known outdoor clothing brand, and our beloved Chicago Park District are doing outreach to help us urbanites learn to camp in under our unforgettable Chicago skyline.  Events may feature camping basics, fishing skills and  nature hikes, or even spooky campfire tales lead by Chicago Park District staff.  Visit the website to register and more information.  Registration is mandatory to attend.

There are several spots to learn and set your gear down throughout the summer:

  • July 26-27: Northerly Island
  • August 9-10: Garfield Park Conservatory
  • August 16-17: Calumet Park
  • September 13-14: Gompers Park
  • September 20-21: CCFP Bullfrog Lake
  • September 27-28: Northerly Island
  • October 11: Family Adventure Day

Activity Guides from North Face are also available to give you the low down on other fun park events.

http://exploreyourparks.com/pdf/Chicago_EYP_Download.pdf

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Relax and Recharge in the Burbs

Grab some mini massages, snacks, and behind the scenes tours (OH MY!)  of the brand new Massage Envy Spa Mount Prospect, at their Grand Opening event on Tuesday, June 17 from 5-6:30 p.m.  Email massageenvy@heronpr.com to RSVP to the event.  (Text modified from Heron PR)

Movies and More under the Stars

Chicago Park District continues to bring free Movies in the Parks until early fall and that includes our beloved Millennium Park every Tuesday evenings and one bonus movie on Sunday, June 29th.  Click here to search the nearest park in Chicago.  This year Chicago Park District will also showcase the first Chicago on Screen which will feature locally-produced independent, documentary and short films around Chicago.
Wanna snuggle with a Lion during your show?  Ok that might be dangerous, but you can get up close and personal with the animals of Lincoln Park zoo and then catch a flick afterwards with Zoovies!  General admission is free but you can upgrade to VIP package for snacks, drinks and surprises.
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Photo Credit: MLK Photographs

Summer Bites

Chicago’s most romantic restaurant Geja’s Café will celebrate its 49th Anniversary Sunday, June 29 through Friday, July 4.  Guests will receive 49% off all food bills and can take part in Geja’s 5th annual recipe contest and 4th annual poetry challenge during the 6-day anniversary celebration. Guests are encouraged to compose original poetry about their experiences at Geja’s over the years.  Aspiring fondue foodies are invited to submit an original dipping sauce to accompany Geja’s signature meats and seafood entrée.  The winners from each contest will win a dinner for 6 with selected premium wines.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.gejascafe.com.  (Text provided by Heron PR) 

 

 

Chicago Passport to Healthy Skin

Chicagoan, need a healthy glow after the harsh winter?  Well, this is your opportunity to learn simple solution to healthy skin and more at this FREE event!

Date:  Saturday, June 7th  Location:  Millenium Park North Promenade, Chicago, IL  Time:  11:00am-3:00pm

One survey showed 75% of Chicago women are aware that what they eat impacts their skin’s health, but 52% don’t feel they can call themselves healthy eaters.  So tell your girlfriends and come check out this FREE event which includes the following….

  • Yoga workout sessions
  • Stress-relieving massages
  • Healthy treats and detoxifying teas
  • Skin-loving beauty samples
  • . . . Plus, get first-hand tips from our POPSUGAR editors and the Simple® Advisory Board
  • and FREE goodies!!

RSVP here and you will be showing off your luminous skin just in time for the summer!

Cooking in Chaos with Chicagoans

Want to show off your cooking skills while eating twenty different dishes all at once? Sounds like a crazy reality show right? A few weeks ago, Monica and a friend attended the launch party of Chaos Cooking</strong in one kitchen with only ten burners and one sink to share with over 50 fellow Chicagoans.

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So you must be wondering how do over 50 people cook in one kitchen?  Well think BYOU!  Bring yo’ own utensils, peeps.  I had to bring my own ingredients and supplies so I threw knives, bowls, cutting boards and such in a box and headed out.   There were several pots in the kitchen for people to use, however, making the event a potluck style social with the twist of cooking on the spot with strangers.

People arrived at the spacious Test Kitchen located in Noble Square and were greeted by the bubbly hostess and event organizer, Victoria DeMatteo.  As more people arrived, others immediately felt a sense urgency and started to prep their food.   Cravzy provided VIPs (those who bought tickets early like me) one ingredient such as tofu, golden beets, asparagus, fish filets, chicken thighs and more.  I selected Manila mangoes to prepare mango salsa.

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Fellow Chicagoans of all different ages and backgrounds came together and had a great time cooking in chaos.  Some dishes were from online recipes such as simple yet yummy mango sticky rice while others created their own dish and even brought electric grill for toasty bread with goat cheese spread and fresh asparagus. A few even stepped out of the box with unique ideas like beer soaked rice.

  

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 So if you have a creative and non-claustrophobic cooking spirit, check out the Chaos Cooking events, held once a month with friends and fellow Chicagoans.  Sign up at Cooking Chaos website for future events or even host an event at your apartment. The next event is Spanish wines and tapas at our fave bistro, Blue Star Bistro & Wine Bar.  Click here to RSVP for this event on June 12th.

What new dish would you make if you had to cook in chaos?