Since my son is with his Dad on Thanksgiving this year I took the day off work to have our holiday meal one day early. I just made homemade cranberry sauce and figured I’d share my recipe with you, as it’s super easy and can/should be made a day or two ahead of time. Believe me, once you try homemade cranberry sauce you’ll never go back the can!
You only need three ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar (white or brown or a combination)
- 1 cup orange juice (or even just water, but orange juice cuts the tartness of the cranberries)
- 1 12oz package of fresh or frozen cranberries
(I combined white and brown sugar)
(Orange-Pineapple juice is even better, I just used orange)
Combine sugar and orange juice in a pot over medium heat and stir until dissolved.
Bring to a boil then simmer about 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you hear the sound of cranberries popping.
Stir. I like it lumpy but if you want it smooth just stir (you could probably use an immersion blender) until there’s no lumps.
Refrigerate at least 5 hours. It will thicken as it chills.
TIP: add grated orange peel when stirring and/or on top when serving. You can also add in dried fruit, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg…it’s fun to make two batches and experiment with the second, but this basic recipe is delicious!
Goo Goo Dolls play Huntington Bank Pavilion in Chicago this Monday, July 24. I spoke with Johnny Rzeznik about the show but mostly he wanted to gush about his daughter Lily. He just became a Daddy this year and is clearly enthralled with her, it’s so adorable! He also talks about his dog Roscoe. Oh, and of course songwriting. Take a listen….
Such a pleasure chatting with Jenny Berggren from Ace Of Base yesterday. Such a lovely woman inside & out. Don’t miss Ace Of Base & La Bouche tonight at Joe’s Live in Rosement!
Drop Of Doom virtual reality ride (using Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus) is only at Six Flags Great America until Memorial Day. My son and I loved fighting off giant mutant spiders while piloting a futuristic gunship. Check it out:
This is an old ride with a new twist…
- High speed virtual vertical ascent up 100 stories while teetering off the edge of a helicopter
- 360 degree rotating view high above massive city skysrapers that are under siege by enormous spiders
- High intensity gun battle aginst a giant arachnid, spewing baby spiders that virtually crawl all over the riders body
- Thrilling 100 story fiery plunge straight down between towering skyscrapers
- Reservations are required to ride. Reservation tickets are available at the attraction entrance on a first come, first served basis.
When the Chicago Cubs faced the Cleveland Indians in the World Series this past year there was a wager made between Six Flags Great America and Cedar Point: winner got to rename a ride of their choosing at the loser’s amusement park. With the Cubs winning the World Series it meant that Cedar Point had to pay up. And, it’s fantastic. Take a listen:
If you’ve not yet experienced Cedar Point’s
Top Thrill Dragster Top Thrill Cubster here’s a great point of view of this 120-mph 420-foot-tall “strata-coaster”. WOW! Just click on the picture…
Cedar Point is about a five hour drive from Chicago, featuring 70 rides including 17 world class roller coasters. There’s also five hotel properties and the new Cedar Point Shores Waterpark.
More info: www.cedarpoint.com
Barry Manilow is a living legend! He has sold over 85 million albums worldwide and been nominated for a grammy every decade since the 1970s. His new album This Is My Town: Songs of New York comes out April 21. He may be done touring but that’s not stopping him from performing at the Allstate Arena next month (May 17). It was a pleasure talking with him about his songwriting, his infamous jingles, his new album and even his first big break here in Chicago. Take a listen…
One word sums up Ravinia’s 2017 summer schedule: WOWZA!
John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Alanis Morisette, John Mellencamp, Lifehouse and Switchfoot, Blondie with Garbage, One Republic with Fitz & the Tantrums, I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues with TLC, Biz Markie, All-4-One, O-Town, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath and Snap!…see the full schedule at www.Ravinia.org.
There’s a wind chill advisory 9pm tonight (Wed) through 10am tomorrow (Thurs) morning. Frost bite can occur in as little as 30 minutes so many schools are either delaying the start time on Thursday or cancelling school altogether. Check THIS LINK for the latest school closing info…it’s constantly updated, so if you don’t see your school listed refresh the page or check back later. Stay warm!
So excited to see this….
Listen to 100.3 WSHE at the top of every hour through 5pm to play Ticket Tag and win a 4-pack of tickets to Six Flags Great America. You need to head there this weekend for sure – they now have the world’s first fully-integrated virtual reality gaming coaster experience. It’s on The Demon which has been at Six Flags for 40 years…this is a whole new way to enjoy that ride! Rage Of The Gargoyles opens to the public Saturday, however I rode it this morning to give you a POV preview…check it out:
So much fun!!!
The 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza hits Chicago’s Grant Park this weekend. The festival begins Thursday but road closures are already in effect through Tuesday, August 1st. Columbus is closed between Monroe and Roosevelt, Balbo is closed between Michigan and LSD, Jackson is closed between Michigan and LSD and Congress is closed between Michigan and Columbus.
So many great bands this year…Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, Radiohead, X Ambassadors, Janes Addiction just to name a few. But my favorite thing is discovering a new favorite artist. One I suggest is Lindsey Stirling who plays Sunday afternoon at 2:15. She is a classically trained violist who does ballet moves while performing. Clearly, Lolla has a bit of everything. You can see the entire massive Lollapalooza schedule HERE.
Fashion is almost as big as the music at Lolla. If you want to get a peak at Lolla fashion check out the ROOF Runway at ROOF on theWit (201 N. State St, 27th Floor, Chicago) show Thursday evening July 28 as they model looks from Iridium.
Personally, I always wear dresses at Lollapalooza. Sure jean shorts look fashionable, but realistically when you’re using a portajohn it’s much easier when wearing a dress. The floor gets pretty gross as the days go on, you really don’t want your shorts touching it inadvertently. And on a hot day you get a nice breeze. Plus this time of year many stores have summer dresses on clearance – I picked up a few an Macy’s yesterday for just $36 each (normally priced over $100). My other big piece of advice – do NOT wear flip flops. The muscles you use to walk when there’s no strap on around your heal will make your legs sore. Plus if it rains and it gets muddy you’ll lose them or twist your ankle. Find comfortable sandals or even gym shoes. If you’re wearing shoes with socks bring an extra pair of socks and/or sandals because if/when it rains you’ll be miserable walking around in wet shoes. Bandaids, incase you get blisters, are also a good idea. I’m also a big fan of a fanny pack at festivals. You may also want a very small backpack to carry stuff, but with a fanny pack you have everything you need (money, lip gloss, phone) within reach while having both hands free. OK so my advice about fanny packs and gym shoes may not be fashion forward, clearly I’m more reasonable than fashionable.
Launched by founder Perry Farrell in 1991 as a touring festival, Lollapalooza remains an innovator in festival culture 25 years later. Lollapalooza was the first festival to bring together artists from a wide range of musical genres on one bill, it was also the first to travel, the first to expand to multiple days, the first to introduce a second stage, the first to blend art and activism, the first to offset its carbon emissions, the first to put electronic dance music artists on the main stage, the first to create family friendly programming, the first to make its home in an urban city center and the first to expand internationally.
Wow. It’s been a few days and I think I’m finally fully recovered from our on-location broadcast at the Duran Duran concert at Ravinia Festival last Friday. So much fun! Loved meeting the CEO of Ravinia, Welz Kauffman. We had a great conversation about the venue, I had no idea it once was an amusement park. And chatting with Duran Duran‘s John and Roger Taylor was quite an honor. Take a listen to both conversations below.
I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and her boyfriend to see The SpongeBob Musical at The Oriental Theatre Sunday evening. I also attended the “yellow carpet” event prior to the show, check out the fun pictures HERE. As far as the show…WOW!. If you ever watched the cartoon…and if you haven’t, you should…you will LOVE it. Definitely a great time for anyone over 15, I didn’t think the younger kids would get the jokes or appreciate the amazing music…but I was proven wrong when I asked some 6-8 year old boys after the show what they thought. They loved it as much as me. Though I’m not sure they understood some of the innuendos which is what makes taking kids to these types of shows so much fun for the parents. I’ve taken my kids to see dozens of “kid” shows in the past (Barney, Scooby, etc) so this particular show was such a relief. It’s not condescending in any way, it stays true to the Nickelodeon cartoon. The set was so detailed. The main character totally nailed SpongeBob’s voice and mannerism. In my opinion, though, it was Squidward who stole the show. It’s funny because on the TV version I never liked Squidward much, but in this show you can’t help but love him – they did a wonderful job of explaining the reasoning behind his odd behavior, whereas when you watch the cartoon he just comes across as self centered. My teenage daughter commented at the end that it was hilarious and fun, and also sent a strong positive life message. I love that she picked that up. Oh, and the music…Plain White T’s, Panic! At The Disco, Cyndi Lauper. Joe Perry & Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, David Bowie…that’s only some of the contributors. The soundtrack alone is reason enough to go see it. I want to see it again and again. I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m ready!
If you’re going, here’s some tips:
- Don’t be late to your seat, both in the beginning and after the intermission (if you don’t enter on time you won’t be able to get to your seat for an other 10 minutes due to …well, I won’t tell you)
- If you are sitting on the main floor in any row before row N be sure to look towards the balcony at times to see the conductor on the TV screen. She was fantastic. I realized later how important it was that she was on that screen because the singing and percussion was not in the orchestra pit, it’s the only visual of her they had (again, I won’t give you any more details…)
- Bring money for drinks/munchies/swag – at this theatre you are allowed to bring drinks and food purchased at the concessions back to your seat, which is nice. They sell delicious popcorn that likely will sell out by intermission, grab a bag early.
- Bathrooms are downstairs. Just letting you know so you don’t waste time wandering searching.
- I think it’s better suited for kids anyone over 15+ due to the length and verbage, but as I mentioned earlier, the younger ones I spoke to did enjoy it.
The SpongeBob Musical runs through July 10. More info at TheSpongeBobMusical.com.
Love begins in Chicago tonight! Guys seated on the left, girls seated on the right at this wild, feisty, hilarious, interactive theatrical event on love, sex, & relationships! I’ll be on stage, cannot wait to see the fun host Brian Howie has in store this evening at the opening night of The Great Love Debate at The Apollo Theatre. Get tickets thru the Apollo Box office at 773.935.6100 or thru www.ticketmaster.com – and stick around for the post-show meet & greet and mixer immediately following.
I had the pleasure of riding Justice League: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL. It will be open to the public this weekend. Can’t wait to take my son on it this summer!
Some key features of this way cool ride:
- 22,000 square foot “Hall Of Justice” houses the full-sensory thrill ride
- 4D ride experience with wind, fire, mist and fog effects
- On of the first-ever virtual vertical loop, giving riders the feeling of going head of heels
- Virtual 180 degree barrel roll
- High Def 3D animation fully immerses riders into the city of Metropolis
- State-of-the-art gaming elements
- 6-passenger vehicles spin, turn and dip in sync with the 3D animation
Who doesn’t love LOVE? I sure do! (and I also looooooove Maggiano’s, YUM!)
If you or someone you know is getting married, please join me this Sunday morning at the Oak Brook Maggiano’s. Get all the details and register here.
Due to the time change where he was located, my scheduled interview with John Taylor from Duran Duran was around 6am. It was back in 2012 but I remember it just like it was yesterday. I took a quick shower and thought to myself, “When will I ever get another opportunity to chat with a member of Duran Duran when I’m not wearing any clothes?”. So, I wore only a silk bathrobe and made the phone call…here’s the conversation. I never told him I was almost naked, but I suspect he’s used to that.
Click here to listen: Cara Chats With John Taylor Of Duran Duran
I’ve got FREE Duran Duran tickets for you every day this week at 4pm! If you win, you should wear more than a bathrobe…it’s usually pretty breezy at Ravinia Festival.
Prince suddenly passed away today at the young age of 57. To say he was a big influence on my life is putting it mildly. I’m crushed. Listening to his music and watching videos sure is great medicine. I took this video during one of his United Center shows back in 2012. Since Prince would not permit recording of any of his performances, I only recorded him walking across the stage waving to the crowd. It now gives me the goosebumps…seems as if he is waving good-bye.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to stalk…oh, I mean see…Rick Springfield this summer! I’ve been a huge fan of The Romantics as long as I can remember. Everybody’s working for the weekend so naturally I love Loverboy. All three bands are at Grand Victoria Casino Festival Park in Elgin on July 3. It’s going to be a fun show! Tickets go on Sale this Friday at 10am, however you can win a pair during the 4pm hour today (and the rest of the week) from me!