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Halloween Tips and Tricks (including CANDY CONTROL!!!!!)

  Halloween Tricks and Treats   Halloween was never one of my favorite holidays, until of course, we had kids. Now it’s celebrated with equal enthusiasm as Thanksgiving and Christmas in our house. Best of all, our Andersonville neighborhood is THE BEST trick-or-treat neighborhood in Chicago. We live in a very mixed neighborhood of rehab condos on one street, and gorgeous, historic homes on the next. Condo or single-family home, everyone goes all out, including haunted houses, live gore theatre in front yards, light shows… you name it. So it’s only natural that we host a party on Halloween. For several years now, all the parents and kids meet at our place. Kids snack a bit and parents fill up...

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Every Party Has A Story

Entertaining is in my blood. From the time I could afford it, I was hosting showers, parties, dinners, etc., for friends. This is how I perfected my craft and how I ultimately built RR4 Catering. I love the creative collaboration of catering. Working with clients on menus, decor, the little touches that make it personal. But what I appreciate more and more are the stories behind the parties I have the honor to cater. Over the summer, RR4 catered several parties that had wonderful stories behind them. Being a part of such special celebrations, and being able to watch people enjoy themselves among family and friends is such a pleasure. This past spring, I had the honor of catering two...

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Soup Is Definitely On!

Here in Chicago, we gear up for the sub-zero temperatures around late November. Be it El Nino or just good fortune, January 10 marked the first day of truly cold weather in the Windy City. Some curse it. I say, bring it on because that means one thing and one thing only: SOUP SEASON. Nothing warms and comforts quite like a bowl of soup. I have a host of favorite recipes that I've passed along over the years and not once have I had anything but rave reviews. The first soup I fire up the minute the temperate drops is my Pasta e Fagioli. It's everything good about Italian flavors: pancetta, a solid mirepoix (AKA "The Holy Trinity"), fire-roasted tomatoes...

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My Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving

It makes perfect sense that I’m offering Thanksgiving sides by RR4 this year. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite meal of the year. Every dish – turkey, stuffing, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, even the relish tray – makes me so, incredibly happy. And over time, I’ve perfected several recipes, some new and some passed down through family, to create a delicious, comforting meal. Of course, food aside, Thanksgiving is rich with so many memories and traditions. When we were kids, Thanksgiving meant my family traveled from Abilene, Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri. That was big time for the Johnson kids. All my mother’s family gathered for a long day of snacking on Aunt Mary Lynn’s cheese straws and Seville olives, Grandad’s ham...

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Jeff & Dennis Wedding

And so it begins. While I've been catering for years, September 12, 2015, marked the first official event under RR4 Catering, LLC. RR4 had the sincere pleasure of catering a wedding reception for two lovely gentlemen, Jeff and Dennis. The reception took place at the upstairs party room at Brimfield conveniently located in my very-own neighborhood of Andersonville. What a beautiful day, captured perfectly by Julia at YouMe Photography. We worked with Jeff and Dennis to create a custom menu, inspired by fall flavors. I was warned early on that the night would be long and the guests would be festive, so RR4 paced out the evening with appetizers, buffet and even a late-night nosh to keep everyone happy and...

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