Smile Politely

Family dinner recipes in spotlight on WILL-TV

During Come and Get It! Your Family Dinner Favorites, airing on WILL-TV on Monday, March 4, 7:00 p.m., central Illinois home cooks and local chefs will join host Lisa Bralts to prepare foods that families love.

WILL-TV selected five home cooks who will share how they prepare their family’s favorite foods. They’ll be joined by two area chefs and local food providers who will share tips on choosing and using locally sourced ingredients, pairing beverages with foods, and involving family members in preparing meals. Viewers who pledge $60 or more to WILL may request the companion cookbook, with more than 100 recipes submitted by viewers, as a thank-you gift.

Chef Alisa DeMarco of Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, where her farm-to-table dinners and breakfasts use local and seasonal ingredients, will prepare white bean stew with Italian sausage and kale. Thad Morrow, who opened Bacaro Restaurant in 2001after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, will make chicken thighs braised in balsamic vinegar.

Other professionals on the program include farmers Hans and Katie Bishop of PrairiErth Farm, who raise ten acres of certified organic vegetables for sale locally, and Todd Fusco, who manages Corkscrew Wine Emporium and Buvons Wine Bar in Urbana after running Farren’s in Champaign for eleven years.

Home cooks and their featured dishes include:

  • Valorie Deichman, Champaign, curry kale and potato casserole
  • Karen Pope, Charleston, grilled mussels with lime butter
  • Carrie Pennington Bush, Champaign, turkey manicotti
  • John Parker, Danville, Mama Shorty’s buttermilk pie
  • Paige and Melissa Siegmund, St. Joseph, power balls.

Bralts said she’s particularly excited to work with the home cooks on the show. “I’m curious by nature, so I’m looking forward to seeing what other people make for their friends and families. And after previewing the recipes, I have no doubt we’ll all come away with some serious dinner inspiration,” she said.

Marketing director at Illinois Public Media, Bralts is the former director of Urbana’s Market at the Square. Her In My Backyard commentaries on food and neighborhoods air on WILL-AM at 2:22 p.m., the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

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