Before they were moms with six children between them, Simply Homemade owners Cindy and Stephanie were food-industry professionals, studying nutrition and food-product development. Now, they've combined both experiences to create a company that supplies healthy, handcrafted meals to busy families. Working off of a monthly menu of 22 entrees, the duo whips up mouthwatering pastas, burgers, and kebabs chock-full of whole grains, hand-trimmed chicken, and natural beef from Heartland Meats. Then, they either preassemble meals for customers to pick up or set up ingredients for customers to assemble themselves onsite. The latter option, which takes about two hours, makes it easier for customers to tailor dinners to a child's love of mushrooms or a dog's disdain for cilantro.
Classically trained in the culinary arts, the friendly chefs at A Kid's Kitchen help tykes tap their foodie instincts during hands-on classes in a peanut- and nut-free environment. One-time sessions and class series feature topics from twisting soft pretzels to adorning cakes with fondant to crafting perfectly aerodynamic food-fighting weapons, with topics geared to please different age ranges. Summer camps keep kids engaged during school's off-season, and birthday parties entertain groups with edible festivity. Additionally, parents can order custom cakes and pastries from the kitchen, which also dishes its desserts from a space free of peanuts, tree nuts, or allergy-inducing political discourse.
Within a show room at Naperville’s Liam Brex, fresh, seasonal ingredients mix in the air amid equally stimulating home-entertaining instruction. The chefs and home-entertainment experts spice students’ creativity with menu ideas and hands-on training in preparation for hosting dinner parties, brunches, or social gatherings. During cooking classes, chefs reveal their expert techniques before allowing students to sit down to a full meal of their creation, paired with a wine from Peterson Spirits & Fine Wines.