Blogger, publicist, and ultimate foodie: Maris Callahan of In Good Taste does a bit of everything, all while managing to cook up a storm in her Chicago kitchen. We sat down with this Chila ‘Original to learn more about her approach to life, food, and friends. Meet Maris in the interview below and check out her delicious tres leches martini recipe to discover how to enjoy Chila in good taste, indeed.
In the summer, my favorite simple pleasure is being outside. I love to sit on my patio and relax with girlfriends and a glass of wine, take my dog Henry for walks or to the dog park, or grill and eat dinner outside with my boyfriend. There is an outdoor kitchen on the rooftop of my building that has amazing views of Chicago skyline. I also love spending time in the kitchen, whether it’s cooking, baking, or making cocktails for friends.
What makes being a home cook exciting is trying new things that push you outside of your comfort zone — and cinnamon cream rum is definitely not something that most people use in their daily cooking! I loved the idea of taking something fit for a special occasion and making it easy for everyday enjoyment, because that’s what my blog, In Good Taste, is all about. It’s finding the little things that make life more special, whether it’s serving your cocktail in a special glass, setting your table with festive cloth napkins for an ordinary Monday night dinner, or surprising your friends or loved ones with a favorite dessert. You might not throw an over-the-top brunch party every Sunday, but you can make a happy hour at home a little more special any day with Chila.
Chila was a huge hit among my friends! It adds a lot of sophistication to a home bar and it’s something that definitely catches guests’ attention.
What was great about planning this brunch menu is that I had a place to start, even if I was planning around a cocktail. Sometimes I like to do themes but other times I just base my menus around what looks or sounds good when I’m shopping. This brunch was definitely one of those cases where I had an elaborate plan to start, and was further inspired by ingredients at the store.
Some of my favorite go-to recipes for entertaining are small plates and snacks that are fit for for before dinner, at picnic, during midday, for cocktail party, or almost any other occasion. Two popular recipes are my Brie and Peach Salsa Bruschetta and Baked Brie en Croute.
I do feel very lucky that my career and my passions intermingle, and also complement each other nicely. My advice to anyone looking to pursue something new is to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.