I'm thrilled to introduce myself as your new Health and Wellness Writer. I'm a mother of three active sons, Certified Health and Wellness Counselor, author (Real Moms Love to Eat, Penguin Books, 2012), and Healthy Lifestyle/Green Living television spokesperson. As a former PBS TV series host, radio host (and current BlogTalkRadio host), I'm always coming across interesting information about health, wellness, food, nutrition and how to live a really great life.

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Chicago with Melisa Wells + truffle & hotdog recipes

With three sons, I’m always keeping my eye open for fun things to do around Chicago and recently, a friend told me about a neat book she found called,  Chicken in the Car and the Car Won’t Go: Nearly 200 Ways to Enjoy Chicagoland With Tweens and Teens by Melisa Wells. The title alone made me want to read this book.

By Melisa Wells

Then, I found her blog, Suburban Scrawl, where she writes about everything from parenting tips to writing a haiku for cupcakes. How lovely! You should check it out.

I took it upon myself to get to know this super-cool fellow mom blogger! Here’s a quick intro to my new online pal, Melisa Wells.

RM: I love the cupcake haiku! What are some of your other favorite foods that inspire you to poetry?
Melisa: Although I have other favorite foods (steak, a great chopped salad, deep dish pizza…), I don’t think I’ve ever written poetry about any of them. Cupcakes seem to just lend themselves to a good verse!

RM: Agreed! Speaking of food to write home about, what are a couple of food-related highlights you recommend every Chicago parent do?
Melisa: Well, being a Chicago native and a huge fan of our deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, I would say that yes, definitely food plays a huge part in enjoying Chicagoland!

My favorite pizza comes from Lou Malnati’s, and we love hot dogs from Portillo’s. Families who visit the city should definitely not miss Garrett’s Popcorn, either: their caramel corn and cheese corn…to die for! (If you order the Chicago Mix, you’ll get both!)

RM: Sounds like we’ve got some shared food faves. What’s the role of food in your family life?
Melisa: Oh my gosh, “unfortunately” it runs in my family to love food. (I say “unfortunately” because it also runs in my family to have tendencies towards being overweight.) I follow in my mom’s and grandmother’s footsteps when it comes to entertaining: I always prepare way too much food. My sister is a fantastic cook who is not afraid to try all kinds of different recipes (for what I call “real food”: what you would eat for meals!) and then experiment with changing them.

I love to bake desserts, and we always make a big deal out of birthdays with fantastically decorated cakes, too! My younger son (16 years old) has even taken a few culinary arts classes at school, and he can hold his own in the kitchen.

RM: It’s so great when you can get your kids to enjoy cooking. What’s one of your favorite family recipes?
Melisa: I feel compelled to give you two recipes. One is for the truffles I make during the holiday season. The other? How to make a Chicago-style hot dog, of course!

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