Weather Alert

Heat Advisory Extended Through Monday

IL (AP) -- Heat advisory remains in effect from 1:00pm this afternoon to 7:00pm CDT Monday. Dangerous levels of heat and humidity will occur from this afternoon through Monday afternoon. Heat index values will peak from 100 to 107 degrees in the afternoon hours with high temperatures in the low to mid 90s and dew points in the 70s.
The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will lead to an increased risk of heat-related stress and illness. The very young, the elderly, those without air conditioning and those participating in strenuous outdoor activities will be the most susceptible. Also car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Beat the heat, check the backseat! Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency. Call 9-1-1.
A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, and stay out of the sun. And check up on relatives and neighbors.

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In The Kitchen

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Pumpkin Soup

Updated: Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT
Made By: Chef Chip Kennedy, 5 Flavors Catering

    2 small pumpkins, about 8-10 inches in diameter
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
    2 slices fresh ginger, half-dollar size, 1/4" thick
    2 sachets d`epices, each containing:
o    2 sprigs fresh parsley
o    2 sprigs fresh thyme
o    2 bay leaves
o    6 black peppercorns
o    (Tie the above ingredients into a small cheesecloth sack)
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 onions, thinly sliced
    4 cups homemade chicken stock
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    20 fig quenelles, approximately

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cut the tops from the pumpkins and scoop out all the seeds and stringy bits. Season the cavities with kosher salt and a little of the nutmeg. Place a slice of ginger and a sachet d`epices in each pumpkin.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add the chicken stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Fill the pumpkins with the stock and onions. Place on a baking sheet (you may spread 1/2" or so of salt on the baking sheet to ensure the pumpkins don`t wobble), and bake for 2 hours, or until the flesh is tender.

Remove the stock from the pumpkins and reserve it a large bowl or pot; discard the ginger and sachets. Scoop the cooked flesh from the pumpkin. Purée the cooked pumpkin, onions and stock together in a food processor or blender (you may have to do this in batches). If the soup is too thick, you may add more stock as necessary.
Return the soup to the saucepan and add the cream, cayenne, salt and remaining nutmeg (you may also add a little more grated ginger if you like). Stir to combine, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

For the Fig Quenelles:
•    6 dried figs, stems removed
•    1 tablespoon dark rum
•    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Place the dried figs in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the figs and let cool. Purée the figs with the rum in a food processor.

Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the puréed figs into the whipped cream. Form the fig mixture into oval-shaped quenelles by shaping them with 2 teaspoons.

To Garnish and Serve:
•    2 thin slices of prosciutto, julienned
•    2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Divide the soup between four soup bowls. Place 5 quenelles in each bowl of soup in a star pattern. Place a small mound of the julienned prosciutto in the center, and sprinkle with chives.
Pumpkin Soup


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