Nadia’s Cherry Pie Helps Give Hope to Cancer Patients

Nadia's Cherry PieIf you’ve ever browsed our dessert menu, you may have noticed one titled Nadia’s Cherry Pie. This dessert is very near and dear to my heart. The pie is named in honor of Ted’s mom, Nadia Collier.

 

Nadia lived a very colorful life. She was born in Ukraine, and at a young age she escaped with her family as refugees on a cargo ship that, unknown to them, was headed to Australia. She was working as a model when she met Ted’s father, who was vacationing in Australia. They fell in love, married, and she moved to his farm in Greenville, Illinois. I am told that Nadia was an amazing, well-read woman who loved classical music.

 

Sadly, she was diagnosed with melanoma and succumbed to cancer after a yearlong battle in 2004. To celebrate her life and acknowledge those who are fighting the same battle Nadia did, we donated 50 percent of every sale of Nadia’s Cherry Pie to the Siteman Cancer Center, a nationally recognized leader in cancer treatment, research, and prevention.

 

While we’re known for our pizza pies, we hope you’ll try a slice of Nadia’s Cherry Pie the next time you dine with us.

How to Make the Perfect Artichoke Salad

Artichoke SaladOur Fried Artichoke Salad is by far our most popular salad and has quickly become one of the items we are most known for. The tangy goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette cuts through and offers a refreshing zest. The addition of the fried artichokes adds a certain decadence, so you feel like you are getting more than just some leaves on a plate. Create this delicious salad at home for your next dinner party!

 

What you’ll need:

*6 artichokes

*4 spears of asparagus

*EVOO

*kosher salt and black pepper

*crumbled goat cheese

*1/4 cup of shelled pistachios

*balsamic vinaigrette

*spring mix

First, pan fry 6 whole artichoke hearts and begin roasting the asparagus in the EVOO, adding dashes of the kosher salt and black pepper as it roasts. While the artichoke hearts and asparagus continue roasting, make a bed of spring mix in a bowl.

Once the asparagus and artichokes are roasted to perfection, top the spring mix with the artichokes and asparagus, crumbled goat cheese, and the shelled pistachios. The final touches are added with a drizzling of balsamic vinaigrette, and there you have it – the perfect artichoke salad. Your friends will be impressed. I promise.

60 Days in Review at Katie’s Pizza

Katie's Pizza - outside view

Seeing our dream become a reality after 2 years of hard work, raising money, finding a space, and then convincing the landlord to give us a chance was really tough but totally worth it to help us fulfill our dreams.

We opened the doors to Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria on November 23rd, and we have been busier than we ever expected!

It was hard in the beginning to find employees willing to embrace working for a new company, so we hired the bulk of the employees in our first month after the buzz was out. My husband Ted and I worked every day and night during the first month to cover for the lack of employees and the time we took out to help with training. We never really ever had a slow time to work out any kinks, so everyone had to learn recipes and the computer system quickly. Luckily, we found the best employees that we could have ever hoped for. We truly feel like they are our family, and we love them!

My mom, Belinda Lee, is our General Manager. It’s really fun for me to have her with me every day. During the lunch rush, we host and bus tables together and laugh. Ted works the floor at night and knows just about everyone that comes in. We call him “Mr. Popularity.”

I am a perfectionist when it comes to the menu – I have already changed it 3 times! I recently reworked all of the pastas and am now very confident in all of them, but really, I don’t ever think I will be completely satisfied!

Ted and I have many surreal moments where the place is packed with happy people, and we look at each other and can’t believe it’s real. We really enjoy work every day and can’t wait to get there in the morning! In fact, Ted has to practically pull me out of there at night!

Now we are just really grateful for all of the business we receive. Our focus now is giving back, reaching new goals, and always improving the food, the environment for the guests and staff, and our hospitality. We have big dreams for the future of the restaurant and our brand. Every day, we chip away at reaching those goals and making our community better; in fact, we recently partnered with Siteman Cancer Center, Food Outreach, and Gateway 180. We have also started a catering division and our Saturday and Sunday brunch, and are working on big plans for the patio, including a vegetable and herb garden! Nope, things never really slow down here, and we couldn’t be happier about it!

The first 60 days have been a huge success, and we can’t wait to see what the next 60 bring! Be sure to keep reading our blog to follow up on how we’re doing, or better yet, stop by in person to enjoy our fantastic food and our friendly atmosphere!

Patio Alert!

Patio Alert!This is the year of the patio at the new Katie's Pizza & Pasta Osteria. We have big plans!

Let’s start with the huge vegetable garden we will begin planting next week with the help of my brother Johnny Lee the horticulturist, Ted building boxes for the beds. Think squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, Swiss chard, leeks, eggplant, watermelon, radish, kholarabi, and herbs. The garden will not only be a beautiful setting for patio dining, but it will also be used in our kitchen for specials like our watermelon salad.

Our picnic tables will be set up harvest-style with big pots of herbs separating the tables. Ted is building an outdoor bar for busy nights. Because we have big plans for the design of the patio, we plan on celebrating it with our new weekly event, "Parties On The Patio," every Wednesday from 5-9 p.m. Think parties on the park but cooler with delicious food, live bands, an outdoor bar with drink specials like our famous watermelon cocktail, friendly, happy, attentive staff, and better parking! No reservations needed!

We can’t wait to see you there!

 
     

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