Archive by Author | chezruthie

Giving back is a way of life; well, it’s our way of life

Working with seniors is very rewarding, to say the least. My Dining Services team finds great pleasure in providing top-notch services for our friends and customers, and there is an indescribable feeling of pride when our residents settle happily into the new way of living at Greenview Place.  

Oh, and how about compost! I’m excited about our composting program, since it gives us another way to make the most of nature’s gifts. Composting means there is less garbage going into the landfills and believe me, we have plenty to add to the compost pile from our kitchen! The fertilizer we obtain through this process is 100% natural and full of rich nutrients for all those beautiful plants in the gardens and on the roofs.

We also take pride in using an Earth-friendly approach wherever we can. We look for ways to minimize our use of disposable products and we actively participate in recycling. Our rooftop gardens are a wonderful little hideaway, but did you know that a rooftop garden or green roof can actually cool the temperature of the building below? This saves energy by lowering air conditioning bills, which helps keep rent affordable. Not to mention, the vistas the green roof and our gardens present are a balm to the soul. Imagine, our residents can sit outside and relax, watching our plants grow, just absorbing the soothing, peaceful beauty.  

Interested in starting your own composting at home? Here is a helpful link to get you going.

Don’t throw it away – ‘post it!



Everybody knows it’s so important to stay well-hydrated – and as the weather warms up it’s very easy to underestimate the amount of fluids we need.  In addition to our baseline needs, we have to keep in mind the fluids we lose in perspiration. Remember The Long, Hot Summer? Paul Newman, the dirty white tank T-shirt… Oh, wait – that’s for another post. 

Back to why we’re here. *sigh* Drinking enough of the right type of fluids can help keep you regular (always a good thing), cushion your joints, curb your appetite and keep you cool. Great news, right? There’s more! You know that vague feeling of hunger you feel when you’re staring into the refrigerator but can’t find anything to eat?  You’re probably thirsty.  Try a glass of water first.  If you’re not getting enough to drink, you might experience dry mouth, headaches, weakness and dizziness. All bad things!

Look, staying hydrated is easy-peasy. Don’t worry about having to drink a huge amount of water every day. Just sip all day long, have small amounts with your meals.  Think about picking up a water bottle you can refill and  keep with you – at least until you have to exchange it for a new plastic one. *grins* You could aways grab a steel bottle. They’re all the rage!

You can get fluids from soups, fruits and vegetables – but NOT from caffeinated drinks. Anybody know why? Because you’re just borrowing the water when you drink caffeine with it. Darn it!  A juicy peach or a celery stick will quench your thirst better than a glass of iced tea will.  Or how about this? A banana or some peanut butter will replenish the potassium you lose in very hot weather, so make sure you keep these as a  yummy, healthy snack.

Keep drinking!

Remember when Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day? Well, Friday is Salad Day!

Healthy eating can be exciting and fun – and DELICIOUS!

Here at Greenview Place, we have revamped the menu to respond to our customer’s needs and wants. Our choices are healthy and still amazingly good. It’s true.

Salads are a summer treat that bring out the creative best in our kitchen crew. Look at this beauty!

Today’s salad is the new favorite among our residents: Fruited Spinach Salad. We start with fresh spinach, and top it with grilled chicken breast.  The raspberry vinaigrette is made from scratch using Chef Elvis’ house recipe.  And believe me, he is a genius when it comes to that. Savory feta cheese with the tart sweetness of sliced strawberries and oranges make this salad anything but ordinary.

Finish up the meal with a slice of our scrumptious homemade blueberry cheesecake.  Are you hungry yet?

It’s all about the food: Happy Taco Day!

Ethnic food adds elements of fun and spice to our menu.  Today it’s Taco Day – an absolute favorite among our residents.  Everyone enjoys a change, and we keep our menu loaded with many different specialties. Our cooking is almost all from scratch, which gives it the homemade taste that our guests just love.

We offer many international favorites such as Greek Salad, an array of Italian pasta dishes with homemade sauce, and everybody’s favorite, quiche!  We will be serving Corned Beef and Cabbage on St, Paddy’s Day, when everybody’s Irish eyes are smiling.  

Our Spring/Summer menu will place more emphasis on light and healthy foods, but we won’t forget to include comfort food favorites and our tried and true Greenview classics.  One thing you can be sure of: we shop local and buy our produce from a Chicago area merchant. It’s important to us to offer the best, freshest foods that we can.

Stay tuned as we roll out the revamped menu…our new Meal of the Week feature will be a feast for your eyes – and the palate. Bon appetit!

Spring Fever Comes Early to the Terrace Grille

The sun is shining (sometimes!) and the breezes are mild here in Chicago. As your Dining Services Director, this leads me to think about the Spring/Fall menu. We’ve got an expert staff here and I enjoy the fact that I can pool their knowledge and their creativity to roll out the best home-cooked meals in town – and we serve them restaurant-style, every day. The menu is on a 28-day cycle – with no repeats for lunch or dinner during that cycle.  It’s always fresh and new. Plus, breakfast is a 7-day cycle of home-style favorites. We wake you up with a smile! 

To begin, I consult with my staff.  The servers hear and see what our residents like best, so their input is invaluable.  The chefs are in touch with the logistical and creative aspects of the menu, so I ask them which menu items work best together from a preparation standpoint.  My favorite question is always “What do you LOVE to make?” Sometimes their answers surprise me, but in truth, if they love what they’re doing, it’s going to have that something extra which will give our guests an exceptional dining experience.

I regularly poll the residents about what they’d like to see added (or subtracted) from the menu and of course, their input is the most valued of all.  The president of the Resident’s Council is compiling the results from a survey he has created, so I’ll have some solid numeric information on the diners’ opinions to help me quantify my parameters.

Next, I sit down with all this information and work on rearranging, replacing and revamping.  Some items are removed to make room for something new.  Some items are changed to provide better nutrition or cost control or aesthetics.   And, since we offer a variety of ethnic cuisines and it’s important to keep those arranged mindfully so we don’t give anybody’s tummy jet lag!

The next step in this process is a meeting with the Registered Dietician where we assess the nutritional value for each and every meal.  Her input is also helpful for any minor tweaks such as making sure we don’t serve rice twice in a day or offer too many fried dishes in one week.  She’ll also check to see how we’re doing when it comes to fat and calories, sodium, cholesterol and sugar. We do provide diabetic options but our menu does not include therapeutic diets, so we carefully cover the bases of healthy eating to address the most common health concerns.

Finally, we roll out the menu!  We all listen carefully to the residents’ daily feedback.  This comes to us in the dining room, in the Dining Services Meeting and in random conversations throughout the building.  Luckily, our residents are as generous with the compliments as they are with the constructive criticism.  Sometimes, we make changes early on in the first cycle to accommodate some overwhelming response.

This is a fun and challenging process and so worth it!  The result is an outstanding dining experience here at Greenview Place, on a par with the finest hotels.

Make sure you schedule your tour around mealtime…and Bon Appetit!

Happy New Year From Dining Services!

Whew!  It’s been a busy holiday season here at Greenview.  Special occasions, special events and special schedules have all kept us on our toes here in Dining Services.

Since the holidays are all about food, we have made sure that the Residents had plenty of opportunities to enjoy and share some of the food-based traditions we all treasure.  One of the most enjoyable events was cookie decorating, where we used icing, sprinkles and frosting to decorate cookies.  I personally got to take off my apron and lead a craft activity with my daughters’ assistance. We made Christmas trees from pine cones – fun!!

On New Year’s Eve, we enjoyed a karaoke event hosted by yours truly! After we ran out of songs on the discs for the karaoke machine, we sang a capella renditions of favorites from Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, and of course, Take Me out To the Ball Game.

It’s so much fun to take some time and have fun with the residents, and it’s a pleasure and honor to be considered part of their family as we build holiday traditions here at Greenview Place.

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