Kitchen Confidential: Cozy Comfort Food

. March 3, 2015.

by Pat Nowak

When you consider breakfast or lunch options, you want a warm inviting place that has great food. That’s exactly what Chandler Café delivers.

Gail and Laurie Stansley opened the restaurant on Sylvania’s Main Street six years ago, and it continues to be the go-to place for leisurely lunches and delightful breakfasts while spending a morning or afternoon shopping in Sylvania. 

How did two former housewives (and sisters-in-law) realize that a café was in their future? They lived next door to each other, and were always improving their homes—painting, sewing and gardening. As their children grew, they saw an opportunity in the old Chandler Hardware Store that was being renovated. The building was a perfect place for a café—the brick walls and high ceilings, along with period amenities, were a designer’s dream. They cozied up the place, built half-walls to make it more relaxed with some nooks and corners, and decorated it with soft inviting hues and fun accessories. The cafe also has a small bar, for patrons who want an afternoon cocktail. 

The easy part was the transition from home to café, and the difficult part was learning about health department codes. They realized early on that they couldn’t run the café themselves, because it was too time-consuming. They began hiring employees—another learning lesson. Their menu evolves with the seasons, but regular patrons have become accustomed to their specialties, and some offerings have become essential standards.

Their favorite pursuit is party planning; bridal and baby showers, birthday parties and retirement festivities. The menu and amenities are lovingly attended to. I have persuaded them to give us two of their favorite recipes, above. 


Chandler Cafe’s Award-Winning Turkey Chili

3 lbs. ground turkey

4 cans Ro-Tel chili tomatoes

4 cans tomatoes

3 cans black beans

4 c. chicken stock

1 onion, diced

2 c. white corn

3 TBSP chili powder

salt & pepper to taste

3 TBSP flour

olive oil

Coat bottom of pot with olive oil and sauté onions. Add ground turkey—when browned, add chili powder and flour. Stir well! Add Ro-Tel and regular tomatoes, chicken stock, black beans and corn. Salt and pepper to taste. 


Almond Biscotti

4 c. flour

½ tsp salt

1 ½ c. sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 TBSP baking powder

3 c. almonds

6 eggs

1 TBSP vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray and line a baking sheet. Combine flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until dough forms. Add almonds last. Shape dough into 2 equal logs. Bake for 35 minutes, and cool. Slice logs into desired lengths and bake for 15 minutes.


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