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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: From the President................................................................3 Membership Milestones........................................................4 Benefits Reminder.................................................................6 Foursquare............................................................................7 It’s Cheaper to Keep Them Than to Find Them....................8 When Life Gives You Lemons...............................................9 BAM!......................................................................................11 USPCA in the Spotlight.........................................................11 Winter Recipes......................................................................18 SoCal Chapter.......................................................................29 The Leone Family Christmas................................................20 How Local is Your Lamb?......................................................32 Chef Laura Taylor Goes “Glamping”......................................34 The Stressed Chef................................................................36 Your Website + Your Email = Your Business.........................38
Volume 22, Number 1 Winter 2016
Personal Chef is the official publication of the Personal Chef Industry. This publication is made possible by the United States Personal Chef Association. The purpose of this publication is to bring Personal Chefs the most useful and timely information and ideas from experts, working professionals, and industry leaders. Personal Chef welcomes any articles, manuscripts, tips, hints, photographs, recipes and ideas from our readers. We appreciate all submissions. Please include name, address and phone number. Send your contributions to: United States Personal Chef Association PC Editor 7680 Universal Blvd, Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819
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Editor: USPCA Magazine Department Layout & Design: CJ Tucker Advertising: USPCA Magazine Department
Personal Chef is published by: United States Personal Chef Association 7680 Universal Blvd, Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819 Copyright © 2016 United States Personal Chef Association. Reproduction prohibited without permission. All rights reserved.
From the President’s Desk
One of the things that USPCA members never have to worry about is having me as a competitor. My forays in the kitchen leave a lot to be desired. But it also leaves me plenty of time to focus on what I love to do...work on business. As we wrapped 2015, I took a little holiday breather to take stock of what it means to be in business, the one area we do have in common. It’s now been five years for me and USPCA, and what a blast it has been. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. In fact, running a business is not for the faint-hearted. But it’s a reminder too, that as professionals we have to focus both on craft and business. And that’s where the power of association comes in. I never doubt that USPCA members are the best there are in the kitchen. And that’s no small undertaking since you work in a variety of kitchens with an even wider variety of equipment and environments. How easy life would be if you went to the same kitchen every day, had the same vendors, the same menu...No, in fact the life of a personal chef takes work. But the trade-off for the extra work is not having to worry about someone always over your shoulder questioning your work. But you still have to run a business. And working alone means you’re not always surrounded by those who make you a better chef, a better business owner, a better person. Therein lies the value of association membership. Not only have I run associations for more years than I can count, but I’ve belonged to many...and still do. As I developed through my career, the members of those associations took me under their wings and helped me hone my craft. Now it’s my turn. I still belong not so much because I learn something new (although I still do which is great), but because I believe your destiny and success lies in your ability to give back. When we launched our Facebook Group, I hoped it would be a good replacement for the old Member Board of old on the website. But what it did for me is show the true generosity of our members and those who, like me, see their destiny in their efforts to help in the success of their fellow members just like someone (or more than one) played a role in helping them. Every now and then I’ll hear from a member who (I guess) never reads a thing we send out because they don’t know about the Facebook group...and we get them on fast because they need help. And USPCA members have never let each other down. I ask that you join me in this 2016 sojourn to stay focused on being the best chefs in ANY industry, help your fellow members everywhere you can, and let me lose sleep at night thinking about the business issues we all face that, together, we can resolve and ensure a bright future for personal chefs everywhere. Happy New Year. Larry Lynch
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Membership Milestones 10 Years
Pamela Croft CPC, Del Mar, CA Chad Holt, Austin, TX Susanne Jattan, Floral Park, NY Kris Krowech, Eden Prairie, MN Becky Parrish, Winchester, VA Felicia Pezzoni-Anderson, Gilbert, AZ Russ Rhodes CPC, Benton, AR Kelli Stout, Madison, MS Jay Wexler, Del Mar, CA Lou Ann Woerner, Tallahassee, FL Alvin Yu, Chicago, IL
Sheila Angha Vibrant Baby Food, Dobbs Ferry, NY http://www.vibrantbabyfood.com email@example.com
Rick D’Andrea Personal Chef Ricky D Somers Point, NJ http://www.ChefRickyD.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Hakim Austin Caribbean Delicacies Orlando, FL CaribbeanDelicacies7@gmail.com
Markeicha Dulaney Sweet Monáe Personal Chef Services LLC Boynton Beach, FL http://chefkeicha29.wix.com/sweetmonae email@example.com
5 Years Charles Kilby, Locust Grove, VA Tammy Lepage, Morrisville, NC Theresa Moser, APO, AE Tom Ryan, Ardmore, PA Sarah Seiler, Gallatin, TN Brandon Spies, Parker, CO
3 years Diane Cancilla, Peterborough, ON Diane Fantone, Annapolis, MD Lisa Gouveia CPC, St. Helena, CA Bill More, Brimfield, IL Essie Offer, Baltimore, MD Beverly Pruden, Tucson, AZ Martha Ruch Ulfelder, Southborough, MA Stacey Stewart, Hebron, KY
New Certified Personal Chefs Laura MacDougall, Stoughton, MA Sharon Mateer, Atlanta, GA Michael McClure, Sarasota, FL Barbara Moul, Baldwinsville, NY Lisa Picou, Mansfield, TX Beverly Pruden, Tucson, AZ
Certified Personal Chef Renewals Jennifer Bannon, Atlanta, GA Louise Block, Grafton, WI Darlene Calcagno, Hanover, MA Deb Cantrell, Ft. Worth, TX Sue Flynn, New Smyrna Beach, FL Robyn Goorevitch, Toronto, ON Terry Madigan, South Pasadena, CA Linda Page, Orlando, FL Jeffrey Scott, Bloomington, MN Jennifer Sternfeld, Schenectady, NY Christy Vadnais, Albuquerque, NM
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Bobbi Barbarese Hope You’re Hungry Personal Chef Service Moorestown, NJ http://hopeyourehungry.com firstname.lastname@example.org Libby Barrett Libby Barrett Personal Chef Boca Raton, FL email@example.com Stephanie Bell Dinners at Your Leisure, LLC Katy, TX http://www.dinnersatyourleisure.com Chef_Stephanie@dinnersatyourleisure.com
Michele Dunn Dunn in the Kitchen, LLC Georgetown, KY http://www.dunninthekitchen.com firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Beth Eipperle and SO good for you http://andSOgoodforyou.com email@example.com Todd Ellersick Dinner Du Jour Seattle, WA firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Bender Underground Quarter LLC Northglenn, CO email@example.com
Michelle Elson-Roza MJER Help, Inc Chicago, IL firstname.lastname@example.org
John Breece John Breece, Personal Chef Brooklyn, NY email@example.com
Anthony Roza MJER Help, Inc Chicago, IL firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Caro Cooking with Chef Katie, Wahiawa, HI CookingwithChefKatie@hotmail.com
Margie Fitzgerald Aunt Margie’s New Caney, TX email@example.com
Andre Castello Andre Castello, Inc. Los Angeles, CA http://andrecastello.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Frizell Nutritious and Delicious, LLC Sterling, VA http://www.EmilyDoermanRD.com email@example.com
Walda Collins Strategic AlignMint San Antonio, TX http://firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Nardia Fuller Lovely Roots Gourmet Miramar, FL http://www.lovelyrootsgourmet.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Dafilou All Is Good Home Cooking Downingtown, PA http://www.allisgoodhc.com email@example.com
Shirlé Hale Koslowski Four Corners Cuisine Baltimore, MD http://www.fourcornerscuisine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Dianna D’Amico Popcorn Love Holtsville, NY
Drew Weichert Four Corners Cuisine Baltimore, MD email@example.com Nadja Lane Four Corners Cuisine Walkersville, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.gourmetpics.com email@example.com Diedra Rae Diedra Rae, LLC Aurora, CO http://www.DiedraRae.com DiedraRae@gmail.com
Amy Holomakoff Buddha Full Fairfield, CT firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerome Rafoth JRâ€™s Farm to Fork Personal Chef Specialties Colton, CA http://www.prochef.net email@example.com
Eric Jackson Live life. Eat! Virginia Beach, VA firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Scala alaScala Ridgefield, CT email@example.com
Norbert Klotz My Chef Lara Providence, RI firstname.lastname@example.org
Mashav Shelef Le Couloir San Francisco, CA http://www.le-couloir.com email@example.com
Tammy Levy The Invisible Chef Chesapeake, VA firstname.lastname@example.org Matthew Lewis Chef Matt Lewis Loganville, GA http://www.chefmattlewis.com email@example.com Whitney Lewis The Shared Plate Chicago, IL http://www.sharedplatechef.com firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Littau My Chef Shirley LLC Lorton, VA email@example.com Jade Menio My Chef Shirley LLC Winchester, VA firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Martel Otsego, MN email@example.com Arielle Nugent Chef Arielle San Jose, CA http://www.nourisherofsouls.com firstname.lastname@example.org Robin Phillips Gourmetpics Jupiter, FL
Jennifer Tacvorian Gourmet 4 Hire Dana Point, CA email@example.com Carina Tan Carina is Cooking LLC Sudbury, MA firstname.lastname@example.org Ashleigh Tergeson Delighted: A Personal Chef Service by Ashleigh Tergeson Virginia Beach, VA http://delightedchef.blogspot.com email@example.com Alex Tompong Taste and Beyond Manteca, CA firstname.lastname@example.org Melissa Toth Eat Well Personal Chef Service LLC Charlotte, NC http://www.eatwellpersonalchef.com Melissa@eatwellpersonalchef.com Moris Valle Don Morris Express Corp. Glen Cove, NY email@example.com Shardae White Personal Catering LLC. Charlotte, NC http://www.personalcateringllc.net firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Wilkins Kitchen Charm Personal Chef Services Modesto, CA http://kitchen-charm.com email@example.com Heather Zaida Chef Zaida Carlsbad, CA http://www.chefzaida.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Returning Members Mark Cygler Gourmet To You Mount Juliet, TN http://www.gourmettoyou.com/ email@example.com Wanda Evans Decatur, GA Ewanda5095@yahoo.com Lynne Kern Elmhurst, IL firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Kitchen Kitchen Elf Personal Chef Service Longview, WA email@example.com Joni Krieg Tyrone, GA firstname.lastname@example.org Mitch Maier ...Out Of The Kitchen, LLC Prairie du Sac, WI http://www.chefmitchmaier.com email@example.com Susan Moran Red Hot Spatula Round Rock. TX firstname.lastname@example.org Becky Parrish A Matter of Taste Winchester, VA email@example.com Sandra Vandyke Tastes from the Garden Personal Chef Service Tyrone, GA http://tastesfromthegarden.homestead.com firstname.lastname@example.org Linda Wittig Linda Wittig, Personal Chef Hummelstown, PA http://www.lindawittig.com email@example.com
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for USPCA members only
Denise Bonds Cibolo, TX firstname.lastname@example.org Brittney Lane NoshByHer Houston, TX email@example.com Carolyn Sellars Seattle, WA firstname.lastname@example.org Becky Yepes Chef Becky Yepes Austin, TX email@example.com http://www.chefbeckyyepes.com
marketing made simple It’s official: 2015 was the year of the live feed.
Case in point? Apple has named Periscope – which allows users to live-stream their life – their “App of the Year”. The decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. Live first-person video shaped the experience of some of the year’s biggest stories and was tested at USPCA’s national education conference in July. When the app launched, people weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Users began by live streaming meetings and the inside of their refrigerators. In March, the internet was obsessed with the voyeuristic hastags #fridgeview or #showusyourfridge. Thankfully we’re getting beyond that. Can you use it in your business? If you have a Twitter following, absolutely. It’s an easy way for your clients and potential clients to learn a bit more about you and your personal chef business. Check out the online version of Personal Chef Magazine to see how USCPA CEO Larry Lynch used it (adding a not-so-shameless plug for HireAChef.com) to demonstrate his holiday cookie making skills. Watch it here: http://bit.ly/LarryPizzelles
There are so many reasons to belong to an association and, similarly, many different ways to measure ROI. Some members base it on building their network and learning; others on the tangible return of products and services and still other on both. This last year some key benefits were added or enhanced to help you continue to drive your return on your membership dollar. For those who value networking, USPCA eliminated the Member Forum on the website (which was cumbersome and seldom used) and replaced it with a private member group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/IAmAPersonalChef). The group is different from a Facebook page in that you must request and be given permission to join, and the commentary on the group is monitored. That said, members have flocked to the site and the daily usage is tremendous, networking personal chefs across a spectra of country, needs and skills. An exclusive option for health insurance is available on the Members Only page of the USPCA website. This program enables members to obtain their health insurance and comply with the Affordable Healthcare Law with affordable rates that they might not be able to obtain on their own. Finally, members have asked about how USPCA liability insurance covers them for their ever-expanding businesses. When the group liability program was started, USPCA was in its early stages and the work of a personal chef was pretty static. Many members are moving in a variety of directions, and USPCA found it important to improve its insurance offerings. The core liability program that is included with your membership is still in place and, in many ways, better than ever. However this last year the association added an expanded program that can be purchased on the Members Only page for a wide variety of uses (commercial kitchen, increased number of guests per event, add an unlimited amount of additional insures, the ability to print the Certificates of Insurance at will, and even liability coverage when cooking outside of the client’s home. Remember to login to your USPCA.com home page frequently for updates to the member benefits and services.
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monitoring food trends in 2015
(Reprinted from Small Business Trends, December 2015) For the past year, the tastes of Americans have been changing. Trends in everything from food preferences to religious practice are in flux. And, as a small businesses owner, depending upon your market, it may not hurt to get ahead of some of these shifting interests. Some of the most interesting changes are reflected in a recent infographic from Foursquare (see below). Foursquare began as a check-in app useful for measuring realtime traffic at brick and mortar stores. Today it is known as a source of recommendations on local food, drink and shopping from local “experts.” And now Foursquare is leveraging the data from 75 million of these tips to measure changing trends in consumer tastes, trends that might benefit the small business owner. To begin with, according to Foursquare data, 2015 saw decline in popularity of a hot foodie trend. The year saw a 21 percent decrease in visits to food trucks, seemingly putting a dent in that recent craze. The data doesn’t reveal whether this change was caused by a preference for indoor dining, an emphasis on healthier eating or something completely different might have been responsible. But the once mighty food truck saw an undeniable decrease in popularity compared to January 2014. Meanwhile, two other food trends saw an upswing in popularity. Bubble tea shops saw an incredible rise in popularity, for example. The tea-based based beverage mixed with fruit of milk and then finished off with chewy tapioca balls or fruit jellies have become all the rage. Data shows visits to these establishments shoot up 192 percent year over year compared with 2014. Some more food for thought, as it were, relates to another tea related business. You may not have heard of Matcha before. (We hadn’t either, to be honest.) It’s a green tea ground into a specially processed powder and served, not just in beverage form but also as an ingredient in soba noodles, green tea ice cream and other treats. Matcha is growing in popularity in New York and San Francisco and may see a breakout in popularity in 2016, according to Foursquare data. Another trend that may take many by surprise by surprise was a surge in church attendance by 20 percent. This could be thanks to Pope Francis, as the surge happened the week before he visited the U.S. After all, this Pope is cool and his influence may be short lived or may linger on depending upon other factors. If you do business with churches or have a product or service related to church attendance, it may be wise to see if the increase in church attendance becomes a trend. Otherwise, it may not affect your business long-term. These are just some of the trends revealed in the Foursquare data for 2015. It remains to be seen what other data the company may make available and whether data available through other social networks, if made available, may also be of benefit to small businesses.
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It’s Cheaper to Keep Them...
Than to Find Them
Remember your determined pursuit of that client? How about the love you showed them when they became a bona fide prospect? All those promises! All that attention! What changed? What happened to the love? Getting repeat customers and acquiring new clients takes time and is an expensive endeavor as well. Retaining and growing clients is the name of the game (if you want your business to be profitable, of course). Losing clients is exhausting, demoralizing, and leads you down the path to insolvency. So why go there? Showing clients the love is not at all difficult. In fact, it should be a habit, a routine. You woo them, win them (we hope!), and then by goodness wow them again and again and again. Now THAT makes good business sense! Again, it’s not that hard. Here are three ways you can keep getting repeat customers and also keep your current clients coming back for more: 1. Dazzle Them with your Deliverables You worked so hard to get them to listen, and you served up a platter of ideas for how to work with them. Now, with the business and reputation on the line, you must be 100% certain to deliver on what you promised. One of the best ways to guarantee client satisfaction is to set reasonable expectations and control their outcome. If you promise the moon yet can only deliver the stars, you have missed the mark entirely. The disappointment of a “lesser quality” deliverable will put the client relationship in jeopardy. It’s always better to underpromise and over-deliver rather than leave the client looking for more.
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2. Look Ahead, Take the Reins, and Become a Trusted Business Resource Wayne Gretzky was an elite hockey player (his nickname: The Great One) who raised the bar for those playing with and against him. He didn’t just set career records because he was looking out for action; he scored goals and made assists because he anticipated where the action would be. The analogy rings true for your client relationships. Try to look ahead, take initiative, and put in the hard work required to stay in front of the competition. Surprise and inspire your clients with your creative, strategic thinking. Waiting for clients to tell you what they need leaves you in a reactive role rather than as a proactive resource. Remember: it is fairly easy to replace vendors; it’s vastly more difficult to replace a trusted, high-performing business resource. 3. Keep Change to a Minimum Changing the client’s key contact, adjusting your billing method, even bringing in a new team can all be disruptive for clients. Waiting until the last minute to alert them to any changes can be the kiss of death for a business relationship. If and when changes are necessary—change can be a solution, too!—be certain that clients are afforded advance warning to adapt to the new situation. No matter the change, keep it as straightforward and transparent as possible. It’s your job to do the heavy lifting; for your client, it should be business as usual. It’s a business fact of life that, in order to succeed, you must keep your promises and deliver on established expectations. There’s enough uncertainty and insecurity in the business world that no one wants to be left guessing what’s next or doubting the quality of work to come. Honesty and integrity should be an integral part of your business brand. You’ll find that by maintaining these essential qualities, you will make it easy for clients to keep coming back for more! Original Article: Smart Business Hustle, Reprinted Small Business Trends, December 2015
When life gives you lemons……make lemonade! Christina Vincent, As You Like It – a Personal Chef Service, Panama City, FL Living in the northeast panhandle of Florida, most of my business is for clients renting vacation homes on the beach. I generally make it a practice to tour the home prior to the cooking date. On this occasion, booked three days before their arrival, there was not time to do so. This home had seven bedrooms with the kitchen on the third floor and no elevator. Parking was on the street. All my equipment and food had to be brought in from the car, across the courtyard and up the stairs. The family I was cooking for were grandparents, their two sons and daughters-in-law, and four children ages 2, 4, 9 & 12. Two of the adults and two children were vegetarians. We worked out a menu agreeable to all. I arrived at the house 5 hours prior to dinner. I set the stove to preheat at 375 degrees and began preparing the appetizers and dessert. One hour later, the oven had only heated to 250 degrees. Since most of the menu required cooking in the oven, this was a huge setback. On Saturday, there was no one available in the rental office to repair the oven so we had to work around the problem. The microwave was too small to be of any use and the gas grill was outside in the courtyard.
I set the stuffed pasta shells covered in aluminum foil on racks in the bottom half of the oven and turned on the broiler. I rotated the pans and monitored the temperatures which finally cooked to the right consistency. A zucchini pie and macaroni and cheese casserole followed using the same method. The gas burners were working, thankfully, used to prepare the low country boil. Two of the children were underfoot, apparently fascinated with a personal chef in their kitchen. They both said they wanted to be a celebrity chef when they grew up. I decided to put them to work. The nine-year-old was busy whipping cream and the twelve-year-old was assembling chocolate parfaits with raspberries which turned out perfectly. They set the table, plated the appetizers and helped find serving platters for other items on the menu. It turns out that children make excellent students because they are used to learning and taking instructions. They did better, in fact, than adults I have tried to train. With all the handicaps, dinner was served 20 minutes later than planned. My clients were understanding and very pleased since the children were ecstatic with their new “sous-chef” designations. They both declared I was an awesome chef and that this was the best meal that they had ever had in their whole life! When life gives you lemons……make lemonade!
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Chef Steps In There I was, coming in the door from a cooking visit day when the phone rang. Chef Jim Shirley, who owns several restaurants in The Florida Panhandle area was in a jam. His Sous Chef would not be able to make the event at The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg Florida. Chef Emeril Lagasse was hosting 16 chefs and their operations for a Visit Florida (tourism) event which would begin its prepping in an hour. Chef Jim found me on a few websites including the USPCA’s. I arrived in 45 minutes, met Chef Jim and began prepping some tiny candied clams with a peppery topping to be blow torched. We added a bit of watercress and BAM!- a tasty fresh Florida appetizer for the movers and shakers in the main gallery. What a night! Chef Emeril was amazing, warm, real and a veritable genius. The galleries, the music, the food and the beautiful guests were amazing. Right before the “main course” Chef Emeril came by the tables and asked if everything was good. I bet he would have jumped right in if we asked. What a guy! Chef Jim and I cooked and served a delicious sauce topped Lionfish dish over hand ground corn masa with mascarpone to great applause. Thanks Chef Jim, Chef Emeril and the USPCA for the opportunity. Your Personal Chef, Bob Parrinello www.chefbobtampa.com, (813) 882-0653
USPCA in the Spotlight! Two great recognitions this past year: The first was HireAChef’s selection as a featured prize on “The Price is Right”. Filmed in the Spring and airing near the Easter holiday, the show’s winners were thrilled with their prize – a chef service every month for a year! Check out the online version of Personal Chef Magazine to see the segment itself. Jennifer Ragusa, the winner, selected Chef Rosalind Cottingham of San Diego as her personal chef and is effusive in her excitement about the service. According to Jennifer: “It was thrilling to be a winner on the Price is Right and be introduced to our monthly personal chef service through HireAChef.com. US Personal Chef Association member Chef Rosalind Cottingham has introduced us to a whole new concept of dining.” Following a brief call with Consumer Reports in September, we were pleasantly surprised by an article featuring HireAChef.com and personal chefs as the PERFECT gift: from the article: Chef for a Day: HireAChef If you want to splurge on a gift that involves food, send a professional chef to create a special meal in the kitchen of a friend or family member—cleanup included! You can find one through the website of the United States Personal Chef Association. They’re vetted USPCA members; search by town or ZIP code. There are almost 1,000 chefs in the database and many cuisine options. We found a chef in Providence, R.I., for example, who will cook for a party of three to 20 people for $75 per person, plus the cost of groceries. A romantic dinner for two is $200, plus shopping costs. For more information, call 800-995-2138.
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2015 USPCA Chef of the Year: Chef Deb Cantrell USPCA members selected Fort Worth, Texas, Chef Deb Cantrell as Chef of the Year in 2015. Members have asked, “What does it take to become chef of the year?” Well, Deb agreed to share some of the secrets to her business with Personal Chef magazine.
designation helps set her apart. Being certified has even opened up other doors such as being able to have student interns from culinary schools. And of course, it looks good on marketing material because it lets her clients know she is dedicated to her profession.
Chef Deb Cantrell is the owner of Savor Culinary Services and Chef Deb. Savor is a culinary company that provides personal chef services, detoxes and nutritional consultations. In addition, Chef Deb offers mentor and coaching services to chefs who want to grow their culinary business.
While the education and certification provides the base, an active role in her profession is also critical. She has found that the USPCA has been an invaluable resource in many ways. Chef Deb points out that there is no other chef organization that holds its members responsible for professionalism through its code of ethics and ongoing communication. She adds that, by doing so, it helps to influence the way the world sees personal chefs, especially those belonging to USPCA. The association has been a constant resource and guide to her for the past 13 years offering help with anything from general business questions to culinary questions. Add to that the benefit of liability insurance that has saved her money as well the discounts that they negotiate with companies like KitchenAid and the return on investment is easy to measure.
An active USPCA member and Dallas Chapter member, she has been a Certified Personal Chef for 12 years. Chef Deb knew she wanted to be a chef since she was about 5 years old and finally made that dream come true about 14 years ago. She has owned over five successful culinary businesses throughout her career in food including anything from a restaurant to the business she has now. Chef Deb pointed out that owning a variety of businesses has helped her grow as both a chef and business owner. For Chef Deb, formal culinary training was a must and includes the Culinary Institute of Fort Worth and the Culinary Business Academy. But learning was an important part of her life even before the kitchen. Before starting her chef service, she was a physical therapist. She points out that her work there provided her with the knowledge of the body and how the body uses food. Having always had a passion for helping those recover from their physical ailments, it helped her understand that so many of her patients weren’t getting better because they weren’t eating the right foods. Chef Deb also hold a business degree which she credits for giving her a real advantage in the culinary field. She points out that “you receive all of this training in culinary school about how to cook fancy dishes, but you never learn the business side of operating your own culinary business.” She credits her business background as laying a solid foundation of how to run her business and giving her the skills to help other personal chefs create a business that they love through her chef mentoring programs. Of course earning her CPC credential was another part of her learning plan. Chef Deb knows it gives her an added advantage when her clients are choosing between companies and chefs and the CPC
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Adding to her ongoing education, Chef Deb notes that, “As chefs running our own businesses we are often left alone to ‘figure it out.’ The USPCA’s national education conference provides valuable education to make our businesses better with the added benefit of building a network of chefs turned friends across the country and to learn from each other.” So what does it take to pull all of this together and create a successful business. Let’s hear it from the chef/mentor/coach herself: “Running your own business is 90% mindset and 10% skill. First of all you have to step into this business knowing that you can do this and that people will pay you a lot of money for ‘your food, your way.’ You have to have a mindset that you will do this no matter what, because some days your job requires you to do whatever it takes.” “This business requires you to be a chef, marketer, salesperson, admin person, etc. You have to wear so many hats but you don’t have to be perfect at all of them. You just have to do what you are best at and delegate the rest. Even if you feel like you can’t. You have to have an unwavering and relentless love and passion for what you do. Your clients will feel that and you will be crazy successful. Of course the obvious skill of cooking will help you succeed but it goes deeper than that. You have to be willing to be flexible and meet your clients’ needs. Being in this business means you were born with unique gifts, talents and personality traits that make you successful with the clients you serve. You were born at exactly the right time in order to have the right combination to give the world your gift of being a chef. The hardest
part is figuring out how to share your gift in the biggest most profitable way possible.” Chef Deb shared that the hardest part of all is getting started. Selfdoubt leads to self-sabotage. If you feel like no one will pay you to do what you love, then no one will. “Once you make up your mind to start, waste no time to hire or find a mentor. It will catapult your success beyond measure.” Lastly, according to Chef Deb, doing it all alone never grew anyone’s business. Stay in your “Zone of Genius” and do what you do best. Delegate the rest as soon as you can. Love what you do and it will show. Clients will come to you but you have to get out into the community in person and online and let them know you exist. So was it always easy for the Chef of the Year? Absolutely not. Chef Deb’s first client was a friend of her husband’s who found out what she was doing and signed up as a client. Little did Chef Deb know that the day she showed up to cook he would be taking apart his motorcycle in the middle of his kitchen floor and his oven and two burners stopped working that morning. You can never be prepared for everything! Of course, developing that business means marketing prowess as well. According to Chef Deb, digital marketing works best for her through social media strategies, blogging and her website. She reminds chefs that branding is HUGE and often wishes she would have focused on that concept before she started each of her businesses. She points out that your branding is everything. It’s your business promise against which you have to deliver. Chef Deb really feels that not all marketing tools work for everyone but none of them work unless you are crystal clear on your target market. Once you know this then it is easy to market using different methods. Print ads do not work for most personal chefs unless there is an editorial about her that goes along with it. Local networking groups can be a challenge unless they are a networking group where business owners who attend have businesses with revenue greater than a halfmillion dollars because people in their circles will be able to afford you. So netting it all out, Chef Deb points to some pretty basic principles for her success. According to Deb: “I have an unwavering, unforgiving, goal-oriented, relentless determination for growing my business personally. The best business strategy hands down is that I hired the right businesses coaches.”
Like her personally, her business is special too! She tells the chefs in her programs that this is your “who gives a sh** factor.” What makes her business special is that it’s centered around the idea that food is medicine. She strongly believes that with the right foods and wholesome ingredients, people can recover from illness and that food can heal. If Chef Deb were to point to some of her biggest accomplishments, she notes that the first one was being named Chef of the Year at this last conference. Secondly, exceeding her revenue goal by $30,000.00 that she had set for herself to accomplish by the end of this year enabling her to pay off the debt in her company. She tells the story of a client named Laurie that had breast, brain and liver cancer for the last 10 years. “Needless to say, her quality of life was low and consisted of spending time in bed and going back and forth to doctor appointments. Laurie really wanted to be traveling with her husband, but her health was just not good enough.” “Laurie called me up. Along with one of our nutritionists, we helped Laurie change her diet and taught her how the body uses food. We taught her that when you starve the body of sugar, you are essentially starving the cancer. Along with her husband and mother-in-law, we gave them a grocery store tour where we helped her shop for new foods like low glycemic fruits and vegetables and organic food items. We also taught her how to get proper nourishment after treatments when she wasn’t feeling so well. We also showed Laurie and her family that they could find healthy alternatives to their favorite family meals. They didn’t have to sacrifice taste for health!” “One day, when I was delivering food, her husband gave me a big hug and thanked me ‘for giving me my wife back.’” “Within a month or so, doctors were reducing her treatments. Laurie continued working with me and she gained the weight she needed and eventually was able to go on vacation and travel with her husband again. That was an amazing experience.” That sense of personal fulfillment is what makes it for anyone who becomes Chef of the Year. Chef Deb points out that she has seen it time and time again with clients’ cancer going into remission, food allergy symptoms going away, healthy weight loss and many other ways that food has changed their lives for the better. What makes it special is seeing the quality of life improve in so many of her clients, all through food!
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Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add the black beans, salt, cumin, lime juice, water and cilantro. Blend until smooth (if you are using a blender, you may need to stop and stir a few times to help it out). If the dip is too thick, add more water or lime juice, little by little, to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm, cold or room temperature with Beanitos chips or eat with cut up vegetables.
Black Eyed Peas & Cornmeal Dumplings Baked Berry Quinoa & Oatmeal 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup quinoa (any color), rinsed ½ cup walnuts or pecans 1/3 cup natural sugar, maple syrup or coconut palm sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. sea salt 2 cups milk/non diary milk (coconut milk is my favorite) 1 egg 3 tbsp. butter or dairy free butter 2 tsp. vanilla 1 ½ cup mixed berries 2 bananas Preheat oven to 375 and spray olive oil in your pan to prevent sticking. Mix together oats, quinoa, half of nuts, sugar (if using otherwise add maple syrup with wet ingredients) baking powder, cinnamon and salt. (Note: this can be done ahead of time) In a separate bowl lightly beat egg and add milk, vanilla, maple syrup (if using) and half of the slightly cooled butter. Place banana slices on the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with ingredients over and make sure the dry ingredients are covered. Top with remaining berries and nuts.
2 slices bacon 1 tbsp olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 tbsp minced garlic 3 cups vegetable broth 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 (16-oz) bag fresh or frozen black eyed peas 3.4 oz. all-purpose flour 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1/4 tsp baking soda 2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces 1/2 cup buttermilk hot sauce (optional) Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan and finely chop. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the Dutch oven. Increase the heat to mediumhigh and saute the onion for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the broth, water, salt, pepper, and black eyed peas to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer, partially covered, for 35 minutes or until the peas are tender. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Combine the flour, scallions, cornmeal and baking soda, whisking to combine. Cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the bacon and buttermilk and stir until it comes together into a moist dough.
Bake for 40 minutes. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and additional maple syrup or sugar if desired.
Gently divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Drop the dumplings one at a time into the Dutch oven. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until dumplings are done.
Black Bean Dip
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onions, chopped 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped into large chunks 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 (15.5 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained 1-1/2 tsp. salt ½ teaspoon ground cumin 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if desired 3 Tbs. water ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional) ¼ cup fresh chopped tomatoes for garnish (optional) Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about ten minutes. Do not brown.
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2 1/4 cups oats (I used whole oats because that’s what I had. The original recipe calls for quick oats or said you could coarsely grind whole oats in the blender or food processor.) 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter) 1/4 cup honey 2 bananas, mashed 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries 1/4 cup chocolate chips Mix all ingredients together. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and flatten the tops slightly (cookies won’t rise or spread when they bake). Bake at 325 degrees for 15-16 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze in a freezer bag.
Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple Whiskey Syrup, Dates & Roasted Citrus Pancakes: 2 cups buckwheat flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 cups almond milk 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Coconut oil for cooking Roasted Blood Oranges: 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive oil) 2 blood oranges, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (no need to peel) 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt Maple Whiskey Syrup: 1 cup real maple syrup 1/2 cup Jameson Whiskey 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Toppings: Medjool Dates Shredded Coconut Coconut butter or grass fed butter for serving Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the sliced blood oranges with the oil and salt. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until lightly browned and caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Flip the oranges halfway through cooking. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking powder and spices. Add the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once melted add 1/4 cup of the batter to the skillet and cook until the edges are set and bubbles appear on the surface (about 2 minutes). Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side or until golden brown.
Gluten-Free Banana Snacking Cake 1 1/2 heaping cups almonds/pecans-raw or blanched 1/2 cup rice or sorghum flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons GF Pumpkin Pie Spice Pinches of fresh grated nutmeg, to taste 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2 large happy free-range organic eggs, room temperature 1/3 cup extra light olive oil 1 1/2 cups organic light brown sugar 3 medium very ripe bananas, cut up, mashed 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract (or Kosher vanilla powder)
Process the almonds in a food processor by pulsing on and off until a fine almond meal is formed. Pour the almond meal into a dry mixing bowl. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and spices and whisk to combine. In a clean mixing bowl beat the eggs till light and fluffy; add the olive oil, light brown sugar, banana mash and vanilla. Beat well to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mix and beat for two minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a preheated oven for 33 to 35 minutes until done. Check the center for doneness with a wooden pick. The cake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, firm to a light touch. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. This fragrant cake is very moist and slightly chewy from the almond meal. Itâ€™s lovely with tea for an afternoon snack. And it freezes well for future snacking. I slice and wrap each piece in foil, then store them.
Gluten-Free Cornbread 1 cup white rice flour 3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal 2 to 3 Tablespoons of sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon butter 2 beaten eggs (I used jumbo sized eggs) 1 cup milk 1/4 cup melted butter Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt) together in a medium size bowl and set aside. Melt the one tablespoon of butter in a 10 inch cast-iron skillet or 8/9 inch round baking pan in the oven. This takes about three minutes. Swirl the butter around the pan coating the bottom and sides. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 1/4 cup butter. Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into the hot skillet or baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. This is a very basic sweet dessert type cornbread. Add a teaspoon of xanthan gum if you wish! I have made it without (obviously) in a pinch!
Preheat oven to 350ÂşF. Prepare a 10x12-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment.
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Mediterranean Chicken Pasta 6 ounces rotini or penne (use quinoa or brown rice pasta for gluten free) 1/4 cup butter (use Earth Balance butter for healthier/dairy free option) 3 large shallots minced 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1/4 cup flour (use cornstarch/gluten free flour for gluten free option) 14 ounces chicken broth 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (use non-dairy cheese, goat or sheep cheese) 3 cups cooked chicken (use rotisserie for a time saver) 6 ounces marinated artichoke heart, drained 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, drained and chopped 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped Cook pasta, drain and set aside. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook 30 seconds. With wire whisk and stir in broth. Add mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta, chicken, artichokes, tomatoes and parsley. Mix gently. Spoon into casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until thoroughly heated and bubbly.
Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios 1 ¾ cups uncooked quinoa 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 3 Tbs. finely chopped shallots 2 cups water 1/3 cup dry white wine ½ tsp. salt 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper ½ cup dried sweet cherries, chopped ½ cup dry roasted pistachios, chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh mint ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley Rinse and drain quinoa. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add 2 cups water, wine and salt to pan; bring to a boil. Add quinoa; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; set aside, and cool slightly. Combine remaining 2 tbsp .olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add quinoa, cherries, and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine.
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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 Tbs. sliced almonds (can toast for more flavor) 7.5-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained (3/4 cup) 1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 2 medium cloves garlic 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika or plain sweet paprika Add the almonds to the food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture is fairly smooth, about 1 minute. This recipe works well for flank steak, served over chicken or served as a dip with vegetables.
Tomato Jam 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots/ onions 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic ¾ cup finely chopped tomato 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper to taste Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots/onions to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomato, 2 tablespoons water, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.
Shrimp Corn Cakes with Pepitas Crust and Papaya Mango Salsa Shrimp Corn Cakes: 2 jalapeno peppers, minced 1 cup whipping cream 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 small red onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 small red pepper, minced ½ tsp salt 1 ½ cups corn, fresh or frozen 6 green onions, minced 1 lb. fresh shrimp, chopped if large 1 tsp dried dill or 2 tsp fresh, chopped ½ tsp cracked pepper ¾ Tabasco or Cholula 2 eggs, beaten 1 ½ cups toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
Papaya Mango Salsa: 1 mango, finely diced ½ small papaya or ¼ large finely diced ¼ a red onion, finely diced ¼ red bell pepper, finely diced ½ jalapeno minced or to taste 1 juice of lime 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, and red pepper in oil until translucent. Add corn and cook just long enough to heat through. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Add green onion, shrimp, dill and Tabasco to the cooled veggies. Add the jalapeno cream reduction and combine thoroughly. Season to taste, then mix in the eggs. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Toast the bread crumbs for 5 minutes at 350F to dry them out slightly. Mix crumbs with pepitas and season to taste with S + P. Add 1 3/4 cups of the crumb mix to the shrimp mix. Test final mixture to see if it holds, if not add an extra 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Form 3 oz. of mix into 2-3” round cakes and coat in remaining breadcrumb mix. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour, or cook immediately. Heat a saute pan with a little clarified butter or oil and brown gently on both sides. May be kept hot in a warm oven. Serve with papaya mango salsa, if desired. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste, adding more heat, if necessary.
Combine the jalapenos and cream in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Cool to room temperature.
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Kale Gratin Jen Sternfeld, CPC, Dinner Vacations, Schenectady, NY 2 lbs. Kale leaves, trimmed of hard stems and chopped 2 cups Cream ¼ cup Parmesan (or other Italian cheese), grated 9x13 Oven safe casserole dish, or another shape large enough to hold kale Preheat oven to 375. Place kale in dish, top with a light dusting of cheese and pour over cream. If you like a crunchy contrast, leave some leaves sticking up out of the cream. Prefer all soft? Then press the leaves down to soak in the cream. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve hot. Scales up for a large gathering or abundance of kale! Spinach can also be added to the mix, if desired.
Amigthalopita Skopelou (Almond Cake from Island of Skopelos)
Chilly days are here! Enjoy these great recipes for the season and all year long from your fellow USPCA Chefs.
Butter Squash Soup Cari Avit, The Divine Dish, McKinney, TX Ingredients: 1 med yellow onion chopped. 1 large carrot, chopped in small dice 1 med green apple, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks. 2 gloves of garlic 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger slices ¼ tsp of nutmeg 3 tablespoon of a stick of butter I large potato (Idaho) or ¾ cup heavy cream 2 med butter squash 3-4 cups of chicken stock (fill the stock up to the top of the squash) Directions: 1. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until slightly softened, add carrots stir for 3 minutes. Add squash, apple, and potato if desired. Cook on medium heat 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 2. Stir in ground ginger, garlic, nutmeg and stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. 3. With the center part of cover removed to let steam escape, puree soup in batches in blender on high speed until smooth or if you have an immersion blender. Return pureed mixture to saucepan. If you did not use a potato, stir in heavy cream. Cook until heated through. Ladle into soup bowls.
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Maria A. Sakellariou, Culinary Odyssey, LLC, Chesterfield, MO Cake: 1 pound blanched and finely chopped Almonds 10 eggs, separated ½ cup plain dry bread crumbs or Zwieback crackers ½ cup all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 ½ cups sugar Directions: 1. In a bowl of a stand up mixer, place egg whites and whisk until they form soft peaks 2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they reach a pale yellow color 3. Combine the flour and baking soda 4. In the egg yolk bowl, combine the flour mix, bread crumbs, eggs whites and almonds 5. Place mix in a prepare baking pan that has been sprayed with pam and dusted with bread crumbs 6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes 7. Once cake out of the oven, spoon syrup over. Syrup needs to be cool Syrup: 1 ½ cups sugar 1 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes Crema: 8 cups whole milk 4 egg yolks 4 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons corn starch 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla Toasted almond slices In a sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch and flour. Combine egg yolks and milk and add to the flour mixture. Mix well. Place sauce
pan on stove and cook at medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add vanilla. Spread crema on top of cake once cake is totally cooled. Sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Acorn Squash Buckets with Root Vegetable Medley
Deb Cantrell, Savor Culinary Services, Fort Worth, Texas
I obtain the small squash from my CSA and local farmers. The look on people’s faces as they receive their own little bucket is priceless! The flavors combine and co-mingle with the acorn squash and the sweetness from the brown sugar gives it an unexpected taste. Even better heated up the next day! Makes 10 servings. Diane Kramer, Tasty Tidbits Personal Chef Service, Rockford, IL 10 small acorn squash, top cut off to be used as a lid. Level bottoms with a knife so they lay flat and scoop out seeds. Brush with olive oil, salt & pepper and bake (lids on) at 400 degrees for 35-40 mins, until fork tender. 8 cups of assorted root vegetables cut into approximately 1” bite-size chunks (carrots, onions, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, beets, kohlrabi, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin etc.) 4 large cloves garlic, sliced 1/3 c olive oil, divided 4 chopped sage leaves 2 T chopped rosemary 4 springs lemon thyme, chopped ½ cup brown sugar 2 T melted butter (or Earth Balance) 1 t salt + more for sprinkling 1 t black pepper Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté cut vegetables in ¼ c olive in a large pan until softened. Place cut vegetables in a large bowl and add remaining olive oil, sage, rosemary, lemon thyme, brown sugar, butter, salt and pepper. Lightly sprinkle w/salt. Fill acorn buckets with vegetable mixture, cover w/lids sideways and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Ingredients: ¾ teaspoon salt, divided ½ teaspoon dried rosemary ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash Cooking spray 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw) 1 cup thinly sliced shallots 1 pound cooked, shredded chicken breast 2-3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach 8 ounces uncooked mini penne (gluten free or whole grain) ¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten free or all purpose) 2 cups 2% reduced fat milk (cow’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.) ¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese (optional) 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh parmesan cheese (optional) Preparation: Preheat oven to 425°. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
Chef Dawnelle’s Chocolate BBQ Sauce
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over mediumhigh heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Stir in shredded chicken and chopped spinach. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese if using. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Dawnelle Northcutt, Chef Dawnelle, Niceville, FL
Note: No need to bake if not using cheese.
These are perfect for Spanish tapas parties and holiday gatherings. Make the goat cheese ahead, toast the bread, top and serve.
2 Bottles Del Monte Chili Sauce Rinse both bottles with ¼ c. water 1/3 cup Grandma’s Molasses 4 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic 2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke (Preferably Applewood Smoke) 2 Tablespoons Stone Ground Mustard Simmer for 15 minutes
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Goat Cheese with Paprika, Garlic, SunDried Tomatoes & Capers on Crostini
1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger 1 cup dark chocolate chips
(Queso de Cabra con Pimenton)
All you do: 1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat 3 mini muffin tins with cooking spray. 2. Combine flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, water, yogurt, molasses and oil until blended. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips and crystalized ginger. 5. Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Diane Kramer, Tasty Tidbits Personal Chef Service, Rockford, IL 4-5 cloves garlic 2 T good olive oil, divided 4-6 oz goat cheese at room temperature 1 1/2 t Spanish paprika 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes in oil 2-3 T capers, drained 1-2 scallions, diagonally sliced Toasted bread slices (Crostini) â€“ 12-15 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place unpeeled garlic cloves unpeeled on a pan and 1 T of the olive oil over the top. Place in oven and roast until garlic is soft, approx. 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Add paprika to the goat cheese and mix. Squeeze in roasted garlic. Add remaining 1 T of olive oil and mix (the cheese will turn a pinkishorange color). Spread cheese on bread slices. Top w/sun-dried tomatoes, scallions and capers. Serve. Make a double batch of these and refrigerate until your company comes. They are delicious by themselves or as a dipper. Danger! They are addicting!!!
Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Mini Muffins Jen Heringhausen, Relish, A Personal Chef Business, Holland, MI Makes 3 dozen All you need: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup ground flaxseed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg 1 cup water 1 (5.3 oz.) container fat free plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup molasses
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Roasted Herb Turkey Wrapped in Pancetta Cari Avit, The Divine Dish, McKinney, TX Ingredients: 16-pound turkey or turkey breast 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped 1/2 cup fresh, thyme 1/2 cup fresh rosemary 1/2 cup fresh parsley 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons fennel seeds 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 12 ounces sliced pancetta (optional - cut 1 deli) I amber beer Directions: Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest level and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the sage, olive oil, rosemary, fennel seeds and garlic to a mortar and pestle and food processor until a paste forms. Season the mixture with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, place in a roasting pan with a v-rack and season the turkeyâ€™s cavity with salt and pepper. Separate the skin from the breast meat carefully with your hands, being mindful not to tear the skin. Massage the herb-fennel mixture into the meat
under the skin. Press the skin down over the herb mixture and season the entire bird generously with salt and pepper. Layer the pancetta over the turkey, overlapping slightly. Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine and tuck the wings under. Pour the beer into the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey, basting with the beer and pan juices every 30 minutes, for 2 hours, then cover loosely with foil to keep the pancetta from getting too dark. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 170 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and the turkey is a lovely golden brown, another 1 hour and 45 minutes (3 hours and 45 minutes total). Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving. THE BEST MOIST TURKEY YOU WILL EVER HAVE!!!
Spicy Cheddar Cheese Crackers Diane Kramer, Tasty Tidbits Personal Chef Service, Rockford, IL 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 2 tablespoons half-and-half Nuts, seeds, paprika, etc. for toppings
3 More Shapes: Spicy Cheddar “Long” Straws Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 3 dozen. Pecan-Cheddar Buttons Preheat oven to 300°. Prepare dough, and shape into 1-inch balls. Whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 tsp. water. Dip balls in egg white mixture, and roll in 2 cups finely chopped pecans. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 1 hour; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 4 1/2 dozen. Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-inch assorted star-shaped cutters; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 28 (3 1/2-inch) cookies or 72 (2 1/2-inch) cookies. Note: Position cookie cutters closely together to cut out shapes; dough will be tough if rerolled. Adapted from Southern Living Magazine
Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball. Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days. Four-Seed Cheddar Triangles: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and divide in half. Roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch round. Transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tsp. water just until foamy. Stir together 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds; 1/4 cup roasted sunflower kernels; 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds; and 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds. Brush rounds with egg white mixture, and sprinkle with seed mixture. Cut each round into wedges of random sizes, using a fluted pastry wheel. Separate wedges about 1 inch apart. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 24 to 32 triangles.
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Stove Top Turkey Meatloaf #simplestupid Deanna Satterwhite, Chef Care, Alameda, CA Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1-lb ground turkey 1-finely chopped petit red bell pepper 1-finely chopped petit yellow bell pepper 1 finely chopped petit orange bell pepper 1-cup panko 2-teaspoons poultry seasoning, fresh cracked pepper ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley 1-egg Put ground turkey into a bowl. Mix in Ingredients VERY WELL. On a cutting board, Shape meatloaf- 3 inches high by 4 inches wide by 6 inch long Directions: In a large pan, heat 3 table spoons of olive oil and your favorite cooking spray. Use a large spatula to transfer the meat loaf to the hot pan. Let it brown 1 ½ mins on each side . Add ½ cup of white wine and cover. Let simmer on low heat until internal temperature of 165-170 degrees. You choose the finish. Red wine gravy, sliced sautéed mushrooms if you prefer, caramelize some red onions or just smear it with ketchup. Personally, I like white wine au jus with Cremini mushrooms. Remove from heat and let the juice settle for five minutes. It goes great with sweet potato au gratin and fresh wilted spinach.
“Superfood” Pumpkin & Spice Oatmeal Diedra Rae, Diedra Rae, LLC, Aurora, CO Serves 4 1 cup Steel Cut Oats 1.5 cup Water 1.5 cup Almond Milk ¼ tsp Salt 2 Tb Chia Seeds ½ cup Pumpkin Puree 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice Raw Almonds, Raw Pumpkin Seeds,
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Raw Sunflower Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut, Dried Unsweetened Cranberries Bring water, almond milk and salt to a boil then add the Steel Cut Oats. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook 10 - 20 minutes (depending on how soft you like your oats). Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in Chia Seeds, pumpkin and pumpkin spices, and let oatmeal stand covered for 10 minutes. Serve with additional Almond Milk and sweeten with Organic Agave, Maple or Molasses. Top with Raw Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut and dried Cranberries.
Cucumber Cups with Vegetable Ceviche Jen Heringhausen, Relish, A Personal Chef Business, Holland, MI Serves 20 Ingredients: 4 cucumbers, each sliced into 5 thick rounds (do not use end pieces) 1 (10 oz.) container roasted red pepper hummus Vegetable ceviche: 1/2 red pepper, diced very small 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced very small 1 carrot, peeled and diced very small 1/2 red onion, minced 1 TB fresh cilantro, minced Zest and juice of 1 lime Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions: 1. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop the seeds out of each cucumber round (make sure not to go all the way through). 2. Fill each round with a small amount of hummus (using a piping bag or small spoon). 3. Combine ceviche ingredients. Top hummus with ceviche. Squeeze extra lime juice over the top of the cucumber cups (if desired) and serve.
Maple Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Diane Kramer, Tasty Tidbits Personal Chef Service, Rockford, IL 8 servings 1/3 c sugar (+ more for topping later) 6 egg yolks 1 t vanilla extract ¼ t cinnamon 1/8 t nutmeg pinch of cloves 1/8 t salt 1 c light cream (half & half) 1 c heavy cream 2/3 c solidly packed pumpkin puree ½ c pure maple syrup Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, yolks, vanilla, spices and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together creams, pumpkin & maple syrup, then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally…do not let the mixture boil! Remove the pan from the heat once the mixture is hot (about 5 minutes.). Add it by the ladleful to the yolk mixture, stirring continuously (this is tempering…don’t pour it all in at once or you will have scrambled eggs). Once the mixtures are blended, divide the custard evenly between ramekins and place in a baking sheet or shallow dish with sides, evenly spacing them out. Pour ¾ inch of hot water into the pan/dish and carefully place in the oven (you can also place pan in the oven, then add water to prevent spillage). Bake uncovered in the center of the oven until the centers are jiggly, but no longer soupy…about 45-50 minutes. Carefully transfer the cups to a rack to cool. When they reach room temperature, cover them individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving, remove plastic wrap & gently dab the condensation from the tops of the custards & have your kitchen torch handy. Sprinkle the tops with a fine layer of sugar and distribute evenly, gently shaking...you should be able to almost see the custard through the thin layer of sugar. Either use your kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar or if you don’t have a kitchen torch: Move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go. Place the ramekins in the oven on a cookie sheet on the top rack, and then turn on the broiler. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Take them out when they are golden brown and bubbling. Serve!
1/2 cup almonds and/or pecans chopped 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp kosher salt 7 tbsp. cubed cold unsalted butter Method 1. Preheat oven 375F degrees. Butter a 2 quart baking pan. 2. In a bowl mix together all the berries, cherries, apples, Gluten-free flour, lemon juice and salt. Place mixture into prepared baking pan. 3. Next in a medium bowl mix together the brown sugar, Gluten-free flour, Gluten-free oats, chopped nuts, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt. Then use two butter knives and cut the cubed butter into the nut/oat topping mixture. Once crumbs are size of small peas, layer them over top of the cherry berry mixture. Bake in preheated oven 45-50 minutes until golden. Take out of oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or ice cream, optional. Enjoy! *To make vegan: replace the butter with equal amount coconut cream for preparation of baking pan and for topping, prepare same as above. For garnish: Use whipped whole coconut milk instead of dairy whipped cream. Swap dairy ice cream out for almond, soy, rice or coconut based ice cream.
Mashed Potatoes with Feta & Greek Yogurt Maria A. Sakellariou, Culinary Odyssey, LLC, Chesterfield, MO (4 servings) Ingredients: 4 medium size Yukon gold potatoes 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil ¼ cup milk ¼ cup Greek yogurt =plain 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled Chopped flat parsley Salt & Pepper
Recipe adapted from Disney’s Spoonful.
Berry Cherry Crisp Gluten-free Here is a gluten-free recipe (that can be made vegan easily) for winter baking. Serves 6. Melissa Bess Reed, Gluten Free Lifestyle Series, Ventura, CA Ingredients: 1 cup canned cherry pie filling 1 cup raspberries frozen, thawed 1 cup blackberries frozen, thawed 3 cups cooked sliced apples or canned 3 tbsp. Gluten-free all-purpose flour 2 tbsp. lemon juice Kosher salt, pinch Topping: 3/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup Gluten-free all-purpose flour 1/2 cup Gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
Directions: 1. Place potatoes in pot with cold water, with skins, and cover. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain, remove from pot, cool slightly and peel 2. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes in a bowl. Gradually add garlic, olive oil, yogurt, milk and feta while whisking the potatoes until smooth and well blended. 3. Add parsley, and season with salt and pepper
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Moroccan Chicken Bastilla Hamid Elmajdi, Laila’s Café, Seattle, WA Ingredients: 1 whole, large chicken, cut into pieces, skin and fat removed 2 very large sweet white onions, chopped medium 1 tablespoon ginger 2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant) 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled 2 or 3 small pieces (2 to 3”) of cinnamon stick 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 8 eggs, beaten 2 cups whole blanched almonds vegetable oil, for frying the almonds 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons orange flower water 1 tablespoon butter, softened 1/2 kg (about 1 lb.) warqa or phyllo dough 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 egg yolk, beaten 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 or 3 tablespoons cinnamon Preparation: Cook the Chicken: Mix the chicken with onion, spices, butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover, and cook over medium to mediumhigh heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, or until the chicken is very tender and falls off the bone. Do not add water, and be careful not to burn the chicken or the sauce as this will ruin the dish. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, and reduce the sauce in the pot until most of the liquids have evaporated and the onions form a mass in the oil. Stir occasionally, and adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. While the sauce is reducing and the chicken is still warm, pick the meat off the bones, breaking it into small 2” pieces. Stir in several spoonfuls of the onion mixture, cover the meat, and set aside. Cook the Egg Stuffing: Transfer the remaining reduced onions and oil to a large non-stick skillet. Add the cilantro, and simmer for a minute or two. Add the beaten eggs, and cook as you would an omelet or scrambled eggs. Be patient, as it will take up to ten minutes for the eggs to set. Some oil separating from the eggs is OK. Set the egg stuffing aside. Make the Almond Topping: Heat 1/2” of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the oil is hot. Test the oil by dropping in an almond. If tiny bubbles rapidly rise around the almond within a few seconds, the oil is ready. If the oil boils and splatters immediately, it’s too hot. Fry the almonds in batches, stirring constantly, until golden brown. As soon as the almonds are richly colored, transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Fried almonds will continue to darken a bit after frying, so be careful not to burn them while they’re in the oil. When the almonds have cooled completely, pulse them in a food processor until finely ground. Put them in a mixing bowl, and
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with your hands work in the powdered sugar, orange flower water, and tablespoon of butter. Set aside. Assemble the Bastilla: Generously oil a 14” or larger round pan. If you don’t have a round pan, work on an oiled flat baking sheet or large plate, and shape a circular pie as best you can. Brush melted butter on each sheet of warqa or phyllo dough as you work. If using phyllo, take care to keep it covered with plastic as you work since it dries out very quickly. Using your pan as a guide, overlap three or four single layers of warqa (shiny side down) – or double layers of phyllo dough – in a circular fashion, so that the inner halves of the pastry dough overlap in the center, and the excess dough drapes over the edges of the pan. (Remember to butter each layer of dough.)Place one buttered 12” circle of warqa, or two 12” buttered circles of phyllo, in the center of the pan. This forms the bottom of the pie. Cover the 12” circle with the chicken filling, and distribute the egg stuffing over the chicken. Top the egg stuffing with another buttered 12” circle of warqa (shiny side up), or two 12” buttered circles of phyllo. Spread the almond topping over this layer of dough. Fold the excess dough up and over the almonds to enclose the pie. Flatten and smooth any bulky areas. Brush butter on the folded edges of dough, and top with three more overlapping layers of warqa (shiny side up) or phyllo, brushing butter on each layer. Fold down the edges of dough and carefully tuck them underneath the pie, molding and shaping the bastilla as you go. Use your hands to spread the egg yolk over the top and sides of the pie. Lightly oil the bastilla in the same manner. The bastilla is now ready for baking. It can be covered in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to a day, or in the freezer for up to two months. Bake the Bastilla Preheat an oven to 350° F (180° C). Place the bastilla on an oiled flat baking sheet in the middle of the oven, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Note that a bastilla placed into the oven directly from the freezer will take up to an hour to bake. Garnish and Serve. Generously coat the bastilla with sifted powdered sugar. Sift the cinnamon on top of the sugar, or use the cinnamon to decorate the top of the pie. Serve immediately.
Sweet Corn Risotto with Smoky Bacon Jen Heringhausen, Relish, A Personal Chef Business, Holland, MI Serves 10 All you need: 5 cups chicken stock 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 3/4 cup dry white wine 4 slices smoky bacon (I get mine from the meat counter, but any variety will do) 3/4 cup corn kernels (use fresh if it’s in season; frozen works too) 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence (optional) Salt and pepper, to taste All you do: 1. Heat chicken stock in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. 2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Add rice and toast for 1 minute. 4. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed.
5. Turn heat to medium. Add chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, until all the stock has been used and/or the rice is slightly tender. (This should take 25-30 minutes.) 6. Meanwhile, cook bacon and crumble. (I do mine on a plate in the microwave for 4-5 minutes covered with paper towel.) 7. Add cheese, corn, bacon and fresh parsley to the rice. Stir to combine. 8. Add Herbs de Provence and stir again. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.
Middle Eastern Lamb Boats I have had this recipe in my collection for years and love making these little boats. They definitely stand out at a party thanks to their unique shape, and they go great with a Tzatziki sauce on the side. Adapted from a recipe by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern Jennifer Gatis, Chef at Heart, Barrie, Ontario Yield: about 60 boats per box of pastry Ingredients 1 Tb olive oil 3 oz. pine nuts (about ½ cup) 8 oz. ground lamb (or beef) 1 onion, grated 1 tomato, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped ¼ tsp cinnamon Pinch of allspice S&P 1 lb. ready-made pastry dough 1 egg, beaten (for glaze) Tzatziki sauce for serving (optional) Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until golden. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, onion, tomato, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Set aside. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into long strips about 2 inches wide, then across to make squares. Cover the dough while you make the boats. Brush egg glaze down two opposite sides of the square. Add small amount of lamb filling to the middle of each square. Fold in half with the glazed edges together, leaving an opening in the center. Press the boat gently against your work surface so the boat sits flat, and pinch the ends together forcing up the filling.
Creamy Farro Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms This recipe is excellent with roasted chicken or pork. It also makes a nice vegetarian meal with roasted butternut squash. Feel free to change it up by substituting wilted mustard greens, pine nuts, and currants for the mushrooms and spinach. Stir in roasted cauliflower and or broccoli or even roasted cherry tomatoes. Laura Slavney, What’s For Dinner Personal Chef Service, Memphis, TN 3 Tb olive oil 1 shallot, minced 1 cup faro ¼ cup dry white wine 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock coarse salt 12 oz wild mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster, trimmed and cut into ½ inch slices red pepper flakes 1 bunch spinach, trimmed ¼ cup crumbled parmesan (optional) In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tb olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add faro, stirring until toasted, 1 minute. Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally, until faro is tender and creamy, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with remaining 2 Tb oil and season with salt and dried pepper flakes. Roast stirring once until crisp and golden. About 20 minutes. Add spinach to faro and the mushrooms until spinach has wilted. Stir in parmesan. Package, cool and freeze. Have client warm covered in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until warmed throughout. Note: Dish can be warmed in the microwave using 30 second intervals until warmed throughout.
Put the boats on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and meat is cooked through. Serve immediately.
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Warm Chicken Salad with Peppers, Pears and Toasted Pine Nuts This is a great transition meal from summer into fall. Great served with a bowl of butternut squash soup or some really good garlic cheese bread. This recipe is from the blog Farmhouse Delivery. Laura Slavney, What’s For Dinner Personal Chef Service, Memphis, TN Roasted chicken (torn into bit size pieces and warmed) 1 bunch of baby arugula 2 red pears, sliced paper thin 4 to 6 baby sweet peppers (mix of orange, yellow and red) ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (can substitute pumpkin seeds) Dressing: 2 Tb minced rosemary 2 shallots, sliced thin juice of ½ lemon 2 Tb sherry vinegar 1 Tb whole grain mustard ½ cup olive oil Combine chicken, arugula, peppers, pears and pine nuts in a large bowl. Place rosemary, shallots, lemon juice, sherry vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Continue whisking slowly drizzling in olive oil until emulsified. Add some of the dressing to the bowl of salad and gently toss until combined. Serve at once. Chef Notes: To serve to clients…have client warm the chicken in the microwave or oven until warm. Have them thinly slice the pears and add to a bowl, which I have already added the sliced peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds and arugula. I make the dressing and have it in a jar for them to shake up. They add the warm chicken to the salad with the sliced pears and dress it with some of the dressing and serve.
Phyllo Coils with Fresh & Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Fennel and Feta Adopted from Meze: Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table by Diane Kochilas Maria A. Sakellariou, Culinary Odyssey, LLC, Chesterfield, MO Ingredients: 1 ½ cups sun-dried tomatoes ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, extra for brushing 1 ½ cups chopped onion 1 small fennel bulb, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced ½ teaspoon sugar 6 oz whole milk ricotta or farmer’s cheese Salt & Pepper to taste 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced ½ cup crumbled Greek Feta Cheese (6 oz.) 1 pound phyllo Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1. 2. 3. 4.
Drain & rinse sun-dried tomatoes if preserved in oil, chop Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat Add onion, fennel bulb and garlic Cook until softened; Add sugar and continue cooking (over low
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heat) an additional 10 minutes 5. Cool mixture 6. Combine the cheeses in a bowl; add sun-dried tomatoes, onion mixture and remaining 5 tablespoons of oil & combine well 7. Season to taste with salt and pepper 8. Lightly oil a sheet pan 9. Place a sheet of phyllo on work surface, brush with oil (place a second one on top if using commercial phyllo, and brush with oil) 10. Form a row of filling across the bottom width of phyllo sheet 11. Fold the bottom edge and sides over the filling; roll the phyllo up into a cylinder 12. Shape into a coil and place seam-side down on the pan 13. Brush top lightly with oil 14. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and crisp 15. Cut into byte size pieces and serve warm or at room temperature
Susan’s Breakfast Frittata It is important that the pan you use to cook the frittata in is stove-to-oven safe and is clean. Coat heavily with 1/3 cup of olive oil and swirl oil around inside edges, bottom and entire inside of pan. Use a different pan initially for cooking the ingredients for the frittata. Serves 4 Susan Ytterberg, Golden Plum Personal Chef Services, LLC, Alameda, California, www.Golden-Plum.com Ingredients: 6 eggs 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary 2 tsp kosher salt Pepper to taste 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil for sautéing onion & rosemary 1/3 cup olive oil to cook frittata 1 small tomato seeded and chopped 1/2 onion chopped into small dice 1 Yukon potato chopped into small cubes and steamed 1/2 cup grated cheese (can use Gruyere, Parmesan or cheddar) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375° 2. Put the eggs in a large bowl and whisk vigorously to make fluffy. Add 1 tsp salt. 3. Heat your olive oil and butter in a pan. Add onions, 1 tsp salt, pepper and chopped rosemary and sauté onions until soft. Remove from heat and cool. Add to bowl with eggs and mix in. 4. Steam your chopped potato, remove from heat and cool. Add to bowl with the egg mixture. 5. Add 1/2 of chopped tomatoes to egg mixture. 6. Now take clean stove to oven frying pan and pour 1/3 cup oil into it. (If using Calphalon non-stick reduce oil to 1/4 cup.) Swirl around to ensure that every part of the inner surface of the pan has been coated with the oil. Put on stove and heat at medium heat until hot. Then pour your frittata egg batter into pan. Keep flame at medium heat. After about 1 minute add cheese onto frittata and sprinkle remaining chopped tomatoes on top as well. You are waiting one minute to ensure the egg is the foundation of your frittata so that the cheese is not at the bottom- it won’t stick that way! 7. Allow frittata to cook on stove for 8 to 10 minutes. You can gently slide a rubber spatula around edge of frittata- it should not be sticking to the edges of the pan. If you do this, ensure you do not allow uncooked egg at top surface to slide/pour over edge - this would then stick to the pan. Your oil is acting as a barrier. 8. After 8 to 10 minutes the sides of the frittata should be golden brown. Then remove pan from stove and put in oven. Bake in oven for
about 20 minutes until top of frittata if firm if you tap it. 9. Remove from oven. Gently slide frittata out of pan onto a beautiful pottery or decorative platter and serve.
Pork Tenderloin – Kalamata, Figs & Hazelnuts Maria A. Sakellariou, Culinary Odyssey, LLC, Chesterfield, MO Ingredients: 3 pounds pork tenderloin 2 large onions, chopped ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted 10-12 dried figs, halved & stem trimmed 10-12 pitted Kalamata Olives, halved 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided 2 cups dried red wine 2 cups diced canned tomatoes 2-3 bay leaves Salt & Pepper Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 1. Split tenderloin lengthwise partially through to butterfly. Open and pound flat between 2 sheets of waxed paper or saran film. Rub tenderloin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper 2. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir for a few minutes until translucent. Cool slightly and place in food processor along with Kalamata olives, figs and toasted hazelnuts and pulse a few times 3. Place butterflied tenderloin on a work surface. Spread olive mixture all over the meat side facing up, leaving about ¼ inch border on all sides. Roll up meat and secure with kitchen twine. 4. In an oven-proof skillet, on stove top, place the remaining olive oil and brown tenderloin on all sides. Add wine, and as soon as it steams up, add diced tomatoes and bay leaves. 5. Transfer skillet to preheated oven. Bake covered for 25-30 minutes, or until the meat thermometer registers 160 -165 degrees. 6. Remove from oven and keep warm for a few minutes prior to slicing. Drizzle couple tablespoons of sauce over each slice and serve
Mashed Potato Patties “What to do with those holiday left over mashed potatoes…” A glutenfree recipe. Shirlé Hale Koslowski , Four Corners Cuisine, Baltimore, MD 2 cups mashed potatoes 1 egg, beaten 1 minced onion 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Yoga Soup for the Soul (Body too!) This “yoga soup” recipe was created for a special yoga-related event that, luckily, happened on a cold, dreary, Seattle day. Yep, the Emerald City held true to its reputation for “raining all the time.” After an hour-long session of downward dogs and low cobras, class attendees further nourished their souls with this richly-flavored chicken, red lentil, and vegetable stew. Lemon offers a refreshing and clean detoxification while fennel gives an anti-oxidant boost. We think you’ll agree that this recipe is just what your yogi ordered! Yields: 2 quarts, approx. 8 full-cup servings. Cooking time: 1 hour Laura Taylor, Honest to Goodness 1 whole rotisserie chicken, deboned, skin removed, and meat pulled into shreds 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, split lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced into thin rounds 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½” rounds 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 2 small zucchini squash, cut into ½” chunks 1 Tbsp Essential Pantry Fennel Seeds* 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and cut lengthwise 1 shallot, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced Juice of one lemon 1 ½ quarts water + 4 tsp Glace de Poulet Gold® Roasted Chicken Stock* 1 cup Sunrise Red Zero-Tannin Lentils* 2 Tbsp Rice Bran Oil* Directions: In a medium-sized stockpot, bring to boil 1 quart of water. Stir in chicken glace to create a richly-flavor stock. Use more glace if a richer flavor is desired. Add lentils, reduce heat to medium, and cover pot with lid. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds, leeks, carrots, celery and zucchini and stir to coat with oil. Sauté over medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. When lentils are soft, purée into stock with an immersion/hand-stick blender, or purée in batches using standard blender. Return purée to stockpot. Add the sautéed veggies, minced shallot and garlic, lemongrass, and pulled chicken to the stockpot. Stir to incorporate. Bring this to a soft boil then reduce to simmer. Let soup simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover the soup occasionally to check the liquid level and stir. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice to give a slight citrus burst. Extra soup may be stored, covered, in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir in some water when reheating if it is too thick. Namasté!
Mix together mashed potatoes, beaten egg and onion in a medium bowl. Add salt and peppers to taste. Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil into a nonstick frying pan. Drop about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the frying pan, patting it so that its size is about 4” round. Cook until bottom is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn the patty over and cook the second side until brown and crisp. Top with your favorite garnish like salsa and cheese or sour cream and chives.
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Espresso Mascarpone Amaretti Cup Impress your guests with this quick & easy variation of tiramisu that is a decadent end to any dinner party! Yields: 6 servings. Active time: 15 minutes Laura Taylor, Honest to Goodness Ingredients: 3 eggs, separated 2 ounces sugar 1 8-ounce container coffee-infused mascarpone 1.5 cups crushed amaretti cookies 2 ounces amaretto liqueur Cocoa powder Espresso powder Strawberries and baby roses for garnish Directions: Blend egg yolks with half the sugar until you have a creamy light mixture, then blend in the coffee mascarpone cream. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with remaining sugar until firm-peak stage. Fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture. In another small bowl, lightly toss brandy with crushed amaretti cookies. Divide soaked cookies into 6 dessert glasses. Sift cocoa powder on top of cookies. Then divide mascarpone mixture amongst the desserts. Sift equal parts of espresso powder and cocoa powder to form an even layer across the top. Garnish with strawberry and baby rose buds, or other garnish of choice. Serve immediately.
We Serve Deb Cantrell, Savor Culinary Services, Fort Worth, Texas Recently after attending a workshop, I heard an interesting acronym about being in business and the necessary components of all businesses. It spells out WE SERVE. It goes like this:
W E S E R
Christmas Pizza Yields: 6 servings Active time: 15 minutes Baking time: 15 minutes Laura Taylor, Honest to Goodness Ingredients: 1 store-bought pizza dough, or make your own 1 cup marinara sauce 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered 1 red bell pepper, small dice 1 cup freshly-shredded mozzarella, provolone, or fontina ½ cup grated parmesan or asiago 2 links cooked Italian sausage (omit for vegetarian version) Crushed red pepper flakes, if desired Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out pizza dough to desired shape. Transfer to baking sheet or pizza stone. Pre-bake dough for 6-7 minutes. Remove pre-baked dough from oven. Evenly spread marinara sauce across dough almost to edges. Layer spinach leaves, quartered artichoke hearts, and diced red bell pepper. Add slices of Italian sausage if desired. Top with blend of cheeses. Place back into oven and bake additional 5-7 minutes until edges of dough are golden brown and cheese is good and melty. Cut and serve immediately with your choice of vino. Mangia e Buon Natale!
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W – Website. You must have one in today’s world. E – Email marketing. Do you have a list and do you have a relationship with the people on your list? Are you sending out periodic and consistent emails, blogs, newsletters, etc.? You need to stay in front of them. S – Social media. If you are not on it and don’t like it, it is time. Get busy and fake it until you make it. It is the way we do business now. E – Engaging print media. This simply means using flyers, post cards, print advertising etc. if that has worked for you in the past. I don’t buy print advertising unless there is an editorial or a story done on me as well. R – Relationships – Your business will sky rocket when you realize that it is all about relationships. Networking groups don’t work unless you develop relationships with people you network with and joint ventures won’t either unless you develop relationships. In today’s business world, you will gain more clients by who you know well and the connections you have with others.
V – Video. Video is huge for today’s business. People are in information overload and don’t have time to read. They would rather watch a video and get to know you on a personal level and what you offer. Videos can be ugly and very real, but important nonetheless. Clients want to know whom they are buying from. Not to mention, video helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your website.
E- Events. If you are currently not doing events, they are a great way to market your business. They will stretch you and can be scary, but you can do joint events with other people such as being a part of a group that puts on a wellness conference or a healthy-living event. They take a lot of planning but they establish you as an expert and are very profitable.
If you can remember this acronym and put these into practice, then you are well on your way to growing your culinary business!
So Cal USPCA Meetingâ€“ September 12, 2015: Carter Estate Winery, Temecula Wine Education and Wine-Food Pairing The Southern California Chapter met for its autumn meeting at Carter Estate Winery in Temecula this past September. The members were treated with a golf-cart ride from the main tasting room to the resort restaurant where they dined on a lovely lunch prepared by chefs who are recent graduates of the local Arts Institute. They emerged from the kitchen to speak with us and we encouraged them to share their culinary stories. After the business of working through the meeting agenda, the members were escorted back to the tasting room to officially meet Tom Sweet, Wine Room Supervisor. Tom gave the team a tour of the facility and a lovely view of the vineyards while describing the mĂŠthode champenoise process which is utilized to create sparkling wine at Estate. At the end of the tour, we were able to taste five wines (red, white, still and sparkling) paired with delicate bites selected to enhance each of the subtle flavors in each pour. So Cal Chapter Members pictured above are, clockwise left to right: Donna Barrow, Jerome Rafoth, Terry Madigan, Paul Paquette, Joan Haley, Leigh Bennett, Gina Stary, Steve Stary, Charles Blakey
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The Leone Family Christmas by Gabrielle Leone My Grandma Christine Leone was an amazing cook. As a child, I was already impressed by the Italian Christmas Eve feasts she would cook for our extended family and her friends. The number of dishes spread around her house, from which we filled our plates, seemed endless. As a teenager and young adult starting to delve into the restaurant world, I was even more impressed when I realized how much work (and heart) went into a meal like that. She never sat down – but she was always smiling (even while yelling at everyone to get out of her way). Christmas Eve at Grandma’s became a sort of folklore for my sister and me to recount to our friends, mainly to make them jealous. When we started bringing friends or dates along, someone outside the family could finally witness it for themselves. There was nothing more gratifying than seeing them as impressed with her as we were. The big joke to us was that any regular person would have thought that the appetizer table alone was the whole meal. After we all stuffed ourselves on a huge antipasto platter, linguine with clam sauce, breaded and fried cauliflower, Italian cheeses and crackers, and various roasted and marinated vegetables, Grandma would clear those away and fill the table back up with what we had all been waiting for: meatballs, eggplant parmesan, veal cutlets with and without peas, stuffed shells, beef braciole, chicken marsala, shrimp scampi, and broccoli rabe. In a way, the rabe – super bitter and often very spicy – was the most important item if we had a visitor, as my sister, cousins, and I had a rule that they could join the family for good if they ate – and enjoyed – the rabe. I now know that all of this incredibly delicious, fresh and authentic food represented an incredible amount of work and that Grandma – even the professional that she was having owned two Italian restaurants – had spent a week preparing it. But what stands out in my memory more than anything else (even the meatballs) is how happy it made her to feed her family. She never made herself a plate until we had all started eating, and I think she liked to stand back and enjoy just for a moment how we were all together and how she had shown us how much we were loved by cooking for us. My grandma was almost larger than life, loved her friends, family, and a party. She was an entrepreneur in a time when women were housewives, traveled the world, and lived life to the fullest, almost right up to when a stroke and cancer very quickly ended her life. It still feels surreal that she is no longer here, but the first Christmas Eve without her was the hardest. Italians don’t sulk though, and instead we decided to honor Grandma and cook all the foods she always made us, as best as we could remember, since we didn’t have time to get a proper training before she died. We knew the one thing she would have wanted was for us to remain a close family and for the party to go on. So now, even almost 10 years later, my aunts, uncles, cousins, sister, and parents – and even some brave spouses –choose who is going to make which of Grandma’s dishes for Christmas Eve. We still make way too much food, just like she would have done, and have a great, loud, festive time. There is always a moment during the meal that I stop and think about her, and about how she brought us together year after year, and gave us her incredible cooking and unconditional love. As a personal chef I love bringing people together over food. Grandma Chris was the ultimate role model: She put her heart into her cooking, always showing her passion for food and her family. She created a tradition in my family that will last for generations.
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Meatballs in Marinara
Grandma’s Linguine with Clam Sauce
The year that Grandma died, she told me the secret to her meatballs: adding water. This is my version of her meatballs, as close as I could get it.
Serves about 4
Makes enough for a crowd- about 65 meatballs
2 lb Ground Beef (85/15) 1 lb Meatloaf/Meatball Mix (beef, pork, veal) 2 eggs, beaten Pecorino Romano, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 1/4 cup grated Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped, 2 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped, 2 tbsp Garlic, about 8 cloves, chopped Salt and Pepper Water, 3/4 cup Combine ingredients. Form into about 1 1/2 inch size balls. Fry in combo of vegetable and olive oil. Drain on paper towels and add to sauce. 3 cans (28 oz each) Crushed Tomatoes- high quality brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 Yellow Onion, small diced 6 cloves Garlic, minced Dried Basil, Thyme, Oregano- 1 tbsp each 1/4 cup Red Wine Salt & Pepper Fresh Basil, 2 tbsp chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil 2 Tbsp Butter 4 cloves minced Garlic 1/4-1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper 1 lb Linguine 2-4 cans minced or chopped clams (6.5 oz cans) 1 bottle Clam Juice (optional- if you use 4 cans clams you wont need extra juice) 1/2 cup White Wine Italian Parsley, chopped Grated Parmigiano Prep all ingredients first, as recipe goes fast. Boil water for pasta. Set up pasta strainer and bowl to reserve pasta water. Add pasta to the pot of boiling water and set timer for 2 min less than package’s “al dente” time. Right after pasta goes into water, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in large skillet. Once butter melts and bubbles subside, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add chili flakes and sauté until garlic is a tiny bit golden. Add white wine. Add clams with their juice, and the extra clam juice if using. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium-low. Add in the drained pasta, a couple ladles of reserved pasta water and (optional) extra clam juice, so there is enough liquid to finish cooking pasta. Add half of parsley. Toss & bring to a low boil. Cook for a few more minutes until pasta is al dente and sauce thickens up. Remove from heat and top with remaining parsley, layer of Parmigiano, salt & pepper.
Sauté onion until starting to turn a little golden. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds or right before turning golden. Add wine, then canned tomato, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes or longer on low heat. Add chopped fresh basil at end.
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How Local is Your Lamb? When you include local lamb on your menus, you’re supporting the nation’s shepherds and their families. There are approximately 80,000 sheep farms and ranches in the United States. The vast majority of the nation’s sheep operations are family owned and operated. And, they’re located in every state – from small flocks grazing on the grasses of the Northeast to larger flocks in the high mountain ranges of the West. Today’s shepherds are family-focused, entrepreneurial and dedicated to the health and welfare of the sheep. Best of all, they are committed to producing the best quality lamb. That’s because most U.S. sheep producers raise breeds of sheep known as meat breeds (rather than wool breeds). The meat breeds are regarded for their larger size and tender meat. American Lamb is available at the meat counter of most grocery stores, gourmet food retailers and butcher shops. If you don’t see it displayed, just ask. More than likely, fresh cuts are available. When buying lamb, look for firm and fine textured meat. The fat should be firm, white and welltrimmed. Lamb comes in a variety of cuts – chops, roasts, racks/ribs, ground lamb, stew meat, riblets and many more. Refrigerate ground lamb for up to 2 days and lamb cuts and roasts for up to 3 days. American Lamb is available year round and when you buy local lamb, you can count on freshness – up to 10,000 miles fresher than imported lamb. And fresh menu inspiration. Here are American Lamb recipes perfect for parties or every day family meals.
American Lamb Kebab Salad Yield: 12 servings
3/4 pound American Lamb leg meat, roasted, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1/2 pound feta cheese, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 36 grape tomatoes 36 Kalamata olives, pitted 36 rosemary stems, 3 to 4 inches, picked clean to 1 inch Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 4 cups micro or mixed greens 2 cups hummus 24 toasted pita chips Thread lamb, cheese, onion, tomato and olive onto each rosemary stem. Arrange three skewers on plate. Serve with micro greens, hummus and pita chips. Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette. Lemon Vinaigrette: In a blender or food processor, combine 2 ounces lemon juice, 1 sliced shallot, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon oregano leaves and 2 teaspoons chopped garlic. Blend on high and slowly add 6 ounces of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
Greek Nachos Yield: 12 servings
4 lbs American Lamb, ground 1 1/4 lb onions, chopped 2 T. garlic, minced 1 T. oregano, dry 1 T. paprika, smoked 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted, crushed 1 tsp black pepper, cracked Kosher salt, as needed Pita chips, plain 3 cups tomatoes, fresh, ripe, diced 1 ½ c. scallions, sliced 1 ½ c. feta, crumbled
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1 ½ c. kalamata olives, pitted, sliced 1 ½ c. yogurt, Greek-style, nonfat 12 mint sprigs In large rondo or deep skillet, cook lamb over medium-high heat until almost completely browned. Stir in onions, garlic, oregano, paprika, fennel and pepper; continue to cook until onions are almost golden. Adjust seasoning with salt as needed. Remove from heat; keep warm until ready to serve. To serve: For each serving, place 1-1/2 cups warmed pita chips on small platter or dinner plate; top with 1 cup lamb-onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup tomatoes, 2 tablespoons scallions, 2 tablespoons feta and 2 tablespoons olives. Top with 2 tablespoons yogurt and garnish with mint. Serve hot.
Rack of American Lamb with Fresh Lemon and Herbs Yield: 8 servings
2 American Lamb racks, frenched Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon each olive oil, chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped fresh cilantro leaves and grated fresh gingerroot Season racks with salt and pepper; set aside. Combine lemon juice, oil, parsley, cilantro and ginger. Brush on all sides of racks.
Grill racks for 10 to 15 minutes per side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Lamb Meatballs with Mediterranean Dips 4 to 6 servings (24 meatballs)
Chop Chop…Lamb Chop!
2 or 3 slices bread, torn up 1 pound ground American Lamb 1 egg 1 teaspoon dried thyme Sesame seeds Pulse enough bread in electric blender to get 1 cup lightly packeddown crumbs. Combine lamb, egg, bread crumbs and thyme until well blended. Form in 24 (about 1 inch) meatballs. Place meatballs in an oiled shallow baking pan. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Sprinkle meatballs with sesame seeds; stick pick in each and serve with dips. Humus Dip (1-1/2 cups) 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans 1 to 2 large garlic cloves, quartered ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ¼ cup olive oil Minced parsley (optional) Red chile flakes (optional)
Like beef steaks or pork chops, lamb chops are pieces of meat that are cut small enough to serve as individual portions. •
Drain beans, saving 1/4 cup liquid. Combine beans in electric blender with garlic, lemon juice, oil and reserved bean liquid. Process until pureed. If desired, sprinkle top with minced parsley and red chile flakes.
Rib chops come from the rack of lamb. Available in either single or double-cut chops, these elegant chops are often frenched to expose the bone.
Loin chops are lamb’s answer to the porterhouse or t-bone steak. These tender loin chops are best served grilled or broiled.
Leg of lamb cuts such as the center slice or sirloin chops are less expensive than loin and rib chops but almost as tender.
Shoulder chops (called arm chops or blade chops) are the most economical lamb chops.
American Lamb chops are available at the meat counter of most grocery stores, gourmet food retailers and butcher shops. If you don’t see them displayed, just ask.
Yogurt Dip (1 cup) 1 cup plain yogurt 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel Fresh dill sprigs Mix yogurt, dill weed and lemon peel. Garnish top with fresh dill.
Tzatziki Lamb Burger 4 servings
1-1/4 pounds ground American Lamb 1 small cucumber ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint ½ garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and pepper, to taste Sugar, pinch 1 shallot, finely chopped Olive oil, as needed 4 buns 4 tomato slices
Lamb Chops can be broiled, grilled, pan-fried or roasted. The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the chops. For 1-inch –thick chops, cook for approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Chops should be cooked until an internal temperature of about 145 degrees F for medium-rare. Keep in mind that as the chop rests, its internal temperature will typically rise about 5 degrees.
Grate cucumber on the large-hole side of a box grater; place in a medium bowl. Add yogurt, mint, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix lamb, shallot, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 patties. In a skillet, grill pan or on a hot grill, cook patties in oil until browned on both sides and pink in the middle, about 8 minutes. Place burger on a toasted bun; top with tomato and tzatziki.
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Chef Laura Taylor
“Hi, my name is Tim, and I’m looking for a chef for an event in June.” What seemed like an everyday typical inquiry voicemail was really an opportunity to be the exclusive personal chef team for a unique luxury outdoor adventure and camping experience. So began a thrilling (and stressful) three weeks of planning and custom décor shopping that took me and one of my chefs into the heart of central Washington for 5-star, cast-iron cooking over an open campfire. The first discussion with Tim established immediate trust in my team’s ability to meet his event needs. Tim explained his vision for this exclusive experience that he’d been dreaming about and planning for over the last five years. This time around, we would be working with “fake guests” since the primary intent this past summer was to film a marketing video to sell this experience to prospective clients for 2016 and beyond. Tim was going to take a group of four people deep into the woods for mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and “glamping” (glamorous camping). At the end of the week, the group would be helicoptered out of the campsite and over the Cascade Mountains back to Seattle. In between activities, Tim wanted his guests to have amazing restaurant-quality food and service. Nothing resembling canned beans and weenies. With my progressive background in event planning, catering, and fine dining, Tim knew he had “called the right person.” Successive phone calls and texts with Tim took the food and service requirements to new levels. The film production company wanted Michelin quality: white linen tablecloths, real china and glassware (not melamine), fresh flowers, lighting. Anything that had “wow factor”, including service elements that were discreet yet impressionable. The more we talked, the more I got excited. And nervous. Day 1: Show up to site #1 and cook brunch for the group, then proceed to site #2 to make an afternoon appetizer and sunset dinner.
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The plan was for Tim to get to the first site to build our fire so we didn’t have to arrive at dawn. Upon arrival at 9 am, no Tim and no fire, only the sounds of birds and rustling tree leaves. We placed a panic call (mind you, in a next-to-no phone reception area) to ensure we were in the right location. Chef Shelby and I sprang into action to build our fire, unpack our supplies, and start prep for brunch. Thank goodness for cool and reasonable clients who give assurances like “the agenda timeframe we talked about before is now thrown out. We’re just gonna roll with however things happen, so don’t stress out.” Deep breath. Relief. Our brunch menu included Shelby’s Spanish Baked Eggs, Hot & Sugared Honeydew Melon Skewers, Skillet Roasted Purple Potatoes, and Jalapeño-Kale Cornbread Muffins. We served our campfire creations on vintage 1920s Wedgwood china on a perfectly beautiful hot and sunny day in the middle of the woods. Delicious success! We quickly packed up, bounced down a bumpy dusty road, and onto the highway to reach our next and final destination more than an hour away. Tim had scouted out and secured a prime location with a glorious view overlooking Cooper Lake. These are the kinds of days when I absolutely LOVE MY JOB. Making beautiful food in a beautiful setting for an unparalleled experience. I will gladly sweat for hours over a campfire than be in an office. When our guests returned from their river kayaking, Shelby and I served Shrimp Cocktail Shooters with and Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary Sauce. The best part was sprinkling Pop Rocks into the sauce just before service. The crackling noise and taste was lots of fun, and certainly something our guests did not expect. We also served an Apple Cider BBQ Pork Slider with Kale-Apple Slaw along with a mini mug of Washington State Hard Cider as a refreshing cool-down for the hot afternoon.
Fast-forward to dinner. I wish you all could have been there to bask in the glory of our mountain-top dinner setting. A true “moment of eternity,” as a dear friend of mine calls it. The evening’s menu started with a St. Germain Champagne Cocktail and our amuse bouche of Seared Ahi Tuna with Balsamic-Roasted Strawberries, Oregonzola Crumbles, and Orange-Balsamic Glaze. Next, we served a Grapefruit and Jicama Carpaccio Salad with Cilantro, Red Onion, Cucumber, and Bell peppers on a sheet of cedar paper on top of a Himalayan pink salt brick. Our guests enjoyed a main entrée including Marinated Beef Tenderloin Brochettes, Cowboy Beans in Chipotle-Red Eye Gravy, and Griddled Polenta Cakes with Fire-Roasted Zucchini. Last but not least was our dessert course: Rhubarb & Blueberry Crisp with PistachioOatmeal topping. In between all of this was the video company staging a variety of shots, including multiple takes of me approaching the dinner table with each course. Hurry up and wait, isn’t that the name of the game sometimes?
Day 2 started with a 6:30 am arise to throw a kettle of water on the fire to make a much-needed multiple French presses of coffee for the campsite team. As bleary-eyed clients milled around, we set to work baking on a cast-iron griddle some hollowed-out orange peels stuffed with cinnamon rolls. Once those came off the fire, we glazed with sticky, saucy, goodness and adorned with gold star sprinkles. The main entrée was a freshly-made Cheesy Chive Biscuit Sandwich with Hempler’s Bacon, Griddled Egg, Fire-Roasted Tomato, and Fresh Basil plus a Swiss Chard Roll stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Rice. All in all, our 2-day glamping trip was a massive success with some learning points along the way. Shelby and I rewarded ourselves with a dip of our toes into the chilly river while the hot summer sun warmed our faces and souls. What an honestly good, no GREAT, experience!
There’s something special about being in the middle of nowhere. It’s called “no light pollution at night.” As the evening sky turned to a million sparkles of stars above, we brought out cigars and brandy for our guests and clients to enjoy along with our own magic show of color-changing fire pinecones. Nighty night, don’t let the bedbugs bite in your canvas tent structure complete with plush queen-sized bed and accent furniture. Day 1 done as Shelby and I trotted to our standard tent pitched on barely enough of a not-flat space between trees.
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The Focused Calm Breath: A Quick Stress Relief Tool As a personal chef you have a lot on your plate. Scheduling, shopping, preparing, cooking, traveling, dealing with traffic, working with challenging personalities, as well as running a business, just to name a few of the many fine points you manage in your profession. On top of that, you have a private life that needs attending, too. With so much to do and only so many hours in a day, overwhelm and stress can sink in, leaving you feeling like you’ve been whipped into a frenzy instead of feeling light and energized. Being stressed and overwhelmed in your professional and personal life is a recipe for burn out. Burn out brings on ill health which can easily lead you down the path of hopelessness and negativity. The good news: you don’t have to stay stressed out and in overwhelm. By learning and using some quick stress relief tools, you can keep your sanity and feel more energized as you engage n the profession you are so passionate about. Here is a quick stress relief tool from “The Stress Relief Toolbox: For Women Who Take Care of Everyone But Themselves” book. As a stress relief specialist, I advocate self care as a priority in managing both your professional and personal life. It is from this vantage point of self care and inner calm that allows you to function at your best, instead of from the lower energy state of stress and chaos. Quick Stress Relief Tool The Focused Calm Breath: As soon as you begin to feel the feelings of stress, stop and take a good deep focused breath. This not only interrupts the pattern of stressful thoughts and the stress response to the body, it allows you to consciously breathe in oxygen, which supports the muscles to relax. As your muscles begin to relax, you are teaching your body to release tension with your conscious focus. As your body relaxes-even just a bit-so too can your mind begin to relax. It’s in the more relaxed mind that solutions are found. Do this 3 times and notice the difference in your body and how your mind feels more calm. Variation: As you inhale, press your thumb and forefinger together. On the exhale, release your fingers and say “let go” either to yourself or out loud. Repeat at least 3 times. By practicing either variation of the Focused Calm Breath, you can stay ahead of stress and overwhelm and feel so much more prepared to have your day and life run smoothly. Look for more tips in upcoming issues of Personal Chef Magazine. For more articles and tips on stress relief, visit http://www.HealingHypnotherapy.com To order the book: “The Stress Relief Toolbox: For Women Who Take Care of Everyone But Themselves,” visit: http://www stressrelieftoolbox.com To receive a free short audio for stress relief, visit: http://stressrelieftoolbox.com/free-quick-self-care-tool/
Jackie Foskett Stress Relief Specialist Hypnotherapist, Hypnotic Coach
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Your Website + Your Email = Your Business: Why Security Is Important for Your Bottom Line In today’s world in order to have any type of business you need a website. Everyone looks to the internet to find out something, whether it’s news, a recipe, or to watch a video of a cat chasing a laser pointer. And when you meet a potential customer the first thing they ask is “What’s your website address?”. They will go to your website, see what you have to offer, then if they want more information invariably they will email you. Chances are you’ve had an email address (or several) long before you had a website. It seems that everything these days is tied to an email address – even your tax return has a spot for an email address. There’s nearly as many email addresses in use as there are people in the world, which the latest count shows over 4 billion email addresses being used by people. Businesses use email around the clock to communicate, share information, even as a repository for documents and other important data. The sheer volume of email sent (over 200 billion per day) is much greater than the volume of phone calls. Certainly most, if not everyone, is familiar with or has heard about the various retailers and healthcare providers that have been the victims of hackers who have stolen credit card numbers or personal healthcare information. This hacking activity has become so pervasive and mainstream that it’s impacting more and more people each day. The Target breach of December 2013, the Home Depot breach of September 2014, and the Anthem Healthcare breach of February 2015 most likely either directly impacted you or a family member. You had to get a new credit card because yours was compromised or you have to monitor your credit / health information because of the hacking. By now you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with your website, your email, and your business. It has everything to do with your business! First of all, let’s keep this simple from a technical perspective. There are “bad guys” who do “bad things” by using “bad stuff”. Simple enough. Your website is running on a server somewhere that is accessible via the Internet. Doesn’t matter whether you’re using GoDaddy for your website, your nephew the computer geek is running it for you, or your web guy “just takes care of it” and you don’t have a clue. Trust me, it’s on a server somewhere and everyone on the Internet can access it, or at least that’s the idea. You want as wide exposure as possible from a marketing perspective, though by the time you’re done reading this article you might not! Here’s the problem: the fact that your website is available to everyone on the Internet also makes it available to the bad guys. You’re probably thinking that you’re just a personal chef in Boise that is simply looking to feed people with amazing food, you don’t sell anything online, and aren’t very big so why would the bad guys be after you? These very reasons that you think make you a small target actually make you an attractive target. Bad guys do bad stuff to websites for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s some juvenile delinquent who has no social skills, eats Hot Pockets all the time and lives in his mom’s basement. He thinks he’s some big time hacker who will make a name for himself, which he might one day when he gets caught and goes to jail, but I digress. This kid might hack a website for fun or just because “he can”. While not harmless, this Xbox addict is of minimal real threat. He’s a nuisance.
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The “real” bad guy does bad stuff to websites because he wants access to the computers that the website visitors are using. They do this to steal as much data (credit card numbers, bank information, healthcare information, etc.) as possible in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort. Remember that WordPress theme you liked so much and decided that was how you wanted your website to look? Well, the issue is that WordPress (though easy to use) has weaknesses from a security standpoint that make it easy to hack. Bad guys exploit those weaknesses and do bad things to your website. Sometimes they will delete pages or deface them so they say something different. More often than not, the bad guys do bad things to the website so that when visitors access the website bad stuff is downloaded to the visiting computer. The bad stuff is malicious software (AKA malware) that can do wide range of things, from sending out junk email in the background to more nefarious things like logging every keystroke the user inputs and stealing whatever files are on the computer. Malware represents a specific category of computer threats that is probably the biggest security risk to every “computing device”, from Windows and Macs to even iPhones and Android devices. Bad guys hack into your website and change the web pages so that when an unsuspecting visitor access the website in the background (hidden from view) the malicious software is downloaded to your computer. Usually this malware is very small in size and is a single file. This malware is basically “dropped” onto your computer and starts running. It “calls home” to a control server somewhere on the Internet, asking for instructions. At that point the bad guys can install whatever additional software they want on that visiting computer, such as software that steals data, passwords, credit card numbers, etc., causing all sorts of trouble for the hapless person who simply wanted more information about your services and wanted to become your customer. All because your website wasn’t secure and was hacked. Let’s take a look at email. Most people reading this article receive more email in a day than phone calls, with possibly text messages having a higher volume. And chances are that a good portion of the email you receive is junk email or “spam”. Just this week alone I was fortunate enough to receive over $24 million from a very generous Nigerian prince who wanted me to help him out…. While junk email is very annoying and clogs up your inbox (not to mention causing a loss of productivity due to managing it), email is still one of the biggest sources of security risks to a business. The sheer volume of email sent/received makes it extremely attractive to the bad guys, who are always on the lookout for their next victim. And the methods by which the bad guys are tricking people via email are becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s probably safe to say that gone are the days of getting a weird email from someone that says “Hey, I found this cool screensaver and I thought of you…”. Today’s email threats are extremely sophisticated, well written, and appear to be legitimate. Generally, you can classify the bad email as either having an attachment that is bad or having a website link that will send you to a bad website. Often the email will appear to be from a familiar website or service, such as Dropbox or eFax. Regardless of what the email contains, the bad guys are after the same thing as when they hack websites – they want the data that’s on the computer. So whether it’s a bad attached file that causes problems, or the email directs you to a website that installs bad stuff, the end result is the same. Your computer has been compromised and you’re now sending out all sorts of confidential / financial /
personal data to some unknown server out on the Internet, and the bad guys will use your credit card to buy 100 Xboxes or order 1,000 pizzas. So now that we’ve mentioned some of the ways that the bad guys are messing with your website and/or email, the real question is what to do about it? Protecting your website isn’t necessarily the reasonability of your web hosting company or your web designer. They most assuredly are not security experts and because it’s a specialty area, they won’t mess with it. You must take the initiative to help protect it. Because of the way the Internet works and the way websites work, one of the best ways to protect your website is to use what’s called a Web Application Firewall (WAF). A WAF basically acts as a middleman between your website and the Internet, filtering out bad guys wanting to do bad stuff to your website. Of course there’s so much more to it, but that’s basically it. The most cost effective way to do this is to get it as a service from an IT Security company, as that’s their area of specialty. They will handle setting it up and making sure the bad guys stay out. Some services are also able to do backups of your website just in case something goes wrong (backups are another hot topic that is worthy of another article). The same technical issues that pop up trying to protect websites also effect email. Email is accessible everywhere now - on your phone, tablet/iPad, car, refrigerator, all over the place. For this very reason (availability everywhere), standard anti-virus software on your computer simply won’t work to keep your email clean. The anti-virus running on your laptop won’t help you when you access email on your phone. If you’re using your website hosting company for your email the odds are they’re not doing anything to help eliminate your spam issues, as it would cost them additional money. You need an email security service that will help prevent viruses, malware, and spam (junk email, not Spam®). It functions the same basic way as the WAF did above, by acting as the middleman to filter out the bad stuff. Again, contact an IT Security professional for a recommendation on the best, most cost effective solution for this. Problems with websites and email will continue to get worse, simply due to the widespread adoption of this technology as a means of communication. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that will not go away by itself and must be dealt with as a matter of doing business these days. Your customers are expecting business to do the right thing, and taking responsibility for protecting data (yours and theirs) is the right thing to do. Fortunately, it’s easy to do with the right solution and the right help.
Don Oxman is the founder of The Oxman Group, an IT Security consulting firm located in Fort Worth, Texas. The Oxman Group specializes in securing all types of business data for customers around the world. Don has over 26 years in the security industry, first in the US Army as a Russian and Ukrainian Interrogator, then later in the Information Technology field. He’s proud that The Oxman Group is the only IT Security company licensed as a Security Consulting company by the State of Texas, but he’s even more proud of his wife, Chef Deb Cantrell. He can be reached at don@ theoxmangroup.com or 817668-6995.
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7680 Universal Blvd. Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819
â€œWe never know where life will take us, the tribulations weâ€™ll face, or the amazing people we will meet on our journey. USPCA has given me a support network, and lifelong friends, I could never have imagined. This organization is way more than insurance coverage; it is an entrepreneurial community of people who love food and feeding people, collaborating, and supporting one another. I know of no other group like us. We're here to laugh at the craziness, give brutally honest opinions, cheer, admire, and aspire toward what our mentors have achieved. Our careers are tumultuous, stressful and rewarding. I'm proud of our Association and very thankful for this community.â€? -Chef Catherine Richey
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From the President - Membership Milestones - Benefits Reminder - Foursquare - It’s Cheaper to Keep Them Than to Find Them - When Life Gives...
Published on Feb 5, 2016
From the President - Membership Milestones - Benefits Reminder - Foursquare - It’s Cheaper to Keep Them Than to Find Them - When Life Gives...