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How to Cook Every Single Whole Grain

It has been a while since I have posted, but I wanted to share this article I read that answers a basic question - how to cook grains. I know it can be a little scary, trying new things, but actually grains are like rice in that it is grain + water + time. This article tells you how much time for each, and how to get more variety in the healthy, whole grain area of your life, all in one spot. Thanks Sam! 

AMARANTH
Bring 3 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 cup amaranth, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

Mushroom Mania

As a member of the United States Personal Chef Association I am often lucky enough to learn about wonderful things in the food world. At our conference in July, I discovered RI Mushroom Company and the White Horse Tavern in Newport, RI.

Bob DiPietro is a passionate mushroom farmer, in a rather non conventional farm. My chapter had the chance to visit his farm and we saw and learned a lot about mushrooms.... I wish to share  some of these things with you here. 

Mushrooms are not always grown in the dark or in manure.

Health Benefits of Pumpkins

Sometimes I have to give credit to others, and this was an article I wouldn't have written differently - hope you enjoy!

With summer officially behind us and October well underway, pumpkin is once again in season. Every coffee shop now offers pumpkin spice lattes, and you can expect to see the orange fruit (yes, technically it is a fruit) on porches, stoops and windowsills as part of seasonal decorations.  But while you might think of pumpkins as being overrated or an autumn cliche, they provide great health benefits, and you should take advantage of it while you can.

Sharp Knives and Hard Steel

I recently had the chance to attend the USPCA conference in Texas, which in itself is a great opportunity to connect with fellow chefs from across the country and sharpen my skills with lectures and demonstrations from experts.
One of the classes I attended was a knife sharpening class. Dominique of Star Knife Sharpening in San Antonio was our local knife expert and shared with us different types of knives and the proper techniques and angles needed to maintain a great edge. After all a sharp knife is a safe knife and works best when properly sharpened.

Spring is in the air

I love spring. Not for the flowers, blooming trees and longer days....those that certainly helps shake the winter blahs. I love spring for the new hope of produce to come.

Here in New England, the growing season is not as long as we would like, and the fall vegetables, well....they are getting old. Spring offers strawberries, fiddleheads and asparagus. We will soon see more locally grown greens, beans, and as summer ramps up, well ramps, but tomatoes, corn, beans, blueberries and a wealth of other wonderful fruits and veggies.

Fennel Frenzy

Lately, I find I am reaching for fennel bulbs more and more. What is fennel you ask? Fennel is part of the celery family - evident in the tall stalks at the top of the bulb - that flowers with delicate yellow flowers, has medicinal and culinary uses, and bears the fennel seed which is what makes Italian sausage taste like it does.

The bulb can be eaten raw or cooked, adds a very light anise (licorice) taste to foods and crunch to salads. It is also the one of three herbs used in making Absinthe.
Fennel shows up in Mediterranean dishes (finnochio), Middle Eastern dishes, and even some German salads.

Potato, Potahto

With the holiday season, mashed potatoes often take a front row at our dinner table (or perhaps yours are latkes). Which potato is best for making the perfect dish?  Well first, did you know there are over 100 varieties of potatoes in the US? But the good news is they fall into 7 general catagories.

Milder, creamier flavors:

Yellow (Yukon Gold) - Waxy, smooth and velvety - the ideal potato for a mashed. Also good for grilling or salads. Yellow creamy color makes it easy to spot.

Red (Bliss or New) - great in soups and stews or roasted.

Holiday Wishes

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to let you know I am still here, but have been super busy cooking for several new clients and some loyal regulars. Glad to see so many celebration dinners too!

I have lot's of ideas to blog about, but want to take some time to write them properly for you. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays - whatever you celebrate. Keep dinners full of good friends and family, and keep it simple for the most enjoyment. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Well except the turkeys, I suppose.

Seeds for good health

I will completely confess to borrowing an article today from Joanna Douglass - senior editor from Yahoo, whose information I thought was helpful and interesting (despite the repetition with smoothies and salads). I have added a few comments (in green) of my own and will share them with you below:

Spirulina, chia seeds, hemp powder—until recently those were things you found at crunchy health stores, or in murky-looking smoothies consumed by serious fitness buffs. Now they’re everywhere—in your muffin, on your salad (

Allergy Season and the Foods That Can Help

I wanted to write an article after recently learning that pineapple is a natural anti-histamine (a fighter of allergic reactions). Since pollen has been at an all time here in the Northeast, and perhaps where you live, I thought this could be a helpful topic to avoid the boxes of over the counter stuff that might make you drowsy while you may still need to fight all the fun symptoms of allergy season. Phew.....I stumbled on this article fromLivestrong.comand instead of re-writing something, I am going to borrow their information, with full credits to share with you:
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How to Cook Every Single Whole Grain
Mushroom Mania
Health Benefits of Pumpkins
Sharp Knives and Hard Steel
Spring is in the air

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