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Springtime Mocktails

Spring is in the air and the celebrations begin - anniversaries, weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations, Mother’s Day and more. Not to mention more entertaining with friends, golf games and the Kentucky Derby. Whatever you are celebrating this Spring, consider adding some fun libations to your menu.

A mint julep is great for the derby, but if alcohol doesn’t meet everyone’s beverage needs, there is more than water to quench your palate. Here are some festive ideas for your next get together....

China Box Pig

Collaboration is a great thing - we all get so much more done this way, and the sense of community, partnership and family will always outweigh pride. What is she talking about you ask?

Well for me, working with my fellow chefs has been a great experience. From parties, to charity events (Rosie's Place and Maynard Food Pantry) or just an extra hand when I was injured - I love working with my colleagues.

This summer I have a new collaboration with a fellow chef I have done numerous parties with.

One Handed Chef

It has been three weeks since I have cooked anything. I'm a chef-a holic.

No, actually I am recovering from carpal tunnel surgery which has meant no cooking, typing in very small doses and certainly no heavy lifting. This week (week 3) I am starting to test things a little. I peeled a carrot and was so proud. I cut an onion yesterday and thought that was great. I made cupcakes with the help of my food processor today too. Woo hoo! Yeah, not the same.

How have I survived you ask? My husband has stepped up and has helped me (well actually I merely told him what to do and he did all the work) make some great dinners.

March cooking

I am sorry to tell you that cooking was a bit boring this week....a Brussels sprout and anchovy pasta recipe off the back of the pasta box sounded good. Must admit though - it needed garlic! Anchovies, blanched Brussels sprouts and shallots tossed with olive oil and fettuccine - easy, pretty, and could stand a few toasted walnuts too. Or is that just me?

A fava bean mulligatawny soup from my Daily Soup cook book was delicious with garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, cardamom, tomatoes, coconut milk and fava beans replacing the lentils.

Cooking Chef's Style - sauteeing through the masses

Another week, another set of recipes. This week we were very happy with our selections overall. A simplespice rubfrom Gourmet really added a lot of flavor to shrimp. The bay leaf was a nice touch to this coriander heavy dusting - which would be great on pork and chicken too.  The recipe makes a lot - so have a spare jar handy to store the rest, or cut recipe in half. Or more.....

We ate this withBrussels sproutssauteed with soy chorizo (original recipe called for ham) - delicious and better with age.

Continuing Cooking Trials

Back on track a bit this week - some really good recipes for my clients, including a beautiful pear and almond tart and deliciousscallop burgersscented with ginger and cilantro......
But this isn't about my clients....for once (I mean that in the best way - I take good care of my clients). This is about what the chef ate. Or is it? 

Well in our house this week, we had Halibut with an apple cider sauce fromWilliams Sonoma's Savoring Spain and Portugal Cookbook.

Yellow Onion and garlic are sauteed in butter, thickened with a little flour and a softened dried chile is added.

Recipe trials, failures and Triumphs

OK, I admit it. I fell off the wagon. I warned you all that I am a little F.A.D.D.  I picked my recipes for the week.....then got side tracked. Disinterested. Taken out to dinner. Tired. But I did squeeze a few things in, and as promised wanted to share the past two weeks cooking adventures. I will apologize - no photos this week - remember I said tired? Mentally tired that is. Enough about that though - let's talk food.

I had a recipe for orange marmalade, which I love. As does one of my clients.

Veggies Galore - week 2 of recipe cookdown

Week 2 of my recipe cookdown, and I have selected a more veggie heavy menu this week. Our local farmers market had beautiful cabbage and sweet potatoes, so those had to be incorporated into this week's menu.

My husband can live on chili and coleslaw, so we will be working through several coleslaw recipes over the next few weeks. This week, he chose Jose Garces'Green Apple Truffle Coleslaw. Despite Anthony Bourdain's comment on truffle oil being the most vile thing around on The Taste, we made this anyway.

Another recipe trial

Week two of my file cookery test, and I am not as thrilled with this week's choices. Funny how on Sunday something looks really good, but by Thursday, not so much. Yes even for a personal chef, this can happen. So I had planned to make a few things, but then we had some leftovers from dinner out, and ended up putting one recipe aside.  There is always another week.  But this week I tried Food Network magazine'sSpicy MushroomsandGreen Tea Salmonwith Quinoa. 

The mushrooms sounded promising to go with some soy sausages and Brussels sprouts that I decided to have.

Recipe Resolution

As a foodie, cook and personal chef, I am always on the look out for new recipes, ideas and flavor combinations. As many of my peers well know, this is great fun, but can result in a deluge of paper - magazines, things we tear out or print from the web. There is not enough time or energy to sort through it all, and yet we keep looking for more, despite that huge file in the corner. Write your post here.

So my resolution to myself - go through old magazine, tear out what I think I will really make.

Recent Posts

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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