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Archive for July, 2010

Here is a great recipe using all of those summer blueberries. This recipe comes from The Book of Great American Desserts, you can find it on Amazon and is a great reference for awesome desserts. I have made this a number of times for clients in the vacation homes, served with vanilla ice cream. Yummy!!

Blueberry Crumble

6 cups blueberries, wash

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

3 Tbls flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine and put in buttered dish. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of lemon juice.

Sprinkle Berries with 3 1/3 ounces of pecans

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 oz butter

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

Combine flour, nutmeg, sugar, brown sugar, butter and oats until crumbly. Sprinkle over blueberry mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven until bubbly. Serve with fresh whip cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

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I have been a personal chef in Orlando for the last 15 years and done personal catering for the last three. I attended culinary school in upstate NY and compleated a Professional Apprenticeship with Westin Hotels and the Ft Lauderdale ACF. If you have a cooking question, ask it and I will do my best to answer it in an upcoming blog.

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Demo today at The Fresh Market in Altamonte Springs. The Fresh Market bills itself as a an old-time grocer. They have a fish market, a butcher, deli, great sushi, and an all around eclectic assortment of items. They have a great selection of wine as well. Tastings like I am doing tomorrow go on all the time. They give you a great opportunity to try some things that you might not otherwise try. The artichokes for tomorrow’s demo are a great example. They are amazing! They also have wine tastings going on, on a regular basis. During tomorrow’s demo there will probably be at least two wine companies tasting anywhere from 10-15 bottles of wine. If you get the chance stop by tomorrow to say hi. I will be there from 3-6 pm tasting the Firecracker Shrimp and Pasta Salad with grilled artichokes. I do demos once a month at both the Dr. Phillips and Altamonte stores. Some of the demo recipes have become A Chef of Your Own client favorites. The recipes are created by corporate and Great Chef’s USA and can be found with videos on the Fresh Market website. Sign up on their web site to receive advance notice of when the demos will be taking place.

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Here is the side dish for the Firecracker Shrimp. The artichokes for this recipe are amazing! These are grilled and vacuum packaged so they are not put in a brine and take great. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I will be at the Fresh Market in Altamonte Springs Saturday, July 24, from 3-6. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood.  

Summer Pasta & Vegetable Salad 

with Roasted Garlic Dress ing 

Serves 4 

Ingredients: 

2 c cooked De Cecco Farfalle pasta 

3 c fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 small ears of corn) 

5 medium tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped 

⅔ c finely chopped red onion 

. c fresh basil, chopped 

1 pkg (8 oz) Monterey Farms Grilled ArtiHearts 

. c Lizzie’s Kitchen Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil, well-shaken 

and divided 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation: 

Heat a medium skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp 

dipping oil to pan; add corn and saute for 2 minutes, or until 

golden. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, corn, tomatoes, red 

onion, basil and artichoke hearts; set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk 

together remaining dipping oil and garlic and season with salt and 

pepper. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the pasta and 

vegetable mixture and toss to coat. 

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That’s a great question, but if you rent a vacation home, you have to eat out every night or someone has to cook. Vacation homes are a great value for money. There is a lot of space, most have a pool and game room, almost everyone has their own room, but there is no room service and no restaurant open downstairs. When you hire A Chef of Your Own to come in to cook, you get the gift of relaxation. I can come in every day and make breakfast and leave dinner in the refrigerator. If you have a smaller group, I can come in while you are arriving, serve your dinner, leave breakfast for the next morning and leave another dinner in the refrigerator for one of your days at the park. Going to the park makes for a long day, the hot sun, long lines, no naps, wouldn’t it be nice to come back to your beautiful vacation home to dinner already ready or your chef preparing it when you get home. The last thing you really want to do after hours at the parks is wait in another line for hours waiting for dinner. If I have left dinner, you can throw it in the oven to heat while the little ones get a nap and you get to relax in the pool or jacuzzi. Better yet, get a glass of wine, put on your fuzzy slippers and relax by the water. I have been a personal chef in Orlando for almost 15 years and have been in the industry 10 years before that. Please call me with any questions you might have or leave a note here. Bon appetit, I look forward to making your vacation more like a vacation, and meeting you the next time you are in Orlando.

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Yesterday was my birthday and I adapted the Bacardi Rum Cake Recipe posted here on March 16th. I decided to make a Pina Colada Cake, so here is the recipe

Pina Colada Cake

1 package yellow cake mix

1 small can crushed pineapple

1 can lite coconut milk

1/2 cup rum

4 eggs

Glaze

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup rum

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with Pam cooking spray.

Drain the juice from the crushed pineapple and add water to make 1/2 cup if needed. Place Cake mix, juice, eggs, and rum in a bowl and combine then whip for 2 minutes. Fold in the crained, crushed pinapple.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes until cake is baked.

As the cake is cooling, make glaze. Place coconut milk, butter, and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Let cool. Poke cake all over with a skewer. Add 1/2 cup rum to glaze and pour over cake. Let rest, turn out and serve with fresh whip cream or ice cream.

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Here is a great recipe for those of you grilling out to beat the heat this weekend. This is from a demo that got great reviews.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

1/2 cup Lime Jalapeno Fajita Bath Brine Concentrate (can replace with juice of two limes, 1 small diced jalapeno, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water)

1/4 cup Merlot

1/4 cup water

1 lb skirt steak

2 bell peppers, one red and one green, seeded and slices

1 onion, sliced thin

1 Tbls canola oil

1 pkg tortillas

Optional toppings

Mexican shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream

In a glass bowl, mix Fajita bath with wine and water, combine well. Place skirt steak in a zip top bag with marinade, remove air while sealing bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (can be left overnight to marinate)

Heat grill or grill pan to high heat. Remove steak from marinade, shake off excess liquid and discard. Grill steak for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove and allow steak to rest for 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat for two minutes, add canola oil and swirl to coat. Add peppers and onions, saute three to five minutes, until soft. Slice steak on the diagonal into thin slices and serve on warm tortillas with peppers and any combination of the optional toppings.

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