Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Please help me welcome Rachna, to my blog sharing a little of this great city I live in, Orlando.

Orlando Concerts

The home of Mickey Mouse, Orlando attracts tens of millions tourists every year for its world-class theme parks, white sand beaches, fabulous cruise trips, notable shopping malls and concerts. Universally known as The Theme Park Capital of the World because of Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando is also called “Hollywood East” as there are a number of movie studios.  Family vacationers find no better place than Orlando to escape from the boredom of daily hectic schedules and rejuvenate themselves with rock music, reggaeton, hip hop and Latino music concerts after a day at the thrilling rides and spectacular shows of the world’s best theme park.

The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays, and Orlando Cabaret Festival take place during spring, yet Orlando welcomes the lover of art and music in the months from Jan to March too. There are various venues that host concerts regularly, such as House of Blues and Hard Rock Live. Orlando tour without attending a concert in House of Blues or Hard Rock Live is incomplete, especially for music aficionados.

Spring and summer months are the best time to visit Orlando and most of the headlining concerts take place during these months. However, concerts in Orlando take place year round and keep the entertainment live in the city in all the seasons. Both of the venues, Hard Rock Live and House of Blues, offer an exceptionally delightful experience round the year to make sure the tourists have an insight into Orlando’s love for music, no matter what time of the year they visit.

House of Blues vs Hard Rock Live

The House of Blues located at the Walt Disney World Resort is renowned widely for the intimate performances it hosts; Universal’s Hard Rock Live is in itself the best because it enjoys the title Orlando’s “Coliseum of Rock.” With double capacity and versatility to adapt the seating arrangement as per the acts, Hard Rock Live enjoys more patrons.

Second to none, Hard Rock Live is host to other performances as well besides just music concerts. Performances of top comedians such as Wand Sykes at Hard Rock Live catch the attention of tourists and locals alike. Over the years, it has become a top-notch nighttime hub in Orlando.

House of Blues is fine dining restaurant too that serves lip-smacking American and international cuisine. The Sunday Gospel Brunch at House of Blues is just amazing: buffet of Southern cooking as well as music performances by top gospel groups. Whether you visit the place during day time or at night, rest assured you would get to enjoy the best of gospel, jazz, rock and reggae performances by renowned and up-coming performers.


Author Bio: Rachana is an adept travel writer. She writes travel tips, guides and news. Presently, she is working with CheapOair – Cheap flights.

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Vacation home clients requested a Traditional American BBQ from A Chef of Your Own.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Patriotic Potato Salad – Yukon Gold, Red Bliss and Purple Potatoes

 Green and Purple Cole Slaw

Carmelized Onion Tart


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A Chef of Your Own cooked an early Mother’s Day Lunch this past Sunday. The guests requested a “Kosher Style” menu and after working together, we came up with a winner. The appetizer was Baba Ganouj, or roasted eggpant spread. I got this recipe from an amazing cookbook, “Our Food,” by Anita Hirsch.

Baba Ganouj

1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and slices

2 Tbls tahini

2-3 Tbls lemon juice

1/8 tspcumin

2 Tbls finely chopped fresh parsley

6-8 greek olives

1 tomato, chopped finely

Place the eggplant in the oven, under the brioler, or over a glass flame until the skin is scared and black, about 25-30 minutes. Thew flesh will feel soft and juicy. Cool for 10 minutes. Rub the skin off, holding the eggplant under cool water. Squeeze out as much juice as possible, since it is bitter. Puree the eggplant. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and  cumin and continue pureeing until well combined. Serve with parsley, olives, and tomatoes. Serve with pita chips or other flat bread.

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When cooking for the disneyglobalevent the other night the ladies asked A Chef of Your Own for  the lasagna recipe. This was adapted from a United Chef Personal Chef Recipe from years ago and many of my personal chef clients have enjoyed it over the years. I hope you do too!


28 oz can crushed tomatoes

14 oz can diced tomatoes

6 oz can tomato paste

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 Tbls basil

1 Tbls sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp thyme

30 oz container ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1/2  cup parmesan

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

8 oz block jack cheese, cut into small cubes

1 package no cook lasagna noodles

Make Sauce

Saute onion and garlic in a little oil  1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add seasonings and tomato products. Simmer 45 minutes to an hour.

Combine ricotta, eggs and 1/4 cup parmesan in a small bowl.

Layer bottom of pan with noodles. Top with 1/3 of the sauce. Next layer half of the ricotta mixture, then half of the cubed jack cheese and 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. Layer another noodle and then, sauce, jack cheese, mozzarella. Top with another layer of noodles, remaining sauce and mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, in 375 degree oven for about 45-55 minutes.


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A Chef of Your Own will be at the Fresh Market in Dr Phillips doing a demo today, April 14, from 3-6. Demo today is Angle Hair Pasta with Tuna and Capers. Stop in to say hello and try a great new recipe.

Angle Hair Pasta with Tuna and Capers

1  pound TFM Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta, cooked per package directions and drained
2  tablespoons TFM Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1  jar  Tonnino Tuna in Olive Oil, drained and oil reserved
1  cup   Kalamata Olives from the TFM Olive Bar, chopped
1/3 cup   Roasted Garlic Cloves from the TFM Olive Bar
2  teaspoons Victoria Taylor’s Tuscan Seasoning Blend
2  tablespoons TFM Capers, drained
1/3 cup  Candoni Pinot Grigio
1  (14.5 ounce) can TFM Diced Tomatoes
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside on serving platter. Heat olive oil and reserved oil from the tuna in a deep skillet over medium high heat for 2 minutes, swirling to coat the pan evenly. Add olives, garlic cloves, Tuscan seasoning and capers, and quickly sauté for 2 minutes, being careful to not burn the garlic. Remove pan from heat and add wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tuna and tomatoes; stir to combine and heat through. Pour mixture over pasta and serve immediately.

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A Chef of Your Own cooked for a group of bloggers here in Orlando for the opening of Disney’s new movie, “Chimpanzee” Everything was a big hit and so here are some of the recipes from last nights event.

Cannoli Chips and dip

Cannoli Chips

3 cups flour

1 Tbls sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup white wine (I used Moscato)

1 qt of oil for frying

In mixer with paddle attachment, combine flour, cinnamon, and sugar. Turn on low and add wine. Leave in mixer until dough forms a ball. Add a little more wine if it is not forming into a dough. Remove from mixer and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours. Heat  oil in deep heavy skillet, or use fryer, to 365 degrees. Roll out an 8th of the dough until thin as paper. Cut into small pieces and fry in small batches until golden on eather side. Serve with Cannoli dip.

Cannoli Dip

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 Tbls amaretto liqueur

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Serve with Cannoli chips

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Here’s a nice alternative to corned beef and cabbage from The Fresh Market. Demo today, Strawberry Crepes with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Enjoy the recipe with a green beer and some soda bread.

A Classic Irish Stew
3  teaspoons  vegetable oil
1  pound  sirloin tips
2  tablespoons  all purpose flour
1  small  onion, chopped
2  cups  fresh mushrooms, sliced
6    garlic clove, minced
1  (6 ounce) can  tomato paste
2  cups  beef broth
1  tablespoon  brown sugar
1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness Beer
4  cups  carrots, sliced
2    potatoes, peeled and diced
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat meat cubes with flour, shaking off the excess. Fry meat until browned on all sides. Remove from heat. In a large pot, add 1 tsp oil, mushrooms and onion; cook stirring constantly until onion is tender, about 3 minutes.Add browned meat to pot, and stir in garlic, tomato paste, beef broth, sugar and beer. Add carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Irish Soda Bread for a traditional St. Patty’s Day meal.

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