Friday, June 20, 2014

Personal Chef Services- Summer Specials!

Happy Summer!  Every year I always have this feeling like summer is over before it's barely begun and I think it stems from having so much of it planned in advance.  I try to remind myself to just stop for a moment, and just enjoy the sunshine and longer days.  That said, I think that the busy summer months is the perfect time to have meals prepped and ready so you can simply come home and have dinner ready with very little effort.  I'm offering two different summer specials to make that easy for you or for someone you know.

Previous Customers:  I miss you!  Book me again and get $25 off the price of the service you book. 

Current Customers:  Share the love!  I would love your referrals to new customers.  If your friend books me, they will get $25 off their first service and you will get $25 off your next service.  Win-win!!

Refer a Friend:   Maybe you don't need my services, but you can still spread the word to your friends.  If you have a friend who books me, I'll send you $25 Amazon gift card and they will also receive $25 their first service.

Don't forget that my services make a useful and unique gift!  Maybe your child is moving out and living on their own, get them started with healthy meals in their friend.  Or a family with a new baby.  I can create a gift certificate and make a menu plan for them!

Service Options
Custom service is $35 per hour, which can be useful for just wanting a couple meals per week or every other week.  It includes the food, my time and disposable containers.

10 meal Package is $350, there is a large list of meals to choose from and some substitutions/changes can be made to accommodate allergies and dietary needs.  You can also choose 5 meals for $200.

Here is a list of some of my popular meals-
Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Chicken Parmesan

Healthy Orange Chicken
Cheesy Beef Noodle Casserole (it’s lean and low fat)
Turkey or Beef Burgers (prepped but uncooked)
Beef and Broccoli
Chicken or Beef enchiladas
Baked Ziti
Chicken Fajitas
Mini Turkey Meatloaves
Roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables
Grilled Pork Chops with balsamic apple glaze
Honey Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

I have vegetarian and vegan options too!

Grilled Pork Chops

Healthy Orange Chicken

Beef and Broccoli

Grilled Vegetables

Monday, April 28, 2014

All About Artichokes

This post comes from my archives, I had previously posted it on my email newsletter and discovered I never posted it on the blog. It was written by my very talented sister. Chef Elisa is based in Denver, CO and is a caterer and personal chef.

I enjoyed my first artichoke of the Spring recently,and it got me thinking.  I grew up eating artichokes and I have fond memories of this unique little piece of produce, which is actually a thistle.   I remember savoring the ritual of dipping each leaf into Best Foods mayonnaise, scraping my teeth across it to enjoy that small bite of unique flavor.   And most importantly, the delicious heart that lies inside, a prize awarded for your patience in deconstructing the little globe one piece at a time.

I’ve encountered a lot of people who have never eaten a whole, fresh artichoke.  Many people have only eaten the hearts (usually from a can) in pasta and pizza.   But I think everyone should enjoy an artichoke, especially when they are at their peak in Spring.  If you have never tried one and are a little put off at the idea of having to pull your food apart leaf by leaf and scrape the “meat” off of it, you may be encouraged by the artichoke’s health properties.  In researching this article, I was pleasantly surprised to find that artichokes contain cynarin, which is a “phenolic acid compound… that stimulates digestion, protects the liver, and lowers triglycerides and cholesterol.”  So you can feel better about slathering those leaves with butter, mayonnaise or aioli knowing that the artichoke can naturally help your HDL/LDL ratio!

I think the artichoke is best simply steamed, but boiling also works well.  Wash it well, trim the end of the stem and snip off any thorny points on the leaves if you like.   Put a few inches of water in the bottom of your pot, put the artichokes in the steamer basket and in about 30 minutes (depending on the size and toughness of your artichoke) you will be ready to enjoy Spring’s bounty!  To determine if it is cooked, simply poke a fork into the stem at the base of the artichoke, it should be able to slide in and be removed easily.

Every once in a while I like to relive my childhood memories by enjoying an artichoke with just plain old mayonnaise.  It was good enough for me at 10 years old, and it is good enough now!  However, the chef in me really can’t be satisfied with plain mayo all the time.  Usually I like to dress up my mayo with some crushed fresh garlic and lots of lemon juice, usually called an aioli but I take a shortcut and use prepared mayo instead of making my own!  You could put practically anything into your mayo – how about some pesto to pay homage to the artichoke’s Italian roots, or some chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a little spice.  If you’re ever feeling ambitious, try making a stuffing with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and herbs, spoon a little between each leaf and then steam the artichoke until cooked through.  There are a number of simple recipes available on the website for the California Artichoke Advisory Board.

So the next time you’re perusing the produce at your grocery store, don’t be afraid to reach for one of those thistles and try something new. They’re delicious AND nutritious, and you might even get your little ones to eat them on account of how fun it is to play with your food!

Artichoke Recipes from the California Artichoke Advisory Board

Baked Artichokes Stuffed with Red Quinoa

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Homemade Honey Nut Granola
Potato and Vegetable Hash

I've been busily posting each week over at Mama Bootcamp and decided this week to post here with a longer post devoted to a topic I don't think I've written about very much, breakfast.  Since lately my posts have been handy lists of recipes for you to reference, it was about time I compiled some breakfast recipes.  My focus is usually on what can be made ahead and easy for a grab and go breakfast on busy mornings.

Breakfast Burritos- I make these on a regular basis, usually like 15-20 of them and they last us for a few weeks because in my house everyone needs variety and so they don't get eaten every day.  Burritos are a great vehicle for veggies in the morning, the possibilities for the fillings are endless. 

Banana Muffins- This is a healthy muffin that includes extra protein and fiber and it's vegan.  But it's sweet and moist and delicious.  Sometimes I make them in my mini muffin pan as that size it more realistic for my younger ones to eat.

Morning Maple Cranberry Pecan Oat Bars- This fantastic bar is full of great things for you to start your day; a wonderful combination of protein and whole grains.  Super easy to make and they can be frozen too.

Honey Nut Granola- After many attempts to make granola and not really loving the results, I found a recipe that was very simple, low fat and delicious.  I love it on yogurt, or eaten like cereal with milk.

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins- This is a good low fat muffin.  It's also very simple to make, you could easily make them on a weekend morning, enjoy one and have the rest throughout the week.

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal- Another recipe where you can easily adapt it for other fruits or flavorings.  Baked oatmeal re-heats wonderfully.

Potato and Vegetable Hash- And here is a recipe for when you have a little time to cook.  But you could actually make a large pan of the hash and reheat leftovers.  Or use this as burrito fillings.

Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think.  They are all great options for starting out your day.  I'm sure I will add more recipes to this list in the future.