Practicing Personal Chef

January 31, 2011 § 11 Comments

When I’m in Europe I travel. When I’m in the States I cook.

It’s just the way it is.

I am a discerning eater and a discerning chef. <– Term used lightly.

I try to prepare all meals with the highest standard of ingredients available.

Food is serious business.

Real food. Legible food. After all, we vote with our dollar. Or my mom’s dollar as it has been this week.  We have an arrangement.  I cook for the family. She buys the food.  Deal.

So…I vote with her dollar. If it’s chicken, I will only prepare the best hormone free chicken available in my kitchen [okay, her kitchen.]

I would like to give a huge high five to Spain on this one.  It is absolutely forbidden to feed animals hormones, pesticides or anything unnatural. “Up high…down low.”

Way to go!

If I’m honest, I have to say I am quite proud of my culinary works as of late.

I have received rave reviews but I have also been FAR less stressed than past kitchen tours.

Chicken Enchiladas Anyone?

This used to be a weekly ritual. I would cook for the family every Sunday.

I would plan the meal, shop for the meal, prepare the meal.  I loved doing this. But there would always be some sort of underlying stress, anticipation and worry.

Will the food turn out? Will it be ready on time? Will the completion of every component be timed perfectly? See? STRESS.

[Yes, I’ve been to therapy.]

This week has been full of chopping, sauteing, baking and eating.  And I have loved every minute!

Stress-free zone

After the Purple Armored Horse I just might try the Purple Personal Chef. Who’s hiring?

My mother requested dairy free Eggplant Parmesan. Ask and you shall receive.

Eggplant Parmesan

ooey gooey goodness!

2 large eggplant sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 Jar Marinera Sauce

Cheese Sauce

1/2 block extra firm tofu

1/2 cup veg stock

2.5 Tbs Tahini

2.5 TBS Nutritional Yeast

Juice 1 lemon / 2 Tbs

1 tsp salt

4 fresh basil leaves

1 tsp garlic powder

1. Roast eggplant at 400 degrees. 10 minutes on each side.

2. Throw all Cheese Sauce ingredients in food processor – mix – taste – adjust seasonings

3. Layer the 3 components in glass baking dish

  • Marinera Sauce –> Eggplant –> Cheese Sauce –> Repeat

4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

5. Moan as you take your first bite. It’s that good. Ask my mother.

  • I am not the type of veg head that usually makes tofu taste like cheese.  I actually seldom eat tofu, BUT…

“This dish rivals the best eggplant parmesan I’ve ever had,” said my mom.

[She loves me.]

The boys requested Chicken Parmesan. I delivered.

All served with sautéed green beans, garlic bread and a kale salad.

Kale Salad

5 stalks Raw Organic Kale – washed – dried – torn

Lemony Tahini Dressing

2 Tablespoons Tahini

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/2 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

Thinned with water

Seasoned to taste –> Salt / Garlic Powder / Red Pepper Flakes

I will not give exact measurements here because 1) I didn’t measure and 2) My excessive use of the red pepper flakes is scary.

The longer this salad sits the better it gets!

I also made these again.

When I say “again” I mean for the 4th time…this week. Don’t do it. Addiction will ensue. You’ve been warned.

Nevermind. I found a job. My dad just asked me stay.

[Don’t worry I turned him down.]

I head back to España mañana!


Dear Technology,

January 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

Dear Technology,

I know we are FAR too addicted to you. Yet I can’t possibly imagine my life without a phone, email and internet at my fingertips.

I know the children of today are over stimulated. Most probably have no idea what Legos are or that board games once upon a time were really on a board.

But I promise you now that your portable dvd magic will never be seen at my restaurant dining table. A promise is a promise.

However, I am and will forever be thankful for Skpye.

Santa came to visit, and today I spent the afternoon chatting with my love. Sometimes all you need is a little face time to settle the soul.

With infinite megabytes of gratitude,

The Addicted


Walking Revelations

January 26, 2011 § 3 Comments

Travel Diary – January 25, 2011

So this is working from home.

Wake – Breakfast – Coffee

Pajamas until 2 PM.

No lifetime movies. I was actually working.

Computer work. Tax work. Bill work. Business work.

The joy of a fully checked to-do list.  Oh how I long for you.

Organized. Everything.

Everything that could be put away, put in a better place, stacked in a neat pile or polished to look pretty…was.

[You are welcome Mom & Dad]

The feeling of accomplishment, seeing immediately results. Bliss.

Feeling high on a pile of work well done I dressed, packed and set out on my afternoon journey.

Walking to yoga.

With each step I felt heavier. With each breath my eyes welled.


As I walked, I talked, I clarified.

I could write a novel about my revelations.

I could write the sequel with the words of wisdom from friends and family around the country.

Los Angeles and New Jersey, I love your residents.

It boils down to this.

I feel weird.

Well, my life is weird.

I don’t know that I like it all.

Well, I don’t have to like it all.

Feelings are just feeling. Whatever they are is okay.

I don’t need to be so hard on myself.

Seemingly easy. Nearly impossible.

Working from home?

The office has far more distractions.

Where Am I?

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