Recipes

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for Winter

As the leaves fall and swirl to the ground, the produce shelves fill up with different varieties of winter squash. Acorn, butternut, Kabucha, Pumpkin, and Delectica all call to my inner chef to create and explore the richness of this winter bounty.

I picked up a butternut squash, hoping for a bit of inspiration. Soup was calling to me.

Ingredients

Fearless Cooking with Nopal Cactus

Growing up in the Sonoran Desert I was surrounded by all the spiny, thorny, sharp things called cacti with names like Saguaro, Cholla or Jumping, Organ Pipe, Barrel, and Prickly Pear.

Prickly pear is one of the most prolific of all the cacti and highly adaptable. Like most cacti, once the thorns are removed, it is edible. I knew that cactus could be eaten and, with a grandmother who spent time in Mexico, it would be a natural assumption that I learned how to cook with this plant. As I cooked by her side I was not shown the secrets of how to prepare and cook either prickly pear (the fruit) or Nopal (the leaves).

Food Observances & Holidays

Kitchen Klutzes Unite!

Are you a klutz in the kitchen? Don’t despair! June 13th is Kitchen Klutzes Day, a day to proudly celebrate ineptitude with knife skills and controlling the cooking fire.

We all have those moments. That instant when you know you’ve done something wrong, something that will injure you or others. The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous, accident-prone environments, ripe with opportunity to strike -- and for a klutz it holds many challenges.

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6 Easy Steps to Cool Down Foods

As a professional chef I learned early the proper food safety handling techniques. I’ve gotten funny looks over the years from roommates and partners for my “crazy whacked out kitchen habits.” It was those whacked out habits that kept them from getting sick. As I work more and more with home cooks, I've discovered many do not know how to take care of their food properly. Keep Your Family Safe!

Kitchen Klutzes Unite!

Are you a klutz in the kitchen? Don’t despair! June 13th is Kitchen Klutzes Day, a day to proudly celebrate ineptitude with knife skills and controlling the cooking fire.

We all have those moments. That instant when you know you’ve done something wrong, something that will injure you or others. The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous, accident-prone environments, ripe with opportunity to strike -- and for a klutz it holds many challenges.

Festival Fun at VeggieFest Chicago

Recently I traveled almost 4,000 miles to participate in VeggieFest 2016 in Chicago, which is one of the largest and oldest vegetarian festivals here in the states. My spouse and I drove across the country so I could split open a watermelon and talk about chilies and tofu.

The festival itself was wonderful with so many like-minded people gathered together and the demos went off well. I did Watermelon Three Ways and Red Chili Tofu Taco Salad. You can watch the full watermelon demo in the video below.

SoCal Chocolate: Chocxo

I love happy accidents and amazing finds. On this trip to Southern California, as we were driving into Costa Mesa, I saw a sign that said Chocxo. I pretty much knew it was a chocolate/coffee house and then I saw part of the sign said locally roasted. We were on our way to the local library to work, so I stopped in.

Skill of a Chef: It’s All About the Knives

Knives are personal. The way they feel, the way they balance in the hand. How the blade cuts through the food. Personally, I like a lighter knife, one that is easy to grip and that is very, very sharp. Cat Cora of Iron Chef fame uses a 13" chef’s knife, and she’s 4’11”. Intimidating? Yes. Necessary? When you are that short and working in a “man’s” world, wielding a large knife can help intimidate your co-workers.