“CHEF” El Jefe!!


“the Chief” or “the Boss”


When I first heard about this movie and saw the trailer I thought this looks like a really cute funny movie.

Here is the wiki if you want to read about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef_(film)

As I sat in the movie theater as the credits rolled, my mind was reeling, I was like what did I just see!!

The trailer


Feeling of inspiration  was so overwhelming, I just wanted to leave the theater and go and COOK!!!

There was so much about this movie that I could relate too, the passion in cooking  and sharing it with other people!!

Whether you are a Chef or Foodie you will love and understand this Movie, you will walk away with the same feeling of joy and inspiration that I did…if you are not…you will walk away and say oh that was a cute and funny movie.

There were so many scenes that I just loved…I think the big one (well all food scenes really) was the making “Grilled Cheese” scene, really the part when he starts to eat it 😛

The crunch…the CRUNCH!! was out of control, the sound of that Crunchy bread and the gooey cheese hanging from the bread, it was like I was there eating it myself.  I could smell it, I could feel the crunch and I could taste it!!!

Here is that scene


The food scenes have been described as ‘Food Porn”  and have all been “designed” just like the set is designed, the food cooking scenes were designed by Chef Roy Choi, he worked as an technical adviser.  Chef Roy Choi is a Genius in my mind!!

He also sent actor Jon Favreau who directed, co-produced, written and starred in, to French culinary school and then had him train in several of Choi’s kitchens.
Here is a behind the scenes clip with Chef Choi and Jon Favreau


I just loved every minute of this film and have already gone back and to see it again with my best foodie friend Danny, he got the movie just like I did 🙂

I have made my takes on some of the food that was made in the movie here are couple, of course the “Grilled Cheese” and the “Pasta” scene.

For the “The Cuban” sandwich, I search the Cincinnati area for the best, some good some not so good, but I found a place “Paula’s Cafe” downtown.  I heard that the owner Paula was from Miami and the sandwich was pretty authentic, so I finally got down there and had it…it was the best i had yet.  Pork could have been a little more and spread out on the bun, but everything else was perfect!!!   If you are in the area I recommend the Cafe, it is only open M-F 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and its crowded!!!  Its small so getting it to go is popular if there are no seats, I went at 1:15 pm and it was starting to clear out, by 1:30 pm only a few people.  But the “To Go” line was really non-stop, soup of the day (cream of chicken with wild rice) and the Tuna Salad seemed to be the most popular for the “To Go” customers.  Also the friendliest  waitresses around town!!!!!  I will be going back for sure!!

Enjoy my pictures and it the Movie “Chef” is playing still near you go see it!!

Grilled Cheese

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Pasta 🙂


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The Cuban from Paula’s Cafe

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So if have a passion for food, then please go see this movie, you will not be disappointed, I can’t wait till I can get it on DVD 🙂


Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting!!


This is a little late, but Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there 🙂

This past Mother’s Day I had my parents over to my house along with my bestie Danny 🙂

I made dinner and dessert and everyone went home full and my folks got all the leftovers 🙂

Lets start with the best the dessert, I made a Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting…YUM!! 😛


Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

For the Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup Chocolate Milk (TruMoo)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Frosting
Peel of 1 orange and Zest of 1 Orange
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (more or less, to taste)

For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray
2. In Medium bowl whisk together eggs, hot milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in eggs, hot chocolate, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Divide evenly between prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:
Infuse orange peel into cream first:
1. Place cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add peels of one orange to the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the cream has taken on some orange flavor.
2. Take cream off the heat. Remove peels with tongs or by straining the cream. Discard peels. Allow cream to cool a bit before placing in the refrigerator until completely chilled, I did this over night.
3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream just until very soft peaks form.
4. In a second bowl, beat together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in ¼ of the whipped cream, then fold in the rest of the orange-scented cream and the zest of one orange, (keeping a little to garnish the top of the cake), into the mascarpone mixture until incorporated. Frost cake, keep chilled until ready to serve.


The was great I love the chocolate and orange combo 🙂


Now for Dinner I made Grill Salmon with fresh pasta, pistachio pesto along with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus…it was yummy too!! :


My pasta making O_o







I need to make fresh pasta more often, it really is easy 🙂

Enjoy Everyone!!!

Sweet Pickles…………Easy and Sweet!!!


Summer is coming to a close and the garden’s are producing some late blooming goodies.

I got my hands on some good seedless cucumbers or some might call them “burpless” even “English”, in any case I like using these cucumbers for making pickles, so I had about 30 minutes on my hands and I made Sweet Pickles 🙂




Slice the cucumbers, I used my Wolfgang Puck’s Crinkle Cutter 🙂



Put into a colander, sprinkle with salt, let set for 30 minutes




In a medium saucepan add, sugar, salt, onion powder, mustard & celery seed



Add both vinegar’s



Add colman’s mustard and stir to combine



Bring to a boil



Rinse the salted cucumbers



I used a 2 quart jar



add the cucumbers



then vinegar mixture, fill to the top, put lid on, let cool about an hour on the counter, then keep in refrigerator 



Eat them plan or on a burger…how about a grilled cheese 🙂


4 Cucumbers (seedless, burpless, English)
2 tbsp. mustard seed
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. celery seed
2/3 apple cider vinegar
2 3/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. colman’s english mustard

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander, sprinkle with 2 tsp. kosher salt and toss, let stand in sink to drain for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan add sugar, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, onion powder, mustard & celery seed, then add both vinegar’s, stir in colman’s mustard, bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
After 30 minutes rinse the cucumbers with cold water, then add cucumbers to the jar.  You can use any size jars, just fill your cucumbers to the top.   Add liquid to jars covering the cucumbers, put the lid on and let stand on the counter for an hour.  Keep in refrigerator, and eat them up 🙂  

I hope everyone had a great summer, I have been extremely busy and will continue to be busy into the fall, so bare with me as I might be even slower getting more recipes out, but more are to come I a sure you.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and enjoy my recipes!!  🙂

“Goodies Box” for July

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A Goodie Box!!!  Who doesn’t like a Goodie Box 🙂

A box that comes to you each month with Goodies in it to surprise you…I love it!!

Well I have been so fortunate to be chosen to receive thus kind of box each month as long as I blog and review each item…Well I said “Of course, it would be my Pleasure” 😛


First you too can get the same box ($7 per month) so you can too get to taste and enjoy the same products Check them out here https://www.goodies.co/

Okay here we go

The box and wrappings are all made with recyclable materials 


What’s inside – Wow I like what I’m seeing


a drink and snacks


Okay so I am really liking whats in the box, I have seen some of these items around
but sometimes you don’t really want to buy somethings just in case they turn out
not so good 🙂

Okay so lets start
1.  Crunchmaster – http://www.crunchmaster.com/home.aspx


These crackers were very very good, extremely crunchy, I thought they had a good flavor, along with everything you see on the package they are also Sugar Free, Vegan/Dairy Free, low saturated fat and Og Trans fat.


These crackers are a great snack, I would totally buy them and if anyone has to eat Gluten Free I so recommend these crackers.   Check out their website (above) for other products they sell.

2.  Cosmos Creations – http://www.cosmoscreations.com/

So the front of the bag says “Heavenly Morsels of Baked Corn with all Natural Ingredients you can Pronounce”  I like this 🙂


As you can see from the picture again Gluten Free, among other things, I did like these little cinnamon crunchy little puffs of goodness 🙂  I liked that the fact that I really did feel like I was eating popcorn without the Hulls or Kernels…YAY!!!


These Crunchy good snacks come in 4 flavors – Cinnamon Crunch, Caramel, Sea Salt & Butter and Salted Caramel,  I’m wondering if the Sea Salt and Butter will taste like Buttered Popcorn 🙂
I hope these some in a snack pack size, because eating the whole bag could happen if you did not portion it out…so if you buy the big bag….which I do recommend this product 🙂  Scoop some out into a bowl first 😛

3.  Glaceau Fruitwater – http://www.fruitwater.com/

Okay so now I bet your thirsty by now, well I really did like this Fruitwater 😛


This water was refreshing, bubbly and the flavor was not over powering, so many flavored waters the flavor is so strong and they are so sweet at least to me.  I like sparkling flavored water, but sometimes it hard to find, that’s why I really do like this one, they also have 5 flavors, Black Raspberry, Lemon-Lime, Watermelon Punch, Strawberry Kiwi and the one I had Orange Mango.  Also Zero Calories, 20% of the recommended daily value of vitamins b5 and b6, magnesium and zinc, and 50 milligrams of green tea extract.

This one is a buy for me can’t wait to pick up a few 🙂

4.  The Better Chip – Jalapeno with Sea Salt – http://www.thebetterchip.com/



I absolutely LOVED these chips, they were very crisp and firm like, they would hold up to a thick guacamole or a cream cheese dip with out breaking.  The flavor was fantastic, spicy with just the right amount of sea salt, what I also liked about these chips was the fact you could see pieces of jalapeno.



They come in other flavors too, Fresh Corn with Sea Salt, Spinach & Kale with Sea Salt, Sweet Onion with White Cheddar and Red Pepper with Salsa Fresca.

I totally would buy these, I think they are great just on there own or with salsa or any other dip they would be just fantastic!!!

5.  Gimbal’s – Cherry Lovers – http://www.gimbalscandy.com/



I must say when I first saw the package I was so excited because I really love Cherry flavor in anything chewy 🙂



I opened up that package and quickly sorted them out into flavors, there are 9 flavors in this package, once sorting them all, I was not pleased….flavors and how many – Chocolate Cherry – 1, Kiwi Cherry – 2, Cherry Cheesecake – 2 or 3, Cherry Vanilla 0 or 1 (it was was to tell with color but when I tasted it, I still was not sure if it was Vanilla or Cheesecake), Cherry Daiquiri – 2, Cherry Cola – 2, Bing Cherry – 2 I think, Wild Cherry -2 I think, Black Cherry – 9.

Let me say some of these were hard to tell which was which



All and all I thought I did get one of each flavor, but after tasting each color, I am really not sure, Bing Cherry and Wild Cherry looked very much like the same 😦

I’ll say this Gimbal’s has other candy to choose from 🙂



I just don’t think I would choose the Cherry Lovers, matter of fact I brought the rest of them with me to the office and they are still in a baggie in my desk drawer 😛  Cherry was the flavor, I just was not impressed 😦

So this months Goodie Box was 4 to 1, I think that is pretty good 🙂
Can’t wait to get August’s box!!

Zucchini and Nectarine Crisp


So this weekend was my Mom’s Birthday and I was trying to come up with a dessert that was different. I had a few Nectarines and I thought…cobbler…crisp???? but not enough to a full recipe and I’ve done that before….but not with zucchini 🙂


So this is what I came up with and I thought it was yummy!!! 😛

a co-worker gave me some nice spices from Penzeys, so I used them, otherwise I would
have used whole nutmeg and grated it myself 


peel, slice zucchini


put into large skillet


add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar, stir and cook


meantime, peel and slice nectarines, and set aside


once zucchini has cooked and softened, remove from heat


fold in nectarines


pour into a 9×9 (8×8 will work too)


make the crisp topping


add cold butter cubes, mix with fingers, or use pastry cutter


you want it to be crumbly, about pea size pieces


sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture




Recipe – Zucchini & Nectarine Crisp


3 medium zucchini, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced
3 good size nectarines, peeled, sliced, set aside
3 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lemon juice

Add zucchini slices to large skillet, add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, cook over medium high heat, once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini is softened.  Remove from heat and fold in nectarines, spray a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish and pour mixture in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees


1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl, then add butter, with your fingers squeeze butter cubes with dry ingredients, to make a crumbly mixture.   Sprinkle mixture all over zucchini mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges.


Serve with sweet whipped cream or vanilla ice cream….Enjoy!!!


Grilling Marinade

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Flank-Steak 2


It’s summer time and grilling is in full force, well except if you live here in the Ohio valley we need a canoe to get to the grill 🙂   It just will not stop raining…but today

The blue skies are singing  downsized_0711131123

And the Flowers are blooming


So if you love grilling just as much as I do, then act quick in between the rainy days and make this easy marinade.

This is great on beef, chicken or pork.

All you need is

1/2 cup olive oil
4 green onions, rough chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor for 1 minute, pour over meat and let marinate.

If you are using Flank Steak (as I did) or Flat Iron – marinade over night or at least for 6 hours, Chicken or Pork – 4 to 6 hours, or you can leave them overnight as well.

Okay now start your GRILLS!!!!!! 😛


Spicy Mexican Brownies with Warm Mexican Chocolate Pudding


These brownies are moist and delicious and with the warm pudding on top takes it over the top.  Make this dessert to spice up the end of your meal or have the girls over with coffee it will be a hit for sure!!

 Spicy Mexican Brownies

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (like Baker’s)
3 discs Ibarra Chocolate or Nestle Abuelita Chocolate

1 ½ sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Vanilla (Mexican if you can get it)
3 eggs

1 ¾ cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/2 – 1 tsp. chipotle chile powder (depends on the level of spiciness you want)

In a small sauce pan add all chocolate and butter, whisk together until melted, pour into small bowl, set a side to cool for about 15-25 minutes.  In a large bowl add brown sugar and beat in chocolate until well combined, add eggs one at a time , making sure each egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next.  Add vanilla, then fold in dry ingredients, just until blended.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes in a 9×9 or 11×13 baking pan.


Warm Mexican Chocolate Pudding

1 egg                                                                  ½ cup sugar
2 cups 1% milk                                             
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cocoa powder                                  1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon                                        1 tbsp. espresso powder
1 tsp. butter                                                    1 tsp. mexican vanilla, if you have it, but any will work
1 disc Ibarra Chocolate or Nestle Abuelita Chocolate                  

In a medium bowl add egg and sugar, whisk together, then add milk, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder, whisk until combined.  Add mixture to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly for about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat add Iberra or Abuelita chocolate, vanilla and butter, whisk until chocolate has melted and pudding is creamy.  Set a side for 15-20 minutes before serving, can set longer to be a room temperature, store extra in an air tight container in the refrigerator, use with in 3 days. **Note – this pudding will not set up, it will be runny, this is because the lack of the amount of cornstarch used.

Add some spicy whip cream on top too.  Whip 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with 2 tsp. McCormick Cocoa Chile Blend, add a dollop on top of the brownie with that warm pudding…so so good…Enjoy!!!!