How I Stepped Out of my Comfort Zone: Becoming a Personal Chef

I am a social person but I am really apprehensive when it comes to preparing my food for strangers. Family and people that I know is fine, but strangers…ummm…no. I don’t know why I had a mental block when it came to cooking for strangers but I did. I froze or something happened to my brain that just shut it off. Then I realized I was being ridiculous. Cooking is what I love and has always been what I love to do. I’ve been cooking for over 25 years. I have made anniversary dinners, birthday events, made Shabbos meals for friends I knew and even cooked for large events with friends. I just wanted that opportunity to be able to share my cooking with others and if I could get paid for it, well then, that’s a bonus.

So I finally did it…I launched myself as a personal chef. I started telling friends and those friends of friends. Some people said there was just no money in food so what was I thinking. I kept on being discouraged. Self doubt started to kick in. Then I realized who cares. The worst thing that could happen would be people would give me a bad review. I had to get over the fact that there would always be the doubters and the critics. I had to face my fears and just get out there and do this.

So today was my first official day of launching myself as a personal chef. It took years of mental prep to get me to this point but here I am.

Have any of you wanted to start making money from cooking? If so, what ideas have you thought of? Have you tried it out? Let me know.

Chaya.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Feature Friday

I think every Friday I’m going to try to feature my favourite recipes from other bloggers that I love. I chose this recipe from Miriam Pascal or http://www.overtimecook.com to post first because it’s so versatile. I use it as a dip with Challah on Shabbos, to baste my salmon before I bake it, to top my homemade hummus in salads or on toast. The list is endless. It’s great just as is too. I haven’t had any complaints ever about it being bland or needing more spice. Try it. I think you will really love it 😍

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Loving the New Instagram IGTV Launch

 

Today Instagram launched their new app, IGTV, and it’s going to be a game changer. No more swiping up to a link to watch a longer form of your food video (or whatever it is you choose to blog about). Now you can upload a video that can be up to 15 minutes long. Today is the beginning of long videos on Instagram in a format we can easily get used to and I’m so STOKED!

It’s so simple. Update Instagram and also download the new IGTV app. Start your channel by going to the little TV 📺 in the top right corner of your Instagram Profile screen and just upload your content. People can like, comment, share on what you post. Add music, add a voice over, do whatever you want just keep your videos vertical and you are good to go. Honestly, you’ll be thrilled with this and I think after it kicks in, people won’t be leaving Instagram at all.

What do you think? Do you think this is just a fad or is IGTV here to stay? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Chaya

http://www.instagram.com/kosheriffic

Shakshuka Hack – Healthy Breakfast Meal

Mornings aren’t always easy. Sometimes I want more than a smoothie or a fruit to get me through my day but don’t feel like overdoing the carbs. In Israel, a dish called “shakshuka” is a big thing. It’s basically tomato sauce with eggs poached directly in the sauce and cumin is usually the spice of choice. This morning I had fresh produce and was inspired to do something with them. That’s how I came up with this shakshuka hack. It took me one minute to wash and dice the veggies and then 5 minutes to cook everything in a pan. This recipe is for one but just add for each person. So simple.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

1 diced scallion

I diced small roma tomato

1 egg

Sprinkle of parmigiana cheese

Add all veggies and oregano to oiled pan. Sauté on burner on medium heat for two minutes. Break egg on top of sautéed veggies and cover pan with lid. Leave lid on for four minutes without removing and continue to cook on medium heat. The lid will keep the steam from the veggies contained and cook the top of your egg without having to flip it. It won’t be rubbery and the result will be a perfect egg. Sprinkle with fresh parmigiana cheese 🧀 Makes one serving.

Easy Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

There used to be this steak restaurant that served steak and beer and that was it. The only sides they had at the time were baked potato or mushrooms. You would walk into the restaurant and all you could smell was this amazing smell. Later, I learned it was the smell of their mushrooms sautéing in a garlic butter sauce that was filling the room.

Now that I eat only Kosher food, I still crave some things from the past and this is one of them. I think I’ve perfected the flavour and honestly it’s so simple. It’s always those easy things that end up being awesome.

Ingredients:

1 pint sliced fresh mushrooms, stems removed,

1/4 cup of butter

3 cloves of minced garlic

Place everything in a pan and stir on medium heat until the mushrooms are sautéed.

That’s it. Seriously. That’s it. I serve this with breakfast and if I want it with meat, I change the butter to a non dairy margarine or canola oil. The butter brings this recipe to the level you want though. It’s just so good.

-Chaya

Puff Pastry Schnitzel

I haven’t been feeling well. 2 weeks ago I was bitten by some insect and had a bad reaction. I ended up in hospital for a week and this is Canada…we don’t keep people in hospital ever…unless it’s bad.

So I’ve been having trouble making the meals. I can’t stand for long periods of time etc. This week for Shabbos I came up with this recipe for phyllo schnitzel. I used to make this by cutting up the schnitzel into bite sized strips and then covering each strip with a piece of puff pastry (like wieners in a blanket) but today I just couldn’t. If you want something that presents well that you can serve on a tray, do it that way. This way worked well for me right now and took only 35 minutes to bake. Hope you enjoy it. The result looks awesome.

Ingredients:

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken

Honey mustard

Puff pastry dough squares

Garlic powder

Pepper

Take the chicken pieces and sprinkle with garlic and pepper

Place two squares together and roll out to make a rectangle.

Place one piece of chicken chicken on one side of the pastry dough and on the other half smear with a thin layer of mustard

Seal the pastry dough and tuck the ends under so it looks like a pocket.

Repeat with the other three piece until you have four pastry pockets.

Place on an oiled 9×11 pan. Cover with egg wash and sesame seeds

Bake for 35 minutes at 375F or until pastry is golden. Serve warm.

If you have any questions about this one, just ask.

Chaya

Why I Started Food Blogging

Let’s face it…everyone is blogging about food today. It’s all over Instagram and Pinterest. Food is the in “thing” now. Why does the world need another food blogger? Unless you are doing something different, there really is no point.

I went to university for biomedical engineering and honestly, being a personal chef and food blogger was the furthest from my mind. In the end, that did not bring me happiness. If anything, I was extremely lonely and often sad.

My mother didn’t have a degree and all she wanted for her kids was for them to go to university. Maybe it was some sort of proof that her family succeeded in this “new country”.

Now, everything that I hold onto to survive are things I learned from my mother’s mother….my grandmother who lived with us. She couldn’t even read when she came to Canada, but she could take anything from the fridge and turn it into a huge meal. Her culinary skills were beyond. Her skills were goals.

It’s that form of genius that has taught me modern day happiness. My grandmother was always giving of herself through her food.

During one of my conversations with a friend, we were talking about food as we always do. Isn’t it the “safe” subject to talk about though? Not a mention of another person or hurtful word is involved. She pointed out that all I talked about was food. That’s when I realized that “food” was my passion. It excited me. It was what I thought of when I woke up. Planning my “creations” (as my family coined my recipes) was what I was always focused on.

That’s why I started blogging. This blog is filled with my history and food passions. My recipes are a reflection of who I am as a person. They are how I show my love to my child. Food makes me happy. If everyone in the world is writing a food blog, that’s fine. I am only here to share myself with you and for me there’s no better way then through food.

Let me know your thoughts on food blogging and what brings you here. I’d love to hear from you.

Potato Kugel as seen above:

5 medium potatoes

1 large onion

1/2 cup canola oil

3 checked eggs

1/2 tsp salt

Dash of garlic powder

Dash of pepper

Peel vegetables and cut into quarters. Place into food processor with S blade. Add other ingredients and pulse until everything is smooth. Pour into 9″ round pan or square pan. Bake for one hour at 375F. Makes a soft, yummy kugel.

-Chaya