The Perfect Apartmentcue | Bison Sliders with Grilled Halloumi topped Greek Salad and Hummus chips | blog.friendthatcooks.com

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With weather touching the nineties it’s prime time for a poolside barbecue. Drink in hand, kids laughing, the smell of charcoal in the air, what could go wrong? Well, anyone who’s waited for coals to light far after dinner time or gotten way over their heads trying to cook their way through Bon Appetit magazine in one night could answer that. When hosting a barbecue there’s a formula for success, especially important in small spaces. Hopefully, I can address some common mistakes and guide you to the path of a truly relaxing experience instead of a hectic summer bummer.

First off, think small. Have a few things on your menu that you know you can execute well. By doing this you can insure you won’t get frazzled and can focus on being the perfect host as well as perfect home chef. With that in mind, the second tip is not to make it too simple. Try adding little twists here and there to your classics with maybe a new ingredient or two that won’t make more work for you but make the experience more special. An example with this dish would be bison instead of beef. It’s healthier, leaner, and when cooked medium-well or under will be very juicy and satisfying. Also, grilled halloumi, or similar hearty cheese (think paneer meets tofu) replaces boring chicken in this Greek salad. Lastly, having one premade item that makes sense with the dish is a good idea. Notice the hummus chips. Finger food while waiting is always well received for guests and chef alike, as is an appropriate wine for summer sipping. Here I have a Santa Alicia Cabernet Sauvignon that pairs beautifully with the rich bison.

In closing, keep it simple while thinking outside of the box. Having a premade element is not a bad thing if it works with and not against the dish. Don’t forget to be a host. Follow these steps and enjoy your next get together as much as I did, no matter what space your working in!

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

Is a vegetarian diet healthier for you?

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Potato curry

Is a vegetarian diet healthier for you? Read the Austrian study.

I am not a nutritionist. I am a personal chef. As such, I try not to dole out dietary advice to people. I do however, come across a lot of information and studies on nutrition that the average person doesn’t run into, and I like to share it.

The link I’m sharing is to a recently released Austrian study concerning the health effects of a vegetarian diet. It goes against other previous studies that find a vegetarian diet to be healthier, and briefly discusses issues with some of those past studies.

As a summary, this study finds that for Austrian adults, a vegetarian diet correlates with increased mental health issues, heart issues, allergy issues and cancer. One thing that media sources usually do not do, that I will, is to warn any readers against drawing a direct “cause and effect” relationship from this data. It’s hard to tell in a correlative relationship if one condition is causing another, or even if there is another outside condition causing both.

Please read the study itself and draw your own conclusions. I’m not here to advocate, just to share.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Kansas City and Wichita offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies and dietary restrictions. Learn more at www.friendthatcooks.com.

Perks of marrying a personal chef | blog.friendthatcooks.com

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Chili stuffed jalapeños

One of the best #perkstomarryingapersonalchef is how the quality of your #latenightsnacks takes a giant leap forward. This night, I raided the fridge and found some #homemadechili I mixed with breadcrumbs, #creamcheese and #shreddedcheddar, then stuffed in some fresh jalapeños. I roasted them for 25 minutes and served them with a little sour cream and shredded lettuce. Awesome snack. #chilistuffedjalapenos #personalchefskc #personalchefsitc www.friendthatcooks.com.

Braised beef ragu | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Braised beef ragu | Friend That Cooks Blog

Seared beef chunks braised in red wine and beef stock with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs offer weekly meal prep in Kansas City and Wichita for families with busy schedules, food allergies and dietary restrictions. Learn more at www.friendthatcooks.com.

Chef Silverio demonstrating healthy chicken piccata on KC Live TV

Watch Chef Silverio with host Michael Mackie on KC Live TV demonstrating his healthy version of a Sicilian classic.

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service offers weekly meal prep for families in Kansas City and Wichita with busy schedules, food allergies and dietary restrictions. We send a talented chef to your home once per week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with healthy meals to reheat for the whole week.

Try Pyrex glass dishes for meal prep | Brandon at FTC

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Pyrex 3-cup glass storage container with lid

One of my customers recently purchased 30 Pyrex rectangular 3-cup glass storage dishes to put their weekly meal prep individual meals into. I like them. They are a great size container for an individual meal portion, and unlike the plastic containers we usually use, they can go straight from the refrigerator into the microwave or the oven. That makes it easier for the family and cuts down on dishes to wash. I usually prepare 24 meal portions for them and the extra dishes provide storage for extra sides or sauces that go with the meals.

If you are currently having your meal prep portioned into individual containers, I suggest going to the Pyrex site and investing in some glass containers. I’m providing a link to their website and they are currently on sale for $3.24 apiece. They are regularly $6.49.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Kansas City and Wichita offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies and dietary restrictions. We will shop, cook, clean up and leave your refrigerator stocked with healthy, delicious meals to reheat.

Tour de Brussels Sprout

bodellconsulting:

Great blog about the underrated brussel sprout from Kimberly Winter Stern…

Originally posted on JAM SESSIONS:

The much-maligned Brussels sprout—the leafy green orb that looks suspiciously like a miniature cabbage—is the veggie kids love to hate.  Adults, too, for that matter. Guest blogger Kimberly Winter Stern (@kimdishes) just may change your mind.

As if the odd vegetable doesn’t have enough visual issues, it continues to plummet down the popularity scale from well-intentioned preparations gone awry. Remember when your mom purchased the frozen variety of Brussels sprouts and cooked them perilously close to the mush stage or used canned soup to camouflage their flavor?

Yep, it’s difficult to get psyched about eating Brussels sprouts with cuisine train-wreck memories lurking around in the shadows of your mind.

But Kansas City—known nationally as an arbiter of taste and a town that embraces food trends and even creates its own (heard of burnt ends or Kansas City barbecue?) adores the humble Brussels sprout.

In fact, some of the city’s hippest…

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Blackened tilapia and citrus beans ¦ Friend That Cooks Blog

Blackened and pan seared tilapia with roasted brussel sprouts and citrus baby Lima beans and blackeyed peas. Healthy meals for busy family schedules, food allergies and dietary restrictions. Prepared by talented personal chefs in Kansas City and Wichita from www.friendthatcooks.com.

Win a cooking party for 8 from Friend That Cooks | Tanganyika Wildlife Park Twilight Tour fundraiser

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Friend That Cooks has donated a cooking party for 8 people to the Tanganyika Wildlife Park Twilight Tour fundraiser event this Saturday the 11th! Chef Laura Sterling is going to be showing the winning bidders how to make 4 incredible dinner courses while they hang out, ask questions and drink wine! Now THAT’S a party! Get more details about the fundraiser in Wichita here.