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Cooking lesson party for the Chambers!

I’d like to thank Denise and Rick Chambers, and their friends, for purchasing a cooking party for 8 at the Arthritis Foundation charity auction. I love it when I can cook for a good cause.

We arranged for four courses to be prepared right in front of the Chamber’s guests. The guests get to enjoy the Chamber’s wine and hospitality, while learning to make some fun and easy, delicious dishes.

Here’s what we did.
First course
First we made some tomato basil tapenade from some incredibly ripe, locally grown tomatoes Denise found from a farmer with a stand by the roadside. I didn’t take a picture of their tapenade, but I do have one from another party.
Tomato basil tapenade from fresh, locally grown tomatoes

Second course
Next, I showed everyone how to prepare a fresh peach vinaigrette dressing from scratch.
Tasty salad made with fresh peach vinaigrette, fresh peach slices and ripe local tomato

Third course
For the main course, I demonstrated how to trim a whole beef tenderloin into filets. Buying whole tenderloins at a wholesale store like Sam’s or Costco, then cutting your own steaks can save you more than $10 per pound! They also saw how to make gorgonzola potato hash, seared asparagus, and a balsamic reduction for the steak.
Beef tenderloin with fresh herb wet rub, gorgonzola potato hash, seared asparagus and balsamic reduction

There was one vegetarian in the group, so we made one meal with no beef, but rather an herb roasted portabello mushroom cap with a seared ripe tomato and basalmic reduction.
Herb roasted portabello mushroom cap with seared ripe tomato and balsamic reduction

Fourth course
For dessert, I show the Chamber’s guests how to make crepes from scratch, with a strawberry cream cheese filling and a simple, but delicious, lemon cream sauce.
Strawberry cream cheese stuffed homemade crepes with lemon cream sauce

Cooking lesson parties in your home are a great alternative to a night out. The cost for the food and the service is no more than you would spend on dinner in a nice restaurant, and you can save money by drinking your own wine!

Call Friend that Cooks Home Chef Service to book a cooking party of your own. Make sure to check out our website for a list of all our services, like our weekly meal prep that costs less than half of comparable restaurant food!

Brandon O’Dell
Friend that Cooks Home Chef Service
(913) 660-0790

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Fun time at the lake house with Cox Communications!

Robert Brinkley and I had a great time preparing a lake front feast for 24 ppl from Cox Communications at a lake house in Haven, KS on Friday!

We prepared king crab legs, filet of beef tenderloin slathered in herb butter, scalloped corn, beef jerky potato salad and a fresh Compari tomato and English cucumber salad for dinner. For appetizers, we made BLT bites (bacon stuffed cherry tomatoes), fresh tomato salsa, and cold smoked salmon pinwheels that were a big hit!

Here’s a couple pics we’d like to share:

These filets were completely covered in a fresh herb butter before getting thrown on the fire.

Filet of beef tenderloin
Filet of beef tenderloin

It seems the crowd already grabbed the big leg pieces, but they missed the sweetest part of the King Crab, the shoulder portion!

King Crab legs
King Crab legs

Here’s what people look like when they’re stuffing themselves full of tenderloin, crab and lots of other great stuff.

First table
First table

Second table
Second table

Third table
Third table

The most important part of cooking is tasting your food.

Brandons taste test
Brandon's taste test

Robert had a little taste test of his own.

Roberts taste test
Robert's taste test

We had a great time preparing all this delicious food. If you would like to have a party at your house, or anywhere you can provide us with a kitchen, Friend that Cooks would love to cook up some fantastic fare for you and your friends! We provide service in the Wichita and Kansas City metropolitan areas.

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Peanut crusted salmon

Here’s a great dish I did for one of our families with their weekly meal prep. For those of you who don’t know about our weekly meal prep service, it’s a cooking service where we go to a customer’s home every week at the same time, then shop for groceries, cook fantastic food to last all week, clean up, and leave their fridge stocked with a week’s worth of great meals that they can reheat in just minutes.

I made the peanut crusted salmon below with pan roasted fresh beets and carrots, sauteed napa cabbage and bean sprouts.

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Recipe – Port Salut potato hash

  • 6 lb small gold potatoes, skin-on, cut into 1″ by 1″ pieces
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 5 clove fresh garlic
  • 4 stalk green onion, chopped with whites and green separated
  • 6 oz Port Salut cheese, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 6 oz salted butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Boil potato pieces until fork tender. Strain and remove from pan. Place pan over medium-low heat and melt butter in the pan. Add cream, garlic and green onion whites. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, cheese and onion greens. Stir with a spoon to mix all ingredients. Do not mash.

    As with all recipes, check your potatoes for salt. You should be able to taste the salt without it being overwhelming. Potatoes require a lot of salt, and the salt will bring out the rest of the flavors of the dish.

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    Recipe – Cucumber dill vinaigrette

  • 1 whole seeded cucumber, cut into 8 strips then chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and vinegar. Mix well. Whisk in olive oil slowly until fully combined. Whisk in water slowly until fully combined.

    Taste the vinaigrette for vinegar and salt content. Different vinegars have varying strengths. You may need to add more vinegar or salt.

    Refrigerate until ready to use.

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    Cooking lesson party at the Hughey's!

    I had a great time tonight cooking up a meal while the Hughey’s and their guests watched, drank wine, and asked questions. (Not necessarily in that order)

    We made:

  • Cheese tray with Stilton stuffed double Gloucester, Jarlsberg, Port Salut and Cabot extra sharp white cheddar
  • Mesclumn greens salad with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes and a fresh dill and cucumber vinaigrette
  • Dry herb rubbed beef tenderloin, Port Salut potato hash, and pan wilted spinach greens
  • Strawberry cream cheese stuffed homemade crepes with lemon cream and fresh strawberries
  • Grilled filet of tenderloin with shitake basalmic reduction and Port Salut potato hash
    Cooking lesson party at the Hughey's

    I had a pretty fantastic dinner waiting at home for me too:
    Seared bleu cheese maple pepper bacon burger

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    Prom night on the rooftop!

    Mesclumn salad with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh cucumber vinaigrette
    Mesclumn salad with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh cucumber vinaigrette
    We did a really fun prom party on the rooftop of some lofts in downtown Wichita this past Saturday. It was a great idea for a party from the hosting couple. I’ve attached some pictures.

    We served:

    Pepper bacon wrapped U-10 shrimp with cherry horseradish sauce

    Mesclumn green salad with fire roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and a fresh cucumber dill vinaigrette

    Grilled filet of beef tenderloin with seared asparagus, smoked cheese horseradish potato hash and sweet onion marmalade

    Bananas Foster

    Rooftop kitchen in downtown Wichita
    Rooftop kitchen in downtown Wichita

    Gourmet dinner on the rooftop
    Gourmet dinner on the rooftop

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    Welcome to the Friend that Cooks blog!

    Hi everyone! I’ve started a blog to keep everyone up on what is going on with Friend that Cooks, myself and every chef/owner/friend in our family!

    Right now, we’re working on getting Friend that Cooks going in the Kansas City area. We’ve put out yard signs in Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee, Leawood, Olathe and Mission. We have an ad starting in Her Life magazine out of Overland Park that runs from May to July. Robert is heading up from Wichita at the end of May to help me with a booth at the Just for Her Expo at the Overland Park Convention Center too. Other efforts to get the word out include door hangers in Olathe, an email campaign to luxury apartment offices, and charity auction donations.

    Rose and I are very excited about the potential to grow Friend that Cooks in Kansas City. Rose will be taking on some responsibilities for Friend that Cooks as the chief relationship officer. She will be helping with marketing efforts, managing my appointments and coordinating with myself, chefs, customers, friends and business associates to keep us organized and operating efficiently. I’m excited about the skills Rose brings to our business.

    I hope this blog works well to keep all our owners and myself in constant touch with all our friends and customers as we continue to grow. I welcome all feedback and input from all our friends.

    If you’ve found our blog through the search engines, please visit our main website to find out more about Friend that Cooks Home Chef Service, and please sign up to receive our blog updates.