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Chile crab cakes | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Chile crab cakes

Seared chile crab cakes with cumin roasted squashes and lime polenta cakes.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Chicken Vindaloo | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken vindaloo and steamed basmati rice.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Baked cod and tomato jam | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Baked cod and tomato jam

Baked cod with tomato caper jam, toasted pecans quinoa and sauteed snow peas.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Caribbean rubbed chicken | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Caribbean chicken and black rice

Caribbean rubbed chicken with jerk roasted veggies and coconut black rice risotto.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Turkey and chick pea curry | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Turkey and chick pea curry

Turkey and chick pea curry with toasted macadamia nuts and steamed snap peas.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Seared salmon and coconut creamed spinach | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Seared salmon and coconut creamed spinach

Dill seared salmon, lemon and coconut creamed spinach and tomato quinoa.

Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs offer weekly #mealprep in #KansasCity, #Chicago, #StLouis, #DesMoines, #Omaha and #Wichita for families with busy schedules, #foodallergies or special #diets.

Learn more:
www.kcmealprep.com
www.chicagomealprep.com
www.stlouismealprep.com
www.desmoinesmealprep.com
www.omahamealprep.com
www.wichitamealprep.com

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Breaking It Down: A Guide To Cutting and Cooking Large Winter Squash

Butternut and Spaghetti Squash
Butternut and Spaghetti Squash

It’s fall, and winter squash season.  Everywhere you look there is a tasty new recipe for butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkin.  You Pin them on Pinterest.  You print them off.  You see them piled high on the shelf at the supermarket and……you keep walking.  YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO BREAK THEM DOWN, and it scares you.

Well, we are here to tell you, and show you, how easy it really is to cut up and clean up those big winter squashes so that you can prepare that healthy and tasty recipe.

You will need:

1 large cutting board, either plastic or wood (glass is not a cutting board- it is a serving platter), secured with a wet towel or paper towels to keep it from moving on the counter;

1 large chef’s knife, sharp;

1 squash;

1 kitchen spoon and bowl.

The hardest part about breaking down a large squash is keeping your fingers out of harm’s way while keeping the squash from moving on the counter.  If it works better for you, slice a small portion off the side of the squash, to make a flat spot.  This will keep it from rolling around on the board.

First, rinse off the squash under cool water.  Dry it off with a paper towel.

Slice the ends off of the squash to expose the meat.
Slice the ends off of the squash to expose the meat.

Second, slice off the ends of the squash.  This will expose the interior meat of the squash.  Using a sharp knife is key.  Don’t push straight down on the knife.  Let the blade of the knife do the hard work and rock the blade forward and back, like you are slicing.  If your squash is particularly big, use your other hand to secure the blade of the knife.  But be sure to put a kitchen towel between your hand and the blade in case you slip.  Stitches are NOT part of the recipe!

Turn the squash on end and slice in two.
Turn the squash on end and slice in two.

Third, turn the squash on end and cut in half.  If you are cutting a butternut, cut the squash where the bulb meets the neck.  It is easier to peel and deseed this way.

Fourth, for spaghetti, acorn and similar squash, remove the seeds using the edge of a kitchen spoon.  Discard the seeds.  For butternut, peel the thin skin using either a vegetable peeler or a knife.  Be careful not to remove too much of the meat with the skin.  Remove the seeds from the bulb as described and discard.

Remove the seeds from a spaghetti squash with a kitchen spoon.
Remove the seeds from a spaghetti squash with a kitchen spoon.
Peel the thin skin from a butternut squash using either a knife or a vegetable peeler. Remove the seeds from the bulb.
Peel the thin skin from a butternut squash using either a knife or a vegetable peeler. Remove the seeds from the bulb.

Next, for spaghetti and similar squashes, it is time to cook them.  There are several ways to do it, but the easiest and most basic is to steam them.  Lay them cut side down in a baking pan and add about 1/2 cup of water.  Cover with foil, bake at 375 until tender, about 30 minutes.  For butternut squash, dice the squash to desired size.  If you are using it in a soup, simply rough chop the squash into large pieces.  To roast and add to a salad or as a side dish, dice into smaller pieces.

Dice butternut squash to roast as a side or for a salad.
Dice butternut squash to roast as a side or for a salad.

So next time, don’t pass up that big pile of squash at the grocery store.  Be brave, and pick one out with few blemishes, and feels heavy for its size.  Then take it home and cut it up, because you know how now!  If you don’t use it right away, keep it in a cool dark place for up to several weeks.  But don’t wait too long, because you have a lot of delicious recipes to make!

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

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September News from Friend that Cooks

Just one week ago, I had one of the
most amazing experiences of my life.
I think I found what my heaven will look like! A few years ago, I heard about this field out near Lawrence, Kansas full of sunflowers. It took me a few years, but last week, I took my mom out for a visit. And it was breathtaking. As far as the eye can see… sunflowers! A million to be exact. I tried growing my own this year. They were from heirloom seeds, so the faces were smaller. But still a cool experiment.
As I watch the life cycle of the sunflowers in the field and how in just a week’s time the blooms have begun to fade, I am reminded of how short the seasons are. In just over a week, it will be officially Autumn. Where did the summer go?! I’m sure my mom-friends with school aged children do not agree, but I wish the summer could last just a little while longer. Of course, with all of the extra rain and mild temperatures we’ve had in the Midwest this year, I can say that. Maybe a few years ago I was begging for a day below 100 degrees by this time. But that was then and this is now… and I want it to stay summer forever!

So instead, I will cherish every last blueberry, the juice from a sun-warmed peach dripping down my chin and the tart bite of a perfectly ripened tomato just picked off the vine. I will load up on squash blossoms and stuff them with the best of the herbs from my garden, deliciously soft goat’s cheese and then fry them to golden perfection. And then eat them with a salad so I feel a little less guilty.

I will watch the sunset a few minutes earlier every evening and think fall will be here before we know it, and so will its produce. Don’t get me wrong, fall is great! It’s actually my favorite time of year. Butthis year, this summer… I’m not ready for it to end.

There is still plenty of late-summer produce at the farmer’s market, so stock up and savor it. Add some fresh corn to your salad. Toss cherry tomatoes in a hot skillet with a little olive oil or butter and sauté just until they burst, then top your steak. There are about 150 bazillion ways to eat zucchini, but how about shredding it and baking it in your oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it… it’s delicious!

Until next time.


Got Milk? It May Be Better To Not.
Some dietitians think that eliminating milk may lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

Check out this link to read more.

Cutting an onion can be tricky.
But you don’t have to cry about it.
Read about why it’s important to NOT refrigerate your onions, and how to slice them properly.

Use up the last of that beautiful basil and pick the last of the tomatoes.
Here is a tasty and easy recipe you can make for dinner tonight.

Basil Pesto Salmon Recipe


Some of you may be wondering who it is exactly that sends you this newsletter every month.

For those of you who don’t know, my name is Rebecca Nedrow and I am the Director of Operations for Friend that Cooks.

I didn’t start out in life loving food. I was just a regular girl in a regular Midwest town with regular working parents. We had dinner at the dinner table every night. And almost every night it was a meal made from scratch by my mother. Eating out was a luxury, and the extent of things that came out of a box or a can were macaroni and cheese or canned green beans. And those were usually saved for nights my older sister was babysitting. We ate what was on our plate. And if we didn’t, we saw it again later that week, because there was always a leftover night. My parents had a large garden when I was very young, but the only thing I actually remember was the strawberry patch. My mother would send me out to pick strawberries and I usually came back with more in my belly than in the bowl. I have since discovered that I am not blessed with a green thumb. I can’t grow a vegetable to save my life!

When I was older and tall enough to reach the stove top, I did begin to take an interest in baking. My mother’s chocolate chip cookie is one of my favorites to make to this day. But I will never forget the first time I was left on my own to make the recipe for a road trip we were taking, and I confused the teaspoon and tablespoon measures for actual teaspoons and cereal spoons. To say the least, they were awful! The cookies looked fine, but they were extremely salty. On the weekends, my younger brother and I would draw and color “breakfast in bed” menus for my parents. I would be in charge of the eggs. He would make the toast.

My real knack for cooking came in high school. There was one teacher at my school, Mrs. Salazar, that taught all of the cooking classes. I took one as a required credit and was hooked! I took every single class she offered, and had a blast! Science was my other favorite subject. So when it came time to pick a major for college, Dietetics was the logical choice. I went to Kansas State University and received my Bachelor’s in Dietetics.

My senior year, however, I decided I wanted to go to culinary school instead. I graduated, and then immediately enrolled in Johnson County Community College’s Culinary Art’s program. I got very lucky and was able to secure an apprenticeship at 40 Sardines with James Beard award winning Chefs Debbie Gold and Michael Smith. When I completed my degree at JCCC, I left for Charleston, South Carolina and worked at a restaurant called FIG with another James Beard award winning Chef Mike Lata. I have been very fortunate to work alongside some of the greatest chefs in the Kansas City and Charleston areas, and they have all influenced me and help to shape the kind chef I am today. When I left Charleston, I moved to Wichita, Kansas where I eventually found Friend that Cooks. After 2 years, I returned back to Kansas City to help owner Brandon O’Dell with the business, and we have been growing ever since.

My dietetics background not only influences the way I cook for myself and my clients, but it gives me the skills I need to be able to help our clients with special dietary needs and those that need help with specific diets. I take great joy in the fact that I am able to understand on a deeper level what our clients need and be able to work with them. The science of how and why food works in the body is a passion of mine, and I love explaining it to my clients and watch their eyes light up as they begin to understand too!

When I am not watching K-State football with my family at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, I am reading from my cookbook collection, hanging out in downtown Kansas City or following our professional local sports teams. I serve on two executive boards for my sorority’s alumnae group. I also have a dedicated yoga practice and enjoy helping my mom with her flower gardens every spring.


Connect With Us!

Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs
Kansas City: 913.660.0790 | www.kcmealprep.com | personalchefs@friendthatcooks.com
Wichita: 316.361.0823 | www.wichitamealprep.com | personalchefs@friendthatcooks.com
Chicago: 872.205.6068 | www.chicagomealprep.com | chicagochefs@friendthatcooks.com
St. Louis: 314.669.4593 | www.stlouismealprep.com | stlchefs@friendthatcooks.com
Omaha: 402.819.7916 | www.omahamealprep.com | omahachefs@friendthatcooks.com
Des Moines: 515.661.4592 | www.desmoinesmealprep.com | desmoineschefs@friendthatcooks.com
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What do Celiac Disease and Egg Yolks Have In Common?

For most celiac sufferes, going gluten free isn’t really a problem anymore.  With new products popping up on shelves everyday, it’s easy to find a suitable substitute for bead, pasta and other gluten containing ingredients. 

But what if you could take a pill to ease the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and celiac disease?  One researcher may have found a way to do just that.

Check out this article and tell us what you think. 

http://www.gizmag.com/egg-yolk-celiac-gluten/38517/

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

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Blueberry Vinaigrette

There are 4 important components to a good salad.  Texture. Color. Flavor.  Dressing. 

So what happens when you don’t have any dressing?  You make one.  6 ingredients, 2 minutes, and a blender is all it takes to make this tasty blueberry vinaigrette.  And it doubles as a sauce for pork and chicken! 

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Blueberry vinaigrette

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (or a combination of mixed berries)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1.  Add berries, vinegar, salt, sugar and water to the blender.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. 
2.  Slowly stream in olive oil and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds. 
3.  Transfer to a storage container and clean out your blender. 

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Blend until emulsified

The easiest way to clean a blender is to rinse it out, fill half way with hot water and a dab of dish soap, and run the blender for about 20-30 seconds or until clean.  Rinse with clean water and air dry.  Works every time!

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Cleaning the blender

Salad saved! 

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Spinach, roasted red beet, goat's cheese, red onion, bell pepper, blueberry vinaigrette

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