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Chef’s Spotlight- Elizabeth Armstrong

 

This month’s Chef’s Spotlight features our new admin and office assistant, Elizabeth Armstrong.  Elizabeth was born and raised in Olathe, Kansas. She graduated from Olathe South High School in 2006 and went on to receive a Bachelor’s in Mass Media Advertising with a minor in fine arts from Washburn University in 2013.  Elizabeth spent a period of time designing websites and teaching drawing classes to elementary school kids.  She has also worked in the service industry for 14 years.

Elizabeth has a passion for all kinds of art and helping others. Staying creative is an ongoing outlet for her. She enjoys going to art exhibits, being out in nature, spending time with her niece, going to concerts and binge watching Netflix.

WELCOME ELIZABETH!  Not technically a chef, but definitely an important addition to our Friend That Cooks family, Elizabeth started with us in early May.  She works in our new headquarters office in Shawnee as our office assistant, website tamer and social media guru.  Check out her work on our Facebook and other social media platforms.

 

 

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Build Your Cookbook Library Like A Pro

We all have it.  That one book sitting on the counter.  Bent spine, dogeared, bookmarked and stained.  It’s the go-to.  The favorite.  Maybe it’s a collection of family heirlooms, a digital wallet stored on your iPad, a wedding present from your dear Aunt Sally, or a corner bookstore find.  A good cookbook can help plan that Thanksgiving feast for 20 or Tuesday night’s meatloaf supper.

For our chefs, they are a source of inspiration, and a education.  Just like a any other professional, chefs need to keep up with current trends, and brush up on techniques learned early in our careers.  It’s more than a hobby- it’s a lifestyle.

We get asked all the time, “What book should I have in my kitchen?”.  So we wanted to put together for you a  list of our chefs’ favorites.  Some are more reference books than recipe books.  But we still think they are great, even for the most novice of cooks.  Check out our list below and comment on your favorites.  Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates from Friend That Cooks!

The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook is great for everyday recipes.
Charcuterie, for meats: smoking, curing, salting and more. 
The Chefs Reference Guide is a great resource for the advanced home cook.
Instead of Google, grab a copy of Food Lover’s Companion. A great resource for anything food.
Composing the perfect dish is a breeze with Culinary Artistry. A great resource book for all home cooks.
Genuinely delicious and fun “fancy southern” cuisine from a Top Chef contestant, Fire In My Belly.
Learn everything pasta in Flour+Water: Pasta.
If bread is your thing, or maybe you want to learn, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast is great to have in your kitchen.
The French Laundry Cookbook delivers beautiful pictures and exquisite technique.
TV show personality delivers classic and fun foods in Guy Fieri Family Food.
Sean Brock, a Charleston legend in his own right, shows you how to make classic, southern dishes that are beautiful and sustainable.
Momofuku is a must for anyone looking to step-up their Asian culinary game.
On Cooking, a texbook and staple for any cook. A must-own for all.
Staff Meals is fun and original cookbook with wholesome recipes, unique ingredients and a laid-back approach.
Bon Appetit’s The Grilling Book should be your can’t-live-without, summer grilling guide.
Get serious pastry skills with The Pastry Chef’s Companion recipe and resource guide.
Not just for vegans, Thug Kitchen’s NSFW first official cookbook has taken the food world by storm. Get serious about eating more vegetables and get a copy of this book…yesterday!

 

Ethnic Food Lover’s Companion makes cooking your favorite ethnic dish a breeze.
The Cook’s book is a great resource for tips and tricks from chef’s all over the world.

 

If you like breakfast foods, you need The Breakfast Book. Think farm-house simple.
When you aren’t sure what to pair with this, or how to spice that, The Flavor Bible is every cook’s go-to.
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Too Many Tomatoes I From Mama Natural

28 Things to Do With Too Many Tomatoes

tomatoesLate in the summer, many gardeners end up with too many tomatoes! Come late-August, you may end up with a dozen or two heirlooms ripening on your kitchen counter, with dozens more cherry, San Marzano, Brandywine, Yellow Pear, Roma, Campari, Jubilee, Beefsteak and countless other tomato varieties ripening on the vines outside.

This is not necessarily a bad thing but it can be intimidating trying to think of ways to utilize them. Before we start, I have an idea of my own. First, cook down those fresh tomatoes and add some onion, celery and celery salt until the vegetables are tender. Now run that through a food mill and add some salt and lemon juice to taste. Don’t forget the last and most crucial ingredient…Vodka!

Now that you have a delicious bloody mary in your hands, you can click the link below to find out 28 ways to use all those extra tomatoes from your garden while they are at peak freshness!

28 Things to Do With Too Many Tomatoes

Leave a comment below with your favorite ideas and recipes using your garden vegetables and herbs.

Click here to learn more about Friend That Cooks Personal Chef Service.

 

 

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Healthy Eating From Plant to Plate

Plant to Plate Meal Prep

Fresh Herb PlantFresh Herbs from PlantMeatball Marinara from fresh herb plant

From plant to plate! Our in-home #PersonalChefs will utilize your garden to help save money and add some extra flavor into your healthy weekly #mealprep dishes.

This meatball in marinara with pasta, broccoli and green beans is just one example of how our chefs can use fresh herbs and vegetables from your garden in the dishes. Using your own garden will not only save you money, but also insure that your getting the freshest ingredients.

As the summer goes on, you will start harvesting more herbs and veggies than you know what to do with. Let our chefs create dishes from your garden that you can freeze for later or eat right now. We can make tomato sauce, casseroles, bread, or soup to freeze for the winter. Or you could throw a huge veggie barbecue for your friends and we’ll do the cooking! Whatever you decide, let us help you get the most out of your green thumb.

Learn more about how we can utilize your garden ingredients and our meal prep services at our website!

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From Food & Wine | Maple Roasted Ribs

Maple Roasted Ribs

Hey, here’s a great maple roasted ribs recipe we found at Food and Wine magazines website. Not all ribs have to be smoked, here’s another great way to make spare ribs. Our talented personal chefs know many fun and interesting recipes like this that we use every day for our weekly meal prep clients…

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/maple-roasted-pork-spareribs

Maple roasted ribs from Food and Wine magazine
Maple roasted pork spare ribs from Food and Wine magazine

Learn more about weekly meal prep from Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs on our website.

 

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meal prep | bun thit nuong

Meal Prep Picture
www.friendthatcooks.com

Meal Prep Bun Thit Nuong

Bun Thit Nuong style bean noodle bowl meal prep with Chili-Lemongrass Pork Tenderloin and topped with fresh herbs.

Just one example of exotic In-home weekly #mealprep dishes made every day by Friend That Cooks #PersonalChefs.

See more at www.friendthatcooks.com #healthyMeals #Fitness 😋

#KansasCity #Minneapolis#StPaul #TwinCities #Chicago #StLouis #Omaha #DesMoines #Denver #Wichita #Milwaukee #Indianapolis

 

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Braised chicken vindaloo, brown basmati

Turkey vindaloo meal prep image
Turkey vindaloo meal prep

Braised turkey vindaloo, brown basmati rice and sauteed kale.

Weekly #mealprep for busy moms, couples or special diets in #KC #Chicago #StLouis #Wichita #Omaha #DesMoines #Milwaukee and #Denver.
Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com

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Seared chicken and artichoke meal prep

Chicken, tomato and artichokes image
Chicken, tomato and artichokes

Seared chicken, tomatoes and artichoke in lemon caper butter, sauteed green beans.

Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs  provide weekly #mealprep for busy moms, couples or special diets in #KC #Chicago #StLouis #Wichita #Omaha #DesMoines #Milwaukee and #Denver.

We send a talented personal chef to your home for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with healthy, premade meals to reheat.

Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com

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Seared halibut meal prep

Seared halibut meal prep

Seared halibut meal prep image
Seared halibut

with blackberry balsamic reduction, wild rice, roasted Brussels sprouts and apples with lemon butter.

Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs  provide weekly #mealprep for busy moms, couples or special diets in #KC #Chicago #StLouis #Wichita #Omaha #DesMoines #Milwaukee and #Denver.

We send a talented personal chef to your home for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with healthy, premade meals to reheat.

Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

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Look how easy dinner could be

Weekly meal prep and easy dinner

Easy dinners image
Easy dinners

Look how easy dinner could be. A week’s worth of meals prepared by a personal chef. Once per week. Half the cost of eating out at a comparable restaurant. Fresh meals made from scratch by a personal chef in YOUR kitchen. Instead of mass produced by low wage cooks, frozen and mailed to you. Raise your standards, not your spending.

Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs  provide weekly #mealprep for busy moms, couples or special diets in #KC #Chicago #StLouis #Wichita #Omaha #DesMoines #Milwaukee and #Denver.

We send a talented personal chef to your home for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with healthy, premade meals to reheat.

Learn more at www.friendthatcooks.com.

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Try Pyrex glass dishes for meal prep | Brandon at FTC

Pyrex storage container picture
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.

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Crab topped red snapper | Weekly meal prep in Kansas City and Wichita

Crab topped snapper pic
Crab topped snapper

Crab topped jet fresh red snapper pan seared with a shallot vinaigrette. Served with sauteed green beans and wild rice.

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